Preparing For Disaster

By: Heather Haley Email
By: Heather Haley Email

Whether it's high winds or a house fire, emergency assistance is needed when a community is shaken by an unexpected disaster.

Red Cross officials in Pikeville spent the day training new volunteers for future disasters. The American Red Cross provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

"Well after Hurricane Katrina hit and I saw a whole bunch of people devastated and I just had this little instinct to help people," said 14 year old volunteer Lauren Colburn.

Red Cross officials say 2005's Hurricane Katrina is the most expensive single, natural disaster in the organization's history. Robyn Tackett with the Big Sandy Red Cross office says they work just as hard on disasters that affect only a few people.

"We have a lot more single family disasters such as floods, house fires, straight line wind damage, slides and things that affect you as a family and don't affect a whole community," Tackett said.

Tackett says they have more than 300 positions volunteers can fill.

"I feel more confident that now after having this class that I can put those skills that I have into use to help someone," said Red Cross volunteer Michelle Holbrook.

And Tackett says they need those volunteers to assist in more than fifty thousand disasters a year across the nation.

March is National Red Cross Awareness Month. For information on how you can volunteer with the Red Cross or if you need assistance, you can call the Prestonsburg office at 606-886-8330.

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