Chuck Norris Disaster Facts

Today we started Day One of our two-day Community Emergency Response team (CERT) Program Manager course.  Originally, we were planning for a smaller “intimate” group of students, but like so many other classes we teach, some participants signed up late for the class and so we actually ended up over capacity on Day One; what a great result!  Two of the students actually identified themselves as being from the State of Florida.

One of the things I like to do while I’m teaching classes is to look through the daily newspapers and share timely articles that either focus on emergency management, business continuity, or leadership, or are humorous in nature.  I struck gold with an article that appeared in the Wednesday August 22, 2012 edition of USAToday.  The article is titled “Chuck Norris fact: Biggest body count in ‘Expendables 2’”.  I’m not going to wait for the movie to be released on DVD; I want to see this movie in the theater now!  In the article, the author identifies several Chuck Norris facts that exist, such as:

  • Chuck Norris had a staring contest with the sun — and won
  • There is no chin under Chuck Norris’ beard, just another fist
  • They wanted to put Chuck Norris on Mt. Rushmore, but the granite wasn’t tough enough for his beard
  • Norris is bitten by a cobra and, after five agonizing days, the cobra dies

Well, this article got me thinking about what influence Chuck Norris might have on things relating to disasters.  So here’s my Top 10 List of Chuck Norris Disaster Facts:

  1. Chuck Norris is so cool that heat waves don’t exist where he is.
  2. What’s in Chuck Norris’ Emergency Preparedness Kit?  A beard trimmer.  That’s all he needs
  3. When a tornado formed, Chuck Norris grabbed its tail and pulled it out of the sky
  4. Chuck Norris’ Emergency Preparedness Plan – A roundhouse kick
  5. Chuck Norris hit a guy so hard once that when he hit the ground seismologists thought it was an earthquake
  6. In the last great flood, boats were having a hard time rescuing people.  Chuck Norris walked in and saved everyone
  7. When Chuck Norris teaches CERT, his students graduate with black belts
  8. Chuck Norris’ disaster mitigation strategy – stare down the risk into submission
  9. Chuck Norris-style CPR – one side-kick to the chest
  10. A Category 5 hurricane was about to come on shore in Texas – until Chuck Norris sneezed and blew it back out to sea 

Today in class

Today we started helping our participants build a strong foundation for a successful CERT program.  We shared with our class that their program will be robust and resilient over the long haul if it’s built upon well-thought out and well-written Goals and Objectives.  Now that doesn’t mean good goals and objectives are all they need; quite the contrary.  Rather, there are many other factors that go into making a program strong.  But, Goals and Objectives are the starting point that everything else is built upon.

From Goals and Objectives we then talked about Program Promotion.  A key concept that we addressed was that promotion doesn’t start after the “widget” is built – rather it really begins in the early stages of “widget” development as we are soliciting input from our key stakeholders.

Working with Trainers and Volunteers, are two units that while similar do address two different groups of individuals.  I always draw the analogy for my students that both units draw on small business processes where in one case, working with trainers, is similar to hiring employees and the other, working with volunteers, is similar to dealing with customers.

We closed out the day with a discussion about Procuring and Managing Resources.  It takes a lot of “stuff” to manage a CERT program and much of that “stuff” is needed for conducting the basic CERT training.  How and where do we get this stuff, especially when we may not have a lot of funding?

Tomorrow we’ll wrap up our class with discussions addressing Training and Exercises, Policies and Procedures, Program Evaluation, and Keeping the Program Going.  Once class is done, we jump on planes and head for home.  And on that note, you may have thought I forgot to include my recurring section about “Getting Prepared in a Year”.

Hope you will check back two days from now on Saturday for my final post from on the Rhode in Rhode Island.


3 Responses to Chuck Norris Disaster Facts

  1. Jim Mitchell says:

    As someone who did CERT training with you in St. Louis – back in 2002 – it’s nice to hear you’re training more folks in my original home state – Rhode Island.

    Hope you get the chance to sample some real seafood while you’re there (catfish isn’t really ‘seafood’). Rhode Island chowder (not to be confused with “New England clam chowder), whole fried clams (not strips – whole clams!) and a lobster roll should be on your menu. Of course, if you can afford a lobster dinner – go for it (it’ll still be way cheaper than buying a live lobster from Schnucks or Dierbergs in St. Louis!).

  2. Mike DeMello says:

    Tim, great blog and many thanks to both of you for presenting the CERT material. Stay safe and enjoy the coffee milk!

  3. Funny and thoughtful. A good combination.

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