Quake drill sees good turnout

Crews to patrol neighborhoods during simulated disaster scenario

Over 100 members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) braved the weekend heat to take part in a Saturday drill that had them combing Danville neighborhoods looking for victims of a simulated emergency.

The Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is designed to give members of the CERT program an opportunity to hone their skills and test their preparedness in the face of an emergency situation. The Sept. 25 drill involved a simulated 8.2 earthquake event along the Hayward Fault. Crews were instructed to respond as though the event caused major damage throughout the area.

Dozens of CERT personnel from Danville, San Ramon, Alamo and other unincorporated areas of the valley were seen in the Greenbrook, Montair, Sycamore Valley and Crow Canyon Country Club neighborhoods wearing their green vests and helmets. After taking care of their families, the citizens formed up into CERT teams at neighborhood command posts. From there they conducted damage assessments in their assigned areas.  

Assessment information was relayed using amateur radio to the area Emergency Operations Center (EOC).  Part of the drill was to utilize area amateur radio operators as a means of getting the information to emergency response leaders. Radio communications worked vey well and all simulated damage assessment was received at the EOC.

Drills like this one are critical, as studies have shown that the most crucial element to managing any emergency is utilizing effective communication tools and skills.

For further information on the drill or on the San Ramon Valley CERT program, go to www.firedepartment.org/cert.