The New Year is upon us and with that comes the inevitable, hard-to-answer question: “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” Many will respond with something along the lines of “I’d like to give more time to my community” or “I’d like to do some volunteering.”
If you are one of those who have placed this on their to-do list, you may want to consider linking up with your local Community Emergency Response Team.
These teams are designed to get communities more involved in disaster response and recovery:
Nearly half (49%) of these teams have volunteer managers. These volunteers work tirelessly to make sure that their communities have the resources they need to complete the team’s goals and mission. These teams are typically sponsored by fire departments, police departments, or other local emergency management agencies that provide training to and manage volunteers.
These teams often do unique things to give back. One team based out of Shiawassee County, Michigan worked with their local Humane Society to ensure the animals (and their humans!) at a shelter had the supplies they need in cases of severe weather. The team’s work helped ensure that the Humane Society volunteers were able to focus on the animals they care for.
TJ Clark of the Shiawassee County Emergency Management Division noted:
The [Community Emergency Response Team]’s role is more than making sure the shelters are prepared for pets; it’s about getting the whole community back on its feet [and] functioning as safely and as quickly as possible.
You can read more about this exciting partnership and others pertaining to CERTs and animals.
There are over 2,380 CERT programs across the United States. Learn more about Community Emergency Response Teams and find your local team by searching for your ZIP Code. If there is not a team in your area and you’re interested in creating one, get in touch with your State’s Point of Contact. Giving your time to a Community Emergency Response Team in your area is a great way to complete your New Year’s resolution and help make your community more prepared and resilient.