Red Cross to open mock shelter for Utah earthquake drill

WASHINGTON CITY – The American Red Cross in St. George will participate in the Great Utah Shakeout Earthquake Drill on April 17 by opening a mock shelter at the Washington City Community Center in Washington, located at 350 N Community Center Drive.  Members of the community are encouraged to visit the shelter at their convenience, and take advantage of this great opportunity learn more about  Red Cross shelters, emergency preparedness, and the American Red Cross in general.

Disaster Action Team volunteers from Washington and Iron Counties are using this exercise to test American Red Cross shelter operations.

“We are excited to take this opportunity to build our disaster relief teams in southern Utah,” said Maggie Woodruff, the area director for American Cross Development and Community Relations. “It will also give us an opportunity to test our communication methods with local emergency personnel and the Utah Region headquarters in Salt Lake City,”.

Readiness is a big part of disaster relief. Before the first shelter is opened, the first volunteer deployed or the first meal served, the American Red Cross must have the proper supplies and systems in place to respond. These preparations cost money, and those funds have to be available long before a disaster strikes.  The American Red Cross receives no line-item government funding, and relies upon the generosity of the American public.

“People often think of disasters in terms of large-scale events, but the majority of incidents that we respond to in Utah are smaller, but more frequent,” Woodruff said.  “Within the past month, the American Red Cross in Utah has assisted more than 280 people displaced by apartment and house fires. Last year, the American Red Cross in Utah helped more than 1500 people following disasters.”

Woodruff added: “We’reasking our fellow Utahns in the St. George area to consider donating to the Red Cross Disaster relief fund, which will allow us to better serve the St. George area. Every single dollar brings hope and relief to people in need.”

Those who want to volunteer to help at the shelter exercise or make a contribution to disaster response can visit www.utahredcross.org or contact Margie Woodruff, Development and Community Relations Director at 435.668.2210 or mwoodruff@utahredcross.org to support American Red Cross Disaster Response.

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