Emergency Preparedness FAQ

8.5.1
8.7.1


Important emergency preparedness documents

Sleepy Hollow Evacuation Map and Plan

Evacuation Checklist

Living with Fire Guide

Emergency Preparedness webinar series

Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District Website

Disaster Preparedness guide (Starts on page 97)

Does Sleepy Hollow have an evacuation plan?

Yes. The evacuation plan is developed by the Ross Valley Fire District and the County of Marin (see above for the link)

What is the status of the Verizon/San Domenico School macro cell tower project?

          Read the Cell Service FAQ here

Cell service will not be here in 2021 so what does SHHA do now to be safe this 2021 from fire, flood, everyday medical emergencies, etc.?

In 2018, the SHHA and SHFPD developed and distributed, to all residents, the Directory and Disaster Preparedness Information guide. This is 30+ pages of emergency information for floods, fire and earthquakes. It was reviewed and updated by SHFPD and Battalion Chief Todd Lando. SHFPD also commissioned an extensive risk and hazard assessment that is available on the website. This led to the development of a comprehensive strategic plan which has created many wildfire safety projects. The new Marin County Community Wildfire Protection Plan includes a detailed analysis of wildfire risk and hazard and recommendations of projects to reduce the hazard. The SHFPD was the first community in Marin to conduct detailed, parcel by parcel, home evaluations contracting with Marin County Fire for wildfire mitigation specialist. It is not possible to guarantee absolute safety and elimination of all risk and hazard. We have all chosen to live with some level of risk when we moved to Sleepy Hollow (or almost anywhere else) much as there is risk associated with automobiles, air travel, etc. Preparedness education is critical to improve life safety during any of these emergencies. SHFPD has done extensive outreach to provide wildfire safety education to residents, mailed two comprehensive wildfire preparedness publications to every resident: “Living With Fire in Sleepy Hollow” and more recently “Living With Fire in Marin County,”classroom presentations at the club house, and direction of residents to other excellent sources such as FIRESafe MARIN. SHFPD recently created the block captain program to get information out to residents at the local level. SHFPD has also funded many wildfire hazard initiatives such as goat grazing, curbside chipper pickup, the hazardous vegetation grant program, and major fuel reduction projects at San Domenico, Triple C Ranch and Rocking H Ranch. SHFPD funds the sand bag project to help protect against property loss due to floods. SHFPD also paid for and used block captains to distribute NOAA radios to each residence to ensure major alerts can be received even if power is out and there is no cell coverage.

Will we have continued performance of existing communications systems even when power goes out?

The Community Center will have a generator and solar and the SHHA has selected ATT Fiber as its internet service provider. During the past PSPS, ATT Fiber continued to provide Internet service meaning WiFi should work at the Community Center even in the event of a power shutoff.  Residents will be able to  connect to the WiFi and make calls. They can also use the Community Center to charge devices.

Will Sleepy Hollow have a horn/siren alert system to warn of an emergency?

SHFPD commissioned the same company that recently upgraded Mill Valley's outdoor warning system to do a test in Sleepy Hollow. The test demonstrated that multiple sirens would be needed in Sleepy Hollow to provide adequate coverage. The company was asked to do a follow-up acoustical analysis to determine best coverage but never responded. SHFPD is currently involved with meetings including all of the Ross Valley townships to use MWPA funding to install a comprehensive Ross Valley outdoor warning system including Sleepy Hollow. These systems are not designed to be heard inside of households and cannot be depended on to wake people up in the middle of the night. They are designed to be heard by residents who are outdoors. Still, the system has value and SHFPD is committed to follow through on installation, though we anticipate there will be resistance to siting of some of the sirens.

What emergency communication systems will the community have during a PSPS?

The current proposal for emergency communications at the community center is quite robust and will exceed the capabilities of any other community in Marin.

SHFPD will have a satellite phone as part of the communications system at the new community center. SHFPD also looked into the Starlink satellite internet service. At this time coverage is still limited. Right now the system is not designed to work with cell phones and is not a substitute for coverage with local cell phone towers. It is designed to offer fixed internet services to a home or business. There may be potential for replacing cell towers with satellite coverage sometime in the future. Satellite cell phone service is available to residents starting at a cost of approximately $40 per month with additional per minute charges depending on amount of use.

There will also be a Ham Radio at the Community Center. This can communicate out to Emergency Services during a PSPS.  SHFPD will also have a base station and portable radios that can communicate with the base station utilizing powerful channels dedicated to Sleepy Hollow.  There will be a scanner to monitor the Marin Emergency Radio Authority frequencies used by public safety personnel.

All residents were given a NOAA Radio. If you know of someone who does not have one please have them contact their Block Captain or Sharon Adams

How will we receive viable emergency notification service from the Sheriff, county or fire departments?

The County and Sheriff have comprehensive communications protocols in place. This includes Wire Emergency Alert System (WEA, commonly called Amber alerts), Alert Marin, Emergency Alert System (EAS), NOAA alerts, Nixle, and social media such as Twitter. WEA and Alert Marin warnings go out over cell system. Alert Marin also includes hard line notification along with multiple media platforms (email, etc), NOAA can be received when power is shut off. Nixle is cell and text based, primarily utilized by Law Enforcement. Pulse Point allows residents access to all active 911 incidents in the County.

How can we assure a minimally chaotic exodus from Sleepy Hollow in the event of an emergency?

         Read the evacuation plan.

Personal preparedness is the key to safe evacuation. All families should be aware of and monitor alert systems and to pay particular attention on Red Flag days. All families should have prepared a family evacuation plan. All families should participate in evacuation drills, utilize the FIRESafe MARIN evacuation plan checklist, and have a Go Kit prepared and in their car during high risk periods. Evacuation maps were mailed to every resident as part of the "Living With Fire in Sleepy Hollow" publication. New, updated maps are expected to be completed and mailed soon. The new Zone Haven application will be available soon to provide up to date evacuation guidance. Law enforcement (and Fire) have participated in Sleepy Hollow evacuation drills and will be on hand to manage traffic. Butterfield Road is the lowest point in the valley and relatively wide in comparison to much of the Ross Valley.

Residents living on the valley hillsides should get down to the floor of the valley as quickly as they can, as fire will tend to climb towards the ridge lines. Most wildfire deaths are due to residents not leaving their homes or abandoning cars and trying to escape on foot. Families should be prepared to exit the home within 15 minutes.

How do I receive information on emergency preparedness?

              Make sure the SHHA has you email information. You can sign up here.

Sign up for SHFPD information here. The Subscribe button is at the bottom of the page

SHHA sends information to all residents via email, print, website and webinars/ town halls. SHFPD writes an informative article every month for the SHHA bulletin. FIRESafe Marin and SHFPD send emails and host webinars on disaster preparedness. FIRESafe MARIN website and YouTube channel have comprehensive information on all aspects of wildfire prevention and preparedness. The block captain program is designed to get information out to residents at the neighbor to neighbor level which is widely considered to be the most effective communications strategy. SHFPD also hosted Safety Fairs and in person training at the Community Center before COVID. They plan on doing this again once we are able to gather safely. The block captains will email a summary of the Actions, Policies, and Procedures once they are finalized.

How will the new community center be of benefit in case of non-fire emergencies (slip and falls in the home, cardiac arrest, or other personal emergency)?

The Community Center will have internet and residents can use WiFi for calling emergency services. The SHFPD has a Block Captain program. They have emergency communication devices and can assist notifying authorities. Block captains are spread out across Sleepy Hollow. If you don’t know who your Block Captain is reach out to Sharon Adams at sadams131@comcast.net.

What are we doing to control vegetation and remove ground debris?

The SHFPD has committed more funding per capita to vegetation management than any community in Marin. SHFPD funds the curbside chipper program with more curbside service offered than neighboring communities. SHFPD created and helps fund the goat grazing program which annually creates both a fuel break along all of our ridge tops and defensible space behind homes that are adjacent to MCOSD. SHPFD has funded extensive fuel removal at San Domenico, Triple C Ranch and Rocking H Ranch. SHPFD created and funded the new hazardous vegetation grant program awarding 61 individual grants totaling $142,875. No eligible resident was turned down. The SHFPD was the first Marin Community to conduct comprehensive home evaluations through a contract with Marin County Fire. These inspections are designed to give homeowners detailed information about the steps they should take to harden their homes and create defensible space.


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