Officials hold damage assessment training drill

Officials hold damage assessment training drill

• Red Cross across Oklahoma joined with North Texas Red Cross units to hold a detailed damage assessment in the Shawnee area on March 2.

• With the drill, there were 60 “damaged or destroyed homes” in the Westside Neighborhood Watch area. Della Hutton, president was glad for her group to volunteer because it would better prepare families in their neighborhood for possible disaster.

• Red Cross and Pottawatomie County disaster teams along with members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Services were assigned the job of evaluating the disaster. A total of 25 persons took part in the exercise.

• According to Don Lynch, Pottawatomie County emergency management - the two groups working together will maximize effort should the need for such an assessment.

• The volunteers met at the Shawnee office for a short briefing by Susan Morris, disaster coordinator, on what to look for and how to fill out the forms. “

“Damage assessment is not difficult,” Morris told the volunteers. “It’s a matter of comparing the damaged home criteria relating to damage.

• Butch Lutomski, Pottawatomie County Disaster Team leader, added information pertinent to his volunteers. Jesse Tipton, Red Cross volunteer, gave some final instructions.

• Then, out to look for the yard signs, each of which contained a photo taken from Red Cross files showing the damage they were to record and other information they might need. One house, for example, had a note that residents were using their bare hands to remove debris; that prompted the volunteers to call in and request that gloves and shovels be sent to the site.