Emergency responders to stage simulated disaster training scenario Aug. 16

During a 2011 disaster simulation, CERT volunteers responded to a mock emergency at Regal Cinemas in Crocker Park. Emergency responders will conduct a similar drill Aug. 16. Photo by Tara Wendell

On Saturday, Aug. 16, an emergency scenario will be staged to test and train disaster preparedness planning for local emergency responders. The exercise, which will take place between 6 a.m. and noon at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 27993 Detroit Road, Westlake, is designed to validate and improve our community’s response to a crisis situation.

The exercise will involve a fictional severe storm and tornado resulting in mass casualties. The Westshore Regional Community Emergency Response team (CERT) will simulate organization under Incident Command System structure: size-up and development of objectives, strategies and tactics; search and rescue; test logistics, communications and planning functions; and provide first aid to volunteers who are pretending to be victims.

The emergency is not real; however, the response will be as realistic as possible. Area hospitals, law enforcement, fire and EMS, government officials, other government agencies, and private-sector partners may participate.

The exercise will take place exclusively on the St. Paul Lutheran Church property. Signs alerting passersby to the staged scenario will be posted. We ask for your patience and support if the exercise disrupts your daily routine.

There are simple steps that Americans can take now to prepare themselves and their loved ones for a real emergency: make a first aid and supplies kit, make a plan, and get informed. By gathering supplies to meet basic needs, discussing what to do during an emergency with your family in advance, and by being aware of the risks and appropriate actions, you will be better prepared for the unexpected and, ultimately, you will help better prepare your community and the country. Please visit ready.gov or call 1-800-BE-READY to learn more about preparedness activities. Please also visit the Westshore Regional CERT at www.westshorecert.org.

We thank the members of St. Paul Lutheran Church and all area businesses and residents for their support of this important exercise. If you have questions on the CERT program, please call 440-716-4135 or email granforst@north-olmsted.com.

Tricia Granfors

The Westshore Regional CERT (WSC) is a (as of August 2014) 300 member nonprofit volunteer team under the Westshore Council of Governments. The national CERT program seeks to educate residents about disasters common or possible in their area through free 20-hour disaster preparedness training. US citizens over 18 who pass a background check are eligible for team membership. The WSC supplements emergency responders when needs outweigh resources.

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Volume 6, Issue 16, Posted 9:41 AM, 08.05.2014