Saturday, June 13, 2015

CERT Tip: Keep Emergency Contact Info Under Your Hat (er, Helmet)

During a recent CERT final exercise at the Fire Academy, a CERT student experienced a medical emergency.

Now, there's no great place to have a medical emergency, but as places go, the Fire Academy during a CERT exercise is better than most. Within seconds, the CERT was being treated by CERT instructors equipped with the first aid bag they keep around for real-world emergencies, and assisted by firefighters and EMTs who were at the Academy for their own training exercise.

The CERT had also done something very helpful (following earlier suggestions from instructors), by writing their emergency contact information on a piece of duct tape (taped to itself, sticky side to sticky side), and securing it with velcro it to the inside of their helmet.

Alternately, you can write your info on a notecard, put it inside a ziploc bag, and tape the bag to the inside of your helmet (between the liner and the shell), like this:

CERT Tip: Write your emergency contact info on a card, put it in a ziploc bag, and place the bag in your helmet.

Now, we had all the class members' emergency contact info on file, but having it right in the helmet definitely saved time and made things easier. So keeping this information on your person would be even more valuable if you ever got into trouble responding during a real-world disaster. (And who's the most important person in CERT? You are.)

The information on the card should include:
  • Your name
  • Your CERT program and class number
  • Medical information, including conditions, medications, and allergies
  • Emergency contacts' name and phone number
Alternately, our Logistics CERTs pointed out that there are a bunch of templates you can find online (example: free medical ID card) that you can use to print out personalized cards that you can laminate or seal into a plastic bag.

Have any other tips you'd like to share with your fellow CERTs? Drop me an email or leave a comment below.

Joe Loong, volunteer Social Media Specialist for Fairfax County CERT, is an editorial content and community engagement consultant. You can email him at

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