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Part one: Layton City’s emergency preparedness plan

Article Published 01/05/2015

Layton City adopted a community plan several years ago to maintain communications with citizens and provide assistance in the event of a major emergency or disaster, such as a large earthquake.
This plan provides for organizing and training as many citizens as possible to prepare and help each other during the first 3 to 5 days, when residents will likely be on their own before outside help arrives.
Critical to a successful outcome include having residents prepare themselves and their family in advance by becoming informed and preparing adequate emergency supply kits, including food and water, and workable family emergency plans. There is a wealth of information available at http://www.utah.gov/beready  and  http://www.ready.gov on these topics.

Also, Layton City is divided into "districts", which use the same boundaries as LDS stakes. Each district is divided into 5 to 10 "areas" which use the same boundaries as LDS Wards.  Each area is divided into 12 to 20 "blocks" or neighborhoods. 
LDS stake and ward boundaries are used because they are well established, convenient, and recognized by many within the city.  It is important to note that this plan is for all citizens living within these boundaries regardless of religious affiliation.  
Volunteer district coordinators are appointed and trained by Layton City and are responsible to appoint and train volunteer area coordinators, who appoint and train volunteer block captains.
Those who serve in these positions function as Layton City volunteers, and as such serve without regard to religious affiliation. Residents are encouraged to become a part of their organized neighborhood group, under the direction of the appointed block captain.
Layton City also encourages each area to have at least 30 CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) trained citizens, preferably many more. CERT volunteers are divided into teams to perform basic emergency response duties.
CERT training provides instruction for citizens to provide basic assistance in areas such as triage, disaster first aid, urban search and rescue, damage assessment and disaster psychology before professional emergency responders can arrive.
It may be several days before Police, Fire and medical personnel can respond, so this training provides a valuable service to CERT volunteer's family and neighbors that would be served.
The CERT course is taught under the direction of the Layton Fire Department and consists of 8 modules.  The cost is $25 for the entire course. Courses can be scheduled through the Management Services Department secretary at 801-336-3820.
Also see www.laytoncity.org under "Live and Work", "Emergency Preparedness", and "CERT".

CERT teams within each area are organized by the area coordinator prior to a disaster.  CERT teams, block captains, area coordinators and district coordinators are primarily concerned with the welfare of citizens within their geographic boundaries.  District coordinators have a Layton City UHF emergency radio to coordinate with the Layton City Emergency Communications Center.  
CERT teams may be staged from less affected districts to provide assistance in more heavily affected districts in the days prior to the availability of professional emergency responders.
Through the implementation of this plan, Layton City residents will be better able to take care of themselves and their neighbors in the first several days following a disaster.