Monday, September 23, 2013

FEMA Corps Members Trained to Assist Red Cross

Story by Carl Manning

When disaster strikes there always is a need for more volunteers to help out and the American Red Cross is working with several community partner groups to get more people trained and ready to help out with the Colorado flooding.

American Red Cross Volunteer Mike Dow of 
Wichita Falls, Texas, teaches the basics of sheltering to a 
group of FEMA Corps members who are assisting the 
Red Cross in the disaster relief operations related to the 
flooding in Colorado. 
Recently, at the Red Cross Mile High Chapter a training session was conducted for some 20 members of the FEMA Corps, comprised of young people who want to help out in times of disasters. Mike Dow, a Red Cross volunteer from Wichita Falls, Texas, explained how a Red Cross shelter operates, from setting up the cots and making sure meals are provided to closing the shelter and cleaning the cots and storing them for the next time.  Some from the class were sent to help the volunteers who have been working at the shelters.

“This way it’s not all on our shoulders and we are able to help each other out,” Dow said of the collaboration between the Red Cross and its partners.

Among those in the class was Lily Steiner, who is from Boston but now lives in Denver as part of her FEMA Corps assignment. She said the reason she joined FEMA Corps was the joy she gets from helping others.
Like her classmates, Steiner also received instructions on how the Red Cross does its assessment of damaged homes. The assessments allow the Red Cross to determine where best to place its resources to help those in need.

“I really enjoyed learning how the Red Cross does it. It seems very efficient and pretty straight forward,” she said.

Dow said he enjoys teaching the class because it gives the Red Cross a ready group of trained volunteers who are ready when the time comes. He said he’s not worried about those in the class doing a good job.

“They were all eager and ready to go and do good stuff,” he said.

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