There are many ways to get involved in your community’s emergency preparedness. The whole community can participate in programs and activities to make their families, homes and communities safer from risks and threats.
The FEMA – Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
Community leaders agree the formula for ensuring a safer homeland consists of volunteers, a trained and informed public and increased support of emergency response agencies during disasters. Major disasters can overwhelm first responder agencies, empowering individuals to lend support.
Volunteer to support disaster efforts in your community. Get trained and volunteer with a Community Emergency Response Team, Medical Reserve Corps unit and/or other Citizen Corps Partner Program or Affiliate organization. Many local faith-based and community organizations have programs active in supporting disasters too.
The Citizen Corps mission is accomplished through a national network of state, local, and tribal Citizen Corps Councils. These Councils build on community strengths to implement the Citizen Corps preparedness programs and carry out a local strategy to involve government, community leaders, and citizens in all-hazards preparedness and resilience.
Citizen Corps asks you to embrace the personal responsibility to be prepared; to get training in first aid and emergency skills; and to volunteer to support local emergency responders, disaster relief, and community safety.
Be part of the community planning process . Connect and collaborate with your local emergency planning group, Citizen Corps Council or local emergency management agency.
Join or start a preparedness project. Find an event or identify local resources, build a team, choose a project, set goals and serve your community by improving the preparedness of your friends, colleagues and neighbors.
Support major disasters by donating cash or goods which may help meet the needs of your community in times of disaster.
America’s PrepareAthon! is a nationwide, community-based campaign for action to increase emergency preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions and exercises conducted at the national level every fall and spring.
Participate in America’s PrepareAthon! to understand the hazards most relevant to your community as well as the corresponding protective actions, mitigation measures, and community plans. During America’s PrepareAthon! you can practice a real-time behavior to increase your preparedness and whole community preparedness planning. Your participation in this action-based campaign helps build a more secure and resilient Nation!
- Ready.gov – Get involved: http://www.ready.gov/get-involved, FEMA Community Emergency Respnse Teams: https://www.fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams
- Ready.gov – About Citizen Corps: http://www.ready.gov/about-citizen-corps
- Image Source: http://www.ready.gov/citizen-corps [Accessed April 21, 2014]
- FEMA – America’s PrepareAthon!: http://www.community.fema.gov/connect.ti/AmericasPrepareathon