SHREVEPORT, La. (KMSS) — March is Red Cross Month and this year, the Northwest Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross is using the month-long celebration as a time to recognize and encourage volunteerism.
The push comes in preparation for the upcoming storm season.
Officials say that on most disaster jobs, volunteers make up all most 70 percent of the staff.
"Volunteers are really the life blood of Red Cross and at any given time, they are about 70 percent of our work force especially in northwest Louisiana where we have such a small paid staff," said Michelle Davison, who works with the Red Cross.
According to the Red Cross, volunteers out number paid staff at a ratio of about 46 to 1 during major disasters, that ratio is often closer to 99 to 1.
During Hurricane Katrina, over 5,000 people volunteered locally while the Red Cross had only 4 paid staff people.
For more information on how you volunteer, visit www.redcross.org/Shreveport.