2014 Training Archive

Training Archive: 2014

1. ICS Courses

2. ARES E-Letter

3. THIRA Training

4. Center for Homeland Defense and Security

5. IFRC Learning platform

6. 18th Annual Severe WX Symposium

7. ARES E-Letter/Training Requirements

8. Tracking Volunteer Hours

9. Red Cross Apps

10. FEMA Textbooks available

11. DisasterReady.org

12. SPC and PTWC web sites

13. Hazard Mitigation

14.  LinkedIn

15.  Weather Tracking

16. e-Learning Course on Climate Change

17. ARC First Aid and CPR Certifications

18.  Storm Chaser Web Sites

19. LinkedIn Redux

20. Exercises

21. National Building Museum

22. Radiological Event Training

23. Field Day 2014

24. CERT Online Refresher Training

25. Disaster Training Videos

26.  NTED

27. FEMA Continuity Excellence Training

28. Pet First Aid

29. National Planning Framework

30. UAVs for Humanitarian Responses

31. Ohio SCIP and NIMS

32. Mass Notification


34. eHealth Systems Africa

35. Chronicling America

36. Free MIT Electronics Courses

37. Epidemiology online course

38. ARC Bloodborne Pathogens online course

39. Mass Casualty Incidents

40.  Detailed Emergency Planning

41.  The National Cybersecurity Institute

42. WebEOC

43.  ICRC Health Care in Danger course

44. Broadband-Hamnet

45. CHDS

1. ICS Courses

It has now been just over a year since we restarted the District 3 ARES net programs, which is a good time to return to the first ones.  Since we probably have a few new ARES members since last January, let’s review the four FEMA courses every ARES member should take.

There are now at least nine versions of the ICS-100 Incident Command course online, referred to as IS-100 on the Emergency Management Institute’s (EMI) Independent Study website (training.fema.gov/is/) or Q0462 on the National Fire Academy (NFA) website (www.usfa.fema.gov/nfa/nfaonline/browse/index.shtm).  All are considered equal to each other for credentialing purposes, so take the one that interests you.  There are three versions of the ICS-200 Incident Command course, known as IS-200 at EMI or Q0463 at the NFA.  Again, you need only take one of the three to be properly credentialed.

IS-700, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and IS-800, the National Response Framework (NRF) are only on the EMI site.  These two should also be taken to round out your credentials as an incident responder.  For extra credit, also consider IS-704, NIMS Communications and Information Management and IS-802, NRF Emergency Support Function #2, Communications.

Once you have certificates from these courses, please pass copies along to your county’s ARES Emergency Coordinator.  And if you were checking into this net last January and still have not taken these courses – tsk, tsk!

2. ARES E-letter

Have I ever mentioned the American Radio Relay League’s ARES E-letter?  The ARES E-letter is an electronic newsletter providing readers with news and updates of interest to emergency communicators.  The ARES E-letter is free, but you must maintain your ARRL membership to stay on the list of subscribers.

The ARES E-letter has been edited since August 2005 by Rick Palm, K1CE.  Rick is a former ARRL headquarters staffer, and editor of their FCC License Manual in the 1980s.  When not working at his hospital in Florida, he devotes much spare time to keeping up with emergency communications topics.

Here are the steps to take in order to receive the ARES E-letter:

1.  Join the American Radio Relay League.
2.  Activate your personal account at 
http://www.arrl.org/ .
3.  Once signed in to your account, go to 
Edit your Profile.
4.  From there, go to 
Edit Email Subscriptions.
5.  Finally, place a checkmark next to 
The ARES E-letter.

When you receive your first ARES E-letter, note that back issues are available via a mouse click near the top of the first page.

While in Edit Email Subscriptions, checkmark anything else that looks interesting.  These items are all free with your ARRL membership.

3. THIRA Training

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) continues to add online courses.  Some are for FEMA staff use, others are for anyone in the field of emergency management and others are intended for the general public.

One of the newest EMI offerings for anyone in emergency management is IS-2001 – Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA).   This one hour course is an introduction to THIRA and where it fits into the National Preparedness System.

As usual, going through this hour of training along with successful completion of the accompanying online test will enable you to download an EMI course completion certificate.  IS-2001 may be found at http://www.training.fema.gov/IS/ .

4. Center for Homeland Defense and Security

The Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) is a joint project of The Naval Postgraduate School and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  Unlike the all-hazard schools operated in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, this school is mostly about anti-terrorism.

Beginning at the CHDS home page (http://www.chds.us/ ), you can read thousands of documents in the Homeland Security Digital Library or download articles from the nine volumes of Homeland Security Affairs.  There are online homeland security courses available through a link on the lower left corner of this page.

And if you already hold a regionally accredited B.A. or B.S. and are looking for a high quality, but inexpensive grad school click on the Master’s Degree Program button at the upper left of the page.  If employed full-time by a local, state or federal agency, you may earn an M.A. from the Naval Postgraduate School for a fraction of what most grad schools cost.  But be advised that the competition is fierce to enter this program.

5. IFRC Learning platform

Those of you who have been paying attention to my ramblings over the past year may have realized by now that whenever I find a new free training portal on the internet I’m like a kid in a candy store.  Last week I stumbled onto yet another such training site, and have already completed four classes on it!

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, Switzerland has established the IFRC Learning platform for volunteer and paid staff members of Red Cross/Red Crescent units all over the globe, as well as for their partners and the general public.  The portal can be reached on their secure website at https://irfc.csod.com/client/ifrc/default.aspx .

I’ve been taking courses to improve my knowledge of security issues at Red Cross disaster operations, as well as a couple of short courses on pandemic influenza operations.  Some others I’ve seen up there include short courses on management topics and a two-day orientation on the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement.

6. 18th Annual Severe WX Symposium

Each spring the Ohio State University Meteorology Club hosts a very fine severe weather symposium.  Their 18th Annual Severe Weather Symposium is scheduled for Friday, March 21st from 9 AM to 5 PM at the Ohio Union, 1739 North High Street in Columbus.  Note that there is a fee for parking in the garages near the facility.

For those who have attended in the past there is a change in the registration procedure for this year.  Registration and additional information for the 2014 symposium is at https://www.facebook.com/OSUmetclub , despite the fact that the OSU Met Club website where we registered in previous years is still in operation.  I found that I had to set up a Google Gmail account in order to register, and you may need to as well.

After you register return to their Facebook pages weekly for updates.

7. ARES E-Letter/Training Requirements

One of the freebies available to members of the American Radio Relay League is the ARRL ARES E-Letter, edited by Rick Palm, K1CE.  Today’s edition included information on upcoming hurricane conferences, webinars for health officials to introduce the topic of amateur radio, a report regarding a recent Florida ARES activation and other ARES related topics.

Two items that caught my eye were an opinion piece from a former district emergency coordinator who believed that the requirement to complete IS-100/200/700 and 800 was driving potential ARES members away, followed by closing remarks from Mr. Palm. This former DEC lost his local ARES membership because he failed to complete the four FEMA courses noted above, and as a result his many years of disaster experience could no longer benefit that ARES organization.

Let’s look at what is required of some other local volunteers.  All Ohio volunteer firefighters must complete 36 hours of training before they begin fighting fires, and most are expected to attend monthly training drills.  Ohio EMT-Basic volunteers must take 130 hours of training, with continuing education requirements.  Anyone wishing to volunteer as a sworn peace officer in Ohio must complete 579 hours of training.  All must also take IS-100 and IS-700.

In view of these training requirements, the four courses requested of Ohio ARES members seem quite reasonable. Our final thought for tonight is: If you are unable to complete these courses in your spare time, just how are you planning to drop everything to respond to a no-notice ARES activation during an actual emergency?

8. Tracking Volunteer Hours

Many of us volunteer a few hours each month for various emergency response agencies.  But how many of us are careful to document those volunteer hours?  It’s always appropriate to do so, and in some cases it may someday be vital.

For example, if the agency receives money through United Way, volunteer hours are ammunition to partially justify continued funding each year.  It probably won’t decide if an agency receives funds, but it may affect the level of that funding.

Each county ARES Emergency Coordinator (EC)Emergency ManagerMedical Reserve Corps (MRC) coordinator, etc. has a procedure for logging volunteer hours.  After you report your hours to your county EC, he or she is responsible for reporting total hours to a District Emergency Coordinator (DEC), who in turn reports his or hers to a Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) who reports section totals to ARRL headquarters.

The American Red Cross now has a nationwide system for tracking volunteer hours.  All hours should be entered into Volunteer Connection https://volunteerconnection.redcross.org/ .  I learned last week that Red Cross national and regional leadership is beginning to pay attention to these numbers as part of their corporate metrics.  In other words, they are comparing the number of volunteer hours entered for each chapter.  If you are a Red Cross volunteer who is not reporting hours on Volunteer Connection, your chapter may already be suffering in comparison to others with higher reporting rates.

9. Red Cross Apps

If you are hearing tonight’s program or reading it later on the District 3 website, it probably means that near-earth asteroid DX110 missed us as it passed by around 4 PM.  But I’m not here to talk about asteroids this evening.  Maybe next week.

It seems that everyone except me has a smart phone these days.  I’ll get one too when my income starts to exceed my outgo.  The American Red Cross has continued to add to its App selections, so it may be time for you to revisit your favorite App store.

There are now nine Red Cross Apps available at the iTunes Store, and eight at Google Play.  Disaster related Apps are free, although there is a modest charge for the Red Cross Pet First Aid App.  A couple of Apps, Swim and Pet First Aid, are also now available on the Amazon Marketplace app store.


10. FEMA Textbooks Available

Anyone who has purchased a textbook lately knows that prices have gone through the roof.  So it might interest some ARES members that there are emergency management textbooks to be had for the cost of the paper and ink.

Half a dozen emergency management titles are available on FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute Higher Education pages, http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/edu/collegecrsbooks.asp .  Titles available here include Fundamentals of Emergency Management, Comparative Emergency Management, Disciplines, Disasters and Emergency Management and Emergency and Risk Management Case Studies.  There are also two volumes of papers and articles.

If the cost of paper and ink is still more than you can afford, just download these texts to your favorite internet device and read them without making a hard copy.  It’s the wave of the future.

A reminder, most of our past Ohio District 3 programs are available at https://www.ohd3ares.org/ .

11. DisasterReady.org

You’re probably not going to believe this, but I’ve found yet another free online training site for disaster and humanitarian aid workers!  It is located at http://www.disasterready.org/ .

The DisasterReady website is one of several activities of the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation.  It hosts online disaster training courses and provides links to trainings hosted on the sites of other organizations.

I’ve been too busy to try any of these out yet, but I plan to begin by looking into the Staff Safety and Security courses once I reduce my backlog of open course registrations on other sites!

As always, I would like to hear from anyone who tries one of these courses.  Contact me at maschulsinger@yahoo.com.

12. SPC and PTWC web sites

If you haven’t visited the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center website at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/ recently, tonight might be a good time to become reacquainted with it.  Tomorrow’s Convective Outlook calls for a 15% chance of severe weather within District 3, with damaging wind and a few tornadoes as the primary threats.  In other words, our spring severe weather season for 2014 begins tomorrow.

Of less importance locally, but interesting nevertheless, are the websites of their Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (ptwc.weather.gov), and the National Tsunami Warning Center, (ntwc.arh.noaa.gov).  These two centers were very busy after an 8.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Chile yesterday, issuing tsunami advisories, watches and warnings.

As usual, check the District 3 website at https://www.ohd3ares.org/ for past programs.

13. Hazard Mitigation

Over the decades I’ve volunteered in emergency management, when money gets tight the first programs to be cut are often those associated with hazard mitigation.

Mitigation may be defined as any process that lessens the force or intensity of an event.  An example everyone can relate to is the automotive seat belt – it doesn’t prevent a crash but often reduces the impacts of that crash on the individual who buckles it.  Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms may also be thought of as hazard mitigation devices.

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute offers many hazard mitigation courses at their Emmitsburg, Maryland campus, through state EMA offices and online.  Over a dozen are available free and online at http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/ .  IS-393.A: Introduction to Hazard Mitigation is a good starting point.  Mitigating a hazard before it happens is nearly always easier and less expensive than cleaning up and rebuilding after some event occurs.

14. LinkedIn

Most of you have probably heard of LinkedInhttp://www.linkedin.com/ , which is primarily a website for making various business connections.  Many of you probably already have LinkedIn accounts, and some are probably way more familiar with the site than I am.  But if you are not a regular to this site you may not know that there are many thousands of no-cost LinkedIn groups that you may join.  Has anyone out there noticed that I am a huge fan of the word free?
These groups offer open discussions of topics of interest to the group members.  Any member can initiate these discussions, as I have in the American Red Cross group.
I’m going to list just a few of these groups that some of you might want to consider joining:

1. American Red Cross
2. ARRL HAM Radio Operators
3. Community Emergency Response Team
4. Emergency Managers Global Forum
5. International Association of Emergency Managers
6. Public Safety Professionals
7. Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

If you know of any other groups that are appropriate for this net, consider sharing them with us here.  I can be reached at maschulsinger@yahoo.com .

15. Weather Tracking

NOAA’s National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, (http://www.spc.noaa.gov/) is predicting a significant multi-day severe weather event for this weekend in the south-central Great Plains.  While the main thrust of this should pass to our south, there are ways to follow such storm systems from your computer, smart phone or tablet.

Broadcastify (http://www.broadcastify.com/) provides listening links to emergency response agencies and Skywarn nets across the United States, among other services and locations.  Basic listening is free, with premium services such as archived recordings also available.

When storm chasers are actively hunting tornadoes or hurricanes we have a link to them from the WHIO website (http://www.whio.com/livestormtrackers/).  Many storm chasers transmit audio from their chase vehicles, and some even stream video.  This link may be inactive when there is nothing to chase.

16. e-Learning Course on Climate Change

A recent Associated Press poll of over 1000 adults in the United States concluded that 37 percent of us do not believe that the average temperature of the world is rising mostly because of man-made heat-trapping greenhouse gases.  This is an important issue for any disaster responder, because climate change shifts the locations and intensities of droughts, floods, blizzards, tornadoes and hurricanes.

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research now offers an Introductory e-Learning Course on Climate Change.  At twelve hours it’s a little longer than most online courses that I recommend here, but this topic isn’t easily understood and it is potentially vital to do so.  Registration is free of charge at http://unccelearn.org , and a course completion certificate from the United Nations awaits everyone who finishes the course.

I would like to share one final comment.  The exams associated with this training are randomly generated, can be unusually difficult to pass, and only three attempts are allowed.  I found the first one, science, to be easy enough, but the quiz on international agreements humbled me to the point that I am rereading the entire section before I take this test again.  Consider yourself warned!

17. ARC First Aid and CPR Certifications

American Red Cross First Aid and CPR courses are offered at no cost to those who are registered with, and serve as volunteers for, a Red Cross chapter.  This is quite a bargain, as these courses now run the general public between $55 and $115 dollars each, and must be taken every two years in order to remain First Aid and CPR certified.

I’m going to let you in on an inside secret – Red Cross First Aid and CPR courses within District 3 are being canceled because not enough people are preregistering for them.  This makes life difficult for some healthcare workers who must maintain their certifications in order to remain employed.  When a course is canceled some of these healthcare workers must drive great distances to reach a class before their certification expires.

You can do both these folks and yourselves a mutual favor by asking your chapter to supply you with the code to make your class registration free.  After you sign up the Red Cross will send you an email link to complete an online portion prior to the scheduled class date.  Your online completion certificate is the admission ticket to the two hour classroom portion of the training.  Within the next month courses are scheduled in Dayton, Springfield, Troy, Urbana and Xenia.  Just one Red Cross volunteer can sometimes be the tipping point that allows a class to take place.

18. Storm Chaser Websites

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned a link on Channel 7’s website to Live Storm Chasers, also shown as Live Storm Trackers elsewhere on their site.  Well, this link seems to be broken at this time, so I must apologize and make amends.

I’ve found several other similar chasing sites on the internet, although I haven’t spent enough time on them to recommend one over the others.  The three sites I’ve stumbled onto are:




This afternoon I used the severestudios link to follow a WHAS TV11 chase team, known as Sky King, on Interstate 65 south of Louisville, Kentucky.

As a reminder, most of these programs are added to the District 3 website shortly after they are presented on the Ohio District 3 ARES net.

19. Linked-in Redux

Some of you may not be familiar with LinkedIn, (http://www.linkedin.com/) a social networking internet site often used by jobseekers.  Others probably know about LinkedIn, but are not actively checking into it.  What I failed to notice until this year is that a large number of specialized groups are now networking here.

Just a few groups that I have noticed so far include:

Amateur Radio Emergency Communicator, with 2,000 members

American Red Cross, with 17,000 members

American Red Cross Volunteers, with 5,000 members

ARRL Ham Radio Operators, with 6,000 members

Emergency Managers Global Forum, with 11,000 members, and

Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, with 1,000 members

I was planning to add one more just for Bob Rhodes, our District Emergency Coordinator, but I discovered that he is already a member of the Master Exercise Practitioner group!

20. Exercises

This is an exercise message.  Last Wednesday morning various government agencies, Red Cross staff, hospitals and health care facilities in eight west-central Ohio counties participated in a major four-hour radiological response functional exercise.  The scenario had fictional environmental activists spreading radiological materials at a Friday night Hobart Arena kiddy concert, followed by a Saturday dirty bomb explosion at a certain Hara Arena event familiar to all District 3 ARES members!  Again, this was only an exercise, and no children or hams actually came to harm.

This morning I participated in a debriefing, or hotwash, for this exercise.  One aspect of this event that concerns me, and may concern you as well, is that while several telecommunications systems failed over the four hour period, no organizations I’m aware of resorted to using their backup radio systems.  Many players had access to regional and county-wide talk groups on the statewide MARCS system, and some also had amateur radio operators as exercise participants.  As has often happened during past exercises, these operators complained that they were not actually used for anything.

If you are ever asked to help design such as exercise, consider establishing an exercise window during which no telephone or cell calls, including text messages, tweets, etc., will be accepted by certain players.  As someone who spent three weeks around Ground Zero during 2001, I can assure you that such a simulated event mirrors real world happenings at major incidents.

21. National Building Museum

The Washington, D.C. area has no shortage of interesting museums.  In addition to the permanent displays, many museums also offer rotating temporary exhibits.  While many of us will not be visiting our capital over the course of the next year, others surely will.

The National Building Museum (http://www.nbm.org/), 401 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 (202-272-2448) is concerned with architecture, engineering and design topics.  Their rotating exhibit Designing for Disaster runs through August 2, 2015.  Two questions this exhibit asks are:

Where should we build?

How should we build?

While admission to the National Building Museum is free, there are modest fees associated with visiting the Designing for Disaster exhibit.  See the website for further information.

22. Radiological Event Training

A few weeks ago I mentioned that the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association had conducted a radiological exercise covering their eight counties.  Any actual radiological event involving multiple counties will be a big deal, and many responders will be needed.  Unfortunately, radiological incidents are among the most poorly understood, so the usual responders may be very reluctant to get involved, even if it means risking the loss of their jobs.

Amateur radio operators may have an edge here.  In order to obtain an FCC license hams need a basic understanding of electron behavior, and a Beta particle may be thought of as just an unattached electron.  An Alpha particle is just a helium nucleus and a Gamma ray is a wave somewhat higher in frequency than the microwaves some hams play with.

Anyway, if you would like to be better prepared mentally for a radiological incident, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has a number of publications and videos available for no cost at http://www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/resourcelibrary/all.asp.

23. Field Day 2014

ARRL Field Day 2014 is this coming Saturday and Sunday, and we hope that you will elect to participate in some manner or other.  Many clubs have mapped their Field Day locations on the http://www.arrl.org/ website, and others may be found by asking questions on area repeaters.  Field Day club stations should not be stingy with this information, as there are bonus points available for sharing your site with the public, with elected officials and with emergency managers.

There are too many ways for stations to earn bonus points to list here.  But stations can earn 100 points for originating a National Traffic System (NTS) radiogram directed to their Section Manager (SM) or to their Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC).  Field Day stations who handle such messages for the originating stations may earn ten bonus points per message handled up to a maximum of 100 points.

One suggestion I’ll offer for Field Day 2014 only is to direct your radiogram to the Ohio Section Manager.  Radiograms should not be addressed to the Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator at this time.

24. CERT Online Refresher Training

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its local partner agencies have been offering Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training for just over a decade.  In areas where disasters are frequent or common CERT teams thrive, but in regions where disasters are rarer these teams have languished or even disappeared entirely.

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) has been offering an independent study course, Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams, for many years as IS-317 (http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/courseOverview.aspx?code=IS-317).  This course was updated last month to also serve as a refresher for those who have received a classroom version of the CERT training at some time in the past.

Whether you are new to the CERT concept or have taken CERT training some years ago, it can’t hurt to spend a few hours taking or retaking this revised version of IS-317.  Many of the skills learned here can be used in an emergency whether your community has a formal CERT organization or not.

25. Disaster Training Videos

One asset nearly every ARES organization can use is a healthy supply of videos for their scheduled meetings.  Videos can add to the understanding of a discussion topic, or they may be used as a stand-alone program within the meeting.

The Disaster Resistant Communities Group is a non-profit dedicated to assisting governments, other non-profits and faith-based organizations in their disaster-related work.  One of their ongoing projects is the Just In Time Disaster Training Library (http://www.drc-group.com/project/jitt.html).  This is a collection of over a thousand short videos of disaster related topics. I’ve only scratched the surface of this collection, but something here just has to be of use to anyone running a meeting on disaster topics.

Every ARES organization should meet from time to time, and individual ARES members sometimes receive requests to speak on ARES, disasters or related topics.  So make a pass through this website to view the offerings, or better yet bookmark it.  And remember, you don’t have to schedule a meeting to view these videos.  You can do it just for fun!

26. NTED

It’s been a while since we mentioned the National Training and Education Division (NTED) Course Catalog (https://www.firstrespondertraining.gov/).  Produced by the National Preparedness Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), this catalog lists hundreds of emergency management and homeland security classes.  Some are presented on school campuses, some are brought to a law enforcement, fire department or emergency management training facility near you and others are online offerings.  The forty online offerings are easily identified by class ID codes ending in a “W”.

Unlike most such listings, the NTED catalog is available online and is updated as needed, often several times a month.  The 14 July 2014 edition, which is current as this is being written, has grown to 342 pages of offerings.   Classes are taught at no cost to the student, though he or she often (but not always!) must cover transportation, meals and any overnight expenses.

Many of the courses are open to any emergency responder, although some are limited to sworn police officers due to the sensitive nature of the topic covered.  Because the offerings change every year, I bookmark this catalog and try to scan its table of contents several times per year.  Maybe you should too!

27. FEMA Continuity Excellence Training

Does anyone out there remember my mentioning the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Continuity Excellence Series                                   ( http://www.fema.gov/training )?  I could have sworn I did a program about this around Christmas or New Year’s, but could not locate it today.
Anyway, FEMA’s National Continuity Programs (NCP), established to keep all levels of government running during disasters, include two levels of certification in the area of Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP).  The Level I title is Professional Continuity Practitioner, while Level II is known as the Master Professional Continuity Practitioner.
Just a few months ago the first of these programs was extremely difficult to finish, as midweek classroom time in large cities was needed.  But recently it became possible to substitute Emergency Management Institute (EMI) independent study courses for all of the Level 1 classroom time.

So any ARES member who would like to start out in the relatively new emergency management/homeland security COOP specialty may do so from anywhere with an internet connection.

28. Pet First Aid

When it comes to emergency and disaster response, some hams are interested in working communications only.  Others would like to help wherever and whenever needed.
Many of us have certified and re-certified in First Aid, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automatic Emergency Defibrillators (AED), but are you aware that there are similar first aid programs and training materials available to treat sick and injured dogs and cats?
Some American Red Cross chapters within ARES District 3 have offered Pet First Aid classes in the past, and may be able to schedule a class again if there is sufficient demand.  Red Cross also offers Dog First Aid (P/N 657780 – $16.95) and Cat First Aid (P/N 657781) materials at 
http://www.redcross.org/ .
While these Pet First Aid items are especially useful during large emergencies, when the services of veterinarians might be spread too thin, they also have day-to-day value if you are particularly fond of your dogs and/or cats.

29. National Planning Framework

In previous programs we have occasionally discussed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Response Framework, the overall guidance for integrating federal agencies into emergency and disaster incidents.  But we haven’t said a word about the rest of the National Planning Framework.

The National Planning Framework currently consists of five related documents. The National Prevention Framework describes citizen’s roles with regard to prevention of terrorist attacks.  The National Protection Framework concerns everyone’s part in safeguarding against any threat or hazard.  The National Mitigation Framework addresses risk reduction through mitigation techniques.  The National Response Framework was already mentioned above.  And the National Disaster Recovery Framework promotes effective recovery following major incidents.

Individual ARES members and ARES organizations can become involved in each of these planning areas, although historically they have leaned primarily toward response.  Anyway, to learn more go to www.fema.gov/national-planning-frameworks .

30. UAVs for Humanitarian Responses

While web surfing on the ReliefWeb site http://reliefweb.int/ I noticed some interesting webinar recordings  that I had missed when they actually occurred. They were the first two of four free webinars on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for Humanitarian Response. This seems like a natural topic of interest for the more technologically oriented ARES members.

I was able to view and listen to the first of these recordings, and I felt that the fifty-three minutes of information provided was worth the effort. The only thing I knew about UAVs before this was that you shouldn’t fly them into National Parks, especially the hot springs!

The link to reach these webinars ( http://solutionscenter.nethope.org/programs/unmanned-aerial-vehicles ). Note that you may need administrative privileges for any computer you use for this, as Cisco WebEx or Java or both may need to be installed or updated to view and listen to these webinars.

31. Ohio SCIP and NIMS

On July 30th I promised to prepare a program on communications interoperability for District 3 DEC Bob, KC8WHK.  I also promised it for the August 6th net.  That was three weeks ago.  Sorry, Bob.
Anyway, the State of Ohio has a carefully crafted Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP), available to any and all interested parties at  
http://ema.ohio.gov/Documents/pdfs/Ohio_Interop_Appendices.pdf.  Approved in March of 2008, it hasn’t been updated since.  But while some of the annexes grow old and gray, the main body of this 345page document is still useful and in force.

Section 5.3.2 of the plan requires all political jurisdictions within Ohio to eventually become fully National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliant.  NIMS includes formal training, such as the IS-100 ICS course, preparing emergency plans, exercising those plans, adjusting the plans based on exercise and actual incident outcomes, and starting the training, planning, exercising and reviewing cycle all over again.  While NIMS compliance is not a requirement for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) under this plan, Ohio does promote and encourage it.  Any Ohio ARES members who also carry local government IDs would be bound by NIMS.

Ohio Red Cross staff members are a special case.  A previous Ohio Attorney General ruled that in Ohio the American Red Cross is a quasi-governmental organization, not an NGO.  That’s why my chapter’s vehicles bear license plates marked Government.  It is not clear to me if Red Cross staff members must be NIMS compliant under Ohio law, but it’s a moot point because the American National Red Cross is definitely heading in that direction today.

I never did get around to discussing the topic of interoperability this week, did I?  Oh well, there’s always next Wednesday!  Sorry again, Bob.

32. Mass Notification

Have you registered your cellphone to receive urgent messages from emergency response agencies in your area? Many counties and cities within District 3 have contracts to automatically send such messages to all landlines within their jurisdictions, usually through a 911 center. But cellular telephones are a different matter. They must often be registered with the 911 center in order to be recognized as belonging to your address.

For example, Champaign County has a contract with CodeRED to send emergency messages within that county. Clark and Greene use hyper-reach, a different service provider. Darke County has TFCC, yet another provider. I was unable to locate countywide services in Montgomery and Preble, but understand that some cities in Montgomery County have individual contracts.

Using Clark County as an example, you can register using any one of several different links on the County home page, a Clark County Sheriff’s page and yet another button at the Clark Emergency Management Agency.

Please consider looking into this in your community. It can be embarrassing to be a ham radio operator and the last to know about a local major incident!


Have you ever wanted to get in on the ground floor of some major undertaking? Well, such a deal I have for you! The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is launching Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate, its first ever Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).

Disasters and Ecosystems will teach participants how to factor in climate change when conducting disaster risk reduction activities. The UNEP hopes to use MOOC techniques to reach a million people worldwide over the next five years.

Rather than tailor this twenty hour course to one specific audience in one country, the UNEP is seeking participants ranging from international policy makers to students. And registrants can take it anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Not only that, but the tuition is – here comes my favorite ARES training word – free.

The course will begin on October 1st, with about two hours of study per week through December. Those completing it will receive a Certificate of Participation and a few other disaster-related newsletters and benefits. To learn more or enroll before October 1st, contact the course sponsor at the.mooc@unep.org . And by the way, I found this course on the training pages of the website reliefweb.int .


34. eHealth Systems Africa

Are you getting bored waiting for that rare west-central Ohio ARES activation?  Are you having trouble breaking into the emergency management field in Ohio?  Do you crave a little more adventure in your life?  Well, eHealth Systems Africa can just about guarantee all of the excitement you can handle, and perhaps much more.

This firm is seeking management and logistics people to serve as Ebola Emergency Response Coordinators and other positions in the West African nations of Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  The candidates will manage the non-medical aspects of the response to the Ebola Virus in these countries, such as warehousing and contracting for local security guards.

So if you are up for a little adventure, and have your passport handy, go to their recruiting webpage, ehealthafrica.theresumator.com .  And if, I mean when, you return please share your African experiences with us on this net.

35. Chronicling America

When planning responses for future disasters in a community, one of the best tools an ARES member can use is local history. Area libraries can be very useful for researching such past events, and that is probably as good a place as any to begin.

But I have stumbled upon an online resource that I’d like to share with you. The Library of Congress has a website you might want to visit at your leisure. The Chronicling America site ( http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ ) features thousands of daily and weekly newspapers that have been scanned in and are searchable by keywords, dates, locations, etc. The earliest newspapers date from 1836 and the last entered so far are from 1922.

I have researched Springfield and vicinity floods, tornadoes, fires and train wrecks using this site, learning a great deal about my community in the process.

Note that when searching these for a major event in western Ohio you are just as likely to find it in a Washington, D.C. or California newspaper as in an Ohio one. The telegraph distributed these stories evenly around the nation within hours of their occurrences.

36. Free MIT Electronics Courses

Most of the programs I’ve prepared in the past two years pertained directly to emergency response or planning in some way.  Tonight I’d like to just talk about learning a little more, or even a lot more, about different aspects of electronics.

In the past I’ve mentioned many online sites offering free courses in emergency management topics.  It should come as no surprise that there are even more sites offering free courses in subjects other than emergency management.  The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, arguably one of the finest schools available at any cost, has placed over 2150 courses online as MIT Open Courseware at http://ocw.mit.edu .

If you go to their Course Finder drop-down menus, start with Engineering in the Topic menu, then go to Electrical Engineering in the Sub-Topic menu, and finally choose either Electronics or Telecommunications in the Specialty menu.  This will bring up lists of undergraduate and graduate level courses that you can access.  I found about 25 undergraduate and 30 graduate courses available in these two specialties alone.

37. Epidemiology online course

Well, the first person to present with Ebola symptoms while already in the United States has now died, and Spain is caring for a nurse who contracted it treating patients in Madrid. So Ebola may be trying to break out of West Africa. This is a good time for ARES members to review and perhaps update their personal and family plans concerning pandemic emergencies.

Many of us have been happy to assist area health departments during large flu shot clinics, but will the same Hams be so eager to face Ebola? Possibly not, although more people die from flu complications in the United States each year than have died from Ebola worldwide since that disease was first identified. As a side note, flu shots are now widely available for the coming flu season.

An email I received from Coursera this week is promoting Epidemiology: The Basic Science of Public Health. This is a free, on-demand five hour course from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. On-demand is new to Coursera, as most of their classes have historically had start and end dates. View this and many other Coursera offerings at (www.coursera.org).

38. ARC Bloodborne Pathogens online course

Around November 1st of this year the four American Red Cross chapters covering Champaign, Clark, Darke, Logan, Miami and Shelby Counties will merge to form a single chapter. The new executive director will be Lynne Gump, presently with Darke County. Most other Red Cross paid staff within these six counties are laid off effective on that date.

This and similar actions will save the American National Red Cross many millions of dollars annually. It remains to be seen how the move will impact donations.

No details have been announced regarding the new chapter’s name or how many of the six existing Red Cross offices within the new chapter will be retained, but those details should be released soon.

Previously I have suggested joining Red Cross as a volunteer, as they are eligible for many free classes. I recently retook their Bloodborne Pathogens course, as my annual certification expired in late September. With daily mentions of Ebola in the news, this seemed timely. While you can still reach the paid staff in your area, contact them to obtain the code to take this online course at no cost. Then go to www.redcross.org, click Training & Certification near the top of the page and find Bloodborne Pathogens. It will ask for your code and if the course fee shows 0 dollars you are good to go. Start the course from the email link they send you.

39. Mass Casualty Incidents

The third edition of Clark County’s Mass Casualty Incident Plan was released this week, and I hope it comes as no surprise that Amateur Radio operators are noted as being active participants in every mass casualty incident.

The Patient Tracking Team Leader’s and/or the Transport Dispatcher’s staff include at least one Amateur Radio operator to provide 2-way communications with the hospital emergency departments. Other hams will be needed at each participating hospital. This assumes that the regular hospital frequencies and talk groups may be overloaded with patient condition information, and backup radio capability is needed.

These hams will assist by relaying transportation information (medic unit number, number of patients on board and patient priority (red or yellow) – no names, please) to the hospitals.

Have any hams in your county looked into your expected roles in your Mass Casualty Incident Plan?

40. Detailed Emergency Planning

Yesterday I worked a 15 hour day as a Polling Location Manager for my county’s board of elections. There are changes every single year in how elections are run, and a change that caught my attention last November was that each polling location received a copy of the board’s new Emergency/Crisis Management Plan.

This plan was designed for use at all locations, and contained general information about what actions to take if commonly encountered types of emergencies occurred. The specifics of each polling location were not considered.

I thought about this plan with regards to my particular polling location. The polling place was located in a meeting room at the county Combined Health District. Normally, I would not have zeroed in on that fact, but I happened to know that this same meeting room was also designated as the health district’s Disaster Operations Center, or DOC, during a health emergency. With Ebola in Ohio as a real concern, two weeks ago I approached the elections leadership about adding a specific contingency plan for that possibility.

I was pleased when the county health commissioner contacted me later to let me know that if needed he would temporarily open the DOC in another room of the building to avoid having to move the polling location. So now I had both a general and a specific emergency plan for my precinct!

And while we’re on the subject of health departments, have you gotten your flu shot yet?

41. The National Cybersecurity Institute

The National Cybersecurity Institute, affiliated with Excelsior College in Albany, New York, is a relatively new source of computer and smartphone security information. The Institute offers free security news, webinars and podcasts, as well as online college courses, certificate programs and degrees.

Naturally, being a Certified Public Cheapskate I will point out the free stuff first. The Institute currently offers 25 past webinars and podcasts on various aspects of cybersecurity. These may be found at www.nationalcybersecurityinstitute.org . From that home page select the Podcasts & Webinars button near the top.

If you want to move into this growing field, Excelsior College offers:

Twenty cyber courses

One undergraduate cyber certificate program

Two Bachelor of Science cyber degrees

One graduate cyber certificate program

One Master of Business Administration degree with a cyber concentration,

and One Master of Science cyber degree

42. WebEOC

Most Ohio ARES members are at least somewhat familiar with MARCS, Ohio’s statewide analog and digital 700 and 800 MHz communications system.  But I wonder how many know about WebEOC 7.4, the internet software that links all 88 of Ohio’s county Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) with the State EOC and Joint Dispatch Center near Ohio State University Airport.

With permission and approval, county EOC staff members are able to access WebEOC from computers in their homes or offices, in addition to access from the actual county EOC.  Once you are signed in, you can follow major state events such as the recent Ebola response in northeast Ohio, as well as events within your home county.  Another benefit is access to a daily report compiled by the Ohio State Highway Patrol Intelligence Unit.

Persons assigned to an active incident within their county can use WebEOC to request resources from the State EOC or forward situation reports (SITREPs) to Ohio about the event.  While writing this at Clark County’s Red Cross office, I happened to see that Carl, N8NSD, our EC, added a note yesterday in conjunction with EOC training conducted by Clark County.

If you are an EOC staff member in your county, contact your emergency manager to obtain a username and password for WebEOC.  Once you have these, sign in to download the training information needed.  Then sign in often enough to remember your username and password, and to practice reading the online traffic until it is your turn to submit requests and reports.

43. ICRC Health Care in Danger course

Since I began this series of programs I have mentioned a number of free, online disaster preparedness courses offered by the American Red Cross, or ARC, and even a few offered by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, or IFRC.

Tonight we will add yet a third source of free Red Cross training – the International Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC. The ICRC is currently offering Health Care in Danger – It’s a Matter of Life & Death. This online course discusses the rights and responsibilities of health-care personnel working in armed conflicts and other emergencies. District 3 ARES activities would generally fall under the heading of “other emergencies”.

If you are an ARES member who also volunteers for your local Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), or if you are a medical professional or a fire/EMS department member, you may want to consider taking this course. The place to begin is www.healthcareindanger.org/elearning .

44. Broadband-Hamnet

The November 20th Clark County ARES meeting featured an interesting program about Broadband-Hamnet and its local representatives – the Miami Valley Mesh Alliance (MVMA). An MVMA team demonstrated several capabilities of this merger of ham radio and internet digital technologies, and the audience seemed suitably impressed.
Broadband-Hamnet links modified 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz routers into Amateur Radio nodes, which resemble Part 15 wireless computer networks but may operate under higher power and with greater range.
After viewing the program I did not immediately drop everything to run out and purchase a Broadband-Hamnet compatible router – it took me until today to track a used router down!
If you don’t already know about Broadband-Hamnet, check out their site at 
www.broadband-hamnet.org . MVMA’s next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, December 13th at 9:30 AM. The location is Beavercreek Fire Station 61, 2195 Dayton-Xenia Road on the east side of Beavercreek.

45. CHDS

For this final program of 2014 we will return to the Center for Homeland Defense & Security (CHDS). The Center is part of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, California, which might be thought of as the Navy’s counterpart to Greene County’s Air Force Institute of Technology.

The CHDS offers accredited Master of Arts degrees in Homeland Security for professionals working in this field. The difference between this program and all others that I know about is that CHDS degrees are absolutely free! Naturally, admission to this MA program is extremely competitive.

For the rest of us, the CHDS has assembled nine free, noncredit courses in such Homeland Security topics as Critical Infrastructure and Intelligence. These are short versions of the graduate classes being offered in residence.

If you are interested in applying for the CHDS MA program or registering for one of their noncredit courses, visit their website at www.chds.us.


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