Friday, September 4, 2015

Mira Mesa CERT Blog Status

This blogger has not had any contact with any members of Mira Mesa CERT in almost two years. However, I have been following many different CERT groups around the nation and even some international organizations.  I would like to direct anyone interested in learning more about other CERT organizations to the Back Channel CERT blog which will be updated with content on a regular basis.

If there are any Mira Mesa CERT members who would like to become authors for this blog, please feel free to leave a comment to this post.

Thank you for your support of the Mira Mesa CERT blog.

TJ Walters

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter Sept 29


Thank you for coming to the Mira Mesa Street Fair. It was an event-filled day with great weather and great turnout. We borrowed the practice extinguishers from Supplies and let people try them. We also had our faithful mannequin "Buster" on display with bystanders carrying him on a backboard. Many more people learned the importance of an emergency pack and evacuation plan. Overall, many people came by to show their appreciations for what we do. 

Sam has posted pictures of the Street Fair on CERT's Facebook page: (you will need a Facebook account, and may need to add friend/like CERT SD to see it). He has also posted pictures from the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, where many CERT members were asked to help out as Course Marshalls throughout the 30 floors of the hotel where the Stair Climb took place.

Hours are due by the end of Friday, Oct 4th.

Have a great day.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter

Happy October!

We have new activities going on this month and next, so this will be a longer newsletter. Have a hot chocolate and snacks ready.

Team Meeting -- This month's team meeting will be a simulated Call Out Drill to correspond with the Great California ShakeOut. It will happen on a Saturday with time unknown. That means we will call/text you per CERT activation protocol and give you instructions at that time as if a real disaster is happening.

If you have had a change of address, phone number, e-mail address, DSW status, or change of heart to continue participating with CERT, reply me NOW.

To those who are always waiting for "the call", prepare yourself, dust off the CERT Manual, READ through Unit 6: CERT Organization. PRINT OUT at least 5 copies of each of the empty forms to have with you in your "always-ready" Go Bag.

CERT Manual (full, or with each Unit) can be found online at
Scroll down and click on Unit 6 to read.

New CEs as volunteer victims -- SDFD is conducting drills in the first week of November and will love to give CERT members a chance to participate as victims. We understand these are long hours and most during weekdays, but we want, as an organization, to establish good relationships with the FD by showing them we are here and committed to help them whenever/however possible. It is also a great time to observe how they work and refresh your S&R skills.

Sunday 11/03 7am~5pm (NTC, Volunteer Hours only)
Monday 11/04 7am~5pm (NTC, good for a CE)
Tuesday 11/05 9am~8pm (NTC, good for a CE)
Wednesday 11/06 7am~5pm (Fiesta Island, good for a CE)
Wednesday 11/06 6pm~1am (night drill at SDSU, good for a CE)

Wear old long sleeve clothing and PPE (helmet and boots). Bring extras as they might cut off your clothes and strap you to backboards. Also bring hydration, snacks, a blanket and something to entertain yourself if you are not discovered in time. (NTC is known to have bad reception/limited 3G when indoors)

If you know of youth groups who have group participation liability coverage, such as Boys and Girl Scouts, they might also be able to participate as victims through their Scouts. Contact Carie if you can provide her with a direct contact to the interested party.

November Live Drill CE -- quick reminder to those who have signed up for this drill, it has been moved from Sat, Nov 2nd to Sun, Nov 3rd. If you cannot attend, contact Carie directly. You will be on your own to organize and start a citizen response at the beginning of the drill. Make sure to have all your gear, equipment, resources, and documents handy. Know your protocols, especially what you can and cannot do. Treat this like a real thing, and wow the FD with what we can do. :)

November Team Meeting -- After 3 months of outdoor activities, November meeting will return to the Senior Center on Sunday, Nov 10, 6pm~7pm. Topic is FEMA Module on Traffic Control and Management.

That's it for now.
Love to hear from you.
Have a great week!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter

Happy Friday,

It is time for our monthly team meeting.

Team Meeting -- Sat, Aug, 10th, 9am~11am. Carmel Valley Rec Center/Carmel Valley Community Park, 3777 Townsgate Drive.

Turn right at the entrance to the playground. We'll meet outdoor in the grassy area by the amphitheatre near the bottom of the stairs. Topic is transport techniques. I have a mannikin, backboards, litter basket. Let's see how well we can secure/move him around.

Bring vests, gloves, helmets/hats, sturdy shoes, hydration, and sun protections. Bring extra tarp/blanket/ropes/sturdy chair if you can lend some to us. This will be an hands-on exercise.

Invite to Mid-City picnic/BBQ -- Sat. Aug 17th, 11am. Morley Field in North Park. They have asked those who'd like to attend to bring something to BBQ and also a side to share. It'll be nice to interact with other CERT members at a non-training setting. Please RSVP directly to Mid-City's Team Leader Gloria Applegate: gapplegate1(at)

911 Memorial Stair Climb -- Sat Sept 8th, 7am~2pm (approx.). Every year near the anniversary of 9/11, CERT is asked to volunteer at the 911 Memorial Stair Climb event at the Hilton Bayfront next to the Convention Center. Two of the positions (Field Marshall and Rehab Station) will count as CE, the rest will count as Volunteer Hours. Lunch is provided.

These go by very fast so please make sure you sign up through CERT's pages. The two CE positions require Active DSW card or new grads within first year. The rest is for everyone else. 

For info on each position's description and requirement visit:
(you can click on the register button for each detailed description, but DO NOT fill out the form through sdfra!)

Mira Mesa Street Fair -- Sat, Sept, 21st. 10am~5pm. I'll need help. Tell me you can help.

If you're still reading this. Thank you.
One of our member has recently lost his CERT go-bag due to theft. He's asked me to let the team know if anyone is selling CERT gear through local classifieds or craigslists to report it to authorities.

Hope to see you at the meeting.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter

Hello all,

Is it really an end of another month already? That means it's time for the July hours to be due. There were many activities this month, with the meeting, CE's, volunteer opportunities, and of course, the big countywide refresher last Saturday. Please send them in no later than end of work on Friday, Aug 2nd.

Also, I should be receiving DSW renewal forms with qualifying hours from those who have expiration dates in Sept and even October. Don't wait, send them in now if you already finish all your required hours.

New graduates, if you have already finished 2 CE's and 2 Team Meetings since your graduation, please send me a line so I can get your 1st DSW application started.

If you have questions, forms and procedures can be found here:

Team Meeting -- Sat, Aug, 10th, 9am~11am. Carmel Valley Rec Center/Carmel Valley Community Park, 3777 Townsgate Drive.

We'll meet outdoor in the grassy area by the amphitheatre near the bottom of the stairs. Topic is rescue/transport techniques such as securing patients on backboards after a full head-to-toe assessment, alternative patient transport techniques with blankets/chairs, and tight spaces maneuvering, over obstacles, or up/down stairs. 

Bring vests, gloves, helmets/hats, sturdy shoes, hydration, and sun protections. Bring tarp/blanket/ropes/sturdy chair if you can lend some to us. This will be an hands-on exercise. Also you're more than welcome to bring the family since the playground and picnic tables are within close proximity, and CERT team meetings are supposedly open to the public.

Please reply to this email and let me know if you can make it. It's nice to have a head count and know how many will show up.

Mira Mesa Street Fair -- Sat, Sept, 21st. 10am~5pm. This is an all-day event and I'm hoping for a great turnout from all our members. I'll need people for Set-Up, morning, afternoon, and tear-down shifts, with at least 3 people at the booth at any given time. This will count as our Sept team meeting. We'll also have different demonstrations throughout the event. Please email me your availability.

More info about the street fair can be found here:

That's all I have for now.
Email me and say hi :)

Jennifer Tang

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter

Hello all,

Thank you for those who helped at the parade. If you have pictures of the green vests, please share them to me, or to .

Team Meeting -- tonight. Wed, July 10th, 6-7 pm, Mira Mesa Senior Center, topic: Firefighter Rehab supplemental FEMA module
If we have time we will also talk about the Personal Preparedness CE from last month and share stories.

Refresher -- There are still spots available for the countywide refresher on Saturday 7/27, 9am~130pm. You will have to travel a bit down to Spring Valley but it should be a great refresher. We can never get enough of these so please be there. Sign up for either slots is good. 
Also a good time to physically take your DSW card out to see how many more team meetings, CE's, or refreshers you need before your renewal date.

Have a good day.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter

Hello July,

Hours Due -- Please turn in hours by end of today. For each activity, please list Date, Name of activity, and Time/duration for it. Red Cross/AHA First Aid/CPR class, and initial HAM radio certification class, are also good for CE credits. Reminder, writing, "I saw you at that CE that day" is NOT reporting hours.

July 4th County Fair Parade -- Every so often outside agencies ask for help from CERT members. This is one of them.

July 4th Hometown Heroes Parade at the San Diego County Fair

They need people to deploy large USA flag and may be carry other flags, too, during the ceremonies in the evening. CERT members will wear their vest and helmet during the time. The rest of the day is free fair time for you and your family. They offer up to 4 tickets per participant. You will receive CERT Volunteer Hours for your time.

Contact info:

Mitch Mendler
(619) 944-7011

Please contact Mitch directly to RSVP as he will give you the event details and how to get your fair tickets.

If you are interested in helping out at the Parade, please contact Wayne at (760) 270-7455 instead, no email.

You will be asked to be at the O'Brien gate at 9 am (the front main gate) for the Fair's Opening Ceremony. So time your parking/shuttling/security checking time accordingly.

Then they'll like you to be near the Arena Gate (by the Hero's Memorial, #30 Purple on the map) at 5:30 pm to bring the flag to Grand Stand.

More info here:

Things are changing on their end too as they might have other activities planned.
But this is the latest I've received on it. Sorry on the confusion.


General info about the parade:
Map of Fair:

Team Meeting -- Wed, July 10th, 6-7 pm, Senior Center, topic: Firefighter Rehab supplemental FEMA module

That's it for this week.
See you at the fair.

Jennifer Tang

Friday, June 28, 2013

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter

Good morning,

It is the end of another month and that means it's time to send your monthly hours in. Please remember to include the hours for CE's since they can last from 2 to 4 hours and I won't know what to report unless you tell me. Last day is Monday, the first of July.

Team Meeting -- Next meeting is July 10th, Wednesday, at the Mira Mesa Senior Center, 6~7 pm. Topic is FEMA CERT supplementary module on Firefighter Rehab. Info at link below.

Countywide Refresher -- The original June 22nd Refresher has been rescheduled to July 27th. For those who cannot make the July date please respond directly to Carie's email.

DSW Renewal -- Please check your DSW expiration date. Renewal Submissions Forms and qualifying hours (2 team meetings and 2 CE's per year for 2 years, plus 1 refresher) need to be sent in at least one month ahead of your expiration date to give the Office time to process your paperwork.

Form and procedure is here:

Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter


Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend.
Now let's get back to business.
We have a few things planned for the summer and autumn.

May Hours -- Hours for May are due by the end of business this Friday, May 31st. Thank you for those who have already turned them in. If you volunteered for the Academy graduation, had a CE, or went to this month's meeting, remember to report your hours.

Team Meeting -- Monday, June 10th, 6-7pm at the Senior Center. But instead of the ICS review, we're switching to review Fire Suppression and home fire safety instead. Very useful in this unstable hot/cold weather we are currently experiencing. I will also try to borrow the fire extinguishers from the CERT trailer so we can practice on how to operate them on the grass outside.

New CE! -- Wednesday, July 17, 6-8pm at NTC Classroom 2. This will be a Search & Rescue and Cribbing CE, taught by our own SDFD USAR team experts. Sign up now since good hands-on CEs like this get filled up very fast.

Mira Mesa Street Fair -- Saturday, September 21st. Remember to keep this date open. :)

The Great California ShakeOut -- Saturday, October 19th. We are planning a city-wide CERT activation exercise in accordance with the Annual California ShakeOut. CERT program coordinator will provide a pre-determined scenario and we will use our telephone tree to relay info to all team members (just like a real CERT activation). After reaching the rally point we will make contact with IC, and there will be designated drills for each team to perform. 

Due to the size and scope of this exercise we need to have a strong show of interest to participate to get the ball rolling. Please respond ASAP, but no later than our meeting, June 10th, if you are most definitely/highly likely/or won't be able to participate. 

For any questions, comments, funny stories you want to share, my Inbox is always open.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter 5/1/13

Good morning, here is the news:

Hours Due—Your hours for April are due, if you caught one of those CE's or attended a meeting please report it to Jennifer, TODAY if at all possible

Team Meeting—Thursday, 9 May, 6:00pm at the Senior Center.  We have a triage review on the schedule.  See you there.

Refresher—The upcoming refresher is full, but if you have just discovered that you really need one, get on the wait list, usually you have a pretty good chance.  Saturday 18 May, starting at 9:30, location TBD.  They are supposed to go at least four hours, don't count on getting out right at 1:30.  Snacks are a good idea, as for water, do we really need to tell you?

All for this week, stay safe.

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter - 4/24/13

Good morning, here is the news. 

Animal Handling—The session for Monday, 29 April is still open.  6-8pm at County Department of Animal Services 5480 Gaines St, SD 92110.  Here is the map link:

Take a careful look at  the map (or fire up the GPS) if you aren't familiar with the area, it's a bit tricky.  This is good for Continuing Education credit.  Learning to properly deal with house pets etc. in an emergency is one of those things, we hope we don't have to do it, but that's not the way to bet.

Bomb and HAZMAT Awareness CE—This is full, you can get on the wait list.  If you think you are registered for this and you did NOT get a map to the Cache direct from Carie last week (sometime around Monday), let Jennifer know right away (

Drill with USAR and TRT—Scheduled for 2 November (Saturday).  As I said yesterday, this is an extraordinary learning experience.  No time frame or place yet, count on starting early and spending the day.  PPE is required, and pretty much everything you would bring to a real emergency (well, ok if you have your own litter/cribbing, Jaws of Life etc. you may not need that stuff).  I know, this one is far off, don't let that stop you from signing up.  This is good for Continuing Education and CE's may be few and far between around then, so give this one some thought.

Sign up for all of these drills here:

Team Meeting—Thursday, 9 May.  A day early to avoid a Friday meeting.  At the Senior Center 6-7pm.  We will have a review of triage procedures.  Get this on your calendar, and we'll see you there.

Hours Due—Not until next Tuesday really, and we'll have a reminder on that day in the News, but if you think you will be unavailable or really busy around that time frame AND you don't have anything else scheduled for the month, you can send your hours in to Jennifer at

Occasional Rant—Mixed in with our sorrow and anger over the senseless bombings in Boston I'm sure we all feel tremendous pride in the quality of the First Response.  While no fatality is acceptable, counting the death toll against the number and severity of the injuries is a mute testimonial to the speed and competence of the reaction, followed by efficient evacuation and magnificent trauma care.  They did well.  When our time comes, we may be the point on that spear.  I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.

All for this week.  Stay safe and vigilant.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter 4/9/13

Good morning, here is the News:

Team Meeting—Tomorrow Night, Wednesday, 10 April, 6:00pm—7:00pm in the Mira Mesa Senior Center.  This will be a general review of the ICS command structure, with a special emphasis on Logistics. Please bring some paper and your preferred writing instrument, we'll have some hands-on work.   Logistics is not necessarily hard, it's just somewhat of a different mindset.  Under our most likely circumstances it can require a fair amount of really creative thinking.  See you there.

Upcoming Training—Hopefully some of you made it into tonight's triage CE.  If you did, please let us know, and we hope that you can join us for a meeting in the near future to share what you learned.  We'll have more notice for most of them.  That said, we have approval to hold at least one Refresher sometime in the next month.  Due to the length of these drills (usually 4 hours or so), it will probably be on a weekend.   Those of you who have been with us for awhile know that there is really only one strategy for refreshers; as soon as you enter a two-year qualifying window, grab the very first one you can possibly get to.  Don't wait, they have a nasty habit of being scarce when you need one, and there is no way to replace a refresher.  I (Steve) personally enjoy them quite a bit, there is always something new to learn and it's a good tune-up of basic skills.  If you currently hold a DSW card and you have never taken a Refresher, you need one.  If you aren't sure, please ask.

This Saturday's CE—You should have all received a direct communication from our Program Manager Carie DeMarco regarding another CE this Saturday.  If you DID NOT get anything from Carie, please let Jen or me know right away.

All for this week.  See you at the meeting.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter 4/2/13

Good morning, here is the News:

Team Meeting—Wednesday, 10 April, 6:00pm—7:00pm in the Mira Mesa Senior Center.  We'll work on ICS this next meeting, and push fire suppression/safety off until June.  This will be a general review of the ICS command structure, with a special emphasis on Logistics.  Logistics is at once often misunderstood and critically important to a large scale exercise such as a disaster response.  It is very likely that CERT would be involved with logistics in a major response, which is why we want to spend some time on this.  See you there.

Disaster ResourceOne of the Beach Team folk sourced this guide on Amazon.  It's a Kindle book entitled "Build the Ideal Bug Out Bag: The Ultimate Guide to Preparing a 72 Hour Survival Kit for Surviving Comfortably".  I think it might have been free to all last week, this week you have to pay $2.99 or have an Amazon Prime account (which I'm guessing some of you do).  If you don't have a Kindle and don't want to get one, you can get a free reader for your PC from Amazon here:


There are quite a few of these little publications available on Amazon, it's worth a look now and then


Volunteer Passes—At our last Leadership meeting Carie passed out some Volunteer passes for complimentary admission to many of the exhibits in Balboa Park.  They are good for the month of April.  There are some restrictions, but if you think you might use one of these to go to a Museum etc. drop Jen a note.  She has a few, and we can try to get more if there is real interest


That's all for the week.  Stay safe.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter

Good morning, here is the News:

Hours Due—Hours for March are due by end of the day this Thursday 28 March.  If any of you marched in the St. Patrick's Day parade, please report it for volunteer hours.  Send your hours to Jennifer at  If you made it into the COMM CE scheduled for this Saturday, you can report your hours on Sunday, the rest of you please stick to the Thursday deadline, really helps us out.

Team Meeting—Wednesday, 10 April, 6:00pm—7:00pm in the Mira Mesa Senior Center.  We have a change of plan, it turns out that the current Academy class is also doing fire suppression that week.  We'd be pressed to get the practice extinguishers back to them in time.  So we are swapping modules, we'll work on ICS this next meeting, and push fire suppression/safety off until June.  Jen and I will work out a program, I think we might put an emphasis on Logistics, as there always seems to be some confusion about what this activity does.  Logistics is something CERT may be involved in when we have a large scale emergency.  It tends to be easy to conceptualize, difficult to implement.  I usually think of it like this:

·         What needs to get there, and where is "there"?
·         In what order does it need to get there?
·         When does it need to get there?
·         How will we get it there?
·         How do we keep track of it?

There you go.  Simple.  Ok, maybe not, we'll try to put together some sort of tabletop exercise to help us get our brains around this.  This subject is anything but dull, in a real emergency the success of the operation depends on successful logistics, and strong leaders put their best creative minds on it.

All for this week, stay safe.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mira Mesa CERT Newsletter

Good morning, here is the News:

Team Meeting—Wednesday, 10 April, 6:00—7:00pm, at the Senior Center.  We're back to our 6:00 start.  Subject will be Fire Suppression and electrical/gas safety.  We'll have a discussion on the chemistry and safety of fire, as well as some practical stuff about electricity and the various gases in common use in our area.  We should be able to get the practice extinguishers normally used with the BullEx training system, so we can all get some practice on our approach/suppression/withdraw techniques.  We usually try to end on time, but count on this one running a bit later if we need to in order for everyone to get a chance with the extinguishers.   Also, we will probably be outside for much of the meeting, please dress appropriately and prepare to get a little bit wet (the practice extinguishers use compressed water).We haven't exactly told the Senior Center what we are doing yet, hopefully it's not an issue, but we'll find out next week.

St. Patrick's Day Parade—The parade/breakfast is this Saturday.  If you want to go, and need the details, shoot Steve a note TODAY.

That's all for this week.  Happy St. Patrick's Day, stay safe.