WPV-Ready is about Emergency Preparedness
WPV-Ready operates throughout the Woodside Fire Protection District (WFPD), serving over 20,000 residents in the towns of Woodside and Portola Valley, as well as some unincorporated areas of San Mateo County.
WPV-Ready is dedicated to bringing all residents of our district to a better level of emergency preparedness. Whether you are just getting started, or already have a lot of resilience in your life, WPV-Ready will help you to further prepare. We start with preparedness at the personal and home level. From there we organize neighborhoods into Ready Communities. Collectively, all of our Ready Communities make up the full WPV-Ready district-wide program.
WPV-Ready is organized as a group of social communities, called "Ready Communities." Each Ready Community is self-selecting and led by a small group of committed volunteers. A Ready Community is a leadership team, a list of street addresses, and a method for distributing preparedness information, typically an email distribution list.
Communities register with the WPV-Ready organization. WPV-Ready provides informational materials and training for leaders and members of the Ready Community. How the Ready Communities organize and communicate with their members can vary based on needs of the community.
Principles of WPV-Ready
The primary goal of WPV-Ready is personal and household preparedness.
We want to ensure that households are ready for disasters such as Public Safety Power Shut-offs (PSPS), wildfires, earthquakes, floods, and landslides. We assume that wide-area disasters (e.g., pandemics, terrorism) are handled by the County Office of Emergency Services. Household preparedness is ultimately up to individuals and families. WPV-Ready can be a powerful force in helping families prepare. When households are prepared, much of what needs to be done during an actual emergency is streamlined and neighbors can help each other. WPV-Ready encourages neighbors to help their neighbors especially with immediate needs before outside help arrives.
Organize Ready Communities using existing social structures.
Communities that have social connectivity and geographical proximity make good Ready Communities. They tend to have a reason for existing independent of WPV-Ready. Most of these communities are already connected via an email distribution list and annual gatherings. Examples include: Home Owner Associations (HOAs), Neighborhood Watch groups, and physical neighborhoods with common purpose. There are many existing social communities within the district. Social communities can be as big as Ladera and Portola Valley Ranch, or as small as a neighborhood with a few houses. Outreach within a social community has been shown to be effective because it is personal. Personal contact and outreach from someone you know is highly influential.
Treat volunteers as a precious and scarce resource.
People have busy schedules and less time to participate. Appreciate the volunteers that make the time to help others, and use their time wisely. We help our Community Leaders organize their local teams, and find local volunteers to help with projects. Together we leverage volunteers to provide value to the largest number of people. We pool resources so a small group of volunteers can provide useful information for all Ready Communities, for example with online discussion tools and printed information packets. Of course, not everyone is cut out to fill every volunteer role, and we work together to find useful, rewarding things for all volunteers to help with. We want all WPV-Ready volunteers to be positive and supportive of all other WPV-Ready volunteers.
Connect adjacent Ready Communities to share insights and best practices.
Just as cities and counties have mutual aid agreements that allow them to form more effective teams during a crisis by agreeing on their basic organization well ahead of time, Ready Communities are encouraged to coordinate communication and other resources with neighboring Ready Communities. This is how a small natural community can gain much more "strength in numbers" when that is needed.
Acknowledge that many Divisions have been successful and continue to have value.
Divisions were a part of C.E.R.P.P. (our predecessor program) before WPV-Ready and WPV-CERT. Divisions by design were large with hundreds of homes. Successful Divisions were based on existing social communities. As we transition to Ready Communities, existing Divisions can simply become a Ready Community or reorganize into small Ready Communities. Ongoing benefits of transitioning Divisions: They have trained volunteers that are active; The infrastructure already exists for many important activities like distributing critical emergency preparedness information, and activating local resources to provide initial disaster assessment.
Our relationship with WPV-CERT
WPV-CERT is the partner organization of WPV-Ready. WPV-CERT responds to emergencies as defined by their standard operating procedures. WPV-Ready can request assistance from WPV-CERT and can provide spontaneous volunteers to WPV-CERT when they are available. WPV-Ready can also help WPV-CERT collect any special needs information before an emergency, verify house addresses and other community information that would be useful to WPV-CERT. Mature Ready Communities may also deliver completed “standard rapid needs assessment” forms for use with Town-wide damage assessment. We hope that residents in our district will want to learn the skills to save lives and property in a disaster. Our CERT program, WPV-CERT, is a great place to start in getting those next-level skills. When fate pushes you, preparedness lets you hold on. WPV-CERT lets you push back.
Learn more about WPV-CERT on their web site...
What is in our future?
Many of the programs and procedures that are needed to sustain the WPV-Ready program into the future are being actively developed right now. We need all the volunteer input we can get as we build the program up. The goal is to create a WPV-Ready that can be sustained by any motivated leader. This is a "business building" exercise, with many of the characteristics of any business start-up. By 2024, we intend to have a program that is so well defined and automated, so intuitive and sensible, that the current district-level leaders can step aside and let some new team take the reins. If we don't actually do that, we will never know if we have gotten to that point of "program maturity." So doing the big turnover is an explicit part of our plans.
The details of how we think about levels of preparedness, and what we do specifically to build a Ready Community, can be found on our
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Call on us for ANYTHING
If we can help you build a Ready Community where you live, well, that is literally why we exist, so ask for any help you want.
You can email us at email@example.com.
You can call our Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Selena Brown, at 650-423-1406.
You can call our WPV-Ready message line at 650-382-7541.