POTTSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL (WBRE/WYOU) — Two organizations teamed up Saturday afternoon in Schuylkill County to stay ahead of an emergency or natural disaster.
Saturday afternoon, the Red Cross partnered with Schuylkill County Emergency Management to train volunteers on what to do in an emergency situation where they would have to take shelter at North Schuylkill Junior Senior High School.
“Typically when we look at places to set up shelter schools usually have the most resources for us so they always have shower facilities they have staff that’s here to assist whether it’s a school nurse maybe or a school psychologist that’s able to help along the way,” said John Blickley the director of Emergency Management.
Emergencies and disasters are usually unexpected, that’s why they believe it’s best to always stay ready.
“Our business is to be prepared for disasters the best way we can do that is with hands-on learning, making sure that we’re all doing the best things so we can serve those affected by disaster,” explained Melinda Rosario the disaster program manager at American Red Cross.
Given the emergency situation that took place earlier this year in September when storms left more than 6,000 people without power for more than five hours and people had to take shelter in the school, they wanted to make sure everyone is better prepared if it happens again.
“We have shelters in every county but this one was pretty much central and due to what had happened in Schuylkill County we did focus on this area,” added Edna Feaster the disaster program specialist at the American Red Cross.
The volunteers here practiced how to assist people who are elderly and those who are not as mobile.
“It’s not just the care and comfort but giving people home sometimes when there’s a major disaster people feel like giving up they don’t know which way to turn our volunteers can give them hope and let them know that they are gonna get back on their feet and it’s gonna be ok again,” continued Feaster.
Roughly 17 volunteers showed up to learn and teach at the emergency shelter exercise in Schuylkill County.