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Disaster Mini-Institute Boot Camps
Emily Gertz, 31 Aug 05

While we are sure to come up with innovative approaches to adapation and mitigation to climate disruption, perhaps part of climate foresight also includes getting a better handle on how the "average person" can help others in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. And as far as Hurricane Katrina's concerned, that time is now.

For those who've got the time, the ability, and a desire to help out in the Katrina disaster zone in the first person, the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the Red Cross is running two-day trainings for people who can volunteer for extended stays -- two to three weeks -- on the Gulf Coast. The chapter will be giving crash courses in relief services, and then sending in small teams of volunteers led by a Red Cross staffer. Two trainings are being offered in September -- when folks now in the disaster zone will probably be exhausted and needing a rest. The ARC/SCV will schedule future trainings based on the public response.

Great idea -- rather than sequester such vital skills in a relatively limited pool, this distributes expert knowledge further into the general community, increases the pool of able assistance for this and presumed future crises, and (presumably) equips people to go into disaster zones in an effective way.

If Santa Clara's not convenient, click here to find a Red Cross chapter near you, which might be offering similar trainings.

(thanks, jonj)

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