If you’ve ever had a fire displace your family, you know the American Red Cross responds to help families in that situation. While Moore County has several Disaster Action Teams comprised of volunteers, Richmond County — a branch of Moore County’s chapter — only has one Disaster Action volunteer.
“We rely heavily on volunteers and right now we have a strong need for volunteers to respond to disasters,” said Jana Snowball, Emergency Service Director for the Moore County chapter of the American Red Cross. “We will train them in responding and assisting families.”
When a family is displaced by a fire, flood, tornado or other storm damage, the Red Cross responds by putting the family in a hotel if needed, helping them with paperwork, and finding food and clothing.
Snowball said that currently, volunteers are not so much needed for large-scale natural disasters as much as small home fires that displace families, sometimes in the middle of the night.
If you are a caring person with a flexible schedule and would like to assist the Red Cross, they are willing to train you for free.
Meg Finnin, Service Delivery Operations specialist for the Moore County chapter, said the Red Cross in Moore County does respond to Richmond County emergencies when called upon. She said there hasn’t been a single-family home fire in Richmond County to which the Red Cross did not respond. However, it has been more than four years since there was more than one Disaster Action volunteer on call.
“In Moore County we have several teams of Disaster Action volunteers that are on call two weeks at a time,” said Finnin. “We would like that in Richmond County, too.”
Finnin said there are other ways to volunteer for the Red Cross, such as for blood drives. There are also volunteers present at many events in the region, with information booths and a willingness to answer any questions about volunteering.
Disaster Action Team members receive training to prepare them to respond effectively to each situation, and they participate in local disaster drills to gain knowledge of a larger scale response. DAT members are fully supported 24/7 by Red Cross Disaster Supervisors. For more information, call the American Red Cross at 910-692-8571 or email email@example.com.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.