Thursday, September 11, 2014

Outreach Roundup: September 11, 2014

First off, on this September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, let's take a moment to say we'll never forget, and always prepare.

Welcome to the Fairfax County CERT Outreach Roundup, where we highlight recent Outreach activities and point out opportunities for you to get involved with events in the next 30-60 days (and beyond)!

Upcoming Outreach Events

We're going to flip the script, as we have some urgent needs that popped up for CERTs to help at Outreach events, where we help our community be more prepared for disasters and encourage them to take Fairfax County CERT training.

For more information and to volunteer for an event, click the volunteer management system (VMS) sign-up link (where available) or email

Saturday, Sept. 13: Pimmit Hills Day -- we really need 1-2 CERTs to staff an Outreach table at this family-friendly event at Olney Park in the Falls Church area. 10:30AM-4:30PM. Sign-up: Outreach Lead.

Wednesday, Sept. 24: NVCC Zombie Preparedness Day -- Zombies invade the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College to raise awareness for National Preparedness Month. The CERT Moulage team will be doing the zombie makeup, and we need 1-2 more CERTs to spread the word about preparedness and CERT. 10:30AM-2:00PM. Sign-up: Outreach Lead.

Saturday, Sept. 27: National Public Lands Day -- NPLD is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Volunteers at the Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area in Lorton will be helping repair Hidden Pond Trail and clear the pond's bank. 2-3 CERTs are needed to staff an Outreach booth. 9:00AM-12:00 noon. Click to sign up.

(In addition, there's an Operational role for CERTs to help out as medical observers.)

Oct. 4-5: Fall for Fairfax Kidsfest -- Many CERTs are needed for the Outreach booth at this popular kid-focused event at the Fairfax County Government Center. The event runs from 10AM-7PM Saturday; 10AM-5PM Sunday. Multiple CERTs needed for each of the three shifts on Saturday and two shifts on Sunday. Click to sign up for one or more shifts.

Oct. 11: Fire Prevention Week, Fire Station Open Houses -- Team Leader and event staffer positions still available! This is a big one; we need CERTs to staff Outreach tables at fire stations all around Fairfax County. The more CERTs we can get, the better. Sign-up: Outreach Lead (VMS link pending)

Outreach Recap

The highlight of our Outreach efforts was the Ready-Set-Know! Fairfax County Disaster Preparedness Expo at last weekend's Burke Centre Festival.

Organized by CERT's own James Sobecke (wearing his Citizen Corps Council hat), the event highlighted disaster preparedness and featured volunteers from Fairfax County CERT, American Red Cross, Medical Reserve Corps, Volunteer Fairfax, and the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management.

American Red Cross's Marco Johnson and Fairfax County CERT's James Sobecke help a festivalgoer in disaster wound makeup at the Wheel of Disaster. Photo: Tracy Friend, Volunteer Fairfax.
In addition to promoting CERT, CERTs worked with other volunteers to help show people how to build a 72-hour emergency kit and develop a family disaster plan. Photo: Adam Samuels.
A highlight of the event was free disaster makeup done by the Moulage team for attendees of all ages:

The disaster makeup table was popular all weekend. Over 400 visitors received fake wounds. Photo: Joe Loong.
Festival attendee before and after he gets his fake wound. Photo: Joe Loong.
Over the course of the weekend-long festival, CERTs helped reach over 2,000 attendees, helping them increase their preparedness, and encouraging them to take CERT training (including the CERT Class 88 training starting October 9 at the Burke Conservancy.)

More Highlights

Other Outreach activities were on a slightly smaller scale, but no less important:

* CERTs Jonathan Kiell, Gary Nisker, and Adam Samuels staffed a table at the Fort Belvoir Defense Logistics Agency Preparedness Fair on September 4, generating a great deal of interest and a possible future CERT training class:

DLA employees were very receptive to the CERT message. Photo: Jonathan Kiell

* CERTs participated in the Springfield BridgeWalk on August 26, staffing an Outreach booth and participating in the march:

Jeff McKay, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, shakes hands with Fairfax County CERTs during the 2014 BridgeWalk. Photo: Linda Waller, Office of Supervisor Jeffrey C. McKay.
* On National Night Out (the first Tuesday in August), several CERTs (including Donna Hosek and her son, a frequent CERT victim actor) helped teach their neighbors about CERT:

CERT display at the Middleridge National Night Out activities. Photo: Donna Hosek
For more information about these events or any other Outreach activities, please email the Outreach team at Thanks, and we hope to see you at an upcoming event!

Char Silberstein is Outreach Lead for Fairfax County CERT. You can email her at

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