Happy July 4th from WillowCERT!

Whereas this is the first year in many that we were unable to meet and celebrate as a group, following are a few photos from a previous July 4th that make us feel good to have been a part of the festivities.

July 4 2016 CERT_009

 

FEMA Updates Community Emergency Response Team Training

The following article originally appeared at arrl.net.

FEMA conducted a webinar on January 8 on the release of the updated Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic training curriculum. Presenters shared the reasons for the changes, highlighted best practices, and shared impacts of the updated training. Participants learned how trainers can deliver the updated training and how to order materials. This was the second of two webinars about the updated CERT Basic training curriculum, though the webinars presented similar information. Recordings of the webinars can be found here.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.

The updated CERT Basic Training can be found here. It features a revised Disaster Medical Operations section, updated Terrorism and CERT section, and new hazard-specific annexes. Find the new curriculum materials online and order free copies from the FEMA publications warehouse beginning January 8, 2020. The CERT Basic Training includes research-validated guidance for CERT programs to teach members what to do before, during, and after the hazards their communities may face. The materials in the training include instructor guides, participant manuals, and hazard annex slide decks. The FEMA Independent Study IS-317: Introduction to CERT can be taken online before or during training.

[ARRL is an affiliate under the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizen Corps programs–Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Service, Community Emergency Response Teams and Medical Reserve Corps. The mission is public preparedness and safety. In other words, neighborhood and community volunteers serve as the “help until the help arrives.” Radio amateurs are ideal candidates for the CERT program owing to their unique ability to communicate within their neighborhoods and communities for local emergency communications, but also when the need exists for communications with the outside world.]

WillowCERT Basic Training 2020

Basic CERT classes will be held at Station 6-5 680 N. Seward Meridian Parkway Wasilla AK 99654.

One class will be held on 7 weekday evenings or –
Tuesday Jan 28th, Feb 4th, Feb 11th and Feb 18th and
Thursday Jan 30th, Feb 6th, and Feb 13th from 6pm-9pm each day.

The other class will be held on two weekends –
Saturday Feb 8th and 15th and Sunday Feb 9th and 16th from 9am to 4pm each day.

Please follow the below link for more details.

CERT Basic Training flyer for 6-5

20 hour CERT Basic class in Willow

See the original article here.

The first weekend of the 20 hour CERT Basic class in Willow was excellent. We have an outstanding group of students ranging in age from 15-80, all dedicated to learning more about Emergency Preparedness. Thank you to Willow Fire Department, MSB Emergency Services and Bill Mackreth for the excellent training provided.
We look forward to next weekend!

Thank you to all the volunteers from Willow CERT and Talkeetna CERT that worked tirelessly to make this all happen.

Thank you WACO, MVFCU and MEA for their generous grants and to Sunshine Transit and Sunshine Clinic for supporting this event.

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Deshka Landing Fire Public Meeting – Thursday 8/22/19

Deshka Landing Fire Wildfire
Announcements – 12 hrs. ago

The Deshka Landing Fire will be the subject of an information meeting for interested parties at 6:30 p.m.on Thursday evening, August 22nd at the Willow Elementary School in Willow, Alaska. The meeting will start with a presentation about the status of the fire and the ongoing suppression efforts.

Personnel from the McKinley Fire along the Park Highway will also be in attendance to provide current information. Time will be available for one-on-one discussions with fire personnel.

For more fire information, please visit https://akfireinfo.com/ and https://m.facebook.com/AK.Forestry/

 

My PI Alaska – National Youth Preparedness Initiative

This week in Anchorage, My PI National installs its 21st program and welcomes 14 new instructors for the initial deliveries of this three-time, national award-winning youth preparedness/youth leadership program in the the 49th state. We are excited to welcome My PI Alaska and see the passion of our instructors who no doubt see and believe in the promise of our youth.#MyPI #YouthPreparedness #PlanAhead My PI National UAA: University of Alaska Anchorage Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

4 Willow CERT Members and Mat Su Borough Emergency Services people are training to be MyPI instructors in Youth Preparedness in the Mat Su Valley. Others are from UAA, the AK Military Youth Academy, Valdez and rural AK.  Photos to follow.

Keeping Lines of Communication Open–CERT & Ham Radio

[This article is from the July 2019 issue of the FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter.]

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members know that communication during an emergency is vital. Don Lewis of the Alexandria Radio Club in Virginia wants CERTs around the country to know how Amateur Radio can help.

Amateur Radio is a useful tool. Lewis, who is trained in CERT, explained that ham radios are more powerful than regular radios. They aren’t incredibly expensive, and they have a wide range of uses.

Sometimes CERTs may need to work together throughout a large area. They need to be able to report things that they have found. They sometimes even need to request medical support. Using a radio is easier, safer, and more efficient than sending a person back with messages, says Lewis. Ham radios enable a CERT to communicate over much greater distances than standard radios. This can improve the level at which a CERT can coordinate. CERTs already use ham radios in exercises and they have extended their range and effectiveness.

The City of Berkeley, California’s CERT has already begun using ham radio in city-wide disaster drills. In the winter of 2018, they held a 24-hour mock disaster where they practiced their ham radio skills to better prepare their city. They were able to maintain communications in the whole city for the entire 24-hour exercise. This allowed them to relay critical information to citizens and disaster crews. They were also able to use hams to aid the city during a blackout in November of 2017. The CERTs used solar powered batteries in their ham radios. This allowed them to function even when power and phones were down.

Amateur Radio protocols are also built into Pasadena, California’s emergency management system. The area experiences earthquakes several times a year. The quakes can destroy cell towers and phones lines in an instant. Amateur Radio can be a huge asset during a disaster like this, so Pasadena has a network of radio operators trained to provide communications at any time they need. They can contact hospitals or fire stations to better serve their community. Ham operators can even aide families in contacting one another once a disaster has passed.

Are you interested in learning how to operate a ham radio of your own to serve your community? Then the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) may be for you. They are a group of radio operators who volunteer for various disasters and public service events. They can provide guidance for training, equipment, and licensing.