Free alarms still available for Prospect, Red Bay

| 28/02/2019
CNS Local Life
CIRC disaster manager Eddie Sepp Tinling-Miller (left) and Prospect Red Bay CERT leader Sabrina Turner (centre) hand out alarm to a Prospect resident (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS Local Life): The Prospect Red Bay Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) has to date given out about 1,000 home alarms to residents since distribution began in November last year.  The door and window alarms were a part of a Community Mitigation Project supported by the Cayman Islands Red Cross (CIRC).

Prospect Red Bay CERT leader Sabrina Turner said of the initiative, “The drive was very well attended, and a great sense of gratitude was displayed by everyone who came to get them.”

Home alarms are still available for Prospect and Red Bay residents who have not received them and can be collected during the area’s town meeting, held every first Monday of the month at Seafarers Hall, starting at 7pm.

Since 2011, the CIRC and Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) have been training CERTs to prepare their communities for and assist in the response to disasters, stated a Red Cross press release, which added that established CERTs compete annually as part of the CERT Challenge as a way to keep the teams engaged and ready.

The challenges provide an opportunity for the teams to maintain the skills gained during CERT as well as encourage them to remain engaged with each other and their community. 

One of the tools the CIRC provides the CERTs is the Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) training, which teaches CERTs to survey and observe the community and identify its strengths and weaknesses, hazards and vulnerabilities, and to use that information to prepare for disasters and emergencies, the release said. 

As the winners of the CERT Challenge, the Prospect Red Bay CERT proposed a community mitigation project based on their VCA findings. Over the course of several weeks, members of the Prospect Red Bay CERT conducted assessments by walking through the neighbourhoods and speaking to and surveying residents.

The CERT members compiled and analysed the results of their surveys and assessments and discussed the various issues that were raised. One of the challenges identified by the community was minor burglaries, which pose an especially great threat to the elderly and the vulnerable in the community. To battle this issue, the CERT members proposed simple-to-use alarms for the most vulnerable homes within the community.

The CIRC Disaster Management Programme had specific funds that were made available for community mitigation projects which would assist in empowering communities as they work towards becoming more resilient and addressing vulnerabilities.  

Area residents gathered at Seafarer’s Hall where they each received a home alarm, with detailed instruction on installation and operation. Community members who were unable to collect were assisted by members of the CERT who delivered and installed the alarms in their homes.

Turner said of the CERT training, “We are empowered and encouraged to continue working together as a community and to do so for a cohesive, resilient and vibrant community moving forward.”

CIRC Director Jondo Obi pointed to CERT training in other areas, including West Bay, Bodden Town, Windsor Park, North Side and North Sound Gardens. “The CERTs are a crucial component to disaster preparedness, management and response, as they live and breathe their communities, and are essentially the first responders in the event of a disaster – especially ones which are immediate and the community has no advanced warning,” Obi said.

For more information on CERTs or disaster management, or to volunteer with  the Cayman Islands Red Cross go to its website, email or call 949-6785.

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Category: Community

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  1. Anonymous says:

    My dogs serve as my alarm. Unleashed alarms!