WHEN “THE BIG ONE HITS”, HOW WILL WE RESPOND?
Recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile have emphasized the need for community and individual preparedness. The Whatcom Unified Emergency Management, the Whatcom County Citizen Corps Council, and the Bellingham Technical College (BTC) are collaborating to offer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes to those interested in becoming better prepared if and when a major disaster occurs. The next session will begin on Thursday, April 15, from 6:30 to 9:30 PM, and will run for 9 weeks.
CERT training presents citizens with the facts about what to expect following a major disaster; provides actions people can take before, during, and after the event to survive and recover as effectively as possible; trains people in needed life saving skills with an emphasis on decision making, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number; and shows how to organize teams to be an extension of first responders offering immediate help to victims until professional services arrive.
CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. It is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be on their own for an extended period of time and when their actions can make a difference. The CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it.
The cost for this class is $69 per student. This covers administrative costs, books, and a CERT responder’s safety kit. For registration information, contact Monica Valandani, BTC Program Office Coordinator, at 360-752-8447. For overall information on CERT, contact Bob Jacobson, Whatcom County CERT Coordinator, at (360) 778-7163.