Red Cross to hold training session

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

As dangerous as severe weather is, an equally large threat is lack of preparedness.

That is especially true when dealing with large groups of people.

But the Dallas County Red Cross is trying to change that.

As part of National Hurricane Awareness Week, the Red Cross will be holding its fourth annual Disaster Training session Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in its building at 812 Selma Avenue.

The session is geared mainly towards proper shelter operations and dealing with large groups of displaced people.

“We’re asking any church organization or any faith-based groups along with individuals expressing a desire to be more community-oriented,” said Red Cross director Jakki Caldwell-Phillips. “We’re going to try to confine it to a two to three-hour time frame. The biggest problem is lack of trained volunteers. If we can get people trained before the storm, the response efforts would be much faster.”

This is one of multiple similar training sessions the Red Cross has put on this year.

Phillips said it is her main concern that the residents of Dallas County living outside of Selma will be the ones that will suffer most.

Since people in rural areas are so spread out, it is hard to efficiently get them to a storm shelter.

Some may not even know where to go in the case of a hurricane or tornado.

“We’re trying to really reach out to the people from all over the county – Valley Grande, Orrville, Sardis, Tyler, Minter, Plantersville and places like that. I want equal representation in the county.”