Monday, October 1, 2012

Resident Club Showcase: Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

The On Top of the World Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a group of volunteer emergency workers who have received specific training in basic disaster response skills and first aid who complement existing emergency responders in the event of a major disaster or neighborhood emergency. CERT is made up of On Top of the World (OTOW) residents and is always looking to add new members.

One of the interests of the OTOW CERT is to become acquainted with fellow residents in their neighborhoods and have their neighbors become acquainted with the team members. Recently in the Candler Hills and Avalon neighborhoods of OTOW, some of the CERT members took the initiative to go door to door to say hello.  The CERT members visited about 30 neighbors in their community and found many of the folks they spoke to were pleased to receive information about CERT and meet the members of the team. 

The CERT members not only shared information about CERT, but they also talked about hurricane preparedness and offered a 'file of life' card in which the homeowner can record medical information and place it on the refrigerator for responders to locate in case of an emergency.  They also determined if in each household there were any special needs such as oxygen dependency, measures to take for a diabetic or any other medical condition. 

The team also shared that if there is ever the need for evacuation due to a disaster, long term loss of power or property damage, the Marion County Sheriff's Office maintains lists of people who may need to be taken to a special needs shelter for care during the event. This is a very important step to ensure residents will be taken care of when they are not able to do so on their own. 

All CERT members go through an array of training such as fire safety, search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. Residents of OTOW are fortunate to have this special team available to them for help and care when they need it most. 

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