College Students Learn Disaster Response Skills

By Jonathan Cooper |

Published 03/30 2014 10:47PM

Updated 03/31 2014 10:10AM

(ATCHISON, Ks.) Tornadoes are always a possibility in the Midwest. And damage from these storms can change peoples lives. But when disaster strikes, organizations like the Red Cross are there to help.

"We assess what their needs are and provide what they need, sheltering, food, clothing," said Diane Fodness, educator with the Red Cross.

Fodness is a Red Cross instructor who teaches volunteers the basics of disaster clean up. Sunday, she spent the evening with college students in Atchison at Benedictine College.

"I wanted to get a club together so we could have volunteers help out with blood services, days of the blood drive, help out with people signing up for the blood drive," said Benedictine student Tyler Nance. "I wanted to take it a step farther and help out our community and I felt this was the best way to do that."

Nance is the president of the Red Cross Club at Benedictine. The club introduces students to the basics of volunteering.

"When you see all the disasters that happen on a day-to-day basis, any little thing you can do to help is always good," said Nance.

Fodness showed videos and went over the steps needed to volunteer.

"We need volunteers if it's the time of a disaster or just day-to-day operations," Fodness said. "We're always looking for volunteers to do disaster preparedness programming, community education."

Nance said he plans on volunteering more after graduation.

"Definitely learned a lot, from all the services they offer to everyone, to the amount of goods and products they get in, and also the takes to respond to a disaster," Nance said.

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