O’Fallon-area residents, employees and those interested in a career in law enforcement are encouraged to enroll in the O’Fallon Police Department’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to learn disaster preparedness skills. The free, 20-hour training, which is available to groups as well as individuals, will be taught on September 25, 26 and 27. It will cover these topics, and more:

“If you haven’t prepared a disaster kit or come up with a family communication plan for disasters, CERT training can help,” said Police Officer Patrick Helton, who is leading the training. “Those who take the course will get free training materials and learn how to deal with a variety of emergencies. That’s important because, if a major disaster like an earthquake or tornado should strike, first responders are likely to be overwhelmed by the number of people who need help.”

The upcoming CERT course will be held from 6-10 p.m. on Friday, September 25, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, September 26, and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, September 27, in the Public Works Building at 1089 Public Service Drive, O’Fallon, Missouri 63366. Graduates will be invited to learn more and practice their skills at free monthly training and exercises. For FAQS and to register for CERT, go to www.ofallon.mo.us/PD/cert. For additional information contact Officer Helton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 636-379-3816.