One of the pillars of 4 The Greater Good is To encourage Volunteerism.
During natural disasters, you might be surprised how a group of ordinary citizens are becoming our most important responders.
Whether Tornado, Flood, Fire or even Earthquake, Arkansans are becoming far too familiar with natural disasters.
A recent pew foundation study shows that despite an increase in natural disasters since Hurricane Katrina, our country is no better prepared.
“If this is an earthquake, bridges are going to be down, but who’s going to save us?” says Phillip Bullington, who is tired of stats and ready to take matters into his own hands.
Bullington is a volunteer with the Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT.
Maumelle Fire Chief George Glenn describes CERT as a “grassroots effort, quite literally, of citizens helping citizens.”
CERT is part of the Citizen Corp program, which was started by the Department of Homeland Security after Katrina.
It is an response to the need for more citizens to take part in disaster recovery. However, emergency leaders in the state say most people still don't know about cert.
Here's how it works. You train for several weeks in the classroom, and you also simulate disaster response in the field. And then, you're CERT-ified.
Bullington says He has already volunteered in real life disasters, only after a few months of training.
Bullington says, “The whole idea is to get enough of us in each of the neighborhoods so that we can take care of our families first, and then we can respond to the incident that's called.”
To learn more about CERT and how you can volunteer, please visit http://www.adem.arkansas.gov.