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CERT classes
Scary stuff happens; will you be ready?

An earthquake could strike any minute, fire season isn?t over, and then there?s the possible zombie threat (thanks a lot, Walking Dead).  

Rather than be addled by disaster paranoia, we?re learning survival skills from a fire-department-led Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class.

The free seven-week course covers topics like first aid, search-and-rescue ops and anti-terrorism steps. It?s serious stuff, but since the class is offered year-round, and there?s no registration requirement, you can drop in to a session at any time. (Find your nearest series here.) Best of all, a CERT manual is online, so you can study at your own pace; there are even e-flashcards to quiz yourself.

Here, our top three takeaways to give you a head start. 

1. You can purify drinking water by adding two drops of bleach per quart, then letting it sit for a half hour.

2. Keep a flashlight and shoes under your bed (so you can easily find them and glass won't fall into them during a quake). 

3. If a wildfire is fast approaching, close doors and windows to reduce air flow, crouch and cover your head and upper body with wet clothing while breathing through a dry cloth.

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