All of us face the possibility of natural disasters, accidents, power outages or intentional acts to disrupt our daily lives. We cannot control the weather or prevent disasters from happening, but there are steps you can take to minimize risks from known hazards. Planning now can help save lives later.
Once you are prepared for an emergency, you can offer to assist others. You may be able to help by donating items or money to a local charity or food bank.
Another way to help is to volunteer your time.
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) educate individuals 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 training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT volunteers can assist others in their community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT volunteers are also encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking an active role in emergency preparedness projects.
Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) is a federal program created to support states and territories in establishing standardized volunteer registration programs for disasters and public health and medical emergencies. By registering through ESAR-VHP, volunteers’ identities, licensees, credentials, accreditations and hospital privileges are all verified in advance, saving valuable time in emergency situations.
Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers include medical and public health professionals, as well as other community members without healthcare backgrounds. MRC units engage these volunteers to strengthen public health, improve emergency response capabilities and build community resiliency. They prepare for and respond to natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and floods, as well as other emergencies affecting public health, such as disease outbreaks. They frequently contribute to community health activities that promote healthy habits.
Click on the image below to learn more about Medical Reserve Corps, ESAR-VHP, and how to volunteer!