Recently, BILL PEABODY attended "Sandbag Training" as part of the Disaster Assistance Response Team. WAY TO GO BILL! Geoff Dugwyler, Americorp volunteer, has informed us of some additional training opportunities for Disaster response and preparedness that may be of interest to our entire club.
Letter from Geoff Dubwyler: As a member (or potential member) of Thurston County's Disaster Assistance Response Team, we at the Volunteer Center try to keep you up to date on disaster-related training opportunities in the area. Recently we had a sandbag training at the Tilley Road site (thanks to everyone who attended!), and there we spoke about future trainings that might cover a wider range of topics. Community Emergency Response Team training is almost exactly the sort that would help keep our group informed and prepared for any major disaster, and I've spoken with Emergency Management about setting up such a training for this summer. However, in the meantime, there are many self-guided trainings available for those who are interested. There are many advantages to these kinds of trainings -- you can take them at your own pace, reading into what's most important to you and gleaning over that which is not. You can also receive Continuing Education credits for many courses. All are available free from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at: There's a wealth of information available there, including preparatory CERT training, general disaster preparedness, earthquake and flood dangers, and even animal rescue, which is the focus of our latest disaster assistance project (soon to be developed -- let me know if you are interested!). Many of the courses can also be taken through NETC's Virtual Campus, which provides more of a hands-on style of learning. Please take a look and see if it's of any help to you. I also highly recommend requesting a copy of FEMA's "Are You Ready?" citizen's guide for disaster preparedness. It's over 100 pages long and covers just about every situation you could find yourself in during an emergency. It's an invaluable resource both for preparing for disasters and responding to them within your community -- overall an excellent reference to have around the home. You can download it online or have FEMA send you a copy in the mail, free of charge. Visit for more information. As word arises regarding CERT training, I will be sure to keep you informed. Thanks again for your time and your effort, and please call if you ever have any questions. Take care, Geoff Dugwyler AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer / The Volunteer Center