Tuning in for Tornadoes

Tuning in for Tornadoes

Tornadoes are one of nature’s most violent storms and can cause death, injury, and destruction within seconds. Having advanced notice that a tornado isapproaching your area can give you the critical time needed to move to a safeplace for protection. Before severe weather strikes, pay attention to weather reports and be sure to sign up for text alerts and download smart phone apps that provide weather warnings.

Whileyou may not always receive an official tornado alert in your area, there arewarning signs that can indicate a tornado is near. Page four of the How to Prepare for a Tornado guide from America’s PrepareAthon! highlights these signs, including:

  • A change in the color of the sky;
  • An approaching cloud of debris;
  • A strange quiet occurring within or shortly after a thunderstorm; or
  • A loud roar that sounds similar to a freight train.

Ifyou experience these signs, take action immediately and go to the safest placefor protection such as a FEMA saferoom or InternationalCode Council 500 storm shelter. If you do not have access to one of these structures, move to a small, interior, windowless room such as a closet or bathroom, on the lowest level of your building and cover your head and neck with your arms.

2015 Disaster Volunteer Conference: Becoming Response Ready – Working with Diverse Populations! – NYC

NYC Citizen Corps invites you to the 2015 Disaster Volunteer Conference: Becoming Response Ready – Working with Diverse Populations!

The Disaster Volunteer Conference was first launched in 2007 and brings together volunteers that are involved in disaster response and recovery work.  This year’s conference will focus on workshops to help disaster volunteers become more efficient and effective in engaging vulnerable populations in an emergency or disaster response.

Doors will open at 5:30 PM. There will be light refreshments available. The program will start promptly at 6:00 PM. The Baruch College William and Anita Vertical Conference Center is fully accessible. If you need any other accommodations please indicate them through the event registration.

Register HERE


  • A Helping Hand: Working with People with Access and Functional Needs
    (Eli Fresquez, Senior Human Services Disability Access and Functional Needs (DAFN) Planner, NYC Emergency Management)
  • Engaging Faith Communities in Disaster, Increasing Religious Competency & Literacy
    (Peter B. Gudaitis, M.Div, President, National Disaster Interfaiths Network/NDIN)
  • Get Ready, Get Safe: Preparing Communities to Protect Children in Disasters
    (Jennifer Smith, Community Preparedness Manager (NY, NJ, CT), Save the Children USA)

  • Listen, Protect, and Connect: Responding to Trauma and Creating Community Resilience
    (Lisa Furst, LMSW, MPH, Director of Public Education, The Mental Health Association of NYC, Inc.)
  • Transformative Change: Diversity and Cultural Competency
    (Imani Keith Henry, MSW, MPA, Diversity Trainer/Organizational Development Consultant, OD for the People)

    Register HERE

2015 Disaster Volunteer Planning Committee representatives from:

  • The American Red Cross – Greater New York (ARC-GNY)
  • Medical Reserve Corps of NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)
  • New York Association for Volunteers (NYAVA)
  • New York Cares
  • NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA)
  • NYC Emergency Management (NYCEM)
  • The Salvation Army – Greater New York Division

Student CERT Expanding to New Schools (Emergency Management Magazine)

Student CERT training is expanding according to this article in Emergency Management Magazine. 

The Student Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training that began last year with North and South Decatur (Ind.) high schools expanded to include several other local schools on June 10 this year at the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department.

Click the link above to read the entire article online from Emergency Management Magazine.

Teen CERT members during training in Texas Community.
Teen CERT members during training in Texas Community.

First Responder Guide for Improving Survivability in Improvised Explosive Device and/or Active Shooter Incidents

Recent improvised explosive device (IED) and active shooter incidents reveal that some traditional practices of first responders need to be realigned and enhanced—with an emphasis on early hemorrhage control and a more integrated response by first responders (i.e., emergency medical services [EMS], fire, law enforcement, and rescue personnel)—to improve survivability of victims and the safety of first responders caring for them.1 At the request of first responders and first receivers (e.g., medical technicians, nurses, and physicians) who have encountered mass casualties from IEDs and/or active shooter incidents, this document was developed to provide guidance on how to better approach these incidents. Responders should also consider the combination of both IEDs and active shooter incidents in an organized, complex attack (such as the Mumbai attacks in 2008) that requires both treatment and extraction of the injured from a still-hostile environment. The conditions during such tactical assaults in a civilian setting speak to the need for first responders and first receivers to adopt evidence-based hemorrhage control, risk evaluation, and casualty management measures in a potentially dangerous environment. As a result of these developments, the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of Transportation, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Security Staff, has developed recommendations for individuals who provide emergent and immediate medical management of casualties resulting from IEDs and/or active shooter incidents. Based on best practices and lessons learned, this document focuses on the medical response to IEDs and/or active shooter incidents with recommendations for hemorrhage control, protective equipment (which includes ballistic vests, helmets, and eyewear), and response and incident management.

Download the Guide

Webinar: CERT Training for Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs

Webinar: CERT Training for Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs

Everyone has a role to play in keeping our communities safe. CERT volunteers, trainers, and program managers with a diverse range of experiences, skills, and abilities — including many with disabilities and others with access and functional needs — make valuable contributions in preparing their communities for disasters and supporting response and recovery efforts. And because CERT program activities are inclusive, training should be as well. It is not difficult to make reasonable accommodations for including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in CERT training. However, it’s a good idea to plan ahead to ensure that their specific needs are accounted for and that they feel welcome and engaged.

The FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division is hosting a webinar that focuses on practices that will help ensure a positive and accessible experience for CERT participants with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

Title: CERT Training for Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs

Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Time:  3:00 – 4:30 p.m. (ET)

Guest speakers:

  • Gay Jones, FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC)
  • Kathryn Gerk, Emergency Services Manager, Richmond, CA Fire Department
  • Jennifer Fales, Emergency Management Coordinator, Kansas City, MO Office of Emergency Management

Our featured speakers will share their insights and advice on how to engage and include individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in CERT training and activities, lessons they’ve learned from their experiences, and how their efforts have benefitted their programs and communities. The webinar will conclude with a question and answer session.

How to Join the Webinar

We hope that you will be able to join us on July 15! If you can’t make it, we will be posting the recording, transcript, and slide deck of the presentation on this page, under “Citizen Corps Partners/Affiliates”: http://www.ready.gov/preparedness-leader/webinar-library. You can also view our most recent webinar on developing resources for CERT programs at: https://icpd.adobeconnect.com/p4zrhbiqeml/.

Are We Preparing for the Wrong Threats? (Firehouse Magazine online article)

“Despite what some “pundits” may pronounce in print, video or on talk shows, jihadists tend to do what they know best. Looking at the full spectrum of attacks, both domestic and foreign, the pattern is very clear. We can prepare for a full spectrum CBERN attack, or we can prepare for what is most likely going to happen.

What’s most likely to occur is a gun, bomb or incendiary attack, or a combination of those.”

…. Continuing reading this article on Firehouse.com

Understanding Tornadoes – NWS Wakefield (Sponsor VDEM) – Video – PDF

Bill Sammler, National Weather Service, Wakefield, VA, presents “Understanding Tornadoes, Microbursts and Downbursts” webinar. This webinar was sponsored by Virginia Department Emergency Management on March 24, 2015 via a Webinar.
Every year, wind related thunderstorms and sever weather causes damage throughout the United States. The damage most frequently results from straight-line thunderstorm winds (also known as downbursts and microbursts), and much less frequently from tornadoes. This webinar will look at the basic meteorology of these wind phenomena, and provide some insight as to what clues NWS meteorologists look for to determine whether a thunderstorm could produce a tornado, or is strong enough to generate damaging straight-line thunderstorm wind.

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Webinar Slides in PDF


Welcome to Anne Arundel – Annapolis CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)

Anne Arundel County and City of Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) welcomes you to our new blog / website!

We will use our blog to post information and news of interest to the communities of our area. We will discuss preparedness for disasters and emergencies and activities of our team.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of Anne Arundel – Annapolis CERT (AAACERT) send us a message on the “Contact Us” Tab.