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)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Red Cross contingent during Ojai July 4th Parade

As stated in a prior posting, the Ojai Valley groups comprising CERT, Ham Radio and American Red Cross are committed to working together (while maintaining separate specialties) when called upon during a disaster or emergency.

GMRS Weekly Net (Tuesday, 6:30PM)

Tim Shates will host a weekly GMRS Radio Net on Tuesday evening from 6:30PM to 6:45PM.

The Purpose of the net is, for those with GMRS radios and licenses, to test their equipment and discuss topics of interest.

The frequency will be 462.575 simplex, which is also the repeater output frequency.

Please refer to www.ovarc.org (Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club) for other weekly nets on Tuesday evening:

-6:45PM 6 Meter
-7:15PM OVARC Weekly Net
-7:30PM Ventura County Auxiliary Communication Service (CountyWide, including Ojai Area 5)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Operation Sunrise (7/25-7/26) - still time to register

For those interested in CERT training, there is a great training opportunity during Operation Sunrise on July 25 and 26 at Cal State Channel Islands University. The training is free, but seating is limited, so sign-up soon if you would like to attend.

The County Health Department is providing a training opportunity to their staff and as part of "Operation Sunrise" there will be an opportunity for folks that want to complete the CERT classes in a short time and participate in a great drill and learning opportunity.

Visit the County website at: <http://www.vchca.org/ph/announcements.htm>
Follow the links to more information.

The training is being held at Cal State Channel Islands University and the chance to get the training done in an accelerated class is coming up on July 25th and July 26th. We want to have a large class but seating is limited and everyone in the County is being invited so reserve your seat right now. There is no charge for the training.

The classes are going to be offered starting at 12:00 noon on Friday the 25th and will continue with a few short breaks and a dinner break until about 9PM in the evening. On Saturday the classes will start early at 7:00 am and go until 12:00 noon. Following lunch, which will be provided, there will be a field activity/drill that starts at 1:00 PM to practice all of the skills that we have talked about in the classes . The drill will be huge and it will be the talk of the Emergency Preparedness community.

If you wish to spend the night at the site, the activity is planned to cover 36 hours and there will be disaster movies and popcorn for those that stay overnight on Friday.

The best way to respond and sign up for the classes is by email.


If you want, you can leave a voice message at 805-933-4297.

Sign up right now. You know you need to get this training.

Steven J Lazenby, Captain Station 81 B-Shift (805) 933-4254 ex 254
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator

Ham Radio Group is growing

Congratulations goes to Paul McConnaughey (KI6RYH) of Ojai Valley CERT for passing the Ham Radio Technician License Exam.

Amateur License - KI6RYH - McConnaughey, Paul W.

As an Ojai Valley CERT Neighborhood Area Coordinator, Paul now has the ability to be in communication with Emergency Responders when all other forms (telephone, etc) have failed.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Operation Sunrise (July 25-26, 2008)

Save the Date: Operation Sunrise

On July 25-26, 2008, we will be hosting Operation Sunrise. This 36-hour-long medical surge exercise will be held at California State University, Channel Islands.

Please go to this link for more information and sign-up:


This will be a marathon event with great opportunities to learn from the best.

People new to CERT, or those interested in recurrency training, can complete the entire CERT program within 36 hours -- typically lasting 6-7 weeks.

RSVP to:

Reverse-911 (Emergency Alert System)

Emergency Alert System Comes to Ojai

The City of Ojai is excited about having joined the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Office of Emergency Services (OES) REVERSE 911 Emergency Notification System, which allows police, fire department, and other authorities to quickly alert you about known hazards in the community.

Whenever there is a threat to public health or safety of residents, the system can deliver alerts like: evacuation notices, hazardous materials releases, community policing activities (AMBER alerts, endangered missing adults, prisoner escapes, high incidence of criminal activity, etc.), and water treatment alerts.

The system will not be used to deliver political announcements, provide information on community events, or notify residents of road closures (unless it will affect residents during an evacuation).

How It Works: The REVERSE 911 System has access to a database that includes both listed and unlisted landline phone numbers for AT&T and Verizon customers. This database, together with GIS mapping technology, makes it possible to broadcast an alert to specified areas. A recorded voice message will provide important information about a particular alert when you answer your phone, or a text message will be received if you have equipment set up for TTY/TDD messages.

Register TTY/TDD Equipment. In order to receive text messages, you must register your phone number that is associated with TTY/TDD messaging equipment.

Receive Emergency Notices via E-Mail. You can also add an e-mail address to your landline to receive e-mail notification. Send an e-mail with your phone number, contact name and e-mail address to: reverse911@ventura.org.

Missed Calls. When a broadcast alert is sent out, your phone will ring until you either pick up or your answering machine records the message. If no one answers the phone, a repeat mechanism will continue to call your number within a certain interval until the phone is answered.

Phone Number Changes. If a resident’s landline phone number changes, the database will be updated automatically to reflect that change.

Important! Register Cell Phone Numbers. The REVERSE 911 system does not automatically include cell phone numbers. Those who do not register their cell phone number will not receive notifications through the REVERSE 911 system. Make sure to register your cell phone number by using the following link: http://portal.countyofventura.org/portal/page?_pageid=817,1258038&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

Should your cell phone number change, delete the old number and add your new number to the database. Once a year, the Office of Emergency Services will contact residents via e-mail asking for confirmation that the phone number is still valid. If you do not confirm by responding to the e-mail, your cell phone number will be removed from the database.

Be Proactive, Check All Informational Resources. It’s important that you check all informational resources available even though you have signed up for REVERSE 911 notifications. In the event of a telecommunication breakdown, turn on you radio and tune in to Ojai’s Emergency Alert Radio AM 1610 for information.

You can read more about REVERSE 911 by using the following link: http://portal.countyofventura.org/portal/page?_pageid=817,1273737&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

Ojai July 4th Parade (7/4/08)

Ojai Valley CERT participated in this year's Ojai July 4th parade.

A triad of support groups marched together -- Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club, American Red Cross and Ojai Valley CERT. The three groups have seperate specialties, but share common objectives of public safety and well-being.

It was great fun having our group recognized and cheered on by "the other half of Ojai" -- those watching the parade!!

Group Photo

Parade Preparations

Friday, July 4, 2008

Congratulations to two new Radio Operators

Congratulations to Judy Bysshe (KI6RWQ) for passing the Amateur (Ham) Radio Technician Exam.

Congratulations to Deborah Walker (WQIY942) for acquiring a new GMRS license.

Ojai Valley CERT is committed in partnering with Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club (http://www.ovarc.org/) to expand radio commuications in the Ojai Valley.

Personal Radio Association FAQ (GMRS)

The Personal Radio Association promotes the use of the General Mobile Radio Service and the Family Radio Service (all of the Personal Radio Services) within the scope and definition of the services contained in the Federal Communications Commission Rules and Regulations Part 95. (FCC R&R Part 95) There is a growing interest among large and small organizations to use the inexpensive bubble-pack GMRS radios for neighborhood emergency response teams, including CERT. We have found there are misconceptions about the purpose of the GMRS and a potential for these groups to operate their radios in a fashion that is incompatible with the services. These questions are designed to help you understand the role the GMRS can play for these groups and exactly what the responsibilities of the licensee are operating a GMRS system. The PRA believes that GMRS and FRS, in particular, is an excellent communication resource for our neighborhood volunteers as long as our neighbors use the services according to the rules and in a cooperative way.

Please go to this web-link for a very informative FAQ on CERT groups using GMRS radios.