First aid trainer Warren Turner and first aid rep with the Red Cross Hilary Wells demonstrate how to resuscitate a person during the Red Cross Are You Ready? Preparedness event in Kelowna Saturday. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

More volunteers needed for Red Cross disaster relief

The non-profit held a preparedness event today in Kelowna

As Kelowna heads into its annual flooding and fire season, the Canadian Red Cross is making sure residents are prepared.

The Are You Ready? Preparedness event was held Saturday, May 5 and allowed participants to see how to plan for emergencies and sign up to volunteer with the non-profit.

Liam Devine, disaster management coordinator for the Southern Interior, said Red Cross is hoping to gather around 600 more volunteers this season in B.C.

“They’ve realized there are some gaps that need to be filled,” he said. In Kelowna, Devine said there are roughly 25 volunteers in disaster management and 15 in the health equipment and loan program. Volunteers are needed primarily in the South and North Okanagan.

Red Cross’s disaster management, water safety and prevention, first aid and the health equipment and loan programs were on site at the non-profit’s location on Adams Road. Free hot dogs and activities were also available for families.

“It’s really to raise awareness ahead of disaster season and also ahead of boating season to get people prepared for emergencies,” said Devine.

The event kick starts Emergency Preparedness Week, which runs from May 6 to 12.

“We wanted to have the event ahead of time this year so people are aware of the risks in the area,” said Devine.

He offered three tips for residents to prepare for disasters: knowing the risks in the area near you’re home, having a family plan and getting an emergency preparedness kit together.

The event runs from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. today. Evacuation alerts have already been issued in the Central Okanagan this week due to flooding.

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