Sunday, October 28, 2007

Community emergency response training to be a good team member

At our last training session before we get to practice what we’ve learned at a simulated disaster scenario next Thursday, we covered CERT organization and disaster psychology.

1. CERT organization = teamwork and working with the professionals at the Healdsburg Fire Department. This is hugely important. We’ll get to practice our skills as team members next Thursday.

2. Disaster psychology: John Bray (photo) of the American Red Cross took us through the psychological symptoms (chart below) that typically occur in rescuers and how to deal with them. We were also given pointers on how to deal with survivors’ trauma. Here's a short video clip of John explaining the emotional phases that survivors go through following a disaster:

The primary reason I signed up for CERT training is so I will be useful, not useless, in a disaster. I admit I don’t think well under pressure, so I spent yesterday organizing my CERT pack and going over what we do when we show up to help in a disaster:

Our simulated disaster next Thursday evening should be exciting. I’ll let you know how it went.

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