Milan High School (Michigan) Teen CERT members participating in a simulate bus accident

The core Teen CERT program has three main goals. First, it will seek to provide students with a knowledge base on the effects of natural and man-made disasters and their emotional, social, and economic impacts. Secondly, it will aim to build decision-making and problem solving skills and strategies to help students make informed decisions regarding readiness, response & recovery and mitigation efforts to reduce loss of life and property. Lastly, an integral part of the Teen CERT program will be to provide students with hands-on training using reality-driven drills and exercises.

Training in disaster response should not be a one-time event. Awareness, commitment, and skills must be reinforced through follow-up training and repeated practice to maintain the edge necessary for effective response in the face of a disaster. Tomaintain your skill level and continually improve performance, you and your classmates should participate in continuing supplemental training when offered in your area. Working through practice disaster scenarios with other citizens will provide opportunities not only for extended practice, but for valuable networking with citizens in the local area.

Eastern Michigan University students Nora Gomez (left), Eboni Jenkins (right rear) and Tony Martin (right front), practice CPR on a dummy while getting instructions from CERT Trainer Nicole Miller (center).
The curriculum is not meant to replace those of previously established initiatives, rather it incorporates them in their entirety and focus on increasing knowledge and skill development in seven areas as they relate to disasters: 1) cognitive information, 2) recognizing hazards, 3) planning skills, 4) consequential thinking and risk taking, 5) team-building and communication skills, 6) decision making, 7) individual responsibilities within the community. Some of these lessons will focus on raising awareness in skill areas, while others emphasize their practical application.

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