Watches, Warnings & Advisories for Sunflower Co.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Community Emergency Response Teams

I've got an upcoming lecture to give on the 2011 Mississippi River Flood event.  Specifically, the lecture will be about how the flood impacted healthcare entities and response agencies.  In more a more broad sense, I'm planning for the presentation to feature the need for a renewal of individual and family preparedness efforts.  Disaster management is not a top-down process, driven by governmental entities.  Emergency management and disaster response begin with the lowest common denominator - you and your family.  As individuals and families become more ready to react to disaster, their neighborhoods and communities naturally become more resilient.

My preparation of this lecture reminded me of a topic that a few of us in Mississippi began looking at about 15 years ago...CERT - Community Emergency Response Teams.  Born of necessity after earthquakes in southern California, the CERT concept allowed emergency responders an opportunity to offer basic, life-saving training to people just like you: people who are willing to help, but don't know what to do.  Every disaster produces "spontaneous volunteers" willing to help, but in need of training.  The CERT model provides that training up front.

What basic things have you done for your family?  In the coming weeks, I'll post more information about CERT, and about preparedness steps you can take with your family.  They'll be simple, inexpensive things you can do.  Hopefully, it will spark some interest.  I'll be happy to answer any questions, so ask away in the comments section to this post.

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