It’s an unfortunate fact: following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors such as number of victims, communication failures and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment's notice.
So, what are we to do in the event of an emergency? What if we find ourselves stuck in a situation wherein first responders can’t readily get to us? How can we help ourselves, our neighbors, our community? These were the questions that went through my mind when Game Plan Experts was being developed. How can we keep as many people safe and protected when a natural disaster or emergency strikes?
While our products are high-quality and our plans are life-saving, it is the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training that we completed that opened our eyes to the true realities of and needs during a catastrophic event.
What is CERT?
CERT educates individuals about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area. Participants are trained in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. More important, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs. As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens and private and government employees.
The training program that LAFD initiated makes good sense and furthers the process of citizens understanding their responsibility in preparing for disaster. It also increases their ability to safely help themselves, their family and their neighbors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes the importance of preparing citizens. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and the National Fire Academy adopted and expanded the CERT materials believing them applicable to all hazards.
Who Benefits from CERT?
CERT training benefits any citizen who takes it. I am proud to have completed my CERT training through the Olathe, Kansas fire department. I can guarantee you, if and when you decide to go through CERT training, you will be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster.
Check to see if your community has a CERT program and where. Communities that do often recruit civilians to be auxiliary responders. These community groups can provide immediate assistance to victims in their area, help organize volunteers who have not had the training and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional responders with prioritization and allocation of resources following a disaster.
Since 1993, when this training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training.
Natural disasters and emergencies do not discriminate. Are you prepared? We can help you get the products, services and resources you need to Prepare for Anything!
To show our appreciation of the CERT program, anyone who orders any of our products in honor of CERT, will receive a 10% discount. Just enter code: CERT10 when you go to check out.