County recognizes residents for emergency preparedness efforts

Courtesy of Trevor Marsden
Los Altos residents display their plaques of recognition for promoting emergency preparedness at the Santa Clara County Emergency Managers Association awards banquet Dec. 12. Pictured from left are: Harry Guy, CERT leader and local ham radio operator; awardees Fred and Patricia Evans; Jim Clark, a local ham; awardee Ann Hepenstal; Capt. Scott McCrossin of the Los Altos Police Department; and awardees Agnes Caulfield, John Kristian and Keith Amidon.


The Santa Clara County Emergency Managers Association honored seven Los Altos residents for their emergency preparedness efforts at an awards banquet Dec. 12.

Each city in the county selected its volunteers for recognition. Los Altos honorees included:

• Fred and Patricia Evans. The Evanses lead a Block Action Team (BAT) in their Arbuelo Way neighborhood. Both are members of the Los Altos Community Emergency Response Team, and Fred is an amateur radio emergency communications volunteer. They are active in the Los Altos PREPARES program and hosted an emergency preparedness drill for volunteers in their BAT. They were awarded a 2018-2019 Los Altos Community Emergency Preparedness Grant as well as a mini-grant from the Earthquake Country Alliance; they used the funds to prepare a neighborhood directory and hold training classes.

• Agnes Caulfield. Caulfield, a BAT leader in the Toyon Farms neighborhood, hosted an emergency preparedness drill for volunteers in her BAT, and has addressed issues related to emergency evacuation routes for her neighborhood. She used a Community Emergency Preparedness Grant to compile an emergency preparedness/evacuation guidebook and directory for Toyon Farms and held an evacuation drill for neighbors to practice their route out of the community.

• Keith Amidon, Peter Amidon and John Kristian. Along with Jim Oberhofer of Cupertino, the Amidons and Kristian of the Los Altos Amateur Radio Emergency Service have developed standardized forms – message forms, resource request forms, etc. – that can be sent via amateur radio.

• Ann Hepenstal. Hepenstal, Los Altos’ emergency preparedness coordinator, worked to improve emergency preparedness in the city. Her accomplishments include developing the Disaster Service Worker volunteer program, increasing city support for community emergency volunteers through the Los Altos PREPARES steering committee and strengthening city staff’s disaster response readiness. She has built ties between the city’s emergency preparedness efforts and faith-based organizations in the community. She also worked with the Los Altos History Museum on an emergency preparedness exhibition to further raise awareness and educate local residents.

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