Free upcoming events aim to prepare Douglas County residents for disaster, severe weather

In this file photo from May, 25, 2016, a tornado drops two miles northeast of Niles, Kan. (Tanner Colvin/Salina Journal via AP)

Douglas County Emergency Management has two free events coming up for those who want to learn more about severe weather and how to help others, should disaster strike.

Emergency Management will offer Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, training, which aims to prepare citizens volunteers to help — particularly in the early moments after a disaster, before outside assistance arrives.

According to a news release from the department, participants will learn basic skills in medical operations, light search and rescue, fire safety, triage, disaster psychology and preparing pets for disasters.

Class sessions, scheduled for the weekend of April 12-14, will be 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday in Flory Meeting Hall at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2120 Harper St. At the Sunday class, participants will “have a chance to put their new skills in action” by participating in a disaster scenario, according to the release.

Those who attend all three training sessions will receive a certificate, according to a flyer about the event.

The course is free and open to anyone ages 18 and up, but participants should register online at bit.ly/DgCoCERT. For more information, contact Kate Dinneen, EM CERT coordinator, at kdinneen@douglascountyks.org.

Coming up this week, as the Journal-World reported recently, the Topeka National Weather Service will visit town to host Weather 101 severe weather training from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St. It is free and open to the public.

The presentation will include information about thunderstorm development and identification of important features, according to the release, and it may be beneficial for those who are new to the area, less familiar with severe weather terms or want a refresher on training. Emergency radios will be available for purchase.

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