CERT trainees learn how to use a fire extinguisher during a fire suppression practice at the Moab Fire Department. [Courtesy photo]

Citizens are invited to learn how to handle natural and man-made disasters through the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to be held later this month.

The federally funded program is provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help individuals be prepared for emergencies within their own communities.

Kris Hulburt has been providing CERT training in Grand County for the last eight years. She has severals years of experience working with the International Red Cross, assisting in war zones in countries like Croatia and Kosovo, as well as operations in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and China.

“It was a whole gamut of different things,” she said. “We provided psychological and support systems for people in war, and provided social and psychological support for victims of war and other disasters.”

She now works with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office and Grand County Search and Rescue to provide counseling for victims.

Hurlburt said the CERT training is give people tools to be prepared as they can be during an emergency.

“Emergency managers realized they can’t get to everybody in a timely way when a disaster happens,” Hulburt said. “Personal safety needs to be assumed by individuals.”

The program has 24 hours of training in 12 different modules. The classes will be held Tuesday and Thursday evenings; as well as a full day on a Saturday.

The training done in Moab is similar to the same training in other areas of the country. There are over 2200 CERT programs across America.

“We start out with local hazards and what risks we may have in Grand County, then move out,” she said.

That training can help those who may encounter a disaster while traveling.

The first module focuses on putting together a disaster kit. She referenced the fire in the Moab Sloughs in 2010 that required neighborhoods adjacent to the slough to be evacuated. Residents were sent to the Grand Center for safety.

Some were prepared. Some were not, she said.

“People who were most prepared came with their small animals in cages, or on leashes,” Hulburt said. “It gives them more time to do it in a less stressful way.”

She referred to residents who weren’t prepared when they had to evacuate their homes in the last few years because of wildfires in Colorado.

“If they are prepared for the experience, the trauma is less for them and they are better to help,” she said. “They have

Other CERT modules include basic medical, disaster psychology, light search and rescue, terrorism, and hazardous materials.

“Knowing what to do saves lives and reduces the drain on services,” Hulburt said.

Emergency response training for individuals

“Emergency managers realized they can’t get to everybody in a timely way when a disaster happens.”

6 to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 28

6 to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 30

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Saturday, Feb. 1

6 to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 4

6 to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 6 Graduation

Contact Kris Hulburt to register or for more information at 435.260.8824 or certgrand@gmail.com.