Red Cross training volunteers

Medford, Ore. —  The Red Cross will be training people next week — before sending them across the country. And they’re asking you to consider joining them.

“That’s why the Red Cross is there, to help people in need, wherever and whenever,” said Monique Dugaw of the Cascade Region of the Red Cross. Its already sent 14 people to the East Coast to help prepare for the expected destruction from Hurricane Matthew.

Dugaw said, “Thousands so far have been displaced and told to evacuate from their home, they need a safe place to go, they need food, they need shelter, they need blankets, and sometimes they just need someone to talk to.”

Red Cross Portland-Based Disaster Program Manager Malachi Hindle is already there. He says the volunteers are going to be busy, “This is looking like it’s going to be a very large event, particularly in Florida. There’s probably a great deal of work that’s going to take place over the coming weeks.”

The Red Cross is looking to send even more people. A training course is being held next week for those interested. Dugaw said, “We need people to help contribute to our mission, volunteers who are ready and willing to go and answer to call, and your costs will be covered, because you’re assisting other people.”

While attention is focused on Hurricane Matthew, the organization is educating Oregonians of another natural disaster that could strike, this one without warning.

“I live near Mt. Shasta too, which is an active volcano, yes it hasn’t erupted for quite some time, but it could,” said Sharon Avery. She traveled from Yreka to Medford on Thursday to learn more about the Cascadia Subduction Zone — and the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that the region is due for. She said, “We need to get things going, and we need to know about earthquakes, they’re happening more and more.”

If you are available, and want to help with relief on the East Coast, the Red Cross is training people next Thursday the 13th, from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at our local Red Cross office at 60 Hawthorne Street in Medford.

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