Many people, particularly in the urban areas, have little to no knowledge regarding what to do in the event of a natural/ man-made disaster or emergency. The needs of victims of a disaster/emergency are immediate. Oftentimes, the psychological/comfort needs of these victims can avoid going from the acute to the chronic just by having someone by their side to help them through the trauma of the disaster/emergency.
Our Helping Hands program would teach low-income, minority and poor individuals disaster/emergency relief training. The training would include, What is a Disaster, Grief/Bereavement, Psychological First Aid and Disaster/Emergency Preparedness. Our program will encourage more people to take the steps to prepare their families and communities for disasters/emergencies. Additionally, during the what is disaster portion of the training the attendees will take a moment to reflect upon /honor the service and sacrifices of those who have responded since 9/11/01, reflect upon their feelings on 9/11 and what they are feeling now since 9/11.
It is our program’s goal to teach the above skills to our attendees so that they can help provide assistance and comfort to victims of a disaster or emergency. Our attendees will feel sense of giving and helping of others. In addition, an accomplishment of this training would be that a list of these disaster trained volunteers would be made available to local first responders who may need assistance with victims of a disaster or emergency. Our trained volunteers will be giving a helping hand up to people who might be experiencing the lowest time in their life. Furthermore, if a disaster takes place in or near a neighborhood of one of our trained disaster attendees they may be the first on the scene to provide aid, assistance and comfort to the victims until emergency units arrive. For the Helping Hands program, a prepared people, is a ready nation.
We will receive some technical assistance from Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Emergency Management Unit. Other organizations that will be working with our program will be the Center for Urban Families and Sojourner-Douglass College. Much of our trainings will take place in churches, community centers, senior citizens centers, YMCA, schools, Center for Urban Families, Sojourner-Douglass College and other faith based organizations.
This program will be promoted via Facebook, social networking, word of mouth, public service announcements, printed outlets, fliers, television/radio announcements and posting on bulletin boards. This day of service event is not just a one day service event, it could be a lifetime of service for our disaster trained volunteers. Finally, our program expects to train at least 500-700 attendees per year in disaster/emergency relief respond.