American Red Cross offering two volunteer training sessions

Published 1:56 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Hurricane season is upon the Mississippi Gulf Coast, so residents with an inclination to volunteer may consider becoming a volunteer with the American Red Cross.

Two training events are being offered that can provide Pearl River County residents with an opportunity to volunteer at a storm shelter.

There are three such shelters in the county, one is located on the campus of the Picayune Memorial High School, another is on the Carriere campus of the Pearl River County School District and the third is adjacent to the County Fairgrounds in Poplarville off of Highway 26.

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American Red Cross Communications Director Annette Rowland said the training events, set for Aug. 27 and Sept. 24, will ensure the volunteers who are coming on board understand the roles each person plays while manning a shelter. They will learn about the rules and regulations of a shelter, how to keep the people who need the shelter safe and how to mitigate any issues that may arise.

Volunteers will also learn how to ensure the privacy of those in the shelter should media need to cover a story at the facility.

Volunteer training will also cover the different types of shelters, learn to identify how a shelter operates and learn about the type of work that volunteers perform.

Rowland said there are other volunteer positions available within the American Red Cross, such as working with a Disaster Action Team. That would allow the volunteer to transition from working in the shelter to touring the county to identify areas that need assistance and conduct damage assessments.

Mental health professionals in the area who are interested in giving back to the community may consider becoming a volunteer with the Red Cross to assist those who are dealing with loss due to a disaster.

“The training required can be intimidating, but don’t let that deter you from being a volunteer,” Rowland said.

She added that the training is required to ensure every one who needs help is getting the same service and hospitality from the American Red Cross, not matter what state they are in.

To participate in the training, visit or call 228-896-4511.