November 2014 home page

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Ring of Fire:
The Circle of Support
Carol Kerridge | El Amigo Road


CERT volunteers, midtown, preparing sign describing
damage done to residence. Photo Bill Morris
Click on image to enlarge.

Perhaps, like many other people who are lucky enough to enjoy the pleasures of living near the Pacific Ocean, you cringe when hearing of yet another catastrophic disaster somewhere along the “Ring of Fire.” Whether you live in a westernized culture or a developing country around this gorgeous Pacific Rim, you might wonder what could happen if a major disaster were to occur in your own community.

The Pacific Basin, one of the most seismically active regions in the world, is surrounded by a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs and volcanic belts/plate movements. These types of geologic formations can produce earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and resultant tsunamis. Most of this activity is unpredictable and can often cause great damage and destruction to communities and their infrastructure as well as misery to the residents. Not to mention the risk of injury and loss of life.

While we watch people on the news who are confronted with the aftermath of these types of events, some of us think, “it could never happen here,” while others run through a mental checklist as to how well they have prepared.
The experts tell us that the best way to be prepared is to have each resident make an individual plan for their family and home, well ahead of time, and to know how to respond in the event of an actual emergency.

Those of us living in Del Mar, are fortunate! Although our City is small, we are mighty...and there are many different emergency measures in place to deal with such a major disaster if one were to occur. We are part of a coordinated communication system within our surrounding region, with the County of San Diego and with the State of California should we need more help or information. Our Del Mar City staff is well prepared to activate our city’s Emergency Operation Center. Our Fire Department, Paramedics and Lifeguards are well equipped and train daily...and should they be overwhelmed with emergencies, we have a stellar group of resident volunteers, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) who are certified and trained to help in their neighborhoods at a moment’s notice. In addition to these preparations, we now have a DMCC sponsored program the Neighborhood Emergency Support Team (NEST) in place for those residents who have mobility issues or who might need additional help should such a disaster occur. In this pre-arranged program, neighbors will reach out to help these residents.

On the morning of Oct 16th, the annual State-wide Earthquake Drill (the Great California Shake-Out) was conducted, our Emergency Operation Center was activated, and all of the above mentioned Del Mar agencies participated. This year we had an added component...our CERT team volunteers reached out to connect with the NEST program neighbors to make sure the two groups could communicate effectively with each other. The drill was highly successful and we will likely have more drills in the future.

If you are a resident and are interested in learning more about the CERT program, there is a new 25 hour training session that will begin on November 5th. Please contact Arnie Lewin at alewin@encinitasca.gov or Eric Phillips at ephillips@cosb.org.
If you or someone you know might need additional help in the event of a disaster or evacuation, please call the DMCC office at 858 792-7565 to learn more about or to enroll in the NEST program.


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