On Saturday morning, July 27th, we held our First Annual Simulated Disaster Response. We called on our volunteers to check in to their assembly points where we had a range of practice exercises ready to share, from testing and using our radios for local communications to ham radios to the Martinez Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and from basic administrative support (signing in and out, keeping logs, taking reports) to damage assessments and triage exercises.
As this was our first event of this scope, there was a lot of mystery: would our members come out? Would we have enough for them to do? How will we work with our Martinez Amateur Radio Club (MARC) ham radio friends and the EOC? Overall, things went well and like any good adventure, we learned a lot. Radios need to be charged the night before or we may find our radio goes dead with use. Successful communications take time (thanks to Dave N6ORB for being our Net Control, and thanks to the EOC team for your coordination assistance). CERT-trained people did come out in small but enthusiastic numbers.
Our work was recognized! We are in California Legislature’s Assembly District 14, and our Assemblymember Tim Grayson’s office kindly delivered a Certificate of Recognition for our work teaching emergency response and disaster preparedness. Nice work everyone!