Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 4
Equipment / PDF Files of CERT Equipment Articles #2
« Last post by prepperadmin on August 13, 2017, 10:59:16 am »
PDF Files of the CERT equipment articles page 2
Equipment / PDF Files of CERT Equipment Articles #1
« Last post by prepperadmin on August 13, 2017, 10:58:19 am »
PDF Files of the CERT equipment articles, page 1
Training Materials and Videos / CERT Damage Assessment Training
« Last post by prepperadmin on April 02, 2017, 09:02:18 am »
Another perspective on CERT gear and training.  One of the things I hope you notice is that CERT teams usually carry redundant gear.  There are certain things in my everyday carry (EDC), and CERT gear for which I subscribe to the idea that "Two is one, one is none...."  First-aid supplies, flashlights, masks,

This video also gives an excellent example of what a CERT search and rescue/damage assessment mission would look like.  Notice the techniques and methods used and discussed.
Training Materials and Videos / CERT Facebook Page
« Last post by prepperadmin on April 02, 2017, 08:27:34 am »
Here is the link to a Facebook page with CERT info and resources:

Equipment / Article: Firefield NVG-to-CERT Helmet Mount Modification
« Last post by prepperadmin on April 01, 2017, 10:12:59 am »
Night Vision equipment has the potential for very useful applicability for Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) duties, particularly in the search and rescue arena.  It’s pretty safe to say that we will be searching through damaged buildings in an area where the power is out, either because of the disaster, or turned off on purpose for safety reasons.  It will be a very low light, or even completely dark scenario, and NVGs can be an important tool for performing better search and rescue, as well as helping to ensure the safety of the CERT member.  But night vision equipment tends to be expensive, especially if you try to purchase the generation 3 (GEN3) military grade equipment.  And yes, we can use flashlights.  But I can tell you from the voice of experience of someone who has had to work in low-light and no-light situations that lots of flashlights tend to really screw up your eyes as they try to adjust from light to dark to light to dark…

While the military grade units, such as the ATN gear, cost into the tens of thousands of dollars, the good news is that adequate night vision for us “regular people” can be purchased for less than $1000, often in the $300 to $500 dollar range.  Hunters, hikers, and campers use night vision equipment to be able to see in the wilderness at night.  So realizing the NVG utility and popularity potential in these situations, a number of companies have come up with many affordable options for night vision equipment that are very appropriate to hunting/hiking, as well as what we are doing in the CERT arena.  These budget units are not nearly as sophisticated, nor do they have the high quality vision of the high priced ATN GEN3 units, but they are more than adequate for the purposes for which hunters/campers use them, and the uses for which I had envisioned in CERT search and rescue applications.

I chose the Firefield Tracker 1 x 24 Night Vision Goggle (NVG) Binocular for my equipment.  This is a GEN1 NVG unit in the $400 dollar range.  Wiki EzVid ranked these one of the seven best NVGs for 2017.  It can see in low-light environments without illumination assistance, and also comes with its own IR illuminator for assistance in extremely low-light and no light situations.  And as I mention later in this article, I further augmented the IR illumination capability with a Sightmark IR-805 unit attached to my helmet to help this unit’s ability to see in complete darkness, and at longer distances than the built in IR illumination will allow.  In my testing, I was able to use this model in the pitch-black of my utility room in the basement, and still see every detail of the room in complete darkness.  Outside at night, I was able to see completely dark areas very clearly, and with good definition.  The IR-805 allows for illumination at even greater distances outside – up to around 150 meters.
Course Overview

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates individuals about disaster preparedness and trains and organizes teams of volunteers that can support their communities during disasters. The CERT Program offers training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. With proper CERT training, you can help protect your family, neighbors, and co-workers if a disaster occurs.

"Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)," IS-317, is an independent study course that serves as an introduction to CERT for those interested in completing the basic CERT training or as a refresher for current team members. The course includes six modules: CERT Basics, Fire Safety, Hazardous Material and Terrorist Incidents, Disaster Medical Operations, and Search and Rescue, and Course Summary.

While IS-317 is useful as a primer or refresher for CERT training, it is not equivalent to, and cannot be used in place of, the classroom delivery of the CERT Basic Training. To become a CERT volunteer, one must complete the classroom training offered by a local government agency such as the emergency management agency, fire or police department. Contact your local emergency manager to learn about the local education and training opportunities available to you. Let this person know about your interest in taking CERT training.
Here is a link to the FEMA Independent Study Institute that contains all of the training materials and slides for the various CERT programs and annexes.
Equipment / Article: CERT Backpacks and Equipment
« Last post by prepperadmin on March 27, 2017, 11:31:37 am »
When you go through initial CERT training, you are issued the standard helmet, a CERT vest, and a backpack containing some basic tools and supplies. After you leave CERT training, you will find that there are many more items that you should have in your kit, and the basic backpack just isn't large enough or sturdy enough to handle it all. And if you pack the basic backpack full of "stuff," it is going to get heavy, and the backpack just isn't sturdy enough (in my humble opinion) to contain all of it.

I prefer to take a more modular approach to my gear. This allows me to distribute the contents and weight over a few different containers. I just don't need every single piece of equipment on my person at all times. There are certain tools and supplies that I do need with me all the time, for example, but those things will fit into a smaller tactical backpack. I put all my first-aid and medical supplies into a pack all their own. And I use a larger pack to keep things that I might need at the end of the day, or after a long search and rescue.

This review will discuss all of these packs, their contents, and some of the benefits that I have found from departing from the standard issue CERT gear.
Equipment / Article: CERT Helmet Alternatives
« Last post by prepperadmin on March 27, 2017, 11:30:04 am »
I'm a Member/Instructor with the Fort Collins Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). As part of my CERT gear, I wanted a comfortable helmet that would provide excellent bump protection and was more flexible in its ability to allow for attaching hands-free lighting, cameras, night vision, and other accessories. I also wanted a helmet that would allow me to wear my electronic hearing protection, which is also capable of giving me greater listening abilities. This rig doesn't break the bank, and I feel is a much more useful setup for CERT purposes than the standard CERT issued helmet.
Equipment / Article: CERT Communications Accessories
« Last post by prepperadmin on March 27, 2017, 11:28:56 am »
Whether on CERT Search and Rescue duty, severe weather spotting, or even just out doing training, good communications is important. I'm a HAM radio operator, and a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), so being able to perform double-duty as a CERT Team member and an emergency radio operator in a disaster is a possibility for me. Having the ability to integrate hands free radio operations into my other CERT gear, as well as having the flexibility to use this gear in a standalone configuration was one of the key things I was looking for when assembling my deployment gear. The images you see in this album are just some of the ways that I was able to accomplish this with good equipment, but without breaking the bank.
Pages: [1] 2 3 4