Protect Yourself and Your Family the First Three Days of an Emergency
HILLSBOROUGH – Disasters can strike quickly and without much warning. Would you know what to do if local emergency personnel were overwhelmed during a disaster or unable to access your neighborhood for up to 72 hours?
The Somerset County Office of Emergency Management will host Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training for Somerset County residents, starting Tuesday Nov. 12; Seating is limited to the first 50 residents. Registration forms are due by Nov. 8.
Classes will be held at the Somerset County Emergency Services Training Academy, located at 402 Roycefield Road, Hillsborough N.J. 08844. Training sessions will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. on Nov. 12, 14, 19 and 21. Class hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday Nov. 17, and Saturday Nov. 23.
The CERT program is free for Somerset County residents. Students who complete all modules will receive a CERT certificate of completion.
“Somerset County is fortunate to have so many well-trained emergency responders who do a wonderful job and who are dedicated to serving their communities,” said Freeholder Mark Caliguire, public health and safety department liaison. “But, depending on the emergency and the scope of the county or regional situation, our first responders may not be able to reach all areas of the county right away. For that reason, we are offering CERT training to help our residents stay safe during disasters.
“Protecting yourself and your family during an emergency requires planning. Just as emergency personnel train and prepare in advance for disaster, residents also can take training classes,” he said.
Residents who complete CERT training will have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home and community, and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves and their families. Although people without training do respond to others in need during emergencies, the goal of the CERT program is to help residents do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.
CERT training is intended to give people the decision-making, organizational and practical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members, neighbors and associates while waiting for help. Participants will learn about disaster preparedness and receive training in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations.
“We are very pleased with the interest that previous CERT programs have received. Thanks to programs run in 2012 and earlier this year, Somerset County now has close to 150 additional residents ready, willing and able to assist family and friends in their communities,” said Freeholder Caliguire. “No doubt many more residents could benefit from this experience and the sense of control that comes with knowledge and training.”
For more information about the CERT training program or to receive a registration form, contact County CERT Coordinator Tony DeMatteo, Somerset County Office of Emergency Management, at (908) 725-5070 or firstname.lastname@example.org.