Welcome to Caldwell County, NC CERT!

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact Caldwell County and trains them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist themselves, their families, and others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in Caldwell County, North Carolina.

This is a free, voluntary program that encourages members of our community to be prepared in any emergency.  Individuals, groups of friends and family, and organizations are all encouraged to join us!

Practicing in CPR class

Practicing in CPR class

Collapsed Wall Class

Collapsed Wall Class

First Aid Class

First Aid Class

Class Members

Class Members

Meeting Reminder–Caldwell County REACT

Anyone who has completed the Basic CERT Class is invited to attend Caldwell County REACT meeting Thursday, March 23, 6:00-8:00 pm, at the Health and Human Services Building, 2345 Morganton Blvd SW. Use the back entrance. Becoming affiliated with REACT International will provide us each with $1 million of liability insurance. We will also become a 501(c)(3) non-profit that will allow us to accept tax deductible donations and do fund-raising. Attend the meeting Thursday to learn more about ways we can serve the residents of Caldwell County and assist our first responders.

Wilderness Search & Rescue Class CANCELLED

The Wilderness Search & Rescue Class scheduled for Saturday, March 4, is cancelled due to illness. The primary instructor has the flu and will be unable to teach.

CERT POD Class Held Saturday in Lenoir

POD Exercise

POD Exercise

Caldwell County hosted a CERT class for volunteers to learn about staffing a POD (Point of Distribution) that is a model used for distributing critical supplies to the public in the event of a serious disaster when normal channels of food and water distribution are interrupted. PODs were used last fall in the flooded areas of North Carolina as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

There were 6 Caldwell County CERT members in class joined by people from Winston-Salem to Asheville. The class was taught by Samantha Royster, NC CERT Program Manager from Raleigh.

Two POD kits were transported here for the class to see the equipment and gear provided by the state of North Carolina and to use in an exercise. Each kit includes personal protective gear such as hard hats, reflective vests, and gloves. In addition, the kits have traffic cones, whistles, flags, flashlights, and garbage cans. If a POD is deployed, semi-trailer trucks would transport the needed water, pre-packaged meals (MREs), and tarps that would be distributed to each family.

The POD system is designed to provide an organized, fast, safe distribution of critical aid in times of an emergency. Trained CERT volunteers would be a valuable resource in helping to staff PODS in Caldwell County if needed.

Caldwell County REACT Team Forming

Keith Smith-Steve BogdanTo become a charter member of the Caldwell County REACT team, attend our next organizational meeting on Wednesday, February 15, 6:00 pm at the Caldwell County Health and Human Services Building. Enter through the back door, employee entrance. Let us know if you cannot arrive by 6 pm.

We will vote for officers, approve by-laws that have been drafted by the By-laws Committee, and choose a logo drafted by one of our members, Mark Barrera. I plan on taking photos for our ID cards.

Our REACT members are required to have completed CERT Basic Training. Annual dues of $25 are required for REACT International which will include $1 million liability insurance for each member.

Membership Dues:      1st family member: $25

2nd family member or Junior member: $20

All additional family members: $10

Checks should be payable to Caldwell County REACT.

At our last meeting, a motion was passed to create the “Caldwell County REACT” chapter. We will be affiliated with REACT International, an organization begun in the 1960’s that supports community teams that encourage and provide emergency radio communications as well as:

“Many REACT Teams go beyond just communications and provide services such as traffic and parking control, search and rescue support, assistance with large public events, helping with safety breaks along roadways, help monitor traffic flow, assist with their local emergency management offices, law enforcement and also some participate in the Skywarn program of storm spotters.”

The Caldwell County REACT team will provide us the group status that will allow us to be deployed for community emergencies. We will work in collaboration with and support other groups such as the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club, other CERT teams, our local emergency management and first responders. We will continue to emphasize and provide CERT training to our members and the community.

 

CERT Local Training Classes

Class 2Upcoming Training for CERT members–POD training, Map and Compass Reading, ICS 400, Wilderness Search and Rescue Class, and NC CERT State Conference.

There is no charge for these classes. The CERT Basic Training course is a prerequisite for attendance at these classes.

1. February 18, Saturday, Point of Distribution (POD) Training

NC CERT will be providing training on the POD system used for distribution of emergency food and supplies in the event of a community disaster disrupting the normal supply chain. This is a valuable service that, if trained, our members could be used to organize and staff POD centers in Caldwell County.

The training is on Saturday, February 18, 12:00-5:00, at the Caldwell County Health and Human Services Building, 2345 Morganton Blvd, Lenoir, NC.

Registration is on the state TERMS site.

If you are not already a registered TERMS user, you will need to sign in here before you can register for a class. The link to TERMS registration is on the upper right of the page.

The POD class has a prerequisite of the online POD class and test. It is interesting and worth the time. Here is a link to the IS-26 class.

This video is a short overview of the POD system.

2.  February 21, 2017, Tuesday, 7 pm—Map and Compass Reading

Kings Creek Fire Department

Maps and compasses will be provided for the training. To register, call Kenneth Teague at 828-757-1419.

3.  February 25 and 26, 8:00 to 5:00. ICS-400 – Advanced Incident Command System Command and General Staff – Complex Incidents

Grace Chapel Volunteer Fire Department
4547 Grace Chapel Road, Granite Falls NC 28630

ICS 100, 200, and 300 are prerequisites. Register on the TERMS website.

4.  March 4, 2017, Saturday, 10:00 to 3:00—Wilderness Search & Rescue Class (Registration required—maximum of 20-25 CERT participants. Lunch provided.)

Kings Creek (address will be provided to those who register)

The class will include a session on how to build an emergency shelter. Participants should bring an 8 x 10 ft. tarp.

To register, call Kenneth Teague at 828-757-1419.

5.  May 20, 2017, Saturday, 9:00—NC CERT State Conference (More information to follow—please put this date on your calendar.)

Morganton, NC

Starting a Workplace CERT Team

A Workplace CERT program can support and enhance existing capabilities, and CERT volunteers can participate in efforts to increase the preparedness and resilience of the workplace and community. A Workplace CERT program equips employees with skills that enable them to perform basic disaster response operations in an emergency.

Having trained volunteers available on staff helps protect the health, safety, and lives of people at your workplace. Workplace CERT volunteers are trained using the CERT Basic Training curriculum. A CERT program can increase workplace resilience by increasing personal preparedness, allowing employees to return to work more quickly after a disaster. For organizations with a large public-facing component, such as grocery stores or shopping malls, CERT can also help serve the public in the event of an emergency. CERT training will ensure employees have the knowledge and skills to act quickly.

Workplace CERT volunteers can also support the non-emergency needs of the workplace. For example, appropriately trained Workplace CERT volunteers can help manage traffic and crowds at large events and functions. However, while CERT volunteers learn a variety of skills, they are not professional responders and should not act beyond their training.

There is a free Workplace CERT Starter Guide available for employers who would like to learn more about CERT in the workplace.

Caldwell County REACT Team

CERT Club Meeting—1/26/2017

At our meeting on Thursday evening, a motion was passed to create the “Caldwell County REACT” chapter. We will be affiliated with REACT International, an organization begun in the 1960’s that supports community teams that encourage and provide emergency radio communications as well as:

“Many REACT Teams go beyond just communications and provide services such as traffic and parking control, search and rescue support, assistance with large public events, helping with safety breaks along roadways, help monitor traffic flow, assist with their local emergency management offices, law enforcement and also some participate in the Skywarn program of storm spotters.”

The Caldwell County REACT team will provide us the group status that will allow us to be deployed for community emergencies. We will work in collaboration with and support other groups such as the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club, other CERT teams, our local emergency management and first responders. We will continue to emphasize and provide CERT training to our members and the community.

Our next meeting will be Wednesday, February 15, 6 pm, Caldwell County Health and Human Services Building, 2345 Morganton Blvd, Lenoir, NC.

Benefits of being affiliated as a REACT chapter include $1 million general liability insurance for our members and status as a 501(c)(3) (tax exempt) organization that will allow us to fund-raise and apply for grants.

For those of you wishing more information about REACT, here are some links to Burke REACT and REACT International.

We encourage all our CERT-trained volunteers to attend the meeting on February 15 to become charter members of the Caldwell County REACT team. We will need to collect annual dues owed to REACT International for Charter members on February 15. This includes the cost of $1 million general liability insurance for each member. Please bring a check made out to Caldwell County REACT.

Membership Dues:      1st family member: $25

2nd family member or Junior member: $20

All additional family members: $10