WARREN, NJ - On Saturday, September 13, members of the Warren Township Office of Emergency Management’s CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Team participated with over 60 other Somerset County CERT volunteers in a County CERT drill at the Somerset County Emergency Services Training Academy in Hillsborough, NJ.
The mock disaster scenario simulated a 6.0 earthquake shaking central New Jersey. Warren CERT Members were instructed to evacuate a five story building at the Training Academy with over 18 “victims”. The Team performed admirably transferring their “patients” to a triage medical area operated by other CERT members. Warren CERT members involved in the drill included Lauren Nelson, Laura Lamson, Rory Britt, Eric Stewart, and CERT TEAM Captain Andy Logan. Warren OEM Coordinator, Jane Asch, assisted as an evaluator.
Protecting yourself and your family during an emergency requires planning. Just as emergency personnel train and prepare in advance for disaster, residents also can take training classes. CERT training is intended to give people the decision-making, organizational, and practical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members, neighbors and associates while waiting for help. Participants will learn about disaster preparedness, and will receive training in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. If you are interested in taking the course the next time it is offered at the Training Academy, email Warren Township Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Jane Asch at jasch@warrennj.org.
September is National Preparedness Month (www.ready.gov/september), which aims to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies. This year’s theme, Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare, encourages people to be aware of the disasters that may occur in their area and then take action to be better prepared.

America’s PrepareAthon! was launched as a community-based campaign to increase emergency preparedness at the grassroots level by motivating the public to take action through such steps as drills, group discussions and exercises. On April 30, 2014 more than 5 million individuals participated in preparedness activities across the Nation as part of the first America’s PrepareAthon! The second America’s PrepareAthon! Community Day of Action will take place on September 30th and there are a variety of ways for communities to get involved.
Communities can begin planning their PrepareAthon! event by identifying the hazards that could happen in their area and developing their own! activity to address those risks. At an individual or workplace level, this might include actions like making a communication plan or building an emergency supply kit. Communities can take action to prepare by coordinating with local emergency management agencies, first responders, fire, police, or public health departments to develop a community-wide drill. Many communities in earthquake-prone areas around the country will be participating in the Great Shakeout, a worldwide earthquake drill on October 16th.
Once communities have identified a preparedness action, they can register their event on the America’s PrepareAthon!  website (www.ready.gov/prepare) and join millions of Americans who are doing their part to be more prepared.