MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The American Red Cross needs more volunteers for hurricane season, which started Wednesday, to be prepared once disaster strikes.
Horry County Emergency Management staff predicts this year is going to be an active season, so many agencies are planning, such as the American Red Cross. Currently, the local eastern chapter of the American Red Cross has about 250 volunteers covering Grand Strand and Pee Dee counties. But more locals are needed to help in the upcoming months.
Mandy McWherter, the Regional Communications Director for the Red Cross of South Carolina said volunteers make up 90% of the Red Cross workforce. She, along with other Red Cross officials, are asking people to sign up to help the cause.
“We really walk folks to get trained before disaster strikes,” McWherter said. “That’s part of our organization’s preparedness plan, is getting those folks onboarded and appropriately trained so they can respond when that disaster strikes.”
The Red Cross is looking to fill positions for shelter support, disaster action team and people with certain licensures for health care services, such as nurses, doctors and mental health care professionals to help people dealing with crisis.
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities available and no area is immune to a natural disaster.
“Last year, for example, the Red Cross of South Carolina was able to send over 100 volunteers, sometimes multiple times for different deployments to support other Americans in need,” McWherter said. “We think about events like Hurricane Ida that affected people from the Gulf Coast all the way up to the Northeast.”
The Red Cross will train volunteers for whatever position they’re interested in. McWherter encourages families to prepare at home by getting an emergency kit, making a family plan and checking to make sure your insurance is up-to-date and to stay informed.
Information on how to sign up to be a volunteer can be found on the American Red Cross website.