In the face of disaster, Americans come together with courage, compassion and unity and ask, “How can I help?”
There are many ways to Get Involved especially before a disaster occurs. The whole community can participate in programs and activities to make their families, homes and communities safer from risks and threats. Community leaders agree the formula for ensuring a safer homeland consists of volunteers, a trained and informed public and increased support of emergency response agencies during disasters. Major disasters can overwhelm first responder agencies, empowering individuals to lend support.
So Get Involved before disaster strikes! Here are a few ways you can help:
- Volunteer to support disaster efforts in your community. Get trained and volunteer with a Community Emergency Response Team, Medical Reserve Corps unit and/or other Citizen Corps Partner Program or Affiliate organization. Many local faith-based and community organizations have programs active in supporting disasters too. View more volunteer opportunities.
- Ontario CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)
CERT training helps the community to work together to respond to disasters that impact their homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods. CERT provides specialized training that may be needed if emergency responders are delayed due to the size and scope of the emergency or disaster situation.
CERT training provides lectures, videos, and hands-on training in nine modules. Training includes Emergency Preparedness, Earthquakes and Pets; Fire Safety; Disaster Medical; Light Search and Rescue; CERT Organization; Disaster Psychology; and Terrorism. The course ends with an exciting interactive exercise. The program is offered FREE of charge, and is open to all City of Ontario employees, residents and businesses age 18 and up. Registration is on a first-registered basis, as space is limited.
See the calendar for the next CERT course date.
- Be part of the community planning process. Connect and collaborate with your local emergency planning group, Citizen Corps Council or local emergency management agency.
- Join or start a preparedness project. Find an event or identify local resources, build a team, choose a project, set goals and serve your community by improving the preparedness of your friends, colleagues and neighbors.
- Support major disasters by donating cash or goods which may help meet the needs of your community in times of disaster. Learn more.
This represents only a few of the many ways that individuals and community organizations can Get Involved to help communities lessen, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.
Whole Community is an approach to emergency management that reinforces that our nation’s emergency management team must leverage all of the resources of the collective in preparing for, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating against all hazards. Collectively we must meet the needs of the entire community in each of these areas. Both the composition of the community and the individual needs of community members, regardless of age, economics, or accessibility requirements, must be accounted for when planning and implementing disaster strategies.
Spreading the Word
One of the most important things that you can do is help spread the message to BE PREPARED! Talking to your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers is important to get us all working together.