by Aaron Grossman & Carol Lewis
In 2001 OMNVA residents Twana Karney, Julie Wrobel, Tim Johnson, Donnie Foster and Aaron Grossman established Old Mountain View CERT, our own Community Emergency Response Team. It was part of a citywide effort to enable each neighborhood to prepare in advance for a disaster such as a major earthquake, and then respond effectively afterwards.
Here is Aaron’s oldest report to OMNVA from 23 Oct 2001! “The CERT Trailer is in place behind Landels School and will soon be operational as an emergency ham radio station and rescue equipment depot. This is all thanks to grants from the City of Mountain View, Peninsula Community Foundation, and Community Foundation Silicon Valley. Items already purchased include HD combination locks, 2 ham radios, 6 FRS radios and batteries, a generator, shelves, 4 backboards, 3 trauma kits, and 2 long pry bars. However, many more items. beyond the scope of our grants, are still needed, including crew kits, hand tools, tarps, tents, table, chairs, space blankets, lights, first aid kits, radios, sterile water bottles, fire extinguishers, medical gloves, covered clip boards, and a dry-erase board. Donations of useable items or money to purchase them are needed to complete the trailer. For more details, contact Aaron Grossman”
Ten years later, Aaron is still the
coordinator and Twana continues to volunteer. OMVNA CERT is the result of many hours of work by many people to establish and successfully
run it, coordinate with the Fire and Police Departments, and enlist and train dozens of local residents, including ham radio volunteers. Most impressively, CERT leadership continues to upgrade the organization each year. New members are constantly needed to replace those who leave and to support under-represented locations. Also, communication technology is improved and key disaster supplies are added to inventory.
Why is this so important? CERT will be the coordination and communication backup for local residents when police, fire, and medical services are overwhelmed. State and national support could take days or weeks to arrive, if they ever reach us at all. It will be local efforts like OMVNA CERT that keep us going. Unfortunately many Mountain View neighborhoods still do not have a CERT program. Even in OMVNA with one of the larger CERT groups, there are quite a few blocks without a CERT coordinator. If you would like to help or would like more information, please contact Aaron Grossman through the OMVNA web site.
Thank you Aaron and all the OMVNA CERT volunteers for 10 years of service – and many more to come!