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Menlo Fire CCM CERT Disaster Response Drill - 6/22/19

posted Jul 9, 2019, 9:41 AM by MPFPD CERT

Menlo Park Fire Protection District sponsors a disaster preparedness and response program that spans East Palo Alto, Atherton, Menlo Park and south San Mateo County. This group of volunteers meets regularly to plan, prepare, and train so they will be able to help themselves and their neighbors when a disaster occurs. Every year the CCM organization (www.menlofireCCM.org) puts on a community-wide disaster response practice drill, in each of the three cities within the district. Usually drawing between 75-125 people, these drills are a great way to meet your neighbors, learn a little, and become familiar with all the great opportunities for involvement - "Neighbors Helping Neighbors".

The objective of the CCM Program, led by Emergency Services Specialist & Program Director Michael Ralston, is to "Build a crisis-resilient community". This effort begins and ends with practice! For more information please visit website and sign up for any of the free events or classes offered.

Local CERT Team Prepare for Disaster

posted Sep 19, 2018, 12:06 PM by MPFPD CERT   [ updated Sep 19, 2018, 12:08 PM ]

Saturday earthquake drill in Atherton drew 100 volunteers

(From left) Jan MacKenzie of ADAPT and ADAPT president Tom Prussing talk with Atherton Police Chief Steve McCully during a Sept. 8 disaster response drill in Atherton. (Photo by Debbie Hudson)

Severe Weather Request - Volunteers may be needed to help sand bagging and community notification efforts

posted Jan 7, 2017, 1:38 PM by MPFPD CERT

CCM Volunteer Request
Community Crisis Management team members (both CERT and local COAD) who may be available and willing to support the preparation efforts underway are encouraged to contact the following people:

City of East Palo Alto - Support Request
City Engineer Kamal Fallaha, (650) 906-7482 --> may need help staffing sand bag filling stations in EPA on Saturday and Sunday.
There are two sand filling locations for local residents, located at the City Corp Yard (150 Tara St, East Palo Alto) and around the corner from the Home Depot
This is a volunteer activity, but you are asked to wear your CERT gear as identification.

City of Menlo Park - Information Only
City Contacts Justin Murphy or Ruben Nino, (650) 330-6300 --> have not requested additional help, but may offer some guidance as to their current needs.
There are sand filling locations set up at Menlo Fire Station 77 (1467 Chilco St.) and at Holbrook-Palmer Park.

CERT Team - Support Request
As was the case in the floods in 2012, we may be called upon to support Public Safety in conducting a door to door safety check and hazard notification. If this is requested by the Public Safety leadership, our CERT Team will be notified via text message and will be asked to reply to receive further instructions. If you are willing to make yourself available this weekend, should the need arise, please send and email to cert@menlofire.org stating your name, phone number and confirmation of your availability. This will help us in coordinating any operations that may be requested. Please see attached Press Release for more information.

Thank you for your service to your community. Stay safe!


Michael Ralston

Community Crisis Management, Program Director

Menlo Park Fire District, PIO



(650) 235-0514



Severe Weather Advisory

The National Weather Service, Bay Area is warning that a significant storm is headed our way. Light rain is expected to begin Saturday then become heavy Saturday evening lasting through Sunday. Heavy rainfall may overwhelm waterways and roadway drainage systems, leading to flooding. High winds from 15-30 mph are also expected, with gusts up to 40 mph, which may lead to downed trees and power lines.

Residents are urged to prepare in advance of the storm:

  • Stock up on flashlights and batteries to be prepared for a power outage. Visit the PG&E website for essential information about power outages: http://www.pge.com/en/myhome/outages/index.page
  • If you have flood-prone areas around your home, consider stocking up on sandbags now. A complimentary Sandbag Station is available to East Palo Alto residents at the City’s Corporate Maintenance Yard located at 150 Tara St., East Palo Alto..
  • Secure outdoor items that can be blown about by strong wind.
  • If safe and possible, consider working with your neighbors to keep local gutters and storm drains free of debris.
  • Stock up on food and water in order to avoid unnecessary driving during heavy rain and wind.
  • Report down trees, power lines, flooding or other hazards by calling our 24-hour non-emergency number: 650-853-3100

Additional flood preparedness tips:

  • Charge mobile devices in advance of possible power outages
  • Turn Around, Don't Drown® - Avoid walking or driving through flood waters; just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If you receive a flash flood alert, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the US.
  • Get more flood safety tips at https://www.ready.gov/floods
  • Get National Weather Service Updates at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/FXC/wxstory.php?wfo=mtr

In the event of an emergency, call us by dialing 9-1-1.


Crisis Communications Team Information


  • 440.600 MHz +   91.5
  • 444.500 MHz + 100.0
  • 146.865 MHz  -  114.8
  • Register for San Mateo County Emergency Services Alerts to stay informed during critical incidents, storms and emergencies
  • Sign up for Flood Alerts with the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority,  to monitor the forecast and see a real time, searchable Google map of areas at risk of flooding. 


1)   Register at SMC ALERT to receive notifications during urgent or emergency situations. You can set alerts to send emergency and non-emergency text and voice messages at: https://member.everbridge.net/index/892807736723485#/login

2)   Monitor San Francisquito Creek levels and sign up to receive alerts specific to the creek flood conditions at:  http://creek-prod-1456087410.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com/

3)   Monitor SF Creek water levels – Palo Alto Creekcam & Creek Monitor at http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/pwd/creek_monitor/

4)   For tips to prepare for a flood, go to: http://www.valleywater.org/Services/DuringAFlood.aspx

     5)   Use:  #CAStorm and #CAFlood

If possible, monitor both 147.555 and 440.600 MHz for our own areas.

If you can only monitor one, I would suggest 445.600MHz. If you have a scanner, you might also listen to 444.500 and 146.865MHz.

Please log and report any emergency radio communications you are involved with. If you can not reach anyone on the radio, phone Jon Mosby, or the County.


650-363-4911 County


Jon Mosby, KF6RFQ

kf6rfq@arrl.net • 650-326-2230

Emergency Coordinator

  Amateur Radio Emergency Service • ARES/RACES

   for Atherton, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park


Homeless Shelter Information:

For the Evening of Friday-Sunday, January 6-8th - Emergency shelter beds ARE ACTIVATED due to a significant weather system affecting the County of San Mateo.

If you are assisting a person or family who is in need of shelter, please refer them to the nearest Core Service Agency. The list of Core Service Agencies is available at http://hsa.smcgov.org/emergency-safety-net-assistance-cores.  If you are assisting a person or family after business hours, please contact Charlie Hamilton with LifeMoves at (650) 222-9489.  *PLEASE NOTE: From Friday, January 5th to Monday, January 9th, 2017, inclement weather referrals will be completed by Patty Hutchinson, (650) 222-4988.


If you have any concerns or questions please contact Trisha Howard at (650) 802-6590 or Ali Shirkhani at (650) 802-7675.


MPFPD Community Crisis Management - 300 Middlefield Rd - Menlo Park, CA 94025

cert@menlofirecert.com - www.menlofirecert.com - 

Building a Crisis-Resilient Community

CERT Members: Help Increase Christmas Tree Fire Safety

posted Dec 8, 2016, 9:19 AM by MPFPD CERT

CERT members will likely recall the dramatic video sown during the basic CERT training class of a Christmas tree virtually exploding into flames due to a short in the electrical wiring of the tree lights. As a CERT member, please help keep your neighbors and family safe this holiday season by remind people of basic safety guidelines, especially when you see anything that looks suspect to you. As a reminder, check out this information from FEMA and the National Fire Protection Association.


Don't Let This Happen in Your Home!


posted Nov 10, 2016, 11:55 AM by MPFPD CERT

From the CDC comes this timely reminder about the hazards associated with prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. If you are traveling to the mountains for skiing, or to colder climes for the holidays, be sure to pack warm clothing, dress in layers, and stay alert for signs of hypothermia.

Warning Signs of Hypothermia

While hypothermia generally occurs at very cold temperatures, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that it can happen even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.

As winter approaches, it’s important to know the warning signs of hypothermia and what to do if you notice those signs.

Warnings Signs of Hypothermia

  • Body temperature below 95 degrees
  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Exhaustion
  • Confusion, fumbling hands
  • Memory loss, disorientation
  • Incoherence, slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Bright red, cold skin
  • Very low energy
If someone is suffering from hypothermia, get medical attention immediately and begin warming the person until help arrives. Find several ways to warm a person on the CDC’s Hypothermia page.

If you must go outside, prevent hypothermia by:
  • Wearing several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Cover all of your body. Wear a hat and a scarf, covering your mouth to protect your face and to help prevent loss of body heat.
For more information on how to prepare for the winter, visit the America’s PrepareAthon! Winter Storm section.

Update Your Clock - Check Your Smoke Alarms

posted Nov 3, 2016, 3:34 PM by MPFPD CERT   [ updated Nov 4, 2016, 6:00 PM ]

Remember to fall back (move your clocks back one hour) before your go to bed on Saturday, November 4. This is also a good time to check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector batteries. See this information from FEMA.

Change Your Clock, Check Your Smoke Alarm

Have Working Smoke Alarms

Is your smoke alarm still working? A smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm at all. On Sunday, November 6 when resetting your clocks for Daylight Saving Time, make sure your smoke alarms work and replace the batteries, if necessary. Take care of your smoke alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and follow these tips from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA):

Smoke alarm powered by a nine-volt battery

  • Test the alarm monthly.
  • Replace the batteries at least once every year.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

Smoke alarm powered by a 10-year lithium (or “long-life”) battery

  • Test the alarm monthly.
  • Since you cannot (and should not) replace the lithium battery, replace the entire smoke alarm according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Smoke alarm that is hardwired into your home's electrical system

  • Test the alarm monthly.
  • Replace the backup battery at least once every year.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

For more information on Smoke Alarms, visit the USFA Smoke Alarm page

HAM 101 Course 11/5/2016, 9-11AM

posted Oct 26, 2016, 10:29 AM by MPFPD CERT

Learn  the  basics  you of using a ham radio you need  to  know.  

This  session  will  cover  the  basic  fundamentals of  your  ham  radio  usage.  It  is  designed  for  the  new  ham  that  may  or  may  not  yet have  their  radio,  but  wants  to  be  able  to  use  one  well  and  effectively.  If  you  have not  been  on  the  air,  yet,  or  if  you  just  want  to  brush  up,  this  class is  for  you.

First Baptist Church of Menlo Park

For  additional  information:  650-326-2230 

FEMA QuakeSmart: EarthQuake Preparedness Program for Business and Organizations

posted Oct 11, 2016, 4:26 PM by MPFPD CERT   [ updated Oct 11, 2016, 4:26 PM ]

CERT members! Are you also a small business or non-profit employee? If so, you should check out FEMAs QuakeSmart Community Resilience Program for Businesses and Organizations (QuakeSmart). QuakeSmart features streamlined business continuity planning and mitigation project plans with simple, step-by-step tools to help reduce risk and protect employees, customers, and the community where you do business. More than 450 businesses and organizations already enjoy the benefits of QuakeSmart. When you do, you will help your organization become disaster resilient, so you can recover quickly when disasters like earthquakes strike.

PGE Gas Safety Tips

posted Oct 11, 2016, 9:23 AM by MPFPD CERT   [ updated Oct 11, 2016, 9:24 AM ]

We came across this great page from PGE reminding us of how to deal with natural gas during emergency situations.

Gas safety tips

Safety is our highest priority. Follow these safety tips to keep yourself and your family safe.
  • Never use a flashlight, match or candle to look for gas leaks, and never turn electric switches on or off if you suspect a gas leak.
  • Do not store flammable materials such as mops, brooms, laundry and newspapers near your water heater, furnace, oven, range or any gas appliance.
  • Do not store combustible materials such as paints, solvents and gasoline in the same room as your water heater, furnace, oven, range or any gas appliance.
  • Stock your kitchen with a fire extinguisher.
  • If a pilot light is out, shut off the gas at the appliance gas shutoff valve. Wait five minutes to let gas disperse before trying to relight the appliance pilot light.
  • Keep an adjustable pipe or crescent wrench or other similar tool near your main shutoff valve so you don’t have to search for one in times of emergency.

National Safety Council Guidelines for a Safe Halloween

posted Oct 9, 2016, 8:33 AM by MPFPD CERT

For some, the magic of Halloween is veiled in the mystery of faces covered by frightening masks or the glee of toddlers dressed in cute costumes. For others, it's the trick-or-treating, classroom dress-up parties or family trips to a neighborhood haunted house.

For moms and dads, often there is a fine line between Halloween fun and safety concerns, especially when it comes to road and pedestrian safety.

In 2013, an estimated 6,100 pedestrian deaths and 160,000 medically consulted nonfatal injuries occurred among pedestrians in motor vehicle incidents, according toInjury Facts 2015, the statistical report on unintentional injuries created by the National Safety Council. Read More…

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