Havre, March 11, 2013 — Disasters happen. They can happen at any time and in any community. And when they do, Montana Red Cross needs to be ready to help. To prepare, the organization, in collaboration with Montana Campus Compact,  is calling on local residents to sign up as volunteers and train as disaster responders in time for its next training institute in Havre.

“Although we already have 23 disaster response teams across the state, we need to add more volunteers to those teams and launch a few new teams so that we can always respond in a timely fashion when emergencies occur,” says Allison Hupp, Chief Operating Officer at Montana Red Cross. “This is especially important with flood and wildfire seasons just around the corner,” she adds.

While disaster response is at the center of the Red Cross’s mission, it is just part of the many services which Red Cross provides. During FY 2012 alone, Montana Red Cross accomplished the following with the help and support of their volunteers and donors:


  • assisted 646 community members/families affected by fires and other disasters;
  • opened 20 shelters and served 11,075 meals and 9970 snacks to Montanans affected by floods and wildfires
  • helped 1,339 Montanans prepare for emergencies with their Get Ready, Montana preparedness workshops;
  • distributed 43,045 units of lifesaving blood to 30 hospitals across the state;
  • provided pre-deployment briefings to 2,126 military families;
  • provided 778 other services to members of the military, veterans and their families, including emergency communications with service members on active deployment;
  • Taught 29,282 Montanans lifesaving skills through Red Cross first aid and other training courses.

The Get Ready Montana/Ready Campus Disaster Training Institute is a collaboration between Montana Campus Compact and American Red Cross of Montana to help prepare Montanans for disaster both on and off campus. It is funded in part by the Corporation for National & Community Service, through a 9/11 National Day of Service & Remembrance grant.

Montana Red Cross’ Disaster Training Institute on March 23-24 will prepare participants in two ways:

(1)   They will learn the necessary skills to prepare for and mitigate the impact of disasters on their families;

(2)  Additional disaster response training will qualify participants to become Red Cross volunteers and help their communities during disasters such as house fires, wildfires, winter storms, and floods.

“Anyone who is considering joining Montana Red Cross should do so now, to take advantage of our free training institute,” says Hupp. She adds that anyone can join the Red Cross, and hopes to also welcome members ofMontana’s tribal nations at the Havre training. “Montana Red Cross has a long history of working with the tribal nations to help protect their members when disaster strikes. We want to build on that history at our training this month. ”

To register, new volunteers can go to montanaredcross.org and complete the online registration form. For additional information, they can call 1-800-1-800-ARC-MONT ( 1-800-272-6668) and ask for disaster training. Participants need to plan to be in attendance on both days when registering for the program. Free training materials, food and snacks will be provided.

To make a financial donation to American Red Cross to help people affected by house fires and/or other disasters here in Montana, in the United States and around the world, visit http://www.montanaredcross.org, call 1-800-ARC-MONT (1-800-272-6668), or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

 About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.