Lt. Adolf Aguirre and Salvation Army volunteers provide relief for survivors of Hurricane Harvey in Driscoll, Texas, in August 2017.

On Thursday morning, National Public Radio reported, “Hurricane Dorian is predicted to hit Florida and the northern Bahamas this weekend as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, bringing intense rains and sustained winds of 130 mph.”

It is frustrating to see disasters coming and not know what you can do. YOU can make a real difference for survivors whenever disasters hit.

Over the last three years, our local Salvation Army unit has deployed teams to comfort and care for disaster survivors in Texas, Georgia and Florida. We’re holding a training session at the PATH Foundation in Warrenton from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 11 to equip new volunteers who would like to help in time of need.

We selected Sept. 11 because after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, The Salvation Army was the lead agency that provided meals to survivors and first responders. We will continue or commitment to serving those in crisis through this training and, if needed, sending teams to assist future survivors this hurricane season.

Our “Introduction to Disaster Services” course provides participants with an overview of The Salvation Army’s mission and its role in disaster work.

Organizations that provide disaster services to their communities often rely on their teams of knowledgeable volunteers in order to assist affected families and communities. If you think this might be something you are interested in, come join in this informal training session and explore the opportunities.

Attending this class does not obligate you to become a volunteer with The Salvation Army. However, if you are interested in becoming a disaster volunteer, this class is a requirement prior to serving.

Light snacks will be provided. Please RSVP to Yina.Caver@uss.salvationarmy.org.

The PATH Foundation is located at 321 Walker Drive, No. 301, in Warrenton.

Participants will be provided with the Introduction to Disaster Services—The Salvation Army training handbook

The course’s Instructor, Rebecca Chestnutt, has managed disaster services programs for over two decades. Beginning her career as a disaster volunteer, she is intimately familiar with the wide range of roles that volunteers can serve in to assist their communities to recover from a disaster.

Lt. Jared Martin is the commanding officer of The Salvation Army of the Virginia Piedmont, which serves Culpeper, Orange and Fauquier counties.

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