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American Red Cross Functional Disaster Program Specialist (Preparedness) in Roanoke, Virginia

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By joining the American Red Cross you will touch millions of lives every year and experience the greatness of the human spirit at its best. Are you ready to be part of the world's largest humanitarian network?

Job Description:

At the Red Cross, there is no such thing as a small disaster. In every single case it is our mission to help people affected by disaster meet their emergency needs that include shelter, food, clothing, and health and mental health services. As a paid staff member, you will support our loyal Red Cross disaster volunteers who serve selflessly to provide a bridge of assistance until individuals and families can resume a normal life. Our disaster volunteers are the heart and soul of our mission to respond to emergencies and provide relief to victims of disasters. They serve in a number of capacities, including Disaster Action Team Member, Disaster Assessment, Caseworker, Mass Care Feeding, Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) Driver, Shelter Manager/Staff, Disaster Health Services and Disaster Mental Health.

As an employee at the American Red Cross, you could be on the front lines making a positive impact on our community. You could provide your services directly to the American public or support to the people who do. Both roles help further the mission of the Red Cross. Join our non-profit organization, where your heart and mind go to work!

We are currently seeking a Functional Disaster Program Specialist (Preparedness) for our Virginia Region. This is a full time, salary (exempt) position and you must be willing to work on-call 24/7. A valid driver's license is required!

NOTE: Due to Covid19, this position will temporarily work from home/remote. Selected candidate for hire MUST live in or near Roanoke, Richmond or Norfolk VA.

Job Summary:

Serves as the lead functional expert in a Red Cross Region for Individual and Community Preparedness and Resilience. Tailoring national program offerings for the Region and communities within the Region, providing technical expertise, and leading local implementation of preparedness and resilience offerings, this position works through regional employees and volunteers to build prepared and resilient communities.

Specific functions of this position include acting as local community preparedness expert and advocate with community groups, elected and appointed officials; program implementation; team building; management of volunteers; and soliciting feedback from end customers. Works to perform these functions according to the direction provided by the Prepare function at headquarters. Team leadership, supervision, and personnel development is provided by the Regional Disaster Functions/Support Director or the Regional Disaster and Program Officer.

This position will be responsible for the coordination, reporting and execution of all Preparedness Programs across the region, and will also have a small response footprint for the Disaster Action Team (DAT). Will oversee the following disaster preparedness programs:

  • Home Fire Campaign: Sound the Alarm

  • Pillowcase Project

  • Prepare with Pedro

  • Community Preparedness Education Programs (CPEP)

  • Ready Rating

  • Be Red Cross Ready

  • Hands Only CPR


  1. With the entire disaster team, prepare the communities within the Region for disasters so that people suffer less, help their neighbors more, and bounce back faster after an event.

  2. Within scope of function, represents the entire disaster cycle of preparedness, response, and recovery.

  3. Ensures American Red Cross services are available to diverse communities.

  4. Achieve target outcomes derived from national, state, and Regional preparedness metrics.

  5. Lead the local tailoring and implementation of a comprehensive community preparedness program which engages volunteers and other disaster-cycle employees in getting their communities prepared.

  6. Regularly assess hazards and community assets to inform local community preparedness implementation.

  7. Lead the entire disaster team in the integration of community preparedness in all of our interactions with community partners, government agencies, and our clients.

  8. As needed, represent the American Red Cross with elected and appointed officials and community leaders.

ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Selected candidate for hire will also need to become a trained Disaster Cycle Services (DCS) Responder, and able to support disaster response across the region, as needed.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required.


Education: Bachelor's degree or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Experience: Minimum of 5 years experience with social services or service/program delivery. Demonstrated experience in coordinating staff and volunteer activities. Ability to interpret program trends, results, and related data to formulate recommendations. Ability to manage multiple priorities with strong skills in planning and problem-solving. Ability to relate well and effectively with diverse groups and individuals.

Management Experience: Minimum of 1-3 years staff supervisory experience desired.

Skills and Abilities: Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills. Develops project plans & budgets. Demonstrates in-depth knowledge of program or service. Demonstrated ability in creating presentations and developing training modules. Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals. Demonstrated analytical and decision-making skills to develop creative processes for continuous program or service improvements. Proven track record of collaboration, facilitation, problem solving, marketing, leadership, and partnership management. Additionally, requires ability for planning, public speaking, project management and process improvement. Individual must be customer oriented, organized, and able to operate with an orientation toward solutions, with an external focus, and team orientation.

Other: Intermediate proficiency with MS Office software, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Familiarity with federal, state and local employment laws. Must be able to perform all assigned responsibilities under "grey sky" requirements. This position is also responsible for ensuring that all American Red Cross finance policies and procedures are followed as related to the scope of work activity. All full time employees in the disaster cycle must be willing and able to be deployed, as needed.

Travel: May involve travel

Other Requirements: After employment, this position requires familiarity with the following specific areas of knowledge:

  • ARC programs and procedures

  • Volunteer Management

  • Financial Management

  • Cultural Competency

  • Emergency Management Practices

  • Adult Education

  • Complex Systems

  • Community

  • Government

  • Partnerships

  • Disaster technical expertise

Job Type: This position can be filled by an employee or volunteer

Essential Functions/Physical Requirements: Depending on work assignment, may require ordinary ambulatory skills sufficient to visit other locations; or the ability to stand, walk and manipulate (lift, carry, move) light to medium weights of up to 20 pounds. Requires good hand-eye coordination, arm, hand and finger dexterity, including ability to grasp, and visual acuity to use a keyboard, operate equipment and read technical information. Overall mobility is essential. May include sitting for long periods of time, driving a vehicle and working under challenging conditions.

Work Conditions: Because the Red Cross is a disaster response organization, staff may be asked to be on 24-hour call during period of major disaster.

Apply now! Joining our team will provide you with the opportunity to make a difference every day.

The American Red Cross is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Interested in Volunteering?

Life's emergencies don't stop, and neither do American Red Cross volunteers, who represent more than 90 percent of our workforce to help prevent and alleviate human suffering. You can make a difference by volunteering in a position that appeals to you and allows you to use your unique skills and talents. The Red Cross relies on generous volunteers who give their time and talent to help fulfill our lifesaving mission.

Visit to learn more, including our most-needed volunteer positions.

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