MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The American Red Cross has pre-deployed several volunteers to cities along the East Coast to help support, and provide resources if Hurricane Isaias causes severe damages.
The Allegheny Highlands region of the American Red Cross has sent a total of nine volunteers to the neighboring state Virginia. Two of the volunteers, Fran and Duane Boyce, have deployed from Morgantown to Richmond, Va.
These volunteers were sent as a part of the Red Cross’s “readiness effort.” Should the storm create significant damage, Red Cross volunteers will be on hand to help distribute disaster aid and mass shelter evacuees.
“That’s the whole thing about the “American” Red Cross, we are all over to help America,” said Allegheny Highlands Executive Director Jason Keeling. “The coronavirus pandemic will make it more difficult to send these volunteers, but we will follow all social distancing regulations as best as we can. The Red Cross just wants to focus on helping communities that may see significant damage.”
The Boyces are also transporting an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV), which can be used for mass feeding and supplies distribution. Experts have noted that the hurricane season this summer may be busier than previous years. Keeling said the Red Cross is there to help however they can when disaster hits anywhere in the country.
“We want to get ahead of the storm, and by prepositioning these volunteers and these resources we are able to be ready as best as we can when it hits,” said Keeling. “In the event that it does become significant, we are there, we’re ready, and we’re not trying to come in after the storm has already hit. It’s a matter of preparation.”
Sending volunteers has created a large need for volunteers locally if the storm has an impact on West Virginia. Volunteering can be anything from distributing food during disaster, or with their blood drive services.
If you are interested in volunteering you can visit the American Red Cross website here.