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Red Cross Volunteers Participate In Full-Scale Disaster Exercise

Volunteers Unload Disaster Supplies
"This was very helpful for our volunteers so they know what to expect if a real disaster strikes." -Red Cross Disaster Program Manager, Ray Sorensen.

The American Red Cross wants all citizens to be prepared if disaster strikes, but we also practice what we preach. To be ready when disaster strikes takes practice.

At a full-scale disaster exercise in Wentworth, South Dakota, volunteers had a chance to practice what they have been trained to do.

Role players acted as casualties and displaced persons to aid in the training of emergency responders, including the Red Cross. These role players were provided scripts and theatrical props to help them become their character.

This scenario started around 5:00 pm and last until approximately 9:00 pm that evening.

"This was very helpful for our volunteers so they know what to expect if a real disaster strikes," said Red Cross Disaster Program Manager, Ray Sorensen. "Practicing will help response time and collaboration with partners."

This exercise included various transmissions on emergency frequencies as REACT initially deploys to track the storm, provides updates on the storm’s path and reports the spawning of the tornado. Equipment was also deployed as emergency responders were paged and conducted rescue operations.

"This was an excellent way for our volunteers to learn ," Sorensen added.