CERT in Salt Lake City
I have taught CERT for many years now. I first got certified in 1978 if you can believe that. I still have the ID cards. If you don't know what CERT is then read on.......
Understanding what will happen in an emergency and how to react may save your life,the lives of your family and the lives of your neighbors. In a major disaster the Police, Fire and Medical personnel will not respond to the neighborhoods so don't call 911. That is what the Community Emergency Response Teams are for. We will be on our own most likely for days before help arrives. Most of the emergency services will be responding to where the most people area so they can do the most good for the greatest number of people at once. (Large buildings, hospitals and if possible schools)
Last night at the Emergency Drill the Ham Radio operators transmitted actual messages from different locations to the main Emergency Operations Center which will happen in a real emergency.
The American Red Cross actually set up shelters in the schools with cots, check in personnel and signage just as they do in a real emergency.
CERT - Community Emergency Response Teams from the neighborhoods responded, the first CERT that arrived at the locations became the Incident Commander and organized the area so when more cert trained people showed up they could receive assignments. The incident commander assigned a person to operations, another to planning, a leader over logistics and a person over finance and administration and these people began to organize so when people that were not CERT trained showed up they also could be assigned duties to help the community.
Under the Operations Section three other leaders were assigned: Fire Suppression Group Leader, Search and Rescue Group Leader and the Medical Group Leader.
Trained CERT teams of 3 to 7 people were sent out to several locations for damage assessment and search and rescue. Those teams performed triage, treatment, transportation of the the injured back to the main meeting areas in the neighborhoods. The injured were received at the elementary schools into the medical operations section for additional treatment. Throughout the exercise good notes were taken and important information was sent from the communications area to the main EOC in Salt Lake which was fully staffed for this exercise.
This is all part of a bigger picture instituted by John Flynt in emergency operations for the City. In the event of a major disaster you should take care of your family and check on your neighbors and then report to the closest elementary school. When an accurate number of dead and injured can be reported to the Governor he can then declare the area a disaster and request federal assistance. The longer it takes to get accurate information to the Governor the longer it will be before help comes.
For this reason we no longer refer to the kits as 72 hour kits but we now refer to them as 96 hour kits because it is not likely that help will arrive for several days. It is so important that we learn first aid skills and have water and food storage.
Get involved visit:
CLICK ON CERT: You can register for a CERT class which is 21 hours of emergency instruction in disaster medical, safely removing heavy debris off of the injured, putting out small fires, light search and rescue operations, CERT organization and much more.
CLICK ON FIX THE BRICKS: Here you can check on how likely your home is to sustain damage and they give you specific information for each home not just your area. You can see the fault lines and assessments. You can also contact a contractor to reinforce your home by bolting it to the foundation or bolting the roof on if it is not secured.