In Eau Claire, about thirty people will be trained this week and could be sent out soon to assist. The Red Cross is offering disaster service, mass care and shelter operation courses for volunteers seeking to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The biggest lesson they impart on first time volunteers is to be flexible and be patient. "We're telling them that although you may learn something here, you have to understand that your supervisor on the job will tell you more," says trainer Joy Hoffman.
Although volunteers come from many different careers and backgrounds, their mission is the same: to lend a hand to residents down south. "I feel helpless," says Debra Peterson.
"You know everybody is there and suffering and we are here and showering daily and having a normal routine where their whole life has been tossed upside down."
If you are interesting in taking disaster training courses, contact the Red Cross for when they will be available. For the office in Eau Claire, the number is (715) 834-4182 or visit the website at www.redcross.org