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American Red Cross to Conduct Local Disaster Leadership Training

Khambrell Marshall Meteorologist
We are pleased and grateful to receive such valued support from State Farm again this year. --Steve Vetrano, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross, Texas Gulf Coast Region

Houston, Texas, May 22, 2014 – The American Red Cross is conducting a 4-day disaster leadership training in Houston, TX. The “2014 Texas Disaster Leadership Institute” will bring together American Red Cross representatives from across Texas to focus on disaster preparation.

The media are invited to visit the 4-day Institute which takes place May 29—June 1, 2014 at the American Red Cross Greater Houston Chapter headquarters at 2700 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX. Media representatives can schedule visits and interviews with Cameron Ballantyne at or call 281-709-5118 and Danny Resendez at or call 361-442-8245.

Khambrel Marshall, KPRC Local 2 Meteorologist and Theo Franklin, State Farm agent will be special guest speakers for the Texas Disaster Leadership Institute luncheon on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 12pm – 1:30pm. Khambrel is an award-winning journalist and joined KPRC-TV as weekday anchor in May 1999. He delivers the weekend evening forecasts and is also host of the weekly topical news show, Houston Newsmakers. Theo Franklin is a successful, Houston-area businessman and State Farm licensed Risk Manager and Chartered Financial Consultant.

Red Cross will also conduct a drill exercise on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 8am – 12pm. Hundreds of disaster volunteers across the state will set up shelters and put their training into action during a disaster exercise. With the guidance of experienced Red Cross shelter workers and instructors, volunteers will work through stations and practice necessary roles for running a Red Cross shelter, including registration, feeding and dormitory management.

“If the unthinkable happens, families will need a safe shelter and food before anything else,” said Steven Meissner, Disaster Officer, Texas Gulf Coast Region, American Red Cross. “An exercise like this strengthens our ability to respond quickly in an emergency by allowing more volunteers to receive hands-on shelter training before a real disaster strikes.”

“We are pleased and grateful to receive such valued support from State Farm again this year. We count on our volunteers to help fellow Texans and people across the country before, during and following disasters,” said Steve Vetrano, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross, Texas Gulf Coast Region.

State Farm has funded the Texas Disaster Leadership Institute since 2012. The institute offers classes and workshops in shelter management, successful delivery of disaster services and meeting the on-going needs of disaster-affected communities.

“When it comes to disaster in Texas, it’s rarely a question of IF it will happen, it’s a question of when,” said State Farm Agent Theo Franklin. “Helping people recover from the unexpected is State Farm’s mission, and we are proud to partner with the Red Cross on this training.”

The goal of the institute is to continue to build on the strengths of Red Cross disaster leadership capacity. Expected outcomes include improve disaster response times for Red Cross workers, including supervisors, managers and volunteers. The results and solutions from the institute will be shared with Red Cross leaders and staff throughout the Texas Gulf Coast Region.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies approximately 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

About State Farm®:

State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 66,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 37 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit or in Canada