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Save These Dates...

posted Dec 1, 2010, 8:56 AM by Andrew Chadick

On October 30 2010, 137 members of Community Emergency Response Teams, Neighborhood Associations and local Citizen Corps from 21 states (MAP) participated simultaneously in the first Formidable Footprint Neighborhood Tabletop Exercise. The scenario that teams participated in was that of a category two storm “Hurricane Neighbor” striking the simulated coastal community of “Northtown” a neighborhood of 807 homes with 2,431 residents.

 

In Emergency Management and Disaster Response timing along with having the right information often determines the outcome. The Formidable Footprint exercise series is timely because FEMA Administration Craig Fugate has recently challenged all Americans to find ways to help our communities become better prepared for disasters. These exercises engage a wide variety of individuals and groups and provide a collaborative environment where participants are challenged with thought provoking injects to consider how they would respond in their community with their community resources.

 

Neighborhood teams were able to partake in this and future exercises due to a unique collaboration of partner organizations offering participation in the Formidable Footprint exercises at no cost.

 

During the exercise teams of community / neighborhood oriented volunteers and professional emergency managers were prompted to work through the process of planning and preparing for the approaching storm with injects such as: “Would your Community Emergency Response Team have a role in assisting senior citizens, individuals with disabilities and / or the transportation disadvantaged in preparing for the approaching storm?”. Once the team responded to the inject using their own plans and procedures they were prompted to provide details on what they would do if they answered yes or identify an organization to whom they would refer neighborhoods residents to if their response was no.

 

In the aftermath of the hurricane participants used interactive maps and videos to conduct neighborhood needs and damage assessment. Then, using the situational awareness of the neighborhood, exercise participants developed Incident Action Plans, identified potential partner organizations and outlined plans to either manage or assist with neighborhood based Points of Distribution.

 

Lasting three hours the exercise provided an opportunity for neighborhood residents to come together as Community Emergency Response Team members to assess their capabilities of planning for and responding to Hurricane Neighbor.

 

Listed below are several of the participant observations that were submitted during the Hotwash portion of the exercise.

 

  • The exercise was very interactive which allowed participants to tailor the experience to their needs and training levels.
  • The exercise provided us with a very practical idea of what functions we could handle in response to a hurricane. It provided our team with very specific injects, which were helpful in stimulating discussion and decisions within the team.
  • Scenario was excellent provided real world situations.
  • Interaction among our team members was so involved we lost track of time. Really enjoyed the whole experience.
  • The exercise was an opportunity to use our experience and training.
  • The maps utilized in the exercise were very helpful and essential for our team to understand the current situation.
  • We came up with some previously un-thought of solutions and made note of supplies that would be needed to implement them.

 

The scenarios, dates and times of future Formidable Footprint Neighborhood Tabletop Exercises have been set:

 

Date

Time

Scenario

January 29 2011

9:00AM - 12:00PM PST

Earthquake

February 26 2011

9:00AM - 12:00PM CST

Flood

March 26 2011

9:00AM - 12:00PM CDST

Wildfire

April 30 2011

9:00AM - 12:00PM CDST

Tornado

May 28 2011

9:00AM - 12:00PM MDST

Influenza Pandemic

June 25 2011

9:00AM - 12:00PM CDST

Hurricane

 

As outreach activities continue to encourage community / neighborhood disaster response teams to participate in one or several of the exercises your assistance is needed to help spread the word about this unique disaster training.

 

The web site for the neighborhood exercise series can be found below:

 

www.drc-group.com/project/footprint.html

 

Take the opportunity today to link your web site to the exercise web site and share this story with your partner agencies and organizations in an effort to encourage community / neighborhood participation.

 

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