OPTIMIZING YOUR CERT BACKPACK
When I got home from my CERT class, everything was just crammed into the backpack. I wanted to see what all I had as well as rearrange the pack to make it easier to use.
SUGGESTION: Dump out your new CERT Pack on the floor, follow along, and do some organizing.
You won't have time for it in an emergency, plus, you will look like a real dummy trying to do it while people are waiting for you.

I did add a few things*, but these items should all fit in your CERT pack and still weigh only about 8½ pounds.
Build the packages below, then:

  1. Put the TOOLS Green bag in first, up one side.
  2. Then the FIRST AID Orange bag up the other side.
  3. Then the HARDHAT PACK on top of everything and zip that compartment shut.
  4. Then put the other items in their respective pockets and zip them.

Mine fit. Did yours? You might have to squish bags 1&2 to conform to the backpack. Just don't break anything.
If the zip bags stay too inflated, poke a small hole in them so they can "exhale". OR, be sure to squish out all the air before you zip them.


Here are the groups that go into the MAIN PACK:
(Click on a picture to see what I mean.)

TOOLS BAG (Green Camp Bag*)
  • 4-in-1 Emergency Tool
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Multi-Tool in belt pouch
  • Duct Tape (get new big roll* and replace annually. They get gooey in time & heat. Keep it in its own zip bag.)
  • Crank Flashlight* (never needs batteries)
  • Light Stick(s)
  • 6-in-1 Screwdriver*
  • Disposable Lighter* (you might need to start a campfire)
  • Heavy-duty 55gallon Contractor's Garbage Bag* (many uses including shelter and poncho)


 
FIRST AID BAG (Orange Camp Bag*)
Sort your First Aid Supplies into zip bags
Get zip STORAGE or FREEZER bags (they are thicker) with sliders (without can be difficult to open especially with cold or wet hands)
(Simplify! you don't want to deal with a bag inside a bag inside a bag...)
  • Adhesive Bandages all sizes in one zip bag
  • Absorbent Bandages all sizes in one zip bag
  • Miscellaneous, Alcohol Wipes, Bandage Scissors*, Emergency Blanket (leave wrapped until you need it)


 
HARDHAT PACK
Prepare your hardhat
  • Install and adjust the suspension unit (inside straps)
  • Install and adjust the chin strap.
  • Use permanent felt marker to print your first initial and last name on the back of the helmet using at least 1" letters
Pack the following IN the hardhat.....
  • Safety Vest (put it on and adjust it for a good fit, then remove, fold, and stash it in your helmet.)
  • Goggles or Safety Glasses (in zip bag so they stay clean and un-scratched)
  • Work Gloves (on top of stack to protect the goggles)

Then the items in the pockets on the pack.....

? BIG TOP-OUTSIDE "OFFICE" POCKET ON PACK
  • Steno Notebook*
  • Pocket Notebook*
  • Mechanical Pencils*
  • Lumber Crayon (Orange or Red to show up on various colors of house siding))
  • Permanent felt markers (black and red)*
  • Personal Phone Book*
  • Extra Quart and Gallon Zip Bags*

? LITTLE TOP-OUTSIDE BACK POCKET ON PACK
  • CERT Lanyard w/ID Badge (1 badge on lanyard for around your neck plus 1 badge in the dongle on your pack
  • Whistle (put it on your lanyard with your ID badge)
  • Compass* (could also be attached to lanyard)
  • Emergency Poncho (leave wrapped until you need it)

? BOTTOM OUTSIDE BACK POCKET ON PACK
  • N95 Respirators (Dust Mask) (You should have 2 or 3... they do get nasty) Be sure they are marked "NIOSH N95"
  • "Rubber Gloves" Get the type you need (vinyl or latex) and put a dozen pairs in a zip bag
  • Extra Zip bags for waste*
  • Hand Sanitizer*

? RIGHT SIDE MESH POUCH ON PACK
  • Bottle of drinking water* (don't add flavor unless you are going to drink it right away.)

? LEFT SIDE POCKET ON PACK
  • Personal needs ie: spare glasses, medications*
  • Pocket Notebook*
  • Mechanical Pencil*
  • Miniature LED Headlight*
  • Energy Bars*
  • Kleenex Pocket Packs* (compact and can be used as toilet paper)
  • Container of quarters for phone or vending machines or laundromat* (11dram pill bottle holds $9.50)

* SHOPPING LIST (Suggested items, where I bought them, and approximate prices)
 1   Nylon Camp Bags            Walmart               $4.49 pkg of 3
 2   Zip Storage Bags QT        Dollar General        $2.00 box of 32
 3   Zip Storage Bags GAL       Dollar General        $2.00 box of 23
 4   Contractor's Garbage Bag   Walmart               $? box of 15
 5   Disposable Lighter         Local Gas Station     $0.50 each
 6   Duct Tape                  Walmart               $?
 7   Bandage Scissors           ?                     $?
 8   Compass                    Walmart               $? each
 9   6-in-1 Screwdriver         Do-It-Best Hardware   $? each
10   Crank Flashlight           ?                     $?
11   LED Head Light             Dollar General        $4.00 each
12   Hand Sanitizer             Dollar General        $1.00 each 1.5oz
13   Vinyl Exam Gloves          eBay                  $8.65 box of 100
14   7-day Dual Pill Box        Dollar General        $1.50 each
15   Energy Bars                Dollar General        $2.96 box of 6 double pouches
16   Kleenex Pocket Packs       ?                     $?
17   Mechanical Pencils         Dollar General        $? pkg of 10
18   Permanent Markers          Walmart               $?
19   Pocket Notebooks           Dollar General        $? each
20   Steno Notebook             Dollar General        $? each
21   Personal Phone Book        Dollar General        $? each
This is experimental up to this point. What did I forget?
All comments welcome to cert@ac0ok.net.