A disaster can happen at any moment. However, there is a seven-week course that could potentially save your life when the time comes.
“It’s so important to be educated on how to take care of yourself,” said Richmond County’s Deputy EMA Director, Mie Lucas. “That’s what the whole cert program is; it’s not just one area.”
People in the Garden City will have the chance to be certified for emergency responses.
The course is called Community Emergency Response Team or “CERT.”
The Program educates and trains volunteers to be prepared for potential disasters that could impact them.
Lucas says the volunteers get trained on everything from heat safety to mental health awareness.
“Disasters can be emotionally draining,” explained Lucas. “You may normally work an eight hour day, but if you work at a shelter for eight hours, you may be exhausted afterward. That’s because you’re on emotionally on edge. You are dealing with people who are having their worst day.”
Volunteers are even getting trained regarding what to do in case of an active shooter.
The Deputy EMA Director says the training teaches the volunteers different strategies to stay alive.
“You can’t prepare for an active shooter,” said Lucas. “However, you can know how to take care of yourself.”
Those who enroll in CERT gets a kit filled with start-up emergency supplies. They can add to that kit when the program ends.
“We really want people to be better prepared at home if there’s an emergency,” explained Lucas. “We have seen through statistics; people who have a plan at home are better prepared.”
Classes begin August 2nd. They are every Thursday for three hours, and it is free for the public to enroll.