Around the Bay March 2012
Chowder Day 2012
It was a sellout crowd and close to 800 chowder tasters casted their votes. A great time was had by all and Spud Point Crab Company wins again!
Are We Prepared??
None of us likes to think about the BIG ONE hitting the Sonoma Coast. But out here in Bodega Bay, the reality of a major earthquake is ever present. Since my business and my home are located 100 yards from the San Andreas Fault, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t cross my mind every now and then. It’s much easier not to think about it and pretend it isn’t there, or that the scientists and map makers have made huge mistakes in it’s exact location.
Since I’m fairly confident that isn’t the case, I’m glad there is an organization in Bodega Bay actively working on getting our town prepared for a major catastrophe.
I sat down with Mike Osborne, resident and organizer of the Bodega Bay Area Disaster Committee, to learn more about what being prepared for disasters entails and why it’s so important. About 20 years ago, the Bodega Harbour under the direction of Dr. Bill Fridell, started the group. Today, there are a network of 5 emergency sheds scattered around Bodega Harbour, 1 emergency shed near the Bodega Bay School and plans for 3 more sheds - 1 each at Spud Point, in Salmon Creek and in Sereno Del Mar. Command Center is the Bodega Bay Fire District Building. While the overall disaster preparedness plan is very detailed and comprehensive, there are some basic priorities: Communication, First Responders/Assessment and Emergency Supply Sheds.
When (not if) a major earthquake strikes in or around Bodega Bay, we could be cut off from help for up to 5 days. No road access in or out. We would be on our own to deal with injuries, downed power lines, fires, gas and water leaks, even death.
The biggest issue is communication. Phone lines and cell towers would be rendered useless. Ham radios become the main way to communicate and there are 20-30 certified ham radio operators in Bodega Bay. There is a need for more and in more areas. Antennaes only reach so far, and the current group of certified operators are all in the Bodega Harbour. Ham radio certification is inexpensive and easy. A $25, half day course is all it takes. Starter radios are about $100 each, however, antennaes can get expensive.
After communication, the next most important priority in a disaster is knowing what to do, getting organized and assessing the situation. The Bodega Bay Area Disaster Committee trains people how to be first responders. The town is broken into specific areas and each area has a team of first responders, each with specific jobs. The Committee runs drills about once a quarter to help members learn, for example, how to deal with a gas leak, and how to prioritize who needs help first. CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training is also important and trains participants in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
The emergency sheds I mentioned earlier come into play after the situation has been assessed. Each shed contains a generator, a whole host of necessary items, and enough medical supplies to handle 50 injured people. It also serves as a point of coordination for the first responders to come together. The startup cost for each shed is about $3,000-4,000 and there are ongoing costs to keep supplies current. Various organizations, residents and volunteers help with the effort of funding the sheds.
One thing is for sure, we are not as prepared as we could be. There is a need for more local people to be involved in training, either by attending the scheduled drills or the monthly meetings. Here are two ways you can get involved:
The Bodega Bay Area Disaster Committee meetings are the 1st Wednesday of every month at the Bodega Harbour Yacht Club, 10:30AM - Noon. Contact Mike Osborne for more info, firstname.lastname@example.org.