DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As Hurricane Delta makes landfall Friday along the Gulf Coast, the American Red Cross said they are in critical and immediate need for volunteers.

Local Red Cross officials said 11,000 Red Cross volunteers across the country have stepped forward to help since July.

Over 100 volunteers from the Southwest Ohio region have deployed to disasters this year. Gary Clark of Dayton is in Oregon on his fourth deployment this year, the third since August.

“I went to Texas for Hurricane Hanna, went to Louisiana for Hurricane Laura, after here in the wildfires I’ll go home on Sunday, rest for a few days, and then I’ll head back out again,” said Clark.

He does not know if he’ll head back out West where wildfires continue to rage or to Louisiana as they brace for Hurricane Delta’s landfall Friday. Both Clark and Jordan Tetting, Red Cross’ Regional Volunteer Services Officer, said the need for more volunteers is critical. This year, COVID-19 has forced many of their dedicated volunteers to stay home because they’re in a vulnerable population, meanwhile, they need more workers to meet safety guidelines.

“We are primarily focused on doing as much non-congregate sheltering as possible,” said Tetting. “That means we have to set up smaller shelters and have a larger need for shelter workers.”

Tetting said they also are in need of health service workers who can help administer medicine to those displaced. Training for all positions is online and takes about one to two days. Tetting said you will likely head out for a 14-day deployment and they said it could happen soon as the disasters continue to strike.

“Providing that meal or that shelter stay or just sitting and talking with them, this is probably one of the worst times in their lives and they’re just looking for anything at this moment,” said Clark.

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