CERTified disaster preparation


Photo courtesy of Joe Vope

Student participants learn how to face emergencies.

There is a constant pressure for residents in California to prepare for an imminent major earthquake, but not everyone is prepared. Over the summer, teens in Irvine can attend a one-day free program called CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) to help enhance students’ ability to recognize, respond to and recover from emergencies or disasters.

“Watching the San Andreas movie made me worried, because I have no idea what to do [in an earthquake] other than the traditional duck-and-cover procedures we do at school,” junior Jenna Wu said.

In the program, students will not only be able to learn about earthquake evacuation, but also build experience with rescue methods, disaster psychology, terrorism Dos and Don’ts, personal and family protection, search techniques and fire suppression.

“The best part about it was we trained with station #6 fire fighters,” past participant Julie Giron said. “They simulated a real fire in a building that we got to crawl through and try to search and rescue people.”

Not only will students get credits for the course, but they can benefit from the program by getting prepared to react to any types of emergencies they might face in the future.

“This program will give an opportunity to the students to learn how to respond in case of emergencies,” ROP specialist Ryan Itchon said. “It’s good because stu
dents can put it on their college applications or resumes that they did it.”

The Teen CERT Program will be held July 27-30 and August 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Irvine Police Department, City Hall and OCFA Fire Station #6.
“Students can learn things that they couldn’t learn in a normal classroom, so I think it would be a good opportunity for them,” assistant principal Scott Sodorff said.

Itchon in the ROP center and the program administrator at [email protected] will provide further enrollment information to the students who are interested.