American Red Cross changes their emergency response due to COVID-19

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The American Red Cross in Rhode Island is preparing to open shelters, but the organization has had to prepare to deal with things differently because of COVID-19.

The Red Cross says they must try to avoid congregate settings due to the coronavirus.

Local Red Cross chapters have filled trailers with shelter supplies to be distributed to regional communities, and responders have taken training to operate the shelters while having to stick to COVID-19 guidelines.

We are told that if shelters are needed to open, they will look differently, including less capacity.

Stefanie Arcangelo, Chief Communications Officer, Red Cross RI said, “They will have appropriate, PPE, face masks, sanitizers available and health screenings prior to anyone before they enter a shelter, and we do have trained health service workers to help isolate any individuals who have tested positive or have symptoms. So it’s different this year but he Red Cross is ready especially in Rhode Island and we are here to help.”

Arcangelo added that the best thing to do is to prepare now and it’s important to have a stay-at-home kit with enough supplies to last you for up to two weeks. These supplies include non-perishable foods, medications, water, and pet supplies.

Additional information on how you can prepare can be found on the Red Cross website.

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