Category Archives: Members

Simulated Dispatch

Mark Your Calendars

Our first semi-annual simulated CERT dispatch of 2017 is scheduled for  Saturday, May 20th at 09:00.

Scenario

On Friday, May 20, regional and statewide nets were activated in response to a severe thunderstorm passing through Tarrant County. As the super cell moved into Collin County, 3-inch hail and winds in excess of 90 mph were reported by spotters.  Additional reports of lightly damaged structures have flooded dispatch centers. Many neighborhoods are without power and professional responders are unable to perform wellness checks in those areas. Local communication and internet services have been interrupted or overloaded and are unreliable.

Logistics

CERT will establish Incident Command at the Allen EOC where net control will stand up the Allen CERT repeater and relay messages between CERT teams that will be dispatched to undetermined locations around Allen and report mission status.

NEW THIS YEAR: Due to capacity constraints with the APD CAD, we will be using Group Me as the primary dispatch vehicle. All CERT responders will receive a text message notification via Group Me. You can download the free iOS/Android/Windows app ahead of time to receive messages therein. If you do not download the app, communications will appears as SMS messages. Once you have downloaded the app, click on the following URL to join the group: https://app.groupme.com/join_group/30642765/5qlMUF

Upon receipt, you should respond with the following:

  • Confirmation of receipt
  • Health report (are you safe?)
  • Mobilization capability/status

We do expect to mobilize resources so make sure your vest, hat, and backpack are accessible.

The Allen CERT amateur radio repeater (N5UIG) will be utilized for this exercise so feel free to tune in the day of. Contact Mike Pruden for assistance programming your radio(s).

Prepare

Verify your contact information! Check your email for an announcement on 04/23 for instructions. Out of respect for privacy, the link to member contact info will not be posted on this site.

Questions?

Leave a comment below and someone will get back to you.

Lessons From CERT Bag Class

Once a year, we have an opportunity to huddle together and dump out the contents of our CERT bags for inspection and discussion. It’s probably the most internally beneficial events of the year for our membership because we get inspired to upgrade, replace, and/or amend our gear. Here’s what we took away from Thursday night’s class:

There is no perfect bag

Whether your backpack is 100% standard issue or was personally engineered from the ground up, it is missing something. You may also have too much. Striking a balance between weight and utility is difficult and if a perfect balance was possible, we could cancel this event.

Me first

Design your bag to take care of yourself first, and others last. Selfish? That’s okay. We have to ensure that, as emergency responders, we can sustain ourselves for the duration of our assignment. If we are out of commission, so are the people we could have helped. Ensure you have a way to carry water, enough first aid supplies, and the right protective equipment (PPE) for the most important person in the group – yourself.

Ounces equal pounds. Pounds equal pain.

Carrying a 4-in-1 tool, hammer, pry bar, adjustable wrench, and a socket set? Ditch the extra weight by eliminating redundant tools/equipment and consider multipurpose items that can get most jobs done. A 4-in-1 tool combined with a set of Channel Locks provides a ton of versatility with minimal weight. It’s recommended that you do a short hike with your backpack on to find out what you’re really capable of carrying for a long duration.

Water is your friend, and your enemy

You will need more water for drinking that you probably realize. But, water from above can really ruin your day. Make sure your gear is protected from rain by compartmentalizing items in waterproof bags. Consider throwing your bag in a pool; what would/wouldn’t survive? Write In The Rain is a popular brand of waterproof paper and they event make CERT-oriented products such as a field guide and ICS forms.

Are you identifiable?

Consider putting your name on your hardhat so there is no confusion as to who is being yelled at when a hazard is identified or you are urgently needed. Caution: If you put a headlamp on your hardhat, make sure it doesn’t obscure your name. Also, radio call signs are much less critical than names since not everyone will know what that means.

Easy access

What’s on your person is the most accessible and practical gear solution you can assemble. Invest in a good pair of cargo-style pants that can accommodate commonly-used items such as a folding knife, flashlight, bandanna, pen/paper, cell phone, keys, whistle, and compact escape tool.

Gear list

  • A Husky compact headlamp with an external battery was a big hit
  • A website called Do It Yourself Lettering provides adhesive vinyl that can be applied to hard hats; Chris Smith also owns a vinyl cutting machine
  • Consider buying a $10-15 Timex/Casio watch to throw on your bag so you always have a reliable timekeeping method
  • Milwaukee permanent markers are a cheap and reliable writing method. They are proven to write in dust, grease, and other less-than-ideal surfaces. Paint pens (railway markers) are also great writing tools.
  • LA Police Gear is a USA-made brand that designs their own products and offers them at very affordable prices. Notable gear includes the Urban Ops Pants and Atlas 24-hour Backpack.

We sincerely thank Station 5 C-Shift for hosting tonight’s class and for their invaluable insight during the entire discussion. Thanks, Joe, Michael, and Kevin!

See y’all next time.

CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES!

Steering Committee Meeting, March 1st

Friendly reminder for the monthly Steering Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 1st at La Madeleine; 7:30 PM.

Agenda is driven by functional area and all members are invited.

If you ordered but have not picked up your t-shirt, this is a great opportunity to do so.

Allen CERT T-Shirts

DEADLINE HAS PASSED

Is your standard-issue Allen CERT t-shirt making you sweat in the Texas sun? We are working with an AFD vendor to design and provide auxiliary t-shirts for our members that stand up to the North Texas climate. The high-visibility material is a performance-style fabric that is breathable and comfortable, sports the North Texas CERT logo on the front, and a bold “Allen CERT” on the back.

DEADLINE HAS PASSED

Product Details

Product: Hanes 4.5 oz. X-Temp Performance
Cut: Unisex, Short Sleeve T-Shirt
Color: High Visibility Yellow
Sizes: S-XXL

Pricing

Size Price per Shirt
S-XL $17.00
XXL $19.00
Payment should be transmitted to Chris Diltz (chris.diltz@gmail.com) via Square Cash or PayPal. Click here for more info on Square Cash

Orders Received

Name Order Payment Received
Chris Diltz M x1 Yes
Chris Smith XL x 1 Yes
Brent Wells XL x 2 Yes
Simon To M x 1 No
Mike Pruden XXL x 1 Yes
J.D. Condran XXL x 1 No
Anna Sturdivant XXL x 1 Yes
Cheryl-Ann Monteiro L x 1 No
Valerie Royse XL x 1
XXL x 1
No
Tammy/William Ingram L x 2 Yes
Sandy Mason M x 1 No
David Lindberg L x 1 Yes
Traci Reavis XL x 2 Yes
John Mascio M x 1
XL x 2
No
Brian Levasseur M x 1
L x 1
Yes
Donna Kundaje L x 1 Yes
Shannen Kelley L x 1 Yes
Paula Bramble M x 1 Yes
Tracy Ullman M x 2 Yes
Randy Jones XL x 2 Yes
Jolynn Singh XXL x 1 No

General Class Radio License Course and Exam

General Class Radio License Course and Exam

The Plano Amateur Radio Club is in the planning stages of scheduling a General Class License radio class and exam for sometime in the February – March time frame.  We are trying to get a feel for how much interest there would be in this type of class.  We envision this class occurring over two consecutive weekends (Saturday and Sunday) in the month of either February or March.  The class would be free, but the exam would cost $14.00.  If you would be interested in participating in this type of class, please complete the form below and we will contact you when the details are firmed up.

Thanks for Your Interest!
– Mike Pruden, NN5ZZ

Volunteers Needed for Station 2 Ribbon Cutting and Open House

As part of our CERT responsibilities, we are looking for volunteers to assist in Traffic Control and Parking for the Fire Station 2 Ribbon Cutting and Open House this Saturday. We are needed 9:00 AM through 1:00 PM, but we will determine the exact coverage time required depending on the flow of traffic at the event. CERT members who have participated in the Allen Eagle Run and the Traffic Control training would be beneficial, but not required.

We realize that the Big X event is taking place on the same day, but anyone not going and available would be appreciated.

Anyone available, please contact Dave Campbell directly at dcampbell1953@yahoo.com or 469-371-1018 by tomorrow (Friday).

2017 CERT Meet & Greet

Save the Date!

The 2017 annual CERT Meet & Greet and potluck dinner has been scheduled for January 26th, 2017 at 6:00 PM. This is a great opportunity to meet new and veteran teammates, catch up on 2016 accomplishments, and see what’s in store for 2017.

More details will be forthcoming.

RSVP

Welcome Class of 2016

Introducing the newest members of the Allen Community Emergency Response Team!

This year’s graduating class consists of 19 new CERT responders. They have all undergone over 24 hours in Basic Training and completed the disaster simulation in record time. As always, our new responders are comprised of diverse skills, knowledge, and experience that make Allen CERT a very capable organization.

Congratulations class of 2016! We look forward to building strong relationships with each and every one of you.

2016-class-pictures-png

To see pictures from the disaster simulation, log in and use the Pictures menu above.