Saturday, January 31, 2009
This story was forwarded to me today. It's about another member of our Fairfax County CERT family (Mike from CERT 34) who helped during the inaugural as a Red Cross volunteer. This story made the Red Cross volunteer newsletter from what I understand.
Nice job Michael!
Volunteer Michael Bartlett Gathers Critical Service Data
for Inauguration, Other Operations
by Madeline LaCore, Red Cross Volunteer
“Anyone can make a difference, as long as you're willing to make the effort,” says
Michael Bartlett, a Financial and Statistical Information (FSI) specialist for the American Red Cross of the National Capital Area. Bartlett, a divorced father of three, devotes his free weekends to volunteering at the Red Cross Chapter Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia.
As a Red Cross FSI volunteer, he gathers statistics on the organization’s use of resources—cots, blankets, meals and other essential resources—in order to keep tabs on the need to move supplies from one location to another or the need to obtain more. It’s Michael’s duty to collect information from volunteers in Montgomery County, Fairfax and the District of Columbia. Bartlett, stationed during the Inauguration in the Regional Disaster Coordination Center (RDCC) in Fairfax was one of the hundreds of volunteers who worked tirelessly to carry out their varied roles during the Inaugural event. More than 300 volunteers devoted their time to the Red Cross Inaugural event.
Professionally, Bartlett works as a full time Chief Financial Officer for an accounting firm. However, he learned of an opening for the FSI position while training to be a member of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). CERT members are trained to be first responders during an emergency, until the professional responders arrive.
Michael Bartlett has 18 years of financial experience under his belt and being “behind the scenes doing numbers” during the Inauguration at the RDCC came quite natural for him. With no pay and long hours, he encourages all prospective volunteers to “do something you enjoy and put that to good use…whatever it is, stick with something you enjoy.”
your volunteer PIO
Friday, January 30, 2009
Shriners Hospitals specializing in burns have treated more than 800 children since 2002 for acute burns due to ignition of a highly flammable material such as gasoline. To help parents, caregivers, educators and firefighters teach children about the dangers of gasoline, the 2009 campaign provides printable lesson plans and fact sheets, as well as printable coloring pages featuring Anthony the Ant, who takes kids along on his mission to prevent gasoline injuries.
*Each year in the United States, 1.1 million burn injuries require medical attention. *Approximately 4,500 people die. And up to 10,000 people die every year in the U.S. from burn-related infections.
*The Shriners Hospitals for Children specializing in treating burn injuries have admitted more than 10,000 acute pediatric burn patients since 1994, including those treated for gasoline burn injuries.
*Shriners Hospitals specializing in burns have treated more than 800 children since 2002 for acute burns due to ignition of a highly flammable material such as gasoline.
*Kids ages 13 and older are in the highest at-risk group for gasoline and other flammable substance burns.
*Fires caused by gasoline are a major factor in burn injuries. In one year there were 4,700 gasoline fires in U.S. homes.
*According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, in one year approximately 1,270 children under age 5 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries resulting from the misuse of gasoline and unsecured gasoline cans.
*Children ages 10-14 are almost four times more likely to get in trouble with gasoline.
For more information on the Burn Awareness Campaign, go to:
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Below is the schedule for our next series of CERT 2 classes; this will be the CERT 38 class. All classes will be held at the Fairfax County fire and rescue department academy, located at 4600 West Ox Road,in Fairfax.
Are you interested in taking CERT training? CERT training is open to all Fairfax County residents 18 years and older.
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/oem/citizencorps/cert.htm. to sign up.
If you have any questions about the exciting Fairfax County CERT program, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
your volunteer PIO
CERT Class 38 Schedule
4/1/2009 – Introduction to CERT – 1900 – 2300
4/15/2009 - CERT Incident Command Structure–1900–2300
4/22/2009 - CERT Hazards – 1900 – 2300
5/6/2009 – CERT Triage – 1900 – 2300
5/13/2009 - CERT Medical – 1900 – 2300
5/20/2009 - CERT Lifting and Cribbing – 1900 – 2300
5/27/2009 – CERT Scenarios – 1900 – 2300
6/7/2009 – CERT Full Scale Exercise - 0700-1700
Classroom 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
(All Outside Areas)
Multi Purpose Building
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Well, the inauguration is over and done with. It was a historic and hectic event for all the first responders who helped keep everyone safe during this time.
Volunteers helped in numerous ways during the inaugural as well. Many members of the Fairfax County CERT family helped others in the course of this historic event; here are some of their stories.
Weeks in advance of the inauguration, Fairfax
County Emergency Coordinator (and Fairfax County CERT) Jeff Wilson, AI4IO,
led a field test of the
repeaters planned for use for the primary Regional Coordination Net to
ensure that participating Emergency Operations Centers would be able
to operate cleanly through the selected repeaters. Field tests are a key
lesson learned from MCM and identified necessary changes to the
Fairfax Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Operations,(and Fairfax County CERT) Art Pond ,
KD4FBT, worked very long days during the planning phase. Due to his job
he was busy getting the new members' IT infrastructure set up. "He pulled one of the six hour rotations in the EOC during what might have been the highest activity time if there had been transport problems inbound," Freund said. "This shows the dedication of the
volunteers in working very long days on their regular job, pulling
activation duty for the event, and then going back to their regular jobs
the very next day."
Two of our CERT members, CERT trainers Jack and Andrew helped in their other volunteer "jobs"as Red Cross volunteers in their regional disaster coordination center during the event. I know that other CERT members (like Deborah and Marco) helped as Red Cross disaster action team members (DAT team) during the inaugural. I know there were other CERT members that helped; if you have stories about what you did please share them!
Here's something unique that happened in the course of the inauguration.Congratulations Andrew!
"In his 2002 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush issued a challenge to all Americans to make time to help their neighbors, communities, and Nation through service. He called on each person to dedicate at least 4,000 hours – or two years – to service over the course of their lives. Andrew reached the President's Call To Service of 4,000 hours, while volunteering during MLK Day and Inauguration.
Picture above being congratulated by American Red Cross' Celebrity Cabinet Member Leeza Gibbons (also from Entertainment Tonight and Leeza), in the Regional Disaster Coordination Center.
Your volunteer PIO even got into the act. I was on call with the Fairfax County Medical Reserve Corps (check them out at www.fairfaxmrc.org )during the inaugural as a CRI trained "super 7".
Thanks to all the CERT members that helped others during this historic time!
your volunteer PIO
Monday, January 19, 2009
- An interactive widget that provides users with updates on emergency situations,
- local emergency contact information,
- an instructional video, and
- emergency kit checklists and guidelines on how to better prepare for an emergency.
You can check out the tools at Be Prepared.
Read the base document http://www.fema.gov/pdf/media/2009/ndhs.pdf.
and Annexes http://www.fema.gov/pdf/media/2009/annexes_consolidation.pdf
and the press release at http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=47305
Sunday, January 18, 2009
American Red Cross of the National Capital Area Regional Disaster Coordination Center (RDCC) Open House
The RDCC has been fully operational for inauguration week. It is not every day that a fully functional operation center open its doors.
There are several Fairfax County CERT members who having been playing a role during this operation. They will be on hand during the open house.
Additional information, and an email address to RSVP, can be found at:
Red Cross Regional Disaster Coordination Center (RDCC) Open House
Thursday, January 15, 2009
As you are all aware, the presidential inauguration takes place on Tuesday, January 20th. Are you "CERT ready" for this weekend filled with huge crowds, heavy traffic, road closures and very cold weather?
Let's review some tips to make sure we're all "CERT ready" for the upcoming inauguration.
- Visit www.inauguration.dc.gov to get information about road, bridge and highway closures, parking restrictions and mass transit plans.
- Sign up to D.C. Alerts for real-time information on Jan. 20 about road closures, weather and more. Subscribe at www.inauguration.dc.gov.
- For more county specific information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/inauguration/
- Information on Virginia Railway Express train service for the inaugural can be accessed at www.vre.org
- The Virginia State Police website at www.vsp.state.va.us can give you more information regarding transportation in our area. HOV lane restrictions start as early as Saturday on some local freeways.
- Information on Metro bus and rail service can be accessed at www.wmata.com .
- Up to date Virginia traffic information can be had by dialing 511 on your cellphone or home phone.
- If you plan to attend any inaugural events, consider whether you can stand outside in large crowds for up to six hours and whether you are ready for long delays getting home afterwards.
- Bring with you any medications that you need because there will be very long delays in getting to and from events.
- Be aware that it may be difficult to talk or send pictures from your cell phone, according to wireless companies. Send text messages instead of making calls when possible. Or, consider using Facebook or other social networking sites to keep in touch with others.
- (Did you know CERT has a page on Facebook? You can access the page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fairfax-County-CERT/104461585572 . Sign up, it's free! Come and join the CERT family members already there. I promise you'll see a picture of Derek playing the violin. Honest! )
- If you are driving, do you carry an emergency kit in your trunk? Might not be a bad idea. I keep my CERT pack in the trunk of my car-might be a good idea to make sure the batteries are still good; rotate the water supply in your pack, etc.
- Be aware of the weather-below is the weather forecast from the National Weather Service for the Washington DC metro area from Thursday night through Monday January 19th. DRESS IN LAYERS if you are going to attend the inaugural events; it's going to be C O L D.......
- Consider teleworking on Jan. 20 if possible. Carpool if you are traveling into the District of Columbia. Cars will be restricted from some parts of the city, and it will be difficult to find parking.
- Be sure to have a full tank of gas before you go anywhere in the region, or you may become stranded while waiting in traffic. Heavy volume is expected on roads, bridges and highways across the region.
- Although Jan. 20 is a federal holiday and a holiday in many jurisdictions, some localities are enforcing weekday parking regulations. Be sure to plan ahead.
- Bring your patience (what's that? :) because there will be delays getting to your destination. Some roads, bridges and highways may be closed temporarily, and mass transit systems will be extremely crowded.
- Keep your cellphone battery charged up.
Have you updated your family communication plan? Do you know how to get in touch with
loved ones if you become seperated, or overdue to your destination?
Speaking of planning to avoid heavy traffic-below are the travel restrictions in place for the inauguration.Some of these restrictions start taking place as early as 4pm Saturday January 17th.
By making a plan, staying informed, and being being prepared each of us can be "CERT ready" for this exciting and historical series of events.
your volunteer PIO
Using classroom training, CERT 36 members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.
It's all about saving lives in a disaster situation: yours, your family, and your neighbors.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
"The 2008 holiday season and the start of 2009 may be recorded as one of the deadliest for residential fires in recent memory of the fire service," said Cade. "Not only have there been a significant number of preventable fires, but the occurrences of multiple fatalities resulting from these fires are simply unacceptable within our nation. There should be a smoke alarm protecting every person in this nation today, particularly as we sleep."
Recent multiple fatality fires reported by the Nation's news media between Christmas Eve and January 7 include:
On Christmas Eve, four died in a house fire in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. All of the victims were children and officials cannot be certain whether smoke alarms worked.
Four adults and three children died in a southwest Philadelphia home the day after Christmas when gasoline was used to fuel a kerosene heater. There were no working smoke alarms in the home.
In Baltimore, two people died in a fire above a grocery store. A young couple died in the blaze and investigators found no working smoke alarms in the building.
In Washington, D.C. on New Year's Day, six individuals died in a house fire on Jackson Street, Northeast. While the cause was listed as accidental/electrical, officials are not sure smoke alarms worked properly.
Eight people, including four children, died in a residential fire in Richland, New York. The cause is still under investigation, however officials believe the fire may have been caused by a wood stove. The home had no working smoke alarms.
Three people, including two teenage girls, died after an early morning house fire in Ringling, Oklahoma. Officials say the fire, caused by a lit gas stove being used as an alternative heating source, began while at least two of the victims were still in bed.
There were no working smoke alarms in a Southeast Side Chicago home where three children — a 7-month-old boy, a 2-year-old boy, and a 3-year-old girl — died in a fire.
In the event of a fire, a properly installed and maintained smoke alarm can save your life and those of your loved ones. Smoke alarms are a very important means of preventing home fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal so you and your family can escape. They are one of the best safety devices you can buy and install to protect yourself, your family, and your home. You can prevent tragedies simply by testing and maintaining your smoke alarms and practicing a fire escape plan. All smoke alarms in your house should be tested once a month and their batteries replaced annually or as indicated by the manufacturer's instructions.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
FAIRFAX, VA -- Virginia State Police, the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation are preparing for thousands of buses and vehicles to travel through Virginia for the Inauguration on January 20, 2009, and urge visitors to know what to expect before leaving home to ensure a safe and less stressful trip.
“We urge motorists – whether traveling by bus, van or car – to plan their route well in advance, know what bridges and roads will be restricted and where they will park, make sure their vehicle is in top operating condition, travel with a full tank of gas and prepare for long delays and a lot of walking,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent.
Road and Bridge Restrictions
Beginning at 2 a.m. Tuesday, January 20, personal vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickups, vans, etc.) will not be allowed to enter Washington from Virginia. Those driving are encouraged to seek out public transportation to access the District on Inauguration Day. (See Public Transit Resources for more information). Personal vehicles will only be able to enter Washington by driving in from designated Maryland routes.
Beginning at 2 a.m. Tuesday, January 20, only authorized vehicles – emergency vehicles, buses, taxis, and for-hire limos and car services – will be permitted to travel northbound on Interstate 395 and eastbound on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway/I-495. All other traffic heading to Washington on Interstate 95 will be diverted at the Springfield interchange (Exits 170B and 170C) onto I-495 North (Inner Loop) or I-495/I-95 East (Outer Loop). All general traffic traveling eastbound on I-66 and toward Washington on the Dulles Toll Road will also be diverted to the Capital Beltway/I-495.
Only authorized vehicles will be allowed to cross the 14th Street Bridge, Roosevelt Bridge and Key Bridge, all of which lead from Virginia into Washington, D.C. The Memorial Bridge and Chain Bridge will be open to pedestrians only.
To augment patrols and expedite emergency response along Interstates 95, 66 and 495, Virginia State Police will be bringing in several hundred troopers from around the state to the Northern Virginia region. Increases in manpower and resources will begin Monday, January 19, and continue through Wednesday, January 21.
I-95/395 HOV Schedule
- From 4 p.m. Saturday, January 17 until 3 a.m. Tuesday, January 20, the I-395/95 HOV lanes will be northbound for vehicles carrying three or more people (HOV-3).
- From 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, only buses and authorized vehicles will be permitted to use the I-95/395 HOV lanes from Route 234/Dumfries to Washington.
- The I-95/395 HOV lanes will open to HOV-3 traffic at 5 a.m. Wednesday, January 21.
- The I-95/395 HOV lanes will be open southbound for HOV-3 vehicles from 8 p.m.
- Tuesday, January 20, until 3 a.m. Wednesday, January 21, and from 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 21, until 9 p.m. or later.
I-66, Dulles Toll Road and Dulles Connector Road HOV Schedule
- From 4 p.m. Saturday, January 17, until 3 a.m. Tuesday, January 20, HOV-2 will be in effect eastbound.
- From 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, January 20, only buses and authorized vehicles will be allowed to use the eastbound HOV lanes.
- From 6 p.m. Tuesday, January 20, until 9 p.m. Wednesday, January 21, HOV-2 will be in effect westbound.
VDOT will help motorists by:
- Pre-treating ramps, bridges and critical locations on highways and major commuter routes with anti-icing chemicals regardless of the forecast. Major commuter lots in Northern Virginia will also be pre-treated.
- Suspending all lane closures in Virginia for construction or maintenance work on Interstates 66, 95, 395 and 495. In addition, lane closures will be suspended on heavily traveled roads in Northern Virginia to include Routes 1, 7, 28, 50, 234, 236, the Dulles Toll Road, Fairfax County Parkway and Prince William Parkway. This restriction will be in effect from Friday, January 16, until noon, Wednesday, January 21.
- Providing portable toilets at the I-66 and I-95 rest areas in Northern Virginia and Fredericksburg.
- Doubling the number of safety service patrols on the interstates on January 20. Forty patrollers will be pre-positioned and available to assist stranded motorists and provide traffic control. The patrol wears bright, highly visible uniforms and drives specially equipped pickup trucks.
- Re-timing traffic signals on major routes as needed to keep traffic moving as best possible.
Staging seven wreckers at locations along interstates to remove disabled vehicles.
Motorists can stay informed by:
- Calling 511 from a land line or a cell phone for the latest traffic and travel information.
- Drivers are reminded to only dial 911 or #77 on a cellular phone in emergency situations.
- Tuning into Virginia’s highway advisory radio for information on delays and possible detours due to accidents or congestion.
- Getting the latest traffic conditions and travel times on overhead and roadside message signs on I-95, 495, 66 and 81, and Route 29.
- Carrying an emergency kit in their vehicles to include an ice scraper and brush, wiper fluid, blankets, extra warm clothing, a bag of sand or cat litter; flashlight and cell phone, with extra batteries for each; jumper cables; water, snacks, paper towels and a first aid kit.
Public Transit Resources
Metrorail, Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and Amtrak are primary transportation choices for travel from Virginia to Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day. For more information on Metrorail and VRE access and availability, visit their Web sites at http://www.wmata.com and http://www.vre.org.
Currently, Amtrak trains from Virginia to Washington, DC that will serve the Inauguration Day events are sold out. However, tickets may become available as reservations change. Visit Amtrak’s Web site at www.amtrak.com for information on ticket availability.
The Commonwealth is also working with Virginia transit operators to finalize plans for bus service. Details will be available soon.
Employers in the region are encouraged to consider offering telework, flex time and/or other leave options for their employees on January 20.
Inauguration Traffic/Event Resources
Visitors are encouraged to stay informed of traffic and weather conditions by checking the following Web sites before traveling:
- District of Columbia’s Inaugural Web site www.inauguration.dc.org
- Official Inaugural Web site http://inaugural.senate.gov/2009/planyourtrip.cfm
- Washington Post http://voices.washingtonpost.com/inauguration-watch/transportation/
- WTOP Radio www.wtopnews.com
- National Weather Service: http://www.weather.gov
For Virginia-specific information log onto the Virginia State Police Web site at http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Inauguration_2009.shtm.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Local government officials from across the National Capital Region are asking residents to take common-sense steps to prepare for the inauguration.
“Even if you don’t plan to attend any of the inaugural events, they will have an impact on your daily life on Jan. 20,” said Fairfax County Executive Anthony H. Griffin, speaking on behalf of the region’s chief administrative officers. “Residents should be ready for crowds, traffic and delays — even in areas well outside the District of Columbia. However, there are simple steps everyone can take to be prepared.”
Take these steps to get ready:
Make a Plan
• Consider teleworking on Jan. 20 if possible. Carpool if you are traveling into the District of Columbia. Cars will be restricted from some parts of the city, and it will be difficult to find parking.
• Be sure to have a full tank of gas before you go anywhere in the region, or you may become stranded while waiting in traffic. Heavy volume is expected on roads, bridges and highways across the region.
• Although Jan. 20 is a federal holiday and a holiday in many jurisdictions, some localities are enforcing weekday parking regulations. Be sure to plan ahead.
• Bring your patience because there will be delays getting to your destination. Some roads, bridges and highways may be closed temporarily, and mass transit systems will be extremely crowded.
• Be ready to walk long distances — especially in the District of Columbia — because some Metro stations and roads will be closed.
• Visit www.inauguration.dc.gov to get information about road, bridge and highway closures, parking restrictions and mass transit plans.
• Sign up to D.C. Alerts for real-time information on Jan. 20 about road closures, weather and more. Subscribe at www.inauguration.dc.gov.
• If you plan to attend any inaugural events, consider whether you can stand outside in large crowds for up to six hours and whether you are ready for long delays getting home afterwards.
• Bring with you any medications that you need because there will be very long delays in getting to and from events.
• Be aware that it may be difficult to talk or send pictures from your cell phone, according to wireless companies. Send text messages instead of making calls when possible.
For more information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/inauguration/
Monday, January 5, 2009
Thanks to everyone who responded to the Red Cross need for helpers during the inauguration. They still need help, so if your'e still interested in helping, you can email either of the two people below to sign up. I'm sure the Red Cross still needs plenty of help.
When you sign up, you might wish to mention you are with Fairfax County CERT.
Elliot Harkavy, NGO Partner Services Lead
American Red Cross of the National Capital Region
Andrew Levy, NGO Partner Services Deputy/ CERT 15
American Red Cross of the National Capital Region
The last day that CERT members can sign up to assist is Thursday by 12 noon.
your volunteer PIO
Friday, January 2, 2009
On February 17, 2009 all full-power broadcast television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting on analog airwaves and begin broadcasting only in digital.
Millions of American residents depend on television as a reliable source of information, to include emergency alerts and warnings. Citizen Corps Councils (of which CERT is a part) are urged to inform members of your community -- especially older adults and homebound individuals -- of the digital transition to ensure they take any necessary action to receive and view over the air digital signals.
For more information, please visit www.dtv.gov/
Ready Virginia will conduct five public education campaigns in 2008. Each campaign will include new releases, updated Web site content on http://www.ReadyVirginia.gov and on http://www.vaemergency.com, and a proclamation from Gov. Tim Kaine.
* Tornado Preparedness Day: March 17, 2009 (statewide tornado drill at 9:45 a.m.)
* National Hurricane Preparedness Week: May 24-30, 2009
* National Preparedness Month: September 2009
* Fire Prevention Month: October 2009
* Winter Preparedness Week: Nov.29 - Dec. 5, 2009
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency recently released a revised National Incident Management System (NIMS)-the national standard for incident management. NIMS establishes standardized incident management processes, protocols, and procedures that all federal, state, tribal and local responders will use to coordinate and conduct response actions.
Read the new NIMS document and check out other resource information.
Take the online training course on NIMS at EMI IS700.a
Take the online training course on Incident Command at EMI IS100.a