If disaster strikes, Reliant Energy employees are ready to provide critical support to neighbors, law enforcement and other emergency responders in the greater Houston area. A total of 42 employee volunteers recently completed CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training and are now certified to assist in emergencies, including those like Hurricane Ike that affect the entire Houston area.

“The work we do at Reliant goes beyond powering homes and businesses,” said Jason Few, president, Reliant Energy. “Having employees on the front lines during disasters to help sustain and possibly save lives is a testament to our deep commitment to the communities where we live and work.”

Reliant employees were recognized for their efforts at the end of their training class by Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and presented a certificate of completion on Dec. 14. The employees are among the growing number of CERT-trained citizens in the area. Currently there are about 8,000.

“Citizen Corps volunteers make our community better prepared for any disaster and a safer place to live each and every day,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “The Reliant Energy CERT graduates will be able to apply their disaster preparedness skill both at home and work.”

Reliant began offering on-site CERT training classes to its employees for the first time in 2009. The eight-week CERT program prepares volunteers for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations – including treating life-threatening conditions, airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock.

The CERT program requires a partnership between citizens and local government, emergency management and response agencies.

Reliant is forming a second class in the first quarter of this year to train additional employees.