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Community Emergency Response Team volunteers from Milwaukie, Gladstone participate in April 13 event

COURTESY PHOTO: OLWS - Judy Batt, leader of Milwaukie's Community Emergency Response Team, directs traffic at the April 13 drinking-water drill in Oak Lodge.Oak Lodge Community Emergency Response Team volunteers were joined by Milwaukie and Gladstone CERT members in practicing the distribution of drinking water to the public last month.

As part of this exercise, CERT volunteers distributed bulk amounts of water from a central area in the neighborhood (the Concord School property). They practiced traffic and communications management, along with water-purification techniques using portable emergency filters to fill clean containers brought by members of the public.

COURTESY PHOTO: OLWS - Community Emergency Response Team members practiced traffic and communications management, along with water purification using portable filters.The inaugural April 13 event, held in conjunction with the Oak Lodge Water Services (OLWS) and Clackamas Fire districts, involved 25 volunteers, OLWS staff, fire-district employees and three cadets from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office helping with traffic flow. Partners hope to run the exercise regularly, and at least once per year, and were pleased that the average time it took to move through the exercise was about 3 minutes.

"The partners provided water and/or informational materials to 72 vehicles, and were able to practice the Points of Distribution System, as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency," said Lara Christensen, OLWS spokesperson. "PODS are locations where the public can access emergency supplies following disasters. A POD exercise contains a prescribed set of steps that help keep all the participants safe and allow them to access and provide the services needed as part of the situation."

Participants received a new 1-gallon water container that folds flat, and literature to assist in preparing at home for natural or human-caused emergency situations. Information was provided in part by the Clackamas County Disaster Management, OLWS and the Regional Water Providers' Consortium.

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