25 Feb Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Planning
NOTE: This Health, Safety, and Security component is currently being revived and restructured. Read about it below.
Going Forward: Renewed and Revised Village Emergency Response Planning
We are continuing to work with Chatham County Emergency Management, the regional American Red Cross, the FHA Board, the Fearrington Cares Board, and volunteer residents to develop clear plans and procedures for a coordinated village emergency response to meet the needs of residents following a variety of potential emergencies. This planning will involve establishing clear guidelines for the use of The Gathering Place and the Fearrington Cares Building, neither of which has the capacity to serve as either short-term or long-term community shelters. While both buildings do have access to emergency generated electric power during village power interruptions, both buildings could potentially support only limited, very short-term specific use during certain phases of certain village emergencies, and then, only for a few residents who may need it. We will soon complete operational guidelines and response plans and then distribute the information widely to residents.
IMPORTANT: For any village-based emergency response to be effective, we urge all residents to return the completed Voluntary Emergency Information Registration Form (choose one format below). If there have been recent changes in your household regarding the needs and capabilities of any resident(s), be sure to complete and turn in a new form so the content will be up to date!
- Voluntary Emergency Information Registration (Used to register needs and capabilities of residents during emergency conditions. Fill in Online.)
- Voluntary Emergency Information Registration (Used to register needs and capabilities of residents during emergency conditions. Print and fill in by hand.)
- Also see the information about the FILE OF LIFE, which we encourage ALL residents to have on the refrigerator for easy access by EMT responders. The magnetic FILE OF LIFE envelope and the information card insert is available FREE of charge at the FHA office during business hours.
Tornado Advisory from FEMA on Reinforcing Garage Doors — Why It’s Important to Reinforce Overhead Garage Doors to protect your roof from severe wind storms, and how it can be done. Backgrounder on Preparing for a Tornado.
History: The History of Fearrington Village CERT
The Fearrington Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program was developed in 1985 to prepare citizens to help themselves and their neighbors during the early stages of a catastrophic disaster. CERT volunteers received 20 hours of basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills that could improve the chances for citizens to survive until professional responders or other assistance arrived. The national CERT program is operated under the guidance of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and Homeland Security.
In the past, sixty-four volunteer residents of Fearrington Village completed the 20 hour CERT training program and met regularly to practice skills. The CERT volunteers were trained to canvass their neighborhoods, extinguish small fires, shut-off outside gas/water valves to damaged houses, perform light search and rescue operations, render basic first-aid, assist in opening a shelter, and direct residents who came forward to assist. The CERT program pledge is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. After a disaster, the CERT volunteers are trained to first take care of their family and immediate neighborhood and then report to an Emergency Operations Center, which was planned to be located at the Fearrington Cares building, for assignment with other Village CERT Teams.
History: The Interruption of Fearrington CERT and Rebirthing
The Citizen Corps Program, then-based in Sanford, NC, served Chatham County by providing education and training to help community volunteers be better prepared to respond to threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters. They trained citizens to perform light search and rescue operations, render basic first-aid, assist in opening a shelter, and direct residents who came forward to assist.
When the Chatham County-based Citizen Corps Program lost its funding in 2010-2011, their service capacity was shifted to another entity in Orange County, after which the systematic formal training ended in Chatham County and here in Fearrington Village. A formal CERT program cannot exist without on-going proper training. ChathamCERT is now part of the Chatham County Emergency Operations. If you are interested in learning more about CERT and possibly volunteering, go to http://www.chathamcert.org.