CERT Changes Proposed for Redwood City

CERT preparedness is highlighted in this Climate Magazine article, but no mention of Redwood City FD’s intent to sacrifice their only Emergency Preparedness Coordinator due to budget cuts.  If approved, this would seriously impact both Redwood City and San Carlos preparedness outreach efforts, not to mention CERT effectiveness overall.

As a result of last year’s natural and man-made disasters, communities throughout the state are increasing their preparedness efforts which makes Redwood City unique in actively trying to curtail such efforts.
CERT climate mag
Don’t let your CERT programs be treated this way, let your civic leaders in Redwood City and San Carlos know how you feel!

Correspondence to the entire Redwood City council may be sent to: council@redwoodcity.org or address them individually:

Mayor Ian Bain – ibain@redwoodcity.org
Vice Mayor Diane Howard-  dhoward@redwoodcity.org
Council Member Alicia C. Aguirre –  aaguirre@redwoodcity.org
Council Member Janet Borgens –  jborgens@redwoodcity.org
Council Member Jeffrey Gee –  jgee@redwoodcity.org
Council Member Shelly Masur –  smasur@redwoodcity.org
Council Member John D. Seybert –  jseybert@redwoodcity.org
City Manager Melissa Stevenson Diaz-  mail@redwoodcity.org

Mayor Bob Grassilli- bgrassilli@cityofsancarlos.org
Vice Mayor Cameron Johnson- cjohnson@cityofsancarlos.org
Council Member Matt Grocott- mgrocott@cityofsancarlos.org
Council Member Ron Collins- rcollins@cityofsancarlos.org
Council Member Mark Olbert- molbert@cityofsancarlos.org


Daylight Savings Time Reminders

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Is It Time to Refill Your Emergency Kit?

Do you have emergency kits in your workplace, home or car? If so, how long ago did you buy it and when was the last time you checked it? While your kit may contain non-perishable items like a blanket, scissors, tape and bandages, a number of items do need to be replenished. Here is a blog post from SOS Products that lists common items found in emergency kits that need to be replaced periodically.

CERT  kit, supplies,

Sandbag Locations and Other Storm Prep Resources

Now that we’re finally seeing some rain, here’s a reminder of where to pick up sandbags as well as storm preparation tips and emergency phone numbers:

To report downed wires or power lines, a power outage, a gas leak or other related emergency, call PG&E at (800) 743-5000. All other emergencies, call 911. 

To receive emergency alerts on road conditions, areas to avoid due to downed wires or trees, and other important communications in the event of a natural disaster, sign up for SMC Alert at www.smcalert.info.

For those residents in need of food, shelter and other basic needs, emergency safety net assistance is available through our Human Services Agency listing of Core Services Agencies: bit.ly/2F1XSW4

Suaoki Portable Power Station

The latest emergency power supply addition to our kit is the Suaoki S270 which will supplement our older Goal Zero Escape 150 units (see photos below).  Just like the Escape 150, the S270 has a power capacity of 150Watt-Hours but at a much smaller size and weight (3 lbs vs 13 lbs).  The S270 also uses lithium-ion batteries instead of the lead acid batteries in the GZ units which do have to be replaced periodically.  Two AC outlets and four USB ports and built-in LED lights make the S270 a compelling option for preparedness.  You can charge the S270 from an AC outlet, a car charger or from a solar panel.  My Escape units are always connected to solar panels to keep them at 100% level and I will explore how to get the solar panels to connect to the S270 since they use different connectors.  The S270 is available on Amazon for $140.

Goal Zero Escape 150 w/30W solar panel (left) and 15W panel (right)

Blackberry REACT: Ham 101, Emergency Communications

Saturday, February 24, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
First Baptist Church, 1100 Middle Ave, Menlo Park

This class is for the beginning HAM radio user. Whether you have your license yet or not, come to this class and learn the basic functions of your radio and the principles of emergency radio communications.

Blackberry REACT (local chapter – Mountain View) provides organizations with communications services when requested. These volunteer services allow them to serve the community, and to train and practice for major emergencies.

ham radio,

Preparedness Tips for the Mobility Challenged

I read an article with preparedness tips for folks with mobility issues and wanted to pass along some information along with a link to the full article.

  • Store emergency supplies in a pack or backpack that can be attached to crutches, a walker, a wheelchair, or a scooter.
  • If you use a motorized wheelchair or scooter, consider having an extra battery available.
  • Practice giving clear, concise instructions regarding how to move you. Take charge and quickly explain to people how best to assist you.
  • Here is a link to Emergency Evacuation Preparedness by the Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions


Sequoia HCA CERT Skills Day

The Skills Day for Sequoia High School’s Health Careers Academy (HCA) was held last Friday at RCFD Station 9.  Congrats to the HCA students that participated, and a bigger thanks to the senior students that took on the role of skills instructors.  I know I was impressed with how the student instructors gained confidence with each group and were pros by the end of the day.  Also thanks to the CERT volunteers that showed up on a weekday to get everything set-up and packed away afterwards.

Plenty of photos have been added to our CERT Photo Album.

How to Save on Emergency Supplies – Disaster Prep on a Budget

The folks at Coupon Chief contacted me and thought their preparedness guide might be a good match to add to this blog.  I read it over and it is a well written, thorough piece.  The author, Monique Dugaw, is with the American Red Cross so her experience and expertise is pertinent.  A link has been added to the main page and is also right here.

“In this guide, we’ll talk about disaster preparedness. We’ll talk about the supplies and equipment you and your family need to weather out the storm or make it through the crisis. And we’ll suggest ways you can save money and still get high quality goods.

By getting ready now, you won’t have to worry so much about what might happen. If a news alert says severe weather is headed your way, you’ll be ready for it.

You’ll know that whatever comes down the pike, you’re not going to be joining the crowd desperately trying to find a store with something left on the shelves or wondering how in the world to live without water and electricity.

We’ve tried to keep the recommendations here in line with those suggested by the American Red Cross. Responding to disasters is a big part of what they do every day.”disaster_supply_kit.jpg

More January Skills Day Photos

Many thanks to Sanya L. for helping document the January Skills Day activities.  His photos have been added to the CERT Photo Album, so go check them out.