Red Cross Staff, Volunteers Train For A Disaster

A flash flood on the Biloxi River destroys and damages more than 50 homes. Families are in need of food, shelter and other essentials. This is only a test, in the American Red Cross Disaster Readiness Exercise and Evaluation.

"It's just to test our systems to make sure we have all the appropriate agreements with partners in the community, resources available, what we have in our stockpile, what we can pull from, where we need to go to find resources, should this be a real event," says Mississippi Gulf Coast Red Cross Chapter Executive Director Bill Brent.

Brent says the exercise tests their ability to do those jobs under the most daunting circumstances.

"I think the best curve ball of the day was that they told us during this exercise this facility became inoperable," says Brent. "So we had to close down our office and more our entire office operations."

Instructor Derek Alden called the chapter's reaction to that crisis "impressive."

"Raw sewage is flying all over the floor," says Alden. "You have to leave and start somewhere else. They went, 'oh, okay,' and went and did it. So, no problem."

And Alden says that's encouraging news for those who depend on them most, during the darkest of times.

"They understand what they're getting into," says Alden. "So I think the community will be very well served by the team that they have here."