With hurricane season fully under way and tornadoes, flooding and home fires an ever-present threat, the American Red Cross is asking the public to consider learning more about becoming a disaster volunteer this year.
“Having a trained, prepared and ready-to-help team of volunteers is one of the most valuable resources a community can rely on when disaster strikes,” said Ottawa County director, Beth Leggett. “Often, it takes a disaster of great proportion, as Hurricane Katrina was, to remind people that volunteers are needed.”
In an effort to build upon the strong teams of volunteers that are able to respond at home or across the nation, the Red Cross will conduct Disaster College Weekends at area training hubs this fall.
Disaster College 100, a package of classes required in order to become a member of the Red Cross Disaster Services Human Resources System, the cadre of trained disaster responders, will be offered in September.
Disaster College 200, offered in October, combines additional classroom learning with hands- on training opportunity.
Disaster College 100
• 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28 — Disaster Services Overview
• 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 — Client Casework (includes lunch)
• 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30 — Shelter Operations
Disaster College 200
• 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 20 — Shelter Simulation (Lunch for participants, other registered ARC volunteers is noon to 1 p.m.); 1 to 5 p.m. — Full-scale shelter drill where participants actually open trailers, set up sheltering with cots, registration areas, sheltering areas, test equipment, etc.
• 1:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21 — Damage Assessment
All classes will be taught at the Center for Emergency Preparedness, Owens State Community College, 30150 Tracy Road, Walbridge.
To register online, visit www.redcross.org and click on “Disaster Training Registration” from the left navigation bar.