Red Cross training volunteers to respond to Texas after Hurricane Harvey

CINCINNATI -- With relief organizations preparing to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey, the Red Cross is speeding up training for volunteers.

The organization is now offering eight hours of classroom training in two areas: bulk distribution and shelter management. After that, volunteers will head to Texas.

When devastation like that from Hurricane Harvey hits, the Red Cross gets phone calls with donations and from people wanting to go help. Tom Dawson of Liberty Township was one of them.

"When the hurricane hit, I was thinking, 'This is probably the best time to get involved,'" he said.

For a disaster like this, the scope of which still isn't fully known, the Red Cross will be needed volunteers for some time.

"We want to utilize the fact that there's an opportunity to train people and then also apply that training on grounds immediately," disaster workforce engagement manager Nkem Kayla Iheukwu said.

The "Zero to Hero" training program is Wednesday and Thursday and will require about four hours each day. Volunteers will need to be ready to deploy for two weeks.

Trish Smitson, the CEO of the Greater Cincinnati/Dayton Red Cross, said that for those who can't go, monetary donations are incredibly important.

"One of the reasons we ask for money and not for articles of clothing, etc., is so we can spend the money in the affected areas," Smitson said. "It helps reinvigorate that economy."

And once the volunteers get down there, they'll have some important jobs. Find more information on the Red Cross's website. Also, click here to learn more about how to donate. 

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