Doomsday preppers can learn emergency response skills by taking part in Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training through their local government. The CERT program has expanded nationally over the past two decades since it was first started by the Los Angeles Fire Department in the 1990s. Currently, almost all large communities participate in the CERT program through their local fire and police departments.
Most communities offer CERT training periodically throughout the year and it is free to the public. Preppers must register for the course in advance and commit to taking the entire course. The training is typically given over a seven week period and meets one night a week for 2.5 hours. The training course consists of the following:
- Emergency Preparation: Trainees are shown the risks that are present within their area that could present problems in the future. Instruction is given to students on how to prep for and react to disasters. Additionally, preppers are given an overview of the CERT philosophy and concept of organization.
- Emergency Search and Rescue Procedures: Individuals are taught about the logistics of search and rescue procedures including instruction on forming plans, utilizing the right techniques and protecting oneself.
- Emergency Fire Containment: Individuals are instructed on fire safety and the use of fire extinguishers. CERT students will be taught how to assess situations and will even use fire extinguishers to put out fires.
- Medical Emergency Procedures: Instruction is given on how to administer first aid in emergency situations.
- Emergency Psychology and Team Makeup: Instruction is given in this session on how to properly organize and manage CERT operations including the correct way to keep records. In addition, students will learn about the effect of an emergency on victims and workers’ psyche.
- Final Overview and Disaster Simulation: In the last meeting, individuals will given one final overview of their emergency response skills then go through a full disaster simulation where they will put all the thing they have learned on the seven week course.
Once the training has been completed, preppers will be offered the opportunity to join the CERT program. Those who join the program will have the opportunity to refine their emergency response skills with professional responders while also helping their community in a times of need. Even if individuals decided not to join CERT, they will leave with training with the skills to better ensure their safety in a disaster. As an additional incentive for participants to become CERT members, many communities provide them with emergency response tool kits.