1994 Earthquake, a mile from my parents' house.

W00t! I’m now registered for the next CERT course in Mountain View (and my boyfriend is considering joining me). Let me tell you about CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)… Actually, I don’t know much about it yet. But here’s what the website says:

“Over the course of 4 weeks, CERT members receive training in earthquake awareness, disaster fire suppression techniques, disaster medical operations, first aid/CPR, light search and rescue as well as team organization and management. CERT Training culminates with a disaster simulation and comprehensive course review. All classes are taught by trained emergency personnel, including firefighters and emergency medical services personnel, with an emphasis on hands-on practice.”

Sounds like a great foundation for handling the zombie apocalypse.

They’ve also got a class called PEP (personal Emergency Preparedness) which teaches:

  • When and how to turn off the gas
  • How to use a fire extinguisher
  • What to do when phones don’t work
  • How to manage when the power is out
  • What to do about pandemic flu
  • Earthquake Emergency Supplies
  • Medical Aid for the first five minutes after an event
  • Community Emergency Response information

Which also sounds useful (though potentially redundant).

The program was started by the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985 and has spread throughout the country, as all good ideas should. Pardon me as I take a moment of home town pride: Woo, LA! We may have fires and mudslides and earthquakes and celebrity car chases, but damn, we know how to handle them!


On a slightly more serious note, programs like CERT are what got my home running again after the Northridge Earthquake in 1994.  See the photo below? It’s also from the 94 earthquake. That crack running across the street… that house is on the same block as these houses, from my ZAR scoring post.

CERT programs exist all over the country. Here’s a directory broken down by state. I’m excited to get CERT training.

Go, thou, and do likewise!

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