AUGUSTA, GA, April 16, 2007 — Is your family and community prepared for a disaster? Would you know what to do or where to go if you had to evacuate your home? With the recent severe weather that has affected the CSRA, the American Red Cross of Augusta is working to make the CSRA safer from disaster. Local citizens and businesses are encouraged to take part by getting trained in disaster services to better prepare their families and neighborhoods for when a disaster strikes.
“Training has a particular potential to affect so many lives in the event of a disaster,” says Kathleen Kosmoski, Executive Director. “We’re living in a world where we need to be able to depend on one another in times of crisis.” The Red Cross depends on trained volunteers to provide assistance to families affected by a disaster. “The key to our ability to respond in a timely fashion is that we have volunteers who are trained prior to the disaster,” stated Kosmoski. “Just as we encourage families to be prepared for a disaster by having a disaster plan and disaster supply kit, we also encourage individuals to become trained prior to the disaster. Waiting until a disaster has struck, is too late.”
“Get Trained” is an important action everyone can take to prepare for a disaster. Other actions that can make a difference include: making a plan, building a kit, volunteering, and donating blood. As part of the American Red Cross “Be Red Cross Ready” campaign a disaster training day will be held on April 21st from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at in University Hall on the campus of Augusta State University in Augusta, Georgia. The chapter will be offering the following classes throughout the day.
Health Services – orients licensed or certified health professionals to the roles and responsibilities of a health services worker to meet the disaster-related health needs of clients.
Disaster Mental Health – introduces licensed mental health professionals to the key concepts, knowledge and skills required to assist the needs of disaster clients.
Fulfilling Our Mission - introduces participants to the roles of the Red Cross in the community’s actions in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a disaster.
Mass Care – introduces participants to the activities of feeding clients in a shelter, feeding emergency relief workers, and bulk distribution.
Shelter Operations – prepares participants to manage a shelter as a team while meeting the needs of the families displaced by a disaster.
The Health Services and Disaster Mental Health courses are all day courses beginning at 8:30 am and concluding at 4:30 pm with an hour for lunch. The other classes are 3 hours in length and each will be offered through two sessions – a morning session from 8:30 am to 12 Noon and an afternoon session from 1 pm to 4:30 pm. The classes are free and open to the public. Registration for each class is requested so that materials will be available for each participant. Participants can register by calling the Augusta Red Cross at 706-724-8481.
Disasters are traumatic events that can cause devastating harm to individuals and their homes, workplaces and communities. By becoming a trained Red Cross Disaster Volunteer, you play an important role in making our community and country safer.
The American Red Cross is where people mobilize to help their neighbors — across the street, across the country and across the world — in emergencies. Each year, in communities large and small, victims of some 70,000 disasters turn to neighbors familiar and new — the nearly 1 million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross. Through more than 800 locally supported chapters, more than 15 million people gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their homes, communities and world. Some 4 million people give blood — the gift of life — through the Red Cross, making it the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The Red Cross helps thousands of U.S. servicemembers separated from their families by military duty stay connected. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a global network of 181 national societies, the Red Cross helps restore hope and dignity to the world's most vulnerable people. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work.