City of Saratoga Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Cox CERT Division

Meeting Minutes


Meeting held: Wednesday, 15 August 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:05 p.m. at the home

of Lori Stafford


Saratoga CERT meeting attendees:

  1. Tom Baker
  2. Uma Challa
  3. Peter Melhus
  4. Peter Pranys
  5. Chuck Rader
  6. Brad Silveria
  7. Lori Stafford
  8. Lyle Topham


Discussion items:

  • Michael Taylor, the City of Saratoga Risk/Emergency Preparedness Manager, is currently working on two documents of interest to Saratoga CERT members. These are the City of Saratoga Emergency Response Plan (ERP) plus annexes, and a CERT Concept of Operations (CONOPS) document for Saratoga CERT volunteers. Due dates for these documents are as follows:
  • Draft #1: due 15 September 2018
  • Draft #2: due 01 November 2018
  • Final draft: due 21 December 2018
  • Brad Silveria and Chuck Rader, at a 26 July 2018 meeting with Michael Taylor, requested that they be part of the review process for these documents. It was agreed in the 26 July meeting that a Cox CERT Division-specific Emergency Response Plan, which would be tailored and targeted for the Cox Division’s area of responsibility, should wait until completion and approval of these two City of Saratoga documents.


  • The Cox CERT Division currently has 13 active members to cover an area that comprises approximately 700 residences. Neighborhoods of particular concern, due to a lack of representation, are the northwestern portion of Blue Hills/Blossom View, the southern portion of Brookview, and all of Saratoga Woods. It was agreed that recruiting initiatives for volunteers who live within the boundaries of the Cox CERT Division are crucial to have adequate manpower within the area to address a major disaster/community emergency.

Ideas proposed and discussed for attempting to recruit additional members included:

  • Leverage the Neighborhood Watch teams in the area. Discuss CERT at Neighborhood Watch meetings…these are people in the community who have displayed a level of civic involvement that may be persuaded to take the step of participating in the CERT program.
  • Conduct community emergency preparedness sessions for residents who live within the Cox CERT Division area of responsibility. These could include a PG&E community affairs presentation on utilities status during a major earthquake (i.e., downed power lines, gas line ruptures, how to turn off the gas line at your residence, etc.), and a disaster first aid training presentation conducted by the American Red Cross. At these sessions, home emergency preparedness checklists could be distributed and volunteers for the Saratoga CERT program could be solicited. Sessions to be potentially conducted at the City of Saratoga Prospect Center auditorium, pending approval for use of this facility for community CERT activities.
  • Address local PTA meetings or open house gatherings at Blue Hills and Christa McAuliffe Elementary Schools, to engender interest in the CERT program and solicit potential volunteers.
  • Investigate how other local cities (i.e., Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos/Monte Sereno, etc.) solicit volunteers for their community CERT programs.


  • An inventory of the City of Saratoga CERT emergency supplies/materials, positioned at the three cache locations within the city boundaries, is being conducted by Saratoga Argonaut CERT Division member Craig Pietrow. The goal is to have an equal distribution of the different classes of emergency supplies spread between the various cache locations. There was discussion on having additional caches (i.e., potential “mini-caches”) set up at additional sites to the main Cox CERT Division site at the City of Saratoga Prospect Center. Based upon the completed inventory and redistribution of supplies, our division should investigate what other items we would desire to have included in the cache(s), as a city budget exists to support some additional materials acquisition.




  • Chuck Rader to investigate no-fee community usage of the City of Saratoga Prospect Center for community disaster preparedness training sessions.


  • Chuck Rader to investigate the possibility of scheduling Mr. Frank Fraone, Senior Public Safety Specialist at PG&E, to provide a community presentation on gas and electric utilities during a major disaster.


  • Brad Silveria to investigate the best contact with the City of Campbell CERT organization, in regard to attending one of their CERT meetings and coordinating a discussion of “best practices” with a city recognized as having a very strong CERT program.



Wednesday, 26 September 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to approximately 7:15 p.m.