Emergency Preparedness and Response Training for Arlington Residents Begins in September
Individuals who live and/or work in Arlington County are invited to participate in Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) sponsored by the County’s Citizen Corps Council, Office of Emergency Management and Fire Department. The eight-session, 26-hour course follows a national curriculum covering disaster preparedness, disaster medical operations, fire suppression and utility shut-off, disaster psychology, light search and rescue, team organization and terrorism. Two courses, each of which meets six weeknights and two Saturday mornings, are scheduled to begin in September and conclude in late October. To-date, over 550 County residents have completed this training, many of whom are active members of neighborhood teams. Contact ArlingtonCERT@gmail.com for additional information.
* * * * *
Disasters Can Strike at Any Time … Are You Ready?
Could you survive comfortably for three full days without power or assistance from others? Do you have enough food and water on hand? Do you have flashlights and batteries? How will you communicate if you can’t use your cell phone? What if grocery stores, gas stations and ATMs are not operational? All of these things could happen in Arlington. Are you prepared?
One important step you can take to be better prepared for and able to respond to and recover from all types of emergencies -- large and small -- is to complete Community Emergency Response Training (CERT). This eight-session, 26-hour course provides important information and skills needed to help yourself and others in emergencies and is offered twice a year. It is sponsored by the Arlington County Citizen Corps, Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Fire Department (ACFD) and follows a FEMA/DHS all-hazards curriculum used around the globe.
To-date, over 550 individuals have completed CERT training in Arlington County. It is open to Arlington residents -- and those who work in the county but reside elsewhere -- who are at least 18 years of age (16 and 17-year olds are welcome if accompanied by a parent or adult guardian) and able to participate in all aspects of the training, some of which requires lifting and carrying. We have members of all ages. The training is free, but participants are expected to acquire certain supplies themselves, many of which you probably already have on-hand. All classes meet at the Arlington County Fire Training Academy in Shirlington and are taught by ACFD, ACPD and OEM staff and CERT members.
Some complete this training simply to be safer in their own homes and workplaces. Others choose to complete additional requirements necessary to become active members of neighborhood teams trained to assist in major disasters. All help make Arlington County a safer place to live, work and play!
Fall CERT classes are scheduled to begin September 13 and 18 and available spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance registration is required. If you'd like additional information or would like to sign up, please contact the program's volunteer coordinator, Cynthia Kellams, at ArlingtonCERT@gmail.com.
In the meantime, with hurricane season upon us, please take a few minutes to do at least one thing to be better prepared for emergencies this summer. This could include:
-- Making sure you have enough food (non-perishable, such as canned goods) and water on-hand to last three days. The suggested amount of water (primarily for drinking) is one gallon per person per day for each member of your household. The three-day guideline applies all year-round, not just in the summer. Remember, the neighborhood Harris-Teeter or CVS might not be open in a disaster!
-- Keeping a working flashlight in your home and extra batteries for all your devices that may need them. A battery operated AM/FM radio is a good idea, also, as Arlington has its own AM station for emergencies (AM 1700). Give some thought as to how you'd continue to operate without power for a few days (no light, no ability to charge cell phones, no television, etc.). This is a great topic to bounce off family members around the dinner table!
-- Keeping hydrated – especially while working/playing outdoors.
Have a safe and happy summer!
|Powered by Social Strata|