COAST CITIES — Are you ready to take care of yourself and your family in case of a major emergency? And, perhaps as important, will you be able to help your friends and neighbors?
Encinitas’ Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) can train you to be ready and to help. It will be part of the 2013 Summer/Spring County-wide CERT Disaster Response exercise June 22 in Spring Valley. The scenario will be search and rescue, triage and the Incident Command System.
In addition, CERT spokesman Doug Jones believes it is important for the public to know that Encinitas CERT is self-funded by volunteers, donors and grants and not part of city budgets.
“In a disaster, every resident is responsible for themselves, as there are only 50 First Responders in the Encinitas city of 60,000 residents,” Jones said. The June 22 CERT exercise will be used to prepare for a full scale, state-wide, Shake-Out exercise in October, also the height of the fire season. CERT Teams are residents initially trained by their Fire Departments to be viable and competent in an Emergency/Disaster regardless of where they may be.
The 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 work place 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.
Nationally, the concept for CERT training grew out of the Mexico City earthquake in which untrained volunteers who were willing to undertake rescue and life-saving steps in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake saved more than 800 people. However, more than 100 of these volunteer rescuers lost their lives because they did not have sufficient training to accomplish everything they were attempting.
On May 18, the Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe teams completed Activation Procedure drills and Emergency Operations Scenario, testing the San Diego Emergency notification systems currently in use for everyone.
For more information on the next Academy or the two-hour “Encinitas – Are You Ready?” program visit Enccert.org. CERT is a 501c3 – a volunteer organization serving the Encinitas Community.