March is Red Cross Month, and there are several events coming up to recognize the nation's everyday heroes who reach out to help their neighbors when they are in need.

"Our heroes are our volunteers, people who take our classes or those who make a financial contribution to help us help others here in northwest Louisiana," says American Red Cross Executive Director Reid Brau. "During Red Cross Month, we thank them and encourage everyone to discover their inner hero by giving time to help people in our community."

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters of all sizes in this country every year. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families - in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collects and distributes about 40-percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains millions of people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills.

In 2013, the Northwest Louisiana Chapter of the Red Cross helped 188 local families (923 clients) affected by single home fires. Around 1,000 communications and services were provided by the Services to Armed Forces department. And more than 10,000 were helped by the Health and Safety department through first aid and CPR classes, aquatics training, Health Fairs, flu and pneumonia vaccine clinics and more.

"Red Cross Month is also a great time for people to become part of the Red Cross. It’s easy," says Brau. "They can become a Red Cross volunteer, take a Red Cross class or work on a preparedness plan for their household."

Red Cross Month events for the Northwest Louisiana Chapter:

Saturday, March 8th Disaster Simulation
The North Louisiana Region of the Red Cross (Northwest, Northeast, and Central Louisiana Chapters) will be hosting a simulation event to help prepare volunteers for disaster response. New volunteers welcome. Call Anne Antoniou at (318) 865-9545 for more information.

9 am-noon, 425 Bolton Ave. in Alexandria

Tuesday, March 11th A Day of Dining at Rotolo’s Pizzeria
Rotolo’s will donate 10% of all proceeds to the Northwest Louisiana Chapter when guests have lunch or dinner and write “Red Cross” on their ticket.

11 am-9 pm, 1409 E. 70th St. in Shreveport

Saturday, March 15th Client Casework: Providing Emergency Assistance
This class prepares volunteers to be Red Cross client caseworkers. Call Anne Antoniou at (318) 865-9545 for more information.

9 am-4 pm, 1000 Woodward Ave. in Ruston

Saturday, March 15th Psychological First Aid: Helping Others in Times of Stress
This class prepares Red Cross volunteers to provide basic care, comfort and support to people experiencing disaster-related stress. Call Anne Antoniou at (318) 865-9545 for more information.

9 am-12:30 pm, 805 Brook Hollow Dr. in Shreveport

March 2nd-8th, 2014 also marks National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. During this time, the Northwest Louisiana Chapter encourages individuals and families to make sure that they are prepared for the severe weather and tornadoes that often affect our communities in the spring.

To prepare, the Red Cross recommends that families make a disaster plan for how their family will react when a tornado or other severe weather is expected. Practice drills are particularly helpful for testing those plans to make sure all family members remember what to do. To get started, individuals may call the chapter at (318) 865-9545 or visit the Red Cross Wesbite.


More From KISS Country 93.7