TAVARES — The last volunteer disaster training courses scheduled in March is set for Wednesday, March 29, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Astor County Library, located at 54905 Alco Road.
Open to the public, the volunteer reception center training, hosted by the Lake County Department of Community Services Volunteer Program, helps 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.
“This training course is especially important to coordinate the volunteer efforts of the community of Astor as well as nearby communities in the counties of Flagler, Marion and Volusia,” said Helena Osborne-Ponsi, Lake County Volunteer Coordinator.
The training course teaches volunteers the protocol for 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.
A volunteer reception center 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 timely response and recovery efforts.
Representatives from other local agencies, such as the Lake County chapter of Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), the Lake County Sheriff’s Office volunteer program and the Lake County Health Department Medical Reserve Corp, will be present at the training course to inform the community of their volunteering opportunities.
For more information about the Disaster Management Volunteer Reception training courses, call Helena Osborne-Ponsi at (352) 343-9771.