(click on this link and then click on "Getting Prepared".) SDART
(Seattle Disaster Aid & Response Teams) is a neighborhood-oriented
approach to emergency preparedness. It is based on the belief that a cooperative
effort between a city and its citizens is the only sure way to prepare
for a major disaster. It's overall purpose is to enable neighborhoods
to be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours following a major disaster.
AVERT http://www.avertdisasters.org: This is a non-profit organization in Utah formed for the purposes of developing, training, equipping and maintaining Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and programs. Many communities have some type of CERT program. Unfortunately, once trained, responders become inactive because of a lack of team activity and equipment. AVERT will support and promote CERT programs as well as document CERT activities for the various municipalities within which we serve. We will continue to work closely with communities and government agencies as well as other national governments to provide as many CERTs as possible with equipment, training and guidance so that they may provide a vital service to their communities in times of disaster.
CERT Los Angeles http://www.cert-la.com/WhatIsCert.htm:
This is an excellent website about what CERT is and how it works in the
Los Angeles area. It also has lots of links to other wonderful emergency
San Francisco Fire Department Neighborhood Emergency Response Teams
In March 1990, a group of concerned citizens who belonged to a SAFE (Safety
Awareness for Everyone) watch group in the Marina District of San Francisco
contacted the San Francisco Fire Department with a request for disaster
response training. In every major disaster, spontaneous volunteers are
first on the scene to conduct initial search, rescue and first aid. To
maximize the effectiveness of these volunteers, the Fire Department developed
a five-week training course using a Los Angeles City Fire Department program
as a basic model. The first Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT),
comprised of 24 Marina District residents, graduated on October 13, 1990.
For the next year, the training evolved to be functional and useful to the community. By the end of 1991, the Department had trained 210 people. At the end of 1998 there were more than 9,000 trained NERTs. This explosive growth was accomplished with little or no publicity. Word of the training has spread by those who have taken the program. Trained NERTs have a vested interest in seeing that their friends and neighbors have the same disaster skills level.
CERT http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/CERT/: This is FEMA's website for the CERT program. You can download CERT training and teaching manuals there.
The American Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/ (See below for an explanation of the Red Cross Disaster 3000 Series and how we can look at the Red Cross from a 3 Steps perspective.)
• The Red Cross Disaster 3000 Series Course is
very valuable in clarifying the breadth of service the Red Cross provides
and how it relates to our neighborhood efforts. This training confirms
that as neighborhoods we must be responsible for our own immediate emergency
rescue efforts for the first hours and possibly days--assisting our neighbors
until the Red Cross and professional help can reach us.
As neighborhoods we can promote the Red Cross organization and encourage our neighbors to both volunteer and donate funds to support the availability of the Red Cross. The Red Cross is always available to help where a disaster has happened. This is the case whether it's just a single family home fire or a hurricane taking out the Eastern Seaboard. When notified, they come as quickly as possible and set up sheltering for the disaster victims and arrange for meals and snacks. Sometimes this means putting up several families in motels for a few days until other arrangements can be made. Sometimes this means setting up mass shelters in high schools or local church facilities for hundreds or thousands of people. The Red Cross then makes arrangements for meals for all those needing food as a result of the disaster: victims, firefighters, police, utilities workers, and Red Cross co-workers. As these basic but essential needs are being met, Red Cross workers also help those in need to find sources of assistance for getting their lives back in order. Sometimes they even provide limited financial assistance for helping people to get back into their homes and have clothes on their backs. What a blessing that the Red Cross exists.
All across the world, the Red Cross operates from donated money. After seeing how they function and the service they provide, we would never hesitate to encourage everyone to donate to them. If every family donated $5, $10, or $20 (or more where possible) to the Red Cross (people in Utah County should donate to our Mountain Valley Chapter) each year, the Red Cross would be in a better position to help us when needed.We hope that all neighborhood chairs will eventually be able to take this Red Cross Disaster 3000 Series course, whether or not they ever plan to be Red Cross volunteers, so that they will know what resources can be available to their neighborhood through the Red Cross. When a disaster happens, large or small, the neighborhood chair can meet with representatives from the Red Cross, local churches, and other help agencies to coordinate disaster services for the people needing help in their neighborhood.
If you are interested in taking this course, call
your local chapter of the Red Cross. In Utah County call (801)-373-8580.