Needed: 100 volunteers
Published 11:20 am Wednesday, February 22, 2006
In any situation we face, preparation is the key. Think of the answers to our “What ifs.”
What if I'm awakened at 5:30 by barking dogs, or if someone is banging on my door at 2:30 in the morning, shouting, “Fire! Your house is on fire.”
Maybe a tickle of something “off” wakes you up. What do you do first when you realize there is smoke and a fire in your home? Or if you arrive home only to find that the candle you left burning has caught up the curtains or hot wax ran over or dripped down over one side with fire following that path to catch that room on fire? What do you do? Do you have a plan?
The instances above really did happen. And whether you and your family are in the house or you come home to find a fire or other disaster, it is a rude awakening.
Planning makes the difference. We may not think as clearly as we would like to in the middle of a bad situation. Being aware of our options and practicing a fire drill routinely so that everyone knows what to do can mean the difference between getting out alive or wondering what you could have done differently. Remember, “stuff” can be replaced. Your life and the lives of your loved ones cannot. And while most of us think, “It' won't happen to me,” it does happen when we least expect it.
Preparation before the event
This is where the American Red Cross really can help. The same planning principals of being ready, knowing what your options are in case you and your family are separated apply in the case of a ire or any disaster that displaces your family.
Your local Red Cross has brochures, booklets and even a guide for creating a disaster kit to have on hand “just in case.” We know that unexpected events change our lives, but learning how to prepared ads best you can, makes a big differing in our outlook and recovery efforts after events happen.
As a community we want to e prepared, also. As we've seen over the last two years, there are some things over which we have little control. What we do have control over is how prepared we are to face the disaster.
On March 9, from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., our local chapter will hold an introduction to Red Cross training. If you would like to participate, it is the first class to attend to take other training to be ready and to help others. Train to stay here and help or train to go other places to be ready to help. Many people called during Katrina/Rita wanting to volunteer. This is one of the first steps. Raining now, being prepared now, rather than during the disaster, can make a big difference in how prepared our community is to face the next storm or weather system. We do not have to wait for someone else to come in; we can be ready ourselves.
After the intro class, we will hold casework classes and shelter classes so that we can assist those in our area or areas nearby when the need arises.
Please call 867-3426 for further details for the March 9 class, or just come by and pick up the brochure you need for your preparation plans. There is no charge for either the brochures or the disaster classes, but we need to now how many to prepare for in these classes.
If you have tried to volunteer before, please call gain. We have two trained disaster teachers in the chapter now and we need approximately 100 people trained before June to be able to properly open shelters and to reach out into the community to assist those beginning recovery, not only for disaster season, but for the single family fires or other issues which come up.
Now is the time to act.