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)

Monday, August 31, 2009

2009 Shakeout Exercise - 10/15 at 10:15AM

45 Days to the 2009 ShakeOut!

At 10:15 a.m. on October 15, 2009, millions of Californians will “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” in The Great California ShakeOut, the largest earthquake drill ever!

September is National Preparedness Month, and you'll be hearing from many organizations about how to update your disaster plans and restock your disaster supplies kits. It's also time to register for the 2009 ShakeOut! If you participated in the 2008 drill or not, this is your once-a-year chance to practice how to be safe during earthquakes: Drop, Cover, and Hold On.

Over 5.4 million southern Californians participated in the 2008 ShakeOut. As a statewide drill in 2009, this number could be doubled... but we can only include if you register at www.ShakeOut.org/register. As of August 31, over 3.7 million participants are registered statewide!

There are many ways to participate in the ShakeOut in 2009. At the least, plan a "drop, cover, and hold on" drill involving everyone in your household. You can also discuss your overall disaster plan with your family or roommates, secure the contents of your home so they won't fall, and restock your supplies. The updated ShakeOut.org website is the central source of information for how to participate, learn about your area's earthquake hazards, and find local events, news, and participant lists for all California counties.

Everyone can participate! Individuals, families, businesses, schools, government agencies and organizations are all invited to register. Talk to your employer, neighborhood association, faith-based organization, or others about registering as well. Your involvement in the ShakeOut insprires many others to register and hold their own drills!

Register today at ShakeOut.org

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Letter re: Flu Season

Emergency 72 Hour Kit

Emergency 72 Hour Kit
What is an Emergency 72 Hour Kit?
• This is the bag you grab as you go out the door in an emergency “incident” (Earth Quake, Flood, Hurricane etc.) It will help keep you more comfortable until help can finally get to you. It will also help you sleep better knowing you are ready for the incident when it occurs
• If Murphy's law prevails when the incident occurs it will be in the dark of night, in the rain, on the coldest night of the year. Plan for that
• There will probably be no..Electricity, gas or water. Plan for that
• Police, fire departments and ambulances may not be able to get to you. Plan for that
• Inspect Kit every six months (batteries, shelf lives etc)

Shelter and Warmth
• "Emergency" space blanket or bag
• 5-Heavy duty plastic trash bags (2.5 mil) (many uses)
• 25' of small gauge rope
• Poncho/ rain suit
• At least one change of clothes
• Gloves
• Hiking shoes/boots
• Hat

Communication equipment
• FRS radio (1 set) with charger/extra batteries
• Hamm Radio with charger/extra batteries (if qualified)
• Transistor or wind up radio
• Cell Phone with charger/extra batteries

Food and Water
• Rotate food and water every six months (or by expiration date)
• One gallon per person per day (2 quarts drinking 2 quarts cooking)
• Iodine water purification tablets
• Canned juices
• Instant coffee/Tea
• Only get food you like, try the food before the incident
• Individual ready-to-eat canned food or
• Freeze dried camping foods (MRE’s, LERPS etc)
• Comfort items ( hard candy, gum, nuts, dried fruits, Trail mix etc,)
• Protein or fruit bars (Cliff bars etc)
• Soup
• Jerky
• Peanut butter
• Dry Cereal
• Crackers
• Sugar, salt, pepper
• Vitamins
Heat, Light, and Signaling
• Waterproof match case
• Waterproof strike-anywhere matches
• Disposable lighter
• whistle on lanyard [beware of metal whistles they freeze to lips in cold]
• Stainless steel double-surface signal mirror
• AA or AAA flashlight with fresh and spare batteries
• AA or AAA headlamp with fresh and spare batteries (you may need both hands)
• Portable cooking device ( Sterno, Coleman etc)
• Light sticks (Cyalume)
Knives and Tools
• Swiss army knife or Leatherman tool
• Wood axe
• Gas shutoff tool
• Can Opener (if not in SAK or Leatherman)
• Something(s) to cook in (Pot/ Pan)
• Knives, fork, spoon, ladle, etc (Mess kits are easiest)
• Re-sealable plastic bags
• Duct tape

First Aid
• Prescription Medications
• First Aide Instruction Booklet
• Triangular bandage
• Flexible fabric band-aids of various sizes
• Hand wipes or hand sterilizer
• Insect repellant
• Sun screen
• Aspirins or Tylenol
• Pepto Bismol / Anti acids
• 5 -3"x3" sterile gauze pads
• 5-4”X4” sterile gauze pads
• 1 roll 2" cling bandage
• decongestant tablets
• Blister pack of throat lozenges
• Neosporin antibiotic ointment
• Extra safety pins
• Scissors
• Thermometer (non mercury non glass)
• Tweezers
• Adhesive cloth tape
• 2 pair sterile gloves
• Instant cold compress
• Burn ointment
• Eye wash solution
• Anti-diarrhea medication
• Laxative

• Telephone change
• Money at least $50.00 (small bills) (credit card machines probably won’t work)
• Pictures of family, roommates, pets (in case they get separated)
• Extra pair eyeglasses in unbreakable case
• Deck of cards/ small set of checkers etc
• Copies of important docs (wills, birth, marriage certificates etc)
• Copy of important phone numbers

Personal Hygiene
• Disposable razor
• Comb/brush
• toothbrush
• toothpaste
• toilet tissue
• feminine hygiene products
• soap/shampoo

For the Baby
• Formula
• Diapers
• Bottles
• Powdered Milk
• Medications
• Moist Towelettes
• Diaper rash ointment
• Favorite doll or toy

For your Pet
• Food
• Water
• Chew toy
• Medications
• Leash
Use a quality Back-Pack(s) or Duffle(s) to carry all the above
Put an ID on your bag Keep where you can get at it
Keep a light source at the top of the pack, remember Murphy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Moonlight at the Ranch -- Santa Paula Fundraiser for Fire & Police

Moonlight at the Ranch is an annual fundraiser for the Santa Paula Fire and Police Departments that offers guests a not-to-be-forgotten, fun experience.

Moonlight at the Ranch started in 2007 and with each year's unique theme has become "Ventura County's signature event!" featuring delicious cuisine, fine wines and hearty brews from the region's best! Live music for dancing and other entertainment make each year's Moonlight more than a fundraiser, but rather THE celebration of the year!

With legendary astronaut and Apollo 11 rocket hero Buzz Aldrin as Honorary Chairman, the August 22 "Moonlight at the Ranch III: Out of This World!" promises to be a never to be forgotten space adventure.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the Atlantic Article on Craig Fugate (FEMA Admin)


Craig Fugate, the new head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency under President Barack Obama, is an unusual choice for the job, historically speaking....

Article by Amanda Ripley

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Attaching a $5 Gas Wrench to Gas Meter

This is a picture of my building's gas meter with attached instruction card and inexpensive ($5) gas wrench I purchased at local hardware store.

Discuss with your CERT instructor for specifics on how to use a gas meter wrench.

We learned that it's important to inspect, after an earthquake, the meter for gas leaks (hissing sounds). Do NOT automatically turn off the Gas Meter without checking first -- it will turn off all the pilot lights in the building, and then the Utility Company has to show up to turn back on again.

(Rotate picture clockwise, if necessary.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ojai OK wear

Hey... it could happen.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-Good Samaritans in California are now protected from civil liability

Schwarzenegger shields Good Samaritans from lawsuits
Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-Good Samaritans in California are now protected from civil liability, under legislation signed this week by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The two new laws, which took effect immediately, were drafted in response to a state Supreme Court decision late last year that said state law only partially protected those who voluntarily act as Good Samaritans from possible negligence lawsuits.

"Now Good Samaritans have no reason to hesitate to responsibly help someone in an emergency out of fear that they might be sued," said state Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles.

His legislation -- Assembly Bill 83 -- affords protections to anyone assisting at the scene of an emergency, regardless of whether they are trained personnel, unless they act recklessly.

The bill, which passed the Legislature unanimously, was supported by the Civil Justice Coalition of California, a tort reform group.

"This legislation encourages Californians to look out for each other at a time when public resources are all too scarce," Feuer said. "I'm proud of the broad coalition that came together to make this common sense law possible."

A second civil liability-related bill - this one by Republican Sen. John Benoit of Riverside -- expands legal protections for providing any emergency care. Senate Bill 39 shields volunteer workers who perform disaster services.

"Good Samaritans should never again have to second-guess the consequences of helping," said Benoit, a former Highway patrol commander. "Thankfully, the chilling effect that last December's court ruling had on people willing to help in times of emergency has been drastically diminished because of this law's immediate implementation."

In December the state's high court in a controversial 4-3 ruling found that California law protects only medical professionals from civil damages when they attempt to care for someone in an emergency situation.

The case followed a 2004 Halloween night crash in which one woman pulled a co-worker from a crashed vehicle. Her rough handling of the victim, who suffered spinal injury, is believed to have contributed to the victim's paralysis. The paralyzed woman then sued her co-worker who tried to help her.

In 1980, the California Legislature enacted a law that states "no person who in good faith, and not for compensation, renders emergency care at the scene of an emergency shall be liable for any civil damages results from any act or omission."

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

Monday, August 3, 2009

CERT-Los Angeles CERT refresher - 8/16/09

CERT Los Angeles is holding a refresher on Sunday, August 16th. CERT began in Los Angeles in 1985, so they've got quite good at this.

This is open to all CERT Graduates (even those outside Los Angeles).

Please go to this web-site to register, if interested:

You will need to register, including faxing down your Ojai Valley CERT certificate.


The next CERT refresher will be held on Sunday, August 16, 2009, at Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks.

The drill is open to all graduates of CERT training programs.

Come practice and refresh the skills you learned during the CERT Basic Training.

Get more information and sign up now at http://www.cert-la.com/refresher.htm

Linda Underwood for www.cert-la.com

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Upcoming Ham Radio Licensing in The Ojai Valley!!

Calabasas to Ventura to Santa Paula and now to The Ojai Valley...

When: Saturday August 29th 2009
10:00 am – 2:00 pm (Sign in, Study & Snacks)
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Exam)

Where: Oak View Community Resource Center
555 Mahoney Avenue
Oak View, California

Sponsors: Ojai Valley CERT
Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club
Ventura Harbor CERT Group

Contact: Sean Kellythorne

Cost: $25.00 covers snack, expenses and the $4.00 Exam Fee

Registration is limited. Pre-registration required.
Reserve your space now! Mail a $25.00 check to:
Sean Kellythorne
133 Don Felipe Way, Ojai CA 93023
We email you all the study materials on receipt of your check.

NYT article on Ham Licensing in Calabasas

Kudos to Norm Goodkin for pulling of another very successful Ham Licensing Class -- for 75 teens.

Other kids are consumed with cellphones, text messages and Tweets, e-mails and Facebook postings.

But 75 teenagers in Calabasas have become licensed amateur radio operators and hope to lead a new wave of shortwave enthusiasts.


Fun with moulage (disaster make-up) in Fillmore

On Saturday July 18, the City of Fillmore Fire Department hosted a simulated mass causality incident at the El Dorado Mobile Park. The goal of this event was to provide members of the El Dorado Block Captain Program the opportunity to practice basic first aid and triage skills they learned about during a previous weeks training.

The training scenario included a magnitude 7.0 earthquake triggering the collapse of the community clubhouse located within the mobile home park. Approximately 25 victims were placed inside the clubhouse tangled amongst various obstacles and debris. To add to the realism the windows of the building were blacked out, the lights in the building shut off and theatrical smoke added to the area – all to simulate post-earthquake conditions.


Priority Pre-Registration for Certainly CERT Exercise open Aug 24th

The Certainly CERT Exercise on November 7th will open up for priority pre-registration between August 24th and August 30th. They will only accept 20 participants from each CERT Group (for example, Ojai Valley CERT). After August 30th, the registration will open up again and cap at 250 registrants.

I will keep this blog posted when the Ventura County Fire Department opens up the web-link for registration.

We are looking for a good turnout (20 registrants) and representation from The Ojai Valley for CERT graduates that want to participate in the exercise.

Please note that if you are planning to participate as support staff (victim, Exercise Supervisor, etc) then there will be a separate registration for that.


The priority pre-registration for Op CC is August 24th - Aug 30. I encourage all our members to enroll on August 24th to ensure that they get a slot for the Op CC exercise. Each area is limited to 20 slots.

After August 30th there will be open enrollment for anyone. Enrollment will remain open until 250 are enrolled. I recommend that our CERT folks who do not get enrolled during the closed enrollment week that they enroll on August 31 anytime after 12 midnight.

This will be a great experience for those participating, so make sure you get enrolled early.

For those participating in support roles you will be enrolled as CERT support personnel and not included in the 20 person restriction for participants.

An option is to volunteer for a support activity. There are a number of openings still available:

Victims - see what it is like from the other side. Must be willing to moan. 50 needed
Communicators - ACS and ham licenses require. Willing to listen. 5 needed
Parking personnel - help park cars, hand out lunches (eat as well). 15 needed
Team leader - Fire suppression, Can put out fires lead a group and keep cool 1 needed
Gophers - get stuff, return stuff, move stuff, find stuff, not lose stuff, 10 - 15 needed
Assistant Safety Officers - make sure exercises are safe. Be willing to work all day. 5 needed.
Altogether we will need at least a hundred support personnel to make this exercise work.

Every one will get lunch and there will be plenty of water. There will be no shortage of work so you will not get bored.

Major pay off - learn a lot of things, meet a lot of fellow CERT folks, and have a good time.

For more information and how to get involved contact your CERT Neighborhood Area Coordinator right away.

Sean Kellythorne
Chief Planner for Operation Certainly CERT
November 7th 2009
0800 - 1700
Ventura County Fire Department
Regional Training Center
Camarillo Airport, Camarillo.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

2009 National Conference on Community Preparedness (August 9 - 13)

Take a look at this document to see the list of speakers and agenda items.

Looks like Citizen Corps (which includes CERT) is really being taken serious by FEMA and other agencies.

Congratulations to Roger Kehr and his team from Cottonwood, Utah for being one of the finalists within the Collaborative Preparedness category. We've shared many stories and ideas over last year.

Roger will be chatting with Craig Fugate (FEMA Administrator) about our OK Drill.