Thursday, May 29, 2008

Actors/Victims Needed for Fairfax Fire & Rescue!

Time to give back!--Fairfax Co. Fire & Rescue Training Division is looking for a few actors and victims to help out on a mass casualty drill on Saturday July 19th from 8am to 1pm at the Training Academy. The request is for 10 victims (injured) and 10 parents or bystanders (get-in-the-way screamers). Email to get in on this opportunity to help out our training academy! Your subject line should mention '7/19 drill'. Let me hear from you as soon as possible.
CERT Actor/Victim Coordinator

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

National Hurricane Preparedness Week

With the start of hurricane season right around the corner, FEMA is urging residents to be prepared for their personal safety and survival in case a hurricane threatens their community. To assist in these efforts, FEMA, along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is helping to raise awareness of steps that can be taken to help protect citizens, their communities and property. President Bush has declared May 25-26 "National Hurricane Preparedness Week."

For more information, visit FEMA at

Thursday, May 22, 2008

CERT events update and a request for assistance

Hi folks!
Here is an update on some of the CERT community outreach events coming up. Lots of exciting things happening here folks!

Viva Vienna-
Due to some unforseen problems, CERT does not have a booth at this event this weekend. We'll try for next year!

Herndon Festival-Thursday May 29th through Sunday June 1st
Our CERT instructor Steve Willey is looking for assistance for this event in an operational capacity; if your'e interested please contact Cert Donna Ennis at for details.

LDS emergency preparedness Fair, Alexandria-May 31st 9am to 1 pm.
CERT 29's Judy H. has stepped up to the plate to man our booth here.(THANKS Judy!) In addition Kellee from Arlington co. CERT is going to be there talking about the Arlington Co. CERT program. Would you like to help at this event? Email me at .

Celebrate Fairfax-Friday June 6th through Sunday June 8th
This is going to be a huge event; not only for the county but for CERT as well. We have several things going on at this event; all of them VERY good.
We will have a brand NEW CERT display for the CERT booth! (Many thanks to our CERT Patty G.for getting us this 10'x10' display free of charge. Thanks to CERT Denise M. who is working as we speak making artwork for it). We will also have our first ever "freebies" for this event. We have LED "no batteries required"type flashlights with the CERT logo imprinted on them to hand out to the public.

We also have a request from Dana Powers of the Fairfax County fire and rescue department to assist operationally at this event. The fire and rescue dept. will be running lost child stations on the event grounds (the Fairfax Co. government center) and wants CERT's to help staff the stations. We would need one or two CERT volunteers for each station to assist.
Here's the plan, folks.

Friday, June 6th, 6pm to 9pm
Fire and rescue dept have two lost child stations running from 6pm to 9pm.We need 2 CERT's to help with this shift; one for each station.

Saturday, June 7th, 10AM to 9 pm-
Fire and rescue dept. have three lost child stations set up. These will be run in shifts; with the shift times as follows:
10 am to 2pm
2pm to 5pm
and 5pm to 9pm
We would need at least one CERT per shift, per station.

Sunday, June 8th, 10 am to 5pm-
There will be either three or four lost child stations set up on this day; there will be two shifts run.
The shift times are:
10 am to 1pm
and 1pm to 5pm
Again, we would need at least one CERT per shift,per station.

PLEASE NOTE-Sunday June 8th is the date of the CERT final exercise at the fire academy!

I have some people already signed up to help for this event (Robin, Kevin,Patty) but it's clear we are going to need MORE help. Would you like to help with the CERT display? Would you like to help at the lost child stations? If you're interested in helping please send me an email at and put "Celebrate Fairfax" and "Lost child" or "Display" in the subject heading. I'll need your name, CERT class number and when and where you would like to help.

There will probably be 650,000 or more visitors to the 3 day Celebrate Fairfax event this year. Help from our CERT's is definitely needed! Please, if you can help for only a few hours that would be fine! We have a wonderful oppurtunity to "show off" CERT to our neighbors here; if you would like to help just drop me an email.
Thanks for your help in advance, and I hope to see LOTS and LOTS of CERT help there!

your volunteer PIO

Monday, May 19, 2008

Let's save some money! Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday May 25th through May 31st.

Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday
When: Sunday, May 25, 2008 through Saturday, May 31, 2008
What's Exempt: During this seven-day period, purchases of certain supplies and equipment need for hurricane preparedness will be exempt from sales tax.
More information is available from the Virginia Department of Taxation. [opens in a new browser window]

Qualifying Items
Sales Price of $60 or Less
The following hurricane preparedness items may be purchased exempt of the Retail Sales and Use Tax during the “Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday,” provided that such items have a selling price of $60 or less per item.
Artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs and reusable ice
* Batteries (excluding automobile or boat batteries), including
* AAA cell
* AA cell
* C cell
* D cell
* 6 volt
* 9 volt
* Cell phone batteries
* Any portable self-powered light sources including
* Flashlights
* Lanterns
* Glow sticks
* Tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting
* Bungee cords, rope
* Ground anchor systems or tie down kits
* Ratchet straps
* Duct tape
* Carbon monoxide detectors
* Smoke detectors
* Fire extinguishers
* Gas or diesel fuel tanks or containers
* Water storage containers
* Nonelectric food storage coolers
* Bottled water
* Manual can openers
* Portable self-powered radios (including self-powered radios with electrical power capability)
* Two-way radios
* Weather band radios and NOAA weather radios
* Storm shutter devices
* Cell phone chargers
* First Aid Kits
* Sales Price of $1,000 or Less
The following hurricane preparedness items may be purchased exempt of the Retail Sales and Use Tax during the “Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday,” provided that such items have a selling price of $1000 or less per item.
Portable generators and generator power cords
* Inverters and inverter power cables

Friday, May 16, 2008

CERT Class Final exercise on June 8

The final exercise for CERT 31, 32, and 33 will be held on Sunday, June 8. If you are available to pose as a victim for this event, please contact Kevin Mullins (contact information below). For those of you who are CERT members already, this will count as recertification for the year. For the others who have expressed interest in our CERT program, this is a great opportunity to see exactly what CERT is all about.

Kevin Mullins
CERT Actor/Victim Coordinator
Fairfax County, Virginia

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tornado Dos and Don'ts

You're in your house, your car, maybe your mobile home, and you've just heard a tornado warning announced for your area. What should you do now? Just as importantly, what shouldn't you do? Here are some dos and don'ts:
_If you are already inside a structure, go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar or the lowest building level. Avoid areas near windows.
_Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio, regular radio or television for tornado updates. (Battery-powered devices are best, in case the electricity goes out.)
_Crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down. Cover the back of your head with your hands.
_If you're in a mobile home, get out, even if it's tied down. You're probably safer outside, even if that means seeking shelter out in the open.
_If you're outside with no shelter, lie flat in a ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
_Don't use your car as shelter.
_Don't open the windows in your home. You may be exposed to flying glass if you're opening windows when the twister hits.
_Don't use elevators. You could get trapped if the power is lost.
_Don't go to the southwest corner of your shelter — most tornadoes approach from the southwest.
_Don't park under an overpass. It may seem like good shelter, but it can actually be more dangerous than open ground. A wind-tunnel effect can cause higher wind speeds, driving debris toward you and even propelling you out from under the overpass.
_Don't light candles, even after the storm has passed. Ruptured gas lines can create a fire hazard so it's better to use flashlights.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Upcoming community outreach events - and, it's not a's an opportunity!

Hi folks!
We have a number of really good community outreach events coming up in the next few weeks. Here are the events that are coming up:

May 24-26- The Viva Vienna festival, Vienna, VA

May 29th-June 1st- The Herndon Town festival

May 31st-The LDS emergency preparedness fair in Kingstowne, Alexandria

June 6,7,and 8th-Celebrate Fairfax-at the government center in Fairfax

All of these events afford CERT a golden oppurtunity to promote the CERT program to our neighbors and community at large.

But, with all the good comes a bit of bad....As you all know I attend every outreach event. Well, I asked time off from my job to attend to these events-and was denied the time off.
So, I am asking for help running the Viva Vienna event, the Herndon town festival and the LDS emergency preparedness fair.
What we need are:
two or more people to work the Viva Vienna event
two or more to work the Herndon festival,
at least one person for the LDS prep fair event.

Please email me at the new address if you are interested in helping out.We can sure use the help! I can give additionl details to you. We also need lots of volunteers to work the Celebrate Fairfax event too.

Please email me if interested.
your volunteer PIO

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

CERT at two Herndon Area Events

Herndon/Reston area team members of Fairfax County CERT supported two community outreach events on Saturday, May 03, 2008. In this picture from left to right are three of our volunteer instructors that many of you may recognize, Jack, Susy, and Lani.

We supported the Herndon Resource Center Community Day. It was a successful day, we helped to educate many of the folks about the CERT program and emergency preparedness in general. It was a windy day, and of course, the CERT folks were the only ones prepared for it. Many thanks to Susy and Lani for their help yesterday.

Earlier in the day, Jim and Donna, two more of your volunteer instructors, supported a preparedness event at the Four Seasons Homeowners Association. That too was a successful event and many thanks to Jim and Donna for their time and efforts.

We encourage all of our CERTs to come out and assist in these community events. At the end of the day, you feel like that you have made a positive difference in your community.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Tuesday Taping Update

Sorry for the short notice but I was just informed the time people would be needed at WHole Foods tomorrow, Tuesday May 6 is now 4pm!!!

If you can make it, great, if not, I understand.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Some video from the Thursday night special CERT class

Hi folks!
Below is a short video of Thursday night's CERT refresher and Discovery channel show taping. It's a raw, unedited video taken with my digital camera.Participating in the show taping and the refresher afterwards were interesting; what a great way to promote CERT (and Mike's cooking skills!)

your volunteer PIO

Friday, May 2, 2008

A very special CERT class...

For those of you who were involved in last nights special CERT class, thank you for your involvement! As mentioned last night, there will be a "second helping" to take place at the Whole Foods in Fair Lakes on Tuesday, May 6 at 3pm. If you are interested in attending (for no class credit towards your CERT re-cert), please bring/wear your CERT vest and have your helmets available. Please block out at least two hours of time for filming if it goes anything like it did last night.

For those of you who are confused by this post, Fairfax County CERT is being featured in a show on the new Discovery Green channel.