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Red Cross needs volunteers for flood disaster assistance

Red Cross SA offers training for volunteers

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SAN ANTONIO – The American Red Cross has volunteers on the ground assisting victims of the Memorial weekend flood but is calling for more.

"Any break we can give them and get some more volunteers to them, that would be a great help to us," said Eric Maldonado, communications manager of the San Antonio Chapter of the Red Cross.

Hundreds of volunteers have been working for the past few weeks, assisting people affected by the storms in North Texas and Oklahoma.

Now, after days of rivers running wild, creeks busting their banks and torrential rains washing out hundreds of homes, the heart of Texas is in a state of disaster.

Much of the damage is in areas surrounding San Antonio, so the local chapter is sending teams to the affected areas. It is also holding classes to train people to be Red Cross disaster volunteers.

"What can I do to help? Even if it's just hand out water or giving moral support to someone, why not?" said Linda Gutierrez who, along with her husband, signed on for the class Tuesday morning.

The Red Cross is teaching the class how to set up a shelter for evacuees and how to assess needs in the field.

LaWonda Patterson, a student nurse, said she just wants to help where she is needed.

"Actually, my disaster preparedness was one of my wartime duties in the Air Force, so I just thought that I could actually sharpen my skills," she said.

The training is free and background checks are done.

Classes are being arranged as needed.

People interested in volunteering can get more information and begin the registration process by visiting the local chapters website at www.redcross.org/tx/san-antonio.

Where your dollar donations go

  • $2: Provides 1 snack - The snacks are provided by Red Cross workers and distributed at shelters or through mobile feeding in communities by Red Cross emergency response vehicles.
  • $2.50: Provides 1 comfort kit containing hygiene items - Comfort kits, stored and ready for distribution nationwide, contain the basic personal supplies someone would need in the aftermath of a disaster. Each kit contains deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial tissues, wash cloth, shampoo, liquid soap, lotion, comb, razor and shaving cream.
  • $5: Provides 1 blanket - Blankets, stored and ready for distribution nationwide, are typically given to people in pairs for padding their cot in shelters and covering themselves while sleeping.
  • $7.50: Provides 1 comfort kit containing hygiene items and 1 blanket - Comfort kits contain the basic personal supplies someone would need in the aftermath of a disaster. Each kit contains deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial tissues, wash cloth, shampoo, liquid soap, lotion, comb, razor and shaving cream. Blankets are typically given to people in pairs for padding their cot in a shelter and covering themselves while sleeping.
  • $10: Provides 1 hot meal to a person - These nourishing meals that include a main course, a snack and a drink are provided by Red Cross workers and distributed at shelters or through mobile feeding in communities by Red Cross emergency response vehicles.
  • $13.50: Provides 1 comfort kit and 1 snack to 3 people - The snacks are provided by Red Cross workers and distributed at shelters or through mobile feeding in communities by Red Cross emergency response vehicles. Comfort kits, stored and ready for distribution nationwide, contain the basic personal supplies needed by people in the aftermath of a disaster. Each kit contains deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial tissues, wash cloth, shampoo, liquid soap, lotion, comb, razor and shaving cream.
  • $15: Provides training for a Disaster Action Team (DAT) member - The Red Cross covers the full cost of training volunteers to respond to local disasters. Training expenses include training materials, instructor expenses and other miscellaneous items.
  • $20: Provides 1 of each: blanket, meal, snack, and comfort kit - Blankets, stored and ready for distribution nationwide, are typically given to people in pairs for padding their cot in shelters and covering themselves while sleeping. The meals and snacks are provided by Red Cross workers and distributed at shelters or through mobile feeding in communities by Red Cross emergency response vehicles. Comfort kits, stored and ready for distribution nationwide, contain the basic personal supplies someone would need in the aftermath of a disaster. Kits contain deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial tissues, wash cloth, shampoo, liquid soap, lotion, comb, razor and shaving cream.
  • $22: Provides breakfast, lunch and dinner - During times of disaster, these prepared meals are served by Red Cross workers at shelters or Red Cross emergency response vehicles driving through impacted neighborhoods. Every effort is made to provide culturally appropriate food based on a community's needs.
  • $30: Covers the cost of a clean-up kit and comfort supplies for a family of 4 - These supplies are stored and ready for distribution nationwide. Each clean-up kit includes a sectional handle with mop, broom, squeegee and push broom heads, pail, scrub brush, sponge, disinfectant, detergent/degreaser, bleach, trash bags, gloves and dust mask. Comfort kits contain deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial tissues, wash cloth, shampoo, liquid soap, lotion, comb, razor and shaving cream.
  • $50: Provides a full day of food and shelter for 1 person - This service includes providing breakfast, lunch and dinner, the costs to mobilize and distribute a cot, two blankets and a comfort kit as well as the costs to support the Red Cross workers providing this service.
  • $50: Covers the cost to provide a parent with diapers, wipes and soy formula for an infant - The Red Cross shelter manager will take the steps necessary to make all residents comfortable in a shelter; this includes families with infants and children.

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