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Are you prepared?

Date: 5/22/2014

I know you have heard this title before, but it deserves to continue to be asked. One upcoming date of importance is June 1. What’s so great about that date you ask?

It stands for many things, with one being an annual event and the other an anniversary.

June 1 is the start of the hurricane season. Are we going to have a quiet year or one that is very busy? It’s hard to tell, but are you prepared for such an event?

It is also, in case anyone might have forgotten, is the anniversary of the 2011 Westfield to Charlton Tornado. Though it missed our community, East Longmeadow, we may not be so lucky the next time. So once again, are you prepared?

Have you thought about, even briefly, becoming a “trained” volunteer for you, your family, your neighbors and the community?

There are two of these organizations that are active in East Longmeadow. There is the Community Emergency Response Team or CERT for short, and the Medical Reserve Corp or MRC.

CERT team members are trained in disaster response. The training helps its members to provide the greatest good for the greatest number of people, starting with your family. Training covers hazard identification, reducing fire hazards and extinguishing small fires, light search & rescue, basic medical techniques, and survivor stress as examples.

MRC corp members receive training in personal safety, sheltering, basic incident command, basic first aid, psychological first aid and disaster psychology, as examples. Though it sounds like you need a medical background, it is not necessary, as many functions do not require that type of training.

For more information you can contact: Brian Falk for CERT and Carleen Eve Fischer Hoffman for MRC through the Selectmen’s Office at 525-5400 ext. 1100.

National Links –,,, www.citizensorps/cert,

State Links – and

Now, it starts with you, are you ready?
Brian A. Falk, chairman
East Longmeadow Local Emergency Planning Committee