Fourth of July 2019

This year I spent part of the holiday giving out information on Emergency Preparedness, and as if on cue California had a 6.4 earthquake south of us in the Mojave desert at 10:23 AM. I began in the booth at 4:30 PM, it was located near the entrance to the Fair and across from the wine and beer tent…

The space was meager and we had between 4 and 6 humans there. Most of us were outside facing the incoming traffic and asking whether the folks has signed up for the website “alertmarin” operated by the Marin County Office of Emergency Services. We had clip boards and various bits of information – what is in a “Go Bag”, questions we (volunteers) can start our conversations with, behind us was a colorful wheel that kids (and a shocking number of men) wanted to spin for prizes.


Our prizes were pinned up on the back wall – an orange bag that could be used as a “go bag”, a plastic fireman’s hat (favored by little boys), a pen, a stress ball, an emergency blanket, and a small flashlight, to name some.


We had some info in Spanish as well as English, and I am happy to say that I had a good  score with Spanish-speaking families. Our main question to passers-by was “..are you signed up with AlertMarin?” Once we got their attention we were able to share that info on how to get listed for emergency alerts. The system is getting much better than it was when I was part of the system 4 years ago. In Marin it is now address-based (the last one was zip code based – way too large to differentiate for  excavation).


Folks with iPhones could be linked directly to the url once they took a photo. Other smart phones would have a photo of the url they could contact and put on their addresses – home, work, schools of the kids, etc.

It is exhausting to be a tout! This might have been a one time thing…



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On the planet in California

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