Red Cross Gets Ready for Hurricane Season

Before the start of hurricane season, the Houston area Red Cross trains volunteers so they are ready assist in the event of a disaster. Pat Hernandez has more.

Each year, the American Red Cross responds to more than 70-thousand disaster incidents, and it serve those affected with food, shelter and financial assistance. The Red Cross' Denise Bishop says companies get involved with their volunteer program called "Ready When the Time Comes."

"It's such a resource. Because during a large disaster, one of the greatest needs for us is to have volunteers who are trained before the disaster strikes. During a disaster, it's difficult for us to break loose and train spontaneous volunteers."

Involved in the training session were employees with Exxon-Mobil. Roy Clark retired from the company, but has remained active as a volunteer supervisor with Red Cross. His specialty is logistics and procurement.

Red Cross volunteer supervisor Roy Clark instructs trainees
Red Cross volunteer supervisor Roy-Clark
instructs volunteer trainees

"We've got areas around the city that we've already got some contracts with the landowners. It could be a parking lot. It could be a strip center, or a church parking lot where we already have agreements, where we can use that as a either a bulk distribution point, or set up an outside mobile kitchen."

Anita Taylor is another volunteer supervisor with Exxon-Mobil. She says volunteers learn everything from setting up shelters and cots, to mass care and feeding of those in need.

"This program trains the volunteers to understand that you're not just there setting up cot; you're also providing a sense of comfort, so that people who've been affected by these disasters can regroup and be ready to go back to their lives."

Hurricane season starts on June 1st with more than 16-named hurricanes expected to form this year.

For more informaton, visit American Red Cross - Greater Houston Area Chapter .

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...