Ignorance Is Not Bliss In A Disaster.
Try Highlands CERT!

There's a big difference between being unprepared and knowing the basics of what to do. It can even save lives. The Highlands Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) basic disaster response training is designed to help fill that gap.

See below for "WHY" to take CERT training. It's useful, it's free and it's fun. Also see Highlands CERT Program for more background details.

Personal Safety: Your personal safety always comes first at CERT. There you will learn several basics to help keep you and your family safe in a disaster. CERT sees it as the way you can be part of the solution rather than become part of the problem.

Attending the program gets you started thinking about how to prepare your household for emergencies. It is also a first run at learning useful skills which can then be improved upon with future training. A little preparation and a little thought ahead of time can make a big difference.

What To Do Next: Many people freeze during a serious emergency. But, if you take the training you will know what to do next and where to go with questions. As a CERT member you are part of a connected team that includes you, nearby team members, the CERT Command Post, the local fire department and that extends to state & federal resources as needed.

The training emphasizes always asking the Command Post for information, direction and resources when there is a critical uncertainty. A CERT team member is not expected to know everything but, at the minimum, he or she does learn basic safety essentials and where to go for support.

Save Lives: CERT teams are trained how to do a few simple things -- e.g., restore breathing, stop bleeding, treat shock -- that can help save lives which might otherwise be lost during the first few critical minutes before professional responders arrive. These are good to know even when there is not a natural disaster.

Provide Valuable Information: In a major disaster professionals will likely be overwhelmed for hours if not days. The Highlands CERT Command Post is in direct communication with a local firefighter who filters and passes information up and down the formal chain of command. One of the most valuable things CERT teams will do is provide local on-the-spot information that helps guide fire, police and medical professionals to where they are most needed.

Know Your Neighbors: At Highlands CERT you will get to know several more nice neighbors (20 attended the last training) and our local firefighters better over the six training sessions. This familiarity could be useful in a disaster too.

The training sessions include plenty of relaxed class interaction and small team exercises. Also expect many breaks with cookies and coffee ... but no real tests. Most attendees show up for all the training sessions, probably because the meetings are interesting and fun as well as useful.



Those are some of the "WHYs" to sign up at least one family member for a free Highland's CERT class. They are conducted by firefighers at Cal Fire Station 17 twice each year, usually in February and September. Tricia Hall, the Highland Recreation Center's CERT Coordinator, is happy to answer any questions or to put you on a sign up list. Contact Tricia at (650) 341-4251 or by email at tricia@highlandsrec.ca.gov.

For more details about Highland's CERT and the program in general please check out Highlands CERT Program. It's good information to know for an emergency.


written by Mike Sullivan

© Copyright 2015 Highlands Community Association
The HCA is not responsible for any information contained in external links.
Positions expressed in the lowdown and this web site are not necessarily those of the HCA.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software