Thank you for spending time reviewing this web-site. We request you seriously consider implementing this OK Drill within your local volunteer emergency response organizations.
It is important to reach out to your Government and Emergency Response Agencies. During Ojai's 2008 OK Drill, we enjoyed the support of: Ventura County Office of Emergency Services (Reverse 911 Drill), Ventura County Fire Department (visits to 5th grade classrooms and adopting the OK Sign Drill), Ventura County Board of Supervisors (Supervisor Steve Bennett's office providing several thousand OK signs), Ojai City Hall (Support from Mayor and City Council), Ventura County Sheriff's Department (AM Radio Station broadcast), Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club (Ham Operators shadowing each Neighborhood Area Coordinator and providing communications at our local Emergency Operations Center (EOC)), American Red Cross for providing assistance during counting, and to all the CERT Graduates who searched their neighborhoods looking for and counting OK signs. The primary effort of the drill came from CERT and the community, with strong support provided from Government and Professional First Responders.
The opportunities for creating/enhancing teamwork, communications, and leadership are quite profound.
The annual OK Drill has been consistently performed by the Culver City CERT and Culver City Amateur Radio Emergency Service - it is impressive they can size-up the entire city and communicate results within an hour.
Ojai Valley CERT first implemented the OK Drill on 9/17/08 (700 signs counted within one hour) and has since enjoyed: CERT Classes averaging 40 students; licensing over 42 additional Ham Radio Operators; CERT leadership throughout Valley; and strategic partnerships created between Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club and American Red Cross.
Between now and the drill we will post articles on this Blog, including use of Twitter ( http://www.twitter.com/okdrill ), Facebook and GoToWebinar.
Our objective is to "push the envelope" by generating (using the power of technology and mutual agreement) a possibility of having as many volunteer emergency response teams holding their OK Drill on the same day (10/14/09) at 7:00PM, your local time. The synergy created will lay a foundation for future drills.
We're avoiding the need to email out updates, so please consider "following" this blog-site, including frequent checks of the calendar at the bottom of the page. Feel free to post questions you have.
Thank You from all of us at Ojai Valley CERT
Outcomes and Benefits of OK Drill (It's as easy as 1-2-3-4!)
Outcomes of the OK Drill
- Review their Disaster Plan and check their emergency supplies
- Tune into (if available) their local AM Emergency Radio stations for instructions
- Post their OK sign in a window facing a street or mailbox
Benefits of the OK Drill
- People taking personal responsibility for their own welfare through Planning and Preparation
- Creating Community by participating in an area-wide drill
- Leadership Development through establishing CERT Emergency Response Teams
This simple, yet dynamic, drill provides opportunities to create and enhance teamwork, communications and leadership. Ojai Valley CERT contributes the success of our organization's growth and development to the first Ojai OK Drill held on 9/17/08.
This is how we do it!
- Ojai Valley CERT (Ojai , CA) is inviting all CERT (and volunteer response) groups to join us for a coordinated drill on the third Wednesday of September at 7PM (your local time).
- Create OK Signs - Print OK Signs (on Letter Size, Yellow Paper) with applicable information on reverse side
- Distribute OK Signs - CERT members giving out within their neighborhood; Fire Dept visiting classrooms; Faith-based organizations; Libraries; City Hall; Farmers Markets, etc.
- Create Neighborhood Areas - Based on Volunteer Response Team Jurisdiction, divide city/town into areas (maximum of 9)
- Designate Neighborhood Area Command Post - Each Neighborhood Area has a command post with a Neighborhood Area Coordinator
- Further Divide Neighborhood Areas into NERTs - Based on CERT Volunteer residence and geography, subdivide into smaller areas (Neighborhood Emergency Response Teams)
- Designate Rendezvous Points - Each NERT has a specific rendezvous point with a Coordinator
- NERT Assignment - Assign each CERT member to a NERT
- Assign radio operators (ideally Ham Operator) -- Assign to each Neighborhood Area Coordinator and NERT Coordinator
- Search Areas Planned - Plan ahead search areas for each NERT
- Counting Begins - After teams rally at rendezvous point, count designated search area (Note: You have one hour to complete count)
- Communication of counts - NERT Coordinators Communicate to Neighborhood Area Coordinators
- Neighborhood Area Count - Area Coordinators tally NERT counts and communicate (via radio) to Command Center (Note: You should be complete by 8:30PM)
- Command Center tallies Neighborhood Counts - Command Center adds up totals from all Neighborhood Areas
- Command Center communicates to Ojai Valley CERT - Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with organization, location and total count.
- We look forward to collaborating with you.
- Files & Additional Information - please click on this link