The actual execution of the drill is a powerful way to identify just how ready you and your neighbors are. Taking into account the previous three items discussed in this newsletter (organizing block captains, color codes of emergencies, and radio communication), here are the final elements to carrying out a successful drill.
PICK A DATE & TIME
The drill works best on a Saturday morning, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. Select a Saturday that will work best for your neighbors by taking into account school events, or sports games. Plan for the event four weeks in advance, so you have time to coordinate with block captains and other participants.
DESIGNATE DAMAGED HOUSES & INJURIES
Using the color codes, assign 15-20 yellow and red cards to random houses throughout your designated area. Write something on the card explaining the situation.
If you have difficulties identifying homeowners to participate, ask them if you can simply attach the card to an exterior portion of the house, and the participating block captain can simply read the card, rather than knocking and interrupting the homeowner.
SELECT THE RADIO CHANNEL
If you haven’t already designated a FRS channel for your radio, pick the one you plan to use for the drill, and communicate that to participating block captains.
At the designated start time, announce over the radio that the drill has begun. Block captains will proceed to check their designated homes and report back to the Coordination Center.
The coordinator will keep a list of the damage and injuries reported by the block captains.
If you have CERT teams in your neighborhood, they can discuss how they would address each of the injuries. If some areas are missing block captains, the coordinator will need to direct block captains who have completed their own sweep to survey other blocks, too.
Once everything has been reported, get everyone together and debrief the event. This is where you will learn the most, and can implement any best practices into your next drill.
November, 2011 Every Needful Thing Jason M.Carlton