Hurricane Harvey has proven to be one of the most disastrous storms to ever hit the United States, causing massive flooding and at least 70 deaths in Texas. Meanwhile, Hurricane Irma is expected to follow suit by hitting Florida this weekend as a Category 4 hurricane.
To meet the needs in these disaster areas, the Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter of the American Red Cross, which covers Logan County, is hosting a “Zero to Hero” fast-track training course from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, in the Troy office, located at 1314 Barnhart Road. The course is for new Red Cross disaster volunteers who are interested in deploying to assist with Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma.
Participants enter the class as new workforce but leave being trained and ready to deploy in any mass care role, according to Red Cross officials. The course includes instructor-led presentations such as “Everyone is Welcome” for meeting the needs of those with disabilities or access needs, Deployment Fundamentals and Mass Care Fundamentals.
Upon completion of the course, volunteers will take two additional online class assignments and will then be eligible to deploy to Texas or Florida to help those impacted by the hurricanes.
Nearly 4,000 Red Cross volunteers from across the country are currently on the ground in Texas, and another 1,200 in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama in preparation for Irma.
At the height of Hurricane Harvey, the Red Cross sheltered nearly 40,000 people at nearly 300 shelters, and has served more than 1.2 million meals and snacks.
In addition to disaster volunteers, the Red Cross offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. To learn more about volunteering with the Red Cross, visit redcross.org/volunteer or attend a volunteer orientation from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept 11, at the Troy office for the Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter.
Orientation is for volunteers who wish to work locally or nationally. No sign-up is required.
Also at 6 p.m. Monday, there is an all-volunteer meeting for Red Cross volunteers, new and old, with a “Back to School” theme.
“This is an excellent opportunity for prospective volunteers to meet our volunteer work force, learn more about what we do and decide if the Red Cross is for you,” stated Lynne Gump, Northern Miami Valley Chapter executive director. “There will be break-out sessions, covering the different services, a pep-rally and even afterschool snacks.”
Training and all disaster-related services provided by the Red Cross are free. The Red Cross is not a governmental agency, so the costs to provide these services comes from public donations.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to support families suffering as a result of disasters such as Hurricane Harvey may visit to RedCross.org, call (800)-REDCROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999.