Community Emergency Response Teams are a FEMA initiative to educate citizens about potential hazards and train them in life-saving emergency skills. Across the country, more than 2,200 registered Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) provide critical preparedness and emergency support to their communities.
In a disaster situation, these citizen-responders use their unique training to mobilize teams and help others when emergency services providers are overwhelmed or not immediately available. Their skills help save lives and property — while improving our community's preparedness and response capabilities.
Our Northern Gila CERT is invaluable. This 40-person team works as an extension to us, local fire departments, police stations, and sheriffs' offices, providing first aid, fire safety education, flood sandbagging, evacuation and logistics support, transport, damage assessment, security, and traffic control. They also are engaged in a number of philanthropic and community events throughout the year. The team logged more than 1,500 volunteer hours in 2014.
In addition to its critical work during emergencies, Northern Gila CERT provides training in basic disaster planning and response skills, enabling residents to better protect themselves and their families in the event of a crisis. See the Payson Roundup, the Arizona Silver Belt, or Copper Country News for upcoming training sessions in your area. Or, contact Mac Feezor to arrange an educational session at your site.
To get involved in CERT, contact:
Northern Gila County:
Southern Gila County:
To learn more, sign up for national CERT newsletters or updates, or to get teens involved, visit www.fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams
Think global, act local! Gila County encourages residents to get involved in two key national emergency preparedness efforts.
Every September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). Now in its 12th year, this nationwide, month-long initiative encourages households, communities, and businesses to plan for emergencies. The national preparedness effort encompasses prevention, protection, response, and recovery efforts to prepare for all hazards. Sponsored by FEMA, NPM offers programs, tools, and resources to help people become self-sufficient in an emergency — enabling first responders to focus on critical needs. More important, such activities present an opportunity for residents to bond together and collaboratively protect the place where they live.
For year-round preparedness, residents can take part in America's PrepareAthon! This year's campaign started April 30, 2015, and focuses on actions to prepare for:
In addition to learning about the hazards that affect Gila County, America's PrepareAthon! offers an opportunity to participate in 10 key activities, improve your planning and preparation abilities, become part of the national dialogue, and even plan your own preparedness event. Previous years' participants have been recognized by FEMA and other national authorities, receiving press coverage for their events.
For more information, click here.
Materials can be accessed at www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/94719
Gila County R.A.C.E.S. works with our Emergency Management responders during times of need, providing critical radio communications to the general public. A fully volunteer organization, Gila County R.A.C.E.S. is comprised of licensed amateur radio operators who want to make a difference in our communities.
To get involved, visit http://tontoradio.org/EMComm.html