Austin Red Cross to Conduct Statewide Disaster Drill

Hurricanes, wildfires, thunderstorms and tornadoes are all common occurrences across the state of Texas. That’s why it’s imperative that the American Red Cross, an organization responsible for providing help and comfort in the face of emergencies, is as prepared as possible in advance of any unexpected event. On Saturday, June 7, 2014, Red Cross chapters across the state of Texas, including the Central Texas Region, will practice the skills they will need to step into action and help our community in the event of a disaster.

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 the necessary roles for running a Red Cross shelter, including registration, feeding and dormitory management.

“This is an opportunity to convene our community partners before a disaster happens and work together to be better prepared,” said Josh Jackson, Regional Disaster Program Officer for the Central Texas Region. “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.”

In the Austin area, the Red Cross has partnered with Austin Disaster Relief Network, the Tzu Chi Foundation and more to get the best results from the exercise. Volunteers will report to Hill Country Bible Church, 12124 RR 620 N, Austin, at 7:30 a.m and the drill will end at 2:15 p.m. Local Red Cross Digital Volunteers will also be activated during this exercise, utilizing Facebook and Twitter to practice getting and giving emergency information during a disaster.

“June is the beginning of hurricane season, and in past years Austin has received thousands of evacuees,” Marty McKellips, Regional Chief Executive Officer. “Without question, this drill will help the Red Cross be better prepared for future disasters. The more we train, the more we can help our neighbors when they truly need us.”

To become a trained Red Cross volunteer, go to

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about half 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