CERT, the Community Emergency Response Team, has proven to be valuable.

CERT is a group of community volunteers that assists communities and the county in a number of ways.

“At the present we have three trained teams with about 87 members. We are trained to assist First Responders and can assist in search and rescue. We have the tools to shut off gas lines if we need to …to search a building for survivors. Our members have received first aid and CPR training. There are many things that we can do to help out in an emergency. We are always on the lookout for new members,” said Glenn Dutton, CERT volunteer.

“We have assisted with 211 registrations with this storm. After the mandatory evacuation was called and the first registrations were done there were 4000 more that called in to register with 211. Those had to be done by hand. It was quite a job. The additional registrations were done in the entire 211 area, not just in Orange County.”

Even though the area missed a direct hit by Hurricane Gustav there is still a lot of work to be done. They will remain until the mandatory evacuation is cancelled by county officials, all of the work is done and the “all clear” is given for them to return to their normal jobs, duties and families.

The Hurricane Gustav emergency effort is headed by Jeff Kelly, Emergency Management Coordinator and Frankie Walters, Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator.

“Every city in the county has been great in coordinating the emergency efforts for this storm. Every police department and fire department has been working together and cooperating in a fantastic way. We have had ambulances come from as far away as Ohio. We have had a massive amount of assistance from all of the local industries. Everyone had done anything they have been asked to do.
We have learned that there are some things that we need to fine tune a little. There are things that have run smoothly and there are things that we need to improve on. Overall this has been a good exercise and we have learned a lot. Our local planning LAPC has worked and we are very pleased with that effort as well,” said Kelly.