American Red Cross hosts annual shelter exercise - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

American Red Cross hosts annual shelter exercise

(Source: KWES) (Source: KWES)
ODESSA, TX (KWES) -

When there's any kind of disaster throughout the Permian Basin, the Red Cross will almost surely be there. 

But they don't just show up and know what they're doing, they've got to go through training like everyone else.

The American Red Cross of the Permian Basin held their shelter training Friday as old and new volunteers gathered together at the Ector County Coliseum to learn what the pros do in emergency situations. 

This is a yearly showcase for the Red Cross and they said they want people to know that when they are having the worst time of their lives, they can rely on them to be a bright light in a dark situation. 

"We want to make sure when they come into our shelter, that they feel welcomed and they feel the compassion and care that we have for them," said Red Cross Executive Director Tracy Austin. "So we want to make sure that everything is in place so that there's not a lot of confusion, there's no chaos, that everybody knows what their job is and they know what to do in order to take care of the people who need their help."

The Red Cross said the training exercise is not just for the public, but allows them to examine their own team to see if any of their members need improvement.

"We're always looking to improve on anything really," said Shelter Manager Aaron Gomez. "So these training exercises we just come together and we train in just different areas of sheltering and after we're done training, we do an after-action report and we kind of just discuss what went wrong. We're always looking for improvements so it's best to get that criticism about exactly what we need to improve on."

They plan for everything, but here in the Basin, they're especially preparing for tornadoes, flooding, wildfires and much more. 

If you want to join or help the Red Cross, you can find out how to here.

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