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Time to put our training to the test!

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Napa County can count on Berryessa CERT to set up and staff a Cooling Resource Center for our neighbors.

A Berryessa CERT team member staffs the Charging Center

The Berryessa CERT team had been formed and training since March of 2019 when we got our first activation by the Napa County Emergency Operations Center on June 8, 2019. All CERT teams in Napa County were put on Alert Status on June 7th due to a Red Flag Warning day so it was no surprise when PG&E announced that they would be implementing a Public Safety Power Shutoff due to the extreme fire hazard conditions.

Berryessa CERT was activated at 8:00 AM on June 8th by the Napa County EOC and was tasked with opening a Charging and Cooling Center at the Capell Valley Volunteer Fire Station. The fire station has a backup generator that provides power to the station including power to the air conditioning unit for cooling.

This was our first activation for our team and I'm very proud of all of them. We responded quickly and were ready to help anyone in our community who needed it. - Shelly van Rijn, Berryessa CERT

Two Berryessa CERT team members deployed and set up the Charging Center at the fire station and staffed the center from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Napa County supplied power strips for residents to charge their medical devices or phones if needed and also provided water and snacks. Berryessa CERT even had family friendly board games available to pass the time while devices were charging.

Additional Berryessa CERT members were requested to stand up the Gordon Valley Charging Center in Gordon Valley but were not available. Berryessa CERT requested mutual aid from Napa City CERT and two teams of two Napa CERT members each deployed and staffed two shifts at that location on June 8th.

Lessons Learned

The Public Safety Power Shutoff only lasted one day so the Charging Center did not have any residents take advantage of the services but it was great practice for our Berryessa CERT team none the less. We had the opportunity to test our activation process and our team responded quickly and decisively.

We were able to test our team readiness on short notice and supplied a much needed resource of volunteers to not only help the County with staffing the Charging Centers but help the residents in our communities if needed as well.

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