Sunday, September 7, 2008

Community Emergency Response Team....

September 7, 2008, about 10 am...

As we move forward in the Jamesburg and Cachagua community to develop our own citizen's emergency action group, we might find useful a program called Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) offered without charge by "Citizen Corps" which is a program sponsored by FEMA, which is of course, under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Here's what their webpage says about the CERT program:
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for 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. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
The CERT program is well-developed and free of charge. If we wished to start a Jamesburg and Cachagua CERT-based program, here's a link that suggests the steps that a community group takes in order to do so.

Supervisor Dave Potter has already offered the service of his office to assist (the CERT program asks for a local elected leader to sponsor the local program, so this would be a perfect first-use of the supervisor's resources).

If you'd like to get an idea about what the training materials are like, you can try out a few by following this link.

The Big Sur NERT Concept...

In addition to CERT, a while back, while attending one of the Big Sur Multi Agency Advisory Meetings (BSMAAC), Penny Vieregge, a long-time time, active and respected resident of Big Sur, brought up an effort, mounted in 1996, to address local fire preparedness. 

Chief Frank Pinney also chimed in, in support of revisiting the Community Emergency Response Plan, of which he was also a part.

Here are some notes, provided by Peggy, from the previous program. The plan is a 5-module approach, which involves Disaster Emergency Training provided by the Red Cross in order to create a context for emergency preparedness.  But, it doesn't stop there...

The plan assumes that neighborhood groups, or "enclaves"- any small, distinct area or group enclosed or isolated within a larger one, will identify and address it's own distinct needs. 

For example, in our area, an enclave could be as "broad" as Jamesburg and/or Cachagua, or as discrete as Trampa Canyon, Chews Ridge, Princes Camp, Sky Ranch, and the like.

The enclaves are as we define them... we simply want the delineations to make practical sense.

The enclaves will communicate with each other in an emergency and in non-emergencies, they'll maintain and enhance their preparedness, periodically.

Here are some of the features of the Big Sur plan ("NERT" - a predecessor of "CERT" are conceptually the same):
  • Identification of enclaves with mapping, communications, safe areas and evacuation routes for Coastlands (Upper, Middle and Lower Roads) and Pfieffer Ridge (upper and lower). Areas, from Palo Colorado south to the County line identified by watershed, access roads, alternate escape routes
Three training frameworks in preparation, responding and recovery in place: 
  • Module I - Self and Family
  • Module II - Neighborhood; and, 
  • Module III - Community

Module I
Training provided by American Red Cross (ARC) - Intro to Disaster 
  • Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) - Disaster Awareness Personal
  • Family
  • Workplace

Training Provided by NERT
  • Emergency Response Team

Training provided by ARC
  • Disaster Action Teams 
  • Incident Command System from Family to State 

Training provided by ARC and NERT -
Family Planning for:
  • Fire/Flood 
  • Road closures 

Module II
  • Within the family 
  • Within the enclave
  • With command agency 
Info Updating

Module III
ARC /NERT - Disaster Psychology
  • Windup after Disaster 
  • Recovery Re-occupation Safety, 
  • Hazard Assessment Available agency assistance debriefing 
  • Re-assessment of planning 

Module IV 
Trained enclaves to meet with professional agencies for a review of:
  • Safe areas
  • Evacuation/staging areas
  • Introduction of enclave leaders (based on the ICS)
  • Inventory list exchange; and, 
  • Communications methods, protocols and contacts

No comments: