Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most effective step that most of us can take to stop the spread of the virus, prevent severe illness and death.

While the COVID-19 virus persists, summer has added more typical disasters in our area. House fires and wildfires can generate calls for emergency volunteers.

Fire emergencies may require coordination between multiple agencies to shelter and feed displaced people, pets and livestock. Delivering, food, water and cots can be a huge challenge when these basics are needed immediately in an area that may have lost power. Roads may be closed and the fire area itself may be moving.

“If you want to be prepared, volunteer now so you are trained and ready to volunteer when disaster strikes,” Sanderson said.

Besides volunteering, consider these preparedness tips:

• Talk to your friends and family about how to communicate before, during, and after a disaster.

• Keep supplies on hand that would sustain your family for several days if you couldn’t get out to shop or your water supply was interrupted. Consider the special needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your emergency kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (