Our local neighborhood has embraced Newport Beach’s initiative involving emergency planning and response. A local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) has been formed and on-going training has been provided to ensure that a network of volunteers are prepared to assist the City in the event of a disaster. The Foundation has made contributions to our local CERT for supplies and equipment that are earmarked for this program. We feel that this type of initiative is the hallmark of a strong neighborhood and are pleased to be able to assist by offering funds for the needed supplies.
Please see below an article about the CERT from our latest Compass Newsletter:
COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM
CERT is a nationwide program organized under Department of Homeland Security and FEMA (www.fema.gov/cert) to train volunteers in responding to local emergencies of all kinds. Following is their statement of purpose:
“The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.
Locally, the program is organized under the Newport Beach Fire Department (NBFD) and has been in operation for over 20 years. NBFD recognizes programs within the City of New-port Beach including our own Balboa Peninsula Point CERT program (PP CERT), founded in 2015 by Elaine Linhoff and Roberta Schmidt and currently under the leadership of Kathie Malcomb (see photo).
The program is organized around 30 block captains, key local professional residents who can be accessed in emergencies and volunteers who have been trained under NBFD CERT pro-grams. It was recognized by NBFD as the “2016 CERT Program of the Year”, and had three members recognized in 2019 for each having contributed over 100 volunteer hours to the program. The PP CERT program maintains two local Emergency Operations Centers containing defibrillators, radios, First Aid supplies and other critical items which can be accessed by the community in the event of an emergency. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, they were able to donate 31 N-95 masks from their inventory to support Hoag Hospital until their supply chain could respond. The Foundation has supported the PP CERT program in the past with purchase and donation of radios and defibrillators. Meanwhile, with support from BPPA, they raised additional funds from direct donations, selling personalized bricks at the Bay Beach and selling individual household Disaster Kits. They will continue with these projects, but they currently have sufficient funds to cover all of their immediate needs. Because the Foundation 501(c)(3) designation allows more flexibility in funding future programs, we recently accepted custody of $12,622.22 from BPPA, designated exclusively for support of meetings, training sessions or other activities needed to further the aims of the PP CERT organization. We will fund them as needed in the future, but, in the near term, they need volunteers to support all of us when the next emergency occurs.