Volunteers spend hours assessing disaster drills

The Texas Panhandle Red Cross Chapter posed a simulated tornado outbreak for its volunteers to assess.

The Texas Panhandle American


Cross Chapter says "too much" isn't something that applies to its volunteers.

Disaster Volunteer Shannon Jones said, "Their motto is always being prepared, so you're always training to be prepared."

To prepare volunteers for statewide disasters, the chapter set up exercise drills that help test their ability to respond in real life scenarios.


ones sa

id, she was 15 years old when she began to volunteer at the American Red Cross. She said whether a drill or real life -- she takes every aspect of her job serious, because to her it's personal.



y family had a house fire

," Jones said.


Cross came through and helped us, and got us situated."

Disaster Program Manager Brady Christian said, accurate assessments of impacted homes are crucial. "They dictate the proper resources we have to use for every individual family," Christian said.

The chapter

placed pictures throughout a downtown neighborhood

, indicating different levels of a tornado outbreak. Groups evaluated each picture, and brought back a final assessment. During the evaluation, the groups compared their answers. According to Christian, the evaluation is key.

"We review to make sure everyone is on the same page," Christian said. "You really want to get out there as a team and discuss so that it's more of a real life situation."

The next disaster exercise will cover wildfires.