Mark Tauscheck, spokesperson for the Iowa Red Cross, says more people are expressing interest in helping the organization in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
“You know, we have people we need to drive emergency response vehicles, logistics, planning, sheltering, feeding, disaster assessment — so, lots of different needs that we have for volunteers,” Tauscheck said.
Informational meetings were held last night in both Cedar Rapids and Sioux City. Two more meetings are scheduled for today at the Northeast Iowa Red Cross Chapter in Dubuque (4-6pm) and the Central Iowa Chapter in Des Moines (6-8 pm). There’s a lot of training involved before a person becomes a Red Cross volunteer.
“First, they have to go through a background check and they have get on board and signed up. Then, they go into the classroom environment – four to five classroom sessions. There’s also some online training they have to complete,” Tauscheck said. While nearly anyone can become a Red Cross volunteer, Tauscheck suggests the best candidates are those who have a willingness to help others and have a lot of flexibility in their schedule.
“People who are working the 9 to 5 jobs and maybe have four kids at home and just do not have the opportunity to get away from their real life to go deploy – those are people who may want to look at different volunteer opportunities within the Red Cross,” Tauscheck said.
There are currently 49 Red Cross volunteers from Iowa who are deployed in Texas helping victims of flooding there, while four more volunteers are in Florida – preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Irma. Find out more about being a Red Cross volunteer on their website.