How many readers saw Marian McDonald’s “Close to Home” column titled, “Preparing for the improbable” in today’s Press Democrat ? (11-17-2012) After defining a “Black Swan” event like a major earthquake along the Hayward fault (i.e., the impact of the highly improbable), what can we do? How can we prepare for such a disaster? She proposes the following three ideas:

* “Build resilience into our communities, with numerous interconnections to create the ability to respond and bounce back.”

* “Create robust systems for communication, since everyone in disaster work knows that communication is always the biggest challenge in times of disaster.”

* “Create the ability to scale up response rapidly, since information about the event will only be known in real time.”

It was just a coincidence, but Sebastopol CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) conducted a communications drill yesterday that tested the ability of their CERT volunteers to provide real-time information about potential street and neighborhood damage, via Ham and walky-talky radios, to a CERT Command Center located at the city’s Fire Headquarters. Marian McDonald was one of their communication drill participants. She not only “talks the talk,” but she also “walks the walk.”

My congratulations to those residents of Sebastopol who volunteer their time to help their community to be prepared communication-wise, at the grass-roots.

P.S. Additional blogs related to Emergency Preparedness are indexed and available for viewing in the column to the right.