The "Drop, Cover and Hold On" statewide earthquake drill on October 17 at 10:17 a.m. gives you a full minute to practice this being your own personal response when an earthquake strikes.
But what about practicing community response? Consider the ways you can improve your ability to help others in the aftermath of a quake. One of the ways to become more prepared for an emergency is to become an American Red Cross Volunteer.
On Tuesday, October 15, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. is a scheduled Volunteer Orientation for anyone ages 18 and up interested in becoming a Red Cross Volunteer. The orientation is held at the Inland Empire Chapter, 202 W. Rialto Avenue, in San Bernardino.
The process of becoming a volunteer begins online where you'll find the chapter nearest you and create an online volunteer profile. You'll register for an orientation and follow a standard process of applying and being screened.
Learning all about how the Red Cross mobilizes after a disaster will help inform you about where you fit in to the scheme of things. And playing a service role during a disaster has proven to reduce psychological stress. In general, people react with greater focus and purpose when given an assigned role in an emergency.
Volunteers make up about 95 percent of the American Red Cross workforce.
Here are some of the areas to which volunteers get assigned:
- Volunteer Management: Assist with volunteer recruitment, placement, record keeping and recognition.
- Disaster Services: Provide food, shelter, comfort and home for families affected by major disasters such as fire, hurricanes and tornadoes.
- Disaster Action Team: Volunteers need to respond to single-family fires with a disaster action team supervisor.
- Disaster Preparedness Presenter: Educate individuals and groups on how to be prepared before a disaster occurs.
- Public Affairs: During disasters, tell the Red Cross story to your community
For more information, search online for the American Red Cross chapter nearest you.