February 2021

We started off 2021 with several very well attended events resulting in our members earning more than 110 2021 Active Responder awards!

From the top

Thank you to our wonderful volunteers for your support of LWR CERT activities through a very difficult 2020. Our record number of more than 150 Active Responders shows your dedication to our organization and our goals.

The 2021 LWR CERT Board of Directors is in place, and we are looking forward to the day when we can safely hold in-person events once again. We have updated our Mission Statement to expand our public safety support in the future.

Jim Emanuelson
President, LWR CERT
Encore Event Set for Feb. 10
COVID-19 Scams Virtual Public Information Session
Due to the overwhelming response to our January online COVID-19 Scams event in conjunction with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, we've added a second event on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 7 PM. The Feb. 10 event will cover the same information shared on Jan. 25, so there is no need to attend both.

This is a virtual public event -- invite your neighbors, friends and family to attend. Details and registration are available on our website www.lwrcert.org/events or RSVP below to reserve your spot and to receive login information.
The COVID-19 Scams event is free and open to the public. It is a 2021 Active Responder Qualifying Event for LWR CERT members.
First Member Meeting of 2021 was Record Breaking!
Daniel Noah from the National Weather Service presented "2020: A Record Breaking Hurricane Season" to more than 75 members and prospects Jan. 13. This was our largest virtual event ever!

Dan shared NWS's reactions to the hurricanes of 2020 and provided valuable insights. Did you know that Southwest Florida is the #1 most difficult hurricane evacuation area in the US and that 9 out of 10 tropical cyclone fatalities are due to water, not wind? Or that the purpose of your hurricane kit is not to protect you during the storm but to help you survive after the storm?
Click here or on the graphic of the hurricane cone to download a .pdf of Dan's presentation.

A few of the other links shared by Dan include:

Our thanks to Dan for an educational and entertaining presentation, which one of our members said was the best and most worthwhile presentation he had seen in a while!
Skills Refresher - Before the Season
The more than 50 members who attended the first Skills Refresher of the year on Wednesday, Jan. 21 learned several new activation procedures and refreshed their training on key activation points. Thanks to Training Manager Nigel Pilling for organizing and conducting the session.

Key takeaways for members included:
  • As a member, you are part of a Team and have a Team Captain (blue skies). When activating, you are part of a Group and have a Group Leader (grey skies). In most, but not all, neighborhoods in LWR, the Team Captain takes on the role of Group Leader during activation.
  • Cell phones should be used to take damage assessment photos. These can be uploaded to the professional first responders and County Emergency Management.
  • During activation, always call 911 directly if you need emergency assistance. Then use your radio to tell your Group Leader that you called 911 or were unable to contact 911 and need emergency assistance.
  • No communication is sent to members between Readiness Condition #2 (the storm is happening and the organization will activate) and Readiness Condition #1 (the storm has passed and the organization is activating). The organization automatically moves to Readiness Condition #1 after the storm has passed. Members who feel safe enough to activate after the storm has passed should follow activation instructions provided by their Group Leader. 
2021 Active Responder Program off to a Roaring Start
With a Team Captain meeting, member meeting, skills refresher, and public educational session all in the month of January, our members were active and involved.

Congratulations to the 90 members who have already qualified as Tier 1 2021 Active Responders and the 21 who have qualified as Tier 2 2021 Active Responders. WOW! Awards will be distributed by Team Captains shortly.
2021 Active Responders Tier 1 Members
2021 Active Responders Tier 2 Members
See a name or two on the list you recognize? Want to join your friends and become a member of LWR CERT? Visit the How to Join page on our website https://lwrcert.org to learn more. Then send us your contact information via the link on website or click here. We're always looking for new volunteer members!
Ham Radio Hub Network Provides Lifeline During Storms
According to National Weather Service's Daniel Noah, the only way they could communicate with Port Charlotte officials after a major storm for several days was via ham radio.

LWR CERT is fortunate to have a team of dedicated ham radio operators who serve as our Radio Communications Committee (RCC) and our radio hubs, providing a vital link between our organization and professional responders and Manatee County Emergency Management.

The hub operators conduct quarterly hub radio tests to ensure that they will be ready to respond when the organization activates. Thank you to our current hub operators:
  • Tim Sherer (KJ4ICT) - Central Hub
  • Stan Schuer (WA2REX) - Hub 2 - CEVA area
  • Jack Kerber (KJ4ICP) - Hub 3 - CEVA area
  • Mark Marcus (KM4LGP) - Hub 4 - CCW area
  • Nick Frederick (KK4CLS) - Hub 5 - CCW area
  • Frank Giannone (WO4GQ) - Hub 6 - Summerfield area
  • Gordon Kuhn (KK4CJP) - Hub 7 - Greenbrook area
  • Jim Emanuelson (KN4VMK) - Incident Commander

The RCC is seeking new members interested in learning more about ham radio. RCC members are provided with assistance in obtaining their FCC ham radio license. A ham radio, antenna, backup battery and all equipment needed to serve as a hub are also provided at no cost to hub operators. To learn more about joining the RCC, contact Jim Emanuelson.
Member News and Things to Know
Happy February birthday to members Rinita Acevedo, Mark Boutote, Matthew Cangemi, Paul Catalano, Larry Euston, Stephen Greene, Tom Hickey, George Kommick, Dennis McSherry, Murray Miller, Dennis Pryor, Bill Quaid, John Rocco, Mollie Saia, Mike Staley, and Arline Stein.

Congratulations to our newest two team captains: Kris Hoekman will serve as Team Captain for Team #7, and Bruce Bedford will serve as Team Captain for Team #9. Thank you to both of you for stepping up and accepting these positions.

Congratulations to Gordon Kuhn (KK4CJP) who recently passed his FCC Amateur radio General-Class License exam. Gordon is a the Technical Lead for the Radio Communications Committee and serves as Hub #7, which serves the Greenbrook area during activation.

Congratulations to Pat Knowles who recently passed the FEMA CERT Train The Trainer course and is now one of our three members qualified to serve as course manager for CERT Basic Training. In addition to serving on the Executive Committee and as our Treasurer, Pat frequently serves as an instructor for Basic Training modules and a presenter for our hurricane preparedness sessions.

Welcome to new member Frank Giannone (WO4GQ), who has stepped up to serve as a new member of the Radio Communications Committee and Radio Hub #6 serving the Summerfield area. Frank is also a leader in Manatee County ARES, which provides essential communications for Manatee County Emergency Management.

Can you believe some members graduated from Basic training a decade ago? The condition of band-aids and other first aid items in your backpack may have deteriorated, even if you are a recent graduate. Members are encouraged to review and examine the contents of their backpacks. Contact your Team Captain if any of your supplies need to be refreshed.
Upcoming LWR CERT Meetings and Training
Meetings are virtual unless otherwise noted and are open to all members

Communications/15th Anniversary Planning Committee - Video Call - Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 4 PM - email for login information
Board Meeting - Video Call - Monday, Feb. 8 at 7 PM
ENCORE Virtual Public Event - COVID-19 Scams - Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 7 PM - RSVP for login info
Operations Committee - Video Call - Thursday, Feb. 11 at 6 PM
Radio Communications Committee - Video Call - Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 7 PM
Next Member Meeting - Monday, March 29 at 7 PM - mark your calendars
LWR CERT Executive Committee

President - Jim Emanuelson
Vice President - Jan Kuhn
Treasurer - Pat Knowles
Liaison - Deb Diven

LWR CERT 941.404.8606
Newsletter Editor - Karen Emanuelson, Communications Manager

Thanks to Diane Anderson for proofreading our newsletters.

Send comments, suggestions, and photos for future issues to communications@lwrcert.org
Like us on Facebook for LWRCERT news & severe weather updates
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for notifications on new videos