Fwd: Coastside CERT Invitation

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Ashley Gray

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Jul 18, 2014, 11:28:51 AM7/18/14
to agray...@yahoo.com, ngot...@smcgov.org
hi friends,

"San Mateo CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) is made up of San Mateo residents who are trained to take care of themselves and their community in the aftermath of a major disaster, when first responders are overwhelmed or unable to respond because of communication or transportation difficulties." https://sanmateocacert.samariteam.com

I took the CERT course several years ago, and as you can read in the email attached below, after a prolonged period of dormancy, the San Mateo's Office of Emergency Services (OES) has new leadership and is now seeking to actively enlist residents to participate and prepare. 

the coastside has been divided into three zones (again, as you can read below) - Zone A is basically Montara down to the north edge of Half Moon Bay. Mike Gaynes and Bill Kehoe of Moss Beach and myself (Montara) have let Nick know that we would serve as temporary zone leaders as things got rolling.

as such, and in an effort to create some "Zone A" momentum, I am initiating this email with folks who might be interested in organizing in our neighborhoods. ideally, this group would grow, become for formalized, and merge with Nick's plan outlined in his email below.

the initial goal is to build an email contact list of "Zone A" folks who would like to participate and be kept informed of upcoming trainings. subsequently, we could meet to discuss our zone's emergency preparedness needs and then communicate both our needs as well as services and skills to Nick and the OES. future goals might include trainings, simulations, and creating buddy systems for our elderly or disabled neighbors.

"why are you contacting me?" 

a few on this email attended the informative July 17 Red Cross training and provided me with your emails. many of you are from a neighborhood group we organized for a different purpose several years ago. and a few of you I have taken the liberty to contact because I believe you have needed skills and might be interested.

everyone on this email has been bcc'd. if you are interested, please write me back and let me know if I may share your email with others interested in participating. if not interested and do not want to receive any more emails, please let me know that too. finally, if you have a neighbor who might be interested, please bump this along to them too and encourage them to email me.

thanks for your consideration.

peace-
Ashley

ps - please check out PDF attached at the end of Nicks email below - another Red Cross Shelter Operations training is being offered on July 24. I thought it was an excellent workshop and provided a terrific toolkit for managing an emergency shelter.


Begin forwarded message:

From: "Nicholas Gottuso" <ngot...@smcgov.org>
Date: July 1, 2014 at 3:38:18 PM PDT
Subject: Coastside CERT Invitation

Hello everyone,
 
For those of you who don't yet know me, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Nick Gottuso, and I'm the new Coastside District Coordinator for the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services, or OES. My position was created about six months ago following a lengthy study, which determined that the San Mateo County Coastside needed its own dedicated, full-time OES District Coordinator. My office is at the Sheriff's Half Moon Bay Substation, 537 Kelly Ave. My contact information is listed below. Also located in this building is the Coastside Emergency Operations Center, formerly known as the Half Moon Bay Department Operations Center.
 
One of my assignments is to revitalize the CERT program on the Coastside. We recently held the largest CERT class ever on the coast, and some of you are among the graduates. Most of you, however, have taken CERT training in years past and may not have done anything with it since then. Our goal is to change that, with some exercises, refresher courses for those who want them, and the creation of a program we're calling the Coastside Emergency Corps, or CEC. The purpose of the CEC is to organize the coast into three zones (A, B and C, or North Central and South, respectively) based primarily on geography and population concentrations. Zone A will start at the south end of the Devil's Slide tunnel down to just north of HMB, Zone B will go from there to about Tunitas Creek Road, and Zone C from there to the Santa Cruz County line and up to Skyline. Each zone will contain its own CERT, ham radio and medical reserve elements, and be largely self-sufficient, able to assist in their zones during emergencies, and able to respond to other zones if needed. The exact zone map boundaries have not yet been set.
 
This program is in the early developmental stage, and we are seeking input and suggestions from you as the plan takes shape. Coastside Fire is working with OES and ham radio operators to draw the tentative zone boundaries, and once that is done, we would like to host a CERT meeting in each zone so we can get to know each other and begin the process of organizing the CEC teams. This message is going out to over 200 Coastside CERTs, and I hope many of you are interested in participating.
 
Some of you have graciously agreed to share your contact information with the group, and to serve as temporary Zone Leaders while we get things rolling:
 
Ashley Gray  agray...@yahoo.com in the North (Zone A)
 
Mike Gaynes mikeg...@aol.com in the North (Zone A)
 
Jim Tarpinian jimtar...@hotmail.com in the Central (Zone B)
 
We still need a contact person for the South (Zone C)
 
 
The American Red Cross is providing Shelter Management Classes during the month of July. Please see the attached course flier and sign up for one of the sessions if you are interested.
 
This is a very exciting time for emergency preparedness on the Coastside, and we're eager to meet you and get organized. Disasters don't make an appointment; we need to be ready. Please join us!
 
Thank you,
 
Nick
 
P.S. If you would like to be removed from this mailing list, please let me know.
 
 
 
Nick Gottuso
District Coordinator, Coastside
San Mateo County Sheriff's
Homeland Security Division and
Office of Emergency Services
Coastside Substation, 537 Kelly Ave
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Phone: (650) 726-4069
2014 HMB Shelter Operations Workshop Flyer_2.pdf
mime-attachment.bmp

Joel McKinnon

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Jul 18, 2014, 3:16:48 PM7/18/14
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Hi Ashley,

Too early to commit, but I'd like to know more. Thanks for including me on the email.

Joel

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PBTS HOA

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Jul 18, 2014, 5:05:40 PM7/18/14
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Hi Ashley!
Thanks for the info. Some of the folks in Clipper Ridge have attended previous trainings. I took a shelter operation workshop many years ago when I worked for the county(will be on vacation during the next one). We have a homeowner who has a ham radio. Yes, our homeowners assoc would be interested in being kept in the loop so that we could be a help to one another - also we have several elderly homeowners.  Jeanette Ward


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Princeton By The Sea Home Owners Association
Mail: P.O.Box 73 El Granada, CA 94018

PBTS HOA

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Jul 20, 2014, 7:20:55 PM7/20/14
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Ashley et al!  I am forwarding some info from one our homeowners in Clipper Ridge who is a Ham radio guy. He is active with emergency planning and would be an asset to any organized planning for our Zone. Jeanette


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lee Copeland <cope...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 4:24 PM
Subject: Re: Coastside CERT Invitation
To: PBTS HOA <ad...@princetonbytheseahoa.com>


Hi Jeanette,

Feel free to pass this email on. The subject is so wide ranging that we probably should talk it over with Ashley.
Has there been conversations within the HOA about emergency training or preparations? I know the fire department would be able to help kick something off.​
Lee.


On Sat, Jul 19, 2014 at 7:15 PM, PBTS HOA <ad...@princetonbytheseahoa.com> wrote:


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lee Copeland <cope...@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Jul 19, 2014 at 1:05 AM
Subject: Re: Coastside CERT Invitation
To: PBTS HOA <ad...@princetonbytheseahoa.com>


Hi Jeanette,

 

The short reply to your email is I am well established in the Coastside emergency communications program. I intend to participate along several others should the need arise.

 

I have to tell you that your email is perfectly timed. I wear many hats with regard to supporting Coastside emergency preparedness programs. The dilemma several in the emergency prep community have is to choose which hat to put on for any given circumstance.

 

 

The longer response to your email is I attended a CERT training session held a few years ago. I feel we need to aggressively advertise future CERT classes within our HOA community. The Coastside CERT program has had several frustrating starts and stops in the past. A good number of residents have been through the training program but there has been absolutely no official follow-up training or organizing activity. Because of privacy concerns we CERTs don’t even know who others are who have had the training or where they live.

 

The focus of CERT training is to secure your immediate family first and then support the neighborhood. The other criterion is to limit additional injury to survivors and other CERTs while doing the most good for family and neighbors. There is a good amount of first aid and CPR training as well as Search and Rescue procedures. In addition the training includes procedural and Incident Command training.

 

Fair warning, the professional emergency responder manuals are full of acronyms and abbreviations. As a result all their and unfortunately my own conversations sound like alphabet soup until you spend some time with them.

 

The plan Nick Gottuso proposes should help breathe life back into the Coastside CERT program. As you saw they hope to set up Zones along the Coastside in which CERT trained people (often called CERTs) can get together with other CERTs to familiarize themselves with each other. They need to know what people and material resources are already within our communities. Hopefully we can organize enough to know what we need to do if an emergency happens. We can start with simple things like determining where to set up for different types of emergencies. We need to itemize who has the training and what equipment we may have access to in serious emergencies.

 

In our immediate community, the HOA’s familiarity with and data on our residents can provide a backbone to get started. After an initial incident the professionals will need to know the extent of damage and status of our residents. They will need to know how many are in place and how many need medical attention. Later they will need an assessment on food, water and sanitation needs. That all means we as a community need the ability to survey our neighborhoods and compile information for the professional responders. Again privacy concerns need to be addressed and security maintained. Obviously other communities have had to deal with this issue so there should be procedures in place to facilitate the need to know and the need to secure privacy. Luckily few incidents will require such intensive reaction but it would be of great help to be ready in a serious event.

 

I participated in the Tsunami Drill in the HMB Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and found there was terrific pressure on the incident leadership to provide a constant stream of local status information back to the county authorities. That information was simultaneously being fed directly to the state’s OES (Office of Emergency Service).

 

I am very active in the HAM radio club in HMB. It is part of the national Amateur Radio Emergency Service otherwise known as ARES. The primary focus of the Half Moon Bay ARES club is support of Coastside emergency preparation and response capability. Since the HMB police department was disbanded our club has be actively sponsored by the County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services. In my HAM Radio role I sometimes interact with the Office of Emergency Services (OES) Coastside coordinator Nick Gottuso several times a month. We participate with the Sheriff’s Communication Unit (SCU) on a weekly communications test and attend monthly meetings with them in Redwood City.

 

Sorry for the long verbose response but I did want to assure you there are redundant resources available to our HOA community. This is important as when disaster strikes a good number of our community will most likely be “across the hill” and unable to respond in a short time.

 

We have installed a HAM radio and antenna at the Coastside HOPE office here in El Granada and should have antennas installed at the designated Red Cross Shelters at Farallon View elementary and HMB High School by the end of the year.

 

Speaking of the Red Cross, I participate in a weekly Red Cross Radio Network every Saturday morning. There are three of us from El Granada and Half Moon Bay who act as communicators in this particular net. We are experimenting with radio technics that allow communication up and down the canyons from here to La Honda to maintain an emergency communications link with Red Cross headquarters in Burlingame.

 

As far as the proposed CERT Zones are concerned we have a number of practicing HAMs to support the northern Zone in emergencies. There are three HAMs in the Moss Beach/Montara area and four more HAMs in El Granada down to Miramar. I emphasize Practicing HAMs because there are a large number of HAMs here who have radios but are not participating in preparatory training.

 

I also participate in the monthly CEAP meetings held at the HMB Emergency Operations Center at the HMB Sheriff substation. That is an umbrella function sponsored here by the HMB Chamber of Commerce that brings together all the volunteer organizations along the Coastside. This program will help the various volunteer function together better during emergency situations. There are presentations by each group to let others know of their capabilities and needs during various kinds of emergencies. It also keeps our professional 1st responders aware of community resources. Again the Sheriff’s OES staff participates in these monthly meetings along with Fire and other official agency representatives. Till now their focus was solely on the City of Half Moon Bay. They have recently begun to acknowledge that the program needs to extend to the entire Coastside as we all share the same 1st responders in our police and fire services.

 

Earlier, I mentioned Coastside Hope located here in El Granada. In emergencies they will be our primary source of food and water in the initial days following a disaster event. I took several of their key people to get their HAM licenses so they can operate their radio station. This station facilitates their communications with the Emergency Operations Center should the phone system become overloaded as it did during the 89 quake.

 

There is much more to tell but I fear your eyes must have crossed some paragraphs ago.

The bottom line is we have accomplished quite a bit in the past several years towards emergency preparedness but much more is required.

 

Regards,

Lee Copeland



On Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 2:08 PM, PBTS HOA <ad...@princetonbytheseahoa.com> wrote:
Hi Lee!
I'm forwarding this thread to you - you may know about it already - but with your ham radio, you would definitely be an asset. Jeanette

Wow impressive Lee! Ok if I share this with Ashley from our Zone? JEANETTE



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Princeton By The Sea Home Owners Association
Mail: P.O.Box 73 El Granada, CA 94018



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Princeton By The Sea Home Owners Association
Mail: P.O.Box 73 El Granada, CA 94018



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Princeton By The Sea Home Owners Association
Mail: P.O.Box 73 El Granada, CA 94018
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