Red Cross officials encourage volunteer training before disaster strikes

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - 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 anecessity but first they need training.

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

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

And just like phone calls, theEmergency Services Specialist says volunteers arepouring in to help after Monday's tornado in Oklahoma.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slagel says he's helped with disaster relief across thenation.

"The work at time ishard, its good work, you feel good when you go to sleep at night that you'vedone something that's going to make a difference on somebody else's life," saidSlagel.

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

The disaster relief classes are free and some are evenavailable online

For volunteer information visit

Copyright 2013 KTRE. All rights reserved.