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National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month and the National Library of Medicine’s Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) has lots of resources on preparing for the unexpected! It is up to all of us to be informed during disaster and emergencies, and DIMRC’s goal is to connect people to quality disaster health information. We’ll be sending out lists of resources on 3 topics throughout the month of September. We encourage you to take some time to explore these resources and to share them with your patrons.

This week, take some time to check out these resources on how to get involved in disaster preparedness and response:

American Red Cross

The Red Cross responds to approximately 70,000 disasters in the United States every year and offers flexible volunteer opportunities and classes in live-saving skills.

Community Emergency Response Teams

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals

The Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) is a federal program created to support states and territories in establishing standardized volunteer registration programs for disasters and public health and medical emergencies. The program, administered on the state level, verifies health professionals’ identification and credentials so that they can respond more quickly when disaster strikes. By registering through ESAR-VHP, volunteers’ identities, licenses, credentials, accreditations, and hospital privileges are all verified in advance, saving valuable time in emergency situations.

Medical Reserve Corps

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of local groups of volunteers committed to improving the health, safety, and resiliency of their communities. MRC units are community-based and work to locally organize and utilize volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year. MRC volunteers supplement existing emergency and public health resources.

You can also find more information on disaster medicine and public health preparedness on DIMRC’s website: http://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/

Caroline Spellman (Contractor)

Associate Consultant

Aquilent, Inc., supporting the mission of the National Library of Medicine

Specialized Information Services Division

Disaster Information Management Research Center

6707 Democracy Blvd., Ste. 510

Bethesda, MD 20892-5467

spellmancm@nlm.nih.gov

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