Pre-Deployment Safety Considerations for CERT Volunteers
Regular Medical Screenings or Physicals
Even younger responders should get a yearly screening or physical to catch problems before they become major issues. For older responders this is even more critical to detect and treat illnesses. Responding to a disaster causes great stress on the body and can exacerbate existing medical issues.
The CDC recommends two types of vaccinations when responding to a disaster in the US.
- Tetanus: In accordance with the current CDC guidelines, responders should receive a tetanus booster if they have not been vaccinated for tetanus during the past 10 years. Td (tetanus/diphtheria) or Tdap (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis) can be used; getting the Tdap formula for one tetanus booster during adulthood is recommended to maintain protection against pertussis. While documentation of vaccination is preferred, it should not be a prerequisite to work.
- Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B vaccine series for persons who will be performing direct patient care or otherwise expected to have contact with bodily fluids.
When traveling outside of the US you should consult the CDC immunization website.