EM Update: July 29, 2009

EM Update
July 29, 2009

Teen CERT goes camping with the Girl Scouts
The Girl Scout Commonwealth Council of Virginia will send 20 girls on a camping trip to Camp Kittamaqund in Burgess, Va., where they will receive the full Teen CERT training course, July 29-31. CERT team leaders Debbie and Allen Zabner from King and Queen County will conduct the training, along with Virginia Beach CERT coordinator Cookie Ketcham and Burgess Volunteer Fire Chief Phillip Keyser. The Girl Scouts will receive four hours of training each day, ending with the final full-scale exercise on the last day. On Aug. 6, the Richmond City Police Academy will host their Teen CERT graduation for family and friends.

The program serves as a model for future scout Teen CERT training opportunities, both locally and statewide. Teen CERT teaches high-school students to help themselves, their families and their neighbors in the event of a disaster in their community. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, Teen CERT members can assist others in their schools, neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

For more information about Teen CERT, contact Linda Rubin at Linda.Rubin@vdem.virginia.gov or (804) 897-6500, ext. 6594, or LaWanda Christian at LaWanda.Christian@vdem.virgina.gov or (804) 897-6500, ext. 6602.

VDEM helps to develop All Hazards Position Specific Training
The Emergency Management Institute, the National Emergency Training Center and VDEM have launched a new series of train-the-trainer courses called the NIMS ICS All Hazards Position-Specific Training. These courses will certify qualified personnel to instruct responders who may wish to serve on a Type III Incident Management Team. An IMT is a group of trained personnel who can either augment ongoing operations or provide all command and general staff functions. IMTs:

  • Include command and general staff members and support personnel
  • Have statutory authority and/or formal response requirements and responsibilities
  • Have pre-designated roles and responsibilities for members
  • Is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year

A Type III incident is a major or complex incident that requires a significant number of local, regional and state resources, extends into multiple operational periods, and requires a written Incident Action Plan. Examples include a tornado touchdown, earthquake, flood or multi-day hostage/standoff situation.

There will be three rounds of Position-Specific Training in August, October/November and April. Selected participants will be qualified to teach each of the position-specific courses for VDEM and other state and local agencies through EMI. For more information about the new training, contact VDEM NIMS Coordinator Lee Bennett, at (804) 897-6500, ext. 6568.

VDEM training moves to new record system
VDEM is transitioning to a new Commonwealth of Virginia Knowledge Center/Learning Management Center as the official student record database. Unlike the previous system, the Knowledge Center offers a single interface to schedule, track and report training for both state and non-state employees. The Knowledge Center also offers web-based access for students and instructors and lets them integrate and share data.

The Knowledge Center now manages all student records for classes delivered by VDEM’s Office of Training and Exercises. Eventually, it will become the one-stop portal for students to register for VDEM classes and maintain records, and it will offer a catalogue for users to view all available training throughout the year and across the state.

For more information about the Knowledge Center, contact the VDEM Office of Training and Exercises at (804) 897-6500.


VDEM to host the Certified Floodplain Manager’s Exam
VDEM will host the state Certified Floodplain Manager’s Exam on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. The Association of State Flood Plain Managers’ CFM® certification program recognizes continuing education and professional development that enhance the knowledge and performance of local, state, federal and private sector floodplain managers. If you are interested in taking the exam, please contact Debbie Messmer by e-mail at debbie.messmer@vdem.virginia.gov. More information about ASFPM is available at http://www.floods.org/.

Serve.gov launches Community Preparedness Toolkit
To encourage citizens to become self-sufficient for at least the first 72 hours in an emergency, FEMA, Citizen Corps and the Corporation for National and Community Service have launched a new online Community Preparedness Toolkit. The toolkit can help individuals create a service project to prepare their family, friends, neighbors and colleagues for disasters in their local community. The toolkit and more information are available at http://www.serve.gov/toolkits/disaster/.

New hurricane guides available
The Hampton Roads Emergency Management Committee and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and VDEM have redesigned the Virginia Hurricane Guide. As part of the Ready Virginia public information campaign, the guide contains essential hurricane season information, such as evacuation routes, traffic reversal plans along Interstate 64, bridge/tunnel/ferry closure plans in the Hampton Roads area and family preparedness.

New sections of the guide explain staying in place versus evacuation, the importance of storm surge, and how public shelters are designed to help evacuees. The revised evacuation route section clarifies that I-64 is only one of many evacuation routes, and the guide gives detailed instruction about how to make a family emergency plan, get an emergency supply kit and stay informed during emergencies.

For the 2009 hurricane season, 250,000 copies of the guide were printed; most will be distributed by state and local agencies, private businesses and nonprofit organizations. Any organization interested in distributing the guides should contact the VDEM Public Affairs Office at (866) 782-3470. An interactive, Web-based version is also available at www.ReadyVirginia.gov. A federal homeland security grant paid for the printing costs.

EMAP Assessor Training

The two-day Emergency Management Accreditation Program Assessor Training prepares individuals to serve as peer assessors during the accreditation process. Training will cover EMAP standards, on-site assessment procedures, assessor roles and responsibilities, and other issues necessary to serve as an assessor for EMAP. EMAP is a voluntary accreditation process enables states, territories and local governments to review and upgrade their emergency response capabilities to nationally recognized standards. EMAP combines self-assessment, documentation and independent peer review to evaluate a jurisdiction's whole program, not just the emergency management agency.

EMAP Assessor Training is open to qualified potential assessors only. Qualifications, the EMAP Standard and other training opportunities are available at http://www.emaponline.org/. There is no registration fee for public safety personnel.

Volunteer Reception Center Training
Aug. 14, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Salem, Va.

Volunteer Reception Center Training will train volunteer organizations with a disaster role to manage spontaneous volunteers. Topics include:

  • The roles of National Service in disaster-related work
  • Basic terminology and concepts of disaster management
  • Spontaneous volunteers and the benefits and burden they can bring
  • The fundamentals of volunteer management in a disaster-response setting
  • The importance of public messaging
  • Stakeholders in spontaneous-volunteer management
  • The various roles involved in staffing a Volunteer Reception Center
  • The principles for managing donated goods

Local emergency managers, volunteer center staff, Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster members, Citizen Corps members and other organizations the could have a role supporting local volunteer management should attend. Registration is free; lunch is provided. Online registration and more information are available at https://va.train.org.


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EM Update is the best way to communicate best practices and to get a heads up on issues that might affect you. Articles include case studies, cost/resource-saving local programs, examples of partnerships and regional cooperation and recognition of emergency managers who receive awards and honors in the field.

Please don't hesitate to contact the editor whenever you have a project that might benefit localities or want to highlight an important issue concerning Virginia's emergency response community. Contact Jolie Shank at (804) 897-6510 or by e-mail at pio@vdem.virginia.gov.


Produced by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court, Richmond, Virginia 23236