AmRRON: T-REX “News” Has Begun

AmRRON has released the first TEOTWAWKI Readiness Exercise (T-REX) 2019 related news. You can find the T-REX news page here. The active exercise begins on July 26th, but you can expect escalating drill news to be released periodically, ramping up to the main event.

15 July 09 Exercise,Exercise,Exercise-Traffic .
///MSG/// The Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning advising all commercial and public internet users to be vigilant for possible cyber intrusion into commercial cyber controllers, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), and internet servers. All commercial and public internet users are advised to review the following document: https://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/content/overview-cyber-vulnerabilities
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise. ///END OF MSG//

Here is some background for this year’s T-REX:

This years T-REX is primarily centered around a cyber attack on PLC’s (programmable logic controllers). These small devices provide computer control of many of our industrial and infrastructure mechanical devices. You may remember the “STUXNET” virus that struck Iran’s nuclear program. The virus attacked PLC’s that controlled the speed of uranium centrifuges and caused them to spin out of control resulting in failure and damage to the centrifuges. It is hypothesized that the STUXNET virus was introduced into the Iranian computers through a compromised USB drive.

In addition to the cyber attack on the PLC’s, this T-REX will incorporate other types of cyber attacks into commercial infrastructure and ATM’s, medical devices and communications services.

The following link will give a good overview on how to prevent cyber intrusion into infrastructure devices and is worth reading. Overview of Cyber Vulnerabilities

Recommended Reading: Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet World’s First Digital Weapon
VPN- NORD VPN

 

Eaton Rapid Joe: Fourteen Cows – A Preparedness Story

At the Eaton Rapid Joe blog, Joe has written a series articles about a man in small town trying to get prepared and prepare his neighbors for what he believes is an immanent Ebola outbreak. The series started back in January and runs through this month, so it will take a bit of read to get through. The story is Fourteen Cows.

 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow. And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.  Genesis Chapter 41

The bulletin boards and forums were on fire with rumors of Ebola having made land-fall in the continental US.

The original posts cited videos that had been quickly yanked off the internet. A typical video was of a middle school basketball game where one of the players  suddenly collapsed and started vomiting bloody fluid.

The CDC felt compelled to issue a statement that the seasonal flu sometimes exhibited those symptoms and to not panic. The CDC claimed to have everything under control.

Rick Salazar had plenty of time to track the progress of the phantom epidemic. He worked the gig economy and was currently in a lull. Also, the middle of January was a slow time on the farm. On nice days he might cut a little bit of firewood but other than that all he did was walk the dogs.

What was distressing to him was that the videos seemed to all originate in San Diego, California and St. Paul, Minnesota. If the CDC’s story was true then the videos should be originating in a semi-random fashion that was roughly proportional to population density.

It only took a few minutes of internet research to learn that San Diego and St. Paul were epicenters for refugees from Uganda and its neighboring countries. IF Ebola was going to show up in the US then it was more likely to show up in those two cities than just about anywhere else.

Rick logged off his computer and took a stroll around the property. He did not like what he saw.

There was nothing wrong with the forty acres. It was fifteen miles from “the city” of 200,000 and roughly five miles from two cities of five thousand each. Nope, the problem was not the property. It was the house and its proximity to the roads.

The house was a scant 150 feet from the road and another road pretty much “T”ed into the front yard. The house was indefensible.

Then Rick rode his mountain bike around the two square miles that contained his forty acres. After that he rode a couple of miles up the road that “T”ed into the road he lived on.

What he saw was that the landscape undulated and there was a high point about every quarter mile. He also saw the reason why the road department decided to end the one road at the T. The two square miles were bisected the long way by extensive muck bottomed marshes. Rick had heard one neighbor say that some of those muck deposits went down thirty feet. Not a desirable roadbed by any stretch of the imagination…

Click here to read at the Eaton Rapids Joe blog. At the end of each installment is a link to the next installment.

May is Volcano Preparedness Month in WA State

The Washington governor declared May as Volcano Preparedness Month.

On Friday, May 17, the city of Puyallup will conduct a lahar evacuation exercise with the Puyallup School District, Washington Emergency Management Division and other community partners. More than 9,000 students and staff from 15 public and private schools located in the Puyallup valley lahar hazard area will practice their emergency evacuation routes.

On Saturday, May 18, the 39th anniversary of the catastrophic 1980 eruption, scientists and preparedness experts from U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory and Washington Emergency Management Division will be on site from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Mount St. Helens to talk about the eruption and why it’s important to be 2 Weeks Ready for all hazards. There is also a book signing for “A Hero on Mount St. Helens,” written by Melanie Holmes about the life of volcanologist David. A. Johnston, who lost his life when Mount St. Helens erupted. The Johnston Ridge Observatory is named for the volcanologist.

…Washington state’s Emergency Management Division website contains a section about the state’s volcanoes and volcano preparedness measures. Educational materials for children, families and communities are found in the publications section. Follow the agency’s Twitter feed, and Facebook page for breaking news and information. The Washington Geological Survey (a division of the Washington state Department of Natural Resources) has developed a volcano-specific webpage.  Check out its Geologic Information Portal to learn about the hazards where you live, work and play.

32_wgs_lava_flow_mount_adams_16_9.png

LiDAR shows the lava flow potential from Mount Adams, courtesy of Washington Department of Natural Resources.

Preparing for future eruptions

The USGS–CVO, the PNSN, and the National Science Foundation-funded EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory work to improve eruption forecasting and warning capabilities for Cascade volcanoes as part of the National Volcanic Early Warning System.

An update to the threat assessment for all of the country’s volcanoes was released last fall.

A new fact sheet about living with volcanoes is also now available.

 

MyNorthwest: Volcano Experts Weigh In on Effects of Possible Mt. Ranier Eruption

King 5: Prepare to Be on Your Own in a Major PNW Disaster

King 5 News actually had a pretty good article back in December about preparing for a disaster. They did a decent job of listing supplies in order to prepare, other than the expected failure to mention anything about self defense (they do mention having a knife at least). But they cover water pretty well, making plans, preparing for pets, footwear, medication, and using cash so it’s still one of the better mainstream articles I have seen on preparing for a major earthquake. They do fail to say that if you’re living in an outlying area, you may be on your own for well over two weeks, but it’s at least a little implied when they mention responders passing you by to get to more populated areas.

Prepare to be on your own in a major Pacific Northwest disaster

You’re on your own.

If a 9.0 earthquake or a tsunami wipes out homes, roads, bridges, communication, and other infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest, keep that thought in mind. You have to assume no one is coming to help you, and you may not be able to get anywhere to find help, at least for a few days.

It’s not because responders don’t want to help. It’s because, as disaster preparation experts agree, they aren’t ready to jump with a region-wide response when something that big happens.

It’s a sobering thought, and that’s why you need to be ready — now — to be on your own.

“You’re either ready, or you’re not ready (when it strikes). There’s no ‘getting ready’ from that standpoint,” emergency response expert Eric Holdeman said…

If you call 911 because you broke your leg in the quake, guess what. Everyone else is calling 911, too. First responders won’t be able to respond to all of you. They will likely first go to places where there is the highest concentration of people so they can do the most good at once, Holdeman said. That will be schools or nursing homes. If your house is on fire, firefighters may pass you by to get to another, larger disaster scene…

There are some simple things you can start doing now to prepare, and you don’t have to do it all at once.

Prepare for three days?

Nope. Try two weeks…

Thankfully, people are finally understanding that three days of supplies are simply not enough for major disasters. Unfortunately, two weeks is short, too. As we’ve covered before, emergency management officials know that two weeks isn’t enough, but they think they need to slowly introduce you to the idea or you’ll reject it out of hand.

 

Preparedness and Sustainability Festival, May 18, Blanchard, ID

Blanchard Community Center – site of the 2019 INW Preparedness and Sustainability Festival

From INWPrep.com:

Preparedness and Sustainability Festival! May 18, 2019

Location: Blanchard Community Center, 685 Rusho Rd, off Rt 41, Blanchard, ID
Saturday, May 18th, 2019 at 10am4pm

FREE ADMISSION – FREE LECTURES!


PREPAREDNESS AND Sustainability Festival!  Saturday, May 18, 10-4, Blanchard Community Center off Rt. 41.  Come show, teach, demo, sell or swap any legal new or used items.  Install safety ties through firearm receivers.  Indoor 10×10 $20 tabled spaces or outdoor $5 tailgate spaces. Solar demos, communications, first aid, gardening, gun safety & more.  Click calendar listing at www.inwPrepFest.com to reserve space.  208.GUN.5115.

Food, snacks and drinks will be available on site from 11AM until 3PM.

FREE LECTURES:

LECTURE HALL:  Educational lecturers are welcome to apply for a speaking slot (on the hour, 10-3, for up to 45 minutes duration).  Priority is given to topics relating to preparedness, homesteading, sustainability, etc.

10am:

11am:  A Beginner’s Intro to HAM Radio!  Randy KB6YAV –

12pm:  BACKYARD COMPOSTING Jim & Pat McGinty;Learn how to create your own “black gold” compost from yard and garden wastes.  Simple tools, simple techniques, great stuff – your garden will respond with more and better food.

1pm:  Safely Choosing a Handgun Russ Spriggs.  Veteran, NRA Instructor and Range Safety Officer, www.PistolProf.com. ; Lecture and demonstration.  Learn the ins and outs of most major types of pistols and revolvers, how to make your preferences, and safely handle.  This class is free as a public service.  If you need a Certificate for Concealed Carry Training, a $20 charge will apply.

2pm:  Creating an Efficient & Resilient Prepared PropertyBrian Domke, RLA, LEED AP; www.StrategicLandscapeDesign.com;  An overview of design methods and key items to consider when planning a prepared property. The presentation will outline the design process to develop a comprehensive plan for a prepared property. Information will also be offered on a few specific systems and approaches that can be used when designing your prepared property to account for the fundamental aspects of water access, food production, energy generation and integrated security.

3pm:  I-FAK: Your Medical Force Multiplier“Doc” Dave Hensley, R.N. His thirty years of Pre hospital EMS, volunteer fire, ICU, ER/Air ambulance/ Trauma, CCU, CVICU (open heart surgery), recovery room and OR care sets the background for the importance of your own Individual First Aid Kit, and what should be in it.  This is not only for your use, but for another to use on you in an emergency!

QUESTIONS?  Email Russ.Spriggs(at)EarthLink.net with “PREPFEST” in subject line.

Click here for more info.

Blanchard, Idaho is approximately a one hour drive northeast of Spokane, WA. It’s always beautiful in Blanchard, Idaho!

Captain’s Journal: So You’re bugging Out, Are You?

From Herschel Smith at Captain’s Journal comes a brief piece on thinking about bugging out and if you would really do it or not — So You’re Bugging Out, Are You? Dude, You’re Not Going Anywhere.

First of all, watch this video in its entirety.  I think John conveys a lot of wisdom in his talk.

This dovetails with a lot of what I have been thinking about the concept of the “bugout” philosophy.  I greatly admire folks like James Wesley Rawles, who made the decision a very long time ago to ensconce in the Northwestern redoubt, although I partial to the Appalachian redoubt being more in my backyard.

Folks like that made a huge decision to leave where they were, plant roots, create a life and lifestyle, make a family, and never leave.  But the problem is that most other people have deep roots too, wherever they are.  Elderly parents need help, children are part of your life, grandchildren need raising by grandparents, friends and family cannot simply be left by the wayside to “bugout” when the going gets tough.

I have a friend who once told me the reason he didn’t “prep” was that he knew where all the preppers in his area were, those who had ammunition, food, and so on, and he had guns and knew whose house to go to in order to find what he needed.

Note well.  He was telling me he would become just like a feral animal whenever the time arose, taking what he needed from his neighbors and leaving trusted folks to suffer in his place.  Now, I know the heart of the man who said this to me, and I know that he would never do that.  So if that man is reading this now, I know that it was all a lot of bluster.  How do I know that?  Because I know you.  You were just giving me excuses for not planning and preparing…

Click here to read the entire article at Captainsjournal.com

Related:

The Preparedness Experience: Don’t Even Think About Bugging Out

Survivalist Prepper: Why Bugging Out Is More Complicated Than You Think

Back Door Survival: Bug Out or Bug in? Making the Right Choice for Your Situation

 

2019 NW Preparedness Expo, Apr. 13 & 14

http://nwpreparednessexpo.us

Speakers include:

  • Patrice Lewis of Rural Revolution
  • John Jacob Schmidt of AmRRON and Radio Free Redoubt
  • Glen Tate, author of the 299 Days book series
  • Shelby Gallagher, author of the A Great State book series
  • Rep. Matt Shea from WA district 4 and the Liberty state movement
  • K from Combat Studies Group
  • Brian Domke from Strategic Landscape Design
  • Ranger Rick
  • Dennis Walters from Dana Engineering
  • Kaery Dudenhofer of Kaery Concealed

as well as other ham radio operators, herbalists, survivors, precious metal investors, beekeepers, and government emergency management planners.

 

Organic Prepper:: The Disaster Myth Narrative

The Organic Prepper has an article up detailing something that I have noticed before, how during disasters here in America there are frequently reports and news articles of looting and violence, but then later, after the disaster has passed, all the articles are about how wonderfully everyone worked together and that there was no looting, panicking, violence, etc. Are the initial reports wrong? Sensationalized? Misleading? (But there was video…) Here is an excerpt from The Disaster Myth Narrative: No One Panics, No One Loots, No One Goes Hungry.

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”  ~ George Orwell

I was recently doing some research about the aftermath of some natural disasters that took place here in America. I was shocked to find that the articles I was looking for – ones that I had read in the past – were pretty hard to find, but articles refuting the sought-for pieces were rampant.  Not just one event, but every single crisis aftermath that I looked up, had articles that were written after the fact stating in no uncertain terms that the hunger, chaos, and unrest never happened.

Apparently we, the preparedness community, are all wrong when it comes to the belief that after a disaster, chaos erupts and civic disorder is the rule of the day.

According to “experts” it never happens.

Panic?  What panic?

According to newspaper articles written after Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast and after Hurricane Katrina caused countless billions in damage in New Orleans, people were calm, benevolent and peaceful.  Heck, they were all standing around singing Kumbayah around a campfire, sharing their canned goods, calming frightened puppies, and helping the elderly.

Apparently studies prove that the fear of anarchy, lawlessness, and chaos is nothing but the “disaster myth”.  Reams of examples exist of the goodness and warmth of society as a whole after disaster strikes. All the stories you read at the time were just that – stories, according to the mainstream media:

Yet there are a few examples stubbornly fixed in the popular imagination of people reacting to a natural disaster by becoming primal and vicious. Remember the gangs “marauding” through New Orleans, raping and even cannibalizing people in the Super-Dome after Hurricane Katrina? It turns out they didn’t exist. Years of journalistic investigations showed them to be racist fantasies. They didn’t happen. Yes, there was some “looting” — which consisted of starving people breaking into closed and abandoned shops for food. Of course human beings can behave atrociously – but the aftermath of a disaster seems to be the time when it is least likely. (source)

The Disaster Myth

The Disaster Myth is a narrative created by the establishment and delivered by their stoolies in the mainstream media.  The Disaster Myth points fingers at many of the things that are commonly believed to be true by the preparedness community.  Included in this narrative:

  • People do not panic after a disaster – instead, they pull together.
  • The official government response is always speedy and appropriate.
  • You will be taken care of if you simply comply peacefully with authorities.
  • There is little increase in post-disaster crime.

Looting?  Only hungry people getting food from unmanned stores. Who wouldn’t do that?

Beatings and assaults?  Didn’t happen. Disturbed people made these stories up for attention...

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

City Journal: Off the Richter Scale: Can the PNW Prepare?

Here is another long article on preparing for a major CSZ earthquake from City Journal – Off the Richter Scale: Can the Pacific Northwest prepare for the cataclysmic quake that’s coming? Here is a choice excerpt:

…Local governments can’t possibly stockpile enough food to feed millions during a disaster; they aren’t, in fact, stockpiling anything. People will have to feed themselves until FEMA arrives, and the agency won’t be on the scene in a day, or even a week. Not a single road will be passable. An entire region 100 miles wide and 600 miles long will be ravaged. Many Americans have bemoaned the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico, but we’ll have hundreds of de facto islands in the Pacific Northwest. Small towns will be cut off, especially in the coastal regions, battered by tsunamis and separated from major population centers by mountain ranges. So the states are partnering with the U.S. military to provide rotary-wing aid drops from Chinooks and Blackhawks onto track fields at schools and similar locations.

Local governments once told everyone to have at least three days’ worth of food on hand that can be prepared without gas or electricity. They have since raised the bar to two weeks. Is that enough? “I don’t trust the federal government to feed me on Day 15,” I say to Phelps. “I don’t either,” he replies. “I openly share your skepticism,” says Jeremy Van Keuren, community resilience manager at PBEM, “but we don’t want to scare people.” It’s hard to encourage citizens to be resilient if they find the prospect too overwhelming. “And the quality of aid we expect to receive at the end of that theoretical two weeks is questionable.” At least it takes four weeks to starve to death…

Emergency management officials know that being prepared for the traditional three days isn’t enough. They know two weeks isn’t enough, but they’re afraid people will tune out if they say to prepare for longer. Don’t be afraid to be prepared.  That people turn off isn’t news in the emergency management field. In the six year old video below, starting around the seven minute mark, an emergency management professional talks about how they’ve stretched preparedness to seven to ten days from 72 hours because that is all that people can handle. She says all the experts say that isn’t long enough.

FEMA: We’ve Failed Miserably at Building Community Preparedness

A FEMA report has found that the federal government’s efforts to build disaster-resilient communities has been a failure for various reasons, including that government is not the best entity to reach out with a message of preparedness. It suggests that encouraging a bottom-up approach may be more effective.

Report: We’ve Failed Miserably at Preparedness

A better approach, a new FEMA Higher Education Program report says, is to develop individual cultures of preparedness from the bottom up that could eventually lead to a more resilient nation…

“We’ve achieved our national preparedness goals when it comes to first responders [as per Presidential Policy Directive 8] but when it comes to preparedness of individual households and communities, we’ve failed,” said Laura Olson, a lead author of the report. “To say we’ve failed it putting it mildly…”

The key difficulty with past approaches is that communities across the country lost trust in the government and therefore, the report says, government is not the best entity to reach out to communities with a message of preparedness.

There must be recognition that there is going to be a cultural difference in communication, whether it be communication between emergency managers and communities or any other entities, and to eliminate assumptions…

Click here to read the entire article at govtech.com.

 

AmPart: Medical Q&A Webinar, March 3, 2019

American Partisan‘s Reasonable Rascal, a medic and registered nurse, will be hosting a two-hour webinar to answer your questions about medical preparedness. The class is limited to only nine participants, so register early.

We’re offering another Q&A webinar on Sunday, March 3 for those interested in SHTF medicine. If you have questions about your medical preps to include medications, what to do in case of a specific type of SHTF emergency, or even how to set up various medical bags for specific needs, this is the one you’ll want to attend.

It’s two hours long, and there are only 9 seats available so that we can keep the discussion on point and ensure that everyone can get their questions answered. This is a casual discussion in which you can ask whatever medical questions you want pertaining to prepping, SHTF medicine, etc. With such a small discussion size, you’re certain to get a great deal out of it.

Running the discussion will be highly experienced medic and registered nurse Reasonable Rascal. He’s one of our newer staff members, but he isn’t new to medicine or to online discussion. He’s been running a serious, successful medical forum for several years, and together with several doctors and other medical professionals, co-wrote Survival and Austere Medicine, now in its 3rd edition.

DATE: Sunday, March 3, 2019
TIME: 8pm Eastern (7pm Central, 6pm Mountain, 5pm Pacific)
VENUE: Online webinar

The price for attending is $25. That covers the webinar cost for us and allows us to pay Rascal a little something for his time. You can register by either sending Paypal to info@americanpartisan.org or sending cash/check/money order to:

610 N. 1st St 5-209
Hamilton, MT 59840

Remember, there are only 9 seats, so get in while you can!

 

Citylab: Vashon Island Community Prepares for Disasters

The Vashon Island community has spent years working to be prepared for an emergency/disaster situation, going as far as forming a non-profit organization – VashonBePrepared – to coordinate the disaster preparedness organizations on the island. From Citylab.com, here is an excerpt from Preparing for ‘The Big One’ in an Isolated Island Town.

…[T]he island community has been building up its emergency preparedness efforts for nearly two decades. The work was initially kicked off when Joseph Ulatoski, a retired brigadier general and island resident, started asking who was responsible if a disaster struck. His questions led to a small group of locals meeting monthly to figure out exactly how they would handle such a situation, Wallace says.

“As time went on, it became clear that we needed to be more organized, structured, and also that we would be in a form that could be recognized by people,” he says.

The result was VashonBePrepared. Today it’s a non-profit, FEMA-sanctioned coalition of the island’s disaster preparedness organizations, including CERT and Voice of Vashon. Its purpose is exclusively to prepare the island for an emergency by helping to coordinate these organizations; it doesn’t actually play a role in real-time response efforts.

“It is a coalition to organize these partner groups to be efficient, avoid redundancy and duplication of effort, and inspire each other to move forward with all these different programs that each of us are running,” says Wallace, who is also the vice president of VashonBePrepared’s executive committee.

One of these key partner organizations is the Neighborhood Emergency Response Organization. Similar, in a sense, to neighborhood watch groups, its leaders have organized hundreds of households into neighborhood groups so they can get to know each other and thus be more likely to help one another if an emergency hits…

Ham radio operators in the emergency operations center radio room. (Courtesy of Rick Wallace)

Click here to read the entire story at CityLab.

SHTFPlan: Gov’t Shutdown Proves Americans Unprepared

From Mac Slavo at SHTFplan.com, Brutal Reality: Government Shutdown Is Proving Americans Are NOT Prepared For A Recession.

The brutal reality is that most Americans are not prepared for the next economic downturn or recession. The government shutdown is highlighting just how much Americans rely on others as opposed to themselves, and how little they have saved for an emergency.

According to the newest op-ed article by Market Watch, the government shutdown is perfectly proving that Americans are not prepared for a financial disaster of any kind, let alone an economic recession. Many have long assumed that the government (which as we all know is almost $22 trillion in debt) will be using their money (stolen funds aka, taxation) to bail out those who get themselves into trouble. But the shutdown is proving just how little the government actually does and just how financially illiterate many Americans have allowed themselves to become.

Almost 60% of Americans have less than $1000 in savings for a rainy day fund or an immediate emergency. It’s been ten years since the Great Recession left many Americans jobless with no money, and it appears most have learned nothing. The government shutdown serves as a painful warning and preview for what will happen once unemployment rises from 50-year lows.  Americans are far too dependent on others, including the government, for their survival.

Within just a few weeks into the government shutdown, people are struggling to cope. We hear stories about people turning to food banks to feed their families. We hear stories about people who are in dire straits because they can’t get loans. We hear stories about people who can’t pay their mortgages. That’s not even one month into the shutdown. –Market Watch

Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, including those who work for the government…

Read the entire article at SHTF Plan.

Yakima Herald: Trained Volunteers May Be the First to Reach Victims

The Yakima Herald had an article on CERT volunteers and training last year – In an emergency, trained volunteers may be the first to reach victims. Yakima County has an active CERT program. Benton County does not. If you live in Yakima County, you can take advantage of the training from CERT. They do a “CERT Basic Course” for volunteers which includes:

Disaster Preparedness: Addresses hazards specific to the community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take before, during and after a disaster as well as an overview of CERT and local laws governing volunteers.

Fire Suppression: Covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, controlling utilities and extinguishing a small fire.

Medical Operations Part I: Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.

Medical Operations Part II: Covers evaluating patients by doing a head to toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area and performing basic first aid.

Light Search and Rescue Operations: Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques and rescuer safety.

Psychology and Team Organization: Covers signs and symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and workers, and addresses CERT organization and management.

Course Review and Disaster Simulation: Participants review and practice the skills that they have learned during the previous six sessions in a disaster activity.

Excerpt from the Yakima Herald article:

If an earthquake, volcanic eruption, wildfire or flood hits the Yakima Valley, you might not see firefighters or paramedics in your neighborhood for a while.

The experience in other disasters has shown that professional first responders can be overwhelmed as they deal with urgent needs, or they might not be able to get to where people need help because roads and bridges are out.

Instead, help for your neighborhood may come from people in green vests and hard hats like Paul Jenkins, a volunteer coordinator with the county’s Community Emergency Response Team

The team has quarterly training exercises and participates in events such as a recent drill at the Yakima Air Terminal, as well as activations of the county’s emergency operations center in Union Gap.

While some people may think that firefighters, police and paramedics will be on the scene right away when a disaster strikes, Jenkins said they could easily be swamped with calls for help in an emergency, or the nature of the disaster might cut off access for a time.

Jenkins has been called out for flooding in West Valley, wildfire near Moxee and the Miriam Fire, where he helped distribute literature and provide security at the site. He was also sent to Outlook to help get information and bottled water to residents after an overflowing manure pond contaminated local wells.

While there are 60 people currently trained, Ward and Jenkins would like to see more people get involved, as it will give them skills to cope in a disaster…

John Mosby: Seeking Sustainability in Preparedness

John Mosby has a nice article up at Mountain Guerrilla about Seeking Sustainability in Preparedness, expounding upon the importance of not having just a store of stuff built up but being able to survive and thrive without such a stockpile on your own skills and sustainable living habits. Getting to a self-reliant, sustainable lifestyle is difficult and takes time and trial and error. Patrice Lewis will be talking about some of that in her two talks at this year’s NW Preparedness Expo. Mosby talks about it frequently on his blog. This article is not short, but, as usual with Mr. Mosby, it is well worth the read.

…One of the recurring themes in preparedness circles is the argument over the nature of any impending disaster. One of the original theories in preparedness of course, is the idea of what was once referred to as a multi-generational collapse. This is a collapse of such magnitude that it will take multiple generations to recover from, if in fact, recovery is even possible.

In recent years, of course, while people still talk about the “remote possibility” of this, it has become equally popular, in many circles, to dismiss the idea of a multigenerational collapse as unrealistic, and urge people to focus on more immediate, “realistic” disasters of short-duration, like hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires.

Without arguing the fact that wildfire, tornado, or earthquake is a far more immediate, and pressing concern for most folks, I WOULD point out that these are pretty simple to mitigate, and there is a well-developed set of basic planning considerations for doing so in all of these, because people have dealt with them for the entire existence of humankind…

We need to develop mitigation plans that address the continuance of life, through the duration of the emergency, even if it stops being an emergency, and just becomes “life.” (Which, long time readers know is my view of where we are any-fucking-way.)

We need to be looking at food production. We need to be looking at producing light and heat. We need to be looking at long-term trauma and chronic illness medical care. We need to be looking at educating our children and grandchildren, so they don’t revert to full-scale savagery. We need to look at maintaining—or more accurately, recreating, culture.

We need to stop looking at “survival,” and start looking at “Sustainability.”…

Click here to read the entire article at Mountain Guerrilla.