January flooding throughout much of the mid-valley is a reminder to area residents that it’s important to be prepared for any emergency, according to VISTA volunteer Anthony Vendetti.
The 25-year-old Seattle native is spending a year with the city of Albany developing emergency preparedness plans for vulnerable residents such as the elderly or persons with special needs. They are most likely to be at risk of homelessness in the event of a major emergency or disaster.
He has a degree in planning and environmental policy with a concentration in disaster reduction and emergency planning from Western Washington University in Bellingham.
“I am sponsored by Community Services Consortium and I work with Darrel Tedisch, emergency management specialist for the city,” Vendetti said.
Vendetti said this is his second year as a community volunteer. He previously was an AmeriCorps volunteer with a group of 10 young people who worked on community improvement projects in Colorado, New Mexico and Missouri.
So far, Vendetti has compiled information on the following topics: the Importance of Emergency Preparedness, Staying Informed During Emergencies and How to Develop a Family Evacuation Plan.
“I have given training to the Council of Governments and I am tentatively set to give a presentation at the Albany Senior Center in April,” Vendetti said. “I also want to create a draft emergency plan for vulnerable populations that can be added to the county and city emergency operating plans.”
Vendetti’s articles will appear in the city’s e-mail newsletter, City Bridges. Sign up for the newsletter at www.cityofalbany.net.
Vendetti said he is also working with the Linn-Benton Vulnerable Populations Committee.
AmeriCorps is a federally funded program created under President Bill Clinton. Projects range from public education to environmental clean-up.
The program also includes VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and NCCC (the National Civilian Community Corps.)
There have been more than 500,000 volunteers since AmeriCorps was founded in 1994.
— Develop out-of-area phone contacts which family members can call and get updates.
— Make sure you have a battery-operated radio — and fresh batteries — to stay informed.
— Get to know your community and where to get emergency supplies ranging from food to hardware.
— Develop an evacuation kit that includes copies of important identification materials; extra house and car keys, cash and credit cards; a portable radio; lists of medications; a first aid kit; waterproof matches; changes of clothing; pens and paper.