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Red Cross volunteers needed with wildfires, COVID-19 in full swing

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 11:17 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The American Red Cross of Northern Nevada is providing resources for those affected by the Numbers Fire. The nonprofit wouldn’t be able to help in times of need if it weren’t for volunteers.

“I can only imagine what it feels like to lose your home, but I’m willing to help those who have, that’s what we’re all about,” Barbara Kramer, Volunteer for the Red Cross said.

Kramer lives in Northern Nevada and has been volunteering with the organization for six years. She added, “I did my first disaster national relief operation in 2015 when I went to California to help with some of the fires happening there. So I’ve been in many different types of environments.”

Less than two weeks ago, she was on the front lines providing assistance to those in harms way of the Poeville Fire.

“We were able to take care of a lot of clients who were evacuated, but because of COVID-19 we put them into non-congregate shelters which basically means hotels,” Kramer said.

She says while her primary duty has been disaster relief, there’s a need for many types of support including licensed nurses, health screenings and more.

Kramer added, “Think about what it would feel like if it was your worst day, if your home was burning down, or you had no where to go or you were getting flooded out of your home, what would you want somebody to do for you?”

She says volunteering not only makes a huge imprint on her life, but also on those she serves.

“It makes me feel good for one, but the idea of helping someone else, even its something I might not consider big, to them it’s the worst day of their life and so if I can help walk them through what the next step is, make them feel secure, that’s what gives me heart and soul as a red cross volunteer,” Kramer said.

If you’re interested in volunteering to help our community, click here.

In the event of a disaster, being prepared is the most important thing you can do. the red cross recommends:

-Assembling an emergency preparedness kit.

-Key items to include in your kit are personal protective equipment (PPE), prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and a digital copy of important documents. Don't forget to bring special items for family members who have unique needs or for children, such as diapers, formula and toys.

-Creating a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.

-Staying informed about your community's risk and response plans.

-Educating your family on how to use the Safe and Well website.

-Download the Emergency App for iPhone or for Android

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