Volunteers still needed for shelters

Published 6:27 am Wednesday, September 3, 2008

By Staff
As the sky clouded over this weekend and only the edge of Gustav's outer bands reached Brewton, our community was able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Other than some rain showers and strong breezes, the hurricane left the Brewton area alone.
But that doesn't mean we're out of the woods this hurricane season, and it doesn't mean that our neighbors in the southeast were not hit hard.
More storms are already forming a tropical conga line in the Atlantic, as New Orleans and other areas of Louisiana struggle to come up for air, literally.
Gustav certainly did not hit with the force of Katrina, but flooding, power outages and wind damage are still a problem.
Monetary donations can help the area now, but there is also another way that we can help in the future: Get Red Cross disaster relief training.
East Escambia County's Red Cross chapter has only three volunteers trained to go to disaster-struck areas to help in the recovery effort.
That means that we only have three volunteers trained to help our area in the event of a storm, too. While we're sure they would be well qualified and eager to help, they would need a lot of assistance in the event of a disaster. Even though our side of the county has the ability to house 350 people in three different shelters, we need more volunteers to help run them.
Most of us have a disaster kit at home, with flashlights, bottled water, peanut butter and crackers.
But our community needs more volunteers in its disaster tool box, and there are many among us who can step up to help.
It's never too late to get trained to help. Call the local Red Cross chapter at 867-3426 to volunteer.