If you’re not busy evacuating or wrestling singlehandedly with your window air conditioner or scoping out possible hurricane boyfriends, you may be interested to know that the Red Cross needs your help! They’re calling on core volunteers — that means people who already have Red Cross training — to help with the city’s shelter operations, as well as with continuing operations after the storm. If that sounds like you, you can call 212.875.2068, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Jordan Humphrey of the Red Cross told us they’re looking for anyone who’s been through Red Cross reserve training, plus people who’ve been through other types of Red Cross training — as well as EMTs, mental health professionals, and nursing professionals. They’re looking to identify 1,000 volunteers who will serve the city over a five-day period, through the storm and its aftermath.
Humphrey told us the Red Cross currently has a presence in the city-run shelters to help and consult, and in addition to that, they have ongoing operations such as responding to fires and other disasters. They’ve planned for disaster assessment teams to be placed throughout the area to send in reports after the storm, to make sure resources go to those who need it.
They also have some helpful info up regarding the aftermath of the storm:
• The Red Cross Safe and Well website enables people to let loved ones know what their situation is due to the hurricane.
–People can also access www.redcross.org/safeandwell on a smart phone, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
–Facebook and Twitter status also can be updated through the Safe and Well site.
• People should also download the free Red Cross shelter finder app in the Apple iTunes store.
• The “S.O.S. by the American Red Cross” app is free on the Android Marketplace and provides real-time instructions including how to perform Hands-Only CPR and how to help someone who is choking.
• You can also search for open Red Cross shelters by address, city, state, and/or zip code.
If you’re not qualified to volunteer and want to help, of course, you can also donate at RedCross.org.
How serious does the Red Cross think Irene will be? “The Red Cross is taking this very seriously, and we’re urging New Yorkers to as well,” Humphrey said. “We have many plans being implemented as we speak.”
Here’s an updated evacuation map, and a link to a pdf containing the list of evacuation centers.
Red Cross Seeking NYC Volunteers for Hurricane #Irene [Brooklyn Heights Blog]