EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE
Are you prepared for an emergency?
- Do you know how to take care of your family if an emergency should occur and first responders aren’t available?
- Do you know who to turn to if you need information or assistance?
- Would you be willing to volunteer to help others (your neighbors, your community, your county)?
We all depend on first responders to help us in the event of an emergency or a disaster. However, when disaster occurs, emergency responders can become so overwhelmed by the extent of the situation that they cannot provide the timely assistance that we need.
We, as citizens, need to be prepared. We need to have a plan, we need to be aware of our most common threats, and we need to have the knowledge necessary to take care of our family, our friends, and our neighbors.
Have a Plan
• The Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management has a great Emergency Preparedness Guide which considers the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s recommendation that all citizens be prepared with at least a 3-day supply of essentials.
• Ready.gov has great pamphlets for individuals, families, and businesses that can help you to be better prepared.
• The Humane Society recommends that you "Make a Disaster Plan for your Pets".
• The East Coast's most significant threat is hurricanes. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. Be aware of the threat caused by hurricanes!
The Volunteer Center’s partner agencies can help to provide you with that basic knowledge that will enable you to safeguard your family, friends, and neighbors.
• American Red Cross offers classes in First Aid, CPR, use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), and Basic Life Support.
• Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) has a basic class that addresses Disaster Preparedness, Fire Safety, First Aid, Light Search and Rescue, and the Psychology of an Emergency or Disaster Scenario.
• Become a Snowcrew volunteer. Snowcrew matches volunteers to their elderly and disabled neighbors who need help shoveling snow after winter storms.
• Help the Volunteer Center plan for, manage, and/or staff a Volunteer Mobilization Center.
Key websites and organizations for emergency or disaster information:
• Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management – during an emergency, contact their call center (410) 222-0600 for local information and assistance. Register with their CodeRED system for alerts during emergencies.
Volunteers are critical when there are widespread emergencies or disasters, but only if they are deployed where needed. The Volunteer Center and its partners encourage you to sign up to support your community if needed.
• American Red Cross – Disaster Action Team, Hospital Volunteer, Health and Safety Instructor, Armed Forces Caseworker, Language Bank, Blood Drive Volunteer, and Staff Support.
• Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) – CERT members get trained to protect family and neighbors and deploy in support of first responder needs.
• Register with the Volunteer Center – In the event of a widespread emergency or disaster, the Volunteer Center will take the following actions:
o Publish volunteer opportunities on its website
o Provide links to agencies needing volunteers and providing assistance
o If activated, staff a Volunteer Mobilization Center to manage the influx of volunteers from within and outside the county.
Are you a relief organization/agency that needs volunteers? The Volunteer Center can help you recruit volunteers. Follow this link to request disaster volunteers.
CAN'T VOLUNTEER BUT WANT TO HELP
Not everyone can volunteer during an emergency. Please consider cash donations but please donate wisely. Follow this link for guidance on how to make a difference with your donation.
Do not self deploy to the scene of the disaster! The arrival of unexpected volunteers will interfere with the initial response and assessment efforts. You could unsuspectingly place yourself or others at greater risk.
Volunteers will be needed most during disaster recovery.
Please be patient as our partners in the disaster area assess the damage and determine the needed volunteer opportunities from day to day during the recovery.
Any assigned volunteer opportunity will will be assessed by the referring relief agency so that volunteers will not be engaged in first-responder activities or sent into areas of great risk. Volunteers will be placed safely in various capacities to support emergency response officials and/or community-based organizations during disaster recovery.
Volunteer opportunities will be made based on identified needs in the community and the ability to address these needs in a safe, organized and effective manner.
Volunteers are often most valuable in the days, weeks, and months following the disaster.