Tuesday, October 21, 2008

NOAA Open House Sterling Va.



The NOAA Open House at their new facility in Sterling, VA, had Fairfax CERT in attendance. Even though Sterling is in Loudoun County, many people from all over the region stopped at our CERT booth while touring the Weather Station. We were in good company in the open sided tent. Virginia Emergency Management, FEMA, USGA, and the American Red Cross were some of the other booths around us. We were there Saturday and Sunday. Judy 29 manned the booth on Saturday and Terry 14 manned it on Sunday. Andrew 15 did double duty manning the Red Cross booth and CERT.

We had visits from Loudoun County CERT people and West Virginia Emergency Management to name a few. If interested people weren’t from Fairfax County, I told them to go to their county web site and search for CERT. I signed up a few people from Fairfax County interested in CERT. Not only did I “talk” CERT, but I encouraged people to put together and have ready a 72 hour emergency kit. I told them that with Daylight Savings Time ending (“fall back”) this is a good time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors, and to put together or pull out and check your 72 hour kit. We had new CERT magnets to pass out for this event. I attended the dedication of the new facility, until the wind picked up and I had to run out to check on our display. You would think that NOAA would have had a calmer day for the event.

Notables on hand were The Honorable Donna Edwards. U.S. Congresswomen, Maryland 4th District; Vickie Nadolski , Deputy AA, NOAA; Chris Strong, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NOAA/NWS Baltimore/Washington Weather Forecast Office; Daniel Gropper, Thunder Eagle, Inc.; Margaret E. McKeough, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; Dean Gulezian, Director, NOAA/SWS Eastern region; Bruce Sterling, Coordinator, Virginia Department of Emergency Management Region II; Topper Shutt, Chief Meteorologist, WUSA-TV Channel 9; and Jim Lee, Meteorologist-in-Charge, NOAA/NWS Baltimore/Washington Weather Forecast Office.
I got to tour the Facility and even got to see the “hardened” room where the staff would go if a tornado threatened the facility. Judy CERT 29.

Terry's report
I had some help Sunday, Andrew of CERT 15 helped on the display (and helped run the Red Cross display too-he was there to take Skywarn training.). There were a number of Fairfax Co. CERT members attending the open house, Sandra from CERT 34 was there to take Skywarn training, one of the ladies from CERT 21 came through; and people from Loudoun Co. OEM were there as well. Margaret from NOAA treated us to a private tour of the facility,
I wrapped it up around 5pm; Andrew and I broke down and loaded the displays for the drive home. It was a really "comfortable" event; people were pleasant, the display location was IDEAL, and people were pretty interested in CERT. A good day. Terry CERT 14