Red Cross Changes With Times

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Volunteers poured in from everywhere after Hurricane Katrina. The need was greater than anyone could have imagined.

The Key Chapter of the American Red Cross helped to provide emergency needs for a seven county area.

Officials with the Key Chapter say Katrina proved our community was prepared for disaster, but there is always room for improvement. Now, it's getting ready for next time.

"We would like to get the community trained, get more volunteers to help the Red Cross. We had a little over 1,000 volunteers this time and we could have used 2,000," said Gordon Stewart of the Key Chapter.

"The key to a successful response to a disaster is in your training and your education," said Cheri Barry, executive director. "That way people know what to do and when to do it."

To help meet that need, The Red Cross is currently offering volunteer training classes ranging from introduction to disaster services to shelter operations. The classes are offered free of charge and are available to the entire community.

For a schedule of the classes and times, contact the Key Chapter of the American Red Cross at 601-485-5151. Barry says there is a place for everyone during times of disaster, regardless of age, gender, or race.

"We want to be prepared more than ever to take care of the emergency needs of the people in our area," Barry said.