Citadel cadets undergo Red Cross training ahead of Hurricane Irma

Citadel cadets undergo Red Cross training ahead of Hurricane Irma

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Red Cross volunteers, including Citadel cadets, are being trained in case they are needed to respond to Hurricane Irma.

"There's always a need if we open up every shelter in the Lowcountry or every shelter in South Carolina we're going to need help," Red Cross Lowcountry Disaster Program Manager Kristopher Barnette said

With the emergency response training, cadets could work alongside Red Cross volunteers.

With South Carolina going into a state of emergency, the Red Cross is starting to line up its volunteers.

"We've already started a call down to get our 600 volunteers that are in the Lowcountry to find out what their availability is," Barnette said.

Barnette said they are also calling back some volunteers from Texas where they were working on Hurricane Harvey recovery.

"We had deployed roughly 91 people from South Carolina to Texas to help out with Hurricane Harvey and some have been brought back," Barnette said.

With a constant need for volunteers and a possible hurricane having a Lowcountry impact, cadets are eager to step up and help.

"I can't wait. It's going to be awesome. It can either be really hectic and busy which is okay. Here at the Citadel we're under pressure all the time so we can handle it," said Cadet Matt Salazar.

Salazar said being able to give back to the community was his key motivator for wanting to get disaster training.

"The people are genuinely nice and if I can just for a few days, even give back to them and make them feel comfortable, if I can make them feel like that then hey I'm taking an opportunity to do that," Salazar said.

"This is helping their community," Barnette said. "It's keeping people safe before the storm and helping recover after the storm."

The Red Cross have trainings year-round to always stay prepared.

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