Everyone is welcome to join MRC GEM. Our members come from all walks of life, including the medical and health professions. There is no minimum commitment, though you must complete the basic training requirements to respond in an emergency.

We are not a military organization, though our name might sound like one. We are a top-to- bottom volunteer organization. We have no ranks per se and are happy for any member to step up and help run MRC GEM - just ask how you can help!

Our goals for our members are:

1. learn and practice how to be safe and secure in times of disaster.
2. learn to extend that safety and security to your loved ones.
3. learn and practice how to be safe when helping others.
4. learn and practice how to effectively help others.

If you achieve only the first of these goals, you are well on your way to becoming an empowered citizen instead of a victim who needs to be rescued.

By learning to take care of yourself, you're one less person the first responders need to worry about.

If you can also help others, you are that special shining light guiding those others through trying times to safety and security. The MRC Response Activities diagram illustrates some of the many ways our members help out in a disaster.

Our official mission is to augment existing community health operations during large-scale emergencies, aid in response to pressing health care needs, and improve community emergency preparedness.

MRC GEM Honorable Mention in Two Citizen Corps Award Categories

FEMA announced that MRC GEM received Honorable Mention as Outstanding Citizen Corps Partner Program and for Excellence in Volunteer Sustainability in their 2015 Community Preparedness Awards. (see https://www.ready.gov/citizen-corps/citizen-corps-awards)

How Ebola is spread - use same precautions as for flu

From http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/transmission/qas.html):

-Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids of a person who has symptoms of Ebola disease.

-if a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person’s eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease.

-Direct contact means that body fluids (blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine, or feces) from an infected person (alive or dead) have touched someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth or an open cut, wound, or abrasion.

-Ebola on dried on surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops can survive for several hours; however, virus in body fluids (such as blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature.

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/transmission/ has additional information about transmission of this disease.

As I (not an expert!) read this, Ebola is harder to spread than flu, but can be spread though similar means. Keep your distance from strangers, wash your hands frequently, don't touch your face, avoid touching surfaces in public places as much as possible (use a tissue to open doors, shut off faucets, etc.).

CDC Ebola Response Update #4

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with other U.S. government agencies, the World Health Organization, and other domestic and international partners in an international response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The latest information about the outbreak and response is available at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/guinea/whats-new.html

MRC GEM Journeys to Dobbins ARB

Early on a recent Saturday morning, a group of MRC GEM members "hit the road" for Marietta. Their purpose? A first-time-ever guided tour of (some of) the assets and capabilities of the Department of Defense 4th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team.

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin to Step Down

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin announced on June 12 that she will step down next month after four years in the post. Benjamin, a longtime advocate for a health care model centered on wellness and preventive treatment, announced her decision in an e-mail to staff, thanking them for supporting her vision. The full text of her announcement is available here.

Terrorist Use of The Internet

For Hezbollah, its cyberspace presence is of great importance, and is considered by both Hezbollah and Iran as an important weapon in the battle for hearts and minds. Hezbollah and Iran use the Internet for both internal information and indoctrination (in Lebanon, the Shi'ites and its own operatives) and external pro-Iranian propaganda (especially the Arab-Muslim world and the West). The network enables Hezbollah to circumvent the limitations placed on its other media (television, radio, the press) by the West, especially the United States. Click here for the full article.

MRC GEM 2012 Volunteer Recognition Awards

At our annual holiday luncheon on December 8, 2012, a number of our members were honored for their special contributions to the health and safety of our community.

Sixth annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic

MRC GEM held its sixth annual Volunteer Appreciation MRC GEM annual picnic September 23, 2012Picnic on Sunday, September 23, 2012. Nearly 100 members. along with their friends and family members, enjoyed food, fun, fellowship, and free flu shots. Click here for the full photo album.

Many members participated in a map and compass exercise simulating the need to locate missing persons and treat any immediate health problems they might have. This was a fun followup to the Rescue Specialist training offered at our annual retreat.

Thank you to the many members who helped set up, clean up, and otherwise make this a success. Special thanks are due for all the additional effort made by:

Our Summer Retreat

If you weren't at our retreat, now you can see the fun you missed.
If you were, play this and see if you can find yourself.

MRC GEM 2011 Volunteer Recognition Awards

At our annual holiday luncheon on December 10, 2011, a number of our members were honored for their special contributions to the health and safety of our community.

10 Years After: The 9/11 Essays

Homeland Security Affairs, the journal of the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security, presents a special collection of essays in remembrance of the ten-year anniversary of September 11, 2001. Featured are essays by Janet Napolitano, Michael Chertoff, Tom Ridge, and Paul Stockton.

Radiation Emergency Training Tool Created With MRC GEM Participation Touted In Article

MRC GEM participated in various ways in the development of radiation emergency response plans and training tools. This article on FirstResponder.gov highlights one of these tools, the Virtual Community Reception Center (vCRC) software. See the article at http://www.firstresponder.gov/Pages/FRArticle.aspx?AID=50

Is Homeland Security Worth the Cost?`

In “Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security,” authors John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart assert that the over one billion dollars spent on U.S. domestic homeland security over the decade since 9/11 cannot be justified by the likely benefit. See more at http://www.hsaj.org/?article=7.1.16 in Homeland Security Affairs, the journal of the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
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