PREP Minutes - APR. 7, 2009
MINUTES FROM P.R.E.P. MEETING ON APR. 7, 2009
The meeting opened with a visiting speaker: Kris Lomedico, Branch Manager of the Point Roberts Library talking about an upcoming meeting regarding the need for financial help to keep up our library services. Kris requested help from PREP to encourage people to attend the meeting on May 7th, 2009.
Mark Robbins called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. He noted that there was no agenda prepared.
Minutes of the last meeting were accepted. Moved by Virginia Lester, seconded by Andrew Breiteneder.
Upcoming Training Sessions:
Ed Lester noted that the training session for emergency shelter coordination and operation is to be held on May 9th, 2009, sponsored by the Red Cross. He indicated that the session would be led by people from the Red Cross. Those attending would include at this point, Annette Hamm, Noel Newbolt as the coordinators, two professional chefs who are currently cooking for the Seniors’ luncheons and others from the Lutheran Church. Ed is contacting others who might be appropriate as shelter coordinators/workers and asked those present to put forward names of people who might be interested.
Ham Radio group/Communications report:
Tom Bailey reported that four individuals had just recently received their Ham Radio Licenses: Tom Bailey, Dave Fucher, Joyce Kiniski and Kelly Kiniski. Kelly and Joyce indicated that they have a Ham radio connection to their computer that will facilitate communication in the event of an emergency.
Ed reminded the group that there are now new towers for Ham radio transmission in Bellingham, Vancouver and Victoria.
Kelly Kiniski reported that the Ares and Races groups have radios that we might have access to. Kelly also spoke with Bill Skinner (past Fire Chief) who stated that there was money for radios but they were still working on that. The Fire Station is the highest ground and best for transmission and receiving.
The comment was made that there were three radios in the Red Cross Trailer.
Action: Andrew Breiteneder will check on the radios to see what they are and if they are in working order.
The Ham Radio group will coordinate communications for PREP in the event of an emergency.
Ed Lester noted that people need reminding about the corded phones that are needed during power outages; others noted that the internet will also work if computers and modems are powered (by generator).
Shelter Operations: Forms and intake procedures/confidentiality issues during an emergency:
The Red Cross has multiple forms available for registering people who come to the shelter during an emergency. Confidentiality may be an issue as the Red Cross has certain rules that apply to releasing information.
The Red Cross forms are likely to be provided and reviewed at the May 9th training session.
Action: Kelly Kiniski offered to get shelter registration and other forms from Race and Ares associations that we can review and forward them to Annette Hamm (Community Center Shelter Coordinator).
It was noted that there is an association with the Red Cross, but PREP is not Red Cross and vice versa. Virginia Lester noted that the Red Cross used to be the primary emergency responder. Now, in Whatcom County there is also the Whatcom County Health Care Coalition (WCHCC) and this is considered a primary emergency response group for the Whatcom county area. Virginia is on the WCHCC and will be our liaison.
A discussion was held as to how to coordinate responsibilities to the Red Cross and the other organizations now involved in Whatcom County such as WCHCC and others such as the police and fire departments and Federal organizations such as FEMA. A special situation may exist in Point Roberts during emergency situations due to the isolation that exists. We need to collaborate.
Shelter Facilities (storage; space allocation, etc.):
We need a place to store supplies here in Point Roberts, preferably close to the Community Center; we won’t be able to count on supplies coming in from elsewhere immediately following a disaster.
A discussion was held about the need for a supply of cots to be stored here. We need some on site, again because we can’t count on these supplies getting to us immediately following a disaster.
Red Cross and FEMA have to be assured that stores will be under lock and key if they are going to supply us in advance.
Option #1: Permission is being sought from Parks and Recreation for a shed for stores available here at the Community Center Shelter and the thought is that it would be next to the current shed and conform to the same or similar appearance.
Option #2: Dr. Dower has offered storage space in his warehouse facility.
Current situation: Fire Hall has space accessible for any supplies we have for the next six months.
Action: Ed Lester will continue the search for cots that we can either afford to have made or will be donated to us.
Mark will approach and speak with Dr. Dower regarding using his warehouse for storage and how much space is available there.
A discussion was held concerning the size of the facilities and the characteristics of the shelters, including: space available for cooking, sleeping, counseling, privacy, hygiene (toilets and showers). The required space for one cot for sleeping is 40 sq. feet – just enough for the cot and space around it for access. This does not leave much space for other activities.
Neither the Lutheran Church nor the Community Center have adequate space should we have a major disaster; the estimate by those present was that we currently had space for approximately 200 people. The Fire Hall has some additional space that would likely be available if the trucks were move outside.
Action: none at this time. Space issues will become clearer following the May 9th shelter training.
Fire Department liaison:
Chief Skinner has stated he would like to hold a training for a group of Point Roberts residents to train people regarding traffic direction and crowd control.
Mark Ellison, the new Fire Chief has 20 years experience in training volunteers for disasters, including Triage, transportation, etc. He has indicated that he wishes to be more involved with the emergency planning operations.
Action: Disaster training session at the Fire Hall will happen on Saturday, April 25th, 2009. It is to be a three hour session, starting at 10:00 a.m. at the Benson Road Fire Station. The training will include training people how to manage road blockades in the event of downed electrical wires, and crowd control. They will be supplying: maps of PR, a list of equipment that is needed, and vests plus reflective tape to distinguish people from the rest of the crowd during emergencies.
An advertisement has gone into the APB, Point Interface email and posters are being put up around the Point at various businesses.
Ed Lester noted that a telephone tree was going to be developed as part of the disaster training session on the 25th of April.
New Members: John and Kimberly Upton were introduced at the meeting and welcomed. John expressed an interest in liaising with government officials.
Action: Ed Lester will talk with John Upton
Andrew Breiteneder stated that the PREP group was doing a good job of PR, including:
Ads in the APB; the Web page; attaining sponsors; obtaining donations; accumulating a growing list of volunteers, etc.
The Whidbey Telephone company contribution of funds for the APB Ad – looks good content consistently, some font issues; providing corded phones at a discount.
Action: Andrew will be contacting Kim Tinuviel at Whidbey to acknowledge the company’s contributions.
The anticipated dance is proving difficult to organize, particularly in getting a band to play.
The Garage Sale held earlier netted over $1000.00. A discussion was held regarding holding another one in the middle of June. Storage issues and organization volunteers were discussed.
Annette noted that in talking with Randy Quarry recently, he wondered what happened to the neighborhood groups/ zones that were to be organized in the Neighbor to neighbor program. Ed noted that they had wanted about 30 people but couldn’t get enough people together.
A suggestion was made that PREP put up a sign on the new Community Notice Board that is going up at the corner of Gulf and Tyee.
A suggestion was made to create a sandwich board to advertise the monthly PREP meetings at the Community Center.
Pat O’Connell has offered to do some grant writing and letter writing for the PREP group.
It was noted that we had a good supply of fridge magnets yet. A suggestion was made to give the magnets to the Realtors on the Point to give out when they sell a home on the Point.
Action: Annette will contact Randy who ran the last garage sale to discuss organization. Andrew noted that he had three to four names of volunteers who were willing to work in another garage sale. Annette will also talk with Randy about the Neighbor to Neighbor program.
Annette reported that Esther Rosenthal had given her the financial report.
As of the end of March 2009, PREP group has $3,741.46 in the bank.
Steve Wolf reported that they still needed articles for the website. Andrew reiterated this. They both spoke to the need for keeping up the number of hits on the website as a means to keep sponsors. Andrew spoke about adding the monthly ‘Tip of the Month’ on the site and in the APB Ad. Steve spoke about the need to have short articles, so people will actually take the time to read them, and the need to change what is there on the website so people will come back.
Action: Everyone to contribute short articles to the website and encourage people to go to the website on a regular basis.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Annette Galbraith
Subbing for Esther Rosenthal, PREP Secretary/Treasurer