The CERT program is a partnership between first responders and the communities they serve. CERT training prepares people to take care of themselves and others during large scale emergencies.

CERT training equips individuals to care for themselves and work as a team to care for their neighborhood, school or surrounding community until help arrives. CERT members maintain and refine their skills by participating in exercises and activities in their own communities. Additional training is available for those who wish to augment their skills and there are many volunteer opportunities for projects to improve community emergency awareness and preparedness.

CERT training is ideal for neighborhoods, schools, clubs and organizations, businesses, or any group of people who find themselves physically in the same area.

Why would you want to take CERT training? Local government prepares for everyday emergencies. However, there can be an emergency or disaster that can overwhelm the community’s immediate response capability. While adjacent jurisdictions, State and Federal resources can activate to help, there may be a delay for them getting to those who need them, particularly in Alaska. The primary reason for CERT training is to give people the decision-making, organizational, and practical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members, neighbors, and associates while waiting for help. While people will respond to others in need without the training, the goal of the CERT program is to help people do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.

The Basic CERT course is about 30 hours and is offered in various communities throughout the year. The course includes 8 sessions:

Session 1: Disaster Preparedness
Session 2: Fire Suppression
Session 3 & 4: Disaster Medical Operations
Session 5: Light Search & Rescue
Session 6: Team Organization
Session 7: Disaster Psychology
Session 8: Disaster Drill

Willow CERT is a volunteer-driven program. All work done under the program is from volunteers. Without the work of individuals, the program would not be successful. There are a number of ways that you can help.

– Take CERT training and be part of a response team.

– Develop your family emergency plan.

– Provide emergency preparedness checklists to your church, club, or at health and safety fairs.

– Help plan CERT volunteer gatherings and exercises.

– Write an article for our newsletter.

– Invite one of our CERT speakers to visit your business, parent/faculty meeting, congregation or neighborhood gathering.

– Ask a CERT volunteer to informally assess the vulnerabilities of your site and consult on your emergency preparedness plan.

– Participate in our monthly meetings!


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