SHEPT Coordinates, Educates for Disaster Preparedness

Members of the Southern Humboldt Emergency Preparedness Team met on April 22. (Sandy Feretto)

Members of the Southern Humboldt Emergency Preparedness Team met on April 22. (Sandy Feretto)

Local groups interested in emergency preparedness participate, to varying degrees, in the Southern Humboldt Emergency Preparedness Team (SHEPT) meetings once a month.

On Friday, April 22, several clubs, organizations, and agencies were represented in the six people at the meeting. Thirteen groups are listed as participants in SHEPT, including the Red Cross, health care organizations, public agencies, media, service groups, and the local Civil Air Patrol organization.

Coordinator Jane Gund explained that SHEPT is coalition of groups and people who seek to educate, organize, and support local communities and outlying rural areas of Southern Humboldt about emergency preparedness and disaster coordination. Establishing relationships serves to help ease of communication in disasters, Lieutenant Dennis Young of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said at the meeting. Education about emergency preparedness are important aspects of the coalition, Gund explained. “We network and resource,” she added.

SHEPT meets at the Cal Fire station on Alderpoint Road, Garberville.

“This particular room for us is our OES (Office of Emergency Services) command center,” Southern Humboldt Amateur Radio Club president Jack Foster said. “If we ever get activated by the OES and they need communications we would come down here because we have VHF communications, UHF, we have HF communications so we would be in contact with OES up in Eureka relaying the concerns and the problems in Southern Humboldt.”

At the meetings, the various groups give updates on their activities and discuss emergency preparedness needs.

Gund noted that there is more interest in emergency preparedness in times of disaster. She added that some of the outlying communities have Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) that have been very helpful when disasters occur.

Anyone may attend SHEPT meetings and participate. The meetings are on the fourth Friday of the month at 1 p.m.