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UPDATE: Red Cross Recruiting Volunteers Across Big Island

October 21, 2013, 11:16 AM HST
* Updated October 22, 2:22 PM
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***Updated at 2:21 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22.***

The American Red Cross is looking to recruit disaster volunteers on both sides of the Big Island.

The agency’s Hawaii Disaster Coordinator, Barney Sheffield, said communities in both East and West Hawaii need to prepared for disasters before they occur.

“One critical piece is to have trained volunteers ready to respond,” Sheffield said. “We welcome new volunteers to join the Red Cross ohana.”

The first step is to register online at www.redcross.org/hawaii.

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Once applications are completed through the Volunteer Connection system, the Red Cross will contacted interested individuals about signing up for basic disaster relief classes.

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All training is provided free of charge.

All new volunteers must take the entire series of disaster relief trainings.

The next series of trainings will be held simultaneously in West Hawaii at Hualalai Academy at 74-4966 Kealakaa St. in Kailua-Kona, and in East Hawaii at 55 Ululani St. in Hilo.

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The dates and times of the courses are:

Saturday, Nov. 16:

  • Disaster Services:  An Overview, from 9 a.m. to noon
  • Shelter Fundamentals, from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 23:

  • Disaster Assessment Basics, from 9 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Disaster Action Team: An Orientation, from noon to 3:30 p.m.

Call 935-8305 for more information.

The Red Cross also encourages all families to make a disaster plan to include an evacuation plan with two different routes of escape, a communications plan to help families reconnect after disaster, and a disaster supplies kit that is readily available to aid in a quick evacuation.  Information on developing a family plan is available to the public at www.redcross.org, or a brochure can be requested by calling 808-245-4919.

The Red Cross is a non-profit humanitarian organization which provides assistance to meet the immediate emergency needs of those affected by disasters. All Red Cross assistance to disaster victims is free.

The Red Cross is not a government agency; it depends on public contributions to help others in the local community, across the country and around the world.

Contributions can be mailed to American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter, 55 Ululani St., Hilo, HI  96720. Donations can also be made by calling 808-739-8133 or online at www.redcross.org/hawaii.

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