Special Sections

Young at Heart February 2023 FINAL

Issue link: https://www.ifoldsflip.com/i/1493439

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 5

Young at Heart Floods and Other Disasters: Learn About CERT and Being Prepared When the torrential rains and subsequent flooding and landslides hit Santa Cruz County last month many residents, including seniors, were not well pre- pared. It seems like a good time to highlight our local branch of CERT (Commu- nity Emergency Response Team)—a nationwide program that falls under FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division—and also share a few tips related to a vari- ety of potential disasters. As the national CERT website states, CERT is a "…nationally support- ed, locally implemented initiative that teaches people how to better prepare themselves for hazards that may affect their communities." For three decades, CERT has offered training for the public covering basic disaster response skills including disaster medical operations, fire safety, team organization, and 'light search and rescue.' One of the reasons that CERT volunteers are so valuable? When they are able to perform these activities, it "…frees up professional responders to focus their efforts on more complex, essential, and critical tasks." Here is the lowdown on how CERT works: each local CERT program trains and organizes vol- unteers to assist their fam- ilies, neighbors, co-work- ers, and other community members. The volunteer teams help out before, during, and after disasters (including floods). Their responsibilities include checking in on neigh- bors, communicating information to the public, providing crucial support for emergency operations centers, and assisting in traffic management. Mary Edmund, who is 73, has served as Ex- ecutive Director for the Santa Cruz County CERT Auxiliary since 2015. She took her first CERT class in 2008. "I decided to organize my Seacliff neighborhood after that," she says. Mary became an active volunteer, and eventually spearhead- ed the formation of the Santa Cruz County CERT Auxiliary as a non-profit organization. As Execu- tive Director, she serves as the main organizer and fundraiser includ- ing doing grant writing, budgets, bookkeeping, etc. She finds all of the work rewarding. "Everyone in CERT is a volunteer. I work to pro- mote community aware- ness and how important it is to plan ahead and get adequate training… this makes it possible for people to directly help other people during times of need." Mary loves helping teach people, then getting to witness those individuals helping and teaching oth- ers. "I find a lot of joy in working with like-minded people," she says. "There are so many people I have met through CERT, that I otherwise would have never met, that are wonderful additions to my life." Mary enlisted in the Army at 17 and served in the military for 30 years before retiring as a Colo- nel at age 47. That's when she moved to Santa Cruz and became, in her words, a "career volunteer." Her volunteer experience includes many years at Homeless Garden Project. At the Santa Cruz Coun- ty CERT, about one-third of the volunteers are seniors. "We welcome people of all ages," says Mary. "I love working with people that care about helping others." One of these individuals is CERT member Dawn Mackey, 74 years old, who Mary refers to as "a great role model for oth- ers." Dawn has been part of CERT for six years and has served as an instructor for the last four years. "I joined CERT after I retired as I have always been involved with com- munity preparedness and By Tara Fatemi Walker Young at Heart In Santa Cruz County Special Advertising Supplement to the Santa Cruz Sentinel Continued on page 2 February 2023 edition After completing CERT course, participants receive free backpack with important safety supplies. Contributed photo Amenities Active Retirement for Active People Dominican Oaks offers all inclusive living with 3 homecooked meals, weekly housekeeping and laundry services, activities and local transportation options. Our activity calendar is robust with a variety of physical & cognitive exercises, social events, support groups and cultural enrichment. Dominican Oaks is also a supporter of the local community attending the lo cal museums, theatre, symphony and events. Meals are homecooked with fresh ingredients and feature daily specials. Residents receive restaurant style service. Schedule a tour today! (831) 462-6257 www.DominicanOaks.com Lifestyle Our goal at Dominican Oaks is to give you back time in your day. We take care of the cooking, cleaning, yard work and chores, providing you with more time to spend doing what you love with who you love. Our 1 and 2 bedroom units come with kitchens, private patio and a parking space. The community features multiple beautifully landscaped outdoor courtyards plus a resident garden, pool hall, library lounge, salon and more. Lic# 440708773 Amazing Benefits For Concussion Syndrome • Orthopedic Injuries Wound Healing • Anti-Aging General Wellness Introducing HBOT Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Special Sections - Young at Heart February 2023 FINAL