Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Preparing for the unexpected

Throughout the month of September, students from the Augustana Student Medical Reserve Corps are launching an email campaign to help raise awareness for National Preparedness Month and what students can do during an emergency.
The campaign began with an email on a speech from President Barack Obama announcing the month’s celebration in his Presidential Proclamation, as recognizing the importance of preparedness.

“This month, we pay tribute to the courageous individuals who rush to the scene of disaster for their dedication to our safety and security, no matter the price. Let us recognize that each of us can do our part to prepare for emergencies, help those affected by disasters, and ensure all our people have the necessary resources and knowledge to protect themselves,” said Obama in his speech.
The campaign came out of an internship that senior Irene Mekus, one of the student leaders of the group, experienced over the summer of 2015, as well as from Dr. Dara Wegman-Geedey as the advisor. The club officially started out last year as a subset of the Community Health Outreach Organization, also known as ACHOO.
“A disaster can happen at anytime, whether that be a disease outbreak, an earthquake, a flood or anything,” Mekus said, with the goal of the campaign being to get people prepared and to spread the information they learn with a wider audience.

AS-MRC is part of a national organization, and is partnered with the Rock Island county as a student subset. The group works with MRC members of the county to do different training’s on disaster outbreaks, and once a trimester do a meeting with the rest of the MRC.
AS-MRC’s next big event will include a zombie run during the first week of October where students can participate in preparing a survival kit.
Junior Abigail Norris, one of the student leaders of the club, reiterated the importance in their campaign. Norris experienced having her home destroyed by a tornado recently and is aware of how the unexpected can happen at any moment.
“For a lot of people it goes over there head,” Norris said. “I don’t think people realize that things can happen when you least expect them.”
More emails will be sent out throughout the month for the campaign. The group meets during ACHOO meetings in the even weeks at 11:30 a.m. in Hanson 304. New members are welcome to participate any time.

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Preparing for the unexpected