Ready, set, respond

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Volunteers work at a Calif. AAA location in 2013. Photo courtesy of AAA.
Volunteers work at a California AAA location in 2013. (Photo courtesy AAA)

AAA and American Red Cross will offer a free disaster preparedness workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 5:30 p.m. The workshop is part of a program called Ready, Set, Respond!, which trains citizens to prepare for and respond to local emergencies.

When disaster strikes, responders must first report to areas in greatest need. Unfortunately, they cannot respond to every need at once. “Ready, Set, Respond!” exists to train community members to assist during local disasters.

Workshop participants leave with a fuller understanding of disasters common to their area, according to Chris Hoglund, business manager for AAA Utah. Ready, Set, Respond! instructors aim to widen the perspective of the everyday citizen.

“Most people are unaware of what goes into being prepared for a disaster,” Hoglund said.

Brian Holcomb, business manager for AAA in Ogden, said workshops in this Utah region heavily focus on preparation for earthquakes, since this region is in an earthquake zone.

“The community at large typically doesn’t know what to do in certain circumstances — where to place themselves during an earthquake,” Holcomb said. “Since we’re in an earthquake zone, in time, we expect it to happen. So it’s always good to know what to do during those situations.”

Holcomb said, as business managers, they’ve tested and refined their workshop content.

“The first workshop we did was kind of a kick-off to see what would work well, what wouldn’t work well, what other items we should incorporate into the workshop to better educate the members of the community,” Holcomb said. “As we go, we find additional information that we can share that will be useful for community members to utilize in emergency situations.”

AAA will host trainings throughout the upcoming months. After the 90-minute training on Wednesday, trainees will leave with small 72-hour kits.

The workshop will take place at the American Red Cross Mountain Valley Chapter, 865 N. Freedom Blvd., in Provo.

For additional information and a list of “Ready, Set, Respond!” training sessions throughout the state of Utah, visit here.

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