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Citizen Corps + disaster/prep volunteer groups

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Citizen Corps + disaster/prep volunteer groups

Postby itsadisaster » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:27 pm

Bill and I have had the pleasure of working with thousands of First Responders over the past decade or so and wanted to share some data about the volunteer side of things in case any preppers want to learn more. (Note: I wasn’t sure where to post this so please move as needed!)


WHAT IS CITIZEN CORPS?

Citizen Corps was created to help coordinate volunteer activities that make the nation’s communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation. Citizen Corps is managed at local levels by Citizen Corps Councils, which bring together existing crime prevention, disaster preparedness, and public health response networks with the volunteer community and other groups.

CITIZEN CORPS PROGRAMS & PARTNERS

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) educate people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations and is usually delivered in 2-1/2 hour sessions, one evening a week over a 7 week period. Using their training, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event and can take a more active role in preparing their community. The program is administered by DHS. http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert

FEMA’s online "Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams", IS 317, is an independent study course that serves as an introduction to CERT for those wanting to complete training or as a refresher for current team members. It has six modules: Introduction to CERT, Fire Safety, Hazardous Material and Terrorist Incidents, Disaster Medical Operations, and Search and Rescue. It takes between 6 and 8 hours to complete the course. The IS 317 can be taken by anyone interested in CERT. However, to become a CERT volunteer, one must complete classroom training offered by a local government agency such as the emergency management agency, fire or police department. http://www.citizencorps.fema.gov/cert/IS317/

Teen CERT affected the lives of over 10,000 youth by enabling them to respond to crisis and events that require an advanced level of disaster response capabilities. But the program did not receive funding for 2010 so it is up to individual states to continue supporting this training. Eastern Michigan University has placed the CERT Instructor Guide, Student Manual and additional resource materials under the “downloads” menu. http://www.fema.gov/community-emergency ... ponse-team

Fire Corps promotes the use of citizen advocates to enhance the capacity of resource-constrained fire and rescue departments at all levels: volunteer, combination, and career. Citizen advocates can assist local fire departments in a range of activities including fire safety outreach, youth programs, and administrative support. Fire Corps is funded through DHS and is managed and implemented through a partnership between the National Volunteer Fire Council, the International Association of Fire Fighters, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. http://www.firecorps.org


Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) strengthens communities by helping medical, public health and other volunteers offer their expertise throughout the year as well as during local emergencies and other times of community need. MRC volunteers work in coordination with existing local emergency response programs and also supplement existing community public health initiatives, such as outreach and prevention, immunization programs, blood drives, case management, care planning, and other efforts. The MRC program is administered by the Department of Health & Human Services. http://www.medicalreservecorps.gov


Neighborhood Watch incorporates terrorism awareness education into its existing crime prevention mission, while also serving as a way to bring residents together to focus on emergency preparedness and emergency response training. Funded by Department of Justice, Neighborhood Watch is administered by the National Sheriffs' Association. http://www.usaonwatch.org


Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) works to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement to utilize volunteers. VIPS serves as a gateway to resources and information for and about law enforcement volunteer programs. Funded by DOJ, VIPS is managed and implemented by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. http://www.policevolunteers.org


Citizen Corps Affiliate Programs & Organizations offer communities resources for public education, outreach, and training; represent volunteers interested in helping to make their community safer; or offer volunteer service opportunities to support first responders, disaster relief activities, and community safety efforts. Some Affiliates include...

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) represents the interests of the more than 650,000 U.S. Radio Amateurs (or “HAMS”). Many amateurs have organized themselves under a formal structure to better provide public service and emergency communications like the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES). Learn more at http://www.arrl.org or contact your local Emergency Management office.

Civil Air Patrol is a congressionally chartered, non-profit corporation and is the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. CAP supports Homeland Security efforts by providing coastal patrol, air/ground observation, radio communications and relay, aerial reconnaissance, air-to-ground photography, radiological monitoring, and disaster and damage assessment assets. http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com

Also The American Legion, Home Safety Council, National Safety Council, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) and many others. For more about Citizen Corps or to check if there’s a local council in your community, visit http://www.citizencorps.gov

Or call your local, state, provincial, or territorial Emergency Management, Fire, Health, Police or Sheriff Department to ask about volunteer opportunities. Or check with Red Cross, Salvation Army, Churches and other faith-based organizations, etc .. or visit your local or state web site to learn about other types of volunteer options.

And/or consider joining groups like A.N.T.S. http://americansnetworkingtosurvive.org
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Re: Citizen Corps + disaster/prep volunteer groups

Postby ReadyMom » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:26 am

Great post, IAD! I don't think a lot of people know there are so many groups that they can get involved in that correlate to the prepping movement. :) -k
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Re: Citizen Corps + disaster/prep volunteer groups

Postby CajunDaddys_girl » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:15 am

Awesome information and links IAD's.....
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Re: Citizen Corps + disaster/prep volunteer groups

Postby GMM » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:56 pm

I/ve been a CERT in Queen Creek for 2 years now. We've done some training on top of the initial, but unfortunately, Queen Creek just doesn't have the resources to increase the training. It's been a bit disappointing. The town just started up a Disaster Committee, but again, resources of all types are limited. At some point, administering and training CERT members does have costs associated and it seems difficult to seek and receive funding. I've offered to help in any way I can, but it's weird that for all the help you try to offer, no one ever takes you up on it. This is where Arizona emergency management practices are severely lacking. I had a discussion with someone in Florence and they also lack people and money to ramp up CERT, whuich they feel would be beneficial to them. This area seeks to use CERTs for rescues during extreme heat, flash flooding, monsoons, and forest fires. We also have some other factors which raises man-made disaster risks in the area, greatly affecting cargo transportation, hazardous materials, utilities, gas, and agriculture. We live in a very rural area and there isn't a whole lot of emergency service support out this way. I do know that the Civil Air Patrol in meas helps out in desert searches.
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Re: Citizen Corps + disaster/prep volunteer groups

Postby itsadisaster » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:07 pm

Totally agree GMM and thank you. That's all we hear over and over (lack of $$) and specifically why we as a small biz structured our programs to help fund these volunteer groups. It just boggles our minds that there is so much resistance from agencies to collaborate with private industry (including our state). Sometimes it's because they don't want to get labeled as "endorsing" a product or schmoozing with business -- while others just don't have manpower and/or ability to get additional funding thru grants or from community members. Citizen Corps gets a little bit of seed money to get started then are purdy much on their own. But there are some parts of the country (like DE for example) where state EM agency manages Citizen Corps for all 3 counties (yeah - small state) and they are very active in community. They have businesses, faith-based groups, nonprofits and agencies all working together to help communities get involved and prepared thru events and trainings year-round. There are others like that scattered around the country at county or regional levels. Sadly every year Citizen Corps funding budgets keep getting whittled away (like Teen CERT getting axed) .. so it takes a community-wide effort (and some good management) to keep the fire burning. Hopefully more citizen interest can help -- know a lot of CERTs who just don't have citizens attending classes -- even the free ones?!? Go figure...
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Re: Citizen Corps + disaster/prep volunteer groups

Postby Jericho Montana » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:39 pm

[quote="itsadisaster"]Bill and I have had the pleasure of working with thousands of First Responders over the past decade or so and wanted to share some data about the volunteer side of things in case any preppers want to learn more. (Note: I wasn’t sure where to post this so please move as needed!)

CITIZEN CORPS PROGRAMS & PARTNERS

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) educate people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations and is usually delivered in 2-1/2 hour sessions, one evening a week over a 7 week period. Using their training, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event and can take a more active role in preparing their community. The program is administered by DHS. http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert

FEMA’s online "Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams", IS 317, is an independent study course that serves as an introduction to CERT for those wanting to complete training or as a refresher for current team members. It has six modules: Introduction to CERT, Fire Safety, Hazardous Material and Terrorist Incidents, Disaster Medical Operations, and Search and Rescue. It takes between 6 and 8 hours to complete the course. The IS 317 can be taken by anyone interested in CERT. However, to become a CERT volunteer, one must complete classroom training offered by a local government agency such as the emergency management agency, fire or police department. http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/IS317/

Lady Disaster

Both my son and I have completed the classroom Basic CERT. I do recommend the training. We actually got to train on putting out small fires and remove injured from smoked up building at the local Fire Fighter Academy. Well worth the two months at one night a week.

Basically, any business can establish a CERT, but check with your county EM Director first. So many times, these types got early permission to create a CERT, but have done absolutely nothing to get it going.

I would think training like this might be something Prepper groups might organize to attend? Again, that's something each group must decide, but its one great way to start learning how to react to a crisis situation as a TEAM and not just a group of individuals.

Just my thoughts.

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Re: Citizen Corps + disaster/prep volunteer groups

Postby itsadisaster » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:10 am

Yep - businesses are lacking big time in their involvement with prepping. We're doing a series of posts and articles next 2 months (esp since Sept is National Preparedness Month) concentrating on businesses and their responsibility to help their employees prepare. We're also involved with PS-PREP (a voluntary DHS program that provides standards for businesses -- similar to NFPA standards) but it's like pulling teeth esp with economic uncertainties and it's complexity.)

But sorry .. back to your comment .. we agree preppers would be great CERT members (if not already) since they have initiative to learn new skills and take responsibility for their survival. Another thing we'll be promoting / encouraging in coming weeks is for neighborhood or Home owner's associations to get involved with area Citizen Corps / CERTs or at least setup a meeting with local Fire Marshal for inspections, safety tips, etc. Some already do this but it's a cool way to help strengthen neighborhoods and the community as a whole.
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Re: Citizen Corps + disaster/prep volunteer groups

Postby CajunDaddys_girl » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:56 am

IAD,

I hope you stress how important it trully is to help and allow your employees to prep before hand and at onset of a known incoming disaster like hurricanes..

One thing that is all to common in FLorida is for Stores to keep their sales staff on and stay open until the Local Authorities make it mandatory to shut down and send their employees home because the storm is less than 6 hours from hitting.
Most employees of these stores dont have the chance to batten down the hatches because they have been called in to cover the impending crisis sales and handle the crisis shoppers. Even if the employees have home storage they dont have the personal time to make sure house, family and property are secured.
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Re: Citizen Corps + disaster/prep volunteer groups

Postby itsadisaster » Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:18 pm

Good tip CD_girl (re releasing employees) and apologize for not commenting sooner. I wanted to share an update from FEMA re CERT program as fyi...

The CERT National Program released two new supplemental training modules, CERT Animal Response I and CERT Animal Response II. The new Animal Response modules are the first in a series of supplemental training modules building on disaster response training that program participants receive in the CERT Basic Training course. The supplemental modules are designed to expand the skills of CERT members and teams, and to increase CERT’s ability to support emergency response professionals. The Animal Response modules, as well as other CERT supplemental training to be released in the future, are intended for those who have completed the basic training.

The Animal Response modules generally address pets, service animals, “for-profit” livestock, wildlife, exotic animals and non-commercial livestock such as horses. CERT Animal Response I (3 hours) will teach CERT members emergency preparedness for animal owners, animal-related functions in emergency management and how to recognize specific animal behaviors. CERT Animal Response II (4 hours) will teach members their role in responding to animal issues and the skills needed when they encounter animals while performing their broader CERT response functions.

(Note: Above is from an 8/4/2010 email so may take some agencies / CERTs a while to incorporate into training. Use above links to learn more about CERT. itsa)
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Re: Citizen Corps + disaster/prep volunteer groups

Postby CajunDaddys_girl » Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:22 pm

itsadisaster wrote:Good tip CD_girl (re releasing employees) and apologize for not commenting sooner. I wanted to share an update from FEMA re CERT program as fyi...

The CERT National Program released two new supplemental training modules, CERT Animal Response I and CERT Animal Response II. The new Animal Response modules are the first in a series of supplemental training modules building on disaster response training that program participants receive in the CERT Basic Training course. The supplemental modules are designed to expand the skills of CERT members and teams, and to increase CERT’s ability to support emergency response professionals. The Animal Response modules, as well as other CERT supplemental training to be released in the future, are intended for those who have completed the basic training.

The Animal Response modules generally address pets, service animals, “for-profit” livestock, wildlife, exotic animals and non-commercial livestock such as horses. CERT Animal Response I (3 hours) will teach CERT members emergency preparedness for animal owners, animal-related functions in emergency management and how to recognize specific animal behaviors. CERT Animal Response II (4 hours) will teach members their role in responding to animal issues and the skills needed when they encounter animals while performing their broader CERT response functions.

(Note: Above is from an 8/4/2010 email so may take some agencies / CERTs a while to incorporate into training. Use above links to learn more about CERT. itsa)



Some animal CERT programs may be offered through County Extension 4h, County Animal Service aka The Dog Pound or a local Humane Society or ASPCA...
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Re: Citizen Corps + disaster/prep volunteer groups

Postby itsadisaster » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:22 pm

CajunDaddys_girl wrote:Some animal CERT programs may be offered through County Extension 4h, County Animal Service aka The Dog Pound or a local Humane Society or ASPCA...


You are SO correct CD_girl - thx! :) Here's some links in case anyone is interested in learning more about Animal First Aid and/or Rescue training (links from CERT Animal Response II participant manual + I added one we're very familiar with)..! itsa

American Humane Association http://www.americanhumane.org (various trainings)
American Veterinary Medical Association http://www.avma.org (have several publications)
Basic Animal Rescue Training (BART) http://basicanimalrescuetraining.org (various courses / trainings)
Code 3 Associates http://www.code3associates.org (large animal rescue training)
Red Jeans Ink http://www.saveyourhorse.com/wholearn.htm (large animal rescue + pet first aid)
The Humane Society http://www.hsus.org (various trainings)
Pets America http://www.petsamerica.org (pet prep, first aid + CPR courses)
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Re: Citizen Corps + disaster/prep volunteer groups

Postby thebastidge » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:58 am

FEMA has the "Animals in Disaster" courses available from the Independent Study Program: http://training.fema.gov/IS/
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