The Canadian Red Cross is staging a demonstration at a Winnipeg school today along with its emergency response partners.

Volunteers and staff will set up a 45-person congregate shelter Saturday afternoon (March 21st) at Immanuel Christian School. Crews will be staging a response to a hypothetical disaster in the fictional town of McPherson, where the residents - played by Red Cross volunteers - have been forced from their homes due to an ice storm.

Cailin Hodder of the Manitoba Provincial Disaster Management Program says it's an opportunity for the Red Cross to show the public how these shelters work, but also serves as practice for staff, volunteers and partner organizations. 

Hodder says the shelter provides cots, blankets, hygiene items, first aid, and a reception and information centre. She says her last experience with the shelters was in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern United States.

Featured are photos of a shelter set up in Dauphin after a hotel fire there in September.