On Saturday, January 11, 2020, 45 emergency preparedness volunteers from Los Altos gathered at Neutra House to participate in a simulated disaster drill.
During the drill, BATs, CERTs, and ham radio operators worked together on teams to evaluate and report on disaster scenarios. In a real emergency (after making sure their own families and homes were safe).
Team members would take on the following roles:
- BAT leaders would have a list of the people in their neighborhood to check on, recognize that someone might be missing or need additional help, and have details to give to emergency services personnel.
- CERTs would prioritize which people are truly in emergency situations, evaluate buildings and scenes for damages and hazards, and participate in search and rescue efforts.
- Ham radio operators would use their equipment to communicate all pertinent details and direct first responders and resources to the most urgent needs.
Several BAT leader drill participants said it was difficult to assess the severity of described “injuries”. Also, they did not know which were true emergency situations and many requested additional training on this aspect of emergency response.
Fortunately, Los Altos Hills is holding this EXACT training on February 13.
It’s described as a CERT refresher, but they have generously extended this as open to the general public and we encourage you to attend. This would be an excellent way to add to your skills, and possibly to engage a friend or neighbor to encourage them to get more involved in preparedness. The training is FREE, but please register in advance.
The Los Altos City Council agenda for February 11 includes an Emergency Preparedness Update and a status update for upgrading the City’s Emergency Operating Center (EOC). We would love to see BAT Leaders there, in vests, to show the support our city council has for the BAT Program.
Campbell is also offering special “Stop the Bleed” training on February 4 and 11, open to all.
Those who have taken this class have HIGHLY recommended it. This is another way you can be of service to your friends and family in case of an emergency.
BAT leaders who do not yet have HELP/OK signs, you can come to LACF during weekday business hours. When you arrive, our office manager or I can help you. Please know the number of households in your BAT plus the number of multi-story homes (one sign per story). In addition, the next training on how to complete a preliminary safety assessment (PSA/EIRS) is on March 14.
Thanks to the volunteers who made this drill possible, and to everyone who participated!
Drill Planning Team:
Agnes Caulfield, Jim Clark, Fred Evans, Patricia Evans, Harry Guy, Jasna Krupalija Davis, Steve Lazarus, Daphne Ross, Ann Scheuerell, Hartono Sutanto, Tracie Tavel, Art Whipple