Thursday, January 27, 2011

Home Fires

NFPA and the United StateS Fire Administration (USFA) are working together on a new fire safety program called “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires,” designed to remind people that home fires are more prevalent in winter than during any other season. This is due, in part, to an increase in cooking and heating fires. Also contributing to the increased risk are holiday decorations and winter storms that can interrupt electrical service and cause people to turn to alternative heating sources. For more information on the NFPA/USFA program, visit

Are your neighborhood Fire Hydrantes Clear??

Morning Fellow CERT members. Have the Fire Hydrantes in your neighborhood been cleared of snow? To Help the Fire Department in your area save time getting to the hydrant, make sure that there is a 3 foot path around the hydrant and its cleared to the road. The home or business you save maybe your own.
Be safe out there, "Who is number one? I AM".

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


By Ellen Cannon [edited for blog space]

On January 12, 2011 Mayor Michael Bloomberg presided at the 16th graduation ceremony of 122 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program helps train people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their day to day life in and around their local communities. When emergencies and disasters occur, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize others to assist at the disaster site. CERT members also assist with local neighborhood non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community.

New York City CERT volunteers go through a rigorous ten week course aimed at assisting neighbors in disasters which may include hurricanes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks, and blizzards. The courses are taught by retired and currently employed first responders.

The ten week training program includes fire safety, search and rescue, first aid and triage. CERT volunteers also assist the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in educating neighborhoods in the importance of preparing their own families for a variety of emergencies.

The CERT program in New York City is a joint effort between the OEM, NYPD, FDNY, and the Health Department.

Today, CERT programs exist in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 2,915 communities have CERT programs.

New York City’s CERT Programs increased from 106 volunteers in 2003, to more than 1,400 volunteers today contributing 22,000 hours of service in 2010.

As New York City prepares to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the importance of local volunteers assisting the victims and each other is remembered as a critical contribution to saving lives and promoting community resilience.

Successful CERT programs are located throughout the United States and assist in both emergency and non-emergency situations.

New Jersey has one of the largest CERT programs in the country with more than 300 registered teams and over 9000 CERT- trained volunteers. In July 2005, the New Jersey State Citizen Corps Council (NJSCCC) began offering qualifying CERT teams utility trailers equipped to serve as mobile command posts during emergencies. These trailers, containing triage stations and incident support centers, help to provide the necessary tools to assist professional emergency responders during an incident.

The Fairfax County Virginia, Citizen Corps Council worked with faith based leaders to encourage community emergency preparedness through a program “Ready, Pack, Go” .Following an in-depth survey by the American Red Cross which found that only one in ten Americans had developed a personal preparedness kit or a personal or family preparedness plan.The Fairfax County Citizen Corps Council started to train religious leaders to conduct preparedness workshops in their own communities. The focus of their message was,” make a kit, make a plan, and be informed”.

All disasters are ultimately local. Disasters and emergencies will continue. Citizen volunteerism can make a difference in every American city.

Read the whole story on NYC EMERGENCY VOLUNTEERS: SAVING LIVES and BUILDING RESILIENCY - Chicago Homeland Security |

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Don’t Make the Public Fit How We Do Business"

A new post on the FEMA blog provides insight into Administrator Fugate's outlook on the future of FEMA and the role of social media.

This quote sums it up:
"Don't make the public fit how we do business," he said he tells his staff and other federal personnel. "It's a disaster. Your home's been destroyed. Do you need any more hassles?"
FEMA is looking for suggestions on how they can better accomplish the goal of "fitting to the public's needs." If you have some ideas, they are looking for feedback at their blog. Please visit for more information and to add to the discussion.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate Challenges YOU: Submit Your Ideas on How to Prepare Communities Before Disaster Strikes

Have you had a great idea on preparedness that you want to share? FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate challenges YOU to participate in a challenge to come up with creative ideas on how we can prepared communities before disaster strikes. Because local employers frequently drive the local economic recovery after disasters, employer preparedness and resilience is more important than ever. Submit your own ideas by January 31st. You can also read and comment on some of the great ideas here:

Like playing with moulage, getting some Hands-On Scenario practice?

Bring the whole family out to the first annual Zombie Day, hosted by the Center for Wilderness Safety! It'll be a great opportunity to get out of the house after the winter and enjoy Spring! Who says you can only dress up on Halloween?!
Come out to Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, Virginia on Saturday, March 26, 2011 from 10am - 4pm for a great bunch of activities!

Pre-Registration Required!

For more information:

This is being posted for your information only –it is not an endorsement by, nor in anyway associated with the Fairfax County CERT Program.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tornado Preparedness

When it comes to tornadoes, there's no such thing as a "tornado season." Tornadoes can strike anywhere, anytime, and you need to know the drill. There are simple, low-cost steps families can take to be ready: get a kit, make a plan and stay informed. Visit the Ready Virginia Web site for more about these three important steps.

It’s really important to practice tornado safety by holding a drill in your home, workplace and school. Plan now to take part in the 2011 Statewide Tornado Drill, set for Tuesday, March 15, 2011, at 9:45 a.m. Register here for the statewide drill

In the meantime, you don’t have to wait until March to have a tornado drill. Plan your tornado drill today with these helpful guidelines:

Tornado Preparedness and Safety Tips

Thanks to VDEM for these materials....