Local natural and manmade disasters can cause great devastation when they happen. You can help reduce the affect of these disasters by getting involved in your city’s or county’s disaster planning efforts.
Some states, like California and New York, have websites where communities can get involved in planning for a variety of local disasters. Check out your city or counties website to see how you can get involved, or call your local city hall or Red Cross. These places will be able to give you information on how your city or county will need help during a local disaster.
When there is a disaster, a community typically needs assistance with the following:
- Redirecting Traffic. If there is loss of power to a city or there has been a natural disaster, the roads are often the first to suffer. Directing traffic can help relieve congestion and redirect people to alternate routes.
- Phone tree. Operating a phone tree in a disaster helps get vital information to those who need it.
- Disaster command center. The coordination of agencies involved in providing aid to a distraught area can be strenuous for just a few people to do; that’s why volunteering to help at a command center can help relieve stress and as you provide another brain that knows what’s going on. Assistance can take on the form of helping run an information booth to helping with emergency shelter services, and more.
- CPR & First Aid. Learning CPR and first aid techniques can help you know how to provide immediate life-saving acts until more help arrives.
- Volunteer Coordination and Preparation. Volunteer coordinators help recruit able bodies to assist in areas such as outreach to the community about preparedness, clean-up, to helping hand out essential items to those in need. Volunteers help speed the recovery effort.
A disaster is something most people don’t plan for, but should for the sake of their and their family’s safety. Contact your community officials to see how you can help.