CHARLESTON — The American Red Cross Central Appalachia Region is seeking individuals to volunteer to help those impacted by disaster. Your local Red Cross is hosting several Volunteer Orientation Briefings to provide an opportunity for you to learn more about virtual, local or national opportunities.

The Red Cross has responded to a large number of major hurricanes with more on the way while hundreds of fires are burning in states such as California, Oregon and Washington. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the American Red Cross is experiencing challenges to deploy trained disaster volunteers. In light of this, the Red Cross is asking you to be ready to help virtually, in your community or in impacted areas across the country.

There is a special need for volunteers to support sheltering efforts. Because of Covid-19, the Red Cross is placing those needing a safe place to stay in emergency hotel lodging when possible. If hotel stays aren’t possible, then the Red Cross will open traditional shelters and follow social distancing protocols. To help keep people safe, we have put in place additional precautions and developed special training for our workforce. We need volunteers to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks to help those we serve.

If you are unable to travel to a large scale, national disaster we are seeking volunteers to help respond to disasters in their communities such as home fires and floods. There are also a number of virtual volunteer opportunities available as well. By volunteering in this manner, you are allowing others to be free to deploy to these areas of large-scale disaster where they are critically needed.

To learn more about how you can get involved, your local Red Cross is hosting several Volunteer Orientation Briefings highlighting the types of opportunities available. Briefings will be held at 12 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20; Tuesday, Oct. 27; Tuesday, Nov. 3; and Tuesday, Nov. 10. Please register for one of these briefings at

To learn more about volunteering or other ways you can help such as providing a financial gift or scheduling a blood donation, visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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