LINCOLN – American Red Cross officials have been responding to multiple massive disasters across the country as volunteers are needed to address the current happenings.
According to a release from the Red Cross, from wildfires on the west coast and hurricanes on the gulf coast, with the current disasters and expectations of more, more help is needed.
Trained disaster workers are providing food, shelter, supplies and comfort to people in need across as many as 10 states as tens of thousands of people have been impacted by recent disasters.
Seventy-one volunteers from the Nebraska-Iowa Region have assisted with disaster responses since September 1. Many of these volunteers are on the ground in the affected areas, while some are supporting virtually.
The Red Cross is asking people who are able to make a significant impact by becoming a Red Cross volunteer today. Review the most urgently needed volunteer positions at redcross.org/volunteertoday.
Besides volunteering, those wishing to help people affected by disasters like wildfires, storms and countless other crises can make a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Financial gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 800-RED-CROSS or text the word DISASTER to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Additionally, disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes cause blood drives in the impacted areas to be canceled. The Red Cross encourages eligible individuals to give blood or platelets to help ensure a sufficient blood supply. Learn more here.
The plasma from whole blood donations made through the American Red Cross that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Donors are encouraged to make an appointment to give blood now to help ensure coronavirus patients and others who depend on transfusions have needed blood products this fall.
In April, the Red Cross began collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma from previously diagnosed individuals, who could only give at one of approximately 170 Red Cross blood donation centers across the country. Convalescent plasma contains COVID-19 antibodies that may help the most critical patients actively fighting this virus. Now, whole blood donations made at any Red Cross blood drive or blood donation center could be helpful in this effort.
The Red Cross encourages eligible individuals to schedule an appointment, download the free Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
Antibody testing may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual experienced COVID-19 symptoms. Donations are tested using samples pulled at the time of donation and sent to a testing laboratory where they will also undergo routine infectious disease testing.