New Volunteers Encouraged to Join; Existing Assets Being Tested
After one of the most devastating and deadly tornado seasons in the nation’s history, and an ongoing and unprecedented response from the American Red Cross, no chances are being taken as Hurricane Season 2011 begins. In Dallas, the local Red Cross chapter is doing their part to get themselves and the community prepared in advance.
Beginning on Monday, June 13, 2011 and ending on Saturday, June 18, 2011, the Dallas Red Cross will not only be testing their own internal systems, but also encouraging North Texans to join the Disaster Volunteer Reserves program before evacuees head north to Metroplex shelters.
“The Disaster Volunteer Reserves Program is perfect for people with busy schedules,” said Cheryl Sutterfield-Jones, chief executive officer, American Red Cross-Dallas Area Chapter. “Volunteers take about three hours of training to be ready to respond when a large disaster happens such as a hurricane or tornado; something that would exceed the ability of our day-to-day responders to handle. When that catastrophic disaster happens, we’ll call for the Reserves.”
With 16 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes predicted for the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season, the American Red Cross is encouraging those who have never taken Red Cross training to join the Disaster Volunteer Reserves now. Go to www.redcrossdallas.org/volunteer to fill out an application and enroll in the next Disaster Volunteer Reserve course.
On top of training new volunteers, the Red Cross will also be testing the response time of their existing volunteer pool. On Monday, June 13, 2011, beginning at 10:00a.m. and concluding at 2:00p.m., “Hurricane Alfred”, a fictional storm taking aim at the Texas coast, will provide the scenario background for 15 volunteers who will assemble in the Disaster Command Center at the American Red Cross, 4800 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, Tex., and call each pre-trained volunteer with a request for availability. This helps the chapter understand how many volunteers would be available if evacuees needed immediate shelter in North Texas.
Concluding the week of activities, a Hurricane Summit will be conducted at the Red Cross in Dallas on Saturday, June 18, 2011 from 9:00a.m.-3:00p.m. Red Cross workers from Dallas, Fort Worth, Tyler and surrounding areas will attend. The purpose of the Hurricane Summit is for leadership volunteers to receive a full briefing on the hurricane evacuation process, how to best work with state and federal officials and evaluating the capacity of each Red Cross chapter. Additionally, a Disaster Volunteer Reserve course will be conducted from 9:00a.m.-12:30p.m. All activities will take place at the American Red Cross-Dallas Area Chapter, 4800 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, Texas.
For additional information on Red Cross programs and/or services, go to www.redcrossdallas.org.