Northwest Citizen Corps Expo
Each year, with the help of our sponsors, partners, volunteers and staff, we train hundreds of.disaster response volunteers on key emergency response skills, preparing them to assist when the need arises in their own communities. By 2010, over 300 people were actively training and participating in the Expo.
The need for emergency preparedness has been front and center in the news with Hurricane Sandy, the Joplin Tornados, wildfires and flooding. Changing weather patterns increase the risk for extreme weather events and, no matter where we live, natural disasters can strike at any time; as the tragic 530 Landslide reminds us.
True to the calling to community service, our numbers continue to grow. We expect more volunteers this year, from all over the west and northwest, to participate this year! To meet the needs of our expanded training and attendance.
Over a decade ago, about 75 enthusiastic CERT volunteers came out to the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, Snohomish County, for the day. That memorable day, in 2003, was the first CERT Expo. The CERT Expo evolved to include continuing education sessions in the morning and participation by volunteers in a disaster exercise in the afternoon. In 2005, the CERT Expo expanded and moved to the Everett Community College. Our intrepid volunteers spread the word about the Expo and, in 2007, the Expo moved to the Washington State Fire Training Academy, in North Bend, to accommodate the growing participation of CERT volunteers from across the state. Children’s Hospital and the State Citizen Corps joined us as partners which allowed us to extend our offerings. The focus was on skill refreshers through training and disaster exercises.
Since 2008, the Expo has expanded to include Citizen Corps partners and affiliates from across the northwest: including participants from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California, Alaska and Canada.