Tonight was my second of six weekly training classes for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). This week, we studied fire safety. As part of the class, we all went outside and practiced putting out a fire.
Highlights from the lecture:
- Most of us know what room most fires start in the home start in; the kitchen. What room is number two? The laundry room.
- A “large fire” is anything larger in size than a bathroom/bedroom trash can.
- Once a smoke detector goes off, you have about 30-seconds to get out of the building safely. Yes, you read that right, 30-seconds to get out of the building.
- In California and other places, a Natural Gas Auto Shutoff Valve is required for new construction. The instructor recommended them for everywhere. What these shutoff valves do is during an earthquake shakes the natural gas meter, this device will automatically turn off the gas, thus helping to prevent a fire.
- On hazard materials, you may have seen the multicolored diamond like the one on the right. This is called National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 704 Diamond.Each of the quadrants describes a partion of the risk of this item.
Red describes the material’s flammability.
Blue indicates the health hazard.
Yellow indicates reactivity.
The higher the number, the higher the risk. As a member of CERT, if you see one of these in a fire or other emergency situation, stay away. CERT members are not trained nor have the equipment to handle these kind of situations.
- The instructor likes to give homework each week. This weeks home work:
Turn off all the lights in your house. Go to your room. Close your eyes really tight. Spin yourself around until you are disoriented and dizzy. Then, with the lights still off, try to get out of the house in 30-seconds. During a fire, as I said earlier, you have about 30-seconds to safely get out of the building once the smoke detectors go off. If you are awaken by them in the middle of the night, you will be disoriented. The smoke will cause you to be more disoriented and dizzy. This will stimulate to a some degree what it would be like if there was a fire. Can you make it out in 30-seconds?
Check out more Emergency Preparedness tips at the recently updated Emergency Preparedness and Family Home Storage page at FoodStorage.MikesWorld.org. Also check out my other CERT posts as I go through CERT training.
The January – June 20009 CERT schedule has been posted on LVAlert.com. Unless they are planning on expanding it some more and this is just a preliminary training schedule, there are only 2 sessions planned for the first 6-months of 2009.
The first session will be held on Thursdays from January 15 – February 19 from 6 pm – 9 pm at the Las Vegas Fire Training Center on the corner of Bonanza and Mojave at 633 N. Mojave. The second session will be held on Wednesdays from February 4 – March 11, also from 6 pm – 9 pm, at the Silver Mesa Community Center on Allen, just north of Alexander, at 4025 Allen Lane, In North Las Vegas.
I highly encourage all the readers of Mike’s World News to take these free, informative trainings. We all remember the bang up job that FEMA did after Katrina. Don’t rely on others to save you and your family in a disaster. Empower yourself through knowledge. The knowledge you gain could very easily save your life or the life of someone you love.
For more information about CERT, the Community Emergency Response Team, visit www.CitizenCorps.gov/CERT.
The first class in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a lecture about disaster preparedness. Highlights that the instructor talked about:
- Keep a flashlight by your bed. In a disaster, a light is your lifeline.
- Keep a pair of shoes by your bed. If there is an earthquake, you won’t want to walk through broken glass.
- Put baby locks on your upper cabinets. If there was an earthquake, they can help prevent things from falling out and breaking or landing on someones head.
- Put some reflective paint on your utility shutoffs. In the middle of the night, if you need to turn them off, they will jump out at you when you shine your flashlight at them.
- Make sure your water heater is strapped to the wall!!!
- Think about where the gas line comes into your house. What is right above it? The power box. If there was a major earthquake, turn off your gas line, for an earthquake could break both the gas line and the power lines. Gas + electricity = big fire.
- In a major disaster, it is often times easier to call someone out of state than instate. Therefore, have an out of state emergency contact / check in person. If there is a disaster, everyone in the family knows they are to call that person and check in with them.
- The Las Vegas Valley has several major earthquake fault lines running under it. A major earthquake here is very likely. If and and when it happens, emergency response will be overwhelmed. We will be left to fend for ourselves. What will you do?
An earthquake hits Las Vegas. 100,000s are injured. Large sections of the city are without electricity. The emergency personal are overwhelmed. What do you do?
The Community Emergency Response Team (“CERT”) training tries to help you know, before hand, what to do in an emergency. From the CERT website “The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area 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 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 their community”
Today I took the first of six classes in CERT. I think this is a great class everyone. The skills you learn could very well save your life and the life of those around you.
Las Vegas Fire & Rescue provides this training free to anyone in Southern Nevada interested in attending. I will be taking it for the next five Wednesdays in the evening. If anyone is interested in joining me, let me know. You can miss the first class but not any of the other ones.