Each year Red Cross Chapters across the country train Disaster Volunteers in how to prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters. One way to contribute to this effort is by offering your facility as a Red Cross shelter.
Besides provisioning your site with various supplies there are a number of other requirements that must be met. To see if you qualify, contact your local Red Cross chapter.
One you have established that your facility meet the space and other requirements, you must staff the shelter with trained volunteers who can provide the advice and assistance that those coming to the shelter will need.
The Red Cross offers a number of courses in this area including:
Disaster Services: An Overview
Disaster Services: An Overview is a basic level course that provides an introduction to Disaster Services at the American Red Cross. The course is divided into two modules. The first module introduces disaster preparedness and response at the Red Cross and the second module is designed for chapters to customize with their local disaster program information. The course engages participants through integrated video and interactive activities.
Client Casework: Providing Emergency Assistance
Client Casework: Providing Emergency Assistance is trains Red Cross caseworkers how to conduct effective client interviews and provide appropriate assistance to help meet a client’s immediate disaster-caused or disaster-aggravated needs.
Shelter Fundamentals introduces the guidelines and procedures for setting up, running and closing a shelter during a disaster.
Disaster Assessment Fundamentals
The course introduces the tasks and responsibilities of Disaster Assessment responders on a disaster relief operation.
Logistics: An Overview
Provides participants with basic information about the processes of Logistics activities in support of an American Red Cross disaster relief operation, including the skills, abilities and knowledge needed and how they can become involved in their local region.
Foundations of Disaster Mental Health
Prepares licensed mental health professionals to provide for and respond to the psychological needs of people across the continuum of disaster preparedness, response and recovery. It includes specific activities and interventions that can be used for local disasters and national disaster relief operations.
To learn more about these and other Red Cross programs go to: http://www.redcross.org/ux/take-a-class.