Why prepare? Because you never know.
Nearly everyone in Florida knows how to prepare for a hurricane. We’ve all seen the effects of Hurricanes like Andrew, Katrina, and even what a defunct large Tropical Storm turned depression named Sandy can do both in Florida and in other regions of the country. However, many people in Florida and around the country do not even think of preparation until the last minute, and by then, the stores are already being cleared out in minutes, leaving people without water, flashlights, or other basic necessities.
Emergency responders estimate it will take 72 hours to be able to access areas to assist the people affected, so having enough supplies on hand to survive this timeframe is crucial.
Are you prepared with supplies and the basic understanding and training that you need in case of a natural or man made disaster?
Have you ever actually had to pull a pin on a fire extinguisher and properly use it to put out a fire? Or have you had a vehicle stuck in sand or mud and had to make a wood cribbing to lift it and get it unstuck?
In Tampa, and many other areas around the country, there are local and state level C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) organizations. The federal initiative to train everyday citizens for basic emergency services started after the San Francisco earthquake during the 1989 World Series when the local and federal governments realized they were sorely understaffed. They had an immense amount of individuals who wanted to help, but had no training at all.
Having basic emergency training makes you an asset rather than a liability in an emergency situation. C.E.R.T. training covers things like knowing how to put out a small fire, and when to turn and run from it as well. It gives a basic understanding of psychology of responders and victims alike and how to help calm a situation. They cover basic search and rescue techniques and provide basic emergency responder training. They also offer many areas of continuing education such as HAM radio training, first responder training, CPR, and education in assisting local emergency responders following a disaster such as traffic control and re-entry training.
The courses are offered at various times throughout the year depending on your area, but here in Tampa, if interested, the contact email to register is firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on CERT in general in Tampa, contact email@example.com.
Just remember, there’s no such thing as being over prepared, but anyone can be under prepared and vulnerable.