There is so much good going on at the college and university level now-a-days, and community service projects top that list. Projects are wide and varied ranging from helping homeless people with a meal, helping young readers learn to read, cleaning up trash along a river front, and working at the local food pantry. It’s speculator to see young adults contributing to local community life.
When it comes to this same community spirit, NFPA has a couple of campaigns that university staff, fraternities, sororities, clubs, classes, or teams can easily get involved in. The projects focus on wildfire safety and with a little tweaking, young people can easily fit these programs into community life projects. Adopting a service project such as these creates a positive influence in the community and stretches both staff and student goals, interests and abilities while at the same time making the community safer.
If your college or university lies in or near a high-risk wildfire area, do your part by helping prepare the campus and its surrounding community before the fire threatens your school and surrounding neighborhoods.
The first is NFPA’s TakeAction campaign, which provides resources and projects that benefit young adults, their families and neighbors. Project ideas include:
- Using NFPA’s Household Pet Evacuation Kit to help prepare an evacuation kit for pets. Working with homeowners in the area, consider what’s needed for each pet and help them build the appropriate kit.
- Referring to the Wildfire Evacuation for Horses Kit, students can help horse owners with planning, preparing and practicing large animal evacuations
- Providing residents with safety tips and information about safety gear for wildfire preparedness projects
- Learning what happens to people, property and natural areas after a wildland fire
The second is Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, a campaign that provides an opportunity for community residents to come together to participate in risk reduction and wildfire preparedness activities that help make their communities safer from brush, grass and forest fires. Typically this day is the first weekend in May but communities have been known to work on projects at other times of the year, like during the fall months or at the start of the new year. Grant funding is available to those organizations or communities that meet the criteria, and students and campus staff can promote their project and get recognition for all of their hard work, too. Many tools and resources are available to make outreach fast and easy. These include:
- The Wildfire Community Preparedness Day logo, which, along with your organization’s name can be applied to t-shirts, on posters, and more.
- The hashtag #WildfirePrepDay, which can highlight your project on Twitter. You can also post your project and photos on Facebook.
- The Wildfire Community Preparedness web banner can be added to your website or event’s landing page; you can also order a large banner to hang outside at your event.
And this is just the beginning. NFPA has a number of great resources and project ideas for students and staff that can help reduce a wildland fire’s enormous disruption. For more information please visit the TakeAction and Wildfire Community Preparedness Day websites and find your inspiration!