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Red Cross recruiting volunteers ahead of upcoming 'Tornado Season'

First Ever Texas/Oklahoma Exercise to Provide Training Opportunity

American Red Cross slider imageEaster week last year, 17 tornadoes ripped through the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.  Weeks later, a deadly outbreak devastated hundreds of families across Oklahoma. The American Red Cross responded immediately to get help to those in need.

One of the first tasks American Red Cross volunteers perform is a disaster assessment. This is critical because it determines how many families are affected, how many meals need to be prepared and how many volunteers and resources are needed to respond.

This month, the Red Cross is seeking to increase its pool of disaster volunteers in advance of tornado season by offering disaster training courses. On March 2, Lamar County disaster volunteers will participate in a multi-state coordinated disaster exercise.

“It’s a simple process to become a Red Cross volunteer,” said John Davis, Executive Director of the Lamar County Chapter, “Just jump on our website at www.redcross.org/northeasttexas and click on the volunteer link. You’ll get all of the instructions on how to register and you’ll receive your next steps.”

This photo taken by Josh Allen, south of Paris in June 2012, shows the typical look of a wall cloud during a supercell thunderstorm. This storm went on to drop a tornado in Red River County, just after passing over Paris.
This photo, taken south of Paris in June 2012, shows the typical look of a wall cloud during a supercell thunderstorm. This storm went on to spawn a tornado in Red River County, just after passing over Paris. (eParis photo by Josh Allen)

The Red Cross is urging new volunteers to get trained in February so that they can participate in the agency’s first tornado disaster drill that will take place across the states of Texas and Oklahoma on Saturday, March 2, 2013.

“We’re tornado prone in both Texas and Oklahoma so we have to prepare ahead of the storms,” said Davis. “The time to for training is when the sky is blue.  We’re hopeful that folks will take the opportunity to join us in February for training and then work with us on this important drill in March.”

New Volunteer and Disaster Orientation training will be offered on February 11, at 6pm.  On February 16, an additional Disaster Services Overview and Disaster Assessment Basics course will be offered.  These classes are crucial to both new and seasoned volunteers to be prepared for the statewide drill in March.

To participate in the trainings and drill, go to www.redcross.org/northeasttexas and click on the “Volunteer” link or call 903.217.4190 or 903.737.4390 to sign up.


About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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