‘With the volunteers we have now, we wouldn't be able to sustain a three-day centre'
TRURO - Now that floodwaters have receded, the Canadian Red Cross branch in Truro has realized it's in dire need of volunteers who are available throughout the week.
Mona O'Brien, district community supervisor for the Northern District with the Canadian Red Cross Atlantic Zone, said the organization does an evaluation following each response.
"We have a number of volunteers, but it really depends on their availability," said O'Brien, who is based out of the Truro office but also oversees Cumberland, Antigonish, Pictou and Guysborough counties.
"If it's a Monday to Friday response, most of the volunteers we have are working and many are not able to take time off, so we're looking to engage folks that are semi-retired, or retired, that have some leadership ability and would be able to help with responses should they occur during the week."
With more than 100 millimetres of rain falling in a six-hour span last Monday as Hurricane Leslie made her way through the Maritimes, the Canadian Red Cross opened two shelters - one in Truro and one in Bible Hill - for those residents evacuated from their homes and others affected by the flood.
"With the volunteers we have now, we wouldn't be able to sustain a three-day centre during the week. We would have to pull in other volunteers from other areas, such as Amherst, Halifax, Pictou or Antigonish."
O'Brien said the branch is still in response mode a week later.
"We're still on distribution of flood clean-up kits to residents - kits which include do's and don't's of clean ups. We're very much active still here in the community."
She said volunteering doesn't take a huge commitment, however the last month has been an active one in the communities she manages.
"With the fire in Amherst (leaving 40 tenants homeless), we were active for about a week and our own operation faced a challenge when it was closed for a day-and-a-half because of smoke, and then the flooding here in the Truro area."
The organization is hosting a new volunteer orientation on Oct. 16 and O'Brien is hoping there will be a handful of new volunteers to participate.
For more information or to volunteer, call 893-8339.