New Red Cross volunteers preparing to help

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - While communities in north Mississippi are preparing for the floods, the Red Cross is preparing volunteers in south Mississippi to respond.  With demands for disaster response growing, the local chapter of the Red Cross was gladly overwhelmed by a flood of new volunteers.

"I've always known that it's my calling, but the thing I really like about it is I get to help out. I get to give help, and nobody knows when they're going to need help but somebody is always going to need it," said new volunteer Anna Mills who was attending Saturday's training class.

"A lot of people have been motivated to help because they were affected by Katrina, and they want to give back.  That's just so beautiful," said Red Cross supervisor Lorena Diaz.
Each volunteer has her own reason for wanting to help.

"Actually, I have cancer and I wanted to do something in return to keep me busy. I'm looking forward to going out and helping other people," said new volunteer Carolyn Law.

"As long as we get people to come in, we can help people," said Mills.

Red Cross Volunteers must go through several training classes including an overview of disaster response and shelter management.

"A lot of people just think about Hurricane shelters, either pre-evacuations or post disaster but we will open a shelter in case of flooding, tornadoes, any type of disaster that impacts a community," said Diaz.

Providing shelter is a big part of disaster response.  With so many cries for help, these new volunteers couldn't come at a better time.

"Unfortunately there is a lot of disasters occurring. We had the tornados that I mentioned the impending flood. So, depending on if there is a need for sheltering they could be leaving as early as next week," said Diaz.

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