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New Brunswick flooding has Red Cross looking for more volunteers

Click to play video: 'Red Cross says volunteers needed after New Brunswick flooding' Red Cross says volunteers needed after New Brunswick flooding
Mon, Jan 28: After the busiest year in decades, the Red Cross is appealing to the public for more volunteers. As Callum Smith explains, a volunteer shortage in Sussex made the recent flooding response even more difficult – Jan 28, 2019

After one of its busiest years, the Red Cross is asking for more volunteers to help out in New Brunswick.

Red Cross volunteers assisted 64 people following last week’s stormy weather that caused flooding across the province.

But in the Sussex region, the Red Cross faced its own challenges, as it had no volunteers to respond from that community.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any in Sussex,” said Allie Murchison, who is an emergency management coordinator.

“That was really one of our disadvantages this weekend. We had amazing volunteers from Saint John, Quispamsis and Rothesay make the trip to Sussex.”

READ MORE: Sussex residents forced from homes following flash flood

Houses stand among flood waters on Golden Grove Road in Saint John on January 25, 2019.
Houses stand among flood waters on Golden Grove Road in Saint John on January 25, 2019. Silas Brown/Global News

The Red Cross provided emergency assistance for 2,600 residents in New Brunswick after 150 events in the past year.

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“This year has been the busiest it’s been in New Brunswick in decades,” she said.

She says the call for volunteers isn’t directed at one specific population or group, saying disasters can happen at any time.

“We’re just looking for anybody who is willing to give back and who wants to help out in their community,” Murchison said.

The mandate of the Red Cross is to provide emergency assistance for 72 hours, but they help longer when they can.

Fifteen people are still being assisted following last week’s storm and flooding.

WATCH: Water recedes in Sussex after flash flood forces residents from their homes

Click to play video: 'Water recedes in Sussex after flash flood forces residents from their homes' Water recedes in Sussex after flash flood forces residents from their homes
Water recedes in Sussex after flash flood forces residents from their homes – Jan 25, 2019

In situations of need following a disaster is when the Red Cross gets the call.

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“You’re trying to get your life back in order, we’ll help people put a roof over your head, food in your belly,” Murchison said. “That’s not something you have to worry about, so you can focus on getting your life back on track.”

Steve Wilson, who has been volunteering with the Red Cross for three years, says it’s a rewarding opportunity.

“It gives you the sense that you’re giving back to the community,” he said. “And again, if you’re retired it gives you something to do.”

More information can be found at redcross.ca/volunteer.

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