Diamond A Ranch, Emergency Preparedness
Please review the Diamond A 2020 Emergency Preparedness Plan as well as the following pieces of advice
- Remain calm.
- Dial 911 only. Do not call the City of Sonoma or Valley of the Moon Fire District.
- State your name and address and telephone number from where you are calling.
- Describe type of emergency in as few words as possible: Grass fire, Medical, etc.
- Give exact location of emergency - address and cross streets.
- Answer 911 Operator’s questions. Do not hang up until after they hang up.
- Do not call Diamond A fire volunteers.
- Do not attempt to assist at the scene, unless specifically asked to do so.
- Avoid the emergency scene as much as possible.
- Know the location of the two fire hydrants nearest to your home.
Disaster Plan InformationIn the event of a major catastrophe in the Diamond A Ranch area, the following information should be understood:
- Wild land fires, earthquakes, or mud slides, in Diamond A, may result in temporary closure of non-emergency automobile traffic on Grove Street - in both directions - to give priority to emergency vehicles. Keep off the roadways, as much as possible, during this type of emergency.
- In the event of emergency, the best opportunity for rescue is at the Recreation Center on Spring Drive. The Recreation Center has a nonflammable area near the local firehouse. It also has first aid supplies. Going to the Recreation Center will reduce travel conflicts with emergency traffic.
Survival KitThis Section is an article, which appeared in the Press Democrat, entitled, "What's in your survival kit? Ready to be 'really on your own," by Martin Espinoza.
When retired fire battalion chief Dave Lewis saw TV images of people in New Orleans standing in line for food, fighting each other, the Sebastopol man swore he would never put himself or his family in such a position.
That's why he beefed up his "earthquake box," a large reinforced wooden cabinet bolted to a wall in his garage. The box contains everything he and his wife need to live without electricity, gas and running water for two to three weeks, including freeze-dried meals, canned food, sleeping bags, an air mattress, batteries, a first-aid kit, extra eyeglasses and more.
Lewis, who was with the Oakland Fire Department during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the devastating 1991 Oakland Hills fire, knows just how quickly emergency services can become overwhelmed.
"The lack of ability of FEMA to respond in New Orleans was like a slap in the face, and I realized that you're really on your own," Lewis said. "The recent disasters have let people know that planning is necessary." Lewis is not alone. From tsunami to hurricane to earthquake, the disasters are motivating local residents, church groups and school officials to get prepared. "Clearly it's on people's minds more than ever, unless you've been living under a rock," said Ellen Maremont Silver, a spokeswoman for the Sonoma County Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Some of the items that Lewis has in his earthquake box can be found in the "Earthquake Central" section of the Sebastopol Hardware Center, where the former firefighter and his wife, Suzan, work one day a week. The store recently began a sales campaign that allows customers to buy emergency items over a 16-week period.
A one-page brochure identifies the things that people can do from week to week to ensure they're ready for an earthquake or other disaster. Mark Sell, one of the store's owners, said about 500 brochures have been distributed to customers. He said many expressed a desire to create their own emergency kit. "Our assumption is that the disaster will be an earthquake," Sell said. "That's the important thing to prepare for here. We probably won't get a hurricane."
The idea that people need to be self sufficient during a disaster has spurred some churches to ensure their members do not become victims. Kenna McOmber, a ward welfare specialist for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Rincon Valley Ward, recently was given the task to educate church members about disaster preparedness. McOmber said she also is trying to organize neighborhood meetings to discuss disaster planning. "How will we be caring for our children?" she said. "If people got together in our area, we would all feel more secure. I think individuals in a free society need to take a little more of that responsibility that was shifted toward the government."
Adam Peacocke, pastor of City Life Fellowship in Santa Rosa, said church members have distributed 8,000 emergency preparedness brochures. He said the church is planning with local officials to do emergency preparedness presentations at the church. At the Presbyterian Church of the Roses in Santa Rosa, Pastor John Cushman said his church has mobilized its youth group to distribute several hundred emergency preparedness brochures.
Earlier this week, Santa Rosa High School conducted an earthquake drill that put 2,000 students under desks, wood shop tables, anywhere they could take cover for a few minutes before they were evacuated to the football field. Brad Coscarelli, an assistant principal in charge of disaster preparedness, said the school is evaluating its "disaster container," a cargo container that holds many of the school's emergency supplies.
Martin Webb, principal of Analy High School in Sebastopol, said his school also stores emergency items, including water, canned food, first aid kits, lighting and rescue equipment, such as shovels and crowbars. Webb, also president of camping for the Boy Scout's Redwood Empire Council, said disaster preparedness is sure to become a hot topic among local Scout troops as the emergency needs of different communities come under scrutiny. "This latest earthquake affected me more because we get earthquakes here," he said. "I know we're not going to get a hurricane, but we're going to get an earthquake, and it could be as big as the one they had in Pakistan."
The call for people to prepare a 72-hour emergency kit has by now become a familiar refrain. The Internet is replete with Web sites that sell such kits, including The ARK series, emergency kits made by Camarillo based Survival Industries Inc. But Lewis, the retired firefighter, says preparing to survive for 72 hours is not enough.
In a major disaster, such services as water, natural gas and electricity could be knocked out for a much longer time, he said. For Lewis, maintaining self-sufficiency for as long as possible is a civic duty. Those who are not injured, he said, should do everything they can to avoid becoming victims or a burden on a system that will almost certainly be under a great deal of strain. "It's a statement to your community to be able to stand up and say I'm OK ... I know that the infrastructure that we depend on is not going to be available."
© The Press Democrat. Published October 13, 2005.