Disaster Preparedness: CERT Training Opportunity


In the event of a major emergency or disaster, many of the resources normally available to those of us who live and work in Western Washington State may become inaccessible and unavailable. Public services may be interrupted; communications, utilities, and commodity delivery systems (food, water, and medicines) could be disrupted. Most importantly, if a major disaster occurs, the fire department, paramedics, and police…WILL NOT COME! They will be deployed FIRST to major incidents such as collapsed buildings. That is why you constantly hear that "You MUST be prepared to take care of yourself."

The GCA is working with Mason County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to schedule CERT training and we need at least 15 people to sign up. The course is 20 hours of initial training and is provided free of charge to those 18 or over. Please contact Leslie Blaisdell at 253-226-7693 if you are interested in taking this valuable course. If we have enough interest, we hope to schedule the training for early/late fall. The 2-week course would take place on 2 Fridays (2 hours each) and 2 Saturdays (8 hours each).

What is CERT? The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is an all-risk, all-hazard training. This valuable course is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency. If a major earthquake (or any disaster) hits, do you …

  • have enough supplies for a minimum of 72 hours up to an entire month for all family members, including pets?
  • know how to turn off the gas?
  • know how to safely turn off the power?
  • know how to apply first aid?
  • have enough water for your family and your pets?
  • have provisions for living outside your home for a length of time if the structure is compromised?

Being aware of the hazards in our area will help you understand the importance of everyone being able to provide for their own personal needs for at least seventy-two hours and possibly much longer. CERT classes teach community volunteers important and valuable emergency response skills and actions that will help safeguard and protect themselves, family members, neighbors and coworkers.

When you are trained, you are far more equipped to deal with your circumstances without needing aid from outside sources. CERT members are trained in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. You will learn how to prepare for emergencies; what supplies you should NOW have in your house, how much food, how much water but most importantly, how to protect your family in an emergency!

Who should take CERT training?

  • Community Leaders
  • Parents
  • Members of clubs and organizations
  • Students, teachers and administrators
  • Neighborhood Watch groups

CERT Participants Learn How To:

  • Identify and anticipate hazards
  • Extinguish small fires
  • Recognize and treat life-threatening conditions
  • Triage patient care activities
  • Conduct light search and rescue
  • Help reduce survivor and team stress
  • Organize emergency response volunteers
  • Identify and respond to threats of terrorism
  • Assist first-responders by recording and reporting situation information
  • Preparing disaster supply kits