White House salutes Hoboken CERT Team and Lou Casciano

City of Hoboken announces:

FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino (left), Hoboken CERT Coordinator Lou Casciano (right), and other Champions of Change honorees at the White House.
Hoboken’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers were recognized as “Community Preparedness Heroes” by FEMA and CERT Coordinator Lou Casciano was honored as a Community Preparedness and Resilience “Champion of Change” by the White House.
“Lou Casciano and our CERT volunteers helped save lives during Hurricane Sandy,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I congratulate them on this incredible honor and thank them for their ongoing work to educate and prepare our community for future emergencies through the Hoboken Ready initiative. Their efforts are an essential part of a comprehensive plan to make Hoboken more resilient.”
Lou Casciano – Community Preparedness and Resilience “Champion of Change”
On September 24, 2013, Hoboken CERT Coordinator Lou Casciano was honored at the White House as a Community Preparedness and Resilience “Champion of Change.”
Lou joined the Hoboken Community Emergency Response Team in April 2010 and during his tenure was instrumental in managing the response to Hurricane Irene which led to his appointment as CERT Coordinator in June 2012.  In this new role, Lou recognized the need to plan for the next incident.  His techniques proved invaluable when Hoboken experienced the significant effects of Superstorm Sandy just one year later, including: (i) identifying and training key volunteer leaders to help manage the influx of 5,000 volunteers; (ii) identifying and recruiting doctors, pharmacists and nurse practitioners; (iii) opening Hoboken High School to accept and distribute more than 23,000 Meals Ready to Eat, and tens of thousands of donations from around the country; (iv) managing and supplying six Points of Distribution throughout the City; and (v) manning the Emergency Operations Center throughout the entire 14-day tour. In August 2013, Lou was appointed as Operations and Training Officer for the Office of Emergency Management with the City of Hoboken.
Hoboken CERT Volunteers – “Community Preparedness Heroes”
The volunteers of the Hoboken CERT program were recognized as “Community Preparedness Heroes” as part of the 2013 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards.
After Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in October 2012, the Hoboken CERT team was deployed to assist Hoboken’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in recovery efforts. The program distributed Hurricane Sandy information flyers throughout the Hoboken Housing Authority and locked down its HAM radio frequency to all communications with the exception of emergency traffic.  Additionally, the CERT program set up and manned the Emergency Operation Center with the Hoboken OEM and began the process of soliciting volunteers and staffing shelters.  On October 30, 2012, the CERT program started with recovery operations by identifying leaders and organizing hundreds of volunteers.  Hoboken CERT was able to utilize its amateur radio repeater as the primary means of communication for shelter operations, shuttle bus communications, and volunteer communications.

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