Red Cross training new volunteers to help with recovery efforts in Texas, Florida

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The American Red Cross of Southwest Michigan is in need of more volunteers. They’ve already deployed many of their own to places in the South where Hurricane Harvey hit the hardest. Now, with Irma on the way, they’re training more.

“They are taking base training on what the Red Cross actually does for disasters,” said Disaster Program Manager Raul Galvan.  “Then they’re getting their disaster assessment certification.”

The one-day training session consisted of four classes and went from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Initially 30 seats were available for the the class. Thirty-four people showed up.

"As of 7:45 this morning, [I] decided to show up and take part in this session," said Cheri Bales. "It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”

Cheri sat with the other volunteers and learned how the Red Cross handles disasters. They learned everything from how to assist unattended children, how best to connect people to missing loved ones and what to do about pets.

“It was very intense and impressive,” said Eugene Montoya about the training. “It’s very informative. It’s given me a lot of knowledge and a lot of appreciation for what the Red Cross does do.”

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