Source: The Corydon Democrat

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Group learns about damage assessment

by Alan Stewart

March 04, 2014

More than 20 people took part in an American Red Cross Disaster Services training session at First Capital Christian Church in Corydon Saturday morning.

The session, which lasted about 2-1/2 hours, focused on proper training for damage assessment of homes involved in natural weather-related disasters to determine the type and amount of aid the Red Cross should provide.

Paul Kern, the regional direct service manager for the Red Cross, conducted the training and was assisted by Mary Mour.

"Have any of you ever gone out and looked at your house for damage after a storm? Yes? Congratulations, you've done disaster assessment," Kern said to the prospective volunteers.

Kern, who lives seven miles north of Palmyra, said the Red Cross only does assessments on homes and living spaces, with volunteers recording what has happened, what is happening and what might happen.

"We want to know what happened as a result of a storm or flood, is there still a current threat and what could happen if the issue is not taken care of," Kern said.

After going through the two types of assessments — flood and non-flood — and the paperwork they would be using, participants were given the opportunity to test themselves using photographs from prior events. Using clear definitions of the different types of damage, homes and apartments were deemed to have been either affected by a disaster or received minor or major damage, or have been destroyed.

"A number of our people wanted to help when the tornadoes hit Pekin and Henryville two years ago," Vince Garmon, First Capital Christian's minister of Connections, said. "We at First Capital are already partnering with the Red Cross as a shelter and this made perfect sense to do."