The Southern Tier Chapter of the American Red Cross has been busy lately addressing not only local disaster needs but also sending volunteers south to help with victims of flooding and Hurricane Matthew.

Speaking on the October 22 edition of the weekly local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up chapter director Colleen McCabe talks about what goes into volunteering for the Red Cross in a number of capacities, including disaster relief, the training that is involved and commitment.

Disaster relief also is done on a smaller scale, although it is just as traumatic for the people who are impacted, as the Red Cross assists at fires and other incidents.

On the subject of fires, McCabe says there is often a spike in house fires as the weather turns cold.  She stresses the importance of having heating sources like furnaces, fireplaces and woodstoves maintained and inspected.

The Red Cross also has a program with volunteers installing free smoke detectors and giving a presentation on fire prevention and safety to residents.

More information can be found at www.redcross.org or by calling (607) 785-7207.

Southern Tier Close Up is heard Sunday at 6am on 99.1 The Whale.