When we started recruiting Block Captains in late February 2020, little did we know that we would shortly go into pandemic shut-down. Suddenly, all our advice about meeting your neighbors, having block parties and making connections was no longer appropriate.
Despite these challenging times, Tam Valley now has a Block Captain corps of almost 85 residents who have found creative ways to make connections and disseminate important information about emergency preparedness and response. In appreciation of all these efforts and to enable our Block Captains to be able to meet one another, we held our first Tam Valley Block Captain Social on Saturday, October 16, 2021. The weather was glorious and we were warmly welcomed by the crew of SMFD Station 4 on Poplar Street. We were treated to scrumptious cupcakes baked by Steering Committee member Lee Budish. and we were finally able to put names to faces!
With 45 of us in attendance, we got to hear from Deputy Chief Tom Welch, and were introduced to Southern Marin’s first NRG Coordinator, local resident Elaine Wilkinson who will be leading and supporting the continued development of the Southern Marin NRGs including those in Sausalito, Floating Homes, Marin City, Strawberry and Almonte along with the rest of unincorporated and incorporated Mill Valley. We also had the opportunity to share advice and ask questions of one another about how to support our neighborhoods.
All of this was followed by our first radio communications “practicum” during which Steering Committee member and ham radio operator Rob Rowlands led us through the experience of using our FRS radios to communicate with one another. This exercise was useful in many ways, including raising even more questions about the role of these radios in disaster response.
We are so very grateful to each of our Block Captains, and look forward to many more enjoyable gatherings to come!