PUERTO RICO SERVICE ORGANIZATION FIRST TO CERTIFY AS COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM
Last Updated: 16 Sep 2022
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Service organization, Endeavors, has become the first local nonprofit of its kind to become a certified and designated Community Emergency Response Team.
Forty employees from the organization, which specializes in long term disaster recovery and Veteran homelessness prevention, underwent three days of training to earn their emergency response certification in preparation for National Preparedness Month and Hurricane Season, which runs through November 30th. The Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) training was led by Negociado para el Manejo de Emergencias y Administración de Desastres (NMEAD) in San Juan.
Through this training, participants master basic disaster response skills, including fire safety, search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. The seven-part course covers essential disaster response operations: Disaster Preparation, Fire Extinguishing, Lightweight Search and Rescue, Psychology and Team Organization, two sections of Medical Operations, and a live Disaster Simulation.
“We want to be prepared to support our community to the furthest degree possible,” says Director of Operations Carlos Cubero. “Training our team in Emergency Response means that we are prepared to serve our neighbors in need the minute disaster strikes, and continue supporting them through the disaster recovery process with our long-term Disaster Case Management program.”
With offices in San Juan, Endeavors Puerto Rico has been working to support community resiliency across the island since it was hit by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The nonprofit has helped rebuild and repair over 9,000 homes through a FEMA Disaster Case Management grant. Even though the FEMA program has ended, Endeavors continues to rebuild homes in partnership with faith based organizations who volunteer their time and expertise to come to PR to continue the recovery effort. Endeavors also supports the recovery of small businesses and the agricultural industry through case management services funded by the Puerto Rico Departrment of Housing (Departamento de la Vivienda).
Endeavors is a national service organization that has been assisting vulnerable populations since 1969. Endeavors offers an array of services and programs supporting children, families, Veterans and those struggling with mental illness, disabilities, disasters or emergencies. Endeavors serves people in crisis with personalized services. Each year, Endeavors provides low to no-cost mental health care, wraparound case management services, life skills training, and transition support to over 1,400 Veterans and families, including women, Veterans of color, LGBTQ+ Veterans, Veterans experiencing homelessness, and justice-involved Veterans. For more information, visit www.endeavors.org