Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

March 21, 2012

Red Cross training shelter volunteers

EFFINGHAM — The American Red Cross needs you. The organization is seeking to train local residents to run shelters in the event of a disaster.

    A Red Cross representative will be in Effingham Thursday presenting a “how-to” mass sheltering class informing residents from Effingham and surrounding communities how to manage their own shelters without assistance from the Red Cross.

    The class is in response to a shortage of Red Cross-trained volunteers who provide such services.

    It’s a problem Effingham County Emergency Management Agency Director Russ Thomas discovered when an ice storm blanketed the area early last year.

    Widespread power outages, some lasting a week or longer, prompted the need for a shelter, so Thomas turned to the Red Cross for assistance.

    But with no local chapter, the nearest help would have to come from St. Louis. Already overwhelmed by the storm that covered the entire midsection of the country, no one was available to help.

    So, a local shelter was set up in Effingham with some help from local Red Cross volunteer Sally Perles, who is trained for disasters and had some knowledge of shelters.

    Perles, who has been a volunteer since 2003, admitted finding well-trained volunteers is difficult.

    “If there’s a disaster, I grab my circle of friends,” she said.

    It’s a dilemma the organization is experiencing everywhere.

    “We need more volunteers,” said Perles. “The Red Cross is more than blood banks.”

    Perles does not recommend training people during a disaster or crisis, but rather ahead of time so a shelter can be set up more quickly and run more smoothly.

    The Red Cross has different levels of shelters. Thomas said the class would train people to open the lowest level of shelter without financial assistance from the Red Cross.

    “It would depend on donations or the local town,” he said.

    That’s why church groups, Perles and Thomas said, would be ideal for providing such shelters.

    Thomas noted the shelters would only provide short-term relief, lasting normally 24 hours to two days. The national Red Cross would step in if a shelter is needed longer in the event of a larger disaster, he added.

    Thomas said anyone can attend the one-time class and no requirements are necessary.

    The class is free and will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday at Effingham County Emergency Operations Center, located at 311 Miracle Ave. in Effingham. No preregistration is necessary.

    Similar classes, covering disaster service, shelter operations and client case work, for Red Cross volunteers will be held March 31 and April 14 at Effingham Central Fire Station, 505 W. Fayette Ave.

Text Only
Local News
  • Complex support divides council All indications at Tuesday’s special meeting of the Effingham City Council indicates Effingham Park District will not get the $1 million it is asking for to help build the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center.In fact, Mayor Merv Gillenwater

    July 30, 2014

  • Correction It was incorrectly reported in Saturday’s Effingham Daily News that federal sex crime suspect Nathan Maphis was at large. Maphis is being held in Madison County Jail. The newspaper erred. Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at bill.

    July 30, 2014

  • tony- community garden 2 Learning and growing together The installation of a Effingham Community Garden sign marks the growing success of a common place for Effingham residents to cultivate plants and produce.“We have 23 large plots and two small plots out here this year,” said University of Illinois Mas

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-30 kitchen fire pic Kitchen fire damages home An unattended kitchen stove led to a full-still fire call at 507 Park Hills Drive Tuesday afternoon.A passerby made a 911 call and reported visible smoke from the eaves of the home at 1:16 p.m. Arriving on scene, Effingham firefighters entered the ho

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man fatally shot in Pana standoff, officer wounded

    Illinois State Police(ISP) and Christian County Sheriff's Office are investigating a shooting that occurred on Tuesday, July 29, in rural Christian County that involved ISP SWAT, a Pana Police officer and an armed offender.

    July 29, 2014

  • City to determine contribution A request by Effingham Park District representatives for a million dollars to help construct the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center is being considered at a special Effingham City Council meeting this evening.Some commissioners questioned

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-29 Filming PRIMARY Effingham grad returns to make film Travis Long says he learned a lot from directing his first full-length feature several years ago.“Kill Me Now was a learning experience, both in shooting and distribution,” the 1998 Effingham High School graduate said.With a full production crew and

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • McCarter.jpg Some lawmakers donate pay

    Illinois lawmakers restoring their pay after years of furlough days has prompted some state representatives to give back to their communities — a move some local lawmakers call a political one.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Distance learning catching on in area

    In what appears to be a growing trend among rural school districts, a third area school district may join an existing academic cooperative.

    July 27, 2014

  • Joshua Robison.jpg Opinion: God doesn't care about party affiliation

    Reflecting on what we politely refer to in this country as “political discourse,” I am often struck by how convinced many people seem to be that their sides' specific policies and personalities are the only way to save us all from utter ruin.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.