Red Cross Prepares For Wildfires With Coronavirus In Mind

Tim Ryan
July 09, 2020 - 2:59 pm

    Related: California Beefs Up Resources As Wildfire Season Enters 'Peak'

    With wildfire season upon us, the Red Cross will handle evacuations differently this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    A crowded disaster shelter at a fairgrounds or school campus would make physical distancing next to impossible. Red Cross Spokeswoman Cynthia Shaw explained, the plan is to use hotels where possible, and that the need for volunteers right now is great.

    “Due to predictions of a really active wildfire season and the complexities of COVID-19, Red Cross is looking at the need for thousands of volunteers to help care for people when disaster Strikes our community," Shaw said.

    Shaw added that Red Cross especially is in need of healthcare workers, including RNs, LVNs, physicians, assistants, paramedics and even doctors. The organization especially needs volunteers at a lower risk of contracting the virus, which would require them to be healthy overall and in a younger age group.

    "We’ll have a number of our volunteers that may be unable to assist, whether due to their own health reasons or maybe they’ve contracted COVID," Shaw said.

    The Red Cross is stepping up virtual assistance with higher use of computers and telephones.

    For more information, visit the Red Cross website.