The Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) was developed in 1985 by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department. They realized that citizens would be on their own during a major disaster. So they decided that the citizens would need some basic training of survival and rescue. This training would show them how to help themselves and others until help arrives. As of 1993, there are 8000 people and 225 teams that have been trained in California alone. Today CERT has spread to at least 38 states and several countries. CERT trains an individual in the basic knowledge of how to cop with a small fire, assisting in first aid or even working on stopping a flood. A trained CERT will bond with the community they serve. More importantly, CERT members will receive basic training to allow them to safeguard their families and their community in times of crisis. South Toms River CERT coordinator is looking to recruit members from the community. These members will take a 20 hour training course. The course will cover disaster preparedness in fire suppression, medical operations. Light search and rescue operations, disaster psychology, team organization and terrorism. For more information about CERT contact: Kevin McCormack, Councilman & Coordinator William Gleason, Deputy Coordinator Daniel DeCross, EMS, Deputy Coordinator Danny DeCross RERP, Fire Dept, EMS Andrew J Howard RERP Adam McCormack RERP Linda Petty, Police Department 144 Mill Street So. Toms River, N.J. 08757 732-349-0313
EMERGENCY SUPPLIES AND SAFETY TIPS
Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least three days. Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit with items you may need in an evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as backpacks, duffle bags or covered trash containers.
- A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won’t spoil.
- One change of clothing and footwear per person, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person.
- A first aid kit that includes your family’s prescription medications.
- Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
- An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler’s checks.
- Sanitation supplies.
- Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.
- An extra pair of glasses.
- Keep important family documents in a waterproof container. Keep a smaller kit in the trunk of your car.EVACUATIONEvacuate immediately if told to do so:
- Listen to your battery-powered radio and follow the instructions of local emergency officials.
- Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
- Take your family disaster supplies kit
- Lock your home.
- Use travel routes specified by local authorities–don’t use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous.
- HOME HAZARD HUNT
- During a disaster, ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage. Anything that can move, fall, break or cause a fire is a home hazard. For example, a hot water heater or a bookshelf can fall. Inspect your home at least once a year and fix potential hazards.Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards.
If you’re sure you have time:
- Shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving, if instructed to do so.
- Post a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
- Make arrangements for your pets.
- Check for damage in your home:
- Use flashlights–do not light matches or turn on electrical switches, if you suspect damage.
- Check for fires, fire hazards and other household hazards.
- Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows, and get everyone outside quickly.
- Shut off any other damaged utilities.
- Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline and other flammable liquids immediately.
- Confine or secure your pets.
- Call your family contact–do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
- Check on your neighbors, especially elderly or disabled persons.
- Make sure you have an adequate water supply in case service is cut off.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Family Protection Program and the American Red Cross’ Disaster Education Program are nationwide efforts to help citizens prepare for disasters of all types. For more information, please contact your local emergency management or civil defense office, and your local American Red Cross chapter. Start planning now.
Local sponsorship provided by: The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management