Urban Shield Exercise

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What:  2014 Urban Shield Exercise
When: Saturday, September 6 and Sunday, September 7, 2014
Where: NASA/AMES Research Center

 The Alameda County Fire Department would like to invite you to participate in the 2014 Urban Shield Exercise on Saturday, September 6th and Sunday, September 7th in the South Bay.  Urban Shield 2014 is a full-scale regional preparedness training exercise involving local, national, and international first responder agencies.  Some of the positions and roles that are filled by CERT Teams include logistics/site support, Ham Radio communications and support to the Urban Search and Rescue (US&R)/Technical Rescue Teams which will be presented with several realistic training scenarios.  Examples of training scenarios include rescues from confined spaces, trenches, high and low angles and building collapse.  CERT Teams should be prepared to assist US&R/Technical Rescue Teams with turning off utilities, moving victims to casualty collection points and treating victims at Medical Treatment Areas.   

 If you are interested in participating in the 2014 Urban Shield Exercise and available to commit to a full day (12-hour operational period), please contact Nick Zubel by email at nick.zubel@acgov.org or by phone at 925-833-3473 x1720 Don’t forget to also inform either Pat or Christy if you’re going to volunteer.

Additional information about the exercise will be provided at a later date to anyone who registers to volunteer.

 

August Meeting Minutes for Belmont CERT Available

Meeting minutes for this month’s meeting are now available under the Meeting Minutes page.  Welcome our newest member Pamela Arellano!  Besides the minutes, photos of the presentation charts have also been posted to our Photo Album.
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Spotted on eBay

I’m always keeping an eye out for interesting CERT items and saw this Canadian badge. Very cool!

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CERT Backpacks

I know there have been CERT members who have upgraded their original backpacks.  Some are like myself, continually adding more and more items until you have problems zipping it up.  We all know that the hardhat takes up a lot of room too!  A few years ago I had upgraded to a larger (no-name, no warranty) CERT backpack that I found online.  It had a roomy main compartment and other pockets to help organize the contents.  Unfortunately workmanship was lacking and I was considering a replacement. 

On a recent trip to visit relatives, I was shopping at an Air Force PX and a backpack caught my eye.  This is the Sandpiper of California Bugout Backpack , comes with a lifetime warranty and is also available on Amazon.  This military-style backpack is built more like luggage, yet has a robust shoulder and waist straps which can be hidden away.  The main compartment can be unzipped all the way (a feature I always suggest), has an expansion zipper to increase the depth by a generous three inches, and has the military MOLLE attachments on the front to mount other pouches.  There is also a large strip of velcro to attach whatever you wish.  I purchased a reflective CERT strip from a police supply store to mount on the bag.  Yes, its not CERT green, but I think I’ll be happy with this one for a while (especially since there is still room for more gear!). IMG_8771
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Container Recycle Idea

For those who may have access to large medication bottles, there can be new uses for them besides tossing them into the recycle bin.  These larger bottles can be useful for storing smaller items in a preparedness kit (first aid items, batteries, matches, etc) .  As you can see, they can be used to store spare eyeglasses too.
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Foster City CERT Preparedness Event

Foster City CERT put on a show of preparedness awareness for the public today in Leo Ryan Park.  Many CERT members, along with the contents of five trailers were on hand to demonstrate the standard skills obtained through the training.  Individual shelters were in place for each specific skill, along with an emergency camp set up in the middle.  This camp represented what may be required for those unable to remain in their homes after a disaster.  Photos have been posted to our CERT Photo Album.
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Survival Bracelets

For those who have not seen these before, they are called survival bracelets.  My 12 year old nephew is an expert at making these and made this one for me recently.  These bracelets are woven from  military parachute cord material (“paracord”) which is extremely useful even without the parachute.  Such bracelets are meant to be unraveled when one needs rope for whatever purpose — securing cargo, lashing together poles, fixing broken straps or belts, assisting with water rescues, controlling bleeding with a tourniquet, etc.  Depending on your wrist size, the bracelet contains 10-15 feet of cord.  The buckle shown on my bracelet also has a built-in whistle and a firestarter kit.  The silver metal is a magnesium blade and the center rod on the other half of the buckle is a flint material.  When the magnesium is scraped on the flint, a shower of sparks is produced, and magnesium sparks much more heat than normal matches.  You could wear them or clip one or more to your CERT backpack.

Bracelet kits are available at REI (I bought one to teach myself the technique) and completed bracelets are widely available at stores, fairs, festivals, online, etc.
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2014 National Night Out- Belmont CERT

The pleasant evening weather helped bring people out to the National Night Out event held at Carlmont Shopping Center, one of 13 locations throughout Belmont.  Our CERT team had a good turnout to staff the table and speak to folks about preparedness activities.  As a bonus, we also got to meet our new Battalion Chief Kent Thrasher, along with Captain Jeff Thorne.  Jeff is quite familiar to most of us and BC Thrasher promises to attend a few of our meetings and get up to speed on our capabilities.  Photos from tonight have been posted to our CERT Photo Album.  Many thanks to Terese Ruth and Carol Corden for adding their photos to the mix.
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National Night Out Activity

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Foster City Emergency Preparedness Day

A free preparedness event will be held on Sunday, August 17 in Leo Ryan Park in Foster City.  Foster City CERT will be there with live demos and disaster planning for attendees.   Here is the information flyer.Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 10.13.13 PM