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Get Involved - Volunteer

Descriptions of volunteer options for people who wish to help community members during and immediately following a disaster.

After September 11, 2001, America witnessed a wellspring of selflessness and heroism. People in every corner of the country asked, "What can I do?" and "How can I help?" Below are a listing of opportunities to become involved in a variety of areas that can assist first responders in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

Community Emergency Response Team

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue and disaster medical operations. Using their training, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event and can take a more active role in preparing their community. The program is offered in Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard, Tualatin and Western Washington County.

Amateur Radio Emergency Services / Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services

Washington County Amateur Radio Emergency Services/Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (ARES/RACES) exists for the purpose of providing backup emergency communications to more than 20 served agencies in Washington County. Those served agencies include Washington County, incorporated cities, special service districts (fire districts, utilities, schools, etc.), and hospitals. Other non governmental agencies may also be served upon request, as allowed by available staffing and training.

Medical Reserve Corps

The Medical Corps (MRC) Program strengthens communities by helping medical, public health, and other volunteers offer their expertise throughout the year as well as during local emergencies and other times of community need. MRC volunteers work in coordination with existing local emergency response programs and also supplement existing community public health initiatives, such as outreach and prevention, immunization programs, blood drives, case management, care planning and other efforts. The MRC program is administered by HHS.

Citizen Corps

The mission of Citizen Corps is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds through:

  • Preparing the public for local risks with targeted outreach.
  • Engaging voluntary organizations to help augment resources for public safety, preparedness and response capabilities.
  • Integrating the whole community and integrates nontraditional resources to ensure disaster preparedness.

The Citizen Corps mission is pursued through a national network of over 1,200 state, local, and tribal Citizen Corps Councils that bring together local government, business, and community leaders who work to prepare their communities for disaster and to make them more resilient.

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