Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Being Prepared!

Prince George's Disaster Action Team Calls for More Volunteers

By Jessica McEntee, Communication Intern

Lennox Jones channels the Red Cross value of preparedness. As the volunteer Disaster Action Team Coordinator in Prince George's County, he's currently looking for even more volunteers to help staff his busy team.

A Disaster Action Team (DAT) is the first response to calls requesting Red Cross assistance. Comprised entirely of volunteers, the team is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Currently, sub-teams that should be filled with 12 to 14 volunteers are working with only 2 to 2 volunteers. Prince George's County is frequently affected by home fires and had over 85 Red Cross fire responses in the last year alone. Despite their passion to help others, Lennox's understaffed team is feeling the effects.

"The greater need of families in distress propels me to move forward even when my body tells me I'm too tired," says Lennox, whose calling on county residents to join the Red Cross movement.

There's a need to not just respond to the daily response, like home fires, but to be prepared for larger events as well. Lennox wants to use this time to train new volunteers for large-scale disasters. 

"One of the things I love is going out to help families," says Lennox.

Lennox says that he decided to get involved with the Red Cross in order to do something more with his life after retiring from George Washington University. He always had a desire to get involved in emergency management and response, so, in 2013, he joined the Red Cross as a volunteer DAT responder in Prince George's County. He was recently promoted as the team's Coordinator. 

Lately, Lennox's teams has been short on manpower and he's hoping for more volunteers to help out.

"We're looking for people whose desire to help surpasses their desire to be comfortable," says Lennox.

It also happens to be a great time to get involved since March is Red Cross Month! If you're interested in volunteering in Prince George's County for the Red Cross Disaster Action Team, please contact CHNCRVolunteerEngagement@redcross.org or call 703.584.8444. 

Any contribution helps!

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