BUFFALO, NY, May 5, 2011 –( release) The American Red Cross has launched a massive recovery operation following the recent tornadoes and flooding in the south, where early estimates show more than 13,000 homes across six states have been destroyed or damaged. Over 4,500 American Red Cross staff and volunteers, including three from the Greater Buffalo Chapter, have helped provide food, shelter, emotional support, and essential relief items to those affected by the devastation.
As this operation continues to unfold, additional volunteers will be needed to help in the recovery efforts. While all volunteers are welcome, there is a specific need for medical and mental health professionals to donate their time and talents to the relief efforts in the South.
The Greater Buffalo Chapter is offering training for new volunteers next week, and if all background checks and paperwork are completed, trainees could be eligible for deployment as early as Sunday, May 15th. New volunteers will also be eligible to help the American Red Cross respond to disasters here in Western New York.
The training schedule is as follows:
· Disaster Health Services Training (medical professionals only)
Thursday, May 12th, 11am-2pm, American Red Cross, 786 Delaware Ave, Buffalo
· Disaster Mental Health Training (mental health professionals only)
Thursday, May 12th, 6pm-9pm, American Red Cross, 786 Delaware Ave, Buffalo
· Disaster Services Overview/Shelter Operations Training (all volunteers)
Saturday, May 14th, 9am-3pm, American Red Cross, 2079 Sawyer Dr, Niagara Falls
To register for any of the above trainings, please contact Mary Walls, Volunteer Coordinator, at (716) 878-2140. For more information on volunteer opportunities at the American Red Cross, please visit our website, www.buffaloredcross.org.
About the American Red Cross, Greater Buffalo Chapter:
The American Red Cross, Greater Buffalo Chapter prepares for and responds to community disasters and emergencies and helps people lead safe and healthy lives. In the past year alone, the Greater Buffalo Chapter provided over 700 individuals with food, shelter and clothing after a fire, trained over 36,000 people how to prepare for an emergency, assisted nearly 300 service members and their families, and trained over 32,000 people in lifesaving skills. The Greater Buffalo Chapter also provides services to senior and family care givers, along with transportation and housing support to persons living with HIV/AIDS. 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 humanitarian mission.