Florida community organizes for CERT program under direction of former nurse
| 02.27.2007 | 06:39:52 | Views: 3568 | ID:
February 27 '07: The Brandenton Herald reported recent efforts in the Lakewood Ranch area near Sarasota to organize community members to be prepared for disasters. Joan Robbins, a retired nurse who moved to the area in 2004 with her husband, has been credited with organizing the community's emergency preparedness committee and for mobilizing the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.
Robbins told the Herald that her community lacked an elected government - Lakewood Ranch and many of the surrounding neighborhoods had volunteer governments and a loose network of services. However there was no community response or disaster preparedness plan in place should a tornado or hurricane strike - which they often do, the Herald reported."All of a sudden, we had Charley and three other storms in 2004," Robbins told the Herald. "And I said, 'This is really bad. I need to do something.'" To prepare the community, Robbins and several other community members organized CERT training sessions. According to the Herald, "The classes teach basic skills that people should know to take care of their family and neighbors." "They would need to know whether or not we needed shelter and bottled water and food pallets," Robbins said. "And they would need to know the number of injuries that people sustained and whether or not we needed specific types of immediate response which they could probably provide sooner." Laurie Feagans, the chief of emergency management of Manatee County helped Robbins with the CERT development program as well as provided information about local response protocols, the Herald reported.
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