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Disaster Preparedness: What You Learn in CERT Training

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Many people are interested in preparedness at all levels: food, water, medical concerns, and economic issues. When we read of the devastation on the East Coast and other places in the world, we realize that emergencies happen everywhere. Are we, as citizens, prepared adequately to help? My preparedness desire is also to learn how to be safe. Following 9-11, Citizen Corps was organized to strengthen community safety preparedness. Thus, C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) was developed under F.E.M.A. (Federal Emergency Management Agency), which is under Homeland Security.

Community Emergency Response Team

My friend and I just completed the CERT 6-week course and now see a great need for others to be trained across our country. CERT is a critical program performed in our own neighborhoods in the effort to engage everyone in America in making their communities safer, more prepared, and more resilient when incidents occur. In each 3-hour class, I learned how important it is to learn how to respond to anticipated disruptions and potential hazards following a disaster.

In this course, we learned that as individuals, we prepare not only for ourselves and our families, but neighborhoods and work places on a local level. In disasters, too many people panic and suffer physically and emotionally simply because they feel helpless, unprepared, and didn't know what to do next! I now encourage  everybody to take this training. We took classes at the local fire station. If you want your own group, find 20 people (hopefully your neighbors, church members, or families) and contact CERT in your town. I now feel the need to educate others on the importance of this training within our own neighborhoods.

In the CERT training you will learn:

  • Develop a plan for yourself and family during a disaster first. Then learn how to respond to your community's immediate needs following a disaster when medical help is not readily available.
  • Identify and reduce potential fire hazards. Learn basic skills in putting out our a fire.
  • Conduct triage under simulated disaster conditions and thereby save lives.
  • Apply techniques for opening airways, control excessive bleeding, and treat shock.
  • Learn how to set up a treatment area.
  • Employ basic treatment for wounds (this is not CPR).
  • Work as a team to help victims immediately. You also learn how to tag victims with identifying colors to save time when Search and Rescue arrives.
  • Learn how to produce documentation for a quicker response by medical help when it comes.

What are you doing to prepare for a potential disaster?

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Photo credit: Utah Cert FB page.

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