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Mayor's Budget Cuts Emergency Preparedness Training

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We all know with the budget shell game, money gets shifted, programs beget and programs get dropped. Another program on the cutting board of the proposed budget is the CERT training, otherwise known as the Community Emergency Response Team. This free training by the fire department is invaluable (we know).

The fact of the matter is that when a huge earthquake comes and makes life much worse than 1994's quake, the city is not coming to save you or help you or do much for you. And it is not because they do not care or have not planned, it is just that there are priorities and there are resources. There are 4 million of us and there are 20,000 of them (including LAPD). And that's why the fire department has this program, to prepare you so you can deal with stuff on your own.

"This is a call to action to save this tremendously valuable program," said Councilman Greig Smith in a letter written last week urging residents to contact all city council offices. "As you know, CERT can save lives and vastly bolsters our response capabilities by training residents to safely and quickly help themselves, their families and their neighbors, and assist emergency responders during disasters.

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"As someone who lived through the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, I know how important it is to be prepared for emergencies. In a post 9/11 world, and with another major earthquake due, we need the CERT program."