Red Cross & VolunteerSquare Offer Disaster Readiness Orientations

OKC family speaks with Red Cross volunteer

NORWALK, CONN., OCTOBER 19, 2013 — The Red Cross is joining with VolunteerSquare to offer a special Ready When the Time Comes disaster response orientation at the SoNo Field House in Norwalk on Saturday, October 19.

Connecticut has faced several extreme weather challenges in recent years, from Tropical Storm Irene to a crippling October snowstorm, then Superstorm Sandy and a February 2013 blizzard. In the aftermath of these storms, residents had to cope with extended power outages, property damage and other impacts. In the wake of these disasters, the Red Cross was there to help with the recovery needs of people across the state. Red Cross disaster relief is provided largely by trained volunteers who give their time to help neighbors in need.

“Our American Red Cross workforce is more than 96% volunteer. Without the help of volunteers, we could not fulfill our mission to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies,” said American Red Cross Connecticut and Rhode Island Region CEO Mario Bruno.

Bruno said the program scheduled for October 19 will provide important information about disaster preparedness and response to help residents better prepare their own families and to learn how they can support the work of the Red Cross in times of disaster and throughout the year.

“By participating in this special program, people can learn how to better prepare themselves and their families for emergencies and how to help make their communities better, safer places to live by volunteering with the American Red Cross,” Bruno said.

Rachel Reese, Executive Director of VolunteerSquare, said the organization partnered with the Red Cross because disaster readiness and response help to build stronger, more resilient communities. “Together with the American Red Cross, we hope to educate as many people as possible about how to prepare yourself, your home, your family and your neighborhood for a disaster. Plus, we want you to understand how you can volunteer with the American Red Cross not only after a disaster hits but before and during a crisis as well,” Reese said.

The Red Cross will offer 45-minute orientation sessions that will run at various times from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 19. To pre-register for your preferred time slot, visit www.VolunteerSquare.com.

About the American Red Cross Connecticut Chapter:

The American Red Cross Connecticut Chapter responds to an average of 500 local disasters each year; provides disaster preparedness information and life safety training to tens of thousands of Connecticut residents annually; supports Connecticut military families with emergency communications services, counseling, advocacy and access to emergency financial assistance; supports collection of an average of 130,000 units of life saving blood each year. Visit www.redcross.org/ct for more information. Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ctredcross and on Twitter @CTRedCross

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.