JOPLIN, Mo. —
The American Red Cross is sending 30 people from the Joplin region to help with the Gulf Coast’s response to Hurricane Isaac.
Nigel Holderby, spokeswoman for the relief agency, said some of the volunteers are from Joplin. Other local volunteers are being placed on standby.
Holderby said a report that the agency had put out a call for volunteers to help in the Gulf Coast region was inaccurate. The agency has a pool of 2,200 trained volunteers across 40 counties.
“We have a large volunteer base that is already trained,” she said. “We would not send anyone to a potential disaster who has not been prepared or trained.”
The regional agency, she said, has “a lot of volunteers we could potentially send and still be able to respond to a disaster locally. We still need to be staffed for fires and other events here.”
Donations to the American Red Cross are used to cover the expenses associated with volunteers’ assignment to a disaster.
“Getting them to the location, their food and lodging are all expenses the American Red Cross covers,” Holderby said. “Lodging could be a staff shelter, which might be similar to a shelter for the affected residents.
“It’s all driven by donations. That’s why we’re asking the American people to reach out and help with monetary donations. The volunteers give their time. It’s free.”
PEOPLE WHO WANT to become volunteers may call the Joplin office of the American Red Cross at 417-624-4411 for guidance on how to become a trained worker.