WMass volunteers help those impacted by the southern tornadoes

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On Monday, 9 confirmed tornadoes touched down in Mississippi, killing 12 people. Hundreds of Red Cross volunteers are there right now helping survivors of this disaster.

One of those volunteers is from western Massachusetts. Tim VanCleef from Amherst is serving as a technology supervisor.

VanCleef’s in charge of setting up satellites where phone and internet services have been disrupted.

The Pioneer Valley Chapter’s Disaster Program Coordinator Mary Nathan told 22News VanCleef is working with volunteers from other states, but they all have the same basic training.

“When you’re running a large operation with hundreds of Red Cross volunteers coming in to provide relief, you need to be able to talk to each other,” said Nathan, “So the disaster communications piece is vital to get the operation up and running. When they arrive together they are all speaking the Red Cross language so they can start the job immediately. They don’t have to have any time learning the job once they get there they come trained. So that helps to make the job go smooth.”

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