Kate is a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and instructor. CERT is a nationally certified 28-hour course that teaches individuals to function as a member of a team to perform essential life safety actions while awaiting the arrival of professional emergency first responders. Furthermore, it is a positive and realistic approach to emergency situations where ordinary citizens will initially be on their own, and where there actions can make a difference. Through this training, individuals can manage utilities, put out small fires, provide basic medical aid, search for and rescue victims safely and organize spontaneous volunteers.
Kate coordinates the efforts of other CERT members during the Wakarusa Music Festival when Douglas County CERT members provide first aid to festival attendees. Kate is also responsible for writing the disaster simulations for CERT. The disaster simulation serves as the final test for CERT students so that they may apply their classroom training.
Kate’s duties as a Skywarn member go beyond braving adverse weather conditions to provide accurate weather conditions to the National Weather Service (NWS) and DCEM. This allows those agencies to better understand the situation and make informed decisions on warning and notification for the public. She also serves in the Douglas County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as the EOC Net Controller. She remains in contact with all Douglas County Skywarn members storm spotting in the field and relays those messages to the Emergency Management Staff to keep them informed and aware of the imminent weather. That crucial information is then shared with local media outlets and the NWS, so the public will be better informed of changing and possibly threatening weather conditions. She is driven to improve all DCEM volunteer groups so they may better serve Douglas County, Kansas and its citizens!
Another way Kate serves the community is by reading the Kansas River level. Rain or shine Kate is always available to lend a hand and measure the river level which can be every four hours during a potential flooding event. This is passed along to the NWS to provide accurate data to input into models for river forecasts.
Kate’s devotion to service is easily seen through the fact that she works a full-time job, plays in the symphony, and volunteers for DCEM in her “free time.” She never complains nor hesitates when her assistance is requested and arrives with a smile on her face. Kate’s experience and talent is invaluable to both DCEM and Douglas County cities and citizens.