Youth members check out a Red Cross disaster response vehicle .
Youth members check out a fully equipped Red Cross disaster response vehicle.

by Lexi Myrie, Red Cross Club President, University of High School

Many things are taken in a disaster; not all of them tangible.  Financial security, memories, peace of mind; these are the hardest to replace.  But, at the Red Cross, we make it our goal to help these families. The Disaster Response and Recovery services that the American Red Cross offers to families are invaluable. From offering a place to stay to providing mental health support, the Red Cross helps disaster clients take the first steps toward rebuilding their lives.

On March 22, at the  LA Region headquarters and Greater Long Beach Chapter, nearly 20 volunteers from around the Los Angeles Region attended the first-ever disaster training day held specifically to teach youth volunteers about Disaster Services and the Disaster Action Team (DAT).

There, we were not only introduced to the DAT program, we were also able to watch real calls from the fire department to the Red Cross to respond to home fires and see the relief brought by the Red Cross.  After the presentations, we were shown one of the DAT vehicles and the supplies given to the victims. We also had a yummy lunch provided by the Pasadena Whole Foods.

Since most of us are under 18-years-old, we are not able to participate in a DAT call for at least a year.  However, being certified at a younger age has only sparked my interest in disaster relief.  Hearing personal stories and experiences from our trainers made the impact the American Red Cross makes even more real for me.  After the event, we were left inspired to do our part to bring a little back to those who have lost everything.  I truly hope these youth trainings continue informing future DAT members to make a difference for years to come.



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