Not too long ago, Topanga had its own Topanga Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). As experienced trainers left, the team eventually dissolved and former members joined Malibu CERT.
Following the devastation of the Woolsey Fire, Topangans who want to participate in emergency preparedness have a unique opportunity to come together with Malibu CERT and reemerge stronger than before.
One of the best ways to prepare for wildfire and other disasters, as well as unite as a community, is to participate in the next Community Emergency Response Team training, which will be held on three consecutive Saturdays in January 2019.
“The Malibu CERT team self-mobilized during the catastrophic Woolsey Fire and provided critical assistance to community members in need,” said Mayor Rick Mullen, who is also an L.A. County Fire Captain.
CERT is a highly-acclaimed program of free courses administered by public safety agencies across the country that empowers citizens to help during disasters. Volunteers are trained in basic first aid, fire suppression, and search and rescue so that they can provide emergency assistance to their neighbors.
During the Woolsey Fire, Malibu CERT volunteers contributed about 300 hours of service to the emergency response by distributing food and medical supplies, assisting with evacuations, and administering basic first aid, a press release from the City of Malibu stated.
“In August 2017, the City Council adopted the official 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 a member of the Malibu CERT Team, organizational structure, team responsibilities, ongoing participation requirements, and activation procedures.”
In addition to first aid, search and rescue, and other training, CERT members will complete FEMA (Federal Emergency Manager Agency) training, serve at least 30 hours per year, attend regular meetings and drills, and will be registered as Disaster Service Workers.
Classes will be held on three consecutive Saturdays, January 12, 19, and 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and take place at Malibu City Hall, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road, Malibu, CA 90265.