Space remains for CERT training in January

What would you do if a natural disaster struck now?  Do you have a plan to keep your family and neighbors safe?  Do you have a kit of emergency supplies to ensure that you can be self-sufficient?  Do you know what to do in case someone is hurt and emergency responders cannot reach you?

Seward is no stranger to natural disasters. The town is built on an alluvial fan that’s subject to frequent floods, and the only highway connecting Seward to the rest of Alaska goes through several avalanche zones. Add to that mix the possibility of a large earthquake, tsunami or a volcanic eruption, and it’s not hard to come up with a scenario in which Seward residents might be cut off from outside help for hours or even days

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management offers training in the Community Emergency Response Team or CERT.  CERT is a program that provides individuals training on how to care for themselves, their family, and their neighborhood until help arrives.  The class includes sessions on:

-          Disaster preparedness: information about local hazards and steps that people can take to prepare their family, home and workplace.

-          Fire suppression: basics about fire behavior, fire suppression techniques and personal and team safety.

-           Emergency first aid and triage: basic assessment and emergency first aid skills to help in situations with many casualties and life-threatening injuries.

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-          Team organization: familiarization with basic incident command system structure and team organization skills to quickly organize teams to provide the most help for the most people.

-          Disaster psychology: information about the emotional environment rescuers will encounter and steps that can be taken to relieve stress for themselves and those of disaster survivors.

-          Terrorism and CERT: the definition of terrorism and what type of targets and risks there may be in our area, types of weapons, risks, CERT protocols and protective actions.

The training is ability oriented which means everyone, no matter their age or physical ability, is encouraged to attend. CERT training is ideal for neighborhoods, schools, clubs and organizations, faith communities and businesses — in short, any group of people who live or work near each other or are together on a regular basis.

People may choose to join the CERT team at the conclusion of the class in order to participate further in the program and participate in advanced training and activities, although there is no obligation to do so.

The class is free of charge and has a few spaces open.  Training will be held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings and during the day Saturday for two weeks beginning January 6 through January 18.  To reserve a space in the class, visit www.kpvolunteers.org/signupsew.asp, or if you have questions contact Dan Nelson at dnelson@borough.kenai.ak.us or (907) 262-2098.

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