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, and support from the community becomes an integral part of response efforts.
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.
- Be part of the community planning process. Connect and collaborate with your local emergency planning group, Citizen Corps Council, or local emergency management agency. Contact your nearest planning organization.
- 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. Get started.
- 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. If you have additional ideas or success stories, you may share them by contacting us or posting them on http://community.fema.gov.
For additional opportunities that may be unique to your community, contact your local emergency management agency or Citizen Corps Council in your area.