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Red Cross Seeks Volunteer Disaster Responders


Red Cross Seeks Volunteer Disaster Responders

 

 

When disaster strikes, Oklahomans respond generously to help their friends and neighbors who are suffering.  However, it is outside of disaster that much of the groundwork to responding is laid. Recruiting and training Red Cross volunteers to respond in the Chickasha area remains a focus for the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma.

 

To help equip people with the skills necessary for disaster response, the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma is offering a “Disaster Boot Camp.” The event is scheduled July 31 at USAO. Anyone interested in becoming a local disaster volunteer is invited to the free event. The only requirement is a desire to help those in need.

 

“Unfortunately, Oklahoma is no stranger to disasters, whether it’s a tornado, ice storm or flooding. People are willing to help their fellow Oklahomans when they face the devastating loss of their home, belongings and sense of security. Our Disaster Boot Camp is designed to give people the tools they need to help the Red Cross respond quickly and efficiently in the wake of a disaster,” said James Tittle, emergency services assistant director.

 

The camp is scheduled to be held in Station 82 in the basement of the Student Center. Day long activities will acquaint participants with the Red Cross mission, its principles of serving all people in need, as well as the fundamentals of operating a shelter after a disaster. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Anyone interested in serving as a local disaster volunteer and learning more about the Red Cross history and mission is encouraged to participate. Because disaster response and sheltering requires a variety of skills, there is a way for everyone to help, Tittle said.

 

Those with specific skills sets, such as mental health practitioners or nurses, are also encouraged to attend. The American Red Cross helps meet the immediate needs of disaster victims, from the basics of food and a place to sleep, to emotional support.

 

“The desire to help others comes naturally to Oklahomans, and the Red Cross can only do its work because of the many volunteers who help fulfill our mission,” Tittle said.

 

“There is a great need in Chickasha for neighbors helping neighbors. The volunteer base here Chickasha needs a boost, desperately.”

 

Disaster Boot Camp is free and open to anyone age 18 and older. To register, call (405) 228-9546 or e-mail disasterbootcamp@arcok.org. Lunch will be provided on Saturday, July 31.