What do you know? The Petaluma NERT (Neighborhood Emergency Response Team) concept; initially announced on an Internet TV program (October 19, 2005), following the Hurricane Katrina disaster in the Gulf Coast region, has slowly circulated around Sonoma County and resurfaced recently in Sebastopol under the title, “Map Your Neighborhood.” http://sebastopol.towns.pressdemocrat.com/2011/08/news/sebastopol-creating-neighborhood-emergency-groups/

Regular readers of this blog are already familiar with NERT and all the other acronyms associated with Petaluma area emergency readiness and preparedness projects, such as: CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams), CERN (Community Emergency Radio Network), and ALERT (Alliance of Emergency Readiness Teams). In fact, there are 77 blogs indexed under the EP category on the right-hand side of this home page.

What most readers don’t know is that the Emergency Communication model known as CERN evolved in Petaluma and was shared with the Sebastopol CERT program and presented again as an Advanced Training Workshop for all Sonoma County CERT graduates and leaders.

Although the ALERT framework was completed in 2008, the CERN model has been demonstrated annually with a city-wide field exercise, involving at least one Neighborhood Emergency Radio Team consisting of a licensed amature radio operator plus one or more “handy-talkie” FRS radio operators in each of the city’s six police beats. The three field exercises (2008, 2009, 2010), involved neighborhood volunteers transmitting sample disaster-related messages related to an earthquake scenario. The emergency level messages were eventually passed on to the City’s EOC (Emergency Operation Center).

Stay tuned. Another EmComm field exercise is “in the works” for 2011.