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Posted on: December 30, 2019

Sign Up for the Next Free CERT Course and Learn How to Prepare for Disasters

JAN newsflash-03

As part of the City of Malibu’s ongoing efforts to enhance community-wide preparedness for wildfires, earthquakes and other disasters, the City will offer the next free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training course starting on Saturday, January 25, 2020. The class will be held from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on three consecutive Saturdays at City Hall. Those who complete the course will receive a free backpack with emergency gear.

CERT is a highly-acclaimed program of free courses administered by the City of Malibu that empowers citizens to help during disasters. Through hands-on training, participants learn the most up-to-date information in basic disaster preparedness, the use of a fire extinguisher, disaster medical care, basic first aid, search and rescue, disaster psychology and neighborhood team building. 

During a major disaster, emergency responders may not be able to reach all people and neighbors right away, especially if infrastructure, bridges and roads are damaged, communications systems are disabled, or there are very large numbers of casualties. After the major earthquakes in Italy in 1980 and in Kobe, Japan in 1995, up to 90% of people trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings were rescued by locals before emergency aid arrived, according to a study published in Environment and Urbanization.

CERT volunteers are a crucial part of the City’s ability to prepare and respond to disasters. Participants must complete all seven modules to receive a certificate of completion. Any participant who misses a class may make it up during a future course series. 

In 2017, the City Council adopted the CERT Program Guidelines, an important step in formally incorporating the program and the trained, dedicated CERT volunteers into the City’s Emergency Management System. The guidelines outline the requirements to become an active member of the official Malibu CERT Team, as well as the organizational structure, team responsibilities, ongoing participation requirements, and activation procedures. Malibu CERT Team members are registered Disaster Service Workers. In addition to completing the CERT training course, they have to complete Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trainings, serve at least 30 hours per year and attend regular meetings and drills. 

For more information or to sign up, visit the Eventbrite page or call Public Safety Specialist Sarah Kaplan at 310-456-2489, ext. 368 or email SKaplan@MalibuCity.org