Friday, March 30, 2012

FRIDAY 3.30.12 CERT MESSAGE

WEEKLY EMAIL FROM THE CERT COORDINATOR, Jeffrey F. Katz


Actors Needed:



On May 5th, the current CERT classes will be holding their final exercise. We are always looking for volunteers to assist in the drill, if you would like to play a victim, please contact the actor coordinator at actors@fairfaxcountycert.org.



Fairfax County Cert has been asked to provide support for the Woodley Hills trailer community's first ever evacuation drill on April 10th at 7PM.Woodley Hills is a trailer park community on Route 1 and Lockheed Blvd. In the south county/ Alexandria area. The premise of the drill is to test a Woodley hills/Fairfax County OEM designed evacuation plan.

We need CERT members to help make their drill a success. This event is open to cert basic and cert 2 members. We can use as many certs as wish to participate. If you wish to participate in this drill please contact CERT Bruce Jones at bdjonz@gmail.com



Upcoming Classes:



• There will be a CERT I class at the Word of Life Church in Springfield beginning April 14th.



• NSC First Aid - Designed for emergency response teams, safety personnel, supervisors and the general public, this course teaches how to respond to breathing emergencies, identifying and caring for bleeding, sudden illness and injuries, and techniques for preventing disease transmission. (3.5 hours)

First Aid – May 8 at the Fire and Rescue Academy

First Aid – May 15 at FS22, the Greater Springfield Volunteer Fire Department



• There is a proposed refresher class in the Mt. Vernon area in May.

• We are working with Ft. Belvoir to schedule CERT I classes for residents and DOD employees.

Once the above class dates are confirmed, we will notify you that registration is open on the CERT Server.



Due to construction at their facility, the WMATA CERT class has been put on hold until further notice.



We are in the process of developing extracurricular mini-courses which are not necessarily part of the FEMA CERT curriculum, but are emergency preparedness related. These courses will be posted in future emails.



Upcoming Operational Events:



Girls on the Run 5k – May 20

Fair Oaks Fun Run – May 26

Viva Vienna - May 26, 27, 28

Herndon Festival - May 31 – June 3-IC position taken, still need volunteers!

Celebrate Fairfax - June 8, 9, 10



We need IC's and volunteers for all the upcoming events.

For multi day events, we need multiple IC’s.

If you would like to be an IC for one of the events, please contact Steve Richardson at or ristph@aol.com .

The IC for each event will coordinate the volunteers.

Celebrate Fairfax, Herndon Festival and Viva Vienna also have an Outreach component, we will be looking for volunteers to fill those positions too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fairfax County CERT has a requirement for an Assistant Outreach Coordinator

Become a member of the Outreach team within Fairfax County CERT.
Fairfax County CERT has a requirement for an Assistant Outreach Coordinator. Do you fit the bill?

Required

•CERT trained, at least Basic
• Knowledgeable about CERT and Preparedness
• Able to devote time as necessary to program goals and aims
• Is passionate about the CERT Program (understands the need for CERT training and is dedicated to growing the CERT program)
• Have own transportation
• Personable
• Good organizational skills
• Willing to work and coordinate with other members of the Outreach team, .i.e. the Volunteer PIO, Asst. PIO, Outreach Coordinator, and members of the CERT steering committee
• Willing to lead as necessary on projects/events as required by PIO and CERT steering committee
• Willing to take direction and show individual initiative
• Take CERT Outreach training

Desirable

• Good public speaking skills
• CERT 2 trained
• Marketing/advertising experience a plus
• Experience with Microsoft Office products

Contact: Judy Howell at pio@fairfaxcountycert.org

Thursday, March 22, 2012

CERT Outreach has been busy

Outreach has been busy and it’s only going to get busier. This month we were asked to give a presentation on Preparedness and CERT to ABWA or American Business Women’s Association on the 15th and to the Hollin Hall Village homeowners association on the 20th. We also had a booth at the Government Center on the 17th for the Crash Course on Fairfax County Services and Volunteer Opportunities.

The ABWA Luncheon was in Woodbridge at Stratford University. After an excellent meal that was prepared and served by students from the Culinary Arts Department, Judy Howell our CERT Volunteer Public Information Office spoke. Numerous handouts on preparedness were also given to the attendees.

Judy with her husband Dave, CERT 47, gave the presentation to the Hollin Hall Village Homeowners monthly meeting. Dave shared his insights and anecdotes regarding CERT and Preparedness.

On the 20th Dave and Judy answered questions and “talked up CERT” to attendees of the training at the Government Center while manning the CERT Booth.

Feeling left out? Don’t! We have the events in May and June that need lots of you to talk to your friends and neighbors about CERT.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

10 Questions to Ask When Tornadoes Strike Fairfax County

10 Questions to Ask When Tornadoes Strike Fairfax County


We continue our conversation with you about tornadoes as we get closer to the county government’s three-day emergency exericse next week. Tornadoes are a real threat. The last tornado to strike Fairfax County happened in Reston on April 27, 2011. According to a National Weather Service analysis:


“The tornado began in a parking lot along Sunset Hills Road where small limbs were snapped from a hardwood tree and a large limb was snapped from a softwood tree. It crossed Sunset Hills Road and entered the Hidden Creek Country Club golf course where it intensified and uprooted or snapped several hardwood and softwood trees. The tornado weakened slightly as it crossed North Shore Drive and Wedge Road where a few trees were snapped or uprooted. A few homes appeared to suffer minor damage from fallen trees. As it crossed Wiehle Avenue, the tornado intensified again snapping or uprooting numerous trees adjacent to Tall Oaks Village Center before weakening rapidly.”





This tornado was ranked a zero according to the tornado damage scale chart, but if conditions are ripe, more severe twisters can strike our community (as will happen during our exercise next week).

We’re preparing and responding during the Operation Enduring Collaboration exercise, but our response will never be enough for our community to recover. We need the whole community — families, businesses, nonprofits, faith communities and other key groups — to prepare, respond and recover. Important activities you can do to prepare include:
•Have preparedness kits in your homes, cars and places of work/worship.
•Establish a communications plan so you can notify people you are OK either through text messages, social media posts, or phone calls to one designated out of town person who can then relay your status.

But even more importantly, have you thought about some of the questions (in no particular order) that a tornado or any hazard could pose:
1.If you work in D.C. or other points far away from your home and roads are impassable for long periods of time, what arrangements should you think about?
2.If you have children in daycare or schools, what are their policies for sheltering and holding students?
3.If you run a small business and you can’t travel to your business or if you do not have power/internet for long periods of time, how will your business operations continue?
4.If mass transit is affected, how will you get around the area (assuming roads are passable, too)?
5.If your home or business is damaged, do you have proper insurance and other recovery issues documented (or at least discussed)?
6.Do you have important digital files backed up off site or in the “cloud” away from your home or business?
7.Do you know first aid or CPR to help people who may be trapped or injured?
8.Do you have enough medications on hand in case pharmacies are unable to refill them for a few days?
9.Do you have plans for your pets?
10.Are there people in your community such as the elderly or home-bound that you can check on if your situation is OK?

After each day of the exercise next week, we’ll provide a snapshot of what happened in the scenario so you can ask yourself these questions and many others that could be a little more specific and lead to more questions. Talk about these questions with your family, co-workers, faith community members and others so our whole community is ready.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Expansion of our CERT Outreach program and upcoming events

Have you ever seen a movie and told your friends that they should see it? Has a business you patron given you good service and you shared it with neighbors, family and friends? Has the CERT training you took enriched your life and gave you the tools to be a valuable resource? Have you dreamed about being a booth babe or booth dude? The answer to all these questions is YES!!

Our CERT program is expanding the Outreach effort. Outreach plays an important part in filling our CERT Basic and CERT 2 classes along with educating the public in emergency preparedness.
We are looking for outgoing dedicated people to share the CERT message of preparedness and training. As the weather gets nicer, we have some big annual events coming up, but more on that later, the plain true is that we need you! More and more businesses, homeowner and faith-based organizations have been requesting us to come out and talk CERT. We have a one night Outreach training seminar you can attend to give you the tools and confidence. Please, email me at pio@fairfaxcountycert.org with your name, class number and contact info. Thanks!
So, here are the big events that are on the horizon. As you can see there are some events that overlap. Put them on your calendars.

May 26-----Fair Oaks Ambulance Chase and Fun Run
May 26, 27, 28…..Viva Vienna
May 31- June 3….Herndon Festival
June 8- 10…….Celebrate Fairfax
At some of these events, we have an operational role and/ or Outreach effort.
If all the time you can give is an hour or two at one event, that’s great. We need you.
Please, send me an email with which event or events you would like to participate in.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Food Storage supplies

CERT family,
Preparedness is now getting more main stream attention with a number of “prepper” shows on Natgeo and Discovery channel. Have you thought of ways to increase your food storage?
The Spring Walton Feed group order deadline is 26 March 2012. Walton Feed offers products like wheat, flour and other stapes in bulk form. You can get them in 25lb or 50lb bags, 5 gallon buckets, #10 cans or 2.5 cans. They also carry dehydrated fruits and vegetable, grains, dairy and eggs, beans to name a few. They also carry freeze dried products. If you are interested in looking at the price sheet and ordering, email me, jhowell695@verizon.net and I will sent you the order form.
Did you know that COSTCO online at costco.com has food storage items? They feature Shelf Reliance Thrive meats and cheese packs, Food for Health Emergency Garden Seeds and Chef’s Banquet ARK 1-month Food Storage Supply. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Participate in Statewide Tornado Drill March 20

Participate in Statewide Tornado Drill March 20


Last year, 51 tornadoes hit Virginia, the second highest number on record.

While Fairfax County government will be participating in our three-day tornado exercise described yesterday on this blog, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service are hosting the annual statewide tornado drill on Tuesday, March 20, at 9:45 a.m.

While we’re working in the county’s Emergency Operations Center on the tornado scenario, we’re asking you to participate in this simple statewide drill.

Businesses and organizations, schools and colleges, and families and individuals are encouraged to practice taking cover from tornadoes.

Here’s how it works:
1.At 9:45 a.m., the National Weather Service will send a test tornado warning that will trigger a tone alert and broadcast message on NOAA Weather Radio. The message will be picked up by TV and radio broadcasters, simulating what listeners will hear during an actual tornado warning.
2.When the test tornado warning is sounded, people should move as quickly as possible to a safe area in their building. Safe areas are basements and crawl spaces, as well as interior rooms, bathrooms, closets or hallways on the lowest level of a building. In choosing a safe area, stay away from windows. Once in the safe area, crouch down or sit on the floor, facing down, and cover heads with hands.

Everyone in Fairfax County (and throughout the Commonwealth) can participate in the statewide tornado drill. Please register for the drill so state emergency managers know how many people are practicing tornado safety. Registration is voluntary – the most important thing is for you to hold a tornado drill in your home, school or workplace at least once a year. Learn how to conduct your own drill.

G-290: Basic Public Information Officer, April 17-18, Richmond; registration deadline: April 3.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) will offer its Basic Public Information Officer (Course G290) training course in April. This class is equivalent to the core course "Media Relations". Please note that there is a prerequisite online class to complete prior to taking the Basic Public Information Officer class. Registration deadline for the April 17-18 class is April 3, 2012.

Please read the information below for registration information;


VDEM Training Calendar
Upcoming training offered by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) includes the basic public information officer course, joint information system training as well as a course on social media for disaster response and recovery. If you do not already have an account through any state agency Learning Management System domain must register for a VDEM LMS account (a one-time process) in order to enroll. Students who have an account through any state agency should log in at that agency’s LMS address and enroll in the desired course(s). Help videos for registration and enrollment processes are provided on the VDEM LMS login page at https://covkc.virginia.gov/vdem/external/. Assistance is available from VDEM’s LMS Help Desk at lmshelp@vdem.virginia.gov or 804-897-9995.

• The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) will offer its Basic Public Information Officer (Course G290) training course in April. This class is equivalent to the core course "Media Relations". Please note that there is a prerequisite online class to complete prior to taking the Basic Public Information Officer class. Registration deadline for the April 17-18 class is April 3, 2012.

Please read the information below for registration information;


VDEM Training Calendar
Upcoming training offered by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) includes the basic public information officer course, joint information system training as well as a course on social media for disaster response and recovery. If you do not already have an account through any state agency Learning Management System domain must register for a VDEM LMS account (a one-time process) in order to enroll. Students who have an account through any state agency should log in at that agency’s LMS address and enroll in the desired course(s). Help videos for registration and enrollment processes are provided on the VDEM LMS login page at https://covkc.virginia.gov/vdem/external/. Assistance is available from VDEM’s LMS Help Desk at lmshelp@vdem.virginia.gov or 804-897-9995.

• G-290: Basic Public Information Officer, April 17-18, Richmond; registration deadline: April 3.

Due to budgetary constraints, VDEM must cancel a class if a minimum of 15 students have not enrolled two weeks before the class begins. Sign up early.

Due to budgetary constraints, VDEM must cancel a class if a minimum of 15 students have not enrolled two weeks before the class begins. Sign up early.

NOTE: if you have a VDEM account already, do not register for the account just sign in and enroll in the class.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Governor proclaims March 20 as Tornado Preparedness Day

RICHMOND, Va. – Last year, 51 tornadoes hit Virginia, the second highest number on record. To encourage tornado awareness and safety, Gov. Bob McDonnell has proclaimed March 20 as Tornado Preparedness Day in the commonwealth.
“Tragically, many Virginia families and communities were affected by deadly tornadoes last year, and they continue to heal,” said Michael Cline, state coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. “We cannot forget that 10 of our citizens died and more than 100 were injured. So it is critically important that we all know what to do when a tornado warning is issued.”
On March 20, businesses and organizations, schools and colleges, and families and individuals are encouraged to practice taking cover from tornadoes by participating in the Statewide Tornado Drill, set for 9:45 a.m. At that time, the National Weather Service will send a test tornado warning that will trigger a tone alert and broadcast message on NOAA Weather Radio. The message will be picked up by TV and radio broadcasters, simulating what listeners will hear during an actual tornado warning.
When the test tornado warning is sounded, people should move as quickly as possible to a safe area in a sturdy building. Safe areas are basements and crawl spaces, as well as interior rooms, bathrooms, closets or hallways on the lowest level of a building. In choosing a safe area, stay away from windows. Once in the safe area, crouch down or sit on the floor, facing down, and cover heads with hands.
“Tornadoes are common in Virginia, but last year they were stronger and more destructive,” said Cline. “Virginians suffered substantial losses from the EF3 tornadoes in Surry, James City, York, Gloucester, Mathews and Washington counties and the EF2 tornadoes in Pulaski County. We encourage everyone to practice tornado safety by participating in the Statewide Tornado Drill.”
For help in conducting a tornado drill and to register for the statewide drill, go to www.ReadyVirginia.gov Although registration is not required, people participating in the statewide drill are encouraged to sign up to show their support. The annual drill is a joint effort of VDEM and the National Weather Service.
“The best and fastest way to get a tornado warning is by NOAA Weather Radio,” said Bill Sammler, NWS warning coordination meteorologist. “With a weather radio, you get weather data directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. When a tornado warning is issued, the weather radio sounds an alarm followed by information on where the storm is, which way it’s moving, and telling people in its path to take cover. This radio could be a lifesaver.”
NOAA Weather Radios with SAME alerts are available at electronics and sporting goods stores, discount and department stores, and online. They come in battery-powered models, and many also have AM/FM bands. A special needs NOAA Weather Radio is available as well. The special-needs NOAA Weather Radio can warn deaf and hard-of-hearing persons of hazardous conditions, giving them around-the-clock, up-to-the-minute weather information. The radio is a weather alerting system that can be a lifesaver, much as the now commonly used smoke detector with flashing light, for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons.
View the Governor’s proclamation for Tornado Preparedness Day: http://www.vaemergency.gov/sites/default/files/TornadoPreparednessDay2012.pdf
Here’s a look back at tornadoes in Virginia during 2011:
• 51 tornadoes hit, the second highest number on record (87 struck in 2004)
• In April, 10 people died and more than 100 were injured
• Most tornadoes occurred during April, but tornadoes also were recorded in March, May, August, September, October and November
• In April, 212 homes and 17 businesses were destroyed; more than 1,050 homes and businesses were damaged
• Nearly every part of Virginia experienced tornadoes during 2011, including mountainous Southwest Virginia. Other areas hit: Southside Virginia, Roanoke Valley, Shenandoah Valley, Central Virginia, Northern Virginia, Middle Peninsula and Hampton Roads
• One-third of the tornadoes struck at night, including the deadly EF3 tornado that hit Washington County around 1 a.m. April 28