Citizens preparing for disasters - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Citizens preparing for disasters

Pampa, TX - The City of Pampa is preparing as severe storm season is already underway.

The Emergency Management Coordinator in Pampa recently started a local initiative of the Community Emergency Response Team or "CERT" Program.

The program which began in California trains everyday citizens on how to help first responders.

They are given fire training, medical response training and taught how to search for people following a disaster.

The main purpose is to have more people available in each community to search and assist after a severe weather event or disaster.

"During a major disaster your first responders are spread very thin, "CERT" basically provides that support before your first responders can get there, and it's made of regular community citizens," said Wes Schaffer who is the Pampa Emergency Management Coordinator.

Each "CERT" member is given a backpack with essentials inside so they are able to help those in their neighborhood.

All the Pampa "CERT" members went through training during the fall and completed a 20 and half hour course.

The program is also beneficial because it can help those who live in rural areas.

"In rural areas especially, I think that people are very dependent on the community, because of the lack of first responders, they're so spread thin, so the community really needs to help itself, this provides a vary basic amount of skills, that people can help their community, their neighbors, etc," Schaffer said.

Schaffer says they already have many people signed up for the next training course.

If you are interested in becoming a "CERT" member in Pampa you may contact Wes Schaffer at (806) 669-5820.
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