What is CERT?

The Community Emergency Response Team program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area.

It trains them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.

What is CERT?

The Community Emergency Response Team program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area.

It trains them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.

Hurricane Season 2020:



1. Evacuation:

There are very important lessons to take away from the recent storms. 

Hurricane Florence (Carolinas): It is not always the wind that causes the most damage (despite what the weather channel shows). The rivers upstream in the Carolinas received heavy rain which caused more flooding over the next 7-10 days.

Hurricane Harvey (Texas) delivered over 4 FEET of rain in parts of the Houston area which shows how large slow moving storms can cause extreme damage due to flooding.

Hurricane Irma (Florida) showed us we cannot outrun a storm coming from south Florida. Normal rush hour traffic in this region causes standstill and long backups. Add another large number of cars from south Florida and you will have total gridlock. Heading north on I-75 there are other pinch points, i.e.: where I-75 intersects with I-4 is a notorious area of gridlock.


Too many people were on the roads and there not enough support services  (Motels/restaurants/gas stations....etc.). If the storm is coming from the west (Gulf of Mexico), you might be able to go all the way to the east coast of Florida (Rt 70). BUT you should leave very early in the AM – several days before a storm hits the west coast.

2. Preparation:

Register your phone number with Manatee County to be notified if a problem exists in your area or weather related issues are developing.   https://www.mymanatee.org/codered


Make a plan: 



Under normal conditions, most people have 3 days of food and water in their homes. But that is inadequate for a major storm.  It is important to have at least 10 -14 days of non-refrigerated food and water and essential medications for each person prior to a major storm hitting this area. Otherwise you will wait in the same RED CROSS/Salvation Army lines as everyone else after the 3rd day because stores will not have had time to restock their shelves. This applies to the needs of your pets as well.


3. Water:

One Gallon per person per day for 10 -14 days in containers. In addition, consider a Water BOB container (Amazon) which fits into your bathtub and will hold 100 gallons of water for bathing and flushing. (Flush sparingly to conserve water)


4. Safe room:

Designate an inside room without windows where you can sleep or relax during the storm. A large fan will help circulate air as long as there is power available. Have battery operated lighting and fans available if you lose power...... Avoid candles!!!  Have a portable radio/strong flashlight(s) and many extra batteries for all your devises requiring batteries.


5. DO NOT...

under any circumstances open an outside door or window during the storm. The sudden change of pressure can cause the roof to blow off. Wait for the all clear signal from the weather service before going outside.   If the winds seem to be diminished, you may only be in a lull ......as the eye of the storm is passing over this area. The backside of the storm is yet to come!!  Avoid going out in the dark after the storm passes. There may be deep standing water. Snakes and other wild animals will not be happy to see you or your pets.


6. Handicaped

If you have a neighbor who is handicapped, please be sure they are registered with Manatee County so they can be transported to a shelter designed to handle their needs.  Register them prior to hurricane season!!!!


7. Critical records

Round up your critical records and be sure they are in sealed Water Proof containers.


8. Photographed record

Take your camera or cell phone camera and photograph the inside of your home with multiple angles to verify what you own, along with proof of purchase to establish value of important items.


9. Flood Insurance 

Review with your agent whether you really have adequate coverage if the house is damaged and subsequent water damage occurs or if there is flooding and water damage occurs – you might be surprised how limited many policies are. If you decide to get Flood Insurance through FEMA – there is a 30 day waiting period before it becomes effective ........so you can’t get it when the storm is heading our way!!!


10. Prepare your home:

1. Double Front Doors that open in need significant reinforcement – that is the most vulnerable point in your           home!!    Garage Doors – especially double sized doors need reinforcement.
2. Assess  your windows – do they need repair or replacement?  They may 
need to be covered by special                   hurricane proof materials.

3. Patio furniture – bring inside or place in the pool
4. Plants on your patio and front porch need to be moved into a secure interior location

5. DO NOT EMPTY THE POOL!! Flooded /Saturated ground can lift an empty pool out of the ground
6. Do you have a “safe room” – an interior room (large closet??)without windows. You 
may need to spend                 significant time in this room, so plan carefully.

11. Loss of power – can you survive Florida heat for days without power????

1. Whole house generators powered by natural gas are very useful.  

But the purchase and installation takes time (in hurricane season 3-4 months or more) - so advanced planning is required.

2. Portable generators must be run outdoors   

a. This is a problem during high winds and flooding. (and you should not be opening an external door!!).   

b. Portable generators emit Carbon Monoxide (CO) fumes that are ODORLESS.

c. CO will build up if the generator is used indoors or in the garage - CO buildup can and will kill occupants.

d. You cannot safely go outdoors during a storm to refill the gasoline tank.

e. It is not safe to store large amounts of gasoline in containers in your garage.

12. Stay connected


WEATHER ALERT APPS:  CODE RED (available for free on the Google Play or Apple Store) )


WDUV - FM 92.1

WJIS - FM 88.1

WYNF - FM 105.9

WRBQ - FM 104.7

WFLA- AM 970

WBRD - AM 1420

WWPR - AM 1490

13. University Park Contingency Plan

Click on the pdf logo below to see our plan