CERT is NOT Just a Breath Mint
The candy-breath mint is 29 years older than the disaster-training course. One was founded in Los Angeles and the other in New Jersey. One fits in your hand and one requires lending a hand. Both can help people improve their lives before and after a disaster. Both can have positive effects upon an individual and the community at large. A Cert, the candy-breath mint, helps the individual who is using it and helps those around that person who are glad they are using it. The same can be said for CERT training.
CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) can assist the individuals and the community at large as well. One is small and easily portable. The other is hard work and requires training. Both can have an important impact on the quality of life after a disaster. Just think about it, how will you brush your teeth in order to have cleaner, fresher breath, when there is no water, no toothbrush, and no way to take a bath?
However, after a disaster, more people are likely to use Certs than to use CERT. Let’s face it, bad breath is one kind of disaster, but a natural disaster that affects our homes and workplaces is of a higher importance.
CERT training is the very basic organized response to a disaster such as a tornado, hurricane, an ice storm, or flooding. One of the frequent reactions after a disaster is that ordinary citizens automatically rush to assist their friends and neighbors. Strangers become heroes and lives become transformed by the spirit of close humanity in a time of crisis. With the CERT training, regular citizens gain the skills for basic response and learn recovery steps. After training, they can then provide assistance to others, especially when professional resources are overtaxed.
If there is a CERT training course being offered in your area, we strongly recommend that you consider stepping forward, taking the classes, and achieving this higher level of response training. With CERT, we can make life after a disaster a “fresher, cleaner” place.
C2C – Disaster Preparedness Coordinator
NC Department of Cultural Resources