Living with climate change: Get trained, volunteer

Personal protective equipment for CERT volunteers (Photo by Tess Townsend)

Governments and businesses can still take bold action to limit global warming, but average temperatures are already rising. As climate change worsens, extreme weather will be more frequent and intense. This blog looks at what you can do to prepare.

A number of local organizations offer free and low-cost disaster preparation and response training, as well as opportunities to participate in coordinated disaster response. Joining these groups can help better prepare yourself, your family and your community.

CERT (Community Emergency Response Team): This federally recognized program trains volunteers for a range of disasters, from basic individual response to coordinated response by teams after large-scale disasters. The Sacramento area has a number of CERT teams offering classes and volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

Listos: The Spanish word for “ready,” Listos is based on CERT and primarily offers classes in Spanish, but has also offered training in English and other languages. While there’s no chapter in Sacramento, new state grants aim to expand the program.

VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster): VOAD is a network to help community organizations plan for disasters and better coordinate resources. The Sacramento area has a chapter that includes religious and nonprofit organizations.

ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service): Ham radios and other alternative communication methods become indispensable when cell networks get interrupted. Locally, there’s Sacramento Valley Section Regional ARES.

To get involved, look through local volunteer groups’ websites for coordinator emails, contact forms and applications.

Questions about emergency preparation? This is the last post in this series, but townsendtess@gmail.com is still thinking about what actions people should take to be prepared in this time of climate upheaval.

Read the previous post here.

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