Hello! I've been a little quiet here, lately.
Most of my "finished" drawing has been for Curtailed these days, as my free time is even more limited than usual!
Crazier than normal at work for the time being, and I've also been in training for my local CERT - Community Emergency Response Team program. The link has further details, but essentially it's volunteer disaster response for times when emergency first responders might be overwhelmed, and therefore delayed getting to your community (the program really took off after Katrina). Our goal is "do the most good for the most people."
The course covers basic search and rescue, triage, disaster first aid (emphasis on treating immediate life threats for as many people as possible before trying to provide individualized care), hazard identification, basic fire suppression... honestly, in the past year or two, just in my area of the country, we've had hurricanes, earthquakes, and now bombings and terrorist activity... it's a scary world out there, and I'm happy to be learning a bit of what I can do to help.
If you're interested in learning what you can do to help, too, you can search for a local CERT program for your community. Training varies from place to place, but you can expect a couple of months of weekly classes, and possibly for a nominal fee (we paid about $12, and most of that goes to food provided for the final exam). In addition to CERT, I was easily able to find first aid, fire safety, and other courses provided by my local fire station, any of which will make you just a little bit better equipped to survive and help your friends and family in an emergency!
...and CERT certification, at least in my county, is a prerequisite that opens up opportunities for even more advanced courses, like wilderness search and rescue, water search and rescue, or even K9 training programs (cadaver dogs, etc).
Even without courses, if you haven't recently, now's a good time to make sure you have a basic disaster supply kit for your home and office, and run through some basic fire prevention and safety as well! Hurricane season is right around the corner...!
My CERT final exam is this Saturday. There's a nearby "abandoned" juvenile detention center that our local police and fire fighters use for training purposes. We'll be out there all day, organizing our team to triage, rescue, and treat a couple hundred volunteer "victims" in the facility. I already have my assignment for it: I'll be with the commander as "Accountability," my job is going to be "know where everybody and everything is at all times, and write it all down." I think all those years of "handwriting counts for your grade" got me here...!
Wish me luck! Then go get involved and be prepared!