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February 16, 2017 06:07 PM

Local Volunteers Stand Ready To Help In California

Sioux Falls, SD

Natural disasters strike at any time. While residents in California brace themselves for a massive dam break, local volunteers are standing ready.

The Red Cross is everywhere. Local volunteers are currently spread out across the country, helping those in need.

"We have a volunteer who is in the south who is helping out in a shelter and serving there. She is shelter supervisor so she's helping run one of the shelters," said Red Cross Executive Director, Jennifer Ross.

They also have volunteers on stand-by for other natural disasters, such as the flooding in California. While homeowners have been allowed to go home, volunteers are getting ready for the worst.

"Right now, everybody across the nation is monitoring that situation. So as it continues, they would let our national network know that they maybe need more shelter workers or they need more people to help with feeding. All chapters like ours would begin to say who we have available to go," said Ross. 

That's when the Red Cross would reach out to local volunteers to see who was available to head out in the next few days or weeks.

Volunteers with the Red Cross receive universal training on how to provide a safe shelter and mass feedings, so there's no confusion while setting up.

"Our volunteers, when they arrive in California will be speaking the same language as the volunteers there, and be able to talk about how to effectively serve the people in need there," said Ross.

There are just shy of 200 volunteers who are trained in Eastern South Dakota. Ross says for now they will be waiting to see if their skill sets can be used out west.

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