City, Police & Fire Departments use Emergency Preparedness Fair to Raise Awareness and recruit CERT Volunteers

Published On October 3, 2018 | By Christine Mason | Community, Crime & Public Safety, In the Neighborhood, News & Commentary

The City of Emeryville, The Emeryville Police and the Alameda County Fire Department held an Emergency Preparedness Fair last Saturday at Station 34 on Powell street. One of the purposes of the fair was to raise awareness for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training as well as enlist CERT volunteers. The event was well attended by families, seniors, kids and pets.

The City, Police, Fire Department and other local agencies want to provide education in disaster preparedness as well as provide training in basic emergency and lifesaving skills. By preparing neighborhoods and community groups in advance, our city can mitigate the effects of a natural or man-made disaster until assistance arrives.

Children in attendance enjoyed interacting with the firefighters and police officers, playing in the fire engines and touring their facilities. Storytime with city officials was popular with the kids as well.

Seniors and others in attendance participated in the “Sidewalk” CPR and AED instructions. PG&E’s kiosk was popular with people of all ages because it provided model sized demonstrations of common hazards. Everyone walked away with many informative pamphlets on emergency preparedness, free hot dogs and chips.

After several large-scale disasters such as the Oakland Hills Fire and the Loma Prieta earthquake, there was a realization by agencies that emergency services personnel will be able to reach all communities in the event of a major disaster. CERT was founded by FEMA in 1993 as a response to this.

Our city has nearly 12,000 evening residents with an estimated daytime workforce and visitor population as high as 50,000. Our proximity to freeway intersections as well as the Bay Bridge means disasters or other major events can strike anywhere and at any time.


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In the event of a regional disaster like an earthquake, traditional “911” and first responders will likely be overwhelmed and unable to immediately assist individuals. Professional emergency response teams like Paramedics and utility personnel could be delayed for hours, even days. Therefore we all need to learn how to be prepared and help ourselves and vulnerable community members.

By attending CERT training classes, the community can learn skills to help save lives and protect property. As a CERT team member, you can participate in disaster drills and exercises and help your community that you live in by volunteering. Training has a series of classes that is a total of 20-hour commitment. Once you complete the series you can join the team.

The Alameda County Fire Department has Personal Emergency Preparedness (PEP) Workshops, which are two-hour workshops to learn how to be better prepared as an individual or family. Topics will include what to do before, during and after an earthquake. Discussions will be on how to make a family plan, build an emergency kit and what items should be included and the proper way to store it. The workshop will also teach basic prevention or mitigation strategies that you can do in your home to protect your family and valuables.

Anyone who is at least 18 years of age or older can participate. CERT is ideal for organized community groups such as Neighborhood Watch, homeowner’s associations, community based organizations, civic or advocacy groups, condominium owners and dense urban housing complex residents.

If you are interested in Emeryville CERT and PEP training, please email EmeryvilleCERT@gmail.com to be contacted regarding upcoming class schedules. To find out more information about how you or your group can sign up for an upcoming Alameda County administered CERT training, please contact Emergency Preparedness at (925) 833-3473 ext. 1721 or (510) 632-3473 ext. 1721 or via email at cert@acgov.org.

Feature Image: 2018 Emeryville Mayor John Bauters and New City Manager Christine Daniel.

About The Author

has been a Bay Street resident of Emeryville since 2011 where she lives with her husband and son. She's a Real Estate Agent at Coldwell Banker. She is a board member at California Explorer Search & Rescue and a CERT instructor. She has a passion for the outdoors, rockclimbing, hiking and camping.

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