All posts by Diltz

TEEX Wide Area Search

Supplementing Search Operations

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a robust Wide Area Search class led by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, one of the authorities on disaster search and rescue operations. The 3-day course was nothing short of incredible and I highly recommend everyone consider attending the next time this opportunity arises.

Did you know that a missing person is not classified as a wide area search? A wide area search, as defined by FEMA, is comprised of four elements:

  1. Unknown number of victims
  2. Large affected area
  3. Limited availability of professional first responders
  4. Variety/diversity of resources

Just as important as the search itself, planning for operations is critical to success. In the three days of learning, only a few hours were dedicated to search operations, teaching us that measuring twice ensures cutting once – it is detrimental to the objective if we add chaos to chaos.


Beyond the Class

Not only did I have the honor of receiving knowledge from highly skilled and qualified instructors, but I was also able to build relationships with other community leaders, CERT coordinators, and first responders from around the metroplex.

In addition, and most importantly, we have become smarter as a group and will implement some of these key learning points into our Basic Training and Continuing Education curriculum.


2016 Basic Training

It’s that time again!

Classes for this year’s CERT Basic Training officially kick off tonight at 7:00 PM. The class is expected to be overflowing with 30 anticipated students. Joining the instructor ranks this year are Neal van der Upwich, Charrie Mascio, and Shalley Perez.

As always, all CERT members are invited to attend any and all classes for an opportunity to receive some refresher training and assist with training activities. No RSVP is required.

Disaster Simulation

Simulation 1

Traci Reavis is kicking off the planning meetings for the accompanying disaster simulation. If you would like to help out with this exercise, please reach out to her at and she will forward you the logistics.

Continuing Education Updates 09/16

A BIG THANKS to Mark Fox, NWS/NOAA, for the incredible presentation to our team on August 9th. The folks at the National Weather Service are invaluable to our communities.

Did you know?
  • On December 26, 2015, there were less than 10 reports to NW of a visible tornado, despite the number of spotters on the ground
  • The amateur radio liaisons at NWS are 100% volunteer
  • The “Warnings” you receive on your phone may not be coming from the National Weather Service. Source your information!
  • Radar images on TV are only showing you part of the picture. A robust app such as RadarScope gives you visibility to the multiple angles at which Doppler Radar captures images.

Upcoming Class

trafficThere are no Continuing Education classes scheduled for September, due to Basic Training kicking off on 9/1 and the 2016 Allen Preparedness Expo on 9/10. However, mark your calendars for October 11 because APD Sgt John Felty will join us to talk about crowd and traffic management. Think you can handle a 4-way intersection? Come and find out!


New Website Launched

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the new Allen CERT website!

All members will now be able to take advantage of 24-7 online access to program news, documents, and events, including a member directory, as a result of hundreds of hours of work by our own John Mascio.

Visit and register for your account to access all these great features!

This is just the start, check back frequently for even more!

Members: look for the Register link in the toolbar to get started