Caldwell County REACT Called Out to Help After Storm

Curt and Hunter setting up cots.

October 23, 2017, southern Caldwell County was hit with tornadoes/bad wind storm damage the second time in less than two weeks uprooting trees, closing roads, and damaging and destroying homes. At 6:20 pm the CERT-trained volunteers of Caldwell County REACT was called into service by Kenneth Teague, Emergency Management Coordinator. Ten team members responded.

Two assisted by taking tarps and other emergency supplies to Grace Chapel Fire and Rescue which was in the middle of the destruction. Rosemary and Michaela Hall had to avoid several road hazards and take back road detours to get to the station.

Eight REACT members were deployed to South Caldwell High School to assist the Red Cross with unloading and setting up cots in the gymnasium which was being opened as an emergency shelter. Curt Hiller, Hunter Mise, Gary Dishman, Sabrina Laws, and Steve and Sherri Bogdan were among the REACT volunteers. Another REACT member, Dick Blumenstein, spent the evening assisting in his neighborhood clearing roads and driveways of fallen limbs and trees.

The REACT team reported back to the Emergency Operations Center for assignments and instructions for the next morning. Members will be assisting in the EOC and will accompany three damage assessment teams in Caldwell County areas damaged in the storm.

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CERT Basic Class Ends Monday

Their paper tower fell again!

Monday, October 16, 2017, will be the last meeting of the CERT Basic Class in Caldwell County. We have 8 attendees including all ages and physical abilities. They have been a motivated class with a variety of qualifications and experiences.

Here are pictures of the class during different activities. Our instructors look forward to their attendance at future, advanced classes. Our instructors for this class are Rosemary Hall, Shirley Kanode, Kenny Hall, and Mark Barrera. REACT members Curt and Maria Hiller attended and assisted at some of the classes.

Congratulations to our new CERT members Nancy Green, Hunter Mise, Helen Pylant, Linda Watson, and Dale Woodruff. Three people have already taken CERT Basic Training but are making up missed classes or returning for a refresher–Barbara Busch, Sherri Bogdan,  and Steve Bogdan.

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Caldwell County REACT Assists Lenoir Rotary With Used Tires Collection

Curt, Irv, Michaela, Kenneth, Shirley, Sherri, Steve, Rosemary

A group of CERT volunteers who are members of Caldwell County REACT, spent Saturday morning, October 7, 2017 managing traffic during the Used Tires Collection event.

Earlier this year our members were trained on the deployment of the county’s new M.E.R.T. (Multiple Event Response Trailer) to manage traffic and pedestrian traffic during events or disasters. The trailer is stocked with various traffic control equipment including cones, dragons teeth that can be filled with water, barricades, and directional signs.

We put this training into practice Saturday morning when we assisted the Lenoir Rotary Club with the collection of used tires from the community. Our REACT members arrived before 7 am when it was still dark to set up the traffic flow and two drop-off lanes for vehicles. Throughout the morning we managed traffic and kept the lanes running smoothly. A semi-trailer of used tires was collected in four hours. People brought from one tire in their trunk to 50 tires on a trailer. There were many pick-ups with their beds loaded. As one resident stated, getting rid of the pick-up load of tires out of his yard would reduce the mosquito population significantly. It also reduces illegal dumping.

Our team members enjoyed working with Lenoir Rotary who worked very hard to fill the semi-trailer. Another trailer was in reserve, if needed. Using the M.E.R.T. equipment and directing traffic was good experience and training. For example, it became obvious why the CERT POD (Points of Distribution) training directs you to have vehicles make a turn into the entrance lane to slow them down. We had a few cars squeal through the turn and may have been a hazard to the workers unloading tires if not forced to slow down. We also learned that many drivers do not follow directions and must be monitored very closely to avoid being hit. One man started in one lane after difficulty, then halfway down the lane decided to drive through the cones and swerve around the semi to the other lane for no apparent reason.

We had only one disappointed customer. The driver of a pickup loaded with a used mattress, old wheelchair, and other debris, but no tires, was told, no, we could not unload and recycle his material.