I am so excited to finally begin my volunteer training for CERT, the Community Emergency Response Team, this Saturday. It seems like forever ago I signed up for classes, changed my major, and headed down a whole new path in life, but in reality it's only been a few months. Still, I can't believe that it's time!
"The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations." Via: Citizen Corps
When I first began my college career I had decided to go into public health and education. My goal was to be able to travel around both the United States and the rest of the world teaching sexual education courses, and subsequently, HIV/AIDs awareness. Slowly, that started to change into an international relations major, aiming to work as a foreign aid officer in various embassies around the world. Eventually that petered out too, and I grabbed onto the idea of being a disaster relief manager, working with groups like FEMA, the American Red Cross and more.
After nearly any natural disaster, but especially after Sandy hit the US, I realized that I wanted to be involved. I wanted to be doing damage assessment to get people aid more quickly, I wanted to help people evacuate, and I wanted to be the one that was there on the ground floor, helping in any way that I could. I didn't want to be in an office, or in an embassy, but there, in the thick of things, side by side with my fellow man. I had embraced that idea fully, and immediately set out to see if working with an organization like FEMA was something I'd like to do. After a few months of research and a meeting with a disaster relief worker within the organization, I decided that it was.
Enter CERT! I signed up for a few classes with the intention of readying myself for basic training this fall, and signed up for classes held online through FEMA itself. While it will take time to become certified in various skills, and to finish training (and get my bachelors), it'll be completely worth it!
I'm honestly overjoyed. Hopefully, classes are all that I'm imagining them to be. Wish me luck!