The coming of a new year brings new resolutions and forward thinking, and it’s also the best time to take a personal inventory and prepare for what’s next. A few months from now, we’ll be in our peak storm season, and as a member of Region 7, that means we can plan to be busy. For me, now’s the time to get my ducks in a row.
That starts with Roll Call. Is my profile complete? Did I add new skills I’ve picked up or training completed? Have I poked around to discover new features and connect with my friends from past deployments? Our membership managers, field ops, and planning crews are relying on this information to put the right people in the right place, and it’s my job to provide them an accurate profile.
Next, I’ll set training goals. What are some things I found I’d wished I’d known last year? Maybe I wished I could have operated some heavy equipment or played a role on the planning team. A couple of years ago, I made the decision to complete EMT training. The TR training shop is making a huge effort to provide training all across the country for anyone who wishes to push their capabilities. And it’s serious stuff, too. There’s nothing like TR in the world when it comes to trained, professionalized volunteers in disaster areas.
Finally, I try to set some deployment expectations for the coming year. I know I need to plan in advance how and when I’m able to deploy. I inform my family and work colleagues of the things I think might happen, and let them know I may need their help if I need to go at the drop of a hat. At least for me, I’ve learned the people around me help even more when it’s not a surprise, and they’re eager to make my departure an easy one. When a bad storm hits, it’s these people who are the first to ask if I’m going to help. If I’ve done everything I should, I can get to helping right away.
Bring it, 2015.