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Disaster Boot Camp taking registrants

Published 12:29 pm, Saturday, August 30, 2014
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The American Red Cross is joining with VolunteerSquare to offer a Disaster Boot Camp from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, at Stamford Government Center, 888 Washington Blvd., Stamford.

The training will provide information and basic skills needed to become a registered Red Cross volunteer, supporting disaster response here in Connecticut.

From major disasters like Superstorm Sandy or Tropical Storm Irene to residential house fires, the Red Cross responds to more than 500 incidents each year in Connecticut. Red Cross volunteers provide shelter, food, emotional support, health services and more during emergency responses.

"Our workforce is more than 95 percent volunteer. We could not be there for our neighbors without the help of volunteers," said American Red Cross Connecticut and Rhode Island Region CEO Mario Bruno.

The orientation and training will provide an introduction to Red Cross disaster response and equip volunteers with basic skills to staff shelters, help and help with mass-care tasks like food preparation and distribution. As volunteers become more involved with the organization, there are opportunities to work in different areas and to take on increasing levels of responsibility.

"We have opportunities for every age and ability," Bruno said. "We hope to build our capacity with local volunteers ready to respond if needed."

Rachel Reese, executive director of VolunteerSquare, said the organization partnered with the Red Cross because disaster readiness and response help to build stronger, more resilient communities.

"We have seen in recent years how important the help of the Red Cross is when disaster strikes, so we want to provide people an opportunity to learn more and to become part of the team that can help here when the Red Cross is needed," Reese said.

Volunteers must pre-register at www.redcross.org/ct/volunteer.