I've recently been CERT certified through the City of Phoenix Fire Department's program and want to share some of the important take-aways that I've learned.
I want to start by stating for the record that I'm not a doomsday prepper. Those people are nuts. But I am a big proponent of being ready for a disruption in our daily lives and managing the risks associated with a disruption.
Phoenix FD offers a lot of training on the topic, and opportunities to practice the skills and apply the knowledge gained. For example, Jena and I have current CPR/AED and basic first aid cards in our wallets. Bottom line is that we're prepared to take care of ourselves personally first, then reach into the community and assist as needed.
Phoenix's CERT program, administered by the fire department, is part of the national FEMA program on disaster preparedness. You can learn about being personally prepared by visiting ready.gov. I'm including a few of the recommendations below.
build a 3-day kit for each member of the family (including infants, children, and pet)
As an added bonus, have 30 days of food, water, and medication at home
Too often we don't plan for our pets. Even if we think we are ready to either shelter in place at home with our pets or move out to an evacuation site if needed, there are aspects of that most of us don't think about.
Some of the most important pet-related items that I learned about:
This article is about personal preparedness. In a future article, I'll talk about business continuity planning. For now, I just want all of us to be thinking about the topic. I want you, your family, and your employees to not become victims of a bad situation. Learn to take care of yourself and pass this information on to anyone else that you care about.
More about CERT: Any citizen can become part of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) with 20 hours of basic training on a weekend. Phoenix Fire Department hosts CERT training on a regular basis. Here's a link to their calendar.