Local News

Tuesday, Oct 16 2012 06:50 AM

Bear Valley CERT 'Great Shakeout' exercise

The Bear Valley Community Service District will participate in California's "Great Shakeout" on Thursday, Oct. 18.

It was decided to take part in in this year's state-wide exercise at a recent District Disaster Council meeting, and plans involving the eight BVS Community Emergency Response Teams in meaningful activities during the exercise will begin at 9 a.m.

The mock disaster will also include the Emergency Operations Center's implementation of the National Incident Management System and the California Standardized Emergency Management System Incident Command System standards, which will prepare the center to handle the many anticipated reports and requests for assistance coming into dispatch during a real life disaster situation. All of which will require staff to evaluate, prioritize, assign appropriate response, and post the situation status and follow up.

Since Bear Valley Springs generally lacks the adequate depth of first responder and professional staff to continue extended operations during a actual catastrophic event, such as a large earthquake. The exercise will simulate a shortened "first shift" of the center, where approximately 90 minutes will be the equivalent to a 10-12 hour shift and relief must be made for staff.

After a briefing, the second shift will function for approximately 60 minutes, being relieved by a third shift that will complete the exercise at 11:30-11:45 a.m.

Upon completion, a "hot wash" review is scheduled to be conducted at the Equestrian Center Lounge at noon.

Pizza and drinks will be available.

To begin the exercise, all CERT team members are to report to their staging areas after thinking about their own home disaster plans, and checking on at least one neighbor to be sure they are aware of our disaster potential.

Upon arriving at the staging areas, team leaders will report their CERTs readiness to the center coordinator, and wait for assignments. All communication should be made using the provided Relm two-way radio systems.

Several local amateur radio operators will be participating in the exercise, but additional operators are encouraged to help out by contacting coordinator Phil Turock.

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