Spent my day volunteering with my hometown Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
On arrival, I thought I was going to get assigned a different task, but logistics and parking was the identified main concern and safety was an issue.
After I got briefed on the event, I discussed our situation with all the participants. As CERT, we coordinated our efforts so that our actions/tactics could best match the safety of our personnel as well as others who were there attending the event.
I briefed the Mayor on our ongoing operations and even looked at a few alternate plans.
Of course we continued to assess our event and think about other safety measures.
And of course we had a few moments to share a smile.
Fun fact, our Council President and Safety Chair is also a proud founding member of my awesome CERT Team. Booya!
Seriously, I love it when elected members of local government give back to their community.
We identified a few issues that will need to be made for the 2016 event (like a formal all-hazards traffic plan with maps, uniformed vests, pre-event plan dissemination/distribution, more participation, etc…). Maybe a formal Incident Action Plan (IAP). Fairly easy stuff that we would be happy to share w/ our constituents.
Wait….What? You have never heard of FEMA’s CERT program before? 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.
More info can be found on FEMA’s website here.
Want to volunteer within your own community? Want to make a difference in your community? Click here to locate the closest CERT Team to you!
As always, I believe I can make a difference in my community. Fun fact: I’ve been volunteering with my CERT since 2007.
I hope you will do the same.