Cheri Barry, the executive director of the American Red Cross Key Chapter says, two years ago she didn't imagine the agency would be facing the worst national disaster ever to strike Mississippi and the Gulf Coast.
"The key is preparedness in any disaster event," said Barry. "I have learned so much in two years and feel like at this time we are so much and better prepared than we were two years ago."
Barry said there were many lessons learned and changes made after Katrina's track through the region.
One change is moving supplies and people to key locations before a storm hits. That way, the assistance is in place and ready for the aftermath.
Sh also noted the continuation of the strong relationship with other non-profit groups, churches and local, state, and federal governments.
nationally and here at home, more volunteers have joined the American Red Cross.
"We're constantly teaching classes and getting our volunteers ready to work locally and work statewide," Barry said. "We have trained probably 300 new volunteers that know the policies and procedures of the rules and regulations of the national organization and how to help people immediately."
Barry said one of the most important things to come out of the Katrina experience is trust and respect for the services the Red Cross provides, and continued funds from donors to the national disaster relief fund.
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