March Program: Community Emergency Response Team

As you watched the ice storm hit the suburbs of Philadelphia back in January, did you know what you would do if that same thing happened here and we lost power in Springfield or all of Fairfax County for a week or two? Over 700,000 people lost power for 3 days or more- can your family and elderly neighbors do the same and are all set for impact of no power- loss of refrigeration, heat, cooking, cell phones… and internet (or Netflix HOUSE OF CARDS?!?!) Our disasters of late have been minor inconveniences from Snowmageddon (2010), Tropical Storm Lee (2011), and the Derecho windstorm (2012).

What if the East Coast earthquake (2011) or Hurricane Sandy (2012) had been significantly worse for our area and we had lost more than just power but had structural damage or injuries. It could be hours or days until Emergency services arrive- not the time to panic. What can we do in the meantime to help ourselves, to be self-sufficient until help can arrive? THAT is the purpose of the meeting this month.

A number of your neighbors in our own neighborhood surrounding Springfield Plaza shopping center (Springfield and Springvale) have recently joined a volunteer, county-side emergency response network called CERT, or Community Emergency Response Team, and would like to provide a few easy tips of how to implement the “"Make a Kit, Have a Plan, Know your Neighbors" many of us have heard from FEMA but never found the time to make happen once the skies clear and power is restored. The speakers are your own neighbors so they know our neighborhood. Training includes: Training includes:

·         Things you can do to prevent emergencies in your home and office; safety practices

·         Things you can do now to prepare for a disaster and reduce the impact when it happens

·         Things you can do during a disaster to protect yourself and your family

·         Things you can do after a disaster to help your family and your neighborhood recover if the professional responders are delayed or cannot get to you right away

Also presented will be the dates of the next FREE training class for CERT set up specifically for our neighborhood and taught at the Springfield Volunteer Fire Department on Backlick Road later this spring.

Please join us for a good discussion, and the opportunity to find out how a few simples steps now will help you, your family, and your neighborhood feel more secure the next time you hear a storm (hopefully not called HURRICANE PUTIN?) is coming our way.