May 2020

While LWR CERT has canceled all in-person meetings through the end of May, we continue to work behind the scenes to prepare our community's disaster response..
From the top

I hope this newsletter finds you and yours healthy and safe as we are nearing the end of Governor DeSantis’ “Safer at Home” order for April.

Starting May 4, the state will be gradually opening up. It is amazing to see how many scientific and medical resources have been focused on learning more about this novel virus so that we can feel safe with our gradual reopening. LWR CERT leaders are watching carefully to see what we can do to resume LWR CERT activities in a more normal manner.
Coming in May
Our Training Committee is working on our first video-based skills enhancement session, to replace the skills enhancement session that we had scheduled for May. They hope to have Your Backpack and What Is In It ready for our members in May.
What can you do with your time now?
We are now about 30 days from hurricane season. This is a good time to review your family emergency plan. The coronavirus emergency has grocery stores scrambling to keep up with demand, so stocking up your disaster supplies may take a little more effort this year. The LWR CERT website hurricane preparedness page contains links to many great resources. One that offers suggestions for your disaster supply cabinet is the Manatee County Disaster Guide .
Stay healthy. 

Jim Emanuelson
President, LWR CERT
Team Kit Pick Up Reminds All That Hurricane Season is Near
Team Kit Pickup
May 30 from 9 - 10:30 AM

All team captains should plan to pick up their Team Kits on Saturday, May 30 at the LWR CERT storage facility. If you cannot pick up your Team Kit on May 30, please make arrangements with one of your team members to make the Pickup.

The Logistics Team is prepared to follow contactless delivery and social distancing, so there is no need for you to get out of our vehicle. (And, if you haven't driven anywhere in a while, this trip is a great way to recharge your vehicle's battery...)

Saturday, May 30 is the weekend after Memorial Day and is just ahead of the June 1 start of Hurricane Season.
Behind the Scenes: LWR CERT Training Committee
By Nigel Pilling
LWR CERT Training Committee Chair

Earlier this year, FEMA provided revisions to the CERT Basic Training, the first major revision since 2012.

The Training Committee and course presenters are working hard to incorporate the updated FEMA training, while keeping it relevant and specific to the challenges we expect in LWR. We’re moving to use a version of the slide format they have provided. Check out the examples on the right.

Thanks to all for their hard work, including David Cashbaugh, Pat Knowles, Jan Kuhn, Phil Johnson with support from Mary Benfer, Ken Bertram, Eileen Cashbaugh, Karen Emanuelson, Deb Jernigan, Tom Pratt, and Tim Sherer !

We are updating all 9 modules as well as our specific Lakewood Ranch additions for Medical and Radio Communications.

We are now expecting to begin teaching from the new FEMA CERT Basic Training manual with our next Basic Training course.

Here’s the link to the new manual: FEMA CERT Basic Training Participant Manual .

If you would like to participate in reviewing the materials as they are being finalized, email Nigel Pilling at . Current LWR CERT members are not required to take the new Basic Training course but may audit it on a space available basis. We will also be uploading all our course materials to our website later this year when they are complete so all volunteers will have access.
Introducing Technology to How We Manage LWR CERT
By Nigel Pilling
LWR CERT Technology Committee

Late last year we began a review of which technologies could help improve how we operate LWR CERT, both from a member perspective and overall.

Thanks to this initiative, we have implemented our new website with its member area to provide volunteers with access to key information. This included a whole redesign and migration to a new vendor to operate it. We will be adding more and more information to the site to help ensure our members are both informed of emerging events as well as able to access the information critical to helping LWR CERT be effective for our community.

We have implemented the Google G-Suite applications. This has given LWR CERT a secure business platform for our email and document storage, and many other useful tools. Board and committee members now have email addresses, we have organized our (thousands of) documents into secure folders, and we are now using Google Meet regularly for conducting business video conference calls.

With the current situation and the closure of Town Hall, LWR CERT has been able to continue meeting using the Google Meet tools. So, committee meetings, work on our development of the training course, as well as our board meetings, have been able to proceed uninterrupted.

As we become more familiar and comfortable with the tool set, we will be looking at how to expand its usage to help us become even more effective. One example we are working on is providing online training and refresher videos through our website.

Thanks to Karen Emanuelson, David Cashbaugh and Nigel Pilling as well as the Board and Committee Managers for their input and support of this initiative.

In addition, and thanks to our 501(c) non-profit status, we have been able to use the Google G-Suite applications, DreamHost for our website and the Microsoft Office tools at no cost. We have access to other tools at greatly reduced cost through TechSoup. We are grateful for the support of these vendors in helping us be effective in the support of our community.

Anyone want to help LWR CERT navigate best practices for virtual communications and teaching? Anyone want to help with managing and operating our technology environment?” If so, contact Nigel Pilling .
Help Keep our First Responders Safe and Healthy
The Manatee Health Line is a phone number set up specifically for anyone who believes he/she may have COVID-19. This is not a general information line!

Manatee Health Hotline
941-242-6649 - staffed 8 AM - 5 PM Monday to Friday
1-866-779-6121 - available 24/7

Help keep our first responders safe and healthy. Call the Manatee Health Hotline, or if you call 9-1-1, specify the symptoms you're experiencing, such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing and respiratory illness.

When you dial 9-1-1, they will ask questions to assess any possible exposure to COVID-19. Based on these responses, the 9-1-1 operator may dispatch a paramedic crew that's prepared and equipped to help the caller. The additional questions do not delay assistance to the caller, and the questions help keep first responders safe.

If sick patients are able, they should walk outside to meet the first responders in an effort to reduce exposure in close situations.
Member News
Eileen Cashbaugh has sewn numerous cotton masks with pockets for hepa filters that she donated to Tidewell Hospice and others through contacts made on Thanks for sharing your talent, Eileen!

Happy May birthday to members Pablo Acevedo, Laura Adcock, Richard Ade, Norman Baillie, David Benfer, Annette Buhr, Larry Clemons, Ray Culver, Karen Emanuelson, Polly Greene, Paul Jackowski, Sue Joy-Sobota, Stan Niemi, Alan Silverglat, Jerry Swanson, Edie Thompson, Elizabeth Trencheny, Brenda Vertuca, Celia Williams, and Judy Williams.
From the Archives....
Members identified

We heard from several members who appreciated the 2012 Easter Bunny photo that we shared in the April newsletter. They were able to provide a few names.

They identified (from lower left), Vicki Horsworth, Barb Davey, Mike Staley, Tim Sherer (center) , and Patt Staley (lower right).
Hurricane Preparedness Week May 3 - 9, 2020
Upcoming LWR CERT Meetings and Training

Communications Committee - Video Call  - Tuesday, May 5 at 4 PM
Board Meeting - Video Call - Monday, May 11 at 7 PM
Operations Committee - Video Call  - Thursday, May 14 at 6 PM
Radio Communications Committee - Video Call  - Wednesday, May 20 at 7 PM
Team Kit Distribution/Pick Up - Saturday, May 30 from 9 - 10:30 AM

CANCELED - Skills Refresher- Saturday, May 9
CANCELED: PUBLIC Session: Hurricane Preparedness - Thursday, May 14
POSTPONED: 2020 Simulation Event - Saturday, May 16
CANCELED: Member Meeting - Monday, May 18
CANCELED: Basic Training Session - June 4 - 13
2020 LWR CERT Executive Committee

President - Jim Emanuelson
Vice President - Jan Kuhn
Treasurer - Pat Knowles
Liaison - Deb Diven
Newsletter Editor - Karen Emanuelson, Communications Manager

Special thanks to Diane Anderson for her amazing proofreading skills

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