It is commonly accepted that the foundation of a resilient community consists of skilled volunteers and informed citizens who take action during a disaster to support emergency services. In the event that a disaster is so widespread that local agencies and emergency responders become overwhelmed, prepared citizens will be able to provide immediate aid to their neighbors and community members. Once you have ensured that both you and your family are adequately prepared for any disaster that may strike your community, you can then get involved and help prepare your community in a number of different ways. This can include learning a new safety skill, volunteering with a local emergency organization, or spreading awareness about disaster preparedness. Specific ways in which you can get involved in your community are discussed below:
Learning a Safety Skill
Learning a new skill could prove to be invaluable in the event of an emergency. Perhaps one of the easiest skills to learn is how to shut-off your utilities. Natural gas leaks and explosions are responsible for a large number of house fires immediately following disasters. In the event that a natural gas line is severed or exposed wires are generating sparks, it is vital that you and all the individuals in your household understand how and where to shut off both natural gas and power. Furthermore, it is also important that you and your family members know how to properly use a fire extinguisher in case a fire does start in your home.
Two additional safety skills that you could consider learning are basic first aid and CPR. These skills are usually taught in a single, low-cost class. The knowledge you gain from this course could prove to be the difference between life and death in the event that emergency responders cannot reach you immediately after a disaster.
In addition to learning a new skill, you can also volunteer with a number of organizations in Klamath County. These organizations provide you with the opportunity to further refine your skills as well as learn new skills that you could potentially utilize in the event of a major disaster or emergency. One such organization is the Klamath County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). This organization is a community-based emergency response force that is trained in several areas of disaster mitigation and emergency relief.
Klamath County is also home to a number of volunteer fire departments. These agencies serve a significant portion of the county and host a number of training opportunities throughout the year. Volunteer fire departments located in Klamath County are listed below:
- Bly Rural Fire Protection District
- Bonanza Rural Fire Protection District
- Central Cascade Fire & EMS
- Chemult Rural Fire Protection District
- Chiloquin Fire & Rescue
- Crescent Fire District
- Keno Rural Fire Protection District
- Klamath County Fire District #4
- Malin Rural Fire Protection District
- Merrill Rural Fire Protection District
- Oregon Outback Rural Fire Protection District
- Rocky Point Fire & EMS
Contact your city or community fire department to learn more about training and volunteering opportunities.
Yet another way to take action in your community is by spreading awareness about disaster preparedness. You can do this in a number of ways. For example, you could teach a preparedness course at your local school or post preparedness information on your social media accounts. Visit Ready.gov to learn more about getting involved in your community.