Isle of Wight seeks input on disaster preparedness program

Published 5:10 pm Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Isle of Wight County is seeking community input on whether to establish a local Community Emergency Response Team.

CERT, as it’s often abbreviated, is a nationwide disaster preparedness training program that teaches adult and teen volunteers fire safety, search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website,, CERT offers “a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.”

According to Will Drewery, the county’s emergency management coordinator, Isle of Wight may be eligible for grant funding to establish a local CERT program. Currently, every Hampton Roads locality except Isle of Wight, Surry and Southampton counties, and the cities of Franklin and Suffolk, has its own CERT program.

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Isle of Wight sent out emails and text messages on Dec. 1 asking residents who had signed up to receive the county’s IW Alert emergency notifications to complete a survey as to whether they feel a local CERT program is needed. The email asks that they watch a FEMA video, then complete the survey.

The video is available on YouTube at:

The survey is available via:

“We are just trying to gauge interest and need at this time,” Drewery said.