Hundreds of miles away, local volunteers serve on the front lines.
DALLAS-FORT WORTH, TX, October 7, 2016— The American Red Cross launched their Dallas Digital Operations Center (DigiDOC) on Friday in response to Hurricane Matthew. The Category 3 storm has affected thousands of people on the East Coast after a combination of storm surge flooding and destructive winds. Over 27,000 people stayed in nearly 200 emergency evacuation shelters in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina Thursday night.
While the Red Cross has been sharing emergency preparedness information all week in advance of the storm, the organization now has volunteers serving on the front lines in the virtual space. Several North Texans have already been physically sent ahead of the storm making landfall to aid the affected communities, but these virtual volunteers play a significant role, as well.
Digital volunteers are tasked with mining for information about the communities that have been impacted, virtually putting a microscope on the affected area, and gathering information to better inform the Red Cross of needs to be met. They will also share critical information about where to get help, where to give help and how to support the people of Florida, Georgia and the South Carolina.
“Social media is a part of the operational DNA of the American Red Cross,” said Keith Rhodes, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross North Texas Region. “We use the information we find in the digital space to help us make better decisions on where to open shelters and where to send supply trucks based on the needs of the people we’re serving. These digital volunteers are directly impacting our service delivery efforts and helping us to better serve those affected by Hurricane Matthew.”
Digital volunteers are trained to monitor social media and provide real time information to operation leadership as well as giving digital support to those looking to the Red Cross for help. The volunteers sitting in Dallas and across the Metroplex are currently helping efforts by providing information such as, where to find shelters, how to get hot meals, what to do if a loved one is missing and how to contact the Red Cross if your home was damaged by the hurricane.
If you have friends or family who have been affected by this dangerous storm, the Red Cross encourages you to download the emergency app which has a Family Safe feature that allows you, quickly and easily, to see if they’re ok.
Everyone should also download the Red Cross Emergency App to have safety information available on their mobile device, including emergency weather alerts and information on what to do in the case of a hurricane and other emergencies. The app also displays shelter locations. Red Cross apps are available in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
Help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, floods and countless other crises by making a donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small across the United States. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.