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Five area cities will be participating in the annual Community Emergency Response Team’s (CERT) disaster preparedness exercises, hosted by the city of San Juan Capistrano on Saturday, Sept. 12 at the San Juan Mobile Estates.

CERTs from Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach and Laguna Niguel, as well as the Tri-Cities RACES emergency radio communications group and a three-city HAM radio communications group, are set to participate.

Over 1,500 CERT members have been trained by the five cities participating.

The event, running from 7:30 a.m. to early afternoon and expected to draw several hundred participants, is designed to simulate disaster scenarios and train citizens in a hands-on environment.

A mock earthquake and all residual consequences including injuries to people and animals, damaged homes and other buildings, fires and gas leaks will set the scene. Exercises will cover areas CERT volunteers are trained in: first aid, search and rescue, fighting small fires, communications and logistics.

Local Boy Scouts will be acting as “victims” and Orange County Fire Authority will be on standby to assist in the drills.

For more information about the Dana Point CERT program, call 949.248.3579.

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