CERT Basic Training – Willow Style
Willow CERT completed its first ever 20 hr Basic CERT Training. 32 students, ranging in age from 1 to 78. Wonderful group, very honored to have them participate. Highlight of graduation was the support from our local and state government officials, Borough Assemblyman -Randall Kowalke, Borough Director of Emergency Services – Otto Feather, Borough Emergency Program Manager – Casey Cook and a representative from the Alaska Dept of Public Safety representing the Governors office – Hans Brinke. Thank you to all the students, victim volunteers for our exercise, to our current CERT team, our sponsors MTA,MEA, MVFCU, WACO, Red Cross, LEPC, Willow Fire, our CERT liasion Heather Ridge and Casey Cook who believed in us.
Trunk or Treat
Willow CERT worked to promote safety in the parking lot for a fantastic trunk or treat at the Willow Community Center for the 3rd year. Thanks to the Willow Library, Fire Dept, EMS all the wonderful community members that make this a fun and safe night for the families.
Field Trip to LDS Food Storage
Willow C.E.R.T. was invited to participate in a tour of the L.D.S. food warehouse on Bodenburg Loop in Palmer. We were joined by other C.E.R.T. members from other parts of the borough. They came from the borough team and the Wasilla team was there as well. Roger, one of our hosts, explained that the L.D.S. warehouse was required to keep and maintain a ham radio station at the warehouse by the church. We were given a short tour of the facility and the history of the farm. After this, we were invited to shop at the store that is open to anyone. By Mark Allan
Willow CERT participates at Thanksgiving Blessing
While most of the the Willow CERT team spent their Satuday working at the training class one lone CERT member volunteered his time helping at the annual Thanksgiving Blessing hosted at the Methodist Church.
Matanusk-Susitna Borough Recognized citizens for CERT
On Dec 6, Otto Feather, Director of Emergency Services, attended the WACO meeting to recognize two of the members who have made significant contributions to the Borough’s emergency preparedness programs. Kathy Watkins and Brenda McCain were both awarded Challenge Coins for their contributions.
This article was originally posted at ADN here by Laurel Andrews.
Winter weather is settling in over Alaska. Are you ready? Here are tips for preparing your home and vehicle, and taking care of yourself during the winter months.
Protect water lines from freezing. Disconnect water hoses from the outside of your house and make sure outdoor water spigots are closed. Make sure you know where the shutoff valves are in your house, so if pipes break, you can turn the water off.
Winterize your home. Check for drafts around water and heating lines, and insulate if you need to. Make sure windows are well sealed. Now is the time to patch up any leaks and replace shingles or metal fasteners on your roof. Clean the gutters so spring runoff moves away from your home unobstructed.
(More information on home energy efficiency can be found online at Cold Climate Housing Research Center and Alaska Housing Finance Corp. Check out this interactive Northern homes page for more tips. Also, some Alaskans may qualify for AHFC’s free weatherization program.)
Have maintenance and inspections done on your heating sources, like furnace and wood stove. Stock up on wood or other fuel.
Along with working smoke alarms, make sure carbon monoxide detectors are installed and have working batteries. Carbon monoxide is odorless and fatal and was responsible for the deaths of at least two Alaskans in the past few months in both Southcentral and the Interior.
The Alaska Department of Homeland Security recommends getting a seven-day emergency kit together for potential disasters, including winter storms that may knock out power.
The kit should include 1 gallon of water per person, per day; food with a long shelf life; flashlights; and first-aid kits. Also recommended are any medications your family needs; a battery-operated radio; a small tool kit, plus items like duct tape and rope; hygiene products, including some bags and a bucket for managing human waste; a heat source that’s safe for indoor use; cellphone chargers; emergency blankets; a whistle and signal mirror; and a generator.
The agency also recommends having an emergency go-bag, which you can grab should you need to leave your home in a hurry. One thing that’s often overlooked? Critical documents, such as birth certificates and insurance information. Having these on hand will speed up your recovery time, should you need to file claims after a disaster.
Lastly, make a plan with your family on what to do in case of an emergency, and afterward.
4th of July
This was the 3rd year that Willow CERT worked to promote safety at the Willow Independence Day Parade. Just prior to the parade, CERT members reviewed the WACO parade safety guidelines with participants. CERT members walked the route assessing the for hazards and facilitating at road crossings. Submitted by Brenda McCain
Willow CERT trains in Cordova
Willow CERT had the opportunity to assist the Cordova CERT with some basic CERT training classes s well as participate in a tsuanmi “RACE the Wave” teaching kids how to build a grab and go bag for emergencies. What an awesome opportunity for building relationships with other CERT teams in Alaska.
By Kathy Watkins
Let me introduce you to Norm Wakeman a valued member of the Willow CERT team. Norm was born and raised in Claremont, NH and graduated from Stevens High School; and later graduated from Keene State College where he e enjoyed being part of the ski team, lacrosse and soccer teams. Norm went on to teach Industrial Arts at Woodstock Union High School and was the ski coach there. When Norm left teaching to work for the USDA Soil Conservation services, now known as the National Resources Conservation Service where he returned to Claremont. In the early days, his job consisted of surveying then moved into the management side with more office work. His final position was with the New England Water Resources Dept. Norm took an early retirement to work as a consultant in survey design and the supervision of construction. In Norm’s free time, he worked with the Outward Bound program with Stevens High School for 20 years. (The Outward Bound program is the premier provider of experience-based outdoor leadership programs for youth and adults). Norm also spent 30 years with the US Army Reserves and taught Hunter Education for the State of New Hampshire for 25 years. Norm served several years on the Claremont Conservation Commission and Historical District Commission. We are so glad that Norm chose Willow Alaska to call home. He is a sure asset to our team.
Sutton Safety Fair
4 members of our Willow CERT team assisted the Matsu borough in promoting the CERT program at the Sutton Safety Fair in July. Thank you to Mark, Margot, Paul and John for their time and commitment to the program.
Talkeetna Community Picnic
Mark Allan, Heather Ridge and Kathy Watkins had the opportunity to share CERT at the annual Talkeetna Community picnic on Sat. Aug 12th. Great connections were made.
MatSu Emergency Preparedness Expo
Sept found the Willow CERT team actively engaged as part of the preparedness expo. The opportunity to demonstrate to the public skills we learn as part of the 20 hour training program.
CERT demonstrated the process of cribbing and leveraging and a few proper ways to remove trapped victims. With the happenings around the US and Mexico with the hurricanes and earthquakes, this was a most timely demonstration. In addition Willow CERT provided tools for kids on how to build their own “grab and go bags” with a list of items to include. A raffle of two “kid specific” grab and go bags was raffled off.
Willow CERT receives FEMA recognition for Outstanding Citizen Corps Partner Program. Congratulations to our team for all their dedication hard work and belief in what the CERT program stands for.
SAVE THE DATES
Wed Oct 10th Field Trip to Pyrah’s U-pick Farm (LDS warehouse for emergency food)
Sat Oct 21st SuValley Health Fair
Sat Oct 28th CERT mtg location tbd
Oct 31st Trunk or Treat
Nov 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th CERT basic training
Dec ?? Christmas Party day & location tbd
CERT WINTER MTG SCHEDULE
Beginning in Oct. Willow CERT meetings are being changed to Saturdays from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Actual dates and locations will be determined on a month-to-month basis.
Thanks to Sunshine Community Health Center for their generous donation of “expired” fist aid supplies for our training exercise in Nov. Your support of the CERT program is greatly appreciated.
Sharing an email from the Red Cross requesting assistance from HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS currently licensed for possible deployment to Texas.
“Below is the information about direct deployment opportunities for non-Red Cross health professionals.
I hope you will share this with in as many places as possible…. social media, professional organizations, your local health department, health coalitions, hospitals, etc.”
Health and mental health professionals for are needed to deploy for Hurricane Harvey. Please share this link with your members and networks: http://www.redcross.org/…/hurricane-harvey-health-professio…
Please plan to join us at this exciting event at the Menard Sports Center in Wasilla!