Disaster Preparedness - Are you Ready?
Preparing is more than just having enough food and water, learn more about Hillsboro CERT and how you can help.
Disasters rarely provide much time to prepare and in some cases, they happen without notice. Forecasters may be able to give us some warning of an impending snow storm, flooding, or the potential for high winds, but last minute preparations can be difficult - roads or store aisles may become crowded with people trying to gather essential supplies. Preparing beforehand reduces stress that can accompany these inevitable events.
Perhaps you do have emergency supplies - food and water for your family and pets, medications, a first-aid kit, flashlight/batteries, cell phone and portable chargers, tools to turn off utilities, important family documents gathered in one place, and other items. However, do you have the skills to navigate a disaster in your neighborhood or assist your neighbors until first responders can arrive?
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, which allows them to focus on more complex tasks. Through CERT, the capabilities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters are built and enhanced.
Since Hillsboro CERT began in the late 1990's, more than 10,000 individuals have been trained to assist their households and neighbors after a disaster. If you are interested in learning more about how you can prepare your household and assist your neighbors following a disaster, CERT is a great fit for you!
CERT Basic Training is offered in the spring and fall of each year. This 8-hour introductory course is offered in two, four-hour classes conducted mostly in a classroom setting. This introductory course is open to anyone interested in learning how they can prepare for an emergency, as well as those interested in becoming part of the Community Emergency Response Team.
Once you have completed CERT Basic Training and have chosen to become a member of the CERT team, you will begin to take continuing education courses (18 hours total). These are intensive, hands-on courses that ensure members understand and have practiced the skills needed to assist themselves and others after an incident. They are offered annually on the following schedule and are attended by new and veteran CERT members:
- January – CPR/AED
- March – Basic First Aid
- May – Advanced Search and Rescue; Damage Assessment
- July – Advanced Triage
- September – Skill Enhancement
- November – Emergency Communications: Spanish; Knot Tying
If you are interested in joining CERT, email CERT@Hillsboro-Oregon.gov to register for a course. The next Basic CERT classes will begin in October 2018.