When severe storms threaten homes and lives, Red Cross disaster volunteers step into action to provide help and comfort to affected families. Now, the Red Cross is harnessing the power of social media to extend our disaster preparedness and relief services into the digital space.
Online social networks have forever changed the way we give and receive critical help and information during emergencies, and the American Red Cross is appealing for volunteers savvy in the social media space to join their team. These new Digital Volunteers will live-Tweet during severe weather, as well as create blog posts, upload photos and smartphone video and help the organization listen and respond to community questions and concerns.
“Our goal is simple. We want to get the timeliest information about disasters to the community,” said Bristel Bowen, Communications Director, American Red Cross of Central Texas. “And because disasters happen 24/7, we need volunteers to help us get information out, and to respond to the community as they have questions about how to help, where to go, etc.”
This new program allows people to get involved with the Red Cross and help their community while volunteering from their own home. In the past, volunteers might be limited by travel or time commitment, but now they can work online from home and still know that they are connecting people who need help with important real-time information and resources.
Training is provided to Red Cross volunteers free of charge and the first course will be offered on Tuesday, July 22 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at the American Red Cross-Central Texas chapter at 2218 Pershing Drive; the course can be taken in-person or online. Anyone interested in joining the American Red Cross digital volunteer team is encouraged to visit http://www.redcross.org/tx/austin/volunteer/application and reference “digital volunteer” or call the chapter at 512-929-1237.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.