Following the , I thought it would be fitting to write about for the Citizen Corps. Citizen Corps was created with the mission "to harness the power of every individual through education, training and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues and disasters of all kinds," according to its website.
Coordinated locally by the Baltimore County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Baltimore County Citizen Corps offers opportunities for volunteers to participate a variety of activities to help prepare their families, homes and community in the event of a disaster.
Citizen Corps is recruiting citizen volunteers from Baltimore County for the six-week Neighbors Helping Neighbors training, scheduled to begin today, Sept. 13. Topics that will be covered include: emergency preparedness, natural and technological hazards, fire safety and extinguishers, crime prevention and awareness, first aid and CPR, and volunteer mobilization training and other volunteer opportunities. There will be six training sessions held every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. at , on 2815 Sollers Point Road, ending Oct. 18.
There are also opportunities for volunteers to help at special events, manning booths and giving out vital information. For someone looking for a long-term commitment, there is training available to assist in operating a volunteer mobilization center, or do outreach/presentations at community functions.
"In the aftermath of a disaster or crisis type situation, trained volunteers are like the many limbs and branches of a strong oak tree. Imagine the trunk of the tree being our emergency management team and trained core responders, agencies and organizations," said Michele Kehl, program and community coordinator for Baltimore County Citizen Corps.
"Once it is decided it is time to utilize volunteers, those volunteers can then 'branch out' or outstretch into the many communities needing assistance. Volunteers are an integral part of all phases of the disaster cycle, and communities can respond to and streamline recovery more effectively when volunteers are trained in and practice emergency preparedness," Kehl continued.
September is National Preparedness Month, so there's no better time to get involved and help get your homes, businesses and communities prepared for an emergency. If you would like more information on volunteer opportunities with the Baltimore County Citizen Corps, please call Baltimore County Volunteers at 410-887-2715. You can also register online for the Neighbors Helping Neighbors training online at baltimorecountymd.gov/Contact/neighborshelping.