It’s hurricane season, and other natural disasters are still occurring. If you want to be better prepared and be an asset to your local community, there is training you can take.
Let me introduce you to the Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) program which is open to civilians as well as the military.
This is a program of the State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS). They are a non-profit organization advocating for the advancement and support of regulated state military forces, as established by state governments under the authority of federal law.
There are five certificates available: (1) MEMS Basic, (2) Senior MEMS, (3) Master MEMS, (4) Liaison Officer (LNO) and (5) the Master MEMS Instructor.
I am the Missouri MEMS State Academy Director.
The MEMS Academy is unique in Emergency Management in that students complete a Practicum (being part of an actual or simulated emergency event) for each level of certification. The Practicum is an introspective review of the pro’s and con’s of what you did and saw. Think of it as an After-Action Review on steroids.
The MEMS Academy, which sees students from all over the world, is a value-priced way to gain experience. It’s also a superb opportunity for Emergency Management interns and those studying EM to get some credentials.
The Academy was established in 1998 and has continually improved its programs. Membership is open to all members of State Defense Forces, DOD personnel, Civil Air Patrol, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, and civilians interested in Emergency Management. Best of all is the cost; membership for civilians is currently $25 a year and there are no additional costs for the certificate programs. If you are interested, you can contact me directly if you are in Missouri. I can aid those in other States to get into contact with the appropriate State Director.
These badges / certifications do not make you part of any military organization and don’t qualify you to self-deploy during a disaster. If you are part of an official State Defense Force, Civil Air Patrol, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, or the National Guard, they let your leaders know whom is better prepared. If you are a citizen wanting to better prepare yourself and help your community, this training will help your local Emergency Management Director (EMD) know your skill levels.
If you are unsure about a “military” program, please contact your EMD and take the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team training. Here is a link to the FEMA website describing what a CERT is: https://community.fema.gov/PreparednessCommunity/s/about-cert?language=en_US
From there you can take additional FEMA and SEMA training and “type” up in the CERT program.
I am a part of our CERT and on the county Citizens Corps Board of Directors. You can read about my thoughts on CERT volunteering here http://the22man.com/2016/02/why-i-volunteer-with-citizens-corps-and-cert/ and here http://the22man.com/2016/02/county-and-city-governments-that-do-not-use-certs-should-be-ashamed/
Until we meet again, keep your booger hook off the bang switch until you are on target and ready to fire.