Be prepared in time of disaster by completing a CERT course and obtaining your basic CERT card. Learn Search and Rescue, Basic First-Aid and more. Be prepared to help yourself, your family, your neighbors, and your community in times of need.
Valley Center CERT provides instructional classes for obtaining a basic CERT card, FEMA classes, and also conducts classes for obtaining your amateur radio license. As you know, amateur radio is often the only communication possible during and just after a disaster or on-going emergency. Obtaining an amateur radio license entails passing an examination, and Valley Center CERT provides classes that teach you what you need to know to pass the exam.
CERT has different levels of certification for various functions. There is a core set of training classes (called Academies) required for all CERT personnel. These basic academies will be offered in Spring 2012, starting June 9. If you miss one or more of the classes in an academy, you can take that same class(es) during a subsequent academy in order to receive certification of the basic core CERT classes. Upon completion of these classes, you will (eventually) receive your CERT card via US mail.
In order to maintain your CERT membership, you need to participate in a certain number of CERT activites during a 2-year period, and you also need to take an occasional FEMA course. The FEMA courses can be taken online.
Currently, the 3 minimum FEMA courses required to renew your CERT card are:
Amateur Radio plays an important role in CERTs all over the country. If there is event that requires a CERT callout, it’s likely that cell phone service will not be reliable, and CERT communications would be dependent on Amateur Radio facilities like “repeaters”.
Obtaining an amateur radio license entails passing an examination concerning radio skills, basic understanding of underlying radio principles, and knowledge of FCC rules and regulations for amateur radio. There’s all kinds of online study information, with the actual questions and answers that you’ll see on the exam!
Every 4th Saturday of the month at 9AM, the Escondido Amateur Radio Society conducts such examinations. Here’s more information about what they offer.