San Diego hosted the first day of Governor Newsom's California For All Emergency Preparedness Campaign, on Thursday. Hundreds of volunteers from across California, Mexico, and Chile are learning from the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and Listos teams.
The volunteers spent the day learning the best ways to teach their neighbors how to prepare for an earthquake, wildfire, or other natural disasters. The conference is being held at Mission Bay from Thursday to Saturday.
“What we’re finding is that our vulnerable populations often non-English speakers who do not know what the alert warning system is, what is the evacuation, how do I pack and prepare. These are the kinds of things we need to get out into communities, and provide this information,” said Karen Baker, California Volunteers Leader.
The group trains community members to be responders and help firefighters who may have limited resources during a massive emergency.
Volunteers will learn how to help their neighbors evacuate and learn how to assist those with medical issues.
“We're not training firefighters were training community members to be responders to augment the limited resources that are the firefighters. They are not trained to the same professional level but will first take care of their neighbors,” said Erica Arteseros, Captain of the San Francisco Fire Department.
There are more than 2,700 such programs throughout the country, including more than 50 in the San Diego region.
“We’re from Fremont California where the second most active fault is in the Bay area, so we know another earthquake is coming we just don’t know when. In Fremont we don’t have enough firefighters to cover us for the entire city if a big hit comes. It’s going to be civilian teams that help out,” said, Chuck Guaraglia, Fremont CERT volunteer.
Those interested in getting trained can locate their local CERT or Listos group by visiting their website.