Neighbor Helping Neighbor

CERT PROGRAMS Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors as number of victims, communication failures, and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment's notice through 911. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs.

One also expects that under these kinds of conditions, family members, fellow employees, and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other. This was the case following the Mexico City earthquake where untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800 people. However, 100 people lost their lives while attempting to save others. This is a high price to pay and is preventable through training.

We can predict that emergency services will not meet immediate needs following a major disaster, especially if there is little or no warning as in a tornado, and people will spontaneously volunteer. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs. CERT programs attempt to prepare communities to fill this void.

CERT programs consist of training which provides skills to civilians to be a successful part of emergency preparedness and response. The basic program focuses on becoming self-sufficient after a disaster, community preparedness and incorporates lectures, videos and hands-on training. These programs can be conducted in high schools, churches, club meetings, businesses or any where a group of people are interested in becoming more self–sufficient.

Anyone interested in having a CERT program brought to them FREE of charge, please contact the Somerset County Department of Emergency Services 100 East Union St. Somerset, PA. 15501 or call (814) 445-1515.

County Annex Office Building
300 North Center Avenue
Somerset, PA 15501
Somerset County Courthouse
111 East Union St.
Somerset, PA 15501