Friday, August 28, 2009

Upcoming Seasonal and Pandemic flu town hall meetings

Hi folks,
Thanks to all those CERTs that attended the H1N1 and you refresher classes this week. The following information was received this morning. The Fairfax county health department will be sponsoring an upcoming series of town hall meetings on H1N1 throughout the county; below is the meeting schedule.

If you are interested in learning more about H1N1 and health department planning and response activities; attending one of these town hall meetings would be a great opportunity to do so.

your volunteer PIO

Young Boy smiling - Click on picture for Town Hall Meeting schedule

The Fairfax County Health Department will host a series of town hall meetings. Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, Director of Health, will be on hand to answer your questions about pandemic and seasonal influenza. This fall, it will be important for everyone to stay informed. Plan to attend one of the following meetings:

  • Tuesday, September 1
    7 p.m.
    Dranesville District
    McLean Governmental Center
    1437 Balls Hill Road
    McLean, VA
  • Wednesday, September 2
    7 p.m .
    Springfield District
    West Springfield Governmental Center
    6140 Rolling Road
    Springfield, VA
  • Friday, September 11
    7 p.m.
    Providence District
    James Lee Community Center
    2855 Annandale Road, # A
    Falls Church, VA
  • Wednesday, September 16
    7 p.m .
    Braddock District
    Kings Park Library
    9002 Burke Lake Road
    Burke, VA
  • Friday, September 18
    7 p.m .
    Mount Vernon District
    Mount Vernon Governmental Center
    2511 Parkers Lane
    Alexandria, VA
  • Tuesday, September 22
    7 p.m .
    Hunter Mill District
    North County Governmental Center
    12000 Bowman Towne Drive
    Reston, VA
  • Friday, September 25
    7 p.m .
    Mason District
    Mason District Governmental Center
    6507 Columbia Pike
    Annandale, VA
  • Monday, September 28
    7 p.m .
    Sully District
    Sully District Governmental Center
    4900 Stonecroft Boulevard
    Chantilly, VA
  • Tuesday, September 29
    7 p.m .
    Lee District
    Franconia Governmental Center
    6121 Franconia Road
    Alexandria, VA

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Role playing opportunity this Saturday!

The Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Dept is having a mass casualty incident drill this Saturday, August 30 at the Academy. The drill starts at 0730 and goes to Noon. We could also use those moulage artists out there too! Email and I'll get you in touch with the Fire Department.

Monday, August 24, 2009

September is National Preparedness Month!

Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court, Richmond, VA 23236

FOR RELEASE AT WILL - August 24, 2009

Are you ready? Are you REALLY Ready?
September is National Preparedness Month

RICHMOND, VA –Being ready for emergencies goes beyond fire alarms, smoke detectors and dead-bolt locks. Being ready means families can take care of themselves for at least the first 72 hours after disaster strikes. National Preparedness Month in September is a prime opportunity for Virginians to get ready.

Every family should have these items on hand:

Three days’ food that won’t spoil, such as canned goods and packaged foods
* Three days’ water (one gallon per person per day)
* Battery-powered radio with Weather Band and extra batteries
* Written family emergency plan
“This list is a good starting point,” said Michael Cline, state coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. “You can add other things such as a flashlight and first aid kit, but everyone should have the basics – three days of food and water, a battery-powered radio and a family plan. Get those things first, and you’ll be well on your way to getting ready for emergencies.”

Ready Virginia, a public education program that promotes emergency preparedness, seeks to educate Virginians about what it truly means to be ready for disasters and emergencies.

“Every family should sit down together and make a plan,” said Cline. “How would you contact each other if phone lines are down? Where would you meet if you couldn’t return to your home? Making a plan is free and simple and makes a big difference.”

Research shows that most people believe they are ready for emergencies, but 71 percent of Virginians do not have three days’ food and water, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries, and a written family plan. Having these items on hand is crucial during the first 72 hours after a disaster.

For more information and worksheets to help Virginians get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan and stay informed about emergencies and threats, visit or call toll-free 1-866-782-3470. A Spanish Web site is available at

During National Preparedness Month, which is prime hurricane and flood season in Virginia, new Ready Virginia public service announcements will begin airing on radio and TV stations to remind residents to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.

Go to for more information about National Preparedness Month.

Emergency preparedness is everyone’s responsibility.
* Everyone should have a family emergency plan.
* Everyone should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least the first 72 hours.

Actors needed this week

We are still looking for more actors this Wednesday & Thursday' s CERT refresher class. The first part will be a presentation on the H1N1 virus, followed by a quickie scenario at the Academy. If you are coming for the lecture, stay for the fun afterwards. 7pm-1030pm, Academy.
Contact to sign up.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Your "new and improved" CERT outreach events update

Hi folks!
Here is an update on the outreach events Fairfax County CERT is attending in September and October. We have some new events scheduled, and some exciting changes to a few of the already scheduled events.

If you have completed Fairfax County CERT basic or CERT 2 training; would you like to help promote our CERT program? Join us! This is a perfect opportunity for CERT members to "show their stuff" to the community. Come out, talk to interested citizens about CERT and emergency preparedness. For those who have done outreach, you know how much fun you had; you know how really interested the citizens were in what you had to say. And you know you want to come out and do it again........

For those CERT members who have never helped at an outreach event; give it a try! We talk to citizens about our training, we inform them how to prepare themselves and their families for disasters. We know the importance of emergency preparedness; outreach is your opportunity to help convey that importance to others. It's a great chance to talk about the challenges and excitement you faced, and overcame in CERT training. (EVERYONE enjoys hearing about creative uses for duct tape and sharpies, too).

If you would like to participate in any of these events; please email either myself at or Judy, our outreach coordinator at (and CC one or the other of us so both of us have your information)with the following "stuff":

1.your name and CERT class number (these events are open to CERT basic and CERT 2 class graduates)
2.your email address and a good phone number
3. and most importantly, which event you would like to participate in.

Remember, participation in three CERT outreach events will fully meet the requirements of needing to participate in a yearly CERT refresher.

your volunteer PIO

Remember, September is National Preparedness month.

Thursday,September 10, 2009

Positive Aging Fair,
Jewish community of NoVa center
Fairfax VA 8am -230pm

This outreach event is geared towards informing senior citizens of the need to prepare. We will have our CERT outreach booth set up.

Friday, September 11, 2009 10am to 2pm
Booz Allen Hamilton company preparedness fair
McLean, VA
This company holds an annual emergency preparedness fair for its employees. There will be agencies from all over the DC metro area expected to be here. We will have our CERT display and handouts for the employees.

Saturday, September 12th, 2009 10am-2pm
Get Ready Fairfax H1N1 preparedness event at the Reston Town Center pavillion.

We will have our CERT display here, with handouts and freebies for the participants.
This event is sponsored by the health department, and is geared to help prepare people for the upcoming winter flu season.
The county health dept. is conducting this event in a rather unique manner; each participant will be issued a "passport for preparedness". As the citizen has his "passport" fully "stamped" by the different organizations displaying at the event, the citizen will recieve a health oriented emergency preparedness starter kit. This kit includes such items as a thermometer, first aid supplies etc.
This is a repeat of the south county event for the north end of the county. The south county event was VERY successful! The Reston event promises to be very successful as well.
Here are the folks we have signed up to help with this event:

Scott from CERT 36
Terry from CERT 36
Cindy from CERT 36

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009-7:30 pm to 9:00pm
CERT/emergency preparedness presentation to
Hollin Hall Homeowners' association, Alexandria, VA

Judy and I will be giving an hour long presentation on our CERT program to the residents of this subdivision. In addition, we will have the CERT booth there along with freebies and handouts for the residents.

Tuesday, September 22,2009- 5:30pm to 10:00 pm
Faith Communities in Action emergency preparedness workshop
Fairfax County Government Center
Board of Supervisors Auditorium

We have been asked to provide a CERT display for this event. The FCIA is a conglomeration of representatives from churches, synogogues, mosques and temples all over Fairfax county. The workshop will educate these congregations on the need and concepts of emergency preparedness.
This is the first in a two part series of emergency preparedness workshops.

Tuesday, September 30,2009 7:00pm
Fairfax area disabilities service board
emergency preparedness meeting
Fairfax County government center

Judy and I will be giving another hour long presentation on our CERT program and emergency preparedness. In addition, we will have the CERT booth there along with freebies and handouts for the residents.

We have a scheduling issue with the next two events; both fall on the same day. We need people to help with both events!

Saturday, October 3, 2009
Faith Communities in Action
emergency preparedness workshop 8am-11:30am
USA Today Headquarters Building
McLean, VA
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Exhibits & Registration
9:00 – 11:30 a.m. Program
We have been asked to provide a CERT display for this event. The FCIA is a conglomeration of representatives from churches, synogogues, mosques and temples all over Fairfax county. The workshop will educate these congregations on the need and concepts of emergency preparedness. This is the second FCIA workshop date and time.

Saturday, October 3,2009
Fall for Fairfax
Fairfax County Government Center
8am-6:30 pm
We will have a CERT outreach booth at this event. We will NOT have an operational role at this event; we will just have the CERT booth there. We could use help in staffing this booth.

Saturday, October 10th, 2009 9am until 4pm
Fire and Rescue Department Open house
multiple fire stations throughout Fairfax County.

CERT has been asked again (YAY!) to participate in the fire and rescue department open house event.
We will be located in the following volunteer and career fire stations this day-

# 14 Burke
# 1 McLean
# 2 Vienna
# 17 Centreville
# 24 Woodlawn

Each fire station will have a CERT display, handouts and freebies for the attendees.

Station # 24 Woodlawn has also asked that we provide LIVE extrication demonstrations at their station; in addition to the CERT display.
This is a first in a few ways for CERT-# 24 Woodlawn is a career firefighter station (first time ever we have been invited to one for open house); and this will be the first time we will have live demonstrations in support of a Fire Department open house. We have done live demonstrations only one time before; at Fall for Fairfax in 2007. I can tell you; these demonstrations draw HUGE crowds!
We will need lots of helpers to support these firefighters who so willingly support us.

Here are the helpers we have already signed up for the event; we will need more folks.

James from CERT 32
Scott from CERT 36

Tuesday, Octber 6th, 2009 10am-1pm
FEMA headquarters, Washington DC
emergency preparedness fair

We have been asked to provide a CERT display for this event. I think every reader of the blog knows what FEMA is, and what they do. This is quite an honor for us.
We are already fully staffed for this event; thanks for the support!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009 7:45pm
CERT presentation for Kings Park community

We will be holding a one hour presentation on CERT and emergency preparedness for residents of the Kings Park community. In addition, we will have the CERT display and freebies for them.
Here are the helpers signed up for this event.

James from CERT 32
Steve from CERT 14

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quarterly national CERT newsletter released

Hi folks,
You may want to check this out!

your volunteer PIO

Dear CERT Community,
The CERT National Program Office is pleased to announce the release of the August 2009 quarterly "CERT National Newsletter." This issue features stories on local CERT programs across the country. Click on the following link to read and download the newsletter:
We hope you enjoy this newsletter. If you know of others who would be interested in receiving the CERT National newsletter or CERT updates, please have them subscribe at the following website:

CERT National Program Office
Community Preparedness Division
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Opportunities for role playing actors!

We have some great opportunities for you to show your acting talent. CERT's, these events qualify as part of your annual certification.

August 26 & 27 1900 to 2230
At the conclusion of the CERT re-certification class on the virus H1N1, we are doing quicky scenarios. Come to the class be a victim or a rescuer afterwards. It's 2 for 1 night!

September 23 & October 1 2000 to 2330
The new CERT classes need victims! It's triage night!

September 26, 2009 0700-1200
Fairfax County CERT members have been invited to participate in a exercise held by INOVA Hospital. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. You must pre-register for this event. Details provided later.

September 30 & October 8 2000 to 2330
Medical Operations night.

October 14 & 15 2000-2330
Search & Rescue night

October 21 & 22 2000-2330
All scenario night

October 24
The big event! Multiple CERT classes doing everything they have learned. This one ROCKS!

All role playing is at Fairfax Co Fire & Rescue Academy, 4600 West Ox Rd, Fairfax 22030, except the September 26 exercise.

Come to one, come to all! Email for more info.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Daventry/Ramblewood HOA Hosts its 2009 Safety Fair!

On Sunday afternoon, August 9th, 2009, the Daventry/Ramblewood Home Owners Association hosted a Safety Fair for their residents in lieu of their usual National Night Out (NNO) activities. Almost 100 residents, children, and pets attended this year’s activities at the Daventry Community Center/pool. Special guests this year included VA State Delegate Dave Albo (R-Fairfax), West Springfield Crime Prevention Unit officers: MPOs J. T. Frey and Mike Feilgleson with their squad cars, PLUS a fire engine and medical unit from Fire Department Station 27 on Rolling Road.

Fairfax County CERT was well represented by Terry,our CERT volunteer PIO;Judy,our CERT Outreach coordinator; James from CERT 32 and their host, Steve Richardson, CERT 14/Daventry CERT and Emergency Coordinator.

Representatives from Fischer’s ACE Hardware, Nationwide Insurance (Springfield office) and Baldino’s Lock and Key (Springfield) were in attendance to show off their wares and products to Daventry and Ramblewood residents.

Children’s activities included not only the excitement of a sitting in a “real police car” and touching all those exciting, sound-making buttons and switches, (J.T, and Pete - sorry for the wet bathing suits), PLUS up-close and personal “hands-on” experiences on an ”in-service” fire engine from Fire Station 27. In fact, no sooner had the fire engine and medical unit arrived, when they were called out to respond to a medical emergency. The fire engine did return to Daventry after about 30 minutes.

Children’s activities included: anticrime activities,coloring books;National Night Out (NNO) tattoos, frisbees and NNO game balls. Parents had a chance to talk with Delegate Albo as well. There was a great deal of take home literature,which included subjects such as child ID kits, crime and drug prevention, Identity Theft, home and fire safety, after-school safety, pedestrian safety, Neighborhood Watch, Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Fairfax County’s Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN). The Daventry HOA Safety Committee,provided food and refreshments. It was a very hot afternoon after all.

A great time was had by all at this year’s Daventry/Ramblewood Safety Fair activities. A huge thanks goes out to Gail Ledford, Daventry Safety Committee and Steve Richardson, CERT 14 for coordinating this years events It gets bigger and better each year. .

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Get Refreshed! CERT refresher class dates announced.

It’s CERT Refresher Time!!!!! This year’s theme will be on improvisation, teamwork, and tactical decision making. We have affectionately named it the CERT MacGyver Refresher Series!After each of the refreshers below, naturally, we’ll run a disaster scenario for basic skills refresher too!

Please email Derek at with the class you want to attend. Remember, each Fairfax County CERT needs to attend one refresher class,attend CERT training class as a victim or work three outreach events in a calendar year to stay current.

your volunteer PIO

August 12, 2009 – MacGyver Rock and Roll Course

This refresher will be based on moving very large objects over and around other objects using the tools on hand. If you would like a refresher on your lifting and cribbing and moving objects using levers, ropes, pulleys, inclines, and more, than this is for you.

August 13, 2009 – MacGyver Rock and Roll Course
Same theme as Wednesday, except the objects will be different.

August 19, 2009 – CERT MacGyver Smackdown!

This competitive refresher will be taking everyday objects (please bring items from your garage) to construct various important items necessary for a disaster. The best items will be documented for future classes. Some objects we may produce are shelters, bathrooms, signs, pet tracking systems, medical treatments such as neck stabilizers, stretchers and more. Also, bring your ideas on objects that you think we need to teach!

August 20, 2009 – CERT MacGyver Smackdown!
Same theme as Wednesday, except the objects will be different.

August 26, 2009 – H1N1 and you.
We will have Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s Infectious Disease Officer giving us information on H1N1 preparedness for the fall.

August 27, 2009 – H1N1 and you.
Same theme as Wednesday.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Upcoming CERT 2 training classes-CERT 40 and CERT 41 announced!

Hi folks,
The message below is from Dana, our CERT program administrator. If you know of anyone interested in taking CERT 2 classes at the fire academy, please ask them to email Dana at with the information requested below.
Please check the calendar at the bottom of the page for specific class dates.

your volunteer PIO

The schedules for the next CERT 2 courses are listed below. We are running two classes, concurrently, to allow for optimal participation. The classes have been staggered, so if you miss a class one week, you should be able to make it up the following week. CERT 40 will be held on Wednesday evenings and CERT 41 will be on Thursdays. You will need to attend all classes and the final exercise to obtain your certification. All classes will be held at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy located at 4600 West Ox Road, Fairfax, VA 22030. All classes EXCEPT Saturday 10/24 are from 7:00pm until 10:30pm. 10\24 is from 8:00am until 4:00pm.

Please let me know if you would like to register for one of these courses by emailing me at . Please include the course number you wish to attend and all of your contact information to include: home, work and cell phone numbers, street address, and any alternative email addresses. There are no prerequisites to attend these courses.

We will try to accommodate everyone, but registration will occur on a first-come-first-serve basis. Anyone who does not make it into these two classes will be placed on a waiting list for the next available training.

Thanks again for your interest in the CERT Program.

Dana Powers
Management Analyst II
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
Office of the Volunteer Liaison

CERT and National night-Success in spreading awareness of CERT !

Hi folks!
On Tuesday, August 4th several members of our CERT family participated in the national night out crime prevention event. These CERT members did "ride alongs"-they rode with crime prevention officers to various events around the county to talk about CERT and emergency preparedness. This is the only outreach event of the year where we actually go out into the community to talk CERT. They "talked CERT" all over Fairfax county! These folks did a fantastic job!
Below are some of the reports I received from those who participated.
Great job folks!

your volunteer PIO

From Sandra of CERT 34-She covered the McLean area.

Wanted to drop a line that National Night Out was great. Lots of participation from communities, the police and I could not make it to every requesting neighborhood. There was also a Medical Reserve Corps volunteer and a VIPS (police volunteer) as well. The weather cooperated: not super hot and definitely no rain. In fact, Officer Lucas offered to e-mail me pictures of the National Night event for us.


From Bob of CERT 15-he covered Fair Oaks.

Fair Oaks District Station had approximately twenty neighborhood events for their annual National Night Out. I had the pleasure of riding with Detective Harrington of the Criminal Investigations Section. We started the evening at 16:00 in the role call room, for assignments and
so the twenty plus Detectives, officers, bike patrol team members, auxiliary officers and the station Commander, CAPT Thornton, could pick up the "goodie bags" to be distributed to the children at each of the neighborhood events.

Tom and I hit four of the events throughout the evening and even though the crowds were a bit smaller this year than in previous years they were still having a good time, enjoying the festivities and were very interested in finding out about CERT, receiving the refrigerator
magnets, the emergency planning information and the Homeland Security brochures. I had a few of the flashlights left over from last year as well as a supply of the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management CDs that I also passed out. These items were a big hit again this year
and I ended up giving up the last flashlight I had.
Tom and I met up with CAPT Thornton at the event in Oakton. He was escorting the Providence District Supervisor, Ms Linda Q. Smyth, whom I had the opportunity to give the CERT elevator speech to (about 20 seconds worth). She was very happy that we were out there supporting
the NNO events and was familiar with the CERT program and what we offer the community.

The last event that Tom and I hit, at Franklin Farms Community Pool, was apparently cut short due to some "poo.." in the pool. We still took the opportunity to chat with the neighborhood watch chairs who were familiar with CERT (she took my last light) and were very appreciative of our
participation in the NNO events. Overall it was an enjoyable evening and Detective Harrington was a great host with lots of interesting stories.

From Dawn from CERT 38, who covered Braddock district with James from CERT 32.

James (CERT 32) and I (CERT 38) attended four gatherings (three hosted by neighborhoods and one by Target) in Burke. Folks from the Bonnie Brae Civic Association remembered a presentation about CERT from 4-5 years ago. Whoever did that presentation: good job, it was memorable! We
didn't draw as much attention as McGruff, the crime dog, but we found several people who were really interested in CERT. We were successful at getting the contacts for neighborhood association newsletters and Web sites as a way to get info out to more people. James graciously agreed to follow up with these contacts.


From James of CERT 32, who worked with Dawn in Braddock district.

I send an add-on to Dawn's reply.
Dawn, Adina from MRC and I had the opportunity to ride in the Sec of the Air Force's armored SUV (as a favor from his security detail to the W Springfield District Commander).
I can confirm that these NNO opportunities with the local Police Districts are an opportunity that is wide open,and CERT can gain a lot of local awareness and interest. When you are 'competing' with McGruff we have to have something that is just as interesting for the adults to make them aware of this CERT concept.
Great Night Out. Hope to do it again. It can only get better.

Jim, CERT 32

Our CERT volunteer instructor Jack from CERT 4 covered the Reston district.

At the various events, I had some interest Also, I had the opportunity to talk with Supervisor Faust (Dranesville) and I gave him my card. He was asking how we could get training set for his district.

From our actor victim coordinator, Kevin. Kevin hosted a national night out event in his community.

As you know, I hosted an ice cream social in observance of National Night Out for the Southpointe Estates, Marovelli Forest and Winsdor neighborhoods. The event was well attended with over 50 people attending. We were visited by 2 Officers from West Springfield Station who brought the Camaro patrol car. Everyone had a chance to play with the lights, sirens and PA system in the car. The children had fun with the frisbees and beach balls provided by the Officers. I had numerous neighborhood watch, CERT and Swine Flu handouts for everyone to take, as well as the magnets and a few OEM disc's.

I have at least one neighbor signing up to take the CERT Basic course. I hope everyone else had as successful night

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Teen CERT train the trainer training available!

Hi folks!
This is a really unique training opportunity, forwarded to us by Linda Rubin.Linda is the state Citizen Corps program manager from the Virginia department of emergency management.CERT members can take advantage of this by following the web links provided below.

your volunteer PIO

Fellow CERT members,

I am sure all will agree the future of our world is in our “teens”, and some may hop on the opportunity to enroll in the Teen CERT Train the Trainer class offered by Eastern State University in September!

Participants interested in credit can receive 2.2 CEU’s and a world class experience to take the Teen CERT program forward into schools, scouts, faith and youth groups, youth centers, etc!

Please hurry, as the class starts in just over a month! Registration is on line: Click on the links-Training calendar- Citizen Corps/CERT, see Teen CERT Train the Trainer.

Grant funding for this course will not be available in 2010, so help us fill the class to take advantage of this unique opportunity now!

Here is some information on Teen CERT-more is available at

Since 2006, Eastern Michigan University, along with its partners at Citizen Corps and the Department of Homeland Security, has been able to conduct Teen CERT Instructor Training around the Country. Over 900 instructors nationwide have affected the lives of over 10,000 youth by enabling them to respond to crisis and events that require an advanced level of disaster response capabilities. Through this enablement process, students have empowered themselves to respond to events, and have thus rescued individuals trapped under debris after a tornado, saved lives of individuals caught in a rip tide, and provided medical first responder skills in numerous instances. Through the actions of these trained youth, many people owe not only their lives to the student responder and the skills learned in Teen CERT, but these students eased the pain and suffering of individuals who were victims of accidents.

Your loyal cheerleader,

Linda Rubin

Citizen CorpS Program Manager

Virginia Department of Emergency Management