News and Alerts

Informational articles, links, and stories.

Did You Know…?

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Did you know AAACERT has a YouTube channel? Check us out and be sure to subscribe to be notified when new videos are uploaded.

Right now we have a few older videos and one new one from this year’s SPCA Lights on the Bay traffic management event. We are always interested in having you take the CERT Basic training and joining. See our website’s membership pages for details.

Introducing…Our New Site!

AAACERT is proud to announce our newly redesigned website. We hope this site helps visitors more easily navigate to the information they need while providing more information on the activities of Anne Arundel-Annapolis CERT.

Visit the new site; then tell us what you think on our Facebook page.

Annual Meeting Focuses on 2021 Strategic View

Image of front and back of challenge coin. Front: Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team COVID-19; Back: Anne Arundel CERT Serving Our Communities 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic
The front and back of the challenge coin issued to AAACERT members who have served as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response. (Photo: AAACERT)

The Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) conducted its annual meeting on Nov. 18, 2020. Some members were co-located at Libations Restaurant in Millersville, MD, while numerous others tuned in via teleconference. President Bruce Morgenstern led the meeting from home. The meeting both reflected on AAACERT accomplishments in 2020 during the ongoing pandemic, as well as focusing on the planned 2021 Strategic View for the organization.

Remarks from County Officials
Near the start of the meeting, Anne Arundel County OEM Director Preeti Emrick acknowledged the significant work AAACERT has done in this atypical year, noting that OEM strongly depends on volunteers in the community. She particularly noted the assistance AAACERT has provided as Emergency Operations Center (EOC) calltakers during a time of extremely high call volume; workers who have pitched in with Donations Warehouse and Food Bank operations; volunteers who have supported OEM- and church-led food giveaways; and those individuals who have served as Annapolis city safety ambassadors. Director Emrick offered particular appreciation for Mr. Joseph Dorffner, AAACERT Coordinator, for the many hours Joe has put in gathering and aligning volunteers to the mission, and to President Bruce Morgenstern for his strong efforts.

Mr. Jim Krempel, the Community Outreach Coordinator, added his appreciation that, amid an ongoing health emergency, AAACERT has managed to conduct three CERT Basic courses. Mr. Krempel said that, to his knowledge, AAACERT is the only CERT organization in the state of Maryland that has done so.

Remarks from AAACERT President
Mr. Morgenstern then singled out numerous individuals for his appreciation. He thanked Ms. Rosy Dorffner for putting the Annual Meeting Event together; Mr. Brandon Gosnell for managing the challenging IT setup at Libations; Mr. Joe Dorffner for putting in so many hours as coordinator; and all 54 operational CERT members, whom he noted have put in more than 5,400 hours of COVID-19-related volunteer work in 2020. Bruce noted that there remain challenges ahead, including a critical shortage of OEM call takers, food distribution helpers, and Annapolis safety ambassadors.

2020 Year in Review
Mr. Dorffner reported that AAACERT has logged 5,544 hours specifically dedicated to COVID-19 response to date in 2020.

Mr. Paul Bowling highlighted that training accomplishments by the group included 10 monthly training sessions averaging 25 members per program. In February, Anne Arundel Community College Emergency Manager Arlene Crow conducted a timely companion workshop to the movie “Contagion.” In the fall of 2020, AAACERT conducted three basic CERT classes, currently yielding 12 new AAACERT members. Training topics were diverse over the year, including Amateur Radio Communications, Medical Emergencies, Hygiene & Sanitation, Firearm Safety, Planning for the “Hurridemic,” Windshield Assessment, the Emergency Response Guide, and COVID Impact (Community, Non-Profits, and First Responders and Lessons Learned). The team also conducted specialized training in Hazardous Materials, Search and Rescue, Call Taking, and Traffic Management. Finally, AAACERT held two “Train the Trainer” classes, instructing 23 AAACERT members, Adventist Community Services CERT-trained leaders, and a Calvert County Emergency Management Specialist.

Mr. Morgenstern then addressed membership. He noted that membership decreased from 94 to 86 members from 2019 to 2020, but that 71% of the current number are fully operational. Additionally, 76% of the total members are NIMS-compliant, having taken all of the requisite training to be properly educated in the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Bruce then reported that the AAACERT team has worked a total of more than 7,000 hours in total volunteer assistance, including the COVID-19-related activities. The percentage of current members meeting current operational hours requirements has increased from 54% to 60%, with two months remaining.

2021 Strategic View
Mr. Morgenstern then presented AAACERT’s 2021 Strategic View, noting goals that are focused on Organization, Membership, Training for the Community, Training for CERT members, Operations, Development, Logistics, Radio Communications, and IT/Communications/Public Affairs. The following individuals addressed these strategic goals:

Organizational (Bruce Morgenstern): Formalize relationships with more partner agencies and non-profits.
Membership (Bruce Morgenstern): Enhance and expand membership rolls with members who wish to actively engage with the community.
• Training for Community Members (Bruce Morgenstern): In addition to Basic CERT and in coordination with OEM, develop an outreach program that acquaints community members with AAACERT and provides valuable emergency preparedness and response information.
Training for AAACERT Members (Paul Bowling): Create the right balance of skills reinforcement training and new training initiatives to ensure readiness, and maintain member interest and growth. (This will include CERT Basic course – including high schools– monthly meetings, specialized teams, exercises, and miscellaneous offerings.) Monthly trainings will continue on the third Wednesday of each month except November; specialized team training will include EOC, First Aid, Search and Rescue, Sheltering, and Traffic; training suggestions may be sent to Some training possibilities include First Aid / CPR / AED, Call Taker, WebEOC, Traffic, Parade Marshals, SAR Tech III, SAR Tech II, CBRNE, Stop The Bleed, and Narcan. Exercise options include Mass Casualty Incident response, Search and Rescue, or Vaccine Dispensing (would be coordinated with Maryland and/or Anne Arundel County Department of Health).
Operations (Joe Dorffner): Facilitate the creation of functional teams that will have the necessary skills and depth to respond to emerging needs; work with training to develop a program of training and exercises that will enhance member operational response; work with the executive committee to develop a plan for rapid expansion in response to a large-scale disaster (e.g., recruitment, just-in-time training, oversight, deployment).
Development (Paul Bowling): Address organizational needs and develop a plan for funds acquisition (e.g., grants, fundraisers, other revenue sources); create a repository of materials that will facilitate our response to grant applications. Paul noted that fewer grants are available due to COVID-19; that BG&E, which has provided a substantial grant in the past, has suspended grants for 2021; and that other grant sources are diminishing. He asked the members for fundraising ideas and participants. AAACERT has a planning deficit of $995 in 2020, and wishes to avoid use of its “rainy day” funds.
Logistics (Chris Meyd): Attain full accountability of all AAACERT assets, identify maintenance/replacement requirements for existing assets, develop a plan for restocking consumables, and simplify the purchasing process.
Radio Communications (Randy Sanger): Develop a strategic plan for evolving radio communications and establishing improved interoperability with coordinating agencies.
• IT/Communications/Public Affairs (Brandon Gosnell): Create a more robust infrastructure for data/file management; improve organizational promotion through enhanced social media and website engagement; create an expansive repository of photos, images, and other materials; work with regional groups to expand our digital communications.

Election of Officers
Mr. Rick Cooper, AAACERT Secretary, then called for nominations from the floor for the positions of Vice President, Treasurer, and Coordinator. He indicated that the Board recommended the current office holders and that these members are willing to serve another term, and asked if there was any discussion precluding that course of action. Hearing no dissenting views, the group elected the following by voice vote:

Vice President: Randy Sanger
Treasurer: Paul Bowling
Coordinator: Joe Dorffner

Closing Actions
Mr. Gosnell noted that Amazon orders can be a source of income if people designate AAACERT as recipients of their donations, via

Mr. Dorffner handed out challenge coins to 54 individuals who have participated in activities that are part of the COVID-19 pandemic response in 2020.

Mr. Morgenstern adjourned the meeting.

Congrats, CERT Basic Class of November 2020!

Congratulations to the November 2020 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic training class. The class underwent its training and final exercise at the Anne Arundel County Fire Training Academy in Millersville, MD. This training group had the extra challenge of having almost half the normal number of participants. As a result of their smaller size, during the simulation, search teams had to do double duty both looking for and treating victims. The class overcame this challenge, found all victims, and treated them accordingly.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, class sizes are limited and fill fast. Interested? Please visit

New CERT Basic Training Class Completes Instruction

Simulation exercise participants including graduating members, volunteer proctors, volunteer survivors, and an Anne Arundel County Police Officer following the final simulation exercise.

Congratulations to the October 2020 Basic Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class. The class underwent its training and final exercise in October 2020 at the Anne Arundel County Fire Training Academy in Millersville, Md. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, class sizes are limited and fill fast. Interested? Please visit

AAACERT Volunteers Contribute 625 Hours to Coronavirus Pandemic Response

Twenty-five Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) members have contributed more than 625 hours of volunteer service to the county and to the City of Annapolis, supporting the response to COVID-19 in the past month. April is National Volunteer Month, a time to celebrate the work that volunteers do year-round.

AAACERT President Bruce Morgenstern said:

“I couldn’t be prouder of our volunteers for stepping up. We have shown our value to the community, and AAACERT volunteers are in demand — with recent requests to support food distribution in Annapolis (where we assist with social distancing and safety) and Brooklyn Park (where we assist with traffic management); to provide warehouse labor at the Anne Arundel County Food Bank in Crownsville; and our standing activities in support of a local shelter and assisting with traffic management at the Anne Arundel County Donations Management Center in Odenton. Plus, we remain on standby as emergency call takers at the county Emergency Operations Center.”

For each activity AAACERT supports, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available. AAACERT works closely with each sponsoring agency or organization to ensure that volunteers’ responsibilities are appropriate, safe, and well thought-out.

“While we perhaps are nearing or at the top of the curve for this crisis, the needs generated by it will last for some time,” Morgenstern continued, “and the expectation is high that we will continue to be called upon to serve our community.”

“We encourage CERT members to contact CERT Coordinator Joe Dorffner, who has done an outstanding job coordinating all of these activities, to let him know your availability,” said Morgenstern.

According to FEMA, the nationwide CERT program “educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the 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. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.”

AAACERT is a registered non-profit organization that trains volunteers in disaster response skills and emergency preparedness. AAACERT volunteers assist others in our community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help. When activated under the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management, or the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management, AAACERT supports emergency response agencies.

Volunteer Opportunity – Homeless Shelter Support

If you choose to volunteer, please follow the directions below.

VOLUNTEER ASSIGNMENT: Support to non-profit extended Homeless Shelter (Crownsville/Annapolis Area)
TYPE ASSIGNMENT: Type 2 Volunteer (Support to Non-Profit Organization with County assistance)
REQUESTOR: Arundel House of Hope (AHOH) (nonprofit organization)
REQUEST: One volunteer Shelter Aide per shift to assist Shelter Manager with water, coffee, snacks, phone, admin support, etc
LOCATION: Bay Area Community Church, 884 Chesterfield, Annapolis (Crownsville), MD
DURATION: Daily, Starting MON 3-30-20 through MON 4-13-20 

  • Three shifts:  Day 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM  Swing: 3:00 PM – 11:00 PM   Night: 11:00 PM – 7:00 AM of one Shelter Aide each
  • Supervisor: On duty Shelter Manager
  • First shift on MON 3-30-20 please arrive at 9:30 AM, Report to Arundel House of Hope Shelter Mgr Michael Johnson

RESTRICTIONS: Adult volunteers, male or female, age 18-64, no formal affiliation required, no prior training required, no personal protective equipment (PPE) required
SITE DESCRIPTION: Stable temporary shelter for 25 pre-registered, pre-screened homeless adults as an extension of the Winter Relief church-based program
`Volunteer organization coordinators may call Jim Krempel at 410-299-4504 (cell) for more information 

  • Name of Volunteer
  • Shift(s): DATE TIME
  • Contact Cell Phone    Contact email

Volunteer Organization or Church membership, if any

20 Twitter accounts we’re following on COVID-19 preparedness

When you hear something on social media about the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, it’s important to consider who is making the statement or suggestion, what they are asking you to do, and what is the evidence for their suggested course of action. During a disaster response, it’s vital to seek out trustworthy sources of information and help dispel rumors.

So here are a few of the Twitter accounts we’re following at @AAACERT for federal, state, county, and local news on COVID-19 preparedness in Anne Arundel County. This list is not intended to be comprehensive. However, if you’d like to suggest other trusted local sources of information on the novel coronavirus pandemic to follow, please email AAACERT Public Information Officer Jonathan Hutson,

20 Trustworthy Twitter Accounts on COVID-19 Preparedness

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman (@Steuart_Pittman)

Anne Arundel County Public Schools (@AACountySchools) Official Twitter account of Anne Arundel Co. Public Schools, 1 of the 50 largest school systems in the US & the 5th largest in MD.

Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management (@AACO_OEM) The Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management manages the County’s response to major emergencies.

Anne Arundel County Department of Public Health (@AAHealth) Official Twitter source for health updates.

Centers for Disease Control and Preparedness (@CDCgov) CDC’s official Twitter source for daily credible health & safety updates from Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

CDC Emergency (@CDCemergency) The handle for CDC’s Center for Preparedness and Response (CPR). They tweet ways to #PrepYourHealth, and tips about public health preparedness and emergency responses.

CDC Emerging Infections (@CDC_NCEZID) NCEZID works to protect people from emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases, from anthrax to Zika.

City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management (@AnnapolisOEM)

Federal Emergency Management Agency (@FEMA) Their story of supporting citizens & first responders before, during, and after emergencies.

FEMA Emergency Management Institute (@FEMA_EMI) Official Twitter account of the Emergency Management Institute of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA Region 3 (@FEMAregion3) Region III serves DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, & WV. This channel provides FEMA mission-related information. For emergencies, call your local fire/EMS/police or 9-1-1.

Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan), 62nd Governor of the State of Maryland.

Health and Human Services (HHS), Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Public Health Emergency (@PHEgov) provides information on disaster health preparedness, response & recovery.

Homeland Preparedness News (@homelandprep) Covering the efforts undertaken by government and private sector to protect citizens from the ever evolving threats to the homeland. Be in the know.

Maryland Center for School Safety (@safeschoolsmd) Providing a coordinated and comprehensive policy for school safety in Maryland in collaboration with schools, public safety, and parents.

Maryland Emergency Management Agency (@MDMEMA) Their mission: To proactively reduce disaster risks and reliably manage consequences through collaborative work with Maryland’s communities and partners.

Maryland Health Department’ Office of Preparedness & Response (@MarylandOPR) Prepares for and responds to public health emergencies and administers the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps.

Maryland Poison Center (@MDPoisonCtr) Providing free poison exposure advice to Marylanders 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222.

Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (@disasterstrat) The mission of the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies is equal access and full inclusion for the whole community before, during & after disasters.

And please remember to follow and retweet the Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (@AAACERT).

AAACERT Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Anne Arundel – Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT), during the current COVID-19 situation, has been assisting the the Anne Arundel Office of Emergency Management in numerous positions. AAACERT trained members have been helping as Call Takers in the Emergency Operations Center, as well as helping assist the County Virtual Volunteer Mobilization Center (VVMC). Starting on the 30th of March, AAACERT trained members will also be assisting at the proposed County Goods Donation Warehouse, working with the County Police doing traffic control.

AAACERT trains volunteers in disaster response skills and emergency preparedness. AAACERT volunteers assist others in our community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help. When activated under the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management, or the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management, AAACERT supports emergency response agencies.

Annual Meeting and Elections — 2019

The Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) held its annual dinner and election on Nov. 20. Following the social time, President Paul Bowling acknowledged the current officers and committee chairs.


  • President – Paul Bowling
  • Vice President – Bruce Morgenstern
  • Secretary – Rick Cooper
  • Treasurer – Paul Bowling (acting)
  • CERT Coordinator – Joe Dorffner

Administrative Committees/Chairs:

  • Communications – Jonathan Hutson (PIO)
  • Development – Vacant
  • Activities – Rosy Dorffner
  • Communications (Radio) – Erick Graves

District-Level Team Leaders

  • Northern District – Matthew Yates
  • Eastern District – Neal Anders
  • Western District – Randy Benninghove
  • Southern District – Amy Bleich

Operational Groups:

  • Search & Rescue – Randy Benninghove
  • Communications – Randy Sanger
  • Shelter Operations – Rosy Dorffner
  • Traffic – Joe Dorffner
  • Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Direct Support – Bruce Morgenstern

2019 Accomplishments

Bruce Morgenstern then highlighted AAACERT’s 2019 accomplishments:

  • 60 AAACERT members have completed the training required to be NIMS-compliant. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a standardized, comprehensive approach to incident management that can apply to emergencies of all types and sizes. NIMS is intended to be both flexible to work in all incidents, and standardized, to provide a coordinated, efficient response to each incident.
  • AAACERT is approved to support Anne Arundel County Police directly for events. As a first step, AAACERT has provided assistance with the Pasadena Business Association’s Parade.
  • Fourteen AAACERT members are SARTECH III-trained. This means that they have completed the basic level of Search and Rescue Tech III training provided through the National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR), in order to assist with light search and rescue.
  • Three AAACERT members are SARTECH II-trained, which is the next higher level of search and rescue training.
  • AAACERT purchased a communications repeater to improve communications during large area events.

Membership Notes

Bruce noted the following numbers regarding membership:

  • There are currently 94 AAACERT members, of whom 48 are operational; five more await background checks.
  • 18 AAACERT members are traffic-management trained.
  • 16 AAACERT members have been trained for call-taking with the Anne Arundel County OEM.
  • 11 AAACERT members have been trained for call-taking with the Annapolis OEM.
  • 18 AAACERT members have parade marshal training.
  • 14 AAACERT members have SARTECH III training; 3 have SARTECH II.
  • 45 AAACERT members have met the participation hours requirement for 2019 as of Nov. 20.

Volunteer Hour Breakdown

Bruce then reported on how AAACERT volunteer hours have been spent in 2019.

  • 600 hours have supported AAACERT training.
  • 212 hours were logged for six parades.
  • Exercise participation accounted for 120 hours.
  • Volunteers put in 136 hours (plus 29 hours for bag-stuffing) for the Anne Arundel County Emergency Preparedness Expo.
  • AAACERT gave 46 hours to two SPCA events.
  • AAACERT was operational for 28 hours in one incident (the February winter storm) for call taking.

Background Check Status

Bruce reported on the status of background checks, which have been delayed in 2019. He noted that existing checks are not affected, though some will expire in Oct. 2020. However, from now on, the background check application will be online, with the fee to be shared between the county and the individual. Member cost is anticipated to be $8.50. Results will be shared with the applicant and OEM. OEM’s determination is final, and there are no appeals in the rare occurrence of a negative check.

Training Update

According to Bruce, the following training occurred in 2019:

  • There were nine monthly trainings, for a total of 279 hours, averaging 19 members per meeting.
  • AAACERT members took 666 hours of additional specialized training (call taker, traffic, etc.).
  • 46 adults completed Basic CERT training.
  • 34 teens completed Basic CERT training in two separate trainings.

2020 Plans

Bruce laid out the following 2020 plans and goals for AAACERT:

  • Formally affiliate with a Search & Rescue group(s).
  • Expand our support for the Anne Arundel County Police.
  • Pursue additional grant opportunities for operational needs.
  • Develop a strategic plan for the next three years, and begin development of tactical plans to meet our strategic objectives.
  • Empower the four district team leads (see above).
  • Create operational groups (see above).

Financial Notes

He advised the AAACERT members present that 2020 dues ($10) are due by Dec. 31. Dues and donations pay for AAACERT’s insurance, website fees, D4H, and administrative expenses. Any grants we obtain are focused on purchase of equipment and items.

Guest Reports

Jim Krempel, representing the Anne Arundel OEM, thanked all of the volunteers present for their service. He honored AAACERT member Erick Graves with a challenge coin for Eric’s exemplary work this year for AAACERT and ARES.

Dave Mandell, the Annapolis OEM Deputy Director, also thanked AAACERT for its continuing partnership with the city.

Lastly, Del. Mark Chang (D-Dist. 32) spoke on behalf of the Maryland General Assembly to thank AAACERT for its support of the 600,000+ residents of Anne Arundel County. He said the county has significant needs for emergency support, and that AAACERT plays a key role in meeting them.

Ham Radio

Paul announced that the AAACERT Ham radio net operates on the third Tuesday of every month at 442.3/107.2.


The group held elections for new officers. Paul Bowling will step down from the presidency in 2020, and Bruce Morgenstern will become the new president. Rick Cooper was re-elected as secretary. In accordance with the AAACERT by-laws, vacant/acting positions (Vice President and Treasurer) will be appointed by the Board at its December meeting. In late 2020, AAACERT will hold elections for the other positions on the board, namely Vice President, Treasurer, and CERT Coordinator.

County Seeks Volunteers for Emergency Preparedness Assessment


The Anne Arundel County Department of Health is seeking volunteers to assist its Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response in conducting a Community Assessment for Emergency Preparedness and Response (CASPER) on September 17 and 18, 2019.  The goal of this assessment is to determine the current status of preparedness in the county and to identify gaps in emergency preparedness and response knowledge and readiness.

Over these two days, teams will go out into the community and interview households using a questionnaire to collect data. The information collected will help inform our program and better address the needs of the community.

Dates: September 17 and 18, 2019. Volunteers may work one or both days.

Time: Just-in-time training will take place at 12:30 p.m. on September 17 at the County Department of Health, located at 3 Harry S. Truman Parkway in Annapolis. Volunteers unable to attend the training must participate in a conference call prior to participation in the CASPER. After receiving just-in-time training, MD Responds and CERT volunteers will be paired with Department of Health staff and assigned pre-determined neighborhoods to conduct the survey from approximately 3:00 p.m.-7:15 p.m.  Snacks will be provided.

Location: Volunteers will meet at the Lower Level Conference Room at the Department of Health before heading out with their assigned groups in a county vehicle. Groups will reassemble and return to this location at 7:15 p.m.

The CASPER will take place rain or shine. Volunteers should expect to be on their feet for a few hours, and be comfortable interacting with members of the public. Regular breaks will be offered.

Those interested in participating should contact Jessica Bangel (

Free classes prepare you for entry-level ham radio license exam

The basic knowledge of ham radio is freely available to anyone willing to learn. This fall, two organizations will offer free, entry-level ham radio classes in Anne Arundel County. These classes will prepare you for the Amateur Radio Technician License Exam that local volunteer examiners administer.

The first class begins on Thursday, September 5 and runs once a week for seven weeks; the second class begins on Saturday, October 5 and runs once a week for six weeks.

The National Electronics Museum will host the first series of Amateur Radio licensing courses at 1745 West Nursery Road in Linthicum, MD, starting on Thursday, September 5, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The first course will cover the entry-level Technician Class license, and run for seven weeks. Additional courses will follow the Technician course later in the fall. These will offer training for the more advanced General and Extra Class licenses. Those interested should contact Rol Anders, K3RA,, 410-796-4792.

Alternatively, the Anne Arundel Radio Club (AARC), located at 3789 Queen Anne Bridge Rd. in Davidsonville, MD, will host a Ham Radio Technician class this fall.  The class will begin on Saturday, October 5, 2019 and run six consecutive Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. till noon. Following the sixth and final class on November 9, students will have the opportunity to take their Ham Radio Technician exam at 1:00 p.m. Anyone interested in taking this class should contact Keith Miller, AE3D,

There is no charge for either class. Students should obtain a copy of the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, Fourth Edition for the Technician course (earlier editions are not acceptable, since the question pool has changed.)

AAACERT members completing any of these classes should forward their completion certificates and hours to Vice President Bruce Morgenstern

What is a Technician’s License?

This entry-level ham radio license is awarded after an applicant passes a 35-question multiple choice  examination on radio theory, regulations, and operating practices. The license grants full operating privileges on all amateur bands above 30 MHz and limited privileges in portions of the high frequency (HF) bands.

The Federal Communications Commission issues amateur radio licenses in the United States without charge. Licenses remain valid for 10 years from the date of issuance or renewal.

Mass-Casualty Incident Simulation at BWI Provides Training for Paramedic Students

On June 5, members of the Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT), along with other volunteers, supported a simulated mass-casualty response exercise at Thurgood Marshall BWI Airport in Linthicum, MD. The Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) paramedic program conducted the drill in concert with BWI safety personnel and the Anne Arundel County Fire Department to train paramedic students as they pursue certification in their program. Held just off the runway amid arriving and departing aircraft, the exercise centered on a decommissioned airplane that has been the site of numerous responder training scenarios. AACC adjunct instructor Joe Cvach estimated that approximately 40-50 individuals were involved in the exercise.

The scenario in play was a flight that had had violence aboard and a subsequent hard landing with injuries. The paramedic students’ initial task was to triage the “victims” as quickly as possible. Each victim had an assigned status and was stationed aboard the aircraft, so the students faced the obstacle not only of handling an overwhelming number of casualties, but also of transporting those victims who were “red” (unable to move and needing immediate care and transport) and “yellow” (injured and unable to move, but stable enough to have care delayed beyond basic first aid until critical patients are handled). Having set up appropriate triage areas, the students had to monitor patients constantly to ensure the victims’ status had not changed before they could be transported.

In the “red” triage area, a victim has been triaged and marked with injuries, as well as immediate care provided. (Photo by Laurie Goodell)

In the hotwash following the exercise, the evaluators noted that the transportation piece of a mass-casualty incident (MCI) is often the most complex and challenging. Students were reminded of mutual aid compacts in place among private sector and government entities to assist with matters such as staging and transportation in situations of extenuating circumstances like an MCI. Victims also offered perspectives on patient care that could help the students as they move forward in their training.

Michael Weekley, of the Upper Marlboro CERT, has participated in numerous exercises, including active shooter drills at the Metro, the Naval Academy, and the Internal Revenue Service building. “In every previous drill I’ve done, I’ve been triaged “black” – I’m hoping I get to be a survivor this time,” said Weekley. (He was “green” – walking wounded.)

Neal Anders of AAACERT discussed the training benefit to CERT members of volunteering as a victim, beyond the obvious assist it gives first responders. This was Anders’s second time playing a victim. In his last assignment, playing the role of a tornado disaster victim, he noted that successive groups of responders in the same, repeated simulation handled his case differently. “As a victim, I could see that people sometimes make mistakes; this gives me a chance to experience it from the other side and make mental notes on what I might do differently.” Anders discussed his earlier experience in a wide-area search training class, where he was taught to ask himself, “’Why did I miss things?’ You can miss obvious things because you’re so focused on a task. Those are the sorts of lessons being a victim teaches you.”

Paramedic students (in blue shirts) and some of the victims await instructions as instructors prepare the scene on the plane. (Photo by Laurie Goodell)

One of the paramedic students, Manfred Tambe, is also a nurse; Tambe is originally from the West African country of Cameroon. “To me, this exercise [and others like it] is the reason safety and security in [the U.S.] are the best in the world.” Tambe noted that, in the paramedic program, he has learned valuable information that complements his role as a medical provider at the hospital.

Participants came from a number of sources – some victims, like AAACERT’s Rosy Dorffner (“It lets you use your inner Sarah Bernhardt,” she said wryly), are frequent participants. Others were wives, friends, fellow AACC students, and even some off-duty responders. Anne Arundel County Fire Department personnel attended to carry out the role they normally would in such an incident.

Tambe perhaps summed up the day’s activities best: “It is so important to take time to prepare. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” With their efforts to plan and drill, the instructors, responders, trainees, and victims clearly intend to succeed at saving lives.

Cover photo: A decommissioned aircraft in a secure area of BWI Airport was the site of the MCI drill. (Photo by Laurie Goodell)

Skywarn Spotter Course

Do you have an interest in weather? Would you like to be able to help your local National Weather Service (NWS) office by providing the ground truth on the atmosphere that we observe from radar, satellites, and various reporting stations? If so, consider attending the SKYWARN® program Basic course.

In this course, NWS personnel train attendees to recognize features associated with developing, mature, and dissipating thunderstorms that cause hazardous weather such as lightning, flooding, hail, tornadoes, and downbursts. The attendees will also learn basics about winter weather and
tropical hazards.

At the end of the course, graduates will be assigned a SKYWARN® spotter number which will be maintained in the official database at the NWS in Sterling. They will also be directed how to report this vital weather information. Those who have attended in the past but want a refresher, are welcome to attend again.

This SKYWARN® Spotter Class is offered free of charge from the combined efforts of the local NWS Forecast Office and Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management. A National Weather Service meteorologist will teach the class and provide related materials.

Registration is required to attend the class. Please click here to register.

Thursday, April 4, 2019
1830-2030 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)

Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management (OEM)
7480 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd.
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Contact for questions or concerns regarding the class.

“Skywarn® and the Skywarn® logo are registered trademarks of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used with permission.”

Photo: Vasin Lee/

If It Smells Rotten … Beware! Poison Toxic Tidbits

From ToxicTidbits a monthly publication of Maryland Poison Control Center, University of Maryland.

You are standing near a sewer line and smell rotten eggs. You are helping to resuscitate a patient in cardiopulmonary arrest and smell bitter almonds.
What is that odor?
Volatilized chemicals that humans and animals perceive by the sense of smell  (olfaction) cause odors. Some odors are pleasant while others are unpleasant or even repulsive. An odor can serve as a warning of potential danger. In medicine, recognizing odors is an important skill. It can aid in rapid diagnosis, guide laboratory evaluation and may allow for early treatment before the development of more serious clinical signs … READ THE ARTICLE.

AAACERT Amateur Radio Net – QSL Card Info

Good evening. If you are checking into the net or have checked into the net the QSL below is what you will receive. I expect to mail the cards out around 05 July. Cards will be sent to the address as it is shown on QRZ. If you have  different USMail address that you want use, email me by using the Contact Us form.

AAACERT Amateur Radio Inaugural Net QSL.

We would like to thank Hal & Sue of CheapQSLs for their help with the design and printing of the cards and for the many revisions that we went through. I can’t thank them enough for their help.


Local Amateur Radio Field Day Events

On the fourth weekend of June, more than 40,000 amateur radio operators (hams) throughout North America set up temporary transmitting with their clubs, groups, friends or individually to operate from remote locations. The purpose is to demonstrate ham radio’s science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933 and remains the most popular event in ham radio.

Field Day is a picnic, a campout, practice for emergencies, an informal contest
and, most of all, FUN!

It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our roles. While some will treat it as a contest, other groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities. It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public. For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar.
The contest part is simply to contact as many other stations as possible and to learn to operate our radio gear in abnormal situations and less than optimal conditions.
Amateur Radio operators use these same skills when they help with events such as marathons and bike-a-thons; fund-raisers such as walka-thons;
celebrations such as parades; and exhibits at fairs, malls and museums — these are all large, preplanned, non-emergency activities.
But despite the development of very complex, modern communications systems — or maybe because they ARE so complex — ham radio has been called into action, again and again, to provide communications in crises when it really matters. Amateur Radio people (also called “hams”) are well known for our communications support in a real disaster and post-disaster situations such as recently deployed after the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico.

Where to find local Field Day Activities in Anne Arundel County

Davidsonville, MD
Davidsonville Family Recreation Center
3789 Queen Anne Bridge Road
Davidsonville, MD 21035
Contact: Keith Miller, AE3D
Talk-In: 147.105+/107.2

Pasadena, MD
Downs Park Youth Camping Area
Sponsor: Maryland Mobileers Radio Club (W3CU)
Talk-In: 146.805- / 107.2
Contact: Ross Sorci

Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Launches “Know Your Zone”

The following is taken from the MEMA website.

Program Designed to Ease Evacuation in Areas Subject to Tidal Floods, Surge

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (June 14, 2018) — With the record-setting 2017 hurricane season still fresh in most American’s minds, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), in conjunction with local emergency managers, is rolling out a new hurricane and severe weather evacuation system as a result of the Maryland hurricane evacuation study which concluded earlier this year.  The study identified 3 large areas in Maryland subject to tidal flooding. Know Your Zone aims to bring awareness of the evacuation zones to the forefront of Marylanders’ summer plans and make evacuation notices easier to disseminate.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released its forecast for the upcoming season and predicted near- to above-normal activity.  However, it only takes one storm hitting the mid-Atlantic area to seriously affect Maryland.

“As experts are forecasting an active Hurricane season this year, I strongly encourage all Marylanders to be proactive, prepared, and to Know Your Zone,” said Governor Hogan. “We are all too familiar with the devastating impacts of severe weather and flooding, so remain vigilant, spread the word to your friends, family, neighbors and let them know about the importance of this potentially life-saving initiative.”

The Know Your Zone Logo. A Hurricane Icon with the Maryland State Flag image in it. Text reads "Know Your Zone It's as easy as A-B-C"

Residents of and visitors to Maryland are encouraged to visit the new interactive Know Your Zone web page,, where they can learn more about the project. On that page, you can type in an address and quickly find out what zone, if any, the property is located in.

The first year of the program will encourage Maryland residents to know the evacuation zone of their residence, business or vacation site. The zones are designated by letters AB and C.

Zone A areas are the most likely to be impacted by severe flooding in the event of a major storm or hurricane. In future years, the program will focus on refining evacuation routes away from the affected areas. “Proper and timely messaging for evacuations saves lives,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “This new system is designed to make it easier for local emergency managers to evacuate areas by encouraging Marylanders to Know Your Zone before a storm hits.”

The three evacuation zones only affect areas subject to tidal flooding or storm surge – communities at or near the Atlantic Ocean, the Coastal Bays, and the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. That covers 16 Maryland counties along with Annapolis, Baltimore City and Ocean City.

“Hurricane Sandy in 2012 was a wake-up call for the mid-Atlantic region; it could have been Maryland,” said Strickland. “Working with local and federal partners, and using technology that until recently was not available, we studied updated flooding and surge patterns caused by more powerful storms to develop these new evacuation plans.”

If local officials feel an evacuation is needed to protect lives, they will issue the order by zones instead of having to define specific geographic areas. This program is similar to one rolled out last year in neighboring Virginia.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November. Hurricanes can cause strong winds, heavy rain, inland flooding and other severe weather, but residents in Maryland can be prepared by ensuring they know how to receive a warning, have a plan, practice safety tips and know their evacuation zone.

It is important to remember Maryland can see hurricanes and impacts from a storm hundreds of miles away. Hurricanes can produce 150-plus miles per hour winds, tornadoes and tremendous flooding from both tidal surges as well as torrential rain

Residents can also take the following actions to remain safe:

  • Build an emergency supply kit and develop a family emergency and communications plan.
  • Stay tuned to trusted sources such as the National Weather Service and local broadcasters for official weather information.
  • Follow instructions and advice given by emergency officials, especially instructions related to evacuation.
  • During severe weather, stay indoors away from windows, close all interior doors, and brace external doors. If you live near the shore or coast, expect the storm tide will inundate your home.
  • Monitor NWS flood warnings for your area and be prepared to seek higher ground. Flooding is often our biggest threat.
  • Fill a bathtub or other large container with water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets.
  • Charge electronic devices before bad weather hits and consider keeping a charger in your car.

Additional preparedness information can be found on MEMA’s website at Residents can download the free MARYLAND Prepares mobile app. They can also follow MEMA on Twitter or on Facebook.

AAACERT Amateur Radio Net, Tuesday 19 June – Reminder

AAACERT will host it’s first amateur radio net this Tuesday, 19 June at 1930. ALL amateur radio operators are invited to check in.

To commemorate this special occasion, AAACERT has designed a special QSL card and US Postage stamp for the inaugural event. This is a limited edition of both the QSL and the US Postage stamp ONLY for those who check in on Tuesday. The special QSL cards will be mailed within two weeks after the net.

We expect there will be numerous check-ins so please be patient during the check-in and follow the Net Control Operator (NCO) instructions. This will be a directed net.

Date/Time: Tuesday, 19 June 1930 hrs.
Frequency: 442.3000 / 107.2 (Annapolis)
Echo Link: 90911

Contact Erick Graves (WA3G) or Paul Bowling (W4ATN) for additional details.