Omaha Public Radio News
2:38 am
Tue September 2, 2008

Red Cross Heartland Chapter says more volunteers are needed

Omaha, NE – The American Red Cross Heartland Chapter has a dozen volunteers at the Gulf Coast for Hurricane Gustav recovery efforts.

Heartland Chapter CEO Tina Price says those volunteers were sent along with all of Nebraska's Emergency Response Vehicles. They'll spend the next three weeks manning shelters and providing assistance to hurricane victims.

Price says more volunteers are needed at both the local and national level. Volunteers undergo a certain amount of training based on the job they want to do. For disaster response volunteers, it's more than 12 hours of training, along with a background check. Price says disaster response volunteers must be able to be away from home and work for three weeks to serve in a disaster area. Local volunteers are needed to answer phones at the Heartland Chapter's Call Center.

Price says this summer's severe weather has put a strain on resources. The Heartland Chapter is also preparing to send volunteers to the East Coast, if needed, to help with recovery efforts following Tropical Storm Hanna.

More than 7,000 Red Cross volunteers from throughout the country are at the Gulf Coast.