Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ike, Ike Baby

Whew, I'm beat.

I drug myself out of bed on this frosty, morning early and headed downtown to an American Red Cross class. Today's class was an 8-hour session entitled, "Frontline Disaster Supervision." I needed this class to "promote" to supervisor while out on national assignments. The class had about 25 people - including a guy all the way from Indiana! - and two instructors. A lot of the class was just plain ol' common sense - so at times, I was a little exasperated, because I felt like we weren't moving fast enough.

I struggle with patience sometimes. It's hard...I want to move at warp speed all of the time, and it's difficult for me to slow down. I want everyone else around me to move at the same pace. I was blessed with children that were either born moving pretty quickly, or adapted pretty quickly to my pace - I'm not sure which happened first.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. The Red Cross is short of volunteers right now...I joined after Katrina, so I am known as a "Katrina Baby" in Red Cross parlance. After any major disaster, the volunteer numbers temporarily swell. After Ike, I worked with a lot of brand new volunteers who will be forever known as "Ike Babies." That's how you identify to other volunteers how long you've been a member - you tie it to the nearest disaster of when you signed up.

There is a lot of training involved to get to the point where you're ready to go out on national disasters. Besides CPR and First Aid, there's a lot of classes dealing with working with the clients, and classes on how to do paperwork. Classes on driving the truck, classes on sheltering, classes on handling food...even classes on how to teach classes!

I always tell my friends - DON'T wait for a national disaster to sign up. Sign up now - and begin your training. That way, you'll be ready when the next disaster happens. You'll have all of your training completed - and you'll be ready to go. Don't be a "Baby" - sign up NOW. Contact your nearest American Red Cross chapter and fill out a volunteer application.

Be sure to do YOUR part today to save the world - one day at a time, one action at a time.


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