Respond to Red Cross call for volunteers

The American Red Cross needs you.

Specifically, it needs volunteers on Kauai. We encourage anyone who can, to please do so.

Red Cross has 65 volunteers here, and continues to recruit and train volunteers from all communities on Kauai so it can ensure the Red Cross is there when help is needed.

You might want to know that Red Cross responds to natural and manmade disasters, such as house fires, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, Kaloko Dam burst, airplane and helicopter crashes, explosions and hostage situations.

But what exactly do Red Cross volunteers do? What would you do if you stepped up? Will you just be answering phones?

Here’s what, as explained by Cindy Tanaka, Red Cross communications director:

Disaster volunteers enable the Red Cross to accomplish our mission of alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies. Volunteers respond 24/7, 365 days a year, when disasters occur.  

They meet with those affected by disasters to ensure their immediate emergency needs are met; this includes not only food, clothing and shelter, but crisis counseling for those who have lost a loved one or everything they owned. In a major disaster or tragic event, crisis counseling, sheltering, feeding, disaster welfare information, emergency first aid and other support services would also be provided to victims. Crisis counseling services may also be extended to the community for secondary victims. Shelters are often set up to house those impacted by the disaster until they can return safely to their homes.  The Red Cross on Kauai provides a safety net to meet the needs of the community when disaster strikes.

All new disaster volunteers must take a series of free disaster trainings. The next series of volunteer trainings will be at Kauai Veterans Center, 3215 Kapule Highway in Lihue on the following dates:

• Disaster Services: An Overview — Friday, Oct. 11, 5 to 8 p.m.

• Shelter Fundamentals — Saturday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Disaster Assessment Basics — Saturday, Oct. 12, 12:30 to 2 p.m.

• Disaster Action Team: An Orientation — Saturday, Oct. 12, 2 to 5 p.m.

If you would like more information, call 245-4919 or to go www.redcross.org/hawaii

There’s no money involved in it for you. No glory. No title. Not even an office with a view.

But you may get the chance to change a life for the better. And that, as we all know, is priceless.

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