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Resilient Portola Valley - May Tips

Post Date:05/20/2020 4:37 PM

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Be Ready to Go

What’s in a Go Bag?


A Go Bag holds everything you and each family member need to get through two or three days when you cannot get into your home, plus some things you might need to get your life back on track in case your home is damaged or destroyed. Make this a family project for the month of May.


Start with a simple kit and add items that members of your family need. Some residents use existing duffle bags and backpacks. Pick sizes and styles that work for each member of your family.

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Have a pre-planned list of items that you don’t want to keep in your bag or items that you may want to grab if you have more time. If you have children who cannot carry their own bag, designate one bag to hold their needs and one each for adults. Don’t forget about pets!


Add a change of clothes and shoes, a few days of any medications, a copy of important financial documents, passports, account numbers, and your family’s emergency communications plan. Having access to this information is key should you have to evacuate due to fire or earthquake. Should you need to be hospitalized and unable to manage your affairs or receive visitors, trusted family members, or designated neighbors may need this information to pay bills and maintain your home.


Mark your calendar to check the inventory annually. Batteries expire, and children (and some adults!) grow out of clothes and shoes.


We asked a few residents for their Go Bag tips:


“We use a conventional backpack. We include a number of keys, a house key (in case power is out and we can’t enter through the garage via the electric opener), a safe deposit box key, a mailbox key, and a storage unit key. There’s also a memory stick with all of our financial and medical info.


“We did a room-by-room walk-through of our home to create a list for our Go Bag of important and valuable things so our adult children know where to look should we not be available.  Should we get COVID-19, we’ll need them to step in and help us with our affairs.”  


Can first responders find your house quickly?


Seconds matter in an emergency, whether it’s a 9-1-1 call for medical aid, structure fire, or large-scale event such as a wildfire. Make your street address visible so first responders from Woodside Fire, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, or other jurisdictions less familiar with our community can quickly identify each home. 


Action: Install 4” high reflective address numbers on mailboxes or near the street. Reflective stick-on numbers are inexpensive. They are effective whether the power is on or off, in the daytime and at night, and with proper placement, regardless of which direction help arrives. Keep bushes trimmed to keep sightlines open.


Install the numbers in a “standard” location on the mailbox, such as both sides and/or the front so they are easily visible to anyone unfamiliar with the neighborhood.


Per our Town Municipal Code, please avoid illumination of address numbers at the street and avoid painted numbers on “curb” or on street pavement.


Turn this…                                                                                       …into this!

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Stay informed and stay involved

Download the Town PV Connect app. Report downed trees, storm damage, and vegetation of concern to keep our roads and trails clear of fire materials and to enable safe passage for emergency vehicles.

Miss last month’s tip? Read it at Resilient Portola Valley.