lagrangenews.com

Red Cross volunteers train for natural disasters

By Melanie Ruberti mruberti@civitasmedia.com

May 12, 2014

Area American Red Cross volunteers are ready to respond to a hurricane disaster.


Members of the Georgia Three Rivers Chapter traveled to Macon last week to participate in the 2014 Hurrex drill. They, along with other Red Cross volunteers, emergency service organizations, including the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, attended the statewide three day exercise to help Georgia prepare in the event of a hurricane.


“The American Red Cross works in tandem with emergency management agencies and other partners to ensure that we are prepared to feed and shelter the influx of evacuees and other displaced people,” explained Jessica McFadden, Disaster Program Manager with the Georgia Three Rivers Chapter.


According to the American Red Cross, as part of a coordinated hurricane response effort, Georgia has pledged to shelter up to 50,000 evacuees across 50 counties for five days. As part of that effort, the Georgia Three Rivers Chapter is ready to host up to 2,500 people in a Troup County shelter.


Hurrex 2014 is a full scale disaster exercise. McFadden said it provides volunteers with an opportunity to experience a simulated activation of emergency services.


“This training is invaluable,” she explained. “The better prepared we are to handle a large-scale disaster means that we can provide services to our clients more effectively and, hopefully, make a stressful situation less so.”


McFadden also said the Georgia Three Rivers Chapter is currently looking for more volunteers to assist with sheltering, feeding, public affairs, office support, and local disaster response. They also need trained nurses and mental health professionals. The organization is holding a volunteer recruitment session on May 29th, called “Walk an Hour in My Vest.” For more information, visit www.ga3riversredcross.com/walk-an-hour-in-my-vest-volunteer-recruitment. You can also call the chapter at 706-884-5818.