Over the past three years we have built an amazing partnership between the Health Careers Academy at Sequoia High School and Redwood City and Woodside CERT and the Fire Departments. Through this partnership we have been able to train and certify our students as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members. This training gives our students the knowledge and skills needed to become assets and not victims in the event of an emergency or disaster. Our students not only know how to put out small fires, evaluate and treat injuries, and safely perform search and rescue operations, but they also know how to prepare their households for potential disasters. Our CERT students even participate in running the school's disaster drills.
The students have identified the supplies and equipment needed for a personal go-bag (minimal supplies carried in a travel bag or backpack) as well as a family emergency kit. However, knowledge of these life-saving safety practices can only go so far. Many of our students are from low-income households. Stocking up on emergency supplies, like non-perishable water, first aid supplies, or batteries, or purchasing smoke detectors or fire extinguishers may not be an option.
Since 2017, with help from some community partners, we have been able to supply all 120 CERT trained 11th grade students in our academy with a small collection of supplies that can be the beginning of their family’s home emergency kit. We partnered with several local business, such as San Mateo Credit Union, The Home Depot, The Sequoia Healthcare District and Redwood City 2020, and a couple private donors. The event, and the generosity of all our community partners, was covered in San Mateo The Daily Journal and was recently mentioned again in Redwood City's Climate Magazine.
Building off of our success the previous years, we are setting our sites on putting Go-Bags in 40 new homes this year - with the idea of expanding to a larger group of students in the future. To be successful this year, we are aiming to raise $5000 to ensure each trained student's family home, and each neighborhood they live in, is a little bit safer in the event of an emergency. The distribution event is scheduled for May, and we hope to start procuring items immediately, so get your donation in today!