Many weather experts predict a destructive disaster season this year. The American Red Cross needs volunteers to help on the ground in the face of a busy disaster season and blood donors to roll up a sleeve to maintain a stable blood supply in the face of emergencies.

 “We’re preparing for another extremely busy disaster season, and it’s critical to have a trained, ready volunteer workforce to make sure we can provide relief at a moment’s notice,” said Katie Webster, Regional Disaster Officer for the American Red Cross Minnesota and Dakotas Region. “This year’s wildfire season is already very active and dangerous because of the severe drought and dry woodlands across the west. And experts are predicting we could see 10 or more hurricanes in the upcoming weeks.”

Shelter volunteers and health professionals needed

The Red Cross needs new volunteers to support disaster shelters. Volunteers will help with reception, registration, food distribution, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks inside disaster shelters.  

The Red Cross also needs volunteers who can work in disaster shelters to address people’s health needs and provide hands-on care in alignment with their professional licensure (registered nurse and licensed practical nurse/licensed vocational nurse). Daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents may also be required. If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with a current and unencumbered license, this position could be right for you.

Blood and platelet donors needed

Wildfires, record-breaking heat and a busy hurricane season can also impact the nation’s blood supply. On top of the toll extreme weather events take on the lives of millions, disasters can cause blood drive closures or prevent donors from being able to give safely. Eligible donors can help overcome the critical need for blood and ensure blood is readily available by making an appointment to give by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

 As a thank-you, those who come to donate throughout the month of August will get a free 4-month special offer to Apple Music by email (new subscribers only). Details are available at

Blood donation opportunities

Please check or call 1-800-RED CROSS for current blood donation centers days and hours.

Mille Lacs County, Princeton:

• Aug. 19,2021 from 12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at Trinity Crossing, 111 6th Ave. N.

• Aug. 30, 2021 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., VFW Post 806, 113 Rum River Drive N. 

Stearns County, St. Cloud: Aug. 30, 2021 at 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., St. Cloud Hospital, 1406 6th Ave. N.

Kanabec County, Mora: Aug. 20, 202 from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, 401 Highway 65 S.

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