For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Gil Dong, Assistant Fire Marshal, (510) 981-5506

Berkeley Beefs Up Disaster Preparedness

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, December 21, 2005) - Emergency planning experts advise that it may be difficult to find water, emergency supplies or equipment after a major disaster, such as earthquake or fire. Act now before the emergency occurs, to ensure that you have enough supplies to last five to seven days.

Berkeley’s Office of Emergency Services offers free classes in Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) to anyone who lives or works in Berkeley. The classes provide basic preparedness (what supplies to have, what should be in your family emergency plan, the importance of a long distance phone contact), and teach you how to apply basic first aid, to handle disaster-related emotional reactions, and more. The City encourages you to take all of the classes, but you can sign up for one, two, or as many as you’d like.

The January/February schedule includes two new classes: Train the Trainer ( teaches participants to present the basic personal preparedness talk to other neighborhoods), and Neighborhood Organizing (a panel discussion that includes tips on getting to know your neighbors, maintenance of your group, and more).

The Basic Personal Preparedness classes take place at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Avenue. Due to the popularity of this class, two sessions are offered January 14 at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m..

All other classes are held at the Fire Department Training Center, 997 Cedar Street (between 8th and 9th Streets). The Disaster First Aid class originally scheduled for January 21 is full, and another one has been added (February 11). Following is the schedule for January and February 2006:

Saturday, January 14, 10-12         Basic Personal Preparedness (2727 College Avenue)

Saturday, January 14, 1:30-3:30   Basic Personal Preparedness (2727 College Avenue)

Saturday, January 28, 10-12         Train the Trainer (997 Cedar Street)

Saturday, February 4, 9-12            Disaster Mental Health (997 Cedar Street)

Saturday, February 11, 9-12          Disaster First Aid (997 Cedar Street)

Saturday, February 25, 10-12        Neighborhood Organizing (997 Cedar Street)


Call 510-981-5605 or 510-981-5506 to register, or for information. You may also register on-line at