INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.--Indiana Red Cross officials realize Americans may be feeling “disaster fatigue" after weeks of seeing coverage of the devastation left behind by Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria all across Texas, Florida and now Puerto Rico, but officials say they still need volunteers to help with relief efforts.
Arnaldo Rodriguez is a native Puerto Rican, now living in Indianapolis. He said the past few weeks have left him feeling helpless.
“It’s been a feeling that a lot of us from Puerto Rico that live in the U.S. have been feeling,” said Rodriguez.
He moved stateside 32 years ago, but much of his family still lives on the island.
“I’ve been able to communicate with my family via cell phone but it’s been very sporadic,” said Rodriguez.
He works as a microbiologist for Eli Lilly and wanted to do something to help, so he went to a Red Cross Volunteer training session on Sunday.
“Many of them felt called during Hurricane Harvey or Irma and they called our office and said we’d like to volunteer and here they are,” said Chad Rriest, CEO of the Indiana Red Cross.
During the Sunday session, volunteers were learning how to construct temporary shelters. Priest understands that many Americans may be losing interest in on-going disaster coverage on thenews, but said the need for volunteers continues to grow.
“We are entering a period where there is serious disaster fatigue,” said Priest. “The American public has a lot going on right now and the news cycle cannot be dominated by storms every day [but] the reality is there is immense human suffering.”
The Red Cross still needs volunteers to staff its efforts across Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and elsewhere. Officials say if you want to help, they’ll put you to work and that there is a job for any ability level.
For more information you can call the Red Cross at 317-684-1441 or visit the Indiana Red Cross website.