During the week leading up to Easter 2012 the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex endured seventeen tornadoes. Later that spring, more twisters devastated Oklahoma.

The American Red Cross had its hands full. The first job was disaster assessment. Evaluating storm damage is vital because it enables the Red Cross to determine the number of affected families, how many meals will have to be prepared, and how many volunteers are needed in affected areas.

The American Red Cross is presently working to recruit more disaster assessment volunteers by providing a training program.

“It’s a simple process to become a Red Cross volunteer,” said Executive Director for East Texas Tammy Prater. “Just jump on our website at www.redcross.org/tx/longview-tyler and click on the volunteer link. You’ll get all of the instructions on how to register, and you’ll receive your

next steps.”

The Red Cross encourages volunteers to register in February so they will have time to participate in the agency’s first tornado disaster drill that will be carried out across Texas and Oklahoma on Saturday, March 2, 2013.

“We’re tornado prone in both Texas and Oklahoma, so we have to prepare ahead of these storms,” said Prater. “The time to take your training is when the sky is blue, so we’re hopeful that many people will take the opportunity to join us in February for training, and then work with us on this important

drill in early March.”

Aside from the website, information on the American Red Cross can be obtained by calling (903) 753-2091 or (903) 581-7981.