Over 60 Volunteers Get Certified For Disaster Relief - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Over 60 Volunteers Get Certified For Disaster Relief

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EAST MOLINE, IL – More than 60 volunteers gathered at St. John's Lutheran Church for disaster relief training on Saturday morning.

With spring-time here, another severe weather season is quickly approaching the Quad Cities. FEMA and many other programs are offering training sessions to certify volunteers.

Disasters can strike at any time. Alexander Lange, Vicar, says, "A disaster – what it does is it strips away all the things that we rely upon. We take so much stuff for granted. But when a tornado happens or a hurricane, all these things that we rely on, that we take for granted, like electricity and plumbing, are gone and taken away. You're left helpless."

After today's full-day training session, they will be certified as disaster relief volunteers.

Reverend Michael Meyer says, "We have about 13,000 trained volunteers. So when a disaster occurs, we're able to call them up, send some notification that says something terrible has happened. Here in Washington, Illinois, for example, where some tornadoes came through this last November."

The QCA is certainly no stranger to Mother Nature's wrath. Being ready for the next disaster starts at home.

Carrie Homann, a volunteer, says, "In order to prepare yourself for a disaster, you can prepare yourself at home. Your own family can put together kits with some basic equipment, blankets, radio, food and things you might need in a disaster. But as a community, as your church or other community organizations, you can put together kits to pass out to other people who would be affected by a storm."

Homann says packing emergency kits ahead of time is key.

Beyond your own household,  there are many ways you can get certified too.

Reverend Meyer adds, "I would encourage other people in the community to seek out training's through the Red Cross or the Community Emergency Response Team, which is CERT."

Vicar Lange says, "Don't think it's up to you to save the world by yourself. We are a community so there are a lot of services out there, both religious and non-religious, who are organized and want people to call and say ‘How can I help?' Call them. Contact them."

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