05 Jul

Radio Days – July 11-12, 18-19, 25 – Bring Your Radios

The doctor is “In”


COVID-19 RULES: MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIRED

“Radio Days” refers to an informal, socially distanced walkie-talkie clinic from 10am – 2pm hosted in the driveway/garage at 909 Oneonta Drive. In preparation for the MWJN Radio Drill on 7/26, our radio team will spend their weekends between now and then helping you get your FRS radios working. Maybe the batteries are dead and corroded. Maybe you never learned how to turn it on or change the channel. Maybe you’re experienced with walkie-talkies at work but unfamiliar with how we use them in this neighborhood.

We’ll have some handouts and practice scripts and information about our Radio Drill on 7/26

Masks are not optional for Radio Days and will be provided if you don’t wear your own. There will be a sign up sheet for half hour time slots to minimize waiting times.

Don’t forget to bring your radios! If you don’t have one, we can provide one.

JULY 2020 SPECIAL Donations of $30 will receive a pair of fully programmed FRS radios with charger. $15 will get 1 radio.

MORE OPPORTUNITY FOR PRACTICE: Every Sunday at 7pm on channel 5

05 Jul

Socially Distanced Radio Drill 7/26

Ben during the 2019 Drill – right before the sprinklers went off behind him

Every year we try to have a drill to practice our Map Your Neighborhood skills and sometimes to coordinate with our local Community Emergency Response Teams. The pandemic has made such team efforts unlikely and even unsafe. This year we will focus on Communications through a Drill using walkie talkies from our homes.

We won’t be going to our gathering sites but we can form “pretend teams” on the radio. There won’t be any incident cards to find, we’ll just discuss various possibilities over the radios.

  • Everyone stays at their home location, uses their radio
  • Block TEAMS check in with their BASE Operator (there are 22 of these)
  • BASE Operators check in with their HUB Operators (there are 5 of these)
  • HUB Operators check in with STAGING Operator (Only 1 of these)
  • Practice passing information through the network
  • Virtual Debriefing on Zoom or on FRS Channel 5

In a real disaster, being able to communicate with your neighbors is extremely important. We’ve been trained to do this by all going to the same place to coordinate a response plan. If something major were to happen during at stay at home pandemic, we would need another way to account for everyone. We have our contact lists, but if power were to go out and cell towers overloaded, our battery operated walkie-talkies would be a much better bet than phones or email/text

We will have several opportunities (see News and Events) to practice and get our radios in working order before the drill. If you don’t know where yours are, now’s a good time to look. Please plan to participate on Sunday, July 26 from 2-4 pm. What else did you think you were going to do that day??

10 Oct

Radio Workshop Wednesday, Oct. 16

Pizza fro CERT/CSMR provided by ASNCDid your walkie -talkie work as planned during the drill? Are you overwhelmed by technology and need a little hand-holding to get started? Can you turn it on but don’t know what to say or when to say it? Do you understand everything there is to know about using radios but wish your neighbors had better training?

 

COME TO A SPECIAL RADIO WORKSHOP 

Wednesday, Oct 16  from 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Coptic Church – 4900 Cleland Ave. 90042
(downstairs – walk down the driveway on the left side of the church as you’re facing it and enter through the doorway on your right)

Bring your radios (whether you purchased them yourself or received a set for your block)

We will go over:

  • Turning radios on and off
  • Charging, battery care and maintenance
  • Changing channels
  • Push-to-talk
  • Effective protocols (what to say)
  • Our Mt. Washington Jessica radio plan
  • Challenges of our hilly neighborhood
  • What is a repeater and what  you need to know about it
  • What worked and didn’t with radios during our last drill
  • Any questions you may have about radios
04 Sep

CERT/MYN Disaster Drill 10/5/19

MWJN MYN/CERT Drill 8/17

Neighbors assess “damaged and injured” blocks-2017 Drill

Were you rattled by the Rigdgcrest quakes? Powerful reminders we have more work to do to prepare for something like that in our neighborhood. In most types of disasters, cell service will likely be overloaded even if still standing and we will have to rely on alternate communications in any disaster, whether power outage, earthquake, wildfire other type of event that overwhelms the first responders (911). The drills on October 5 that will focus on radio communications.

SCENARIO:

A massive windstorm has struck the LA Basin causing worse power and phone outages than the one we experienced in 2011. LAFD is immediately overwhelmed by the number of incidents and goes into a degraded mode addressing top priority emergencies first. Realizing that power, landline, and cell phone outages means that people cannot call 9-1-1, CERT trained members turn on their radios and begin checking in. As the wind dies down, organized Map Your Neighborhood blocks begin assessments of their respective blocks. Over the radio, it is the consensus that CERT Staging Areas need to be setup and damage assessments of each neighborhood need to be conducted while CERT Group Leaders attempt to establish contact with LAFD to tie in the “boots on the ground” with the professional responders that no one can reach.

Our MWJN MYN (Map Your Neighborhood –  the block by block, “first hour” response plan) will be practiced in each of our 19 organized blocks. The Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) Drill will be in our own homes and blocks. We will practice our 9 Steps and our radio communications. The time frame is the “Golden Hour” so from 3pm until about 4pm, followed by a group debrief that could last until 4:30 or 5pm. To participate in the Map Your Neighborhood Drill, turn on your FRS radio to channel 5 at 3pm to monitor the neighborhood activity. Soon, a decision will be made to begin a MYN response. Follow your first 6 steps at home and then go to your designated Neighborhood Gathering Site by 3:15. If you don’t remember where that is, check your booklet or contact your block coordinator. There, you will form teams to check on your block, as described in your booklet. The teams that check the block will encounter yellow signs describing  various damage and injuries. Each team will get a radio (walkie-talkie). If your have your own radio, bring it (fully charged or with new batteries). If you aren’t sure which block you’re in or where your neigborhood gathering site is located, contact us at info@mtwashingtonjessica.org

Our communications team has worked hard to develop a new plan that will help us communicate within our blocks and with other blocks by creating communication “hubs” at key tested higher elevation sites. We will be looking for volunteers to be stationed at these points. If you might be interested in helping your neighborhood in this way, please contact us this week and we’ll arrange to get you the equipment and instructions you’ll need.

CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Batallion 2  Coordinators are planning an exercise  for  CERT damage assessment and response starting around the same time. This will take place in our neighborhood, but in blocks than haven’t yet had a Map Your Neighborhood meeting.  If you live in one of these blocks, you may see CERT teams walking up and down your street. CERT members from all over the Northeast LA area will be invited to participate, as if they lived in Mt. Washington. To sign up for the CERT portion, register here. The drill will continue past sunset so please be prepared with flashlights.

In a large-scale disaster, government resources may be overwhelmed and unable to immediately assist citizens in their community.  Emergency response personnel may be delayed for hours, even days. Preparing the community is vital in preparedness and resiliency.

Plan to participate either with your Map your Neighborhood block or as  a CERT trained responder. Drill hours are 3pm – 9pm. The MYN portion is expected to run from 3-5pm, however, MYN participants are encourage to participate in the CERT portion as volunteers or as observers. If you’re not sure where to go,  go to the MWJN information booth in 5 Points anytime after 3pm.

Oct. 5, 2019 DISASTER DRILL INSTRUCTIONS

The scenario is a severe windstorm. We hear of downed trees and power outages around the neighborhood. At 3PM, the winds quiet and it’s safe to go out. If you have an FRS “walkie talkie” radio, turn it on and listen to channel 5.  There is an announcement that the damage is citywide, and that we should activate the Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) plans.

[3:00PM] Start your MYN 9 Steps response (refer to your booklet)!

  • Check yourself, your family & pets, your home, dress for safety
  • Put up your HELP/OK (Drill) sign
  • Take MYN booklet and FRS radio and go to Gathering Site

[about 3:15] There you will organize teams to check for injuries & damage.

Two or more people stay at the Gathering Site with “Base” radios, and team(s) of three or more people take an MYN booklet and “Team” radio(s), and search the block (refer to booklet map).

The Team(s) will find yellow Incident cards on power poles or other locations near the street (do not go on private property). At each incident, the team discusses what to do: deal with the things they can do (e.g. move a fallen branch away from a front door); call the Base via radio for help with things they can’t do (e.g. send a CERT Medical Team); in general, report things to the Base to provide area status.

If an incident is “handled” please remove the card; if you called for help, leave the card and the helping team will remove it.

When the team(s) have covered the block, they should return to the Gathering Site.

[about 4:30] Review the Drill results with your block members – what went well, how can we improve in future drills – and in real disasters!

[about 5:00] Please join the other blocks at Five Points for a general Drill debriefing and refreshments.  CERT activities will continue, with a simulated medical incident in Cleland Park, until 8:00PM.