Red Cross Volunteer Talks About Mississippi Recovery

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Imagine walking into what hundreds have had to run out or away from. For thousands of Red Cross volunteers walking into destruction is a part of the job description.

One local American Red Cross volunteer tells WTAP before each of his missions he prepares himself mentally.

"I've learned over my years of experience that I kind of have a mindset and I prepare myself depending on the nature of the disaster," says Dan Decker. "If I respond to a hurricane, I already anticipate what I am going to see. If I respond to a tornado, I sort of have the same reaction. Even though each one is different the destruction is similar due to the nature of the beast."

Decker says no matter how many missions he's been on the strength of the victims always amazes him.

"The thing you realize when you work with clients in the field that have lost everything, whether it's a flood, or a hurricane, or a tornado, is the resolve they have to understand that there is a reason that they got through it," Decker adds. "There's a reason why their family survived. They begin the slow process of picking up the pieces."

Decker says having faith, in any religion, is the main lesson he has learned over the years.

"I guess the strongest thing that I walk away with is how important it is to have personal faith," Decker says. "Regardless of what your religion is. You have to have something to fall back on. That you are not going through this alone. Those that have something to turn to in their darkest hour, it really helps a lot."

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