Ever wonder what it would be like to train with the American Red Cross to respond to disasters?
On August 3, 2019, a team of volunteers and Red Cross staff took time out of their weekend to be trained and better informed on how best to assist their community after a natural disaster or house fire. This type of training is important in order for the Red Cross to help residents after an emergency. Those affected by a disaster, may have lost everything. It is important that Red Cross volunteers are trained, not only in how to respond to the event, but how to respond and help the people affected.
Training begins with a lecture and information on processes and procedures and then the group begins to “act” out a disaster. Today’s simulation was similar to a house fire that would happen in their community.
Why would volunteers do this? Red Cross volunteer Janice Wilcoxson said, “I am thankful for what I have and I am a firm believer in paying it forward. This is a way I can look at people in their worse possible needs. It has put my life into perspective, and I am able to look at my own kids and say you don’t have a clue how bad things can be.”
Red Cross volunteers, similar to Wilcoxson, sign up for shifts to be available when the unexpected happens. Most volunteers sign up for three shifts a month. It may be months before a disaster volunteer is called to a response, depending on where they live and how often a disaster happens in their community. What is most important is that Red Cross volunteers throughout NH & VT (and across the nation) are ready to respond WHEN something happens. Our volunteers are paying it forward.
The important emergency response work done by the American Red Cross is done by a workforce that is made up of 90% volunteers. In New Hampshire and Vermont, that number is closer to 98% . Without volunteers, this work could simply not be done.
If our local population doesn’t hear about the work these volunteers do, it’s difficult for us to find new volunteers or reach people who may need our help.
For this reason, we’re looking for New Hampshire / Vermont residents to help us tell the Red Cross stories that happen every single day. We’re looking for people who enjoy working as writers, journalists, photographers and videographers. The work isn’t “all the time,” but when disaster strikes we need the help.
Red Cross storytellers are a part of a professional volunteer team that develops and delivers the Red Cross story behind-the-scenes, on-camera, in-person and online through media channels, websites, social media feeds and other content platforms.
There are a number of jobs that need to be done. People who would like to focus in one area, as well as generalists are welcome. It’s great experience for your resume too!
Blue Sky (non-disaster) Operations could include the following:
News Releases, FAQs and/or Talking Points for special projects such as events and initiatives, New Board Member Announcements, Corporate Recognition and more
Project Manager – scheduling calls and follow-up on action items for the Communications department such as scheduling rotating meetings and sending out updated information to people who need it, oversee deadlines for other workers, etc.
With training, serve as the spokesperson through one-take video projects
Upload smart phone photos and posts to Red Cross social sites
Represent the American Red Cross as a guest speaker or agency representative at community events
During Gray Sky (large scale disaster) Operations, you may carry out the same duties from:
Red Cross shelters
Disaster Command Center
Willingness to learn media relations
Background in Red Cross response (training provided), branding and messaging
Submission of news releases, video clips on on-camera work or equivalent work samples preferred but not required
Background in branding and messaging preffered but not required
Blue Sky operations assignments will be provided in advance with deadlines, approximately 5-15 hours per month, or more if you like
Scheduling opportunities are available for grey sky operations
If you’re interested, email email@example.com for more information.