Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) members supported the annual Preparedness Expo on Sept. 21 at Marley Station in Glen Burnie. Arriving by 6:30 a.m. for the operational briefing, CERT members then took their stations to participate in traffic control, assisting vendors with set-up, directing vehicles within the perimeter, and helping to provide extra eyes and ears for general safety. Most of the CERT members stayed to work the entire event, including teardown, which concluded around 3:00 p.m.

The Preparedness Expo is a yearly event hosted by the Anne Arundel Office of Emergency Management to familiarize the public with the many functions and activities of the response community. At the 2019 Expo, more than 45 participating organizations provided displays of their skills, literature, gifts, and personal representatives to help individuals and families learn how to be ready for disasters and incidents. Exhibitors invited children to climb into vehicles to see the dashboards; animal handlers gave demonstrations of canine aptitude; and fire personnel gave live demonstrations of safety or extinguishing practice.

“You just don’t realize everything these [responders] do every day,” remarked one visitor in passing, “and we are so blessed to have them in our community.” She added her thanks to responders for their availability, time, and training.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security designates every September as National Preparedness Month. Visit the agency’s website to find numerous resources aimed at helping families be ready for any emergency or disaster they might face.

AAACERT trains volunteers in disaster response skills and emergency preparedness. AAACERT volunteers assist others in our community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help. When activated under the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management, or the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management, AAACERT supports emergency response agencies.