Q: What is CERT?
A: The CERT program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills; such as personal preparedness, fire safety, light search and rescue, disaster medical operations, and much more. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist themselves and others in their neighborhood or workplace following an incident when professional responders are not immediately available.
Q: How does CERT benefit the community?
A: People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threat to their home, workplace and community and can take steps to lessen the effects of these hazards. If a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, CERT members can apply their training to give critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors, associates or others in their immediate area until help arrives. When help does arrive, CERT members provide useful information to responders and support their efforts as directed at the disaster site. CERT members can also assist with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community such as distributing preparedness information at community events, etc.
Q: Why take the CERT Training?
A: Local government prepares for emergencies every day. 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 in getting to everyone who needs assistance. The primary reason for CERT training is to give people the decision making, organizational and practical skills to offer immediate assistance to family, friends, and associates while waiting for professional help to arrive. People will respond to others in need without training; the goal of CERT is to help people do so effectively and safely.
Q: What if I have concerns about my age or physical ability?
A: Everyone can do something to help during times of need. Just let your classroom instructor know if you have a concern about doing a skill like lifting. You can learn from watching. There are many opportunities in CERT for someone who wants to be involved and help. Following a disaster, CERT members are needed to help with documentation, comforting others, logistics, etc. Non-disaster activities may include keeping databases, writing newsletter articles, helping with community events, and much more.
Q: Does Kansas City, Missouri have a CERT program?
A: Yes. Kansas City, Missouri has a very active CERT program coordinated by the Office of Emergency Management. Within the Kansas City program there are corporate teams, neighborhood teams and individuals that make up a dynamic and diverse group of people who are committed to helping others when they need it most.
Q: Who can take CERT training?
A: CERT training is offered FREE of charge to people that are age 18 or older that live or work in Kansas City, Missouri. All are welcome to take the training for their own personal knowledge. Those that wish to participate as active CERT members must pass a background check and complete an orientation to volunteering class.
Q: What if I don’t live or work in Kansas City?
A: There are many CERT programs in our area at the City and County levels. We’d be happy to help you find the CERT program nearest you.
Q: How do I sign up for CERT training?
A: Signing up for CERT is easy. You can register for a class and get more information by contacting the Kansas City CERT Coordinator, Jennifer Fales, at 816-513-8602 or by email at Jennifer.Fales@kcmo.org.