April 22, 2024

Whole Community News

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CERTs, neighbors practice emergency communications on ‘ShakeOut Saturday’

3 min read
Andy Davis conducts a safety briefing in advance of a large-scale CERT exercise this weekend.

Andy Davis conducts a safety briefing in advance of a large-scale CERT exercise this weekend.

Eugene Springfield CERTs will conduct a large-scale ham radio exercise this Saturday. It’s part of the Great Oregon Shakeout, and they are inviting neighborhoods to take part.

[00:00:13] Andy Davis: I call them search teams, or survey teams, they go through neighborhoods, actually do a walk survey for damage assessment. And the neighborhood sweep teams as we’re talking about they are the, the root of our system or the anchor to our system, because they’re the ones that would be supplying the information to the EOC.

We can have all the hams in the world, but if we don’t have information going through the ham, all they are is just have some ham and some sweet potatoes and we can half call it dinner, but that’s about it. But so the neighborhoods are the anchor to the system.

[00:00:51] John Q: Andy conducted a safety meeting Tuesday in advance of Saturday’s exercise.

[00:00:57] Andy Davis: The report for weather for this Saturday: temperature is going to be in the low fifties to mid fifties, no thunderstorms for Saturday, but it’s supposed to rain, a hundred percent chance of rain for Saturday. So Megan and Kathy, your folks that will be out doing a neighborhood sweep make sure that they have safety equipment, keeping themselves warm, keep themselves dry.

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[00:01:21] Kathy Anovich: It’s just a reminder for us all radio transmissions will begin and end with ‘This is an exercise.’ So I’ll be reminding all of our team captains about that. And that would be what I too would say to our ham: ‘This is an exercise,’ and then begin my message and then finish with ‘This as an exercise.’ Is that correct?

[00:01:46] Andy Davis: That’s correct, because the group will not be the only ones that will be listening. There’ll be people that will be listening and we don’t want them to think that, ‘oh no, it’s another, what is it? ‘The War of The Worlds‘ thing all over again. So yes. Make sure we say exercise, exercise,

[00:02:04] John Q: Andy said it’s important to prepare an After Action Report. They plan to meet Saturday afternoon to say what went well, and where they can improve.

[00:02:14] Andy Davis: Immediately following the exercise at 2:00 PM, we will have a debrief and a zoom debrief. I wanted to do it for 2:00 PM. So everything is still fresh in your mind. What happened during the exercise? So that we can self evaluate how the exercise went. Hopefully Thia (Bell) will be taking notes as well for that, and we will, this way we can learn from things that we could do better next year.

I have some other ideas I like to share with each of the districts and neighborhoods, if you’re interested. I’d be more than happy to share with you and help you along with your district’s CERT leader to try to grow your neighborhoods and your district for next year. And I want to keep your folks busy training because that way, I think training is kind of fun, uh, gives us things to do.

[00:03:07] John Q: Andy said this is just part of a larger Exercise and Evaluation Plan, which ranges from radio drills and tabletop exercises to city-wide games and simulations that involve multiple agencies. The City offered to evaluate the CERTs during these exercises.

[00:03:27] Andy Davis: We want to do follow on training. Maybe once a month, district-wide do a similar thing as what we’re doing this Saturday, but just for the district. Friendly Area Neighborhood would do their thing. Whiteaker could do the same thing, improve upon, do some more exercise, maybe add a little bit more to it. You might want to add in you’re in a scenario, say you need medical attention. Thia (Bell) can correct me, but I think Friendly was working on having medical teams that would respond. So that would be an idea to add to a training. And I want to do the same thing for the Northeast district. Don—I think Don and Southeast One—they’ve been doing a lot of training all along.

[00:04:13] John Q: To take part in Saturday’s Shakeout, contact your neighborhood association.

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