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The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) has issued a call for volunteers, noting that its work depends on volunteerism.
Acting Director Maria Medard explained that most people think they would serve as volunteers at the NEMO Secretariat in Bisee, Castries.
But she disclosed that mostly the organisation needs volunteers in the communities to be of assistance before and after disasters and to help with community preparation and sensitisation.
“We urge persons to join their local district disaster committees. This is where most of NEMO’s work is done – in the communities for preparation and post-disaster,” Medard told St Lucia Times.
According to the NEMO Acting Director, there’s not much to be done at the organisation’s secretariat which directs the community district disaster committees.
Regarding some people balking at the thought of becoming a NEMO volunteer due to lack of skill, Medard declared that everyone has something to contribute.
In addition, she noted that NEMO provides training throughout the year.
“Let’s say first aid, for instance, we would work with the Red Cross to train our volunteers, there’s damage assessment and needs analysis training, shelter management – we do quite a lot of training throughout the year,” the NEMO official revealed.
Medard said people who want to volunteer can contact their local disaster committee personnel who can provide application forms that would eventually be submitted to NEMO.
In addition, they can call NEMO and have the forms emailed to them or send an email to [email protected]
“We would always welcome volunteers because not every volunteer is available when you need them because you have to understand that people work. Their schedules do not always allow so we do not have a quota or limit,” Medard told St Lucia Times.
The NEMO official agreed that the need for volunteers has become even more important now.
“Throughout the year we are not just looking at hurricanes. We are looking at other possibilities – fires, landslides, tsunamis, earthquakes,” Medard stated.