Indiana, PA - Indiana County

HARRY McFARLAND: Volunteers sought for Red Cross disaster training

on June 18, 2013 10:30 AM

Are you ready for the hurricane season, which is already in effect?

Do you have extra food, water and other emergency equipment stashed away in case you are without power for an extended period of time and have to “shelter at home”?

We have no way to know when the storm may hit our area or if it will hit our area at all. However, we do know that Indiana County has often felt the aftermath of the major storms as they hit the coastal area and travel up the Ohio or hit the coast and travel inward to our area.

The local Red Cross is looking for some volunteers to take Red Cross training classes and help the organization better prepare for the possibility of opening shelters, assessing the area for damaged homes, feeding people in shelters or in affected neighborhoods, as well as assisting those affected by the storm with their other immediate needs. That storm may be caused by water resulting from the hurricane or by wind caused by a tornado with or after the hurricane.

There are usually many people who stand up at the time of a disaster and come out to assist in any way they can at that time. To the Red Cross, these individuals are known as spontaneous volunteers. However, they also need some special or added training to assist where they are best suited. Why not take the time now to get trained so that when the time comes you are ready? We encourage you to contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to learn more about training opportunities that suit your skill sets and interests.

After Sandy hit, many local people came out to help alongside trained volunteers and received Red Cross training. Hopefully, many of them will stay with the organization to help others in a future disaster. There were again many individuals from the central area of the country who came out to assist in Oklahoma when the tornadoes hit that area, and some of them are still helping out there.

We encourage you to consider joining the Red Cross in its work. Why not assist your neighbors in Indiana County after they are affected by a home fire or other disaster? You can train now to help in our local area, while also preparing to help in a larger disaster. Call us at (724) 465-5678.

Harry McFarland

emergency services chair,

American Red Cross

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