You heard the weather forecast. You knew things could get bad. You just didn't think they would get this bad. Suddenly the lights go out and it sounds like a locomotive is roaring through your front door. The next thing you know you are trapped under what used to be your home. You can't get free and emergency resources are overwhelmed by the devestation. Help won't be on its way for another 72 hours. What do you do? Who will come to your aid?
Your neighbors might. But will they know what to do? Do they know how to get to you without injuring you further? Do they know how to help in a way that won't end up injuring themselves? What are the priorities? What is the best way to organize those that can help? Do they have the right tools to help?
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.