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3.0 Community Emergency Response Team It has been proven time and again that emergency services will take some time to respond to the immediate needs of a community affected by an emergency or disaster caused by a hazard event, especially if there is no warning, as in the case of an earthquake. As a result, people would generally have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate lifesaving and life-sustaining needs.

In order to prepare communities for such a situation, the CERT programme has been introduced with the following objectives: • Present citizens with the facts about what to expect following a major disaster in terms of immediate services. • Inform citizens of their responsibility for mitigation and preparedness.

• Train them in needed lifesaving skills with emphasis on decision-making skills, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number.

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• Organize teams so that they are an extension of the Zonal committees offering first responder services to help victims until professional services arrive.

The CERT training will benefit any citizen who takes it, as he/she will be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a hazard or disaster event. It is also a way for the community volunteers to supplement their Zonal committees in their response capability to an event. CERTs can provide immediate assistance to victims in their area or zone, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not had the training, and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional responders with prioritising and allocating resources following a disaster.

The CERT training is delivered by a team of emergency responders through the Department of Disaster Management (DDM). Its training syllabus includes: • Disaster Preparedness • Disaster Fire Suppression • Disaster Medical Operations • Light Search & Rescue • Disaster Psychology and Team Organization • Disaster Simulation Exercise Please contact the DDM at (284) 468-4200 for further information on CERT.

58 Community Disaster Preparedness Guide

BVI DDM Community Disaster Preparedness Guide  
BVI DDM Community Disaster Preparedness Guide  

The Disaster Management Department of the BVI's Community Disaster Preparedness Guide, released May 18, 2012

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