Resident’s ideas needed for CY Emergency Response plan

By Sarah Frierson

Cooper-Young is a close-knit community, and the board of the CYCA has realized that when and if a disaster ever strikes we will turn to each other for help. The recent floods in Millington and Nashville were a reminder that it is important to plan for the unexpected. Cooper-Young has always been at the forefront when it comes to community organization, and we’d like to set a precedent for other neighborhoods, once again, by putting together a Cooper-Young Emergency Response (CYER) plan.

Local and state governments have emergency plans in place, and first responders will act as quickly as possible to assist us. Nevertheless, in an emergency situation we also need to be ready to take care of our families and our neighbors for the first 7-10 days, if necessary. Our goal is to create a comprehensive disaster plan for the neighborhood and to provide training for CY residents so that we may effectively support one another and efficiently communicate the needs of our community to emergency personnel.

An immediate priority is to create a Certified Emergency Response Team (CERT) for Cooper-Young. CERT training is free and open to any city resident. There are 15 training spots available for Cooper-Young neighbors on Saturday, August 21 and 28 from 8am-4:30pm.

The CERT program offers hands-on training in basic disaster relief skills that can be used to assist neighbors in a variety of emergency situations like earthquakes, floods, tornados, or fires. Light search and rescue techniques (such as how to safely lift a wall off of someone who is trapped), fire safety (including how to turn off electricity and gas lines), and disaster medical operations will be covered in the two-day training. All participants will receive a CERT kit.

Please join us for the next meeting of CYER, on Monday, August 9, 6:30pm at Fork it Over, across the street from the CYCA office at 2299 Young Avenue. Refreshments will be provided courtesy of Fork it Over. Cheryl Yarbro, Manager of Operations and Training with the Shelby County Office of Preparedness HLS/EMA/UASI, will discuss CERT training, as well as the resources and plans that are already in place for our city. A CERT kit will also be on hand, so that you can see what you get if you decide to become a community CERT volunteer. Everyone is welcome and no special skills are required.

For further information about disaster preparedness, please visit readyshelby.org.

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