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Posted: 7/22/2013 8:49:18 PM EST
I've seen this referenced a few times in the past, but I don't have the ability to search, so please forgive me if this has been discussed before. If there is existing thread already on point, please direct me to it.

Regardless, I've been thinking about this kind of training, but have some hesitation given that it seems to be a FEMA program. Maybe my tinfoil is a bit tight, but I don't want to be on any more FEMA lists than I already may be.

But the training seems beneficial, not only on a personal level for my family, but also for our fairly large neighborhood if some of the other neighbors took it.

Would appreciate your insights on this type of training, both pros and cons.

What types of things do you learn? Length of training? Cost? Obligations after training in the event of an emergency? (I'm not a professional first responder and don't want to be one - whether professional or voluntary. My first priority in an emergency is my family. After the family is secured and squared away I'll move outward. But not until then).

If there is truly a SHTF scenario, it would seem beneficial to the entire community to have many trained and with the ability to take the lead, so my thought in this is that I wouldn't be the only participant, but would enlist other members of the community to also take the training.

You guys have such a wealth of experience in this area and I would appreciate your thoughts.
Link Posted: 7/22/2013 11:47:45 PM EST
I joined up with my local CERT, but lost interest pretty rapidly. It was me and my wife, in our 20's, and... everyone else was old enough that they could barely walk, let alone respond to emergencies. Nice group, but it was basically just an excuse to get together and gossip about what was going on around town.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 12:33:58 AM EST
Well the one near me costs $20, and if you don't attend mandatory meetings you get kicked out of the program.

No thanks.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 3:46:25 AM EST
waste of time.

The knowklwdge is watered down to the lowest common demoninator making it all but worhtless. The people that attend the class are not "preppers" some are there to help, some are there to control.

Two things that will be worth it, seeing how piss poor the community will handle a problem (weak areas) it will be a shocker on how screwed things will be.

Possible contacts. You might meet a few people that would be worth the time, but real preppers don't usually show themselves in a couple meeting.

Link Posted: 7/23/2013 5:40:17 AM EST
I have heard some people post about extremely valuable ones but I'm in the "not worth it" category from my personal experience. In fact, mine bordered on dangerous. There was no follow up and no actual infrastructure/organization, just a few nights of very basic instruction. The class I took was a good decade or so ago, I think (I posted about it here) and was attended mostly by the elderly. They covered the absolute basics of a BOB, they let folks use a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire ("Aim for the base." was about the extent of the instruction) and talked about some basic smarts like how to shut off a gas main in case of physical damage to an area. They didn't cover medical, they didn't use the word "terrorism".

What freaked me out on day one was having the police and fire chiefs explain that we, as "neighborhood CERT leaders", should get to know the folks in our area so we'd know who has what supplies that could be used for the community. Now I know the whole thing was about keeping neighborhoods safe until services could be restored and I get that they were saying "Know your local resources and where you have holes" but they dumbed it down to the point where they were literally telling people to ID and even make lists of campers, hunters, people with RVs, nurses who may have medical supplies, et cetera with the assumption that those supplies were community property in the event of an emergency. Bad message, bad attitude. I kept very quiet the remaining nights and tried to be the most ignorant and least prepared one in the room.

My thought? If you have the time and money to spend and it doesn't require any uncomfortable commitment on your part, go take it and see. Worst case, you're learning what you'll be facing in case of an emergency and know what they'll be looking for - and how to not be targeted. Best case, maybe you network a little, learn something new and/or get to be even a little bit of an "insider", which might give you and your family a negotiating edge in case of a local disaster. As far as tin foil, last week's "batshit crazy" appears to be this week's "normal" so I don't throw stones anymore. Just be careful what you say and what info you volunteer.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 5:49:35 AM EST
I recently did CERT training. They were careful not to share contact info of the students with each other, so that no one got spammed. The training was pretty basic, but the final exam did actually involve hands on training. We practiced filling sandbags and building water diversion walls, we practiced removing bodies from collapsed buildings (pallets with heavy stuff on them), we practiced putting out fires, and they had the local high school drama students (with makeup and gory injuries) help us with triage and treatment. The triage exercise was worth it. In a true disaster, you will have some carnage and have to be able to sort (triage) the badly wounded/fatal from those that can be saved. It's not an easy task to walk away from someone who is a minute or two from death.

Anyway, it sounds like everyone has a different experience. I will say that the training is very basic, but still valuable. My class was a good mix of young, middle aged, and retired people.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 6:33:11 AM EST
I enjoyed my CERT experience. After you take the course, it's pretty much up to you to review the material as necessary and maintain your knowledge and training.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 6:48:16 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KeithC:
What freaked me out on day one was having the police and fire chiefs explain that we, as "neighborhood CERT leaders", should get to know the folks in our area so we'd know who has what supplies that could be used for the community.
View Quote
You would shit yourself if you ever done any kind of mil/community emergency response training or exercises. The people that throw around "confiscate/detain/requisition" to make up for the community non-preparedness is mind boggling and scary as shit.

On the disaster training exercises I've been on, the first thing in a emergency, "confiscate the commisssary/supermarkets/gas stations to see what we have" is usually done in the 1st 30 minutes or so.


Link Posted: 7/23/2013 7:44:23 AM EST




Here is one of my old bags...I think the program is great and you can learn alot. depending on whos who. However I did lose interest.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 9:08:01 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TaylorWSO:
You would shit yourself if you ever done any kind of mil/community emergency response training or exercises. The people that throw around "confiscate/detain/requisition" to make up for the community non-preparedness is mind boggling and scary as shit.

On the disaster training exercises I've been on, the first thing in a emergency, "confiscate the commisssary/supermarkets/gas stations to see what we have" is usually done in the 1st 30 minutes or so.[/span]

[/span]
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Jesus.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 11:08:20 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TaylorWSO:
You would shit yourself if you ever done any kind of mil/community emergency response training or exercises. The people that throw around "confiscate/detain/requisition" to make up for the community non-preparedness is mind boggling and scary as shit.

On the disaster training exercises I've been on, the first thing in a emergency, "confiscate the commisssary/supermarkets/gas stations to see what we have" is usually done in the 1st 30 minutes or so.


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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TaylorWSO:
Originally Posted By KeithC:
What freaked me out on day one was having the police and fire chiefs explain that we, as "neighborhood CERT leaders", should get to know the folks in our area so we'd know who has what supplies that could be used for the community.
You would shit yourself if you ever done any kind of mil/community emergency response training or exercises. The people that throw around "confiscate/detain/requisition" to make up for the community non-preparedness is mind boggling and scary as shit.

On the disaster training exercises I've been on, the first thing in a emergency, "confiscate the commisssary/supermarkets/gas stations to see what we have" is usually done in the 1st 30 minutes or so.




While I've never been involved in an exercise of a scale large enough to simulate what you're talking about, I'm afraid it doesn't surprise me. It is a product of a society that believes they can do whatever is best for them in the moment and give no consideration to the future or preparing themselves. So when living that way leads to being in a position of great disadvantage the first reaction is to take from those that still have resources.

As for CERT, I haven't done anything with the program by my mother-in-law was heavily involved with them for several years. She liked the idea, but wasn't impressed with the execution or depth of the information provided. She was an EMT for years and said that often the people doing the training would call something "good enough" that really wasn't and they wouldn't correct people and train them correctly because they were volunteers. They thought that if they corrected them too much, they'd quit. That led to poor training quality.

Like most things I suspect how good the program in your area is depends heavily on who runs it.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 1:06:46 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TaylorWSO:
You would shit yourself if you ever done any kind of mil/community emergency response training or exercises. The people that throw around "confiscate/detain/requisition" to make up for the community non-preparedness is mind boggling and scary as shit.

On the disaster training exercises I've been on, the first thing in a emergency, "confiscate the commisssary/supermarkets/gas stations to see what we have" is usually done in the 1st 30 minutes or so.


View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TaylorWSO:
Originally Posted By KeithC:
What freaked me out on day one was having the police and fire chiefs explain that we, as "neighborhood CERT leaders", should get to know the folks in our area so we'd know who has what supplies that could be used for the community.
You would shit yourself if you ever done any kind of mil/community emergency response training or exercises. The people that throw around "confiscate/detain/requisition" to make up for the community non-preparedness is mind boggling and scary as shit.

On the disaster training exercises I've been on, the first thing in a emergency, "confiscate the commisssary/supermarkets/gas stations to see what we have" is usually done in the 1st 30 minutes or so.



I second this. I've done some training on larger scale for emergency response on both the EMS and the .mil side. I can attest to exactly what Taylor is saying. The plan of action from a logistical standpoint on anything beyond the most basic disaster is bit terrifying.
There is a reason everyone keeps talking about Opsec.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 5:37:48 PM EST
I took the CERT course and I'm our OEM shelter coordinator.
Most of our members are well meaning folks that could direct traffic in a parking lot, answer phones and mark houses that need assistance on a street map.
I'm amazed at the low level gear that CERT teams are issued.
Does anyone use a Rayovac square battery flashlight?
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 5:47:10 PM EST
I think that the training in our area is beneficial. There is no followup however. You go through the training and that's it. They have no ongoing mission in our area.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 5:56:16 PM EST
I've never seen them do anything other than hand out water at big fires, and try to order firefighters around. That didn't go over well.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 6:23:37 AM EST
For me I started our CERT program as a force multiplier for our semi rural FD for disasters. If you have a neighborhood CERT its much easier to coordinate volunteers who have basic training.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 11:39:30 AM EST
The quality of the experience, mindset of the membership, and training varies wildly between locations I think.

A friend tried hard to get me involved due to my knowledge of ham radio, portable repeaters, and enterprise backup power. Being a prior EMT didn't hurt either I suppose. I finally agreed to attend a meeting, and was stunned at what I saw. In this area at least, there are lots of whackers who want to be cops and firefighters but aren't. You know the type: they buy surplus Crown Vics at auction and make them look like police cars, complete with corner strobes and multiple antennas. Lots of guys swaggering around wearing Motorola portables. Screw that-I had zero desire to associate with that crowd.

Link Posted: 7/24/2013 3:10:21 PM EST
I went to one training class for it and felt that it was pretty worthless. YMMV
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 7:40:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By Bearacuda:
I've seen this referenced a few times in the past, but I don't have the ability to search, so please forgive me if this has been discussed before.
View Quote


How to search without a team membership:
Go to www.google.com
Enter search term: site:www.ar15.com CERT
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 6:47:13 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Dan_Gray:
I've never seen them do anything other than hand out water at big fires, and try to order firefighters around. That didn't go over well.
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Failure with instruction of the CERT members. At our CERT class it was made obvious that we were there to assist the needs of the firefighters, police, etc. Not take charge of any relief efforts unless the professionals weren't available.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 8:51:35 AM EST
CERT is being used right now in MO to look for a missing jogger. we for a jog and never came home. They are searching corn and soy bean fields, lake and creek areas and thick vegetation.
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