Red Cross Holds Massive Drill In North Texas

Tornado exercise involves volunteers in Oklahoma and Texas.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 5
    American Red Cross volunteers and vans respond to a Dallas street during a two-state emergency exercise.

    If you saw an American Red Cross mobile van in your neighborhood Saturday, you were not alone.

    The agency held a huge drill to help prepare for the upcoming severe weather season.

    More than 700 volunteers in 40 locations across Texas and Oklahoma participated in the disaster assessment. Locations in North Texas included Dallas, Arlington and McKinney.

    Actors played the part of homeowners following a tornado outbreak.  Teams responded to check out damage and tend to victims.

    Organizers said the large scale exercise will help them get ready for the real thing.

    "We've done this at a state level before," said T.D. Smyers of the American Red Cross. "But this is the first one that's been simultaneous across this many areas. We think that's a realistic way to approach it... to get everybody ready and to raise awareness of the public."

    On April 3, 2012, a tornado outbreak produced 17 tornadoes throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area. No one was killed but more than 1100 homes were damaged or destroyed.