Monday, February 11, 2013

Red Cross Recruiting Volunteers Ahead of Tornado Season

First-Ever Texas/Oklahoma Exercise to Provide Training Opportunity

Easter week last year, 17 tornadoes ripped through the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Weeks later, a deadly outbreak devastated hundreds of families across Oklahoma. As is their custom, the American Red Cross responded immediately to get help to those in need.

One of the first tasks undertaken by Red Cross volunteers is a disaster assessment. This duty is critical to the organization because it helps them determine how many families are affected, how many meals need to be prepared and how many volunteers will be needed to respond. Today, the American Red Cross is seeking to increase its pool of disaster assessment volunteers in advance of tornado season by offering a pool of upcoming training courses.

“It’s a simple process to become a Red Cross volunteer,” said Shannon Smith, Executive Director, South Plains Regional Chapter. “Just jump on our website at and click on the volunteer link. You’ll get all of the instructions on how to register and you’ll receive your next steps.”

The Red Cross is urging new volunteers to get trained in February so that they can participate in the agency’s first tornado disaster drill that will take place across the states of Texas and Oklahoma on Saturday, March 2, 2013.

“We’re tornado prone in both Texas and Oklahoma so we have to prepare ahead of these storms,” said Smith. “The time to take your training is when the sky is blue so we’re hopeful that many people will take the opportunity to join us in February for training and then work with us on this important drill in early March.”

Anyone interested in joining the American Red Cross should go to and click on the “Volunteer” link or call 806-765-8534. To prepare for spring storms, visit

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