Communications in Lake Wildwood
October 13, 2017
By Donna Brazil
Director of Administration & Communications
In the wake of the evacuation I have received several email messages with suggestions and/or complaints regarding the dissemination of information during the evacuation, and a handful of messages saying thank you. We have also received several calls into Administration. While we are here to provide information to Members regarding the Association, Members should contact the local authorities for information regarding any questions they might have.
For example, in an evacuation like the one we just experienced, the local Sheriff's department was administering the evacuation. We (the Association) were given information as it became available and sent e-bulletins as quickly as possible after receiving the updates.
Some Members experienced delays in receiving the messages, and others received them quickly. This is an email provider issue (and not our delivery system) –the message went out to all 3,554 subscribed Members at the same time (it takes approximately five minutes to complete the "send" on our e-bulletins).
If you did not receive a phone notification from the Nevada County Sheriff's Department, please visit https://www.mynevadacounty.comfor more information on how to register for the reverse 911 phone call to all residents with a 'land line' or registered mobile phone number. In the event of an emergency, please call 911; then call Security (530) 432-1166 or (530) 432-2258.
Tensions run high in an emergency situation, but please understand that we are doing our best to disseminate as much information as possible, as quickly as possible.
Understandably our members were upset about the disruption to their lives, but the Association does not control what local authorities dictate, including County or State, or even PG&E or cell phone services. We are here to support the Members of this community as much as possible, but ask Members to not take out frustration on staff – whether Security, Administration, or any other department.
We were also evacuated (and as a side note, did you know that in the Association offices, 10 out of 14 staff member slive in the evacuation areas and had to evacuate as well)?
No staff were allowed to remain (other than Public Works and Security) when the evacuation order was given, and those of us that were not personally evacuated remained working remotely throughout both days of the evacuation.
Our Security team was working round the clock to ensure the safe evacuation of members, and called in extra Patrol and Gate officers. Security went door-to-door to manually open garage doors for several Members who were unable to get their cars out without electricity, and assisted Members in safely exiting LWA.
The Public Works crew went above and beyond to ensure that patrol vehicles and Security gates had gas and power, cleaned up debris to reduce flammable materials and keep roads clear, and worked with PG&E to get power back up to the community.
The Board and staff will be reviewing Emergency Preparedness, and we are addressing some key issues that were noted in the recent evacuation/emergency, including updating emergency preparedness information on the website, and have included information in this edition of e-Bits.
For example, due to the power outages and the need to send e-bulletins using a cell phone rather than a computer, we were not able to update the website with the information that was sent in the e-bulletins. (This is being remedied). We are also looking into back-up generators and systems. Also due to the power outage, we were unable to access our email server and are looking into different affordable solutions.
In times of crisis people's true colors come out, and I am proud of the commitment and courage exhibited by staff, law enforcement and firefighters during the evacuation. We are blessed and grateful that no homes or lives were lost, and that's what's really important.
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