Red Cross societies say they are readying an army of 60 million volunteers around the world in preparation for a swine flu epidemic.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the volunteers are in 186 countries and can help put in place many basic measures that will reduce the impact of an outbreak.
Red Cross flu chief Pierre Duplessis said that includes convincing sick people to isolate themselves from others and providing food and water for those under quarantine. Volunteers will also educate people about basic hygiene, care for the sick and help staff field hospitals.
He said IFRC is asking donors for 5 million Swiss francs ($4.4 million) to fund the immediate needs of its national chapters.