The most important training I hope I will never use
My colleague Colin and I have been going through CERT training every day this week.
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.
One of the greatest constants in the recent disasters this country has faced is that it can often be a long wait between the crisis and when help arrives. We saw it in Katrina and in the 1989 Loma Prieta quake. This area has the potential for an earthquake over ten times that size. If we get hit with a 1906 level quake destruction will be massive. The emergency responders will be totally overwhelmed and the infrastructure loss will be incredible. We may be cut off for a very long time. Who, then will be the first responders? We will! Are you ready? That is the point of this training. There will be no time for learning when disaster strikes, and the experts say, it is a matter of when.