Muncie Red Cross to host disaster relief classes

The Hoosier Heartland Red Cross in Muncie is offering free disaster relief training courses on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to those interested in becoming a certified disaster relief volunteer for the American Red Cross.

Julie Hankins, Emergency Service Director for the American Red Cross, said the training courses are conducted to teach individuals how to set up and maintain shelters during a disaster.

Hankins said those trained have the option to be a part of their disaster relief team, an on call volunteer team that provides food, clothing, shelter, safety and emotional and physical support to those displaced in the event of a disaster.

According to a press release, there will be two training sessions offered Saturday: Shelter Operations and Shelter Simulation. Shelter Operations will prepare participants to manage shelter operations effectively as a team while meeting the needs of those displaced from a disaster. Shelter Simulation will provide participants an opportunity to practice working with procedures for maintaining a shelter during a disaster.

Hankins said they are hoping to reach out to anyone who is willing and able to get involved with being a disaster relief volunteer, especially Ball State students.

The training sessions being offered are also prerequisites for becoming a certified national volunteer through the Red Cross, said Hankins. If people have the opportunity to volunteer for national assignments, this training can prepare them for that as well, she said.

Hankins said the Red Cross in Muncie has previously sent Ball State students out on national assignments such as Hurricane Katrina, and she hopes students will continue to be involved in the American Red Cross.

Ann Gregson, Disaster Public Affairs for the American Red Cross, said these training courses are not offered frequently and those interested in making a greater commitment to the Red Cross should embrace this opportunity.

Shelter Operations will take place from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Shelter Simulation will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The training will take place at the Hoosier Heartland Red Cross headquarters at 325 E. Washington St. in Muncie.


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