Communication breakdown

Last night’s fire at 4500 NRG was a good indication of what needs to be worked on, at least at this end of the road. I was thankfully alerted to the fire by an email from one neighbor, Melody, and a phone message from Susan. Thanks to both of you. However, like many people, I don’t always check my mail at night, or messages, and my phone goes on silent at 9pm. So I am counting on radio contact for emergencies. Although I have a MURS, I have been procrastinating really learning how to use it, and practicing. This is obviously necessary, since I had my radio on, yet heard none of the communication that went on. So maybe I need an antenna. Anyway, other neighbors close to the fire were in similar situations, not answering phones or looking at messages. We all need to get better at this.
One other thing: when calling in a fire, be sure to emphasize the word fire! Apparently the fire department thought they were doing a smoke check, and were coming up NRG very slowly.
Thanks to Susan and others who are encouraging us to do this very important work. And a special thanks to Marika, who put out the fire with a garden hose! It so easily could have spread from an unoccupied house.

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We’ve had 3 small housefires on NRG in the past 2 months, and they have given us the opportunity to improve our communication system. We meet every 3rd Saturday at 9:00-9:30 AM to check our MURS radios. This gives us a chance to see how far we can hear to relay our messages. I heard Melody alert us of the housefire last night – thanks Melody – and I immediately started calling people in the nearby area. Eric and Keith joined us and kept us abreast of any communication about the fire truck and smoke.

I have consolidated all email lists and surveys that I’ve collected over the past 3 years to create a spreadsheet of names, cells, and emails for households on NRG. I am meeting with Amy English this Saturday from 10:00 AM-noon to fill in the blanks for cell and emails that are missing from my spreadsheet. We need helpers! Please join us at my house (2392 NRG).

We will be calling all 260 households to get permission to add their contact info the the NRG Firewise MAP that will be available to all Micro Community Leaders. This map is what I used yesterday to determine who to call first. It will be the primary go-to reference for our MC leaders. Those who are not on this map will not be called.

I am adding a new category to our NRG Firewise Forum: EMERGENCY. When we have a fire, Keith or I will send a quick message in the forum stating the emergency and it will immediately go out to all members of the forum. This will be the first thing we do in the future. If you have not joined your Micro Community or the forum, you will not get these messages. I will not have time to send out group emails.

When we lose electricity and internet, we will use our MURS radios to communicate with Micro Community leaders and all residents who have MURS radios. I recommend that every household have at least one MURS radio so they can be part of the plan for evacuation and communication about emergencies. Our MURS radios have the extra benefit of being able to scan the Central Fire, Cal Fire, sheriff, PG&E, and other vital resources so we know what is going on.

We can do this, and WE NEED YOU TO JOIN US TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN!

Dispatchers will ask if fire is seen, and if not it will often go out as a smoke investigation. Having said that, the fire conditions up here warrant a code 3 response (lights & sirens) for even smoke only.
Kudos to Marika and Melody for their responses!

Thanks to all who expressed supportive thinking and gratitude we have for this organization . I am ready to abdicate up the leader position, Most people have expressed great criticism for my Attempts at working hard in a difficult position. Kudos to everyone that cares. The others who didn’t answer and do not pay attention have a steep learning curve for kindness and respect - you. Can go take a hike - I am done -

Hey Melody, your intensity and energy is amazing, I appreciate you…
You are not alone.
Keith

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Melody, you are an incredible Micro Community Leader and your efforts have given us all a chance to see how our MURS and other communications systems are working. When there is a fire emergency – we need to use as many systems as we can to warn our neighbors. Emails, calls, texts, and visits all have their merits and places. We need all of them because our 260-member Firewise community consists of many different types of people. Some like the good ol’ phone call or knock on the door. Others prefer text messages. And others prefer emails.

I believe that we’re all stretched a bit emotionally with all that is going on in the world today. Some people don’t have good social skills and may say things that have barbs that hurt. But Melody, please know that the majority of us really appreciate how you’ve organized your MC with spreadsheets (yours is the BEST) with contact information and emails/calls about the several fires we’ve had in the past several months.