Disaster won’t wait - get prepared
It is a disturbing fact, regarding disasters, that each day we do not have one, is one day closer to the next one

Human nature is very interesting, and predictable. We become aware of a possible impending danger, such as a disaster, and, if we are smart, we scamper about looking for ways to deal with it.

Nearly everyone considers laying aside a little food and water, some candles, a blanket or two, etc. Some, although a sadly small percentage, compile much larger stock piles. These may include such items as generators, portable radios, significant first aid and health supplies, medications, rain gear, warm clothing, sturdy boots or shoes, flashlights and batteries, lanterns cook stoves, the list can go on and on.

These stored supplies are vital in time of disaster. However, they are not the answer to disaster preparedness. While they may insure survival, they do not fill the needs of true preparedness.

We live in a society that has provided protection for itself by way of Fire , Police, and Emergency Medical services. We pay professionals to watch over us, and to be there when the need arises. Over the years, these organizations have developed into state of the art services. In general, we could not ask for better service, nor finer personnel to provide it.

Your local agencies have trained, retrained, and trained some more in disaster preparedness. You may rest assured, they know what to do in a disaster. And, they will do it well.

This brings us to our dilemma. Given the disaster work to be done within the community, during a disaster, the chances of you and I, receiving help is slim to none. Consider, there are the local nursing homes, the senior apartments, and the schools. There may be fires, broken water mains, gas leaks, crime, etc. Our services will have many priorities higher on the list than you and I.

All of this being considered, it puts disaster preparedness into an entirely different perspective. If we will need any of our public services, and they are not available, what will we do? Let’s examine why we might need them.

Perhaps we have a gas leak, a broken water pipe, electrical shorts, injured family members or neighbors, or a fire. All of these are things that public services would have been utilized to mitigate.

The answer is, if they can’t do it, we will have to. Does that mean we need to learn how to put out fires, shutoff gas, water and electrical. Sure !

We can also learn how to care for the injured.

The bottom line is, we must learn what to do, before, during, and after a disaster. Keep in mind, most of the things, for which we rely on emergency services, we can do for ourselves, if we are taught.

If we are to be self reliant, we must obtain quality training. The gold standard for emergency preparedness is Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) training. The training is endorsed by FEMA, Citizens Corps, and Homeland Security.

C.E.R.T. teaches preparation of home, business, or school, for disasters by providing classes in extinguishing small fires, disaster medicine, light search and rescue, as well as control and management of emergency scenes.
C.E.R.T. classes are intended to train individuals to help themselves and their families. There is not a requirement to belong to a C.E.R.T. team.

There is a Fillmore C.E.R.T. Team. All C.E.R.T. graduates are invited to join. There is, however no requirement to do so.

The Fillmore Fire Department provides C.E.R.T. training, utilizing the nationally recognized training program. The training consists of two and one half hour classes, given one day per week for seven weeks.

Classes are provided to the public without charge.

For further information contact Deputy Chief Royce Davis Sr. at (805) 524-1500 ext. 316 or e-mail at: rdavis@ci.fillmore.ca.us