Sunday, May 27, 2012

Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday - May 25-31

Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness
Sales Tax Holiday - May 25-31

Read more about hurricanes at

It’s smart to get ready for hurricane and flash flooding season, which arrives June 1st. And it’s smart to save money.
You can do both by shopping for such products as batteries, food storage containers, generators, first aid kits, bottled water, radios and more between May 25 and 31. When you do, you won’t pay sales tax on many useful products that cost up to $60 or on generators costing $1,000 or less. That’s a savings of 5 percent.
A complete list of exempt items is available at
Purchasing supplies is important, but it’s critical to make a family emergency plan. Protect your family now by making a plan. It’s free, it’s simple, and it will make a big difference. Start at the Ready Virginia home page, where you can learn about three simple, low-cost steps to prepare your family or business for hurricanes, flooding and many other hazards.

Hurricane Preparedness Starts with You!

Hurricane Preparedness Starts with You!

It’s that time of year again! The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1 and lasts through November 30. As with any disaster, it’s critical you prepare yourself, your family, and your community for these severe storms and their cascading hazards (e.g. flooding, tornadoes, landslides, high winds, power outages). Families, individuals and businesses who know their risk and what actions to take can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

Now is an excellent time for Citizen Corps Councils across the country to once again start engaging with their communities about this season’s protective actions, available resources and general preparedness activities. FEMA and NOAA are also striving to increase the public’s awareness about this dominant season by hosting National Hurricane Preparedness Week May 27 – June 2.

In the days leading up to Hurricane Preparedness Week, take some time to review the recent webinar Citizen Corps hosted about preparing individuals and communities for these storms. Additionally, Pledge to Prepare and take part in the National Preparedness Coalition where you can connect with like-minded preparedness peers from across the country to share ideas, learn new approaches, and stay up to date on important activities and events!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Welcome CERT class 60 and 61 –Exercise-Exercise-Exercise

Hurricane Victoria, a category 3 storm roared by the east coast and made landfall with a direct hit to Fredericksburg, VA on May 3, 2012. By May 5th, Hurricane Victoria had been downgraded to a tropical storm after dropping 12 inches of rain in Northern Virginia. First responders from Fairfax county and surrounding jurisdictions were overwhelmed with high water rescues in the flooded areas of Great Falls, Bell Haven and Alexandria. Fairfax County CERT was activated to assist a retirement community in the Lorton area.
Upon arrival at the retirement community, the CERT Incident Commander (IC), Bjorn B. set up his command post. After a safety briefing, IC Bjorn B. assigned CERT Tierney M. to Medical and directed her to set up her Medical area at the community center. CERT Robert M. was assigned Logistics, CERT Crystal B. was assigned to the command post to assist the IC as Accountability.
CERT teams were sent out throughout the community to do initial size-ups and report back as to the extent of the damage to the community and to bring back any walking wounded. Other teams were assigned to assist CERT Tierney M. in the Medical area.
Mean while CERT Tierney M., set –up the Medical area with a victim sign-in and designated areas for Red, victims needing immediate medical assistance, Yellow, victims that medical assistance could be delayed and Green, or walking wounded. A team that was assigned to CERT Robert M. brought medical supplies to the Medical area.
As CERT teams reported back to IC Bjorn B., they and other CERT teams were assigned to enter lightly damaged homes to search for and rescue victims.
As the day progressed, CERT teams found and brought out victims from damaged homes in the community and brought them to Medical for treatment.
That evening, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue was able to free up 4 EMTs and an ambulance from Vienna fire station #2. The ambulance crew came on scene and was briefed by the CERT IC. It was determined that the ambulance crew would go to the Medical area and start transporting the most seriously injured.
All victims were found. The exercise was completed. Lunch was provided and CERT graduation certificates were issued. Another successful CERT final exercise was completed at the old Lorton Juvenile Prison.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience

Do you know any outstanding leaders to nominate? The Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience is the Department of Homeland Security’s first national resilience award for superior leadership and innovation by a non-governmental individual or organization who exemplifies the qualities and achievements of Rick Rescorla, emphasizing leadership in effective preparation, response, and recovery in the face of disasters.

Eligible candidates may be nominated for the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience during the nomination period that closes on June 1, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. All nominations must be submitted by email to:

Eligibility and criteria as well as the nomination forms can be found on the DHS Website