Nonprofit offers free emergency preparedness classes
With the help of a grant and support of other organizations, the nonprofit organization Molalla Communities that Care is sponsoring a free class series on emergency preparedness, available in both English and Spanish.
The class in English takes place at the Molalla United Methodist Church, 111 Mathias Rd., on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the CPR and first-aid portion on the following day, Sunday, Sept. 15. Lunch will be served and childcare will be available.
The Molalla classes in Spanish filled up quickly, but there will be a series in Spanish held in Canby at the Canby Fire training room on Thursdays, Sept. 19, Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, all at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be served and childcare will be available.
The classes have a limit of 20 participants, but according to Lynn Blatter of Molalla Communities that Care, the classes will be available again after the first of the year.
Trained citizens from Molalla's Community Emergency Response Team and Canby's Bridging Cultures organization will teach the classes with curriculum that has been vetted by Clackamas County Disaster Management. The curriculum was prepared for small, rural communities and is available to other organizations who wish to use it.
"It's something that's needed," Blatter said. "I'm a CERT member in Molalla, and it's going to make it easier for our fire department and our EMTs and all of that if people have this basic knowledge."
The classes will cover topics such as identifying hazards of different emergencies, expected results from those incidents, developing an evacuation plan for the family, preparing the family for short- and longer-term survival, creating safe drinking water, putting together "go bags" for each family member and more.
Each series will also include a CPR and first-aid portion, which Blatter said is a critical component of disaster preparedness.
"If there is a widespread disaster, people are not going to be able to get help from the fire department or the police department," Blatter said. "They're going to be overwhelmed and they always go with doing the most good for the most amount of people. So, if there is a problem, and there are injuries and things like that, then you need to be able to take care of your own family and maybe your neighbors."
The classes will be informal, interactive and questions will be encouraged, according to Blatter. There will be a giveaway of a fully-stocked go bag for anyone who competes the series of classes, and throughout the classes, there will be smaller giveaways.
Molalla Communities that Care is sponsoring the classes thanks to a grant from Clackamas County Public Health. These grants are awarded to organizations in designated areas that are addressing critical public health issues. According to Blatter, there was a great need for Spanish-language emergency preparedness training.
Once the grant runs out, Blatter still hopes to continue the classes, with the help of donors and volunteers.
Quality local journalism takes time and money, which comes, in part, from paying readers. If you enjoy articles like this one, please consider supporting us.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)