Recently I blogged about of Community Emergency Response Team efforts:
I even submitted the content to our local Alameda Patch:
Because our CERT has divided our association into 4 neighborhoods to allow response efforts to happen complex-wide in parallel, there are 9 documents that need to be produced and distributed to 16 teams (4 teams for each of the 4 neighborhoods). I produced these documents using a process that involves Microsoft Word and its mail merge feature to make a master document and then manually editing the master down into information for each team and neighborhood.
The process looks like:
When it comes to mail merge, to create the list of residents, I have a Word doc (i.e., CERT 01 Handout Insert.docx) that looks like:
When it gets filled it, it looks like (e.g., for our house with some items pixelated for this blog post):
Not all of our units have information for all of the fields. For example, not everyone has children or pets. I have read some mail merge instructions (on the web) about omitting blank fields using Control-F9 or something like that, but I am not sure how it works. The information talks about skipping the row above or below. How do I skip the introducer item to the left of the field I want to skip? For example, I want to omit the << Pets >> field as well as the "Pet: " introducer for rows in the Excel spreadsheet where the Pets column is blank. Since I wanted to get the 9 documents out quickly, I didn't spend lots of time researching this. Instead, I just manually edited what mail merge generated and deleted the extraneous fields.
Since all of the fields except << Display_Name >> and << Unit_Type >> are optional (marked in yellow below):
I would apply whatever I learn for handling << Pets >> to all of those fields.
Are there any Microsoft Word in Office 365 ProPlus Mail Merge experts out there who know how to do this?
If I can make everything mail-merge based with no subsequent manual editing, I can update our neighborhood disaster response plans each time a new resident moves in, and an old one moves out. That has happened 24 times in the last 6 years, so we do get some turnover.
Inexperience is alive in the lab.