September is National Preparedness Month and, as usual, we celebrate by hosting the annual Allen Preparedness Expo. Several community-based and professional organizations such as AFD, COP, MRC, and Minuteman Disaster Response will bring their exhibits. This is a free, family-friendly event that is open to the general public.
The event will take place at Lowe’s Home Improvement on September 10th from 08:00 – 12:00.
Your help is needed!
If you are willing and able to assist with setup, outreach, and/or breakdown, all you need to do is show up next Saturday.
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:
- Unknown number of victims
- Large affected area
- Limited availability of professional first responders
- 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and she will forward you the logistics.
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.
There 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!
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 www.allentxcert.org 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