Our blog has now been read by people in every state in the U.S.
And has been read in over 28 countries.
Do you know about XM Channel 214 - Washington? The XM Weather and Traffic Station for the Washington DC area.
Through an agreement between XM and several local counties, Emergency Alerts will also be broadcast on this channel.
XM Channel 247 is also worth checking out as well, as a way to find out about larger scale emergencies and emergency messages from across the country. Additional information on that channel can be found here: http://www.xmradio.com/onxm/channelpage.xmc?ch=247
Did you ever wonder what other jurisdictions across the United States are doing? Check out this website: http://www.cybertelecom.org/security/eas.htm
Congratulations to Gerry Connolly for being re-elected as Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. We look forward to your continued support and help to secure funding to maintain our programs.
Gerry Connolly knows that the first step in fighting crime is to prevent it. Last year, the crime rate in Fairfax County hit a 32-year low and, among the 50 largest jurisdictions, was the lowest in the nation. Our violent crime rate is half that of our neighboring jurisdictions.
- Put more police officers on the street and a police resource officer at every school
- Fought gangs by involving police, schools and the community in an anti-gang initiative that has reduced gang membership by half in our schools
- Initiated the Park Watch program
- Started the Safe Teen Driving initiative
- Strengthened Neighborhood Watch and Citizen Corps programs
- Chairs the Emergency Preparedness Committee for metropolitan Washington
Pictured above are rescuers, including LT Branson of the 911th Engineer Company, along with members of the Fairfax County CERT - Terry and Sharon Akins, Jack and Susy Ledgerwood, Patty Greek, Kevin Mullins, John Curl, and Andrew Levy (Fairfax County Citizen Corps Council Chairman).
A special thanks to LT Branson and the 911th Engineer Company for getting us involved with these exercises. The 911th is best know for its response to the attack on the Pentagon. These guys are some of the best of the best!
The following are some of local, State and federal agencies who participated in Capital Shield exercises:
Department of Defense
Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region
U. S. Army Military
District of Washington Naval District Washington
Air Force-National Capital Region
NCR Command National Guard (DC, MD, VA, WVa)
Pentagon Force Protection Agency
District of Columbia
DC Emergency Management Agency
DC Metropolitan Police Department
DC Fire / Emergency Medical Service
DC Housing Authority
DC Department of Health
DC Department of Transportation
VA Department of Emergency Management
Arlington County Office of Emergency Management
Arlington County Fire Department
Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management
Fairfax Fire Department
Prince William County Fire Department
Arlington Fire Department
Maryland Emergency Management Agency
Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management
Montgomery County Fire Department
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Coast Guard
Federal Protective Service
U.S. Park Police
Federal Emergency Management Agency Region III
U. S. Capital Police
Department of Health and Human Servicse
Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms
We are pleased to announce the launch of Stargazer in the Fairfax County Citizen Corps Council.
In Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, we ask a simply question who is the most important person in a disaster. All of the students are trained to say “ME!”
The order of importance that we train is as follows:
Emergency Response Team
In the event of a disaster where members of the Fairfax County Citizen Corps Council (not just CERT) are called to service, how can we keep in touch with our families and let them know we are okay.
Let's say there is a situation in your community and you need to notify all members of your Neighborhood Watch team, how would you do it? Do you have an easy way to do it directly from your cellphone, computer, and other devices?
If we look at one of the lessons learned from the Virginia Tech tragedy, we see that communication was key. While voice systems were down, it is the digital systems that are usually first to return.
While Fairfax County has the CEAN network and other systems that provide emergency update messages, there did not appear to be a system that can help you notify family, team members, neighbors, or even co-workers.
Yesterday, at the CIO Forum & Executive IT Summit, I had the opportunity to speak on a panel with the President of Stargazer. He spoke on using technology to help improve communications among our team members that expands well beyond the bounds of our blogs.
There are some nice features, including the ability to be able to instant message members of your team, share forms, pictures, etc. The ability to let people know you are okay! This system is not limited to emergency response/notification.
As Chairman of the Fairfax County Citizen Corps council, I recommend that each of you to go to Stargazer at http://workplace.stargazer.org/lwp/workplace/webifyforsafety and sign up yourself and your family. Once you have done so, please email me at email@example.com and we can work together to have you added to the Fairfax County Citizen Corps Team.
Also setup your own individual teams (like a Herndon Reston CERT Team, Mount Vernon Neighborhood Watch Team, Chantilly High School Medical Reserve Corps Team, Volunteer Mobilization Leadership Team, National Capital Region Roleplayer/Actor Team, etc.) and let us know.
Keep in mind, if we do not know that our families are okay, we cannot be at our best to serve our community. If we do not know our teammates are okay, we cannot best serve our community and we end up putting others at risk. And on top of that, all of your family out of town that cannot reach you as well?
In recent meetings, we discussed needing to come up with ways to be better prepared with limited funding. This is one no cost tool that helps provide a mechanism to help us be better prepared to respond and be prepared.