June 2021

Hurricane Season officially begins today. Stock up on "disaster preparedness" supplies tax free in Florida through June 6.
From the top
 
“This will be a good year.”
“We haven’t had a big storm in years.”
“I live too far inland to worry.”

Perhaps you've heard these excuses. With the start of the 2021 Hurricane Season, LWR CERT wants to remind everyone that, regardless of predictions and superstitions, it only takes one storm to negatively impact our lives.

We never know when the next big storm will come or how bad it will be. Encourage your neighbors to begin stocking up for a potential hurricane. The Florida Sales Tax Holiday for Disaster Supplies runs through June 6 and is a great reason to pick up batteries, a solar powered radio or even a cooler in the next few days. Check out the list of items included in the Tax Holiday below in this newsletter.
 
Thank you to Pat Knowles, members of the Logistics Committee, and the Team Captains who completed a successful Team Kit Pick Up May 22. Having these supplies in our neighborhoods might prove invaluable, should a storm hit our area. Thanks, too, to Jack Kerber who programmed Incident Command radios as Team Kits were being loaded into vehicles.
 
As the pandemic situation is improving in our county, LWR CERT is beginning to schedule in-person events. This month, we are offering our first in-person Basic Training class since the pandemic. It has been more than a year since we have been able to provide Basic Training; we look forward to meeting and working with our newest members. We'll introduce them to you in the July newsletter.
 
I look forward to seeing you in the neighborhood. Stay safe!

Jim Emanuelson
President, LWR CERT
850.396.2695
Recap: May 6 Member Meeting
Dealing with animals: Before, during and after a hurricane
Dr. Terry Clekis, Medical Director and co-owner of Braden River Animal Hospital, enlightened almost 60 members at our May Member meeting about the best ways to deal with animals during stormy times. Thanks to Jan Kuhn for arranging for Dr. Clekis' presentation.

After Hurricane Katrina, more than 70,000 pets were separated from their families! As a result, the PETS Act, a federal law, was passed that requires states, cities and counties to enact disaster plans that "account for the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals, before, during and following a major disaster or emergency" before they can receive any federal funding. This encourages pet-friendly shelters. FEMA is also permitted to reimburse state and local governments for rescuing, caring for, and sheltering animals in an emergency. It does not require hotels and motels to accept animals.
How to keep your pets safe
  1. Have a pet disaster plan
  2. Have a supply of at least 2 weeks of pet food, bottled water, and pet medicines on hand, whether you are evacuating or sheltering in place
  3. Know which vet hospitals will be open, which shelters are pet friendly, and have a list of pet-friendly hotels
  4. Have digital and printed copies of your pets' health and vaccination records with you, especially rabies shot information
  5. Ensure your pet is wearing a collar with rabies tag and your contact information including cell phone and email address
  6. If you become separated, it's helpful to have a photo of you and your pet together to prove ownership
  7. Pet emergency stickers near your front door can alert others of your pet inside
  8. Keep your pet secured in a carrier or cage. During a storm, windows may be broken and/or lanai screens damaged allowing a frightened pet to get lost. Free-roaming pets may be exposed to cuts and scrapes from debris as well as contaminated water and dangerous chemicals.
Dr. Clekis' Top Tip for Pet Owners: Microchips are extremely important. You are far more likely to be reunited with a pet if it has a microchip. Make sure the contact information on your pet's microchip is up to date with your latest contact information. This is usually done through the microchip manufacturer. A vet's office can help you identify your pets' microchip manufacturer.
Dealing with animals during activation
  1. Animals may have PTSD; they may be fearful, stressed and/or injured. They may be territorial and aggressive. If an animal is growling, back off.
  2. According to Dr. Clekis, animals provide plenty of warning of aggression through their body language. Yawning and licking their lips shows increased anxiety. Ears back and tail stiff are usually followed by barking, growling, lunging and charging.
  3. To mitigate aggression, let the animal make the initial contact.
  4. Move slowly and speak softly.
  5. Animals can sense your anxiety and will feed off your energy.
  6. Don't remove a pet from its home. Make sure the pet is protected. Document where you found a pet and any actions taken (fed, provided water).
  7. If you discover an injured animal, do not approach. Contact your Group Leader with the pertinent information, including the address. Your GL will contact the IC.

Thanks to Board member Valerie Stafford-Mallis for providing these supplemental pet prep resources:
The May Member meeting was a 2021 Active Responder qualifying event.
Public Event Recap:
Hurricane Prep: Keep Your Home and Family Safe
The first of this year's public Hurricane Preparedness educational sessions was a hit with more than 55 area residents participating in the virtual session on May 26.

LWR CERT President Jim Emanuelson provided information about LWR CERT, the benefits of membership and how area residents can become members. Pat Knowles, LWR CERT Board member, presented a wealth of hurricane preparedness information, including how to determine whether you and your family should stay or go when a hurricane is forecast for the LWR area.

The 75-minute session was recorded and is available on the LWR CERT YouTube channel or by clicking on the accompanying graphic.

Thanks to Jim, Pat and all the members who attended.

The Hurricane Prep session was a 2021 Active Responder Qualifying Event.
Recap:
Hurricane Athena Activation Deemed a Success
During the May Member Meeting, board member and Operations Manager Dave Cashbaugh reviewed the feedback from the April 16 Hurricane Athena activation exercise.

The exercise was planned to provide a review of Readiness Conditions (RC) 1 through 4 as well as the actions to take for each RC. The entire organization also practiced the activation process from sending and receiving emails and texts to radio procedures.

More than 90% of our members were contacted by their Team Captain and 80% were contacted by their Group Leader -- a testament to the dedication of our TCs and GLs. THANK YOU for your leadership during Hurricane Athena.

More than half of the participants completed a post-exercise survey where they overwhelmingly agreed that the exercise was well organized, the right length and useful. A study of traffic to the LWR CERT website showed more than 279 "hits" to the Member Action pages, with spikes showing up shortly after each Readiness Condition change email was sent to members.

Thank you to all members who participated in the Hurricane Athena exercise and honed in your activation and radio skills. The exercise was a successful test of the LWR CERT Emergency Communications Radio Network. Individual members transmitted and received radio messages on their walkie-walkies to their Group Leaders, who used their IC radios to communicate with their Hubs, who, in turn, relayed information to the Incident Commander and our medical advisor.
Congratulations!
Additional members reach 2021 Active Responder status
Wow! Our members are really engaged this year!

Congratulations to those who earned 2021 Active Responder in May. There are now 128 members in Tier 1 and 60 members in the elite Tier 2!

During Team Kit Pick Up, Team Captains were provided with Active Responder awards for all their team members who earned their statuses in March, April and May. Contact your TC if you earned 2021 Active Responder status and have not yet received your award.
Tier 1
Kathy Combs
Dennis Johnson
Judy Johnson
Judy Williams
Tier 2
Norman Baillie
David Benfer
Robert Dapper
Mel Davis
Margaret Davis
Deborah Jernigan
Karen Lemley
Larry Lemley
Eileen O'Neill
Mike Resetarits
Gerald Toner
Stephen Voutsas
John Waggett
Sheila White
Jaw Thrust Maneuver:
The new "first choice" procedure for opening airway
The new FEMA Basic Training course teaches CERT members to use the Jaw Thrust maneuver to clear the airway of an unconscious survivor.

When most of our current members attended Basic Training, we were taught to use the Head Tilt Chin Lift maneuver.

All new members will be instructed to use the Jaw Thrust maneuver during their Basic Training.

Current members should watch the Jaw Thrust Demonstration video by clicking on this link or on the photo to learn how to use the Jaw Thrust maneuver to clear the airway of an unconscious survivor. LWR CERT owns two manikins which can be used to train on this maneuver. Contact Training@LWRCERT.org if you are interested in attending an in-person session to learn the Jaw Thrust maneuver.
Did you get your copy yet?
New Quick Activation Guide aids members in field
The first edition Quick Activation Guide (QAG) has been published and was distributed to Team Captains during Team Kit Pick Up on May 22.

The QAG will serve as a fast reference in the field during activation covering topics such as how to mark a building, recognizing shock, and the 6 steps of triage. Pages devoted to at-a-glance step-by-step guides to the jaw thrust maneuver, how to control bleeding, and using a tourniquet are inside. Dos and don'ts of animal encounters, splinting, treating burns, and dealing with spontaneous volunteers are also included.

TCs were provided with a copy for each of their team members. Contact your TC if you have not yet received your QAG. We recommend you fill in the vital information on the cover and keep your QAG near the top of your backpack for easy, quick access during activation.
2021 Hurricane Season Team Kit Pick Up May 22
Member News and Things to Know
party_pooper_bday.jpg
Happy June birthday to members Maria Ade, Norma Ballard, Carole Bernard, Mel Davis, Bob Donato, Jim Emanuelson, Kris Hoekman, Irene Jimenez, Laura Lando, David Mills, Ron Ogrodnik, and Stan Schuer.

Refresh Your Backpack - Members are encouraged to empty out their backpacks and review the contents to ensure that supplies are fresh and remain useable. Replacement supplies are available at no cost to members. Send your list of supply replacement needs to your Team Captain, who will coordinate with Pat Knowles, Logistics Manager. You will receive your supplies in a few days.

New Manatee County All-Hazards Disaster Planning Guide - The 2021 edition of the Manatee County guide is available through a link on the hurricane page of the LWR CERT website or by clicking here

FEMA App - Did you know FEMA has an app? It's available in Google Play and Apple App stores. It provides real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to 5 locations, a handy Emergency Kit checklist, and tips for reducing your risk. It also helps locate open emergency shelters and provides a way to register for FEMA disaster assistance online.
Volunteer Opportunities
In light of the Board's recent expansion of the LWR CERT Mission Statement to include providing safety support for our community, we are sharing individual volunteer opportunities our members may wish to consider.
 
Local Feeding Events - Feeding Tampa Bay
  • Manatee County Mega Pantry: Every Tuesday 3 - 6 PM (feed 900+ families) Location: Desoto Mall, Hungry Howie's side, 303 301 Blvd W, Bradenton 34205 
  • Manatee School Pantry - Every other Thursday 3-4:30 PM Help fill the summer meal gap by serving students in Tampa Bay with nutritious groceries. Volunteers will pack boxes of assorted groceries and distribute them. Location: Rogers Garden Elementary, 515 13th Ave W, Bradenton 34205
Have a volunteer opportunity you'd like to share in an upcoming newsletter? Email details and links to: Communications@LWRCERT.org
Upcoming LWR CERT Meetings and Training
Meetings take place virtually unless otherwise noted and are open to all members

Communications/15th Anniversary Planning Committee - Video Call - Tuesday, June 1 at 4 PM - email for login information
Basic Training - Begins June 2 through June 26. Details provided to registered students.
Operations Committee - Video Call - Thursday, June 10 at 6 PM
Board Meeting - Video Call - Monday, June 14 at 7 PM
Radio Communications Committee - Video Call - Wednesday, June 16 at 7 PM
Group Leader Training - July 10
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

Newsletter Proof Reader - Diane Anderson

Send comments, suggestions, and photos for future issues to communications@lwrcert.org
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