Monday, May 30, 2011

CERT at the Fair Oaks Ambulance Chase AND Viva Vienna

Hi folks,
This weekend a number of Fairfax County CERTs participated in two large operational role events-the Fair Oaks VFD 5k Ambulance Chase and the Viva Vienna festival.
The CERTs were course marshalls during the 5k run; keeping the runners on the proper course and maintaining route safety. James from CERT 32, our outreach coordinator was the IC for this event. Great job folks!!!!!!!!!

At Viva Vienna, CERTs are helping with event security, doing safety patrols and telling others about our great CERT program, through the use of a very large outreach display and CERT's talking to the public about the program. Charles from CERT 12 is doing a great job at this event; thanks to all of those who are participating!!!!!!

Looks like fun, doesn't it? It IS fun-and serves a hugely useful purpose to the community. Ever said, "Gee I wish I could do something like this". If your'e a Fairfax County CERT member, YOU CAN!!!
The nice thing is that there are two more events coming up where CERTs CAN help-the Herndon Town Festival, which takes place next weekend; and the Celebrate Fairfax festival which comes up the weekend of June 10-12th. CERT members will be helping with many duties at both events; including child registration station duties, lost child operations and first aid station support.
If you are interested in helping at either upcoming event; contact the IC's for the events. I'm sure they would enjoy the help; I'm sure you will enjoy working the events!

For the Herndon Festival, contact Lani from CERT 4 at .

For Celebrate Fairfax, contact Robin from CERT 29 at

Thanks and a big "YOU ROCK" to those who helped at these events.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Volunteers needed for the Fair Oaks VFD Ambulance Chase 5k run!

Fair Oaks Ambulance Chase Run, Saturday May 28
at the Fairfax County Government Center
12035 Government Center Parkway Fairfax, VA 22035

We will be providing race course safety and traffic control at key points of the race.

We need at least 8 CERTs to be at the Government Center at 7:30am for a short “traffic control” class and task briefing.

The only CERT gear needed is your helmet (and FRS radio if you have one)

We will use the Fairfax County CERT lime yellow traffic vests, these will be issued at to you at the site.

We will be finished with our duty at 11:00am

James, our outreach coordinator is IC for the event– please contact directly at 703-887-1421 or email at


Thursday, May 19, 2011

NOAA hurricane outlook indicates an above-normal Atlantic season

The Atlantic basin is expected to see an above-normal hurricane season this year, according to the seasonal outlook issued by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center - a division of the National Weather Service.

Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is predicting the following ranges this year:
• 12 to 18 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which:
• 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including:
• 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher)

Each of these ranges has a 70 percent likelihood, and indicate that activity will exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

"The United States was fortunate last year. Winds steered most of the season's tropical storms and all hurricanes away from our coastlines," said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "However we can't count on luck to get us through this season. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook."

Climate factors considered for this outlook are:
• The continuing high activity era. Since 1995, the tropical multi-decadal signal has brought ocean and atmospheric conditions conducive for development in sync, leading to more active Atlantic hurricane seasons.
• Warm Atlantic Ocean water. Sea surface temperatures where storms often develop and move across the Atlantic are up to two degrees Fahrenheit warmer-than-average.
• La NiƱa, which continues to weaken in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, is expected to dissipate later this month or in June, but its impacts such as reduced wind shear are expected to continue into the hurricane season.

"In addition to multiple climate factors, seasonal climate models also indicate an above-normal season is likely, and even suggest we could see activity comparable to some of the active seasons since 1995," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

NOAA's seasonal hurricane outlook does not predict where and when any of these storms may hit. Landfall is dictated by weather patterns in place at the time the storm approaches. For each storm, NOAA's National Hurricane Center forecasts how these weather patterns affect the storm track, intensity and landfall potential.

"The tornadoes that devastated the South and the large amount of flooding we've seen this spring should serve as a reminder that disasters can happen anytime and anywhere. As we move into this hurricane season it's important to remember that FEMA is just part of an emergency management team that includes the entire federal family, state, local and tribal governments, the private sector and most importantly the public," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

"Now is the time, if you haven't already, to get your plan together for what you and your family would do if disaster strikes. Visit to learn more. And if you're a small business owner, visit to ensure that your business is prepared for a disaster," added Fugate.

Hurricane impacts are not limited to the coastline; strong winds and flooding rainfall often pose a threat across inland areas along with the risk for tornadoes.

Next week, May 22-28, is national Hurricane Preparedness Week. To help prepare residents of hurricane-prone areas, NOAA is unveiling a new set of video and audio public service announcements featuring NOAA hurricane experts and the FEMA administrator that are available in both English and Spanish. These are available at

Zombie Apocalypse is just one of the hazards we prepare for

If you're    ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency.
There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

A Brief History of Zombies
We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over (my personal favorite is Resident Evil), but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much? The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead. Through ancient voodoo and folk-lore traditions, shows like the Walking Dead were born.

A couple dressed as zombies - Danny Zucco and Sandy Olsson from the movie Grease walking in the annual Toronto Zombie Walk.
In movies, shows, and literature, zombies are often depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and contact with bodily fluids. Harvard psychiatrist Steven Schoolman wrote a (fictional) medical paper on the zombies presented in Night of the Living Dead and refers to the condition as Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome caused by an infectious agent. The Zombie Survival Guide identifies the cause of zombies as a virus called solanum. Other zombie origins shown in films include radiation from a destroyed NASA Venus probe (as in Night of the Living Dead), as well as mutations of existing conditions such as prions, mad-cow disease, measles and rabies.

The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”

Well, we’re here to answer that question for you, and hopefully share a few tips about preparing for real emergencies too!

Better Safe than Sorry

Some of the supplies for your emergency kit.
So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored). Below are a few items you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page.

•Water (1 gallon per person per day)
•Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
•Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
•Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
•Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
•Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
•Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
•First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane)
Once you’ve made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake, or other emergency.

Family members meeting by their mailbox. You should pick two meeting places, one close to your home and one farther away.
1.Identify the types of emergencies that are possible in your area. Besides a zombie apocalypse, this may include floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes. If you are unsure contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information. Family members meeting by their mailbox. You should pick two meeting places, one close to your home and one farther away
2.Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home…or your town evacuates because of a hurricane. Pick one place right outside your home for sudden emergencies and one place outside of your neighborhood in case you are unable to return home right away.
3.Identify your emergency contacts. Make a list of local contacts like the police, fire department, and your local zombie response team. Also identify an out-of-state contact that you can call during an emergency to let the rest of your family know you are ok.
4.Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance! This is also helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter fast.
Never Fear – CDC is Ready

Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Prepared
If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Turn Around, Don't Drown

With all the flood watches and warning for this area, I thought this would be very good advice.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

CERT CON 2011 June 10-12, 2011 is now FREE!!!

The National Capital Region will be holding a regional CERT conference, hosted by Montgomery County, Maryland, June 10-12, 2011..
If you would like to view the PDF flyer for more info, please email me and I will sent it.. Blogger does not let me up PDF files.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The position for the CERT Coordinator has been posted to the State Job Listing


The position for the CERT Coordinator has been posted to the State Job Listing.

It can be viewed at

Please pass on to anyone who might be interested. It will be posted for one week.

Have a nice weekend!

Linda RubinCitizen CorpS Program ManagerVirginia Department of Emergency Management10501 Trade CourtRichmond, VA 23236-3713
I telework on FridayOffice (804) 897-9789Mobile (804) 840-4771Fax (804)

It's Better To Be CERT Than SORRY!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Disaster Training Opportunities Available to the Public

The Community Preparedness Webinar Series presents..
Disaster Training Opportunities Available to the Public
Join us Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 2 p.m. EDT/1 CDT/12 MDT/11 PST
In times of disaster, a trained and informed public is better prepared to protect themselves, their families, their workplace and their neighbors. This webinar will showcase several disaster training resources that are available in communities across the nation. FEMA recognizes that it takes a “whole community” approach to meet the needs of the public before, during and after a disaster. Learn how your community can train and educate its citizens to be better prepared and involved in your community’s disaster response and recovery efforts.
Join us for brief presentations by representatives from the American Red Cross, the Community Emergency Response Team program, ARRL National Association for Amateur Radio (Ham Radio operators), Medical Reserve Corps, Meals on Wheels, HandsOn Network, Fire Corps, USAonWatch Neighborhood Watch program, Volunteers in Police Service, SkyWarn and more!
The National Office of Citizen Corps

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

WMATA training or METRO CERT training

Put this on your calendar Folks!!
We will be holding another WMATA training on September 8, 15 and 22,2011. Also,all METRO CERT members are invited to a final voluntary METRO CERT exercise on October 29. Please, contact Dana Powers if you are interested in the training and/or the final exercise.

As the Federal Family Continues to Support Tornado Recovery, FEMA Urges Caution Against Severe Weather and Flooding

News Release

Americans Should Follow State and Local Officials for Emergency Instruction and Latest Updates; Families Should Visit for Information on how to Prepare

WASHINGTON-As the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its federal and other partners continue supporting recovery efforts from last week's deadly tornadoes in the Southeast, FEMA urges caution, especially against flooding, as more severe weather is expected in different parts of the country.

"As we've seen from the damage caused by the recent tornadoes and severe storms that hit the Southeast, as well as flooding all across the country, natural disasters can be devastating," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "While we can't prevent them, if you haven't already, you can take steps now to get ready by visiting, and be sure to check on your neighbors, especially the elderly and young children - those who can be most vulnerable during emergencies."

Excessive rain and flooding threats continue across the lower Mississippi and Ohio river valleys into the Northeast. The southeast is also expected to experience rain and thunderstorms today. Stay up to date on the latest weather hazards in your area by visiting the National Weather Service, which is the official source for severe weather information. Also follow these steps to stay safe before, during and after severe weather, particularly flooding:

• Follow the instructions of state and local officials,
• Listen to local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information,
• Make sure you have a safe place to go in case severe weather approaches,
• Do not drive or walk through floodwater. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths which occur after individuals drive or walk through floodwater. Turn around and find an alternate route if a road is flooded; it is almost always more dangerous than it appears.
• Create an evacuation plan before flooding occurs.
• Discuss flood plans with your family; everyone should know what to do in case family members are not together when a flood occurs.
• Evacuate immediately if advised to do so.
• Keep emergency supplies on hand, such as non-perishable food, medicine, maps, a flashlight and first-aid kit.
• Use extreme caution when returning to flood damaged homes or businesses.
• Familiarize yourself with severe weather watch/warning terms such as those used to identify flooding hazards:

o Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
o Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
o Flash Flood Watch: Rapid rises on streams and rivers are possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
o Flash Flood Warning: Rapid rises on streams and rivers are occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
For complete tips on getting prepared for a tornado, severe storm, or flooding, visit or our mobile site (

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties as a result of the recent tornadoes and severe storms can begin applying for assistance today by registering online at, by web enabled mobile device at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.