BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Berkeley County’s new emergency management director hopes members of the community will take part in preparedness initiatives.

William Rochester, who once served as the county’s operations coordinator nearly four years ago, has signed on to lead Berkeley County in times of need.

“When I worked here before we did a lot with the program,” he recalled. “We were able to look at the planning and we really pushed that public education.”

Rochester now hopes to see even more public involvement in future preparations for emergencies or possible disaster situations.

“We do programs like the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT); we’ve got a class starting actually this evening in Hanahan …  we’re always looking for folks to take that training,” he said.

The CERT program gives you basic skills and information about disaster preparedness. When you complete the training, you can become a member of the county CERT team and ensures you are always ready for a disaster at any time.

“The biggest thing that we’re always going to push is individual preparedness,” said Rochester. “We’re always gonna make sure the people have things like [a] to-go kit, some kind of disaster kit, so if they had to leave their home, they’re able to actually do that.”

Rochester said Team Berkeley is very experienced. “We know how to coordinate, effectively, to support the needs of the county to respond to any kind of disaster.”

Tuesday night’s CERT class will take place at the Hanahan Fire Department on Williams Lane beginning at 6:00 p.m.