CERT Plans First Annual Preparedness Fair

Peggy McGee

In observance of National Preparedness Month, the Greater Green Valley Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be hosting its first annual Preparedness Fair on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Center, 1111 S. GVR Dr., in Green Valley. Admission is free but attendees are asked to bring nonperishable food items, which will be shared between the Green Valley and Sahuarita Food Banks.

The Preparedness Fair will have exhibitors from the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Mitigation, Pima County Office of Emergency Management, Green Valley Fire Department, Red Cross, Sheriff’s Auxiliary, Fire Corps, Southwest Gas, both food banks, Tucson Electric Power Company, Santa Cruz Valley Regional and Northwest Hospitals, Community Water Company, and several others. Each will provide information on what one should do to prepare for extended power outages. And we cannot forget about pets, so the Animal League will provide tips for taking care of our furry friends in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. There will be static displays in the parking lot, generator maintenance and solar cooking demos, a mini-excavator, and fire extinguisher training. Free blood pressure screening will also be offered. There will be something for the whole family to learn from and enjoy.

National Preparedness Month is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster awareness and planning throughout the year. As our nation continues to respond to COVID-19, there is no better time to be involved in personal preparedness.

Preparedness Month began after one of the most horrific events that the United States experienced, and the world had ever seen, Sept. 11, 2001. Three years after that event, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) created this program as a way to help citizens become better prepared for emergencies in their homes and communities. FEMA, alongside other organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Department of Homeland Security, helped launch a Ready Campaign to help people get started in preparedness procedures in case of national emergencies.

Since its inception, FEMA has widened its basis for preparedness, giving people the skills they need to be ready for hazard cases, such as prevention, protection, response, and recovery efforts. September was also chosen because it is the height of hurricane season in the United States. This month gives people the opportunity to learn about safety measures in cases of emergency and helps educate people overall about how to handle disasters when they come.

Although the Greater Green Valley area is generally not subjected to weather extremes, disruptions are not unheard of. Accidents can happen or one of our systems could be hacked, thus disrupting necessary services in the area.

Mark your calendars for Sept. 25 and be ready to learn how to get yourselves ready—just in case.