OAK RIDGE, TN – October 12, 2012 – The American Red Cross is seeking volunteers to help provide disaster assistance when needed in Anderson County. Volunteers are especially needed in Clinton, Lake City, Norris, Oak Ridge, Oliver Springs and many of the county’s unincorporated communities. Disaster volunteers receive extensive training from the Red Cross and serve as the organization’s local representatives when house fires damage or destroy people’s homes and when other natural or manmade disasters occur.
“Disasters can strike an individual, a family or a whole community,” said Diane Naus, Red Cross Emergency Services Specialist serving the Anderson County area. “When the tornadoes hit neighboring Morgan County a few years ago, it caused devastation and loss for many people. But what most people don’t know is the number one disaster in the nation is house fires and when a family loses its home to a fire or flood, it is just as devastating for them. Having local Red Cross volunteers to help, neighbor helping neighbor, gives fire victims one step forward in their recovery. Since July, 2012 the local Red Cross has handled 21 cases serving 53 clients. This is already ahead of last fiscal year when handled 22 cases with 68 clients from July, 2011 to June, 2012.”
Among the services the Red Cross provides are emergency food, shelter, clothing and mental health counseling to disaster victims. A Red Cross disaster trailer is stationed in Anderson County to provide quick access to cots, blankets and other shelter needs. In the event of a greater need, shelters may be set up in local churches, schools or other locations. Several local churches have already agreed to provide space for such shelters if needed. “But we always need additional shelter agreements.”
Training will be free and can be held in multiple locations in Anderson County. Anyone interested in learning more about volunteering or providing shelter locations should call Diane Naus at 865-210-9605.