Monday, December 28, 2009

The first CERT basic class of 2010 announced-CERT 42

Hi folks!
The first CERT basic class of 2010 has been announced. This class will be known as CERT 42.

CERT 42 will start up on January 13, 2010. The time for the classes will be from 4:00 pm to 6:30pm. Classes will be held at Kings Park Elementary School, which is located at 5400 Harrow Way in Springfield.

There are still some student opportunities for this class available.Do you know of someone 18 or older interested in participating in this class? The class time is perfect for a retiree or busy mom!

If so, please have them contact our CERT administrator Dana Powers at dana.powers@fairfaxcounty.gov

Thanks,
Terry
your volunteer PIO

Shopping!

Just a little reminder that post-holiday sales are a great time to pick up supplies to build or augment your preparedness kits. Some items to look for include:
  • blankets
  • flashlights
  • fire extinguishers
  • smoke detectors
  • carbon monoxide detectors
  • flares
  • snow shovels
  • ice scrapers
  • batteries
  • NOAA weather radio

Saturday, December 26, 2009

CERT HELP for FROSTIVAL January 1, 2 and 3, 2010

Anybody up to extending their Holiday Spirit to support this fun outreach event? We need some help to cover this 3-day event. Please, email Terry and I with times and dates that you could help out. If we could get you to commit to a 3 or 4 hour block on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday that would be great and you would also satisfy one of the requirements for 2010 CERT refresher. We are gearing our efforts to a younger audience, 2 to 12 year olds, so it should be lots of fun. I’m hoping to get a lot of activity books to hand out, plus examples of preparedness kits to go into school bags. Any other ideas would be most welcome. Call me at 703-655-9170 with your preferences or email Terry and me. I will plug you into a roster and get free adult tickets and the “particulars” to you.
Judy- CERT Outreach Coord

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Some Winter Safety Tips from USFA

This is from the Family Preparedness Newsletter:

Winter is an especially dangerous time for home fires, as space heaters, holiday lights and candles get more use - it is no surprise that fires in the home are more common between December and February. The U.S. Fire Administration is part of the Department of Homeland Security, and their Web site has a wealth of information to help make this holiday season both warm and safe:

Fire Safety Tips: [ http://www.firesafety.gov/citizens/firesafety/index.shtm ]

Resources:

Also, we have posted about the hazards of dry trees in the past but if you decorate with a live tree, be sure to keep it watered -- here is a link to a video for how fast a dry tree can get engulfed in flames.

Cathleen

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Clear the Fire Hydrants

Now that the "Blizzard" of '09 has passed and we are digging our way out, be sure to find the fire hydrants in your community and dig them out. We hope that they will not be needed, but it is another way for us CERTs to help our neighbors.

Be Safe.

-Jack

Sunday, December 13, 2009

CERT outreach 2010-Let's start the year off right with the Frostival!

Hi folks,
We have been asked to provide a CERT display and activity for the Frostival; a first ever event held by the people who operate the Celebrate Fairfax and Fall for Fairfax events. The event runs from 10am to 5 pm on January 1,2 and 3, 2010.
We will need some help with running this booth; if your'e interested in helping out please email pio@fairfaxcountycert.org and CC Judy, our outreach coordinator at outreach@fairfaxcountycert.org . We will need your name, email address; your CERT class number and a good contact phone number.
Help at this event is open to both CERT basic and CERT 2 graduates. Below is more information on this new and interesting event.
Terry
your volunteer PIO


Fairfax's First-Ever Annual Frostival- www.frostival.com

Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. is proud to announce the first-ever FROSTIVAL, an exciting new winter-themed family festival, with programs targeted to elementary and pre-K aged children. Celebrate Fairfax's FROSTIVAL will include interactive rides, games, attractions, crafts, storytelling, musical performances, exhibits and vendors.

WHERE:
At the Dulles Expo & Conference Center in Chantilly, Virginia
WHEN:
Starts at 10:00am January 1, 2010 | Ends at 5:00pm January 3, 2010. CERT involvement will be a display from 10am to 5pm on January 1, 2, and 3.
HOW:
By car, plenty of parking is available. For a map and directions, click here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Upcoming WMATA/METRO CERT Classes!

Hi folks!
There are another round of Metro CERT training classes coming up. The dates are February 11, 18 and 25, 2010. The training will be conducted at 600 5th street, N.W. in Washington DC; which is the main Metro Building. The starting time for the classes is 1800 hours. WMATA can take up to 12 CERT participants.
Some of our Fairfax County CERT members have taken Metro CERT training; and it is a very interesting and informative class. If you ride Metro regularly this class is for you!
If you are interested in taking Metro CERT classes; please contact our CERT administrator Dana Powers directly at dana.powers@fairfaxcounty.gov
This class is open to Fairfax County CERT basic and CERT 2 graduates; and the training slots are on a first come, first serve basis.

Thanks,
Terry
your volunteer PIO

Monday, November 30, 2009

Not to say I told you so...but.....

So…..it is now time for the inevitable post-Thanksgiving, “I Told You So”...the following sample of stories are from throughout the country and highlight the dangers of turkey fryers:

MCCOOK, Neb. (AP) — A juvenile boy was treated for possible smoke inhalation and released from a local hospital after a Thanksgiving Day fire in McCook investigators blamed on a turkey fryer. Fire officials say the heat from a turkey fryer being used inside the garage touched off the fire. The heat built up in the ceiling as two turkeys were cooked and something in the attic began to smolder. The fire spread quickly throughout the attic and into the basement after a nitrous oxide tank for a car exploded.Investigator Ryan Sylvester declined to identify the boy hurt because he is a juvenile. The house is a total loss with about $250,000 damage.One cat died as a result of the fire. Two dogs escaped with the family.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Authorities in Ohio say a turkey fryer caused a house to catch fire as the homeowner was preparing a Thanksgiving meal.
Columbus firefighters say no one was injured in the fire Thursday. They contained it to the back of the two-story house.
The turkey fryer was set up outside near the back door. Capt. Mike Zuber said a propane tank had a worn hose that caused a gas leak, sparking the blaze.
The fire spread to a nearby wood pile and a pickup truck.
The homeowner's identity wasn't immediately released. Zuber says one other family member was home at the time.
Damage was estimated at $15,000.

HUMMELS WHARF — Twenty people were just about to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner at the Rivera residence early Thursday evening when four fire trucks crashed the party.
The garage area of the home of Robin Welch and Carlos Rivera at 99 Creek Road was
ablaze when they rushed in.
It was about 5 p.m. Rivera had been cooking one turkey upstairs in the regular
oven and one in the garage by a propane-fueled deep fat fryer method.
He said he checked on the turkey in the garage, and everything was fine, and he
went back upstairs into the kitchen,
which was directly above the garage.
“It wasn’t 30 seconds later,” he said, “I saw smoke coming up by the window.”
Hummels Wharf Fire Chief Jeff Buckley said the garage was fully involved when they
arrived, with flames coming out of both garage doors.

Princeton, KY- Hot grease from a propane-fueled deep fryer is believed to be the cause of a blaze that destroyed two buildings and left more than 20 people homeless Wednesday.
The smoke rose in great pillaring clouds that could be seen from as far
away as the Cadiz Road exit on Interstate 24, 10 miles away.
The property is owned by Marlin Robertson, who was deep-frying a turkey in
a storage area inside the lumber company building
when the fire broke out.
Francis said water in the frozen bird converted to steam when it hit the
oil in the fryer
, causing the grease to blow out of the fryer and ignite.
A few other residents were also transported, most for smoke inhalation.
Another tenant, an adult female, was airlifted from the medical center to Western Baptist Hospital for a heart-related issue, investigators said.
Firefighters made entry into the building, set up an aerial truck and used
a piercing nozzle to try and fight back the blaze, but the building’s
composition proved resistant to those efforts.
Mike


Saturday, November 28, 2009

H1N1 Clinics

Fairfax County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)
We Train. We Exercise. We Do.

Several CERT folks have inquired how they can join other Fairfax County CERTs and help out with the Fairfax County Health Department H1N1 Vaccination Clinics.
The CERTs you have seen at the clinics, are also Fairfax County MRC volunteers.

In order to volunteer with the clinics, you are required to be an MRC volunteer. If you are interested in joining MRC, you can signup at https://www.fairfaxmrc.org/regprocess.php

You will then need to attend MRC 101 Orientation. The next class is December 16th from 7-9pm.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's that time of year again!

Yes, it's time for the annual "be careful when frying a turkey" post! Yet again I have dug into the CERT archives to dig up and beat the dead turkey I have posted for the last two years. I know it is repetitive, but bear with me.

***********************

Have you thought about how you might be cooking your Thanksgiving turkey? What the heck does this have to do with CERT, safety or anything other than a cooking class or something on the Food Network? Has Mike gone completely crazy? Has cooking with Emeril Lagasse gone to his head? Good questions all!

Over the past few years there has been a growing trend of people frying their turkeys. I have to say, fried turkey sure do taste good, this is a fact. Unfortunately, if you are novice, or even have experience frying a turkey, it is a serious and dangerous prospect.

There are many reasons a deep fryer can be dangerous. Since using the typical pedestal type turkey fryer SHOULD NEVER BE DONE INDOORS (this includes a garage or barn, even if is not entirely closed in), making sure you have the space and equipment to do this outdoors is important. Also bear in mind, the weather; if it is windy, raining or snowing, this could affect your fryer.

In order to fry your turkey you will need to get the oil in the fryer up to at least 350 degrees ...350 degrees, which, if you did not know, IS REALLY HOT! Working with an unstable product such as blazing hot oil over an open flame is dangerous, even if you know what you are doing.

Other safety issues include:
* If the burner is not on level ground, the units can easily tip over, spilling hot oil (3-5 gallons of hot oil at 350 degrees!!!) onto the burner and creating a LARGE, FAST fire.
* If the pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill over when the turkey is lowered into the pot. Oil will hit the flames on the burner and engulf the burner with fire. There are ways to measure out the right amount of oil, which is imperative to ensure you do not have the pot overfilled.
* Water and hot oil do not go together. Partially frozen turkeys contain water of course, so if you lower a partially frozen turkey into a fryer, expect an extensive fire. Heaven help you if you place a frozen turkey in the fryer; to help defrost it....this will cause an explosion as the water expands in the hot (350 degrees ) oil. DON'T do it.
* The outdoor fryers have no thermostat controls, so they can overheat quickly and cause the oil to boil over the sides of the pot before you can react.
* The pot and handles get extremely hot (remember, 350 degrees of boiling oil), posing severe burn hazards.

I am sure there is someone out there saying to themselves, "I won't let Mike yuck my yum, I am going to fry a turkey anyway". Fine, be that way. It won't be the first time someone did not listen to what I said and partially burned their house down.....you know who you are.
You still want to fry that turkey? Ok, fine. Please, bear these things in mind as you go about frying.
These are not guaranteed to stop a fire or keep you from getting burned, but they may help in mitigating a larger disaster (such as burning your house down):
* Never use a turkey fryer on a wooden deck or inside a garage, home, or within any structure.
* Place the fryer a safe distance away from any building (bear in mind if you place it in the grass, the grass should not be overly dry, nor overly wet. Also count on the grass dying and never growing back).
* Fryers should be used on a firm, flat surface to prevent them from tipping over. Try the middle of a parking lot....not the sloping driveway in front of your house next to your car.

* Once the pot is filled with the recommended 3-5 gallons of oil (probably peanut oil) and the burner is ignited, you should never leave the fryer unattended. This also means do not cook if you are under the influence. Please, don't drink and fry.
* Keep pets inside and keep children at a safe distance. A safe distance being somewhere where they will never see it because once they do, they will want to get close.
* Use well-insulated gloves or oven mitts and wear safety glasses (I think I know where you might have a pair laying around) to guard against oil splatters.

* Do not wear loose clothing as these might ignite if you get too close to the flame or the oil, or both. If your clothes do catch on fire, remember, Stop, Drop and Roll!
*Turkeys must be thoroughly thawed. While very tasty, be very careful of injecting marinades into your turkey. The extra liquid may cause the oil to spill over.
*Keep a portable dry chemical fire extinguisher nearby. Never use a water type extinguisher to extinguish a grease or oil fire. Do not deploy the garden hose to assist with your turkey fryer fire, this will do MUCH, MUCH more harm than good.
* If your fryer does catch fire call 9-1-1 immediately!

Finally, remember the oil (3-5 gallons of it) inside the pot will remain hot for hours after your turkey has been removed. DO NOT bring it indoors and again, keep children and pets away from the pot.

For more information on some of the hazards of cooking fires (not just the turkey fryer fires), please visit the United States Fire Administration's website for a copy of: Behavioral Mitigation of Cooking Fires by going here: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/fireservice/research/other/cooking-mitigation.shtm

For a short demo on a fryer fire, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbLqFQQdvoY

Thanks for reading and I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!


Mike



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Meet CERT # 43 !


















Hi folks!
Meet the new graduates of our latest CERT basic class, CERT 43. This class was taught in the Reston area by CERT 43 lead volunteer instructor Donna E. Donna was assisted by volunteer instructor Denise H. These two did an excellent job!
Welcome to the Fairfax County CERT family, CERT 43 members! Thanks to all of you for "stepping up" to better prepare yourselves, your families and your community for disaster.
And a huge "YOU ROCK"! goes out to Donna and Denise for taking on the task of teaching!

Terry
your volunteer PIO

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meet CERT 40 and CERT 41!
















Hi folks,
The CERT 40 and CERT 41 classes graduated recently; welcome to the CERT family! I posted the picture of CERT 39 without realizing 40 and 41 had not had their picture posted. So, here it is!
Congratulations to ALL the new Fairfax county CERT members!

Terry
your volunteer PIO

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Meet CERT 39!


















Hi folks,
The first CERT basic class in the south county area finished up last night. This is the CERT 39 class, taught at the south county government center in the Mount Vernon area of Alexandria.
The instructors for the class were Kevin, your victim actor coordinator and Terry, your volunteer PIO.
CERT 39 was a great class; full of motivated students wanting to make themselves, their families and their communities safer in major disasters. Three different homeowners associations made up bulk of students in the class.
Congratulations to the members of CERT 39, welcome to the Fairfax County CERT family!

Terry
your volunteer PIO

PS-and don't forget. "Semper Gumby"-always flexible!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Candle Fire Safety

With the holidays fast approaching and the increased usage of seasonal decorations, it is important to focus on candle fire safety and prevention. Because the majority of candle fires result from human error and negligence, candle fires and their associated casualties are preventable.
  • If possible, avoid using lighted candles.

  • If you must use candles, ensure they are placed in sturdy holders.

  • Keep candles away from children and pets.

  • Be sure to extinguish candles after each use.

  • Never leave burning candles unattended.
In the event of a fire, remember time is the biggest enemy and every second counts!

Escape first, and then call for help. Develop a home fire escape plan and practice it frequently with your family. Designate a meeting place outside. Make sure everyone in the family knows two ways to escape from every room.

Never stand up in a fire, always crawl low under the smoke, and try to keep your mouth covered. Never return to a burning building for any reason: it may cost you your life.
Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire.

For more information:



Mike




Sunday, November 1, 2009

EMS activity for actors

On Thursday, November 5 the current EMS Academy will need actors to participate for their EMS final exam. This is an outstanding opportunity to not only help out the Fire Dept. but come away with some excellent knowledge. Located at the Fire & Rescue Academy 1730 to 2230, contact Don Melick emsking@verizon.net

Friday, October 30, 2009

Change your clock, change your battery

This Saturday night, as you are packing up the Halloween candy, be sure to turn your clock back. WHile doing so, also change out the battery in your smoke alarm. Also, if your alarm is close to 10 years old, replace it.
For more information on smoke alarms, visit the USFA website:


Mike

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Fire Safety

Halloween is fast approaching and here are a few fire safety tips to help make the spooky season a lot less scary.

Buy only costumes, wigs and props labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant. If you are making your own costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame. Avoid using billowing or long trailing features. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.

Provide children with lightweight flashlights to carry for lighting or as part of their costume.
Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn including trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.

Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.



Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)

Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.

If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for exits and plan how they would get out in an emergency. We know training and exercising your kids to exit a structure which may be on fire is part of your home safety plan, but it is important to emphasis they need to do this on their hands and knees after they have identified a way to get out. Haunted Houses are specifically designed to disorient people, and with open candles, candles in pumpkins and mulitiple extension cords in use, it is imperative to find a way to exit as soon as you enter.



Lastly, be sure to brush your teeth after eating all that candy.





Mike

Sunday, October 25, 2009

THANK YOU ACTORS!

CERT classes 40 & 41 conducted their final exercise of their training Saturday. They were supported with 78 actors who came out in the rain to simulate a mass disaster. The CERT students were most appreciative of the time donated and the acting abilities of these volunteers. The weather just made the drill so much more realistic. A special shout out to Robinson Secondary School for such a great turn-out. We hope you all enjoyed the day and you will consider taking a CERT course in the future, as well as being an actor again. Thanks for your help!

Upcoming actor opportunities

Our actors are always in demand and we receive a constant stream of requests for their help. These opportunities not only help train first responders, but as an actor you always come away with a bit of knowledge--win-win. Consider volunteering.

These are the upcoming opportunities available:

OCT 29 - 0900-1700 Fort Belvoir, past events have been awesome, contact Michael Guditus, Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management 571-350-1011 for details.

NOV 6-8 - 1900-0100 Urban Search & Rescue, Three days/nights of fun with our nationally recognized rescue teams and dogs. Lots of different shift times. Contact (Capt) Ramiro.Galvez@fairfaxcounty.gov or Rick.Schmidt@fairfaxcounty.gov for information by no later than Nov 2.

NOV 14-VRE Emergency Simulation Drill, rescue on a train! For details gotrains@vre.org

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

****H1N1,MRC and CERT-important clinic operational changes for you***

Dear CERT and Fire and Rescue Volunteers:

I would like to thank everyone for stepping up and volunteering their time to help with the H1N1 vaccination clinics.
As you can see from the email below, the Health Department has had to change their distribution plan. As of now, there will only be one Vaccination Clinic held at the Government Center on Saturday, October 24th, open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Due to the anticipated crowds, MRC is still in need of CERT volunteers from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

If you would still like to volunteer, please send an email to Dana Powers at dana.powers@fairfaxcounty.gov indicating that you are willing to help out. Please specify the hours that you are available to be there.In addition, please include your CERT class number and a valid phone number. As with the previous request, CERT basic, CERT 2 and CERT 3 members are elgible to participate.

At this time, we do not have a point of contact or any other specific information relating to this event. The Medical Reserve Corps will keep us informed as plans progress.

Thank you again for your help with this very important operation.


Jeffrey F. Katz
Volunteer Liaison
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue
jeffrey.katz@fairfaxcounty.gov

On the evening of October 16, the Fairfax County Health Department was informed about 2009 H1N1 vaccine production delays, which has impacted the entire nation and resulted in uneven availability. As a result, the Health Department has had to adjust mass vaccination plans to match the limited supply of vaccine currently available, which is significantly less than anticipated.


The Health Department currently does not have enough vaccine available for the vaccination effort we planned to hold in the ten schools on October 24 and 25. Instead, the amount of vaccine currently available will be distributed to children (age range to be defined later this week) and pregnant women on Saturday, October 24 at the Fairfax County Government Center, located at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035 .

Sunday, October 18, 2009

ADDITIONAL DETAILS FOLLOW-CERT operational role October 24th/ 25th-support of Medical Reserve Corps activation for H1N1 vaccination site operations

Folks,
Each of you should have received the email from Dana Powers and Jeffrey Katz this week. The email mentions that the Fairfax County health department activated the county Medical Reserve Corps (MRC).MRC will be conducting H1N1 flu vaccine dispensing activities in 10 vaccination sites county wide on Saturday, October 24th and Sunday October 25th.
The sites will be open from 10am to 4pm on both days.

CERT help has been requested in support of these operations. This is an operational role folks; CERT has been asked to provide external support for the 10 POD (point of dispensing) sites to be opened next weekend. MRC has mobilized almost 1000 volunteers for dispensing site operations and they need our manpower and our skills.

Our role as CERT members will be twofold-the first is parking lot operations. We will direct people into parking spaces when they drive into the POD sites.The POD sites are listed below. This may sound like a less than glamorous job; but I can tell you some of these sites have less than 150 parking spaces available and very large crowds are expected. CERTs working parking lot operations will effectively be ensuring the safety of every client that comes to the site. Glamorous job? No. Important job? Absolutely!!!!!!

I can assure you; it will be a challenge to get people safely parked and to keep citizens from running over each other while in these parking lots. Fairfax County police will be on site in all POD sites; they will generally be located inside the vaccination sites assisting with crowd control duties.

Langston Hughes Middle school in Reston
Franklin Middle school in Chantilly
Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church
Kilmer Middle school in Vienna
Glasgow Middle school in Alexandria
Key Middle school in Springfield
Sandburg Middle school in Alexandria
Liberty Middle school in Clifton
Frost Middle school in Fairfax
South County Secondary school in Lorton.

The second CERT duty will be to direct people to the vaccination site entrance and keep them in line. Intake and screening activities will be conducted by MRC members as soon as they enter the door. Folks, this area will act similarly to our own CERT medical treatment sites-they will be empty at first and then fill up/bottleneck very quickly. In a mass vaccination scenario such as this, a person coming to the site can (on average) expect a two hour wait to complete the process. People will be standing in line for a while, with their children. This will be a challenging task . People will be filling out forms as soon as they come in the door; so our task here is to keep people in line, keep them calm and help keep the line running smoothly.

The only people to be vaccinated at these sites next weekend is children from six months of age to 18 years. These are the age groups most susceptible to H1N1 flu (other risk groups for H1N1-pregnant women and adults over 65 with underlying medical conditions will NOT be vaccinated). So,in these parking lots we manage there will be families and children. Keeping them safe in the parking areas will be our responsibility.

The medical reserve corps badly needs our help. Would you like to step up to the task? They know that the CERT 40/41 exercise is on Saturday October 24th-MRC can use our help on both days; or just one day if you can. If you want to help with a challenging and useful duty to our community, please email Jeffrey Katz at Jeffrey.katz@fairfaxcounty.gov and Dana Powers at dana.powers@fairfaxcounty.gov with your name, a cellphone number and your CERT class number. This operational role is available to ALL Fairfax County CERT members.

I leave you with some statistics on the current H1N1 flu situation, which was pulled off the CDC website at www.cdc.gov .

Thanks to all of you for helping out; your community will thank you!

Terry
your volunteer PIO
and MRC site assistant

2009-2010 Influenza Season Week 40 ending October 10, 2009

All data are preliminary and may change as more reports are received.
Synopsis:

During week 40 (October 4-10, 2009), influenza activity increased in the U.S.

* 4,093 (29.4%) specimens tested by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories and reported to CDC/Influenza Division were positive for influenza.
* All subtyped influenza A viruses being reported to CDC were 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses.
* The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was above the epidemic threshold.
* Eleven influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported. Ten of these deaths were associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus infection and one was associated with an influenza A virus, for which subtype is undetermined.
* The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was above the national baseline. All 10 regions reported ILI above region-specific baseline levels.
* Forty-one states reported geographically widespread influenza activity, Guam and eight states reported regional influenza activity, one state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico reported local influenza activity, and the U.S. Virgin Islands did not report.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Help Wanted: Actors

We are in need of people to play the role of "victims" for the upcoming Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) drill scheduled for October 24, 2009. As a victim you will be expected to play your role as realistically as possible. You will receive "make-up" to show "wounds" and will have fake blood placed on your clothes. As such, please dress for the elements (we have the drill rain or shine) as you will be waiting outside to be found, in clothes that you can get very dirty, stained, and possibly even torn. Some of you may also be called upon to assist the rescuers in performing their duties. You may participate in any way you feel comfortable.

This is a very exciting opportunity to help your community. Live "victims" are essential to providing high quality training, and you'll learn quite a bit too! We'll even throw in a meal. You need to arrive at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy (4600 West Ox Rd. Fairfax, VA) by 9:30am. The drill should be completed by 3:00pm. We will need you to participate for the entire time. However, if you need to leave early due to an emergency, just let a Controller know so we can account for you. Due to limited parking, it is requested you carpool as much as possible.

The schedule for the date usually goes something like this:

9:00am - Arrive and park.
9:30am - Check in. You'll be registered and your contact information taken. You'll be given a card with a set of "injuries" you are to act out.
9:45am - 10:30am- You'll start in the makeup process. While this does not take much time, there is a wait to get through.
10:30am – You will be provided a meal and the lead instructor will give you a brief presentation on safety issues, and what to expect.
11:00am - 11:15am - You will be escorted to the area where you will be "trapped" or laying about.
11:15pm - The Drill begins. The rescuers will search, sort the victims by severity, extricate those who are trapped, and transport all victims to a treatment area.
2:30pm - Victim checkout, debrief, and "thank-you's" from the students.

We prefer adults, but will gladly accept minors 15 years and older with signed parental consent (contact actors@fairfaxcountycert.org for the form) and a full understanding of what's involved. If you would like a child younger than 15 to participate, they must be accompanied by a responsible adult who will not participate as a victim but will stay near the child during the entire exercise. At checkout you can receive a certificate signifying 6.5 hours of community service provided.

Please give your name, phone number and E-mail address to actors@fairfaxcountycert.org and let them know you read about it on the blogspot.

Mike

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

REQUEST FOR CERT ASSISTANCE

Fairfax County Health Departmentand Fairfax County medical reserve corps has requested CERT assistance on Saturday,October 24 and Sunday October 25th from 10am to 4 pm CERT help is requested at various middle school locations in Fairfax County.

The Health Department ,along with the Medical Reserve Corps are planning mass H1N1 vaccination clinics for school age children and other risk groups. They are anticipating large crowds.

MRC is looking for 3-4 CERT members each at 10 local schools to help with parking lot control. The tentative schools are-

Hughes Middle school in Reston
Franklin Middle school in Chantilly
Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church
Kilmer Middle school in Vienna
Glasgow Middle school in Alexandria
Key Middle school in Springfield
Sandburg Middle school in Alexandria
Liberty Middle school in Clifton
Frost Middle school in Fairfax
South County Secondary school in Lorton.


All CERT levels are encouraged to volunteer on this call for assistance.
Contact actors@fairfaxcountycert.org to sign up, need name, phone #, CERT #, date(s) and school that you can help out at.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

CERT Volunteers requested for an MRC training clinic Saturday, October 17th

Folks,
The Fairfax county Medical Reserve Corps has asked CERT to provide 10 to 15 CERT volunteers to assist with a training clinic they are conducting on Saturday,October 17. The tentative time for this clinic is from 7am to 2pm or so. The times are being finalized.

This activity is open to both CERT Basic and CERT 2 class graduates. If you are interested in assisting with this clinic, please email me at pio@fairfaxcountycert.org with your name, email address,a good phone number and your CERT class number. I will more pass on more information as soon as it becomes available.

Terry
your volunteer PIO

Monday, October 12, 2009

CERT at the Fire Department open house event!








Hi folks!
On Saturday, October 10th a number of CERT's helped "talk CERT" at the fire and rescue department open house event. CERT members were in 5 stations for this event-McLean, Vienna, Centreville, Burke and Woodlawn/Alexandria.
CERTs manned outreach booths in these locations, talking to citizens about CERT and emergency preparedness. In the Woodlawn station, CERT members conducted demonstrations of CERT capabilities as well as manning a CERT info booth here. This was a fun event for the CERTs and informative for the citizens who learned about us.
Being in these fire stations for the day was great! We got to see the stations; the people in each of the stations treated us like family. We all had a great time!
Here are the people who helped, give them a huge "YOU ROCK"for their efforts! An album of pictures from the stations are on the Fairfax county CERT Facebook page at www.facebook.com

#1 McLean
Lani from CERT 4
Sandra from CERT 34

#2 Vienna
Bruce from CERT 38 (his first outreach event and he handled it like a pro!)
Andrew from CERT 15

#14 Burke
James from CERT 32
Bob and Grace from CERT 34

#17 Centreville
Terry, your volunteer PIO
Scott from CERT 39, the south county CERT basic class. (his first outreach event-GREAT job Scott!)

#24 Woodlawn-our CERT demo team!
Judy, our outreach coordinator from CERT 29
Patty from CERT 19
Jonathan from CERT 29
Michael from CERT 34

Thanks to all for your efforts!

Terry
your volunteer PIO

Fort Belvoir victims request

Fort Belvior Emergency Management is requesting victim volunteers for a drill they are holding on Thursday October 29 from 0900 to 1700. In the past, these drills have been awesome! For more information, please contact Michael Guditus at Fairfax Co. Office of Emergency Management at 571-350-1011.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Exciting Actor Opportunity

On Saturday October 17, The Chester River Hospital in Chestertown, MD is supporting a Fire/EMS/Hospital mass casualty drill. The event starts at 7am and should be over at noon and involves a hazmat/decon operation. The decon operation will include hose downs, so swimwear under your clothing is recommended. Don't worry you'll be kept warm. Opportunities are available for those we don't want to get hosed down ( BUT WHY?). All ages are welcomed. The actors will be provided with a light breakfast, lunch and a free t-shirt. This is a must do!
Contact Kevin Mullins for more info at kmullinsva@aol.com

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Amateur HAM Radio Classes: 8 Oct- 12 Nov

Hey CERT members interested in taking HAM radio classes?

Amateur radio classes will be held in the months of October and Novermber. The purpose of the classes is to help prepare for licensing and to give a basic knowledge of how amateur (ham) radio operators communicate. There is no cost for the class and anyone is welcome. All classes start at 7:30 pm.

Location:
Primary room fo the King St. Building (upstairs)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
2810 King St
Alexandria, VA 22302

Date Topic
Thurs. Oct 8 ***************What is Ham radio; rules, responsibility and operations

Thurs. Oct 22 **************Radio, Electronics and Propagation

Wed. Oct. 28 ***************Operation and setup; communications methods and modes;
************** T7: Special operations

Thurs. Nov. 5 **************Safety and Emergency communications

Thurs. Nov. 12 **************ECOM Groups, Nets, Traditions and On air procedure

Class materials:
  • bring note taking materials. No reading is required but information will be given in class.
Please, email Josh Abraham, KG4RAY to let him know you will attend and that you are a CERT member, kg4ray@verajosh.com

Friday, October 2, 2009

Disasters Vision, Goal, Objectives and Outcomes

One section of the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review discusses Preparing for, Responding to, and Recovering from Disasters. Not surprisingly, CERT is part of the discussion.
The study groups have worked over the summer to distill the strategic approach to the mission areas and discern what the key goals, objectives and outcomes would be to support that approach. Please give us your input on the proposed content.
During this final phase of the dialogue you can:
  • Read and review the final goals, objectives and outcomes developed by DHS for each of the four mission areas.
  • Submit your feedback on the final products of each mission area.
  • Rate, comment and tag other’s responses to ensure the best ideas “rise to the top”.
To participate, please visit http://www.homelandsecuritydialogue.org/dialogue3. The dialogue closes on October 4th.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

House Committee Webcast: FEMA Deputy Admin. Timothy Manning Briefs on Community Preparedness- Oct 1 @ 10am ET

This came out from the national Citizen Corps. You can sign up for e-mail alerts at www.citizencorps.gov.

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness and Response is holding a hearing on “Preparedness: State of Citizen and Community Preparedness” on Thursday, October 1, 2009 @ 10am ET. This hearing will be available via a live webcast at the following website: http://hsc.house.gov/about/schedule.asp.

The purpose of this hearing is to assess the state of the nation’s citizen and community preparedness in light of FEMA’s August 2009 report entitled, “Personal Preparedness in America: Findings from the 2009 Citizen Corps National Survey”.

Witnesses:

  • Timothy Manning, Deputy Administrator for National Preparedness, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • William “Bill” Jenkins Jr., Director, Homeland Security & Justice, Government Accountability Office (GAO)
  • Wendy Smith, Assistant City Manager, McAllen, Texas
  • Suzanne C. DeFrancis, Chief Public Affairs Officer, American Red Cross

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

WMATA Disaster drill opportunity-for those who have completed WMATA CERT training ONLY.

Hi folks,
WMATA is holding a drill on October 31 from 9am until 1200pm. at pennsy drive. This drill is only for people who have completed the WMATA CERT training class.

If you are interested in participating in this drill, please email me at dana.powers@fairfaxcounty.gov with your response.

Thanks,
Dana

Dana Powers
Management Analyst II
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
Office of the Volunteer Liaison

Saturday, September 26, 2009

CERT Basic class opening up in Reston.


Hi folks!
We currently have the CERT 40 and 41 classes being taught at the fire academy. These are CERT 2 classes.
Were you aware we have a CERT basic class being taught right now, with another one starting up shortly? Were you aware of CERT basic? It's the same training the CERT 2's recieve, without the patient carries and lifting and cribbing portions. This makes the class mobile; we can take it to any community group that is interested in taking it.

Yes indeed, the CERT message of personal and family emergency preparedness is being spread far and wide throughout the county. CERT 39 is a Basic class which started on September 21st It is being taught in the south county/ Mount Vernon district by Terry, your volunteer PIO and Kevin, your victim actor coordinator. This class currently has 22 students; an impressive showing for the first county CERT training class in this area.

The great thing is; We have another CERT basic class (CERT 43) starting up October 5th, 2009 at the Lake Ann Community Center in Reston. This Basic class is being taught by our CERT trainers Donna and Denise. There are still some openings for students to take this class.

Do you know of people in the Herndon/Reston area that want to take CERT training? The training is free to Fairfax County residents 18 and older, and basic CERT gear is provided. If you know of anyone interested in taking CERT training, please have them contact Dana Powers at
dana.powers@fairfaxcounty.gov to sign up.

Thanks,
Terry
your volunteer PIO

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hazards....

Just a short video from CNN which highlights what we have discussed in our Hazards class; you never know what is stored in someones garage. Never take anything for granted:


Mike


Thursday, September 24, 2009

CALLING ALL CERTS FD open house help needed!

October 10, Fire station open houses are fast approaching. We could use some help for this very large, high profile event.

The times for these open houses are 9 am to 4 pm.

Here is who is helping so far-

Burke #14 has Grace and Bob from CERT 34 for 1/2 day and James from CERT 32, but more the merrier.
Mclean #1 has Lani from CERT 4 and we could use at least one more here.

Vienna #2 has Bruce from CERT 38, but could use one or two more here.

Centreville #17 is NOT covered yet-I need two or more people to cover this station.


Woodlawn #24 has lonely ole me,Johnathan from CERT 29, Patty from CERT 19 and her two "victims" stay until 1400. They have asked us to do LIVE EXTRICATION DEMO's here. I can't do that myself. I would like 4 to 5 people to cover Woodlawn.

The stations get lots of traffic on these days, hence lots of CERT exposure. Ideally, two to three people per station, with the exception of Woodlawn would be good. We could use more there. You could do shifts so that it would make for a shorter day for all, and CERT company is always welcome. AND the fire stations feed us and firehouse chow is great.

I have put together the outreach kits for each station and the lead CERT for each station will need to meet me at the Fire Academy to pick up the kits and displays on Wednesday the 7th about 730pm.

Folks, last year we were at 4 stations, this year we are at 5 and one of them, Woodlawn is a career fire station. You know, some firefighters don't know what CERT is, nevermind John-Q public.
Lets step up and get a strong CERT presence at these stations! So,if you would like to help, email terry at pio@fairfaxcountycert.org or Judy, our outreach coordinator at outreach@fairfaxcountycert.org (and CC one or the other of us so both of us have your information)with the following "stuff":

1.your name and CERT class number (these events are open to CERT basic and CERT 2 class graduates)
2.your email address and a good phone number
3. and most importantly, which event you would like to participate in.

Judy
CERT outreach coordinator

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It gets bigger for Saturday!

The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management is also looking for volunteer actors for this Saturday's multi-jurisdictional drill. Two locations are open in Reston and Fairfax from 0800 to 1200. Contact Marcelo Ferreira at mferreira@volunteerfairfax.org.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Last call for this Saturday

INOVA Fairfax Hospital has invited CERT's to participate in their portion of the Northern Virginia Emergency Response System on Saturday, September 26 from 0700 to 1200. This exercise is multi jurisdictional exercise involving many agencies (see www.fairfaxcounty.gov/opa/mediarelations/nvers-full-scale-exercise.htm). Send me your name via email. I will forward to you the release form, which you must bring with you Saturday. You will be contacted by INOVA Fairfax Hospital of the reporting location and time. I must hear from you no later than Wednesday September 22.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Actors needed for upcoming events

We have several opportunities for actors coming up. Consider joining the fun, exercise your acting skills. Those with an '*' qualify for the annual CERT re-certification. All events are open to everyone 15 years old and up, except the 9/26 drill which is for CERT's only. Remember, for those in school, we give community service hours for CERT classes (*)

September 23 & October 1 2000 - 2330
*CERT Triage night*

September 26 0700-1200
INOVA Hospital exercise. You must preregister and be CERT trained.

September 30 & October 8 2000 - 2330
*CERT Medical Operations night*

October 14 & 15 2000-2330
*CERT Search and Rescue night*

October 21 & 22 2000 - 2330
*CERT Scenario night*

October 24 (times TBA)
*CERT Final exercise*

NEW-November 14 (times TBA)
VRE Emergency Simulation Drill--be a victim on a train!!!
Contact gotrains@vre.org

For more information contact actors@fairfaxcountycert.org

Back, To Back, To Back Outreach Events



Our first CERT Outreach Event for September 2009 was on September 10 at the Northern Virginia Jewish Center, supporting their Positive Aging Conference. I passed out the H1N1 Fairfax County Town Hall Flyer and Ready.gov flyer for seniors.


September 11 found us (Terry and Judy) at Booz Allen Hamilton in Mclean for their Emergency Preparedness Fair. We had a great location and had a lot of interest in our classes. I couldn't think of a better way to remember 9/11, then at a emergency preparedness fair. It was to be outside, but when the morning dawned with heavy rain, the event was pulled inside. Around noon the weather cleared up and the employees and the children from the on-site daycare were able to go outside and tour the fire engines and American Red Cross vehicle. A couple of current class members from class 40 work at BAH came over and visited with us. I think we may be in the next BAH company newsletter.




September 12 was the Reston- Get Ready Fairfax, a MRC event. We were set up under the pavilion at the Reston Town Center. Terry was running around the event directing people traffic in his alter ego MRC role. Terry and Cindy, and Scott all from CERT38 and Bill from CERT 14 also manned the booth and "talked up" CERT. Cindy is a tiger when it comes to getting people to signing up for more information on classes. We also had a visit and a glowing endorsement from the deputy chief of the Fairfax County Fire Department. We had fun and got quite a list of names for class interest.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Help needed with some of the upcoming outreach events

Hi folks!
Fairfax County CERT is very much in demand this National Preparedness month. We have a lot of events, with a lot of people interested in our great program. We still need helpers for some of these events. Some of them are already fully staffed; thanks to those who have offered to help. The event help status is marked in bold.

If you would like to participate in any of these events; please email either myself at pio@fairfaxcountycert.org or Judy, our outreach coordinator at outreach@fairfaxcountycert.org (and CC one or the other of us so both of us have your information)with the following "stuff":

1.your name and CERT class number (these events are open to CERT basic and CERT 2 class graduates)
2.your email address and a good phone number
3. and most importantly, which event you would like to participate in.

Remember, participation in three CERT outreach events will fully meet the requirements of needing to participate in a yearly CERT refresher.

One final note-we have a new batch of CERT "freebies" , which we use as giveaways at these outreach events. They look GREAT ! Many thanks to Dana Powers and Jeffrey Katz (our CERT administrator and Fire Department volunteer coordinator) for their hard work in getting these new items to us so quickly!
Terry
your volunteer PIO


Remember, September is National Preparedness month.

Thursday,September 10, 2009

Positive Aging Fair,
Jewish community of NoVa center
Fairfax VA 8am -230pm
We are fully staffed for this event.

This outreach event is geared towards informing senior citizens of the need to prepare. We will have our CERT outreach booth set up.


Friday, September 11, 2009 10am to 2pm
Booz Allen Hamilton company preparedness fair
McLean, VA
We are fully staffed for this event.

This company holds an annual emergency preparedness fair for its employees. There will be agencies from all over the DC metro area expected to be here. We will have our CERT display and handouts for the employees.

Saturday, September 12th, 2009 10am-2pm
Get Ready Fairfax H1N1 preparedness event at the Reston Town Center pavillion.
We are fully staffed for this event.

We will have our CERT display here, with handouts and freebies for the participants.
This event is sponsored by the health department, and is geared to help prepare people for the upcoming winter flu season.
The county health dept. is conducting this event in a rather unique manner; each participant will be issued a "passport for preparedness". As the citizen has his "passport" fully "stamped" by the different organizations displaying at the event, the citizen will recieve a health oriented emergency preparedness starter kit. This kit includes such items as a thermometer, first aid supplies etc.
This is a repeat of the south county event for the north end of the county. The south county event was VERY successful! The Reston event promises to be very successful as well.
Here are the folks we have signed up to help with this event:

Scott from CERT 36
Terry from CERT 36
Cindy from CERT 36
Bill from CERT 28

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009-7:30 pm to 9:00pm
CERT/emergency preparedness presentation to
Hollin Hall Homeowners' association, Alexandria, VA
We are fully staffed for this event.

Judy and I will be giving an hour long presentation on our CERT program to the residents of this subdivision. In addition, we will have the CERT booth there along with freebies and handouts for the residents.

Tuesday, September 22,2009- 5:30pm to 10:00 pm
Faith Communities in Action emergency preparedness workshop
Fairfax County Government Center
Board of Supervisors Auditorium
We are fully staffed for this event.

We have been asked to provide a CERT display for this event. The FCIA is a conglomeration of representatives from churches, synogogues, mosques and temples all over Fairfax county. The workshop will educate these congregations on the need and concepts of emergency preparedness.
This is the first in a two part series of emergency preparedness workshops.


Tuesday, September 30,2009 7:00pm
Fairfax area disabilities service board
emergency preparedness meeting
Fairfax County government center
We are fully staffed for this event.

Judy and I will be giving another hour long presentation on our CERT program and emergency preparedness. In addition, we will have the CERT booth there along with freebies and handouts for the residents.

*************************************************************************************
We have a scheduling issue with the next two events; both fall on the same day. We need people to help with both events!
*************************************************************************************

Saturday, October 3, 2009
Faith Communities in Action
emergency preparedness workshop 8am-11:30am
USA Today Headquarters Building
McLean, VA
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Exhibits & Registration
9:00 – 11:30 a.m. Program
Due to some scheduling conflicts, we need at least one or two CERTs to manage this event.

We have been asked to provide a CERT display for this event. The FCIA is a conglomeration of representatives from churches, synogogues, mosques and temples all over Fairfax county. The workshop will educate these congregations on the need and concepts of emergency preparedness. This is the second FCIA workshop date and time.



Saturday, October 3,2009
Fall for Fairfax
Fairfax County Government Center
8am-6:30 pm
Hey, your volunteer PIO would like some company at this event :)

We will have a CERT outreach booth at this event. We will NOT have an operational role at this event; we will just have the CERT booth there.

Saturday, October 10th, 2009 9am until 4pm
Fire and Rescue Department Open house
CERT has been asked again (YAY!) to participate in the fire and rescue department open house event.
We will be located in the following volunteer and career fire stations this day-I have listed the CERT members already signed up to help.

# 14 Burke
James from CERT 32
Grace and Bob from CERT 34-1/2 day shift.
Ideally, we could use at least one more CERT to help cover the afternoon here.

# 1 McLean
Lani from CERT 4
We could use 1-2 more CERTs to help cover this station.

# 2 Vienna
Scott from CERT 36
We need 1-2 more CERTs to help cover this station.

# 17 Centreville

We need 1-2 CERT members to run the outreach booth at this station.

# 24 Woodlawn

Judy, our outreach coordinator is the lead on this station. We will need at least 4-5 CERT members to work the extrication demonstrations at this station throughout the day.

Each fire station will have a CERT display, handouts and freebies for the attendees.

Station # 24 Woodlawn has also asked that we provide LIVE extrication demonstrations at their station; in addition to the CERT display.

Tuesday, Octber 6th, 2009 10am-1pm
FEMA headquarters, Washington DC
emergency preparedness fair
We are fully staffed for this event.

We have been asked to provide a CERT display for this event. I think every reader of the blog knows what FEMA is, and what they do. This is quite an honor for us.


Thursday, October 15th, 2009 7:45pm
We are fully staffed for this event.
CERT presentation for Kings Park homeowners' association.

We will be holding a one hour presentation on CERT and emergency preparedness for residents of the Kings Park community. In addition, we will have the CERT display and freebies for them.
Here are the helpers signed up for this event.

James from CERT 32
Steve from CERT 14

Friday, August 28, 2009

Upcoming Seasonal and Pandemic flu town hall meetings

Hi folks,
Thanks to all those CERTs that attended the H1N1 and you refresher classes this week. The following information was received this morning. The Fairfax county health department will be sponsoring an upcoming series of town hall meetings on H1N1 throughout the county; below is the meeting schedule.

If you are interested in learning more about H1N1 and health department planning and response activities; attending one of these town hall meetings would be a great opportunity to do so.

Terry
your volunteer PIO




Young Boy smiling - Click on picture for Town Hall Meeting schedule

The Fairfax County Health Department will host a series of town hall meetings. Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, Director of Health, will be on hand to answer your questions about pandemic and seasonal influenza. This fall, it will be important for everyone to stay informed. Plan to attend one of the following meetings:

  • Tuesday, September 1
    7 p.m.
    Dranesville District
    McLean Governmental Center
    1437 Balls Hill Road
    McLean, VA
  • Wednesday, September 2
    7 p.m .
    Springfield District
    West Springfield Governmental Center
    6140 Rolling Road
    Springfield, VA
  • Friday, September 11
    7 p.m.
    Providence District
    James Lee Community Center
    2855 Annandale Road, # A
    Falls Church, VA
  • Wednesday, September 16
    7 p.m .
    Braddock District
    Kings Park Library
    9002 Burke Lake Road
    Burke, VA
  • Friday, September 18
    7 p.m .
    Mount Vernon District
    Mount Vernon Governmental Center
    2511 Parkers Lane
    Alexandria, VA
  • Tuesday, September 22
    7 p.m .
    Hunter Mill District
    North County Governmental Center
    12000 Bowman Towne Drive
    Reston, VA
  • Friday, September 25
    7 p.m .
    Mason District
    Mason District Governmental Center
    6507 Columbia Pike
    Annandale, VA
  • Monday, September 28
    7 p.m .
    Sully District
    Sully District Governmental Center
    4900 Stonecroft Boulevard
    Chantilly, VA
  • Tuesday, September 29
    7 p.m .
    Lee District
    Franconia Governmental Center
    6121 Franconia Road
    Alexandria, VA

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Role playing opportunity this Saturday!

The Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Dept is having a mass casualty incident drill this Saturday, August 30 at the Academy. The drill starts at 0730 and goes to Noon. We could also use those moulage artists out there too! Email actors@fairfaxcountycert.org and I'll get you in touch with the Fire Department.

Monday, August 24, 2009

September is National Preparedness Month!

Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court, Richmond, VA 23236
www.vaemergency.com

FOR RELEASE AT WILL - August 24, 2009



Are you ready? Are you REALLY Ready?
September is National Preparedness Month


RICHMOND, VA –Being ready for emergencies goes beyond fire alarms, smoke detectors and dead-bolt locks. Being ready means families can take care of themselves for at least the first 72 hours after disaster strikes. National Preparedness Month in September is a prime opportunity for Virginians to get ready.

Every family should have these items on hand:

Three days’ food that won’t spoil, such as canned goods and packaged foods
* Three days’ water (one gallon per person per day)
* Battery-powered radio with Weather Band and extra batteries
* Written family emergency plan
*
“This list is a good starting point,” said Michael Cline, state coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. “You can add other things such as a flashlight and first aid kit, but everyone should have the basics – three days of food and water, a battery-powered radio and a family plan. Get those things first, and you’ll be well on your way to getting ready for emergencies.”

Ready Virginia, a public education program that promotes emergency preparedness, seeks to educate Virginians about what it truly means to be ready for disasters and emergencies.

“Every family should sit down together and make a plan,” said Cline. “How would you contact each other if phone lines are down? Where would you meet if you couldn’t return to your home? Making a plan is free and simple and makes a big difference.”

Research shows that most people believe they are ready for emergencies, but 71 percent of Virginians do not have three days’ food and water, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries, and a written family plan. Having these items on hand is crucial during the first 72 hours after a disaster.

For more information and worksheets to help Virginians get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan and stay informed about emergencies and threats, visit www.ReadyVirginia.gov or call toll-free 1-866-782-3470. A Spanish Web site is available at www.ListoVirginia.gov.

During National Preparedness Month, which is prime hurricane and flood season in Virginia, new Ready Virginia public service announcements will begin airing on radio and TV stations to remind residents to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.

Go to www.ready.gov for more information about National Preparedness Month.

Emergency preparedness is everyone’s responsibility.
* Everyone should have a family emergency plan.
* Everyone should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least the first 72 hours.
*
###

Actors needed this week

We are still looking for more actors this Wednesday & Thursday' s CERT refresher class. The first part will be a presentation on the H1N1 virus, followed by a quickie scenario at the Academy. If you are coming for the lecture, stay for the fun afterwards. 7pm-1030pm, Academy.
Contact actors@fairfaxcountycert.org to sign up.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Your "new and improved" CERT outreach events update

Hi folks!
Here is an update on the outreach events Fairfax County CERT is attending in September and October. We have some new events scheduled, and some exciting changes to a few of the already scheduled events.


If you have completed Fairfax County CERT basic or CERT 2 training; would you like to help promote our CERT program? Join us! This is a perfect opportunity for CERT members to "show their stuff" to the community. Come out, talk to interested citizens about CERT and emergency preparedness. For those who have done outreach, you know how much fun you had; you know how really interested the citizens were in what you had to say. And you know you want to come out and do it again........

For those CERT members who have never helped at an outreach event; give it a try! We talk to citizens about our training, we inform them how to prepare themselves and their families for disasters. We know the importance of emergency preparedness; outreach is your opportunity to help convey that importance to others. It's a great chance to talk about the challenges and excitement you faced, and overcame in CERT training. (EVERYONE enjoys hearing about creative uses for duct tape and sharpies, too).

If you would like to participate in any of these events; please email either myself at pio@fairfaxcountycert.org or Judy, our outreach coordinator at outreach@fairfaxcountycert.org (and CC one or the other of us so both of us have your information)with the following "stuff":

1.your name and CERT class number (these events are open to CERT basic and CERT 2 class graduates)
2.your email address and a good phone number
3. and most importantly, which event you would like to participate in.

Remember, participation in three CERT outreach events will fully meet the requirements of needing to participate in a yearly CERT refresher.

Terry
your volunteer PIO


Remember, September is National Preparedness month.

Thursday,September 10, 2009

Positive Aging Fair,
Jewish community of NoVa center
Fairfax VA 8am -230pm

This outreach event is geared towards informing senior citizens of the need to prepare. We will have our CERT outreach booth set up.


Friday, September 11, 2009 10am to 2pm
Booz Allen Hamilton company preparedness fair
McLean, VA
This company holds an annual emergency preparedness fair for its employees. There will be agencies from all over the DC metro area expected to be here. We will have our CERT display and handouts for the employees.

Saturday, September 12th, 2009 10am-2pm
Get Ready Fairfax H1N1 preparedness event at the Reston Town Center pavillion.

We will have our CERT display here, with handouts and freebies for the participants.
This event is sponsored by the health department, and is geared to help prepare people for the upcoming winter flu season.
The county health dept. is conducting this event in a rather unique manner; each participant will be issued a "passport for preparedness". As the citizen has his "passport" fully "stamped" by the different organizations displaying at the event, the citizen will recieve a health oriented emergency preparedness starter kit. This kit includes such items as a thermometer, first aid supplies etc.
This is a repeat of the south county event for the north end of the county. The south county event was VERY successful! The Reston event promises to be very successful as well.
Here are the folks we have signed up to help with this event:

Scott from CERT 36
Terry from CERT 36
Cindy from CERT 36

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009-7:30 pm to 9:00pm
CERT/emergency preparedness presentation to
Hollin Hall Homeowners' association, Alexandria, VA

Judy and I will be giving an hour long presentation on our CERT program to the residents of this subdivision. In addition, we will have the CERT booth there along with freebies and handouts for the residents.

Tuesday, September 22,2009- 5:30pm to 10:00 pm
Faith Communities in Action emergency preparedness workshop
Fairfax County Government Center
Board of Supervisors Auditorium

We have been asked to provide a CERT display for this event. The FCIA is a conglomeration of representatives from churches, synogogues, mosques and temples all over Fairfax county. The workshop will educate these congregations on the need and concepts of emergency preparedness.
This is the first in a two part series of emergency preparedness workshops.


Tuesday, September 30,2009 7:00pm
Fairfax area disabilities service board
emergency preparedness meeting
Fairfax County government center

Judy and I will be giving another hour long presentation on our CERT program and emergency preparedness. In addition, we will have the CERT booth there along with freebies and handouts for the residents.

We have a scheduling issue with the next two events; both fall on the same day. We need people to help with both events!

Saturday, October 3, 2009
Faith Communities in Action
emergency preparedness workshop 8am-11:30am
USA Today Headquarters Building
McLean, VA
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Exhibits & Registration
9:00 – 11:30 a.m. Program
We have been asked to provide a CERT display for this event. The FCIA is a conglomeration of representatives from churches, synogogues, mosques and temples all over Fairfax county. The workshop will educate these congregations on the need and concepts of emergency preparedness. This is the second FCIA workshop date and time.



Saturday, October 3,2009
Fall for Fairfax
Fairfax County Government Center
8am-6:30 pm
We will have a CERT outreach booth at this event. We will NOT have an operational role at this event; we will just have the CERT booth there. We could use help in staffing this booth.

Saturday, October 10th, 2009 9am until 4pm
Fire and Rescue Department Open house
multiple fire stations throughout Fairfax County.

CERT has been asked again (YAY!) to participate in the fire and rescue department open house event.
We will be located in the following volunteer and career fire stations this day-

# 14 Burke
# 1 McLean
# 2 Vienna
# 17 Centreville
# 24 Woodlawn

Each fire station will have a CERT display, handouts and freebies for the attendees.

Station # 24 Woodlawn has also asked that we provide LIVE extrication demonstrations at their station; in addition to the CERT display.
This is a first in a few ways for CERT-# 24 Woodlawn is a career firefighter station (first time ever we have been invited to one for open house); and this will be the first time we will have live demonstrations in support of a Fire Department open house. We have done live demonstrations only one time before; at Fall for Fairfax in 2007. I can tell you; these demonstrations draw HUGE crowds!
We will need lots of helpers to support these firefighters who so willingly support us.

Here are the helpers we have already signed up for the event; we will need more folks.

James from CERT 32
Scott from CERT 36


Tuesday, Octber 6th, 2009 10am-1pm
FEMA headquarters, Washington DC
emergency preparedness fair

We have been asked to provide a CERT display for this event. I think every reader of the blog knows what FEMA is, and what they do. This is quite an honor for us.
We are already fully staffed for this event; thanks for the support!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009 7:45pm
CERT presentation for Kings Park community

We will be holding a one hour presentation on CERT and emergency preparedness for residents of the Kings Park community. In addition, we will have the CERT display and freebies for them.
Here are the helpers signed up for this event.

James from CERT 32
Steve from CERT 14

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quarterly national CERT newsletter released

Hi folks,
You may want to check this out!

Terry
your volunteer PIO


Dear CERT Community,
The CERT National Program Office is pleased to announce the release of the August 2009 quarterly "CERT National Newsletter." This issue features stories on local CERT programs across the country. Click on the following link to read and download the newsletter: http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/newsletter.shtm.
We hope you enjoy this newsletter. If you know of others who would be interested in receiving the CERT National newsletter or CERT updates, please have them subscribe at the following website: http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/subscribe.shtm.
Sincerely,

CERT National Program Office
Community Preparedness Division
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Opportunities for role playing actors!

We have some great opportunities for you to show your acting talent. CERT's, these events qualify as part of your annual certification.

August 26 & 27 1900 to 2230
At the conclusion of the CERT re-certification class on the virus H1N1, we are doing quicky scenarios. Come to the class be a victim or a rescuer afterwards. It's 2 for 1 night!

September 23 & October 1 2000 to 2330
The new CERT classes need victims! It's triage night!

September 26, 2009 0700-1200
Fairfax County CERT members have been invited to participate in a exercise held by INOVA Hospital. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. You must pre-register for this event. Details provided later.

September 30 & October 8 2000 to 2330
Medical Operations night.

October 14 & 15 2000-2330
Search & Rescue night

October 21 & 22 2000-2330
All scenario night

October 24
The big event! Multiple CERT classes doing everything they have learned. This one ROCKS!

All role playing is at Fairfax Co Fire & Rescue Academy, 4600 West Ox Rd, Fairfax 22030, except the September 26 exercise.

Come to one, come to all! Email actors@fairfaxcountycert.org for more info.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Daventry/Ramblewood HOA Hosts its 2009 Safety Fair!





On Sunday afternoon, August 9th, 2009, the Daventry/Ramblewood Home Owners Association hosted a Safety Fair for their residents in lieu of their usual National Night Out (NNO) activities. Almost 100 residents, children, and pets attended this year’s activities at the Daventry Community Center/pool. Special guests this year included VA State Delegate Dave Albo (R-Fairfax), West Springfield Crime Prevention Unit officers: MPOs J. T. Frey and Mike Feilgleson with their squad cars, PLUS a fire engine and medical unit from Fire Department Station 27 on Rolling Road.

Fairfax County CERT was well represented by Terry,our CERT volunteer PIO;Judy,our CERT Outreach coordinator; James from CERT 32 and their host, Steve Richardson, CERT 14/Daventry CERT and Emergency Coordinator.

Representatives from Fischer’s ACE Hardware, Nationwide Insurance (Springfield office) and Baldino’s Lock and Key (Springfield) were in attendance to show off their wares and products to Daventry and Ramblewood residents.

Children’s activities included not only the excitement of a sitting in a “real police car” and touching all those exciting, sound-making buttons and switches, (J.T, and Pete - sorry for the wet bathing suits), PLUS up-close and personal “hands-on” experiences on an ”in-service” fire engine from Fire Station 27. In fact, no sooner had the fire engine and medical unit arrived, when they were called out to respond to a medical emergency. The fire engine did return to Daventry after about 30 minutes.

Children’s activities included: anticrime activities,coloring books;National Night Out (NNO) tattoos, frisbees and NNO game balls. Parents had a chance to talk with Delegate Albo as well. There was a great deal of take home literature,which included subjects such as child ID kits, crime and drug prevention, Identity Theft, home and fire safety, after-school safety, pedestrian safety, Neighborhood Watch, Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Fairfax County’s Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN). The Daventry HOA Safety Committee,provided food and refreshments. It was a very hot afternoon after all.

A great time was had by all at this year’s Daventry/Ramblewood Safety Fair activities. A huge thanks goes out to Gail Ledford, Daventry Safety Committee and Steve Richardson, CERT 14 for coordinating this years events It gets bigger and better each year. .