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Disaster Preparedness

Community, Disaster Preparedness

Join San Mateo’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

The next CERT training begins August 31st. Learn basic emergency response.

Emergency Response

Recent CERT class graduates prepared to assist San Mateo’s first responders

It is always wise to know basic emergency response procedures. You can better protect your family, help your neighbors, and provide needed support to your community when you have the skills to respond to an emergency.

On August 31st the San Mateo Fire Department will begin its CERT Training program. The program is a 25-hour series of weekly classes (8 weeks total) that provides cross-training in basic emergency skills. Once you have an understanding of these skills and graduate from the CERT program, you will join a team of other San Mateo residents who are prepared to support the San Mateo community in the aftermath of a disaster.

The training begins with an overview of CERT and basic earthquake awareness and preparedness. This is information every Californian should know. The first session covers earthquake basics such as history, types of, their magnitude and probability as well as preparing before one happens, and what to do when the earth starts to shake.

Emergency Response

CERT trainees will learn basic emergency medical procedures.

The next three classes focus on basic disaster and medical skills. In these classes, you’ll learn to locate and turn off utilities, extinguish small fires, and identify hazardous materials situations. The medical training goes slightly beyond basic first aid; you’ll learn to triage and treat victims, how to set up a medical treatment area, and understand the psychological impact a disaster may have on yourself and others.

Class participants will also have the chance to extinguish a small fire, participate in a mock ‘quake exercise, and take part in other hands-on, interactive training experiences. Search and rescue, organizing disaster response teams, and understanding how CERT fits into an emergency response plan in San Mateo are other topics the training will cover.

In the event of a disaster, San Mateo’s first responders may have to address other priorities or cannot immediately respond due to communication or transportation difficulties. In an emergency, CERT-trained residents can help. By first ensuring the safety of yourself and your family, you can then work outward and assess what is needed in your neighborhood, office or beyond until first responders can arrive.

San Mateo’s CERT training program provides residents with the skills they need to protect themselves in a disaster while providing the know how to support their neighborhood and the broader community in a time of need. You will take away valuable life-saving skills, and have the opportunity to connect with other residents. These connections build relationships and make San Mateo a stronger community.

Watch the video on the CERT Training program or visit for more information. You can register by visiting