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Ready Southeast committee report         04/30/23

The Steering Committee has met twice now to discuss the details of our May 20 exercise. This training event will not only be an opportunity to practice, it will also allow us to test our plans for and capabilities in responding to an earthquake.

Organized groups of neighbors knowing one another’s skills and resources are the foundation of our program and our ability to support and care for one another until outside help arrives. Our communications network will enable us to convey information about identified hazards, injuries, and damage to infrastructure. In the event of a disaster we will ideally be able to direct neighborhood based support to where it is needed prior to the arrival of professional first responders.

Our objectives for the exercise are:

  • To demonstrate our commitment to support and care for one another until outside help arrives
  • To reinforce teamwork and practice the response efforts (the Nine Steps) of nearby neighbors and volunteers neighborhood-wide
  • To clarify the roles and responsibilities of our volunteers and participating CERTS
  • To identify needed emergency supplies in the response effort and determine and list additional supplies needed
  • To develop and transmit concise and accurate messages identifying injuries and hazards

On the day of the exercise organized groups of nearby neighbors will initiate their response efforts as identified in the Nine Steps of the MYN program. A few neighbors will post a HELP sign and craft a story describing an injury to a family member, concerns with the stability of their home, or a possible gas leak.  Nearby neighbors will meet at their gathering site and in teams of two survey their block. When they find the HELP signs they’ll knock on the door to enquire about the need for assistance.

Once all the homes of nearby neighbors have been checked for signs the teams will return to their gathering site and share what they’ve learned. The volunteer who remained at the gathering site to serve as their group’s communication lead will determine the urgency of the information and transmit any “Urgent” message to their Area Coordinator. If the AC is at the gathering site this information can be immediately transmitted with their commercial radio to the ham radio volunteer serving as Net Control for the exercise.

Once the participating Block Captains have completed this first part of the exercise with their nearby neighbors they will gather at their area’s supplies box. Inside the box will be an envelope with information for the remainder of the exercise. A situation within a few blocks will be identified that requires immediate attention. The group will divide into two teams. One to determine what supplies should be taken to the situation and what skills are needed to best address the problem. The other team should assist the AC in developing a message to transmit to Net Control. In the envelope there will be three pictures one of which depicts an urgent situation and two others, either priority or routine. The AC will transmit a message to our Net Control based on the urgent picture. While the AC is conveying this message the rest of the volunteers will review the contents of the supplies box and make a list of items they think should be added to the supplies.

This information, along with any thoughts about the exercise will be shared at the online debriefing on Sunday, May 21 at 7pm.


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