What do relief efforts after a storm look like in a pandemic?
The American Red Cross in West Palm Beach already has teams in the Bahamas and is mobilizing volunteers in South Florida to prepare for any impacts from Hurricane Isaias.
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This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers will be wearing masks and face shields if they are handing out supplies after a storm, but some of those relief efforts also may be by appointment only.
The Red Cross said it's working around the clock to make sure supplies are ready in South Florida, and teams are already in the Bahamas
"As we’ve seen already, disasters do not stop and will not stop for a global pandemic, so we have to be prepared no matter what," said Holly Baker with the Red Cross. "In terms of response, we’ve just really had to adapt a lot of our response operations. It slowed things down, but we just really had to change things from in-person. Can it be done virtually or over the phone? We’re definitely encouraging everyone to do social distancing within our own offices."
The Red Cross said it's also moved to more virtual responses in situations where they need to offer individual assistance.