2016 is shaping up to be a banner year for Allen CERT. Among the many accomplishments since January, here are a few in the past 3 months for which we can pat ourselves on the back:
We have all been asking for opportunities to go beyond the CERT Basic Training curriculum to pick up skills and knowledge that will make us a more valuable asset to the community. In July, we huddled around a few tables one evening to talk through the lessons we learned during our response to the Garland/Rowlett tornado. We came to terms with classroom vs. reality – organized response vs. chaos & confusion – and what we can do to better prepare for large-scale responses, both physically and mentally. The conversation was then supplemented in August when Mark Fox (Chief Meteorologist, NOAA/NWS-FTW) joined us to analyze the bizarre weather on December 26th 2015 and dispell some rumors about tornadic behavior.
Don’t forget to join us in a couple weeks on October 11th to learn about traffic safety with APD Sgt. John Felty.
Every year, Allen CERT organizes one of many preparedness-oriented events in an effort to educate the general public on disaster readiness and volunteer opportunities. This event typically conflicts with other major events in the community to so attracting large crowds is always a challenge. This year, however, we saw surprisingly large numbers come out to visit with us at the Lowe’s parking lot on September 10th, despite less-than-ideal weather (let’s be honest, it was bad) and the St. Jude’s annual carnival down the street.
During the third quarter of 2016, we collectively attended 10 events that qualified as volunteer opportunities. 26 Allen CERT members were engaged this quarter with an average of 7 members attending each event. The most number of volunteer hours was recorded at the Preparedness Expo for 55 hours, with the Simulated Dispatch coming in a close second with 52 hours. In total, we logged 182 volunteer hours for Q3.2016. We currently stand at just over 600 volunteer hours for the year, which puts us on track to far exceed last year’s total.
Thank you all for your dedication to the Allen CERT program and we look forward to seeing you at the next event!