Salvation Army to Hold Training for Disaster Volunteers

The Salvation Army in Toccoa will be training new volunteers to become Emergency Disaster Team members next Wednesday and Thursday at the Toccoa Salvation Army Center at 306 East Franklin Street.

There will be a full day training on Wednesday and a half day on Thursday. Rebecca Dixon of the Salvation Army of Toccoa explains the training. “There are three classes that allow people to be a volunteer in disaster training. We are going to offer all three in Toccoa, that is unusual to be brought to us, and we are inviting you to first be a part of our disaster team. Now if that is something that you can’t quite wrap your head around yet, we are still offering the classes. On Wednesday morning it is an introduction to The Salvation Army and Emergency Disaster Response Team, serve lunch, and then the afternoon will be Safe from Harm and that is protecting our children. That training could be very vital for folks that are needing some credentialing. Thursday morning is How to Serve Food Safely. These are geared toward serving in a disaster, but it doesn’t mean that a person can’t come and see what is going on before they make a commitment to serving in a disaster.”

Dixon says the Emergency Disaster teams serve a vital role. “Absolutely, last summer I went to New Orleans to serve on our behalf, and it was a very emotionally charged 14 days. In the Toccoa, Northeast Georgia area we haven’t had anyone serve in a number of years beside me doing it last summer. What would be so wonderful is to have a team. You can respond to a disaster that may be a one-day disaster like when the hurricanes came through and hit the Eastanollee and Toccoa area and over into Seneca. That would have been an appropriate time to set up a canteen maybe at the Wal-Mart parking lot for all of the Georgia Power people. We serve food to the survivors of a natural disaster, but also to the emergency workers.”

The Salvation Army provides all training, transportation, food, credentials, and covers all expenses. Dixon says the volunteers receive even more when they serve.” It is amazing, the Salvation Army offers all of the support for disaster victims for free. There you are in a position to offer a cold bottle of water or hot meal because someone needs it, or you or there to say okay, alright, God loves you. This is a tough time, but we will be right here. For you to be able to do that under the auspices of an agency that knows what they are doing in a disaster is an amazing experience.”

Dixon encourages listeners to sign up for the volunteer training by this Monday and what you’ll need to sign up. “You’ll need a registration and that is through the website https://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/. Then you will come back to that website under train in the drop down, choose the state of Georgia, and it is the first three classes on the screen. Once you click the button, I’m notified and then I can approve the registration so you can come. In order to serve on a team then there also requires an application and background screening, but for these classes the registration is open to anyone that is interested.”

For more information or questions about the training, email Rebecca.dixon@uss.salvationarmy.org or call 706-886-5293.