CERT Happy Valley

What is CERT?
CERT is a FEMA program consisting of local volunteers who are trained to respond to the hazards that may impact their area when professional responders are not immediately available to help. These volunteers can support and train residents in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, general search and rescue, team organization, and first aid. Since its inception in 1994, CERTs have been established in hundreds of communities.

How does CERT benefit the community?
People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their homes or workplace. If a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, CERT members can apply the training learned in the classroom and during exercises to give critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors or associates in their immediate area until help arrives. When help does arrive, CERTs provide useful information to responders and support their efforts, as directed, at the disaster site.

CERT members can also assist with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community. CERTs have been used to distribute and/or install smoke alarms, replace smoke alarm batteries in the home of elderly, distribute disaster education material, provide services at special events, such as parades, sporting events, concerts and more.

What does the Happy Valley CERT do?
Right now, the areas of Happy Valley, Damascus and Boring are looking to increase CERT participation. Our mission is to help communities become resilient in the face of local disasters and promote community connections. We offer 24 hours of FREE training which includes basic first aid, fire suppression for your home, light search and rescue, disaster preparation (think earthquakes and other catastrophes), and many other topics.

Do CERTs work with other first responders?
CERT training promotes a partnering effort between emergency services and the people that they serve. The goal is for emergency personnel to train members of neighborhoods, community organizations, or workplaces in basic response skills. CERT members are then integrated into the emergency response capability for their area. If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community’s professional response, CERT members can assist others by applying the basic response and organizational skills that they learned during training. These skills can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until help arrives.

Are their ongoing CERT activities?
CERT members maintain and refine their skills by participating in exercises and activities. They can attend supplemental training opportunities offered by the sponsoring agency and others that further their skills base. Finally, CERT members can volunteer for projects that improve community emergency preparedness.

Ready to join CERT or want more information? The group meets monthly at Happy Valley City Hall. Check out www.reayd.gov/cert to learn more about this important group and Email [email protected] to get involved.