TAVARES — The Lake County Department of Community Services Volunteer Program will host a Disaster Management Volunteer Reception Center training on Saturday, Jan. 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lake County Fairgrounds, located at 2101 County Road 452, Eustis.
Open to the public, the volunteer reception center training is one of five scheduled for this year to prepare potential volunteers and local volunteers of community agencies, such as the American Red Cross and Salvation Army, for the upcoming hurricane season and other potential large-scale disasters.
The training will assist volunteers with understanding the protocol to setting up a volunteer reception center during a disaster. A volunteer reception center provides emergency managers a place where large numbers of volunteers can be efficiently processed and referred to agencies needing their services.
"We have seven counties that will be sending people to our training sessions," said Helena Osborne-Ponsi, Lake County Volunteer Coordinator.
During the upcoming training sessions, representatives from Citrus, Marion, Orange, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties are expected to attend. By having surrounding counties familiar with the volunteer reception center concept, government and community agencies in the region become better prepared to come to each other's aid during a disaster.
The training also assists agencies with being able to fully document and corroborate records of volunteer hours, define specific job duties for skilled volunteers, appropriately place more volunteers and provide a positive public perception of response and recovery efforts.
The Disaster Management Volunteer Reception will kick-off at 10 a.m. with health screenings, entertainment, exhibits from community agencies and volunteer recognitions from the Adopt-A-Roadway and Adopt-A-Park programs. For more information about the Disaster Management Volunteer Reception, call Helena Osborne-Ponsi at (352) 343-9771.