Thursday, December 22, 2011

Remember, you never know what you'll find...

Remember during the Hazards class I talked about you never know what you'll find in someone else's house? Remember the part about people possibly having war relics stashed away? Well, I bring you news out of York, Maine:

YORK, Maine — While cleaning out the house of a World War II veteran, a local resident found a souvenir from conflict: A Japanese hand grenade.

Not knowing whether the grenade was live or dangerous, the resident called police at about 2 p.m. Saturday. He was driving in his car with the grenade, and police advised him to pull over immediately, according to the police report.

York notified the Maine State Bomb Squad and a local officer and Sgt. Chris Harriman from the bomb squad met the resident in an open area behind the Meadowbrook Plaza on Route 1.
Harriman took the grenade back to the squad's headquarters in Gray, where experts didn't determine whether it was live or not, he said. They took no chances, detonating the grenade with explosives.

What's unusual about the incident, according to Harriman, is that it happens all the time.
"World War II memorabilia, we get them all the time," he said Wednesday. "We get close to 50 (calls) a year. Everything: Grenades, mortars, bomb fuses, rockets..."

Most are found by family members as they sort through the belongings of a loved one who served during World War II, Harriman said. In most instances, the family had no idea that a grenade or other potentially explosive souvenir was sitting in an attic, cellar, garage or closet for decades.


See, I don't just make all this stuff up. Most of it, maybe, but not all of it.


Monday, December 19, 2011

IC needed for the rescheduled CERT/Boy Scout Camporee March 24th-25th, 2012

Hi folks,

You may remember a few months ago that Fairfax County CERT was tasked to manage an emergency preparedness themed Boy Scout camporee. The event was to take place at the county fire academy; but was cancelled due to some technical difficulties.

The camporee has been rescheduled-the new dates for the camporee are Saturday March 24th and Sunday March 25th, 2012. The camporee will take place at the Fairfax County fire academy.

This camporee will involve up to 300 Boy Scouts and adult scout leaders. We are tasked to teach their emergency preparedness merit badge to them. In addition, the goal is to also train the Boy Scouts to Teen CERT level qualifications. This is a tall order folks-and we will need at least 35 to 40 CERT members to work this event and make it a rousing success.

In order to lead this event, we need an IC for it. This CERT will be in charge of the operations at the camporee. Working closely with CERT 12's Charles Monts (who organized and IC'ed the last camporee in 2007) the IC will be responsible for getting their teams together; organizing the training stations, ensuring safety and a myriad of other duties.

The IC for this event will put in some hours. Planning hours; learning hours, execution hours.... I won't lie to you-it's a challenge. A challenge in planning, executing and leading this event. Anytime you put 300 kids in one space for any period of time, it's a challenge! But, it is also a perfect opportunity for someone interested in being given a plan for a large, high profile event and executing it to a very high standard.

The ideal IC would be-a CERT 2 or 3 graduate current on their refresher classes status. A CERT that's wanting to lead a large, important "real deal" type event. Someone willing to put in the hours to make it happen. Someone wanting to truly make a difference-not only to the CERT's you lead; but helping 300 kids grasp the principles of disaster preparedness and teaching them CERT techniques as well. Just think-the emergency preparedness concepts taught at the camporee could stay with these teens for a lifetime. That's what I call important, folks..........

Are you up to this task? Are you wanting a challenge? If you are, we're looking for YOU. Please contact me at with your name, email address and CERT class number.


The Fairfax County CERT 4 wheel drive registry

The 4 wheel drive registry started a few weeks ago has really been popular-thanks to all of those CERTs who have already signed up. The response has been very good to this request; CERT members from all over the county have already signed up.

The 4 wheel drive registry has been such a success that we wanted to repost the request. Here is the duty-
Using your personal 4 wheel drive vehicles, drivers on the CERT 4 wheel drive registry will help get doctors and nurses to hospitals, patients to dialysis treatment, etc. during snow events. This is a volunteer duty, and there are requirements to meet. The requirements are below:

1. Be a Fairfax County CERT-this is open to CERT basic, CERT 2 and CERT 3 graduates.
2. Have a 4 wheel drive vehicle.
3. Your vehicle must be properly registered and insured to operate on Virginia roads.
4. A desire to help.....
5.Your name.
6.Your CERT class number.
7. Your contact info-home/ cell number, email address and home address (for GIS mapping and dispatching purposes)
8. How many passengers can your 4x4 hold (each passenger in your vehicle must have a seatbelt)

When the next snowstorm comes up, the drivers listed on the registry would be activated- county entities would tell the drivers where the passengers are located. The CERT member picks up the passengers and drives them to (or from) the hospital or treatment center or location as the situation dictates.
Contact me, Judy Howell at or if you wish to be included in the CERT 4 wheel drive registry.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Team Lead Applications due Monday, December 19th

Within the past two weeks, you should have received an email assigning you to one of six teams within the county. (Contact Susy at If you haven’t) We are actively looking for leaders for each of these teams. We have received some interest, but we still need your help. Contact Jack at to apply or for more information about the positions. Please apply by the 19th or at least let us know that you are planning on applying and when we can receive your application.

Also, if you haven’t done so already, please send your roster updates to Susy at

We need your help to make our teams a success in 2012!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Teams and Leadership Opportunities!

This week, emails were sent out to the Fairfax County CERT membership to make folks aware of the establishment of six new geographically-based Fairfax County CERT teams (North, South, East, West, Central, and North Central) and to assign each CERT member to one of the teams six based on his/her home address on record. If you didn’t receive the email, please email Susy, CERT Teams Coordinator, at and she will send you a copy.

As we stand up the new teams, we’ll be looking for energetic and motivated individuals to lead each of them. A position description and application for the Team Lead positions was included with the email. If you are interested in taking a lead role in your local CERT team, please consider applying! Completed applications or questions should be sent to Jack, CERT Teams Section Chief, at Applications should be submitted by December 19, 2011.