Cole County Prepares for Earthquakes
COLE COUNTY - Members from Solid Rock Church voluntereed to have pretend "broken limbs and illnesses" for a day as the Capital Area Chapter American Red Cross practiced its earthquake disaster shelter Thursday. Red Cross volunteers practiced several scenarios including treating and transporting the sick and wounded, acquiring proper medication, communicating with officials through a HAM radio, and giving people a place to eat and sleep.
Red Cross volunteer Steve Stacey has helped real victims from 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina. He said the training scenario helps new volunteers get hands-on experience. Church members served as victims for the day with name tags listing their broken leg, pregnancy, or hunger.
Joe Betros has only been working with a HAM radio for 15 years, a novice in his mind. The HAM radio is a device considered crucial in saving many lives during disasters that knock out phone lines and the Internet. The community went through a real scenario in the winter when the area received snow and ice knocking out power to many homes.
About 200 people participated in the mock disaster. Current volunteers said the Red Cross always welcomes more people to lend a hand.