The four primary phases of a disaster are: 1. Preparedness, 2. Response, 3. Recovery, and 4. Mitigation. The CERT training addresses Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Even Though the course is centered around the team concept it it does a fantastic job of teaching the participants to be self-reliant, prepared to take care of themselves, families, and neighbors in a disaster. The course consists of a minimum of 24 hours of indepath information and hands on practice in 7 areas of study and ends with a review, finial test and simulation drill. The 7 areas of study are as follows:
Disaster Preparedness: Addresses hazards to which people are vulnerable in their community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take before, during and after a disaster. As the session progresses, the instructor begins to explore an expanded response role for civilians in that they should begin to consider themselves disaster workers. Since they will want to help their family members and neighbors, this training can help them operate in a safe and appropriate manner. The CERT concept and organization are discussed as well as applicable laws governing volunteers in that jurisdiction.
Fire Suppression and Safety: Briefly covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, sizing up the situation, controlling utilities and extinguishing a small fire.
Disaster Medical: Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques. Participants also learn how to evaluate patients by doing a head to toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area, performing basic first aid and practicing in a safe and sanitary manner.
Light Search & Rescue: Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques and, most important, rescuer safety.
CERT Organization: Addresses CERT and Incident Command organization and management principles and the need for documentation.
Disaster Psychologically: Covers psychological and physiological symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and worker and how to appropriately handle this symptoms.
Terrorism and CERT: Covers What terrorism is, terrorism targets, terrorism weapons, and how to prepare at home, work and in your neighborhood.