After natural disasters like Hurricane Irene helped make 2011 the most costly year for damages recorded in U.S. history, many municipalities have wisely taken steps to ramp up their continuity of operations planning to effectively address any future emergency incidents.
While many municipalities have undertaken education initiatives to alert members of their communities of proper behavioral protocols as well as the essential supplies to have in their disaster preparedness kits, officials in Stamford, Connecticut, recently took measures to complete the city's first Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program.
CERT is a national program designed with cooperation from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and the state of Connecticut to train local citizens to support emergency personnel should a natural disaster occur.
According to reports, those who complete the CERT program are trained in invaluable skills such as light search, team organization, disaster medical procedures and fire safety so that extra emergency assistance can be deployed whenever necessary.
"Here in the City of Stamford, we learned firsthand by our experience with Hurricane Irene … how important it is to have trained volunteers to assist," stated Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia. "They are an invaluable resource for our city."
Consequently, should a disaster manifest, Stamford will be well equipped with extra experienced personnel to help citizens cope with the emergency.
For other municipalities interested in undertaking similar emergency training initiatives, it would be wise to send community representatives to the Continuity Insights Management Conference 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona, taking place from April 16 to 18. At this conference, certified disaster consultants can help municipality officials assess the threat level of their region and suggest education initiatives to train additional emergency relief volunteers.