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Top Questions from the Power Outage?

Viewing 4 posts - 16 through 19 (of 19 total)
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    Casey, KA5WAX

    how to know when to evacuate. ( listed in no special order )

    regional authorities will activate the directed calling message, calling your home phone.
    they have the capabilities to call people in specific geographic regions.
    Additionally they may use the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which will take over / overlay messages on broadcast TV. ( you may of seen these during the World Series? )
    SMC ALert will work, as will the Amber system, to contact your cell phones.
    Law Enforcement will roll through with their sirens and announce

    From what I understand for the fire at the Mushroom Farm authority devolved to a State Park Ranger, who contacted their charges in the park and the folks at Root Down Farm.

    this next bit feel free to skip – TL;DR – Things Break

    Example Case: One of our Butano CERT/BERT guidelines is that folks are free to leave at any time if they felt the need to leave. This is following the PLEASE principle – Please Leave Early And Save Everyone. When the Mushroom Farm went up a lot of folks seemed to be outCanyon anyway. Hopefully PLEASE causes a trickle-out effect of the most uncomfortable people, or those who recognize they have special needs which won’t be addressed. This population would require special handling anyway so if they are out of everyone’s hair the better. ( Honestly, I was on the phone with one of our Butano CERT/BERT members, Wendy Wardwell, and that’s the message what we came up with. I had been in-Canyon with my cousins and their 6 week old and decided we should just scoot to Belmont for the power outage. )

    In-Canyon folks were quite edgy, however due to the winds there were a number who scoffed at the idea of a fire being so near with no smoke in the air. In our painstakingly built Neighborhood Coordinator (NC) plan, involving about 12 folks each responsible for a small span of houses, only one or two happened to be around. One of our NC’s decamped to the bar under the PLEASE principle and thus was out of the control structure. This resulted in a little information black hole whirlpool focused at Wendy’s house.

    About a dozen or twenty folks came to Wendy’s house looking for information. Only one of those was in our GRMS radio group, and hadn’t thought of calling in on the GRMS radio. ( Wendy had hers and I had left 2 of mine with her plus extra batteries as backup. She has one of my decommissioned UPS units for the radio chargers. ) There was discussion about blowing off our Air Raid siren as per our emergency plans but somehow the group decided that wasn’t appropriate and so some volunteers went door-to-door to get a headcount and alert folks. At the same time folks were calling CalFire on Pescadero Creek Road and getting no answer, calling something in HMB ( they said the EOC but that wasn’t open? ) and getting ” we have no information for you ” so the tension level was getting to less-than-useful levels.

    In post

    Post-event discussion with Chief Ari at the CEC Monthly:
    * he strongly advised folks in this situation to call 911. Any 911 ( cell or landline ) , and request evacuation information
    * the CalFire station was empty `cuz the firefighters were out
    * pointed out that the La Honda DOC was only staffed due to the power event; if the power event hadn’t co-incited with the Mushroom Fire ( great band name ) no one would of been there either.
    ( Jeneen if you’ve suffered along this far and have anything to add to what I remember about that discussion, please add in )

    Post-event discussion with BCERT / BERT:
    * it turned out that someone did get a person at the Pesky CalFire Station but being from the Belmont crew they had no idea about the presence of a community on Butano Canyon.
    * HTs are not receiving the W6SCF repeater well; this seems to of degraded in the last 6 months or so. I had had folks listening in on the Monday Nets to get used to the idea but they report that it’s not working for them recently. I’ve checked my self with Yaesu gear and found the coverage has changed. it’s all ‘FM’ so …. ( you may recall I wander around alot and check ) This is a to-do for me to see what’s up with our NCs. Probably time to pull the trigger on some EdFong builds and some pigtails.
    * we need to get more GRMS radios out to folks not on the NC roster.
    * PUENTE was wondering if they should of preemptively opened the Shelter at the High School. They had contacted the farms out that way to check that the evacuated families had been taken in elsewhere, which was the case. If the Canyon had been ordered to roll my guess is that they would open the Shelter.

    WRT the power outage and information, I don’t think anyone inCanyon knew that calling the La Honda DOC was a thing. I’ll address that.

    WRT the Pescadero CalFire station I’ll look into the radio situation down there. They sit in a bit of a hole… and they are far enough out of town I don’t think a GRMS HT would reach anyone any way. it’s a good little puzzle.

    There is another good question afoot here – due to the scale of the Power event we were activated and the La Honda DOC brought on-line.

    Let’s take the case of the MFF; if it was just a big fire out that way would we of been activated early enough to man La Honda as a DOC? Or to staff the CalFire station in Pescadero? Would anyone from SC4ARC even know?

    Joseph, K9JOE

    Keep in mind that there is (or was) a good base radio at the high school, and also one at Puente. Either of those might be used as a DOC, but information flow might be better if at the fire station. The school has a backup generator but as I remember, someone keeps stealing the wiring. I don’t think Puente has any backup power.

    Jeneen, W6NCS

    Opening a DOC or providing comms support is at the behest of Chief Delay. With no official activation, though, if there is something going on in Branch 3 or 4 that is a threat or could develop into a threat, the SC4ARC folks should be on their radios exchanging information and reporting on what’s going on in their vicinity. Even in the DOC, we didn’t have information about the Mushroom Farm fire. I think in a case like that, I would do as Ari suggested and call 911. Also, start a net on CMD31 if you can, to check on people and see if they have any information to share.

    Jeneen, W6NCS

    The CEC Fall 2019 Newsletter has a list of acronyms (p. 4). And their first newsletter has a description of what the various volunteer organizations that are trained to help first responders do. If that helps.

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