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Needed: Public Affairs Volunteers to Help Tell the Red Cross Story


Nationwide, the American Red Cross responds to an emergency every 8 minutes. That means a Red Cross volunteer mobilizes to make sure that a family is given the means to find shelter, food and clothing when they suddenly find themselves displaced.

Red Cross Public Affairs volunteers alert the media and our friends on social media that the Red Cross team is on the go, helping families to find their way back after the painful confusion that being displaced can bring. These highly trained volunteers work with local media as spokespersons during a large disaster, and send press releases and other information every time a Red Cross team is deployed. In doing so, we ensure that the community is notified when the Red Cross is in action.

These volunteers are also taught to tell the story in the digital space by posting to social media. Social media experts teach any new volunteers how to best leverage and post social media to again show the community when the Red Cross is on the move.

Volunteers work shifts – day, night or weekends, and are asked to volunteer at least 2 shifts per month.

An easy way to gain volunteer experience and hours, this volunteer capacity can also train you for working with the media.

Interested? Go to http://www.redcross.org/support/volunteer/opportunities#step1  Enter your zipcode, and select “Communications / PR” in the drop down menu.

Questions? Email frank.rutkowski@redcross.org


American Red Cross Disaster Institute Offers Training for Volunteers

The Southern Nevada chapter is holding its “Ready To Respond” Disaster Institute from October 9 – 27, offering one of the most comprehensive course schedules of American Red Cross training available in the country. From the protocols in opening a disaster shelter, to the way in which a chapter responds to a local disaster, these invaluable classes are offered so that the Red Cross can inform community members on how our operations work and to strengthen and grow our corps of volunteers.

In times of emergency, partner organizations work closely with the Red Cross, so these classes are important for those leaders too. The classes teach the way in which the Red Cross ramps up a disaster operation, what we do and how we do it, and the expectations that we deliver to the public. This knowledge not only trains our volunteers, but also allows other organizations to see how the Red Cross fits into the larger picture of a disaster response.

If you, or members of your organization would like to take these free classes, you can email sean.ward@redcross.org for more information. A course description is below.


Thursday, October 9 – Tuesday, October 21

Southern Nevada Chapter, Las Vegas, NV


Course Descriptions:

Bulk Distribution: Bulk Distribution Operations is an interactive course where participants engage in scenarios to learn how to apply the guidance covered in the Bulk Distribution Handbook. The handbook provides information and tools for use on disaster relief operations, chapter responses and in the classroom. Please note there are prerequisites for this class: Disaster Services: An Overview (DSO).

Chapter Response to Disaster: This course will orient disaster service volunteers to the chapter’s initial response mechanisms. You will learn the skill and tools needed to effectively respond to single family emergencies and initiate response on larger events.

Chapter Response to Aviation Disaster: This class serves as guidance, and describes how air carriers and Federal agencies should respond to an aviation accident involving a significant number of passenger fatalities and/or injuries. It also goes into the key points of the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act, 1996.

Collaborating Essentials: Collaborating Essentials is a basic level, instructor-led course designed to promote and support collaboration at the Red Cross. Participants will engage in discussions and scenarios to determine the different skills and behaviors required for building and maintaining internal and external relationships. The course emphasizes the role that collaboration plays in the successful delivery of disaster services.

Client Casework: Providing Emergency Assistance is a basic, instructor-led, video-supported course designed to train Red Cross caseworkers how to conduct effective client interviews and provide appropriate assistance to help meet a client’s immediate disaster-caused or disaster-aggravated needs.

Disaster Assessment Basics- Disaster Assessment Basics is an instructor-led, basic level course. The course encompasses the tasks and responsibilities of the Disaster Assessment activity on a disaster relief operation. The course includes a section on local disaster incidents, which may be customized by the instructor for a local disaster program. Please note there are pre-requisites for this course: Disaster Services: An Overview (DSO)

DSO: Disaster Services: An Overview is a basic level course that provides an introduction to Disaster Services at the American Red Cross. The course engages participants through integrated video and interactive activities.

Disaster Frontline Supervisor + Simulation: Disaster Frontline Supervisor (DFS) is an instructor-led, basic level course. Participants receive the Disaster Frontline Supervisor Handbook, which provides disaster relief operations supervisors with tools that support their success. The handbook is for use on operations and in the classroom. SIMULATION: The simulation builds on the information presented in the Disaster Frontline Supervisor (DFS) course. The simulation provides participants an opportunity to practice key supervisory skills and use the Disaster Frontline Supervisor Handbook as a resource. Please note there are prerequisites for this class: Applicants should have the training and experience equivalent to a Service associate in an activity in which she or he expects to become a supervisor.

Government Operations Fundamentals: The purpose of this basic Disaster Services course is to prepare Red Cross employees and volunteers who will be assigned to government emergency settings to work collaboratively with Red Cross partners, helping to ensure a coordinated response that results in effective service delivery. Please note there are prerequisites for this class: Sufficient operations knowledge and experience to provide a functional understanding of the concepts, principles and procedures associated with disaster assessment, sheltering, feeding, the provision of individual assistance and the basics of operations management needed to participate adequately in the discussions and activities contained in this course.

ERV: Ready, Set, Roll: The course provides participants with the opportunity to learn about and use an emergency response vehicle (ERV) and all related equipment. To attend the ERV orientation and take the road test, the following are required: Completion of the first session of the ERVs: Ready, Set, Roll self-study or instructor-led training and course review. Must be at least 21 years of age. A valid driver’s license. A clean driving record, verified by a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To be eligible to drive an ERV, the following are required: ERVs: Ready, Set, Roll course certificate (sessions one and two) Current certifications in First Aid and CPR Successful completion of an American Red Cross approved defensive driving course. Successful completion of the online course, Basic Food Safety.

Financial & Statistical Information Management is a basic level instructor-led course designed to provide the operational procedures and tasks associated with Financial and Statistical Information Management. Please note there are pre-requisites for this class: Disaster Services: An Overview (DSO)

Fundamentals of Disaster Assessment: The purpose of this course is to introduce the critical role of Disaster Assessment, explore related preparedness tasks, learn how to collect and communicate disaster assessment information, and become familiar with how disaster assessment information supports management and service delivery decisions.

Health Services Response Workshop: Health Services Response Workshop is a basic level, instructor-led course. It introduces licensed health professionals to the roles and responsibilities of a Disaster Health Services volunteer when working on behalf of the American Red Cross to meet the disaster-related health needs of clients. Course activities provide participants an opportunity to apply their professional knowledge, experience and critical thinking abilities to the work-related challenges experienced by Red Cross workers who provide immediate assistance to clients in the aftermath of a disaster.

International Humanitarian Law: Introduction to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is intended to raise awareness among Red Cross representatives and general audiences about the Geneva Conventions, the basic rules of international humanitarian law, and the role of the Red Cross during armed conflict to implement IHL. Through a hands-on approach utilizing group activities, class discussion and multiple audiovisual aids, this newly-updated course invites participants to reflect on their images and perceptions of armed conflict and explore the powerful and fundamental concept of human dignity even in the midst of the excesses of war.

Logistics Overview: Logistics: An Overview is an instructor-led, basic level course designed to give participants an overview of the Logistics group and the activities associated with it. Participants will learn about the skills, abilities and knowledge needed by Logistics workers and how they can become involved in their local chapter.

Mass Casualties Disaster: Mass Casualty Disasters is an instructor-led, basic level course that combines a series of presentations and class discussions using real-world examples to explore the four types of mass casualty disasters and the planning and response role of the American Red Cross as part of an overall community response. This interactive learning experience culminates in a simulation of a mass casualty event where participants form teams, representing a Red Cross chapter, and must make decisions during the first 24 hours following the disaster event.

Psychological First Aid: Psychological First Aid is an instructor-led, basic level course. It provides a framework for understanding the factors that affect stress responses in disaster relief workers and the clients they serve. Participants engage in practice exercises and complete a self-review questionnaire.

Public Affairs Workshop: The purpose of this course is to examine the scope and responsibilities of the Public Affairs activity, in order to provide a framework in which to apply your public affairs knowledge, skills and experience on disaster relief operations.

Safe and Well Linking: Overview: Safe and Well Linking Overview is a basic, instructor-led course that details how chapters process welfare inquiries and outlines Safe and Well Linking activities on a disaster relief operation. It provides an overview of activity tools, the Safe and Well neighborhood, Safe and Well website and the Call Contact Capture System.

Shelter Fundamentals: Shelter Fundamentals is a basic level course that introduces the guidelines and procedures for setting up, running and closing a shelter during a disaster. Referencing shelter checklists, participants will work on a case study that takes them through four of the six phases of the Sheltering Cycle: Opening, Organizing, Operating and Closing.

Shelter Management: Shelter Management is an instructor-led, basic level course that introduces the roles, responsibilities and tasks of the shelter manager. Using the Sheltering Handbook, participants will work through a case study that takes them through four of the six phases of the Sheltering Cycle: Opening, Organizing, Operating and Closing. The Sheltering Handbook provides the guidance for Red Cross shelter operations and serves as the main resource for the course. A video of Red Cross shelter managers talking about their experiences is incorporated into the course. Please note there are prerequisites for this class Red Cross Employees and Volunteers:

Red Cross Partners: • Disaster Frontline Supervisor, Must hold a supervisory role within their organization • Disaster Frontline Supervisor Simulation, Disaster Services Overview (DSO) • Shelter Fundamentals and  Basic food Safety.

Service Delivery Site Management- Service Delivery Site Management is an instructor-led, advanced level course designed to give the participants the knowledge and skills needed to run a service delivery site during a disaster. This course includes lecture, table group exercises and a half-day simulation of a disaster to test the participants’ knowledge of opening, maintaining and closing a service delivery site. Please note there are pre-requisites for this course: • Disaster Frontline Supervisor • Disaster Frontline Supervisor Simulation .

Weapons of Mass Destruction: Weapons of Mass Destruction/Terrorism: An Overview is an instructor-led, basic level course designed to create an awareness of the complex response issues and concerns associated with a weapons of mass destruction/terrorism (WMD/T) incident. This learning experience consists of a series of presentations designed to share information and generate thought-provoking, interactive discussions that orient participants to the real-world considerations of WMD/T planning and response.


You can download the flyer with the class schedule here:




We Need Your Help To Make 100,000 Disaster Relief Kits


The American Red Cross has partnered with Clean the World and Sands Cares  to build 100,000 disaster relief hygiene kits and we need your help to hit our target.  The goal of the One Project is to show that every single person can make a positive impact on the life of another. Sometimes it is the creature comforts and necessities found in the hygiene kits that will give someone the strength to pull themselves up after a disaster.

Knowing that these kits were all made by hand lets them know there are people out there who care.  We would love to have you join us on September 20th or 21st at The Venetian hotel as we work together to create kits that will be used not only locally but will also be distributed across the country to people in need. Lets show the nation just how much Las Vegas cares! Come fill bags with soap, shampoo and lotion or connect your heart to theirs and spend the day writing inspirational cards. You never know when disaster will strike and it is the little things that can make the biggest difference. All it takes is two hours of your time,  chick here to register for your shift today!

Check out the video for more information.

Can’t make the event but want to show your support go ahead and click that donate button right here -> 


Red Cross “Ready to Respond” Disaster Institute In Full Swing




The Southern Nevada chapter has been pretty busy the last weeks before our Disaster Institute started last week. Preparation of student packets, projectors, signage, scheduling instructors… it’s all led up to 10 days of classes scheduled from 8am to 10pm every day.

Volunteers have come in to teach our new volunteers the skills that they’ll need responding to disaster and how to set up a disaster operation.

That training came in handy this summer when Red Cross volunteers set up a 2 week disaster response to our local wildfires on the Spring Mountain range. This was followed by a neighborhood evacuation following a severe storm.

American Red Cross volunteers and staff are trained the same curriculum around the country so that, when a group come together to respond to a large disaster event such as Superstorm Sandy, everyone will have the same knowledge on how all procedures are carried out.

This valuable training is only available at your local Red Cross chapter, and anyone is welcome.  If you have questions about this, or upcoming Institutes, call 702- 531-0228.



Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service 2013!


2013-01-22 UPDATE: Over 250 people participated in our MLK Day of Service! Thank you to all our community partners who made it such a great success! Go here to learn more!

It’s the time of year when the Red Cross and area organizations unite to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by spreading the word of Fire Safety.

Monday, January 21, 2013, we need your help in canvassing 4 local neighborhoods to spread the word of fire prevention. Groups will be going out from 4 area firehouses from 1p – 4p that day:

Central Las Vegas—City of Las Vegas Fire Station 5, 1020 Hinson St. (W. Charleston & Hinson)
E. Desert Inn—Clark County Fire Station 33, 865 E. Desert Inn (Desert Inn & Swenson)
Central / North Las Vegas—North Las Vegas Fire Station 51, 2626 E. Carey (Carey & Daley)
Henderson—Henderson Fire Station 94, 400 Valle Verde (Valle Verde and Warm Springs)

Everyone aged 12 and up are invited to participate. This is a great way for your family, school, faith based group or organization to get involved in helping your community.  Go here to register and download a poster for your workplace!


Americorp Positions Available at the Southern Nevada Red Cross

The Southern Nevada Chapter has been granted three AmeriCorp National Preparedness and Response Corp Program (A*NPRC) Members!

We are currently taking applications until August 3rd, 2012.  We will have two members working in disaster core and one member working in volunteer services.  The start date for these positions is August 20, 2012.  Below is a job description for an A*NPRC Member, along with its benefits.

If you are interested in becoming a member please apply through the following link: http://www.americorps.gov/for_individuals/ready/index.asp

Search for “Disaster Relief” in “Nevada” and look for the Las Vegas NPRC program.

Any questions about the position please contact Erika Taggart at Erika.taggart@redcross.org

Members of the National Preparedness & Response Corps will: 

• Provide age-appropriate and culturally aware community disaster education presentations in high-risk areas with a goal of increasing awareness and knowledge of disasters and other emergencies while influencing behavior change in service recipients.
• Respond on national, regional and local disaster relief operations.
• Serve as members of a Disaster Action Team.
• Recruit, train, mentor and actively engage volunteers in chapter programs and services.
• Assist with response readiness, including shelter and vendor agreement management.
• Conduct extensive community outreach campaigns and serve as key representatives at community events.
• Develop community contacts, network with local agencies and be a positive ambassador for the American Red Cross and the National Preparedness & Response Corps.


• Willing to make an 11 month commitment (beginning on August 20, 2012) and complete 1700 hours of service.
• At least 18 years of age by the start of the program.
• A U.S. Citizen, U.S. National or lawful permanent resident alien of the U.S.
• Minimum, high school diploma or GED. College degree highly desired.
• Current valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.
• Previous successful experience working with diverse populations.
• At least one year of volunteer or community service experience.
• Excellent organizational skills.
• Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.
• Excellent public speaking skills.
• Ability to be deployed on national, regional and local disaster relief operations lasting three weeks.
• Demonstrated professionalism, flexibility and initiative.
• Team-oriented.
• Spanish, ASL, and/or Tagalog a plus.

Program Benefits
• $14,000 living stipend for 11 months of service.
• Upon successful completion of the program, eligible for an education award in the amount of $5,550.
• Health insurance provided. Childcare available if eligible.

The 2012 Summer Newsletter is Out…!

You all can stop holding your breath. The 2012 Summer Newsletter will hit mailboxes next week. But you, gentle volunteers of Southern Nevada, get VIP treatment by seeing it here on your blog first. Membership has its privileges…

Go to the Newsletter tab above, or follow this link https://redcrosslasvegas.wordpress.com/chapter-newsletters/ and click on the 2012 Summer pdf link

We’ll start compiling soon for our next newsletter, and we’re always looking for content on our blogs. So if you have a story, interest, Red Cross story, photo, or anything you’d like to share with your fellow Red Crossers, let us know!

On behalf of all of us, have a safe and happy Summer!

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