Introduction to the Red Cross

The Red Cross (www.redcross.org) is an organization with the sole purpose of helping disaster victims. Some of the things they will do are assisting with shelter, food, clothing and other necessities following a disaster such as a hurricane, fire, flood or other disasters. During wartime they may also assist families who have not heard from a loved one to ascertain their safety. Although the website addresses the American Red Cross, it is actually an international organization (www.redcross.int) that works throughout the world to help disaster victims who have been displaced from their homes.

In addition to providing emergency assistance for domestic disasters, it also provides compassionate services in several other areas that help in time of need: supporting and comforting those in the military and their families; assuring the delivery of lifesaving blood and its products; training programs in the areas of health and safety; and relief and development programs in all parts of the world. Medical professionals have called upon them to make speedy delivery of organs needed for transplant when time is critical and they are unable to acquire a medical transport quickly enough.

The Red Cross was originally formed in 1881 and has expanded its services since then to accommodate the needs of millions of people. We have seen them step in not only for fires in the local communities but in disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in India a few years ago, locating military personnel and their families especially for emergency situations on the home front, and much more.

Their various training programs not only help their volunteers with disaster relief, they also help others in the community gain the training and education they need to provide community services. The courses vary based on the needs and requirements of the local community but include things such as lifeguard training, CPR, child care, and nurse’s assistant. In order to find out what is available in your area you will need to contact your local chapter of the Red Cross.

The training courses the Red Cross offers are not limited only to their volunteers by any means. However, if you are interested in becoming a volunteer you will have to undergo training through your local Red Cross chapter. You will find many different areas of health and safety in which the Red Cross provides efficient and certified training by qualified instructors.