OMAHA, Neb. — According to a release from the American Red Cross of Nebraska and Iowa, volunteers to assist in disaster areas and blood donations are in need.
The Red Cross provided the following:
Volunteers Needed with Busy Disaster Season Expected
Red Cross Disaster Action Teams (DAT) are the first line of care, comfort and compassion for those affected by a disaster. These volunteers are there in the immediate hours after a home fire or other local disaster to provide compassionate care and comfort.
Right now, as the Red Cross returns to more in-person DAT visits, additional volunteers are needed. Disasters—both large and small—are increasing, and with it the demand for Red Cross services increases.
DAT members distribute relief supplies, provide client assistance for temporary lodging and other disaster-caused needs, offer some health services, mental health services and spiritual care. They provide the initial recovery services including referrals and advocacy. While the lodging, food and supplies are welcomed, many times it is the comfort and emotional support that DAT members provide that makes the most difference. The volunteers make a difference by offering compassion and hope for those individuals.
To learn more about current volunteer needs, visit this OurRedStories blog post.
Blood Collection Levels Reach Alarming Levels
The Red Cross continues to work around the clock to address the severe blood shortage. An increase in demand from hospitals has resulted in the Red Cross distributing about 12% more blood products across the U.S. compared to this time last year. Summer is a difficult time to collect enough blood to meet patient needs—even without the increased demand and the added struggle of a global pandemic.
Donors are needed to ensure patients awaiting treatment or procedures have the necessary blood on hand.
Appointments to donate blood can be made by:
· Calling 1-800-RED CROSS
· Visiting redcrossblood.org
· Downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor app
In nearly all cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate.
National Preparedness Month Approaching
September is National Preparedness Month and with that, the American Red Cross urges everyone to make preparedness a priority.
HOW TO GET PREPARED Help keep your family safe by taking three actions to: 1) Get a Kit. 2) Make a Plan. 3) Be Informed.
- First, build your emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for infants or pets, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.
- Next, plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency and what to do if you have to evacuate. Coordinate your plan with your child’s school, your work and your community’s emergency plans. Don’t forget to include your pets. Remember, if you and your family need to evacuate, so does your pet. Know in advance which pet-friendly hotels are in your area, and where your pets can stay in an emergency situation.
- Finally, plan to stay informed by finding out how local officials will contact you during a disaster and how you will get important information, such as evacuation orders.
Being prepared is important for everyone. Depending on your household’s needs, there might be additional considerations to take into account as part of your emergency planning.
For example, older adults or people with mobility, hearing, learning or seeing disabilities may need to create a support network of people that can help during an emergency. The Red Cross recommends creating a plan that considers each person’s capabilities, any help they may need and who can provide it. This is especially important if evacuations are called for or if the power goes out for several days.
Disasters can be scary for children. It’s important to talk with your kids about preparing for common emergencies, how to stay safe and what to expect before a disaster happens. The Red Cross has free programs and tools to help, visit redcross.org/youthprep for more information.