The American Red Cross relies on the power of volunteers to be able to respond to disasters 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Mohawk Valley Chapter – which serves Oneida, Herkimer, Otsego, and Delaware counties – is called to an average of 100 home fires and other local disasters annually. Volunteers work in teams of two or more to answer the call and provide relief in the form of shelter, financial assistance and emotional support to help their neighbors when they need it most.


“Home fires and flooding have deeply affected Oneida and Herkimer counties, so we are preparing our people and our resources to ensure that disaster relief remains immediately available to those in need,” said Mallory Brown, Executive Director, American Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley. “We want to build capacity now, before another disaster strikes. If you have ever had an interest in responding to disasters in your community, I encourage you to consider becoming a Red Cross Disaster Responder this year.”


To make volunteer opportunities with the Red Cross more accessible, the Mohawk Valley Chapter will hold a three-week Disaster University in February at their chapter office in Utica:


American Red Cross Disaster University
November 7, 14, 21, 2019

American Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley

125 Business Park Drive, Suite 110, Utica, NY


Orientation 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Training 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM


An orientation session will be offered from 4:30 PM to 5:00 PM each night of the training for volunteers who are new to the Red Cross. At the Disaster University, new volunteers will begin all the on-boarding, orientation, and training necessary to start their journey as a Disaster Action Team member or Disaster Responder. Course offerings include classes like Disaster Cycle Services: An Overview and Collaborating Essentials. While it is not required to attend all three sessions to begin as a volunteer, it is highly recommended as each night will include different trainings. Disaster Action Team members cover on-call shifts to provide relief to victims of local home fires and other emergencies. Disaster Responders are trained to do things like open shelters and provide canteen services during large-scale disasters.


To join a Disaster Action Team or be a Disaster Responder, volunteers must be at least 18 years old with a cell phone, email address, driver’s license, reliable transportation and a desire to help people in need. No experience is necessary, but those familiar with emergency services or fire scenes are especially encouraged to join. All training, including the three-week Disaster University, is provided free of charge.


To learn more and to register for Disaster University, please call/text Mallory Brown at (315) 733-4666 or email Registrations are preferred but walk-ins are welcome. Those that are interested in volunteer opportunities but unable to attend Disaster University may visit


About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit



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