The City of Duncan put out a call for volunteers within the community for inclement weather and the need of shelter services.
With the inclement weather passing through, those at the city encourage members of the community to pursue these volunteer opportunities.
Tera Mathis, CFM, Emergency Management Coordinator with the City of Duncan, said they had five people reply who would be interested in volunteering.
“When we set up a shelter, we need to operate it with five people per shift and each shift working an eight hour shift,” Mathis said. “Red Cross is a wonderful organization and they are always willing to help out with providing their trailer stocked full of cots and blankets for 300 people.”
As of the current situation, the city’s in need of local volunteers to help run a shelter during disasters.
“They currently have three people for this area, but at this time with COVID protocol they are not able to set up a congregate shelter,” Mathis said. “So the City and the County came together and decided we need to come up with a team that is shelter trained so we can set up when we have disasters or incidents.
“Currently the City of Duncan and the Stephens County employees are the ones setting up a warming station and are prepared to run a shelter if need be, but having a trained team would be much more beneficial,” Mathis said. “We look forward to putting together our team of volunteers and getting them trained.”
A release states, “the spirit and resilience of your fellow volunteers and the family you help is unforgettable.”
“Our Leadership Duncan graduates are always looking for opportunities to get involved or to give back to the community,” Mathis said. “So I thought starting there was a great place to start.”
As for many years, the Duncan Chamber of Commerce members and graduates of Leadership Duncan have provided opportunities for people to get involved and give back to the community.
For those looking to become volunteers, the process will involve four classes.
Three of the classes will consist of an online teaching and each take approximately one hour or less to complete and one class will be a three-hour class taught by a Red Cross representative.
According to a release, the city is looking to put a class together in a couple of weeks.
The registration process for volunteering would incorporate a background check and training.
For those who ultimately choose the volunteer opportunity, volunteers would be serving Duncan/Stephens County, but will have an additional opportunity available if they wish to deploy to other disaster areas and serve as well.
As a volunteer opportunity, there is no compensation for it.
Since COVID-19 began, the city has run into issues with restrictions when needing to provide shelters for people in need and they are looking at the next storm coming.
A release states the City still looks for options and assistance. They will still use the fairgrounds location, but they need to get more volunteers trained in shelter services for upcoming needs. The Red Cross is willing to train the Citizens of Stephens County to set up and run a shelter.
For those interested or have any questions or concerns, contact Chris Deal at the Duncan Chamber of Commerce or call 580-467-5371 or contact Tera Mathis, CFM, Emergency Management Coordinator with the City of Duncan at 580-251-7712 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of Tuesday, Feb. 16, the emergency warming station at the Stephens County Fairgrounds was scheduled to close at 6 p.m.