Monday, January 15, 2018

CERT deployment and 72 hour kit load out revisited PART 1

CERT deployment and 72 hour kit load out revisited PART 1


  • Objectives
  • Load outs
    • CERT kit
    • 72 hour kit

CERT go kit needs:

  • Supplies needed for you to perform your CERT duties:
    • Light Search and Rescue
    • Fire suppression
    • Disaster medical operations
  • Needs to be portable and light weight enough to allow you to hike with it
  • Be sure to leave room for water and a mid-day lunch or snack.

72 hour kit needs:

Tools and supplies necessary to allow you to survive 72 hours away from civilization
  • Water : carried, bulk storage and purification capability
  • Food: non-perishable with low preparation, nutritionally balanced meals
  • Shelter: (season appropriate) Tent or other portable shelter from the elements
  • Personal medical supplies: A full first aid kit with a personal medicine supply
  • All supplies need to be portable by a single person: consider investing in light weight camping supplies and packing light.  Frame packs are a good idea, wheeled luggage and bags may run into issues when moving through mud or storm debris
  • Backup consumables and supplies for your CERT bag
EDIT: A 72 Hour kit is typically meant for sheltering in place but in this article we add in criteria making it more of a deployment jump bag.  You may want to consider creating a separate 72 hour kit for home.

A CERT team is expected to serve in its own community so assuming your home is still standing you may just be able to go home after performing your CERT duties.  In other cases your home may still be standing but you may not have access to food, water and fuel so your 72 hour kit may be used to support you and your family.  In other cases you may no longer have a home and you may need to camp until mass sheltering becomes available.  If you are being deployed to a disaster out of the community, food and shelter may be provided for you or you may be expected to deploy your own Base Camp in which you are expected to bring everything you need to survive for multiple days.  In that event you may need to bring additional supplies, food and water.

I think there is also confusion among CERT members as to the role of their CERT bag versus the role of their 72 hour bag.  The CERT bag is meant for supporting your CERT duties and a 72 hour bag is meant to shelter and support you . 

The CERT bag:

Every item in this pack is expendable so don't worry too much about about quality except on key tools identified with "(q)".


    • Hard hat (Green with CERT text or logo) (ANSI Z89.1-1997, Type I, Class E & G)
    • Safety vest (Green with reflectors and CERT logo or text )(ANSI reflective Type II)
    • CERT identification card(s) issued by Parent Organization and or Incident command
    • Masks (N95) (3 or more)
    • Latex free gloves (1 box) (If you have the option spend the extra money on >4 mil thickness)
    • (q)Durable work gloves or multiple pairs
    • (q)Comfortable work boots (Non-slip, Steel shank & Steel Toe preferable)
      • (q)Thick work socks (two pairs)
      • Orthotics (if needed)
      • Moleskin (for blisters)
      • Foot powder (for general comfort, blister prevention and to prevent infection)
    • Safety goggles (ANSI approved with side-guards)
    • Knee and elbow pads (optional)
    • Hearing protection (foam ear buds and/or other ansi approved hearing protection)
    • Season appropriate clothing.  
      • If you anticipate working near a fire avoid dressing in synthetics.
      • If anticipating heavy labor using specialized synthetics allowing for rapid cooling and drying.
      • If you will be working in cold conditions dress in layers instead of a single heavy coat.

    CERT Deployment tools:

    • Two or more liters of water (preferably 1 gallon) in durable, portable, water tight containers.
    • One meal requiring no preparation (meal bar, snacks ...etc)
    • (q) CERT Backpack and fanny pack (preferably green, with CERT text or logo and owner name)
    • Plastic resealable waterproof storage bags for moisture sensitive items.
    • Rain gear or plastic poncho
    • (q) Spark-less 4 in 1 tool or crescent wrench
    • 1 roll Duct tape
    • 1 roll Masking tape
    • 1 canister of orange marking spray paint.
    • Triage tags or triage tape.
    • Caution boundary tape
    • 20' or more rope 
    • First aid Kit: (Pack as little or as much as you care to depending on your favored response role, make sure your kit is updated every year and expired items replaced.)  
      • No drugs(no pills,no medicated creams or ointments)(*except for yourself)
      • Hot and cold packs
      • 4x4 gauze pads (In our drills we use a lot of gauze, some EMR friends of mine highly recommend packing a lot of 4x4 gauze.)
      • Triangle bandages
      • Roller gauze 
      • band-aids and paper tape (A fire fighter I know recommends a large box of band-aids for small non-critical injuries)
      • 1 or more Emergency thermal blankets
      • Alcohol ,Iodine or BZK swabs
      • 4 oz or more of Alcohol hand sanitizer gel
    • Flash light and Backup lighting with sufficient batteries and supplies.
    • (q) Knife (folding blade pocket knife, and/or utility knife)
    • Scissors (medical shears, or other sharp durable scissors recommended)
    • Pens, Pencils, Permanent markers, grease pencil, paper (Notebook)
    • Optional - Generic Order pads with carbon copy paper (good for documenting messages)
    • (q)Optional - One or more FRS/GMRS radios with spare batteries in a water tight bag.
    • CERT Field Operation Guide, Deployment protocols (and other documents required by your CERT group)

    72 Hour Kit:

    This load out is intended for use both at home and during cert deployments.
    • Portable water resistant storage container (large backpack, rucksack ...etc) for 72 hour kit transportation and storage
    • Tent or shelter
    • Tarp or ground cloth (recommended but optional)
    • Sleeping bag 
    • Cot (optional)
    • Personal Cooking and eating supplies 
    • Meals totaling 2000 to 3600 Calories per day. (Lightweight, Non-perishable, low preparation) 
    • Personal Latrine & supplies (and/or trenching tools)
    • Personal First aid kit with 72 hours worth of medications and supplies. (with sun screen and bug repellent)
    • Personal decontamination/toiletry/cleaning supplies (personal shower recommended if conditions and water supply allows for it)
    • At least 1 Gallon of water per person per day (>3 gallons) 
    • Water purification: tablets, micro-pore-filters ...etc
    • Durable all-weather clothing for 72 hours plus (long sleeved) with multiple pairs of socks per day and backup footwear and foot care supplies for off duty use.
    • Trash sacks, large resealable freezer bags and bio hazard bags.
    • Fire building/tending tools.


    Many people have come to depend on electronics so packing an electronic go bag may be necessary.
    • Paper address, email & phone number list of family members and emergency contacts
    • Prepaid cell phone with pre-pay activation card (optional)
    • AC and 12V auto charger and a "squid" cable with multiple different power adaptors
    • Battery cellphone charger or Solar phone charger or Hand crank phone charger
    • AA & AAA batteries (if needed)

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