Beginning March 15, the Mendon Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will host an ongoing series of emergency preparedness nights designed to help residents of Mendon, Petersboro, Young Ward and College Ward become more self-sufficient during times of crisis and/or natural disaster. The monthly classes, themed “Preparing our Neighborhood for the Unexpected,” will take place on the third Wednesday of each month from 6:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Mendon Fire Station (50 E. 100 North).
Troy Teeples, Mendon’s CERT program director, said the program has been developed as a resource for anyone who wants to learn more about how to prepare for “whatever may come.” Topics being discussed within the next three months include survival gardening, CPR, and water collection, purification and storage.
“With just a little training, we can all learn to help in the event of an emergency,” said Teeples. “When professional response teams become overwhelmed, we can make a big difference in our community when the time comes that we’re needed.”
RoseAnn Brandley, a self-proclaimed ‘prepper’ in Mendon, is excited about the CERT courses and hopes to be involved with instruction.
“I have always felt really passionate about being prepared because I think it’s my own personal responsibility to take care of myself and my family,” she said. “For me, preparedness is just a way of life.”
Brandley said preparedness involves having gear, obtaining knowledge and, most important, developing skills.
“If your gear gets lost or stolen or broken or ruined, it doesn’t do you any good,” she said. “If you have it in a textbook or on a device, it can be…not with you. But in your skills, you have that in your head.”
With the exception of the CPR course being offered in April, the Mendon CERT courses are not currently certification-oriented. They will, however, help participants develop practical and potentially lifesaving skills to address concerns like nutrition, heating, sanitation and shelter should current standards of living become compromised. Discussion may also focus on topics like communication, emotional care and alternative medicine.
While exploring emergency preparedness may at first seem overwhelming, Teeples wants community members to know that support is available, and even small efforts matter.
“Let’s see if we can help the entire community just be one more step prepared than last month,” he said. “Take a leap of faith and come out and join us.”
More information about the Mendon CERT program is available by emailing <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>.