Red Cross officials encourage volunteer training before disaster - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Red Cross officials encourage volunteer training before disaster strikes

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As recovery efforts in Oklahoma continue many East Texans are looking for ways to do their part.

Angelina County Red Cross officials say volunteers are a necessity but first they need training.

Claire Tyron says the phones have been ringing off the hook at the Lufkin American Red Cross office.

The people of Texas have been very gracious and they want to help," said Tyron.

And just like phone calls, the Emergency Services Specialist says volunteers are pouring in to help after Monday's tornado in Oklahoma.

 "We've had volunteers pouring in here that we've been training to go out and help," said Tyron.

The Red Cross says what's even more important is to have volunteers before disaster strikes.

Dale Slagel has been a volunteer since 2009 and he says through training volunteers learn skills from feeding to housing, and nursing.

 "Come over and volunteer now so they can get the training before the tornadoes before the hurricanes hit so they'll know what to do," said Slagel.

The disaster training takes about six weeks and Red Cross representatives say once volunteers are trained they're able to serve where they're needed.

"They'll be assigned to the DR which is the disaster relief and they'll know when they get there who to go to and there is a process they do out on the job," said Tyron.

Slagel says he's helped with disaster relief across the nation.

"The work at time is hard, its good work, you feel good when you go to sleep at night that you've done something that's going to make a difference on somebody else's life," said Slagel.

Armed with the skills to provide hope when all seems lost.

The disaster relief classes are free and some are even available online

For volunteer information visit

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