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Faith-based disaster assistance preparation in Harford County

Here is the information and links that TIM KICK shared at last week’s Harford Christian Leaders Luncheon regarding disaster assistance in Harford County.  HCL meet the second Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. at the Greene Turtle - Harford Mall in Bel Air.
 
*Commodity Point of Distribution (CPOD) – During a disaster, the County (normally in conjunction with FEMA or MEMA), will provide large quantities of items needed for the situation at hand.  A typical allocation might be tarps and bottled water.  A site is identified for distribution, there are several pre-defined in the County. The parking area is provided under the MOU and volunteers are gathered from a variety of sources. Volunteers document those obtaining assistance through CPOD and manage flow of traffic and materials in cooperation with County State or Federal personnel
 
*Collection Point is the opposite of CPOD.  At a Collection Point, County, State or Federal folks will provide vehicles and heavy equipment. The public will have been informed vie various communication methods of what is needed. Volunteers would assist in unloading cars and stacking materials in designated locations.
 
*Spontaneous Volunteers – Many times the needs of the public during a disaster our out of scope for emergency services or would overwhelm available resources. Under these circumstances, individuals who are able are encouraged to volunteer to assist fellow citizens with non-hazardous/non-life-threatening situations.  Examples might be trees down on driveway, transportation need, and the like.  Managing the requests through an app like Crisis Cleanup and assigning volunteers as well as tracking time on projects is the goal.
 
In addition to these three outlets for volunteerism in Harford County, it is very important that members of the faith-based community be active in preparation to step in when needed.  
 
Here is a recommended list of Resources/Classes that might be helpful:
 
Faith-based Initiatives through Department of Homeland Security and FEMA  - In addition to the information you will find on the website, you might be interested to know that both these organizations schedule regular training opportunities.  These often occur via teleconference but are sometimes held locally.  All I have encountered have been Free.
 
Training initiatives through FEMA – FEMA Provides a variety of training through their website.  This training often has to do with Incident Command and interaction with Public Safety Agencies.  When you can verify to these agencies that you have people who have taken these classes to completion, the perception of you and your group goes up immensely.  Also, note that although most courses are available on line, some must be taken through your local public safety agency creating another opportunity for interaction and building community.  These are ICS 300/400, G191, G402, and G-775
 
 
There are also training opportunities related to Public Safety functions, but are provided outside the scope of Emergency Providers
 
        Chaplaincy Training – There are a number of free training sites for Chaplaincy. You will need to look around and see which provides the scope of training you or your church desire.  I personally  like the http://emergencychaplains.org/ training and have completed it myself.  There are other options.  Most Public Safety Chaplaincy training will also spend time on providing services to the Public and include a module called Psychological First Aid.  PFA is normally training from a secular viewpoint, but integrating our Christian perspective into the training is fairly simple. 
 
 
Finally – Check Maryland Responds https://mdresponds.health.maryland.gov/ They spend a great deal of time organizing skilled persons, including chaplains, to respond to regions around the state, regionally or in conjunction with requests from other states. 
 
Hope all this helps.  Let me know if you have any questions or if you want to be included in Disaster Assistance Database for notification on areas where help is needed for individual, local or regional disasters. 
 
TIM KICK
410-877-1824

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