06/03/07 — Disaster volunteers sought

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Disaster volunteers sought

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on June 3, 2007 2:00 AM

With hurricane season looming, state officials are seeking medical and non-medical volunteers to be of assistance.

Any North Carolina resident willing to volunteer in the event of a disaster is encouraged to register through an Internet-based registry called SERVNC, the N.C. Office of Emergency Medical Services announced this week.

It is important to have a base of volunteers to draw from in the event of a disaster, said Drexdal Pratt, chief of OEMS. A roster of volunteers helps in mobilizing manpower on short notice, he said.

Registration takes no more than 15 minutes, officials said. The address is www.servnc.org. In addition to providing such contact information as deployment preferences, medical history, occupation and skills, registrants may request to join a team already listed on SERVNC.

In the event of an emergency the system will electronically check the volunteers' medical credentials, send a message via e-mail, telephone or pager, and provide notification of all mission specific information and instructions for accepting or declining the mission.

"We're anticipating a strong response," Pratt said. "We live in a state where hurricanes can affect the mountains and the coast, and where tornadoes have torn through communities. This registry will provide the backup our first responders will need in the event of a disaster or emergency."