Saturday, April 30, 2011

Time to prepare, train and volunteer

At the time I write this on the morning of April 30th, the death toll has risen to almost 350 down south in the wake of this recent tornado outbreak. It is a sad day in America's history, but alongside this overwhelming sense of loss is a feeling of warmth when one looks at the outpouring of help that is now flooding the southern states.
Today is the day for you to think about your family's plans for disaster. Do you have a plan? Where is your weather radio? Have you considered what you might do if it happened where you live? What would you do in the aftermath? Would you be available to assist your neighbors?
We have several of our Chasing4Life family that are dealing with the horrendous aftermath of this outbreak. The reports are staggering. The events of the last week have caused us to encourage others to prepare for disaster more than ever before, and we want to encourage each of you to connect with an organization now that can train you, teach you, ready you for what could happen in YOUR community next.
Our C4LDRT (Chasing4Life Disaster Response Team) could use you. Right now, churches, civic groups and even schools are assembling groups to respond to communities down south to assist with everything from providing food service to debris removal.
The C4LDRT is an opportunity for those interested in helping their neighbors. In the past, our teams have deployed in both great and small numbers. You are never required to deploy to an area, never expected to operate outside of your comfort zone or beyond your skill level. There is no required skill, nor an age limit. In 2009, a C4LDRT deployed to a community of 3500 people to assist local emergency management in debris removal, boarding up of homes and operations of an EOC. That group consisted of senior citizens and young teens.The concept of recruiting team members is to find passionate people that would be interested in readying themselves to deploy by taking online courses (free courses!), to occasionally take part in a training in their area, to assist in recruiting new members, and of course, in deploying when help is needed.
Aside from C4L's DRT, you might look into your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), another opportunity for you to not only become ready for disaster but an opportunity to become a responder.
Education is power, and preparing to respond is as important as preparing for the disaster itself. Right now, trained volunteers are needed in the south...not sure where the next ones will be needed but the numbers of trained volunteers is already quickly being drained this Spring...
For for more information about the C4LDRT, visit our site at