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For Release: Sept. 18, 2012 – Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – (405) 271-5601

Tenth Anniversary of the Medical Reserve Corps Offers Volunteer Opportunities for Oklahomans

The Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Medical Reserve Corps program nationwide by reminding Oklahomans that they can be a part of helping recover from a disaster. Joining the OKMRC is the best way to help your community during a public health emergency.

The OKMRC consists of local volunteers who contribute their skills and expertise during times of community need, such as disasters and emergencies, as well as throughout the year. Interested Oklahomans can register at the OKMRC website www.okmrc.org.

The Medical Reserve Corps was founded in 2002 following 9/11 and the anthrax attacks that followed. These incidents clearly illustrated the need to have an organized way for medical professionals and other volunteers to respond to disasters.

Who can volunteer:

  • Practicing, retired or otherwise employed medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, pharmacists, nursing assistants, dentists, veterinarians and others
  • Public health professionals
  • Community members without medical training
  • Volunteer interpreters, chaplains, amateur radio operators, logistics experts, legal advisors and others

OKMRC volunteers are involved in a variety of activities including outreach and prevention, immunization programs, blood drives, case management and care planning, and emergency response. Volunteers also participate in training, which includes learning local emergency and health procedures, trauma response techniques, teamwork, and use of specialized equipment.

In addition, the OKMRC reminds everyone to take steps to prepare for the unexpected:

  • Prepare an emergency kit that has the basics for survival including fresh water, food, medication, and supplies for at least three days.
  • Make a plan with your family and friends in case you are not together during an emergency. Discuss how you will contact each other, where you will meet, and what you’ll do in different situations.
  • Stay informed. Being prepared means checking all types of media for global, national and local information. In the event of an emergency, state and local agencies will provide media with information on shelters and evacuation orders.
  • Get involved. Take first aid and emergency response training and volunteer in community exercises.  Check out the community calendar at www.okmrc.org.
  • Several websites provide easy-to-use checklists to prepare for an emergency that could range from an inconvenience to a catastrophe. Check out these sites: www.cdc.gov/features/beready, www.ready.gov, and www.ok.gov/reddirtready.

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