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What's Your Backup Plan? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 March 2013 17:42

Arlington CERTer Elizabeth Floyd. Business Development Manager for Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP), recently posed the back-up plan question on ATP's blog and encouraged readers to ask themselves "What if?" Check it out at www.arlingtontransportationpartners.com/pages/news-events/blog/emergency-prep-review-whats-your-backup-plan/.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 March 2013 13:33
NY/NJ CERTs Active Following Superstorm Sandy PDF Print E-mail

We respect and appriciate our fellow CERT members around the country. Below is an update from FEMA on New York & New Jersey CERT activities in the wake of Sandy:


Citizen Corps Volunteers Make a Difference in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Alongside interagency, state, local, and volunteer partners, FEMA and the emergency management team are working long hours each day to ensure the needs of communities affected by Sandy are identified and addressed.
While FEMA has provided more than $1.04 billion in assistance, as of December 6, 2012, to communities and individuals affected by the disaster, our whole community partners also remain committed to survivors.


The dedication of volunteers supporting the response and recovery has made a tremendous impact on our effectiveness.


“Federal response to disasters is only one part of the equation," said FEMA Administrator Fugate." Groups like Citizen Corps Councils and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs provide front-line support to first responders and community members during disasters. FEMA is proud to work alongside our Citizen Corps partners. I extend a thank you and acknowledgement for all that they contribute.”


As the recovery continues, we will feature best practices and stories of triumph from our counterparts in the affected states. Key to the response in ravaged areas were New Jersey and New York volunteers.
New Jersey Citizen Corps Council helped coordinate volunteers across the state and sprung into action immediately. During the height of the storm, a communications repeater went down in the Hoboken Fire Department. Thinking quickly on their feet, the Hoboken CERT utilized its amateur radio repeaters as the primary means of communication for shelter operations, shuttle bus communications, and volunteer interactions.

Click on the "Read More" link to the right for the rest of the story.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 December 2012 08:42
Arlington County CERT Deploys to Assist in Hurricane Sandy Recovery PDF Print E-mail

As dawn approached and winds subsided the morning of Tuesday, October 30, Arlington County CERT members were getting ready to hit the streets. Armed with caution tape and dressed in rain gear and reflective vests, over 100 CERT members -- officially deployed at 1000 -- surveyed their neighborhoods for damage, marked off hazards and reported their findings to the county's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) via their neighborhood team coordinators. In less than four hours, damage had been assessed, cordoned off and reported for over 90% of the county. Along the way, CERT members were able to assist many Arlingtonians by providing answers to questions, back-up power for neighbor's sump pumps, assistance in helping the elderly and infirm, and even rescuing a tree frog!

Prior to Hurricane Sandy, the Office of Emergency Management loaned us ten county radios so each neighborhood team would have a link to the EOC in the event power was lost and/or phones inoperable. Fortunately, these radios were only needed for relatively minor communications. We returned them to the Emergency Communications Center cache after the storm. In the not-too-distant future -- and in recognition of our need to be able to communicate with authorities in a disaster -- we will take possession of twelve radios of our own. Think of them as a 10th anniversary present from the Office of Emergency Management!

Many thanks to all who helped out following Hurricane Sandy and who continue to support the important work of the Arlington County CERT. Thanks especially to John and Mary Bell who stepped in on Monday to assume the leadership role for the Hospital CERT in the absence of their team coordinator. Talk about baptism by fire!

We don't need to look too far north to see what Hurricane Sandy was capable of ... and many of you have friends and family members who are still recovering. Arlington, for the most part, fared well. But there's always a next time and the importance of your training and personal preparedness can never be underestimated. Way to go, Arlington, CERT!

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 November 2012 19:29
Join Arlington County’s Community Emergency Response Team PDF Print E-mail

Do you want to be better prepared for and able to recover from emergencies in your home, workplace and community?  Are you interested in being part of a neighborhood/building team trained to help save and sustain lives following a major disaster?  If so, Arlington County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training may be for you.


In late 2002, Arlington County began training interested citizens to become members of neighborhood-based Community Emergency Response Teams.  Since that time, over 700 residents in more than 50 neighborhoods -- along with a number of business people who work in the county, but reside elsewhere -- have completed the training.  Similar teams were introduced in California in the 1980s to assist during wildfires and earthquakes and have since spread across the country and around the globe. The CERT has been deployed to assist following a number of natural disasters, including the derecho and Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.


Under the guidance and sponsorship of the Arlington County Office of Emergency Management, Fire Department, and Citizen Corps -- and using materials developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) -- interested citizens undergo approximately 26 hours of training over a six-week period (six weeknights and two Saturday mornings).  Topics covered include:

  • disaster preparedness
  • disaster medical operations
  • light search and rescue
  • disaster psychology
  • fire suppression & utility shutoff
  • team organization & management
  • terrorism

The course concludes with a mock disaster/final exercise where participants put into practice all theyâ??ve learned.


Those who participate in Arlington County CERT training must be at least 18 years old (16 or 17 if accompanied by an adult), must reside and/or work in Arlington, and must be able to participate in all aspects of the training and final exercise, some of which may be physically demanding (e.g., lifting, carrying, crawling on the floor, and putting out fires). Those who wish to continue on to become members of their neighborhood CERT will be required to complete two independent study incident command system courses and pass a criminal background check.  The training is free, but those who become members are expected to acquire certain supplies (about $75 worth), many of which you should already have on-hand.


If youâ??re interested in participating â?? or would like to learn more about CERT (in Arlington County or neighboring jurisdictions) -- send an e-mail requesting additional information to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated on Monday, 07 September 2015 16:43
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