Too often I feel that we get into a “bug out” mentality that leads us to think we’ll be fending for ourselves in all circumstances, always looking out for number one.
I disagree. While there are a select few instances in which we must reduce our focus to our own life and our immediate family, I think that the majority of scenarios will involve neighbors (ideally and hopefully) working together to get through whatever has happened.
Enter CERT. Becoming CERT trained is an important part of your personal preparedness and a necessary tool in being of use to neighbors during a TEOTWAWKI scenario. Here’s a summary of the program:
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community
CERT members are trained to respond to disasters and other emergencies in preparation for professional assistance, or as support when that assistance is not available. Professional responders (Paramedics, EMS, etc.) are going to take a long time attending to your needs (be they severe or not) because of the sheer number of citizens affected in a disaster. According to one local fire chief, you’ll have to wait 7-12 days before your medical needs can be attended to. This is primarily because the trained professionals first go to the hospitals, then to the schools, then the businesses, and lastly to your home. And that assumes that these people actually show up to work. Depending upon the scope of the disaster, many might prefer to stick it out with their own family. There’s no sense in waiting around for somebody else to help you, so learning what CERT has to offer is an important part of becoming an asset and not a liability to those around you.
Most CERT classes around the country are conducted one night a week over the course of 8-10 weeks, but one local instructor has condensed the course down into one (12 hour long!) Saturday, with a review and drill the following Saturday. Click here to see a schedule of upcoming CERT courses in the Utah area.