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Peninsula Light Co. has spent months recently upgrading power lines along the KP Highway to withstand high winds and tree strikes. Photo: Don Tjossem, KP News

Pierce County Emergency Neighborhood Team (PC-NET) is available to educate and prepare neighborhood organizations and homeowner associations, numbering up to 20 or 30 homes, about how to prepare for a disaster.

The free program is produced by the Pierce County Department of Emergency Preparedness for neighborhoods all over the county and consists of a number of educational sessions conducted by professionals in disaster preparedness. The program covers events that could involve neighborhoods, such as earthquakes, floods, storms, wildland fires, tornadoes, windstorms and acts of terrorism, as well as general emergency preparedness. These professionals will come to the neighborhood to teach courses, as well as to help with a neighborhood assessment of emergency methods for preparedness for the specific area.

PC-NET teaches neighbors to work as a team during or after an emergency to help each other. Each participating member has a specific function, depending on the type of emergency. Basic emergency equipment (hardhat, flashlight, batteries, whistle, protective eyeglasses and other items) are distributed to attendees at the meetings. All ages from teenagers to senior citizens are able to participate to the level of their ability.

The Preparedness Academy provides instruction in three areas of general disaster assistance: psychological first aid, use of family emergency radios and disaster first aid/triage. These are free classes available in the Gig Harbor and Tacoma area.

Contact Peggy LovellFord at 253-798-2209 to arrange a class or go to www.co.pierce.wa.us/2297/Pierce-County-Neighborhood-Emergency-Team for more information.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is an individual emergency preparedness training program. The focus of a CERT program is to provide assistance in the workplace or neighborhood when professional responders are not immediately available to help. The classes run two evenings a week for three weeks; the next one starts Oct. 3.

Contact Josh Shelton of the Tacoma Fire Department at 253-591-5955 or register at tacomawacert.samariteam.com. Although intended for Tacoma residents, they take residents from other areas on a space available basis.

In the immediate Key Peninsula and Gig Harbor area, the Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Committee (PEP-C) organization helps residents prepare for disaster. PEP-C meets at 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of every month except August at the Gig Harbor Fire Department headquarters, 10222 Bujacich Road NW. All are welcome to attend the free meeting. For more information, go to www.pep-c.org.

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