Area Red Cross prepares for another season of helping storm victims

Area Red Cross prepares for another season of helping storm victims
By: Erica Byfield

McCracken County, KY - With the mounting potential of a stormy weather this summer Red Cross leaders across the country are getting ready.
But this year they're preparing with extra information, the successes and failures of 2005.
According to McCracken County Executive Red Cross Director Sue Henry "what you see... is what you get."
Meaning all the supplies they have in reserve are now laid out on there storage shelves.
This way when the warning is sounded all she would need to do is hand out tubs to volunteers and they would have the supplies needed to open and operate a shelter.
"Typically our shelters are churches and we're training a nucleus of volunteers within each one of those churches where they could if they needed to operate that shelter almost independently," said Henry.
Running independently is also new. Henry adds in time of disaster this will help smooth out some of the kinks they faced in during Katrina.
What's changed nationally?
First, the Red Cross is adopting a Client Assistance System or CAS that works as a database and keeps record of all services rendered.
"All chapters across the nation are undergoing training right now so that system can be implemented, up and running by July 1st," said Henry.
Second, each CSA card handed out will be recorded, so you can only apply for one and the client has free rein to decide how to use the money.
"We learned a lot of lessons last year," said Henry.
And with Alberto lurking off the coast of Florida, Sue Henry wonders what new lessons they'll learn this year.
Sue Henry adds the Red Cross only deploys trained volunteers.