If February's winter storm taught us anything, it's that we could all use some extra training in how to be prepared for a disaster and how to come to the help of our family, friends, and neighbors in a crisis.

Don't get me wrong - Texans were doing exemplary things to help each other out when our state was frozen solid and millions were left in the dark with no running water, but it couldn't hurt to have some training from the experts in your toolbox the next time disaster strikes.

That's where the Belton Fire Corps (BFC) comes in.

Free CERT Basic Training

The BFC will host a free nine-session Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course at the Harris Community Center, 401 North Alexander Street in Belton.

What is CERT Basic Training?

The training is a FEMA-backed course designed to provide community members with knowledge and skills essential for disaster preparedness and response.

You'll learn basics in light search and rescue, disaster medical operations and psychology, and fire safety, plus you'll gain experience in disaster and terrorism simulation.

Who Can Take the Course?

The free training is open to anyone age 12 or older. Those under 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult.

According to the Texas Division of Emergency Management, "No previous experience in emergency service is required, but participants should have an interest in such service and a willingness to serve once trained."

If that's you...

How Do I Sign Up?

You can register on the Texas Division of Emergency Management's website.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact DeShon Williams with the Belton Fire Corps at (254) 933-5894 or beltonfirecorps@gmail.com.

What Are the Dates and Times?

The nine-part course is scheduled from Thursday, September 30 to Saturday, November 20 at the following times:

09/30 6PM - 9PM
10/07 6PM - 9PM
10/14 6PM - 9PM
10/21 6PM - 9PM
10/28 6PM - 9PM
11/04 6PM - 9PM
11/11 6PM - 9PM
11/18 6PM - 9PM
11/20 9AM - 4PM

Knowledge Is Power

If you find yourself wanting to help when disaster strikes, but you're not sure how, where to go, who to report to, or even what to wear or bring, the CERT basic training can arm you with that knowledge.

If you find the classes useful and are called to learn and do more for your community, be sure to ask about further training opportunities. The world can always use more helpers when the lights go out.

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