CAPCOG’s Homeland Security Division brought together volunteers from around the region and state to learn about local threat identification and reporting, enhance their disaster response knowledge, and strengthen their support networks for the region’s first Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Congress in December.
“CERT teams in the CAPCOG region perform a variety of important functions for their communities during a disaster from firefighter rehab to conducting traffic control or handling shelter operations,” said Martin Ritchey, CAPCOG homeland security director. “These volunteers support their communities when they need it most; the CERT Regional Congress supported them by further preparing them for an emergency.”
The regional congress featured a Threat Liaison Officer training course tailored for CERT team members. Instructed by the Austin Regional Intelligence Center, the training gave insight about risk characteristics that could impact a community’s public safety during an emergency. CAPCOG provided CERT manuals that explained how to help others and aid public safety officials during various scenarios, and the homeland security staff presented on regional preparedness and planning. CERT members also were encouraged to network and share information on promoting group membership across the region and state.
CAPCOG is planning to provide more CERT-centric training and events throughout the year.