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.

Map and Compass Reading Class Part 2

Irv Kanode with his compass and map

Kenneth Teague, Emergency Management Coordinator, will present part 2 of his class on map and compass reading on Thursday, May 25, at 6:00 pm. This is a free class offered to CERT-trained residents. This class will include an outdoor exercise to practice our skills. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring a compass, if you have one.

The class will be held at the Caldwell County Health and Human Services Building, 2345 Morganton Blvd, SW, Lenoir. Enter at the rear at the employee entrance.  Please arrive by 6:00. If you must be late, call or text Shirley at 828-729-5223 so we can have someone at the door to let you in.

This class is part of the meeting of Caldwell County REACT, but you need not be a member to attend.

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Wilderness Shelter and Orienteering Class Report

Hunter Mise and his shelter

Today Kenneth Teague, Caldwell County’s Emergency Management Coordinator, taught a group of CERT-trained members of the Caldwell County REACT team some wilderness survival skills.

Today we learned how to build a tarp shelter in the woods, and how to read a compass and map including an exercise orienteering through a field, across a stream and through the woods. It was helpful to get to practice and a lot of fun! Kenneth also gave us some local history of the area and woodcraft.

We had a beautiful day and enjoyed a great lunch of pulled pork, chili, slaw, chips, and dessert provided by Trina Teague. We plan on having additional classes and exercises of this nature.

Basic Compass and Map Reading Class

At the next Caldwell County REACT meeting on Thursday, April 27, Kenneth Teague, Emergency Management Officer, will teach a basic compass and map-reading class. The meeting is 6:00-8:00 pm. All CERT-trained Caldwell County residents are welcome to attend. Please RSVP by sending an email to

The meeting will be held at the Caldwell County Health and Human Services Building, 2345 Morganton Blvd SW. Lenoir, NC. Please enter at the rear of the building at the employee entrance. Please let us know if you will arrive after 6:00 so someone can be at the door to let you in. You may call or send a text to 828-729-5223.

CERT POD Class—Feb 18 in Lenoir

This is a great opportunity for Caldwell County CERT volunteers to be trained on how to assist at a Point of Distribution (POD) Operations Center in the event of a serious emergency. POD centers are deployed to distribute life-sustaining food, water, and supplies when normal channels of distribution are unavailable. Here is a FEMA video that describes the basic operations of a POD.

To register for this free class, go to the TERMS website.

Please note that the FEMA course, IS 26, “Guide to Points of Distribution”, is a required prerequisite to taking this class. You may take this class online at the FEMA training website.

Questions should be directed to the North Carolina CERT Program Manager, Samantha Royster:

Office: 919-825-2288

Mobile: 919-906-4941

Course Point of Distribution Site (POD) Operations (NC-POD02)
Description This course is designed to introduce students to the processes of setting up, operating, managing, and demobilizing a point of distribution (POD).
Date(s) Sat. Feb 18, 2017 12:00 – 5:00pm
Location Caldwell County EOC / Training Facility
2345 Morganton Blvd., Lenoir NC 28645
Google Map
Handicap Accessibility Yes WiFi Access  
Offered By North Carolina Division of Emergency Management
Primary Instructor Higginbotham, Aaron Scott
Additional Instructors Royster, Samantha
Course Length 4 hours CEUs  
Prerequisites IS-26, Assigned County Role
Maximum Participants 40 # Open Seats 34 # on Wait List 1
Offering Specific Information This course is particularly for CERT volunteers, but anyone is welcome. Participants must complete the online FEMA class IS-26 prior to coming to this class.


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Amateur Radio Technician License Exam Class

In January 2017 there will be a class for people wishing to take the exam for a ham radio technician license at the Foothills Community Workshop, Granite Falls, NC., dates to be determined. There is no charge for the class, but there is a small fee for the technician license exam that follows the classes. If you are interested in attending this class, contact Michelle for additional information at or 828-754-5002.

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CERT Club Updates

bleeding-control-classCERT Club October Meeting

(Anyone who has attended the CERT Basic Training is invited.)

The program at the October meeting was “Bleeding Control with Tourniquet Techniques”–Terran Berry, Caldwell County EMS

Class material is based on Hartford Consensus III, College of Surgeons, How to Stop preventable deaths by hemorrhage. “Everyone can save a life.”

Highlights included:

  • Don’t raise legs of a hemorrhaging victim.
  • When using pressure to stop bleeding, do not use your palm or whole hand. Use two fingers directly to the wound to stop bleeding which produces much stronger pressure.
  • If a tourniquet is applied, do not release it. Leave it on until medical treatment is received.
  • Terran demonstrated various types of tourniquets. His favorite is Soft-T wide.
  • He also demonstrated other types of bandages including Oales pressure bandage, Hyfin Vent Chest Seal, and Russel Chest Seal.

November CERT Club meeting

Time:   Thursday, November 17, 2016

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Location:          Caldwell County Health and Human Services Building, 2345, Morganton Blvd SW, Lenoir, NC. Enter at back of building in employee entrance.

The program will include a discussion of emergency water storage and treatment, club organization, including liability insurance and acquiring 501c3 status to allow for donations and fundraising. Please RSVP to

Hazardous Material Exercise at Happy Valley School

CERT Moulage artists Rosemary and Michaela Hall with "victim" Curt Hiller

CERT Moulage artists Rosemary and Michaela Hall with “victim” Curt Hiller

Friday afternoon, October 28, 2o16, a hazardous material/school evacuation exercise was organized by the Caldwell County Emergency Management Office. This was a multi-agency training exercise including the Patterson Volunteer Fire Department, Yadkin Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, Happy Valley School staff, the Caldwell County School District, Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department, Caldwell Memorial Hospital, Blue Ridge Energies, Lenoir Amateur Radio Club, Caldwell County CERT, and the Hibriten Fire Academy. Specialized Consulting assisted with the design and evaluation of the exercise.

The scenario was the crash of a propane tanker truck on the road next to  Happy Valley School resulting in a significant propane leak and injuries. In reality, it was an early release day for the students of Happy Valley School, so no children were at the site of the exercise. The purpose of the training exercise was to contain the release and damage of the propane gas to people and the environment, safe and timely evacuation and reunification of school students and staff, and treatment and transport of injured victims.

A “hot wash” debriefing followed the exercise at the Patterson Fire Department. Kenneth Teague, Caldwell County Emergency Management Officer, described the exercise as a successful demonstration of the expertise and training of those involved, and an opportunity to learn.

Caldwell County CERT volunteers participated in event communications through Lenoir Amateur Radio Club, moulage artistry to make victims appear realistically injured, victims, and photographic documentation of the event.

CERT Club Meeting Reminder

T2016-09-29-first-club-photohis is a reminder of the club formed by CERT-trained volunteers to insure we are prepared to help ourselves, families, and neighbors during any disaster. The next meeting is Thursday, 6:00-8:00 pm, October 27, 2016, at the Caldwell County Health and Human Services Building, 2345 Morganton Blvd, SW, Lenoir. Send an RSVP to

There will be a presentation about bleeding control with tourniquet techniques with quest speaker Tarran Berry from Caldwell County EMS.

We also encourage members to bring tools, books, or equipment related to emergency preparedness and CERT to the meeting to share with the group.