Meeting Minutes – November 2018

Big Bear CERT General Membership Meeting

November 26, 2018 – Big Bear Senior Center

Meeting called to order at 6 pm.

  • CPR: Chris / 911 Marie

CERT Activation – Joshua Tree

The first Saturday of November a small group of BBV CERTs members went to Joshua Tree to participate in a damage assessment there due to a hail storm there.  Three weeks prior approximately 14 inches of hail fell in 3 hours. Much flooding occurred in the area. Multiple volunteer agencies responded to the call out including CERT teams from Phelan, Mountain, and Big Bear; Team Rubicon and Faith based groups, including LDS church.  A nice lunch was provided by Walmart. 785 homes were surveyed. 170 were affected or damaged.

Lessons learned: Was non-emergency. No lives in danger. Needed better maps. some radio issues, extent of damage not properly communicated. This was about 3 weeks after the event. Certificates presented to those from BBV CERTs who participated. Resident responses were rave reviews.


Website has been completely revised.  A PayPal button has been added for donations.

CERT Christmas Party

The annual BBVCERT Christmas party will be held Thursday December 6th.  Approximately 25 indicated they would be there.  Location 41960 Big Bear Blvd. Formerly First Baptist Church by Sheriff’s office. Need help with set up and break down 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dinner approximately 5:30. Pot luck. Last year was too heavy on desserts and bread and rolls. Suggested to bring other kinds of side dishes. DeDe to organize.

Sound The Alarm

“Sound the Alarm” is a Red Cross Sponsored event. BBVCERT will participate to install smoke detectors at trailer parks. Groups of 3. Laura will put training dates on the calendar. Every day seven people die in home fires, most in homes without working smoke alarms. Sadly, children and the elderly disproportionately lose their lives. American Red Cross wants to improve the odds and save lives, that’s why they launched their Home Fire Campaign in 2014. 623,973 households made safer. 1,504,547 smoke alarms installed, 474 lives saved,28,000 volunteers.

Upcoming Training

Training dates will be on web site when known. Training Saturday December 8th for ISO 100-700-Sims in 29 palms SR. Center 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

No dates have been set for 2019 training as of yet. 

Class by Red Cross “Shelter Reception”- How to set up shelter in emergency until Red Cross takes over. Avg. time of response 2-4 hours. Also CERT has a roll-out trailer. Need to have training in order to be authorized to pull this with a tow-capable vehicle.  Must take this class no matter if you are used to towing RVs, etc. The roll out trailer is up here. Probably needs new tires from sitting unused for some time.  Inventories of the roll out and each CERTs trailer need to be done. Jim Mc Grew mentioned that the Fawnskin Trailer was inventoried about 2 months ago.  Time TBA.

Proposed Programs: Red Flag condition Fire Watch, Ice Patrol, Fire Base and Fire Camp Support. (Fire Base is where leaders gather to direct efforts appropriately, Fire Base is where Fighters eat, rest, etc.) Includes Fire Fighter Rehab.

Proposed Changes by OES

Organization Restructure Proposal: Basically, OES wants to transition from CERTs groups which have operated relatively insulated into the larger County Fire and and OES operational structure. Align CERTs groups with existing County fire division command and ECS, but individual teams would retain their current local leadership and structure.

Active 911

Currently by subscription only for $12.75 per year. Let Eric know if want to obtain this. Some hope eventually will be free to members.

Tax Information

If you file a long form please keep track of mileage to and from events. 14 cents/mile driven in service of charitable organizations. Next year the OES is going to implement software to track hours. Will help you with tracking events attended. 

Disaster Preparedness and Cold Weather Risks

Identified/Prevention discussed. From the CDC: Warning signs of hypothermia:

  • Adults: shivering/exhaustion, confusion and fumbling hands, memory loss/slurred speech, drowsiness, diminished color of skin.
  • Infants: bright red skin color, cold skin, very low energy.

What to do? Take temperature. If below 95F (35C) situation is an emergency. Get to medical help. If this not available start warming victim immediately. Remove any wet clothing. Get to warm room or shelter. Warm center of body first. Chest, neck, head, and groin. Use electric blanket if available. Skin to skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, towels or sheets. Warm beverages help, but do not give alcohol. Do not give beverages to an unconscious person.

After temperatures has increased, keep person dry and wrapped in warm blanket, including the head and neck. Get medical attention asap. A person with severe hypothermia may be unconscious, and may not seem to have a pulse or to be breathing. Handle person gently and get emergency assistance. CPR should be provided while the victim is being warmed, until victim responds or medical aid becomes available. Victims who appear to be dead can sometimes be successfully resuscitated.

Steps to take in advance for winter safety in your car: Have maintenance as often as manufacturer recommends. Every Fall should do the following: Have radiator checked and be sure to have antifreeze added as needed. Replace windshield wiper fluid replaced with wintertime mixture. Replace any worn tires, make sure have adequate tread, and check air pressure in tires. Keep the gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

For the Home: Make sure you have smoke alarms and a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm. replace batteries twice a year. Each winter have furnace system checked by qualified technician to ensure operating properly.

Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so pipes will be less likely to freeze. Weatherproof your home by adding weather-stripping, insulation, insulated doors, and storm windows or thermal-pane windows. If over 65 years old, place an easy to read thermometer in easy-to-read location. Ability to feel changes in temperature decrease with age. Check temp. in your home often.

Excess alcohol consumption in cold days may make you feel warmer, but can be dangerous. Alcohol is a vasodilator, meaning peripheral blood vessels and capillaries open up and become wider. Blood volume increases under the skin, making you feel warmer, this preventing blood vessel constriction which is what keeps your natural body heat regulated and your organs warm. Alcohol consumption also inhibits shivering, a natural mechanism that keeps us warm, and is also a warning sign in early stages of hypothermia.

Radio: See something, say something. may be no-one else around to notify authorities, FRS: working on universal frequencies. may not all be compliant. Use communication and buddy system. Check in regularly about every hour. Cell phones don’t always work. FEMA standard: keep it simple. Say who you are calling, who you are, and why. There are primary frequencies, and secondary frequencies. In emergency switch to secondary frequencies. Call back if put on stand-by. After about 5-10 minutes.

Under 2 watts don’t need a license, over 2 watts you do. license is $70.00 for 10 years. Need FEMA forms to log calls. 214 or 309 forms. Say what you think is important: Incident, team leader, time, date. Keep it simple using common language. 309 form for emergencies or whatever you think important. Log out. Person on receiving end may be very busy. Unlicensed can listen in, and report in an emergency, otherwise cannot use with no license.

There is a new Repeater in the Big Bear Valley at lake level. They are testing all over Valley to find how far it can work. Seems to work most places, but still testing. DeDe reported on this. ICS form 214 can be subpoenaed in court.

Meeting adjourned at 8 pm.

Special thanks to Sarah Curtis for taking the minutes this meeting.