Okay. I finally know what's up. The guy (Ron) I thought was a deployment specialist is actually a temp in the Wisconsin office. He was finding out my availability, not telling me I was going. Boy oh boy, was I on the wrong track with that!
I wrote an email to the Red Cross DSHR (Disaster Services Human Resources) person (April), and she called me to clarify. And it looks like it's almost 100% sure I'll go, if I go in disaster mental health rather than public relations/communications. That is absolutely fine with me because I can hit the ground running then--I'm confident in my ability to provide sound treatment services in mental health. My training and experience are much more powerful in trauma social work than in PR. Yay.
So April put mental health as first choice and PR as second choice.
The funny thing is that they don't call you until one or two days prior to deployment, so you never know if you're going or not until immediately before. That must be hard for some very structured people. As for me, my motto is Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not get bent out of shape.