The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is about readiness . . . people helping people and rescuer safety. When a widespread disaster strikes, professional responders are likely to be overwhelmed and unavailable for many. People will have to rely on each other, as history in the Loma Prieta earthquake reflects. Now FEMA predicts we may be on our own from 7โ€“14 days, particularly if living in a remote area or one with limited access. Are you ready to help? Having CERT volunteers acting as immediate responders to supplement fire, law and medical services is a vital resource in the case of natural disaster.

The CERT Training Program, offered at no cost to all Santa Cruz County residents, is a 22-hour FEMA-certified course in 5 sessions covered in 4 weeks. The skills taught are low-risk, but high-benefit actions that may be taken to minimize life and property loss at a time when professional responders are certain to be overwhelmed by community needs. Proper, preemptive training helps prevent life and property loss among neighbors of CERTs but also keeps responding volunteers safe from harm.

CERTs are trained in responding to emergencies in their neighborhoods and develop life-saving skills with emphasis on decision-making ability, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Neighborhood Teams are ready to provide immediate assistance by triaging those injured, putting out small fires, turning off utilities, performing search and rescue, and collecting disaster intelligence for assisting professional responders in setting priorities in trying to allocate limited resources.

Neighborhoods that are prepared for emergencies and disaster situations save lives, reduce the severity of injuries and trauma, and reduce property and environmental damage. But most important, contributing as an individual and working together with your neighbors as a Team develops stronger communities and improves the quality of life in the community.

Sign up for free classes and begin planning how to protect yourself, your family, and your neighborhood from the predicted earthquake, as well as understanding the steps in surviving a possible wildland fire or tsunami. Be prepared and ready. Join us โ€” over 1200 volunteers โ€” in caring about your community and planning a disaster response through CERT Training.

 

 

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