Monday, September 24, 2007

Community Emergency Response Team training - I want to be CERTain that I can help in a disaster

Last week I started training so I can be a part of a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in my community. One night a week for seven weeks I’ll be going to the Healdsburg Fire Department to learn fire safety, disaster medical operations, and light search and rescue operations.

When I complete the course, I plan to go visit all of my neighbors to let them know that I and others in the neighborhood are trained to help and to find out if they have any special needs, i.e., a disability that might require special attention.

We’re in earthquake country here in northern California, with the Rodgers Creek fault running right through our town. In 1906, the earthquake on the San Andreas fault affected not only San Francisco (watch a simulation of the earthquake) but also our county.

It doesn’t really matter what disaster a community may face. We need to be prepared to take care of ourselves and our neighbors for a minimum of three to five days (think Hurricane Katrina).

The best place to start is at home. Here’s a sample emergency preparedness kit, using a trash can as a container (click on it to enlarge):
CERTs are starting up all over the US. Check here for more information.

(CERT logo from CERT website, emergency preparedness kit courtesy of Healdsburg Fire Department)

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