The potential programs that may be cut due to the current economic situation is really unbelievable. Many programs directly impact the health and safety of our residents, not just locally, but across the United States.
After spending the summer working in a developing region, there must be some takeaway we can learn from that experience to deal with the budget shortfall.
There are people who were struggling to eat and deal with natural disaster, but in the United States besides significant potential cutbacks in critical emergency services, a government health club is at risk.
It is important to prioritize potential cutbacks and ensure that critical lifesaving programs remain in place.
When we look at the article submitted by Michael earlier, we see pictures of volunteers from the Red Cross. An organization that is primarily funded through donation dollars. In any major emergency, the Red Cross is usually there.
What is that in the pictures? We see the volunteers with green backpacks? In the United States, do we think Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) when we see green backpacks?
In this economic time, one thing really comes to mind, consolidation. Could we combine training programs? Could we combine outreach? Could we combine volunteer response? Are there volunteers that are not already involved with multiple organizations?
This is not directed to any CERT program. As several CERT programs across the country either have been cut or are at risk of being cut, could we potentially merge the CERT program with another organization, such as the Red Cross? What about expand the mission of the Neighborhood Watch program?
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is essential in helping our citizens be prepared for a major emergency or disaster and also provides skills that can be applied in their everyday lives.
These are not recommendations, but potential ideas to think of ways these programs can continue with limited funding and resources. Many of these changes would need to occur at the National Level, to adjust the guidelines of the organizations.
While the following article, Catastrophe On A Shoestring, is several years old, it shows how these volunteer programs are often first to be reduced.
Now more than ever, organizations are going to need to make best use of their resources, combined resources.