Local CERT teams prepare for disaster

Saturday earthquake drill in Atherton drew 100 volunteers

Approximately 100 volunteers who have trained as Community Emergency Response Team members gathered in Atherton on Saturday, Sept. 8, for a disaster drill directed by the Atherton Police Department and the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

Residents of Atherton, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park took part, with additional participants coming from as far north as South San Francisco and as far south as San Jose. The drill scenario was a massive earthquake that closed local airports and hospitals and cut off road access to Atherton.

Participants practiced emergency missions including disaster assessment, communications, reconnaissance, triage, medical transport and treatment, and light search and rescue.

According to Atherton Police Chief Steve McCulley, the drill was “an outstanding example of the collaboration and effective emergency response capabilities of the Atherton Disaster and Preparedness Team (ADAPT), the Menlo Park Fire District, and the Atherton Department of Police.”

The Menlo Park Fire District also brought drones to use in the drill.

The Menlo fire district and local CERT teams drill several times each year.

Michael Ralston, the district's community crisis management program director, said the fact that so many people are involved and enthusiastically taking their own readiness seriously "can actually save lives."

"Every time a potential disaster impact is lessened, that frees up the finite emergency response resources to possibly help others who may be in greater distress," Ralston said.

Chief McCulley said emergency response volunteers "are a critical part of the police department’s emergency response and disaster recovery operations."


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Atherton Disaster and Preparedness Team (ADAPT)


3 people like this
Posted by Sean Ballard
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 15, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Thank you to all who participated for making it an extremely worthwhile endeavor and an exciting Saturday morning.

Like this comment
Posted by Vicki Coe
a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 17, 2018 at 12:20 pm

Congratulations on what sounds like a terrific event! For those readers who live in Portola Valley, Woodside, and Emerald Hills, CERT classes are offered by the Woodside Fire Protection District several times a year. If you are interested in finding out about CERT, or signing up for training, please contact Selena Brown at the Woodside Fire Protection District. We welcome all neighbors willing to participate in building a safer, more prepared community. If you are on NDW you can PM me with questions too.

1 person likes this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 18, 2018 at 2:56 pm

CERT is worthwhile as long as they are trained to take care of themselves and their families. Anything else is a waist of time and money..all they are going to do is get in the way of the first responders. Very limited participation is always paramount.

Like this comment
Posted by Thank you!
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 22, 2018 at 10:25 am

Thanks to all the volunteers! Preparing our own Cajun Navy in advance for when that day comes...

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