After a large-scale disaster, local governments may not have the capacity to manage the over-whelming needs of an entire community. With dependence on municipal services, residents are exposed to long-term recovery efforts. Networks of prepared individuals and local agencies that collaborate effectively reduce dependence on municipal services and mitigate the damage caused by large scale events.
Bridges of Love Ministry, a registered charity recognized the need for a coordinated grass roots approach when over-whelming disasters make it difficult to maintain a sustained level of care. When first responders are over-extended, Bridges of Love’s coordination centre, a network of local churches, provides an alternate place to call. Churches helping Neighbours
After a disaster, people want to donate. To reduce stockpiling, Alberta Recovers website was developed to match donations on-line, with people in need. A family devastated by the flood, was over-joyed when a donated furnace, made it possible to stay in their Bowness home, over the winter.
After a disaster, people want to help. Bridges of Love’s Community Emergency Response Team training, or CERT, assures a SAFE “Neighbours helping Neighbours” response. CERT is a grass roots strategy that is both practical and realistic strengthening community safety and preparedness through increased civic participation. CERT trained and equipped community volunteers CAN save lives and protect property.1. The Faith Emergency Preparedness Initiative (FEPI) facilitates the development of a network of coordinated local churches to complement and enhance performance with existing secular emergency management agencies.
2. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, which allows them to focus on more complex tasks. Through CERT, the capabilities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters, is built and enhanced.
3. Alberta.Recovers.Org website matches donations on-line, with disaster victims.As with any Charity, Bridges of Love Ministry relies on donations from for our day-to-day operations. We try to keep our costs to a minimum for our CERT training so anyone can participate. If donors would like to offer bursaries that would allow everyone who desire to take the course, the freedom to do so.
We include CERT Kits with our training. Our kits that were put together when we first started the training are just about depleted. The resources will have to be replaced and kits reassembled which is a very large under-taking. When we are ready to put the kits together again, volunteers will be needed.
The cost for each kit is approximately $75.00. We had a generous donation from 3M after the flood in 2013 so this kept the costs down. We will once again need to replenish our supplies in the near future.
We recently opened our Canadian Headquarters, located in High River. We are very thankful to have office space once again, dedicated to building resilient communities across Canada. With increased costs to cover rent and associated expenses, we are looking at developing a stronger donor base. Being new residents of this community, it takes time to build trust and relationships with prospective donors.
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