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Emergency Preparedness Team Members Receive Awards

Los Altos Emergency Preparedness Volunteers of the Year Fred Evans, Patricia Evans, and Agnes Caufield were recognized at the annual Santa Clara County Emergency Managers Association awards banquet on December 12th. 

Los Altos Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Ann Hepenstal was named Emergency Manager of the Year, and Keith Amidon, Peter Amidon and John Kristian were recognized for their continual service as Ham radio operators at the County level. Each City in Santa County selected its volunteers for recognition, and the Emergency Manager of the Year was selected among nominations coming from all the cities in the county.

Fred and Patricia Evans

This couple leads a Block Action Team (BAT) in their Arbuelo Way neighborhood. Both Fred and Patricia are members of the Los Altos Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and Fred is an amateur radio emergency communications volunteer. They are active in the Los Altos PREPARES program, and hosted an emergency preparedness volunteers’ drill in their BAT. They were awarded a 2018-19 City of Los Altos Community Emergency Preparedness Grant as well as a mini-grant from the Earthquake Country Alliance, and used the funds to prepare a neighborhood directory, hold training classes for their neighbors, and lead them to improved levels of preparedness. 

Agnes Caufield: 

A BAT leader in the Toyon Farms neighborhood, Agnes also hosted an emergency preparedness volunteers’ drill in her BAT, and has diligently worked through issues with emergency evacuation routes for her neighborhood. She used a 2018-19 City of Los Altos Community Emergency Preparedness Grant to compile an emergency preparedness/evacuation guidebook and directory for Toyon Farms, and held an evacuation drill leading her neighbors to practice their route out of the community.

Keith Amidon, Peter Amidon and John Kristian: 

Along with Jim Oberhofer of Cupertino, these members of the Los Altos Amateur Radio Emergency Service (LAARES) have developed standardized forms (message forms, resource request forms, etc.) that can be sent via amateur radio. These forms are used by every agency in the county. These forms are now used by all amateur radio emergency communications operators in the county–all cities and the County EOC. 

Ann Hepenstal: 

The City of Los Altos Emergency Preparedness Coordinator was recognized for her work improving the emergency preparedness in the City. 

Ann’s accomplishments include developing the Disaster Service Worker volunteer program, increasing City support for community emergency volunteers through the Los Altos Prepares steering committee, innovations on increasing awareness and visibility of emergency preparedness in Los Altos, and strengthening City staff disaster response readiness. 

She has built ties between the City emergency preparedness efforts and the faith-based organizations in the community. She worked with the Los Altos History Museum on an emergency preparedness exhibit to further raise awareness and educate our community members. 

The exhibit, Our Community Prepares – Acts of Nature, Then and Now, opened in October in alignment with the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Ann has tirelessly delivered a message of preparedness to both City staff and the community for the past 2 years. 

Congratulations to these awardees! And, thanks to all the community members who help to strengthen our City’s level of emergency preparedness.