The holiday season has arrived, and with it, a variety of severe weather around the country. According to the Weather Channel’s website (weather.com), “28 tornadoes struck Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska”, and strong winds from the same storm system “caused thousands to lose power in Southern California.” (weather.com, 2015) A Winter Storm also dumped over a foot of snow in parts of Colorado and Kansas, with Arizona and Nevada seeing significant accumulations. Recent terrorist attacks in Russia, France, and Israel, and threats of attacks in the United States have reinforced the importance of preparedness. Trained TERT personnel may be called upon at any time to respond to disaster, whether man-made or natural in origin.
While the year may be coming to a close, work continues on a number of NJTI projects critical to furthering the initiative.
At the APCO National Conference in Washington DC, a decision was made to assign each of the NJTI Board Members a specific region of the country to represent. In the past, inquiries from TERT interested parties across the nation would be fielded by the APCO Staff Liaison, and ultimately assigned to one of the two NJTI Co-Chairs. With the rapid growth of the initiative, this practice proved to be far too time consuming for two people to handle. Using the four APCO regions as a model, the following NJTI Board Members are now responsible for each of the following regions: Western States: Cory Ahrens, Kurt Hardin, Chris Hove – North Central: Brian Tegtmeyer, Phil Tirrell, Kevin Antonelli – East Coast: Michael Smith, Tom Andross – Gulf Coast: Brianna Fields, Lisa Fulton, Russ Palmer . This new regional representation model will make it easier for State Coordinators and TERT interested parties from non-participating states to interact with NJTI at the national level.
Major changes to the NJTI website are on the horizon. The new website promises to be more informative, interactive, and user friendly than our existing website. We are in the early stages of planning for the new website, so if there is something you’d like to see incorporated into the design, please feel free to drop us an e-mail with any comments or ideas.
The Board would like to thank all of you for your patience as we transition to NJTI’s new training model. An announcement of the new program, along with details of the rollout should occur sometime in the 1st quarter of 2016. In the interim, those new to the initiative are encouraged to check out FEMA’s Independent Study program for TERT, IS-144. This is a FREE certificate based program provided online, in partnership with NJTI and FEMA.
Finally, Sherry and I would like to officially welcome our newest NJTI Board Member, Robin Johnstone from Canada. We look forward to working with Robin, and learning more about NJTI efforts in Canada, our neighbors to the north.
Sherry and I wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season.