By Davina Witts
Santa Clara County Fire Department will be holding its last CERT Refresher class of the year in two weeks’ time. The topic is Communication and Documentation, and I really encourage you to attend if you possibly can.
All training classes are important but this one is, arguably, the most fundamental. The reason I say this is that the county-wide training exercise at Moffett Field a few weeks ago demonstrated that, however good we are at the various skills taught during our CERT training, if we don’t know how to properly record the information we gather from our neighborhoods and communicate it to the Emergency Operations Center then our usefulness will be significantly reduced.
So, particularly, if you weren’t able to be at the recent exercise, please do try to attend the refresher on Dec 5th:
Saratoga Prospect Center, Wednesday Dec 5th, 6.30-8.30pm:
Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!
Argonaut CERT Captain
From Michael Fox N6MEF at Santa Clara County ARES/RACES:
There is an ICS 400 class on Dec 17-18 down in Marina (just north of Monterey).
See the www.bauasitep.org site to sign up if you are interested.
CaliforniaVolunteers is the State Administrator for the CERT program in California. As the State Administrator, our responsibilities are to provide technical support and guidance for local CERT programs as well as vetting CERT Train-the-Trainer and Program Manager Course deliveries and instructors. We also provide training, conferences, workshops, and other support as funding and time permits. Suu-Va Tai at CaliforniaVolunteers is designated as the State Administrator for Citizen Corps and CERT. You can reach Suu-Va at email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or 916-524-3964. Please do not give this information to your volunteers. It is strictly for the CERT Program Managers and/or Sponsoring Agency point of contacts and other CERT leadership as needed.
Rebuilding the California CERT contact list
In an effort to strengthen the communication between the State and local CERT programs, we have created a survey to capture CERT Program Contact Information. Please take 2 minutes to complete this survey. The survey will ask for the contact information for the CERT program in general, the program manager, the sponsoring agency main point of contact, and up to 3 additional people from your program that you wish to be added to our contact list. These additional people can be other paid staff for the program or sponsoring agency, instructors, or volunteers with leadership roles. You can find the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CACERTContactList. Please take the time to complete this survey whether or not you are already getting emails from our office. In the future, we will be using this survey and the CERT registration website to populate our emails. If you are not on either of those lists, you will likely not get emails from our office regarding CERT in California and Nationally.
New CERT Website Launch
FEMA launched the new CERT website mid-August, 2018. With this new website, CERT programs will need to re-register their CERT program. FEMA imported existing CERT program data into the new website to help facilitate this. Many CERT programs received an email to re-register. You can also go to the website directly at https://community.fema.gov/Register/.
At this time, FEMA has identified several issues with the website including:
Please be patient as we work with FEMA to resolve these issues. If you have had issues with the website please send me a quick email to email@example.com along with the type of issue you are having. I will capture it and get back to you once there is a fix.
CERT Curriculum Update
FEMA is still in the process of finalizing the CERT Curriculum Update and should be releasing it soon. Here is some general information and guidance regarding the curriculum update:
Current estimates from FEMA are that the new curriculum is very close to release. I am now crossing my fingers that it will be before the end of 2018.
2018 National CERT Conference in Florida
Florida hosted the 2018 National Conference recently on August 22-25 in Naples, FL. Over 400 people attended the conference from over 25 States throughout the US. There were even attendees from Canada and Puerto Rico. Over 20 people were able to attend from California.
2019 CERT Conference in California
Due to the success of the National CERT Conference in Florida, many states are now interested in hosting a National CERT Conference. Missouri has been approved to host the National CERT Conference in 2020 and Mississippi and Ohio have both expressed interest for 2021 and 2022 respectively. To facilitate this, a National CERT Conference Committee has been formed to vet and approve National CERT Conference submissions as well as to support the host state in the planning efforts.
There is currently a void in 2019 for CERT Conferences. Therefore, CaliforniaVolunteers, in partnership with CERT programs throughout CA, will hold one. Working with many CERT programs in California, we spent the last few weeks looking at potential conference sites throughout the state. Based on date, price, and location we are happy to announce that the 2019 CERT Conference will be held at:
The Paradise Point Hotel and Spa in San Diego, CA, May 30 through June 1, 2019 with pre-conference training held May 27-May 29, 2019. The hotel is located at: 1404 Vacation Road San Diego, CA 92109
Here is the hotel link: https://www.destinationhotels.com/paradise-point
We have negotiated a fantastic rate of $140/night with tourism fees waived. Daily parking at the hotel is free and overnight parking is reduced 50% to $19 per night. The hotel is right in the bay and many rooms are literally a few feet from the beach. The hotel will honor the conference rate starting Sunday, May 26 for participants coming in for pre-conference training through Monday, June 3, 2019 for those that want to stay in San Diego for the weekend. The hotel has roughly 270 rooms/night at this available rate but they are all first come first serve (and available to the public as we are only holding 150 on the busy nights as part of the contract) so book early. You can always cancel if you do not make it to the conference (1-week notice).
We are still in the initial planning phase of the conference and more details (including registration) will be revealed soon. The hotel is currently setting up the group rate so please give them another week or two before calling to reserve your rooms.
If you would like to be on the emailing list for conference, updates please complete a short survey to enter your contact information at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019CERTCoferenceList
Currently over 30 people/CERT Programs have expressed interest to help with the planning efforts for the conference. If your CERT program is interested in helping with the planning or execution of the CERT conference, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how you want to help. Examples can be (by You, I mean you or someone at your program):
CERT Train-the-Trainer and Program Manager Course schedule
CaliforniaVolunteers received some training funds from Cal OES and will be sponsoring several CERT Train-the-Trainer and/or Program Manager Courses in the following jurisdictions. Below is the list of the training with dates and as a point of contact to email if you are interested:
In addition, the follow CERT Train-the-trainer courses will be delivered by a local jurisdiction:
G288 and G489 Course Deliveries
As you may know, California is the lead agency in California for Volunteer and Donations Management during a Disaster. Two core trainings for managing volunteer and donations during disasters include the G288 Volunteer and Donations Management and G489 Management of Spontaneous Volunteers during a disaster courses. CaliforniaVolunteers has received training funds from Cal OES and will be conducting these courses as a combined 2-day course in the following counties:
CERT Workshop – CERT and 501(c)(3)
Earlier this year we held a CERT workshop on disaster response. CaliforniaVolunteers is currently planning some workshops around CERT and 501(c)(3) where we will discuss current best practices. These will be scheduled early in 2019. If your program has a 501(c)(3) and you consider yourself a subject matter expert please let me know. FEMA may also hold a nation webinar on CERT and 501(c)(3) and we will be looking for presenters for this webinar.
Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Program
Anita Chant, who has been the Program Manager for the Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Program for many years, is retiring on November 2, 2018. Don Glueckert at Cal OES will be taking over the program. You can reach Don at Donald.Glueckert@CalOES.ca.gov. The DSW Volunteer program will also be moving from the Preparedness Branch over to the Human Resources. If you are interested in sending Anita a card, you can send it to:
Ca Office of Emergency Services
Attn: Anita Chant – Preparedness Branch
3650 Schriever Avenue
Mather, CA 95655
There will be people at OES who will make sure Anita gets the cards even if they arrive after her retirement.
CaliforniaVolunteers has recently started working with a company called Sigma. Sigma is a free platform for organizations to track the qualifications and achievements of their members. CERT programs can use this as a free platform to track volunteer activity such as training, events, and deployments. We will test this system by using it to track CERT Train-the-Trainer and Program Manger participants over the next few months. If you are taking one of these classes, you will receive a Sigma “Merit” from our office showing that you have taken these classes. If this system works well we may retroactively insert past course participants into this system.
Lockheed Martin, a global security and aerospace company, recently offered to build a free App for CERT programs to use. They are committed to getting this app ready to launch (likely in beta format) at the CERT conference in May 2019. FEMA has approved this project and has designated our office to be the lead on this project. I will be gathering a group of CERT SMEs throughout the US to help give input on what this app should be and do to be useful for CERT. This app will be open source and free and will not include the name Lockheed Martin. It will also not include CERT or FEMA as FEMA is not paying or entering into a contract with Lockheed for this app. This also means the app can be designed to benefit other volunteer groups such as Fire Corps or VOAD groups and what not. If you would like to be part of the initial discussions (likely a few conference calls to brainstorm), please complete this survey. If you think you are an IT savvy and want to be part of this effort beyond the initial brainstorming please note it on the survey. Please note that while the brain storming calls should be able to include anyone, I will have to limit the participants for the actual project, especially since I have to include people outside CA.
Bay Area CERT Coalition
Several CERT programs in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area have joined to form a Bay Area CERT Coalition. This group meetings quarter to share information, discuss how they can work together, and share information, training, and resources. If you are interested in learning or want to join, please contact Maggie Lang at email@example.com.
Los Angeles County CERT Council
The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management is working with LA County CERT programs to create a LA County CERT Council. If your program is in LA County and you would like to join this council or learn more, please email Chris Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You are the Help Until Help Arrives Training
FEMA released a new 3-hour training called You are the Help Until Help Arrives last year. This class focuses on teaching participants 5 key steps that can save a life during an emergency:
You can download the training materials here: https://community.fema.gov/until-help-arrives. This class was delivered at the National CERT Conference in Florida and had great reviews.
In 2018, FEMA started a series of videos called Preptalks. Basically Ted talks except the subject is always preparedness/emergency management related. You can view the list of Preptalks here: https://www.fema.gov/preptalks
Things you should already know but in case you didn’t
by Davina Witts
The October county-wide combined CERT and amateur radio drill at Moffat field was a great experience. The focus for CERT was search, damage assessment, triage, first aid and incident command. The ham folks – Amateur Radio Emergency Services/Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (ARES/RACES) – practiced emergency communications.
Six separate Incident Command Posts (ICPs) were set up, each matched with an ARES/RACES team. This allowed the CERT participants to complete the 3-hour exercise in small groups of about 10 people to each Incident Command (IC)—enabling a lot of hands on experience and really good learning. I was assigned as a mentor to IC Bravo. Our simulated neighborhood consisted of a floor inside a derelict building. The CERT participants first split into two groups of about 5 each. One group searched the neighborhood, conducted triage, rescue and first aid while communicating via radio to the ICP. The ICP recorded the location of the team, noted building conditions, injuries and so on; and then communicated the relevant information to the ARES/RACES team, who in turn communicated with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Then, after about 90 minutes, the groups swapped over.
The 3 key take aways for me are:
Hello CERT colleagues throughout the County. I’m writing to ask you to invite your CERT community to attend Campbell CERT’s 2nd annual fundraising event: a Taste of Campbell. The event this year will include wine tasting, beer tasting, food from local restaurants, and live music. It will feature raffle prizes, a silent auction, and wine sales (below retail). Participating wineries include Tessora’s Barra di Vino, Testarossa, Katherine Kennedy, and more.
The Taste of Campbell event will be held on Saturday, November 3, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm at the Orchard City Banquet Hall, Campbell Community Center, 1 West Campbell Avenue, Campbell CA. All proceeds from this event help to pay for emergency supplies, equipment, and training in support of our community. Campbell CERT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Tickets are sold only in advance; see Taste of Campbell Tickets. Tickets cost $38 now, or $45 after 10/26.
I will be working, not tasting, that day but I hope to see some CERT colleagues at the event.
Campbell CERT Program Manager
Santa Clara County is looking for sixty victim volunteers for our annual CERT exercise and if you have students that would like to participate we would love to have them. We could provide a letter showing their volunteer time if you encourage community participation. Or if you have something else in place and we maybe able to participate let me know.
Below is some information about what we would like the victims to do.
Please help us create an excellent exercise for our Santa Clara County CERT members as Victim Volunteers.
Exercise scope: The CERT teams from across Santa Clara County will meet on Oct 27th at Moffett Field for a joint exercise. Any CERT who is a member of one of the Santa Clara County CERT organizations.
During the exercise, CERTs will:
* Practice responding to a major earthquake with extensive damage, injuries, and fatalities
* Practice search & rescue
* Practice triage and medical treatment
* Practice setting up an incident command post and using radios for communication.
What you will do: Victim volunteers really make the exercise. You will be given scenarios and placed in the old barracks for the CERT teams to find you TRIAGE and treat you based upon your scenario. You are encouraged to get into the roles as much as you wish. After you check in you will be given your scenarios and assignments.
When: There are two sessions and you may select either session or participate in both sessions. First session starts at 8:00am and the second starts at 11:50am both last about three hours.
What to bring: You will need to be at least 18 years old to gain access to the Federal site and will need to complete a waiver at check-in. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Dress appropriatley for the weather, long pants, closed toe shoes and long sleeve shirt is recommended, prepare to get a little dirty, Identification is needed to get through the security gates at the base.
Eventbrite registration link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/santa-clara-county-cert-exercisevictims-oct-27-2018-moffett-field-tickets-50756210191
City of Saratoga Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
Cox CERT Division
Meeting held: Wednesday, 26 September 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. at the home of Lori Stafford.
Saratoga CERT meeting attendees:
procedures generated by Morris Jones and other Saratoga HAM/ARES/
ACTION ITEMS TO COMPLETE BEFORE NEXT DIVISIONAL MEETING:
NEXT COX CERT DIVISIONAL MEETING:
Wednesday, 14 November 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to approximately 7:30 p.m.
location: Lori Stafford’s house
It is anticipated that this meeting will focus on the planning for a division-
wide field training exercise, which will practice simulated activation
procedures and CERT post-disaster responsibilities (i.e., standing up of a local
command post, neighborhood damage assessment, victim extraction
procedures, emergency first aid/triage, disaster documentation, and FRS/HAM
radio procedures and usage).