Welcome to Ojai Valley CERT




This blog provides information to those interested in CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) activities in The Ojai Valley, CA. CERT works in partnership with OVARC (Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club) which provides Ham Radio Communications - http://www.ovarc.org/.

http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert is a good place to begin learning about CERT. The fact is, immediately after a major disaster, each of us will be on our own while Emergency Services Personnel (Fire, Hospital, Police, Hospitals, etc) figure out what happened and how to respond. CERT teaches valuable self-preservation skills and empowers each of us to be of service to ourselves, family, neighborhood and community. By integrating CERT with Ham Radio, citizens can effectively communicate actionable information from the field to the Emergency Operations Center -- help will be on the way sooner.

Please check out the CERT Calendar & Map at the bottom of this web-page and sign our Guestbook (top right of page).

Ojai Valley (CERT, Ham Radio, Red Cross)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Decontamination Training at Ojai Hospital

On Friday May 23rd and Thursday August 21st, the Department of Ventura County Public Health will present a Decontamination Training (Mass Casualty/Medical Surge) at The Ojai Valley Community Hospital.

Further details will be made available closer to the event, but the major components will include:
-Incident Command
-START triage
-Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
-Decon Tents

Volunteers are invited to participate (simulating as victims) to aide in the exercise. The organizers will only be simulating decontamination, and the volunteers will not be required to disrobe or get wet. CERT students/graduates are encouraged to participate as it offers first-hand experience during a disaster and supports our First Responders in their training. During an actual disaster, CERT can provide community assistance which reduces the inevitable surge towards the hospital and medical centers.

Nancy Thompson, Operations Coordinator for The Ojai Valley Community Hospital, has been a big supporter of Ojai Valley CERT -- both by graduating from the program and for generously providing meeting space for our group.

Please contact Nancy at 805-640-2205 for more information. The Ojai Valley Community Hospital's web-site is: http://www.ojaihospital.org/

Red Cross "Disaster Preparedness" presentation

The Red Cross will be hosting a free presentation entitled, "Disaster Preparedness" at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, corner of Ojai Ave and Bristol Road, on Saturday 4/26/08 from 9AM to 11AM.

Everyone is welcome. Learn how to build a disaster kit and make a disaster plan to keep you safe in the event of fire, flood and other disasters. Kits will be available.

Call (805) 339-2234, ext. 269 if you have any questions.

For further information and driving directions, visit the St. Andrew's Episcopal Church web-site at: http://www.standrewsojai.org/display.php?id=1

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Heater Meals (Self-Heating Technology)

Wayne Francis (W6OEU) is the Ojai Valley Emergency Coordinator (Area 5) for the Ventura County Auxiliary Communication Service (VC-ACS). He also heads the Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club (www.ovarc.org).

At a recent meeting he mentioned a great idea for stockpiling food supplies - http://www.heatermeals.com/. Legend has it the food was taste-tested at The Pentagon and received rave reviews.

Ojai Valley CERT & OVARC is not affiliated with this company, but it's worth taking a look because it's a great concept.

5th Ojai Valley CERT Training Class starts today

CERT Training (Ojai Valley) -- Still accepting students

The 5th CERT training course (6 classes & 1 drill) began today (April 24th) from 7:00PM to 9:30PM at the Oak View Park and Resource Center. Classes are held on: Thursday, April 24th, May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th and a graduation/final drill on Saturday, June 7th. Contact Cindy Cantle at (805) 654-2703 to register.


Missed classes can be made up at other CERT trainings in Santa Paula, Ventura, etc.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Emergencity goes online today (4/14/08)

Recently, I had an opportunity to chat with Tyler Suchman -- founder of http://www.ojaipost.com/. During our conversation, I learned of another venture he founded called Emergencity (http://www.emergencity.com/), which went live today (April 14th, 2008). While the scope of Emergencity is nationwide, and even worldwide, we are fortunate here in Ojai, CA to have local access to the founders.

Within each emergency drill (CERT, City, County) I've been involved in, the key component requiring improvement is communications.

I look forward to ongoing collaboration between Ojai Valley CERT, Ham Radio and Emergencity wherein trained volunteers and the community partner in effectively bringing their city back online after an emergency/disaster.

"Emergencity provides local communities with a proven and sophisticated web communications infrastructure, empowering citizens with access and interactivity for events, businesses, jobs, blogs, video and more. By establishing a scalable, reliable community hub, Emergencity enables next-generation emergency and crisis management through effective aggregation and distribution of critical information, or actionable intelligence, from all corners of the community. Emergencity's products are designed to benefit the social fabric of a community, including volunteerism, commerce, culture, and philanthropy". (http://www.emergencity.com/)

Please go to (and bookmark) http://www.emergencity.com/ for more information.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Great Southern California ShakeOut!!

The Great Southern California ShakeOut

A week-long (Nov 12-16, 2008) series of special events that will inspire southern Californians to get ready for big earthquakes and keep our disasters from becoming catastrophes.

Thursday, November 13th at 10AM - become part of a statewide coordinated drill.

Ojai Valley CERT is planning for local activities during this period.

http://www.shakeout.org/getinvolved.html for more information

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Search Dog Foundation

Ojai Valley CERT is privileged to have the Search Dog Foundation headquartered here in Ojai, California.

The mission of the Search Dog Foundation is to produce the most highly trained canine disaster search teams in the nation. The job of these teams is to find people buried alive in the wreckage of natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

Go to http://www.searchdogfoundation.org/98/html/index.html for more information.

Ventura County Sheriff Search & Rescue Team

The Ventura County Sheriff Search and Rescue team, based in Upper Ojai, is a nonprofit, volunteer organization formed in 1951 to provide the Ventura County Sheriff's Department with a group of highly trained rescuers for the Ojai Valley. The Upper Ojai team is uniquely qualified to locate, render aid, and provide expedient services to persons in distress; to minimize loss of life, injury, and property damage; and to provide recovery services as needed — always with concern for the safety of all parties.

Go to http://www.ojaisar.org/ for more information.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sheriff Brooks talks with Ojai Valley Woman's Club

Ventura County Sheriff Bob Brooks was guest speaker at today's (4/3/08) Ojai Valley Woman's Club monthly meeting (441 E Ojai Ave in Ojai, CA).

Topics included various challenges police encounter; communication enhancements with Reverse-911; online information (county web-sites) during emergencies; and various topics covering terrorism. After handing out copies of a "Home Safety Emergency Plan" - sponsored by The Ventura County Sheriff's Foundation (http://www.vcsheriffsfoundation.com/) -- to all members, he explained the importance of being prepared for emergencies -- especially fires, with possible evacuations.

I had an opportunity to promote CERT and strongly recommended the importance of training -- mentioning the next CERT class beginning end of this month. I also plugged the "People Like You" DVD and raised the idea of the Club presenting the video during one of their social evenings.

I attended the meeting not preparing to talk -- just shows what opportunities can arise to spread the message of CERT.