A massive windstorm has struck the LA Basin causing worse power and phone outages than the one we experienced in 2011. LAFD is immediately overwhelmed by the number of incidents and goes into a degraded mode addressing top priority emergencies first. Realizing that power, landline, and cell phone outages means that people cannot call 9-1-1, CERT trained members turn on their radios and begin checking in. As the wind dies down, organized Map Your Neighborhood blocks begin assessments of their respective blocks. Over the radio, it is the consensus that CERT Staging Areas need to be setup and damage assessments of each neighborhood need to be conducted while CERT Group Leaders attempt to establish contact with LAFD to tie in the “boots on the ground” with the professional responders that no one can reach.
Our MWJN MYN (Map Your Neighborhood – the block by block, “first hour” response plan) was practiced in most of our 19 organized blocks. The Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) Drill was in our own homes and blocks. We practiced our 9 Steps and our radio communications. The time frame was the “Golden Hour” so from 3pm until about 4pm, inlcuding forming teams to check on our block, as described in our booklet.The MYN exercise ended with a group debrief in 5 Points. There were some issues with the radio communications but all in all the drill went well. A learning experience as always!
The CERT Drill also started at 3pm with Damage Assessment Teams forming at the Staging Area. The teams did some serious hiking up and down our hilly neighborhood. These teams covered the areas not organized with MYN. Some Medical Teams helped out with situations in the MYN blocks that were beyond the block residents’ capabilities.
The CERT Teams had support and guidance from seasoned professionals who acted as facilitators and introduced “incidents” along the way and coached the responses. Good training and good practice! Thanks to everyone who participated!
After dark, the CERT Drill featured a simulated mass-casualty bus crash scenario at Cleland Park. First Responders from our own Fire Station 55 assisted with the situation. More great practice for the medical teams. Thanks to everyone who participated!
See more photos on our Facebook page.