Town Crier Articles

You Can't Predict, But You Can Prepare!
Posted on April 1, 2021 7:00 AM by Jack Espinal, Chair, Emergency Preparedness Committee
Categories: General, NTRA Business
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program of James City County (JCC) educates citizens about emergency preparedness and trains them in basic emergency response skills that can be used at home, in the community, at work or anyplace an emergency may occur. 
There is no charge for CERT training and it is and open to residents of JCC 18 years and older. The training is given in a lecture and hands-on format of nine 3-hour sessions. During the pandemic, face-to-face evening CERT training is being conducted at the JCC Fire Department Training Center on John Tyler Highway. Classes are limited to twelve students and are conducted following COVID-19 protocols.
 
Do you know how to survive man-made and natural disasters (hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and cold weather emergencies) on your own for up to three weeks before the arrival of first responders?    
 
CERT training will give you the skills to:   
  • Locate and turn off natural gas and propane supplies for homes and businesses,
  • Locate and disconnect electrical power from buildings,
  • Locate and disconnect water to prevent damage to homes.
  • Administer first aid and basic medical assistance, 
  • Take action to survive an active shooter situation,
  • Plan for living outside your home for a length of time if the structure is compromised and must be evacuated,
  • Develop an emergency kit that contain supplies (including food, water, and medicine) to sustain family and pets for up to 3 weeks in the event of a major emergency, and 
  • Develop emergency survival kits for work and car/truck.      
Upon completion of training program graduates indicate if they would like to become CERT members assisting community members in the event of an emergency or to graduate with the intention of applying their skills for their personal and family use. There is no pressure or obligation to become a CERT member. Whichever path is chosen those completing training are assets to the community through being better informed and prepared.      
 
New Town formed its first CERT in 2019.  We are a small team. Additional helping hands are badly needed. The most important prerequisite is a desire to be of assistance.  If you have questions, please call me at 703.946.5787.         
 
For additional information on emergency preparedness and/or to register for CERT training please go to:  https://jamescitycountyva.gov/2661/Community-Emergency-Response-Team .   CERT training is conducted throughout the year.   
 
 
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