Checklists and tips for preparing for Great Utah ShakeOut, natural disasters

Published: Tuesday, April 16 2013 1:35 p.m. MDT

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Ravell Call, Deseret News
First responders, though they may do heroic things, won’t be able to reach everyone during a disaster. There’s just too many of us.

Rescue efforts will feel tragically slow, if not for a group of well-prepared people who can augment rescuers’ abilities and resources. Those people are your neighbors.

With the right kind of training, neighbors can be well-equipped to take on emergency roles as members of a Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT.

A CERT is a group of residents in a city or neighborhood who are organized and understand disasters, what to expect when they happen and know how to respond. The Whittier Narrows Earthquake in California in 1987 highlighted the need to have trained residents who could help out with emergency response.

In Utah, we have 70 CERT programs where residents are getting trained in the following areas:

— Disaster preparedness.
— Disaster fire suppression.
— Disaster medical operations.
— Light search and rescue.
— Disaster psychology.

Training classes consist of a total of 24 hours of instruction, usually taught over eight weeks, with the ability to take refresher courses if needed. Join a class. It may just save a life.
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