Councilmember Susan Wengraf
Newsletter #72

August, 2019

Dear Neighbors,
    Are you ready for wildfire season? This newsletter focuses on things that the City is doing to help you prepare. I have been successful at increasing funding levels for fire safety, specifically fire fuel removal and path improvements. As a result, the City has just completed removing dead trees and fire fuel from John Hinckel, Codornices and Cragmont Parks. Remillard, LaLoma and the Rose Garden (south end) will be worked on in August. In addition, in cooperation with the Berkeley Pathwanderers, many paths are being repaired and handrails installed. Signage is also being updated.

Susan Wengraf  
nightoutNational Night Out is Tuesday, August 6th!
  NNO logo
    National Night Out is an effort to make communities safer and more resilient by building and strengthening relationships among neighbors. I will try to visit every neighborhood that has requested my attendance.

    Clicking on the map below will bring up an interactive map where you can find a gathering near you.
Night out map
drillsWildfire Evacuation Drills
Wildfire evacuation map  
     I am very excited to announce that The City of Berkeley Fire Department will be staging practice wildfire evacuation drills in the High Hazard Fire Area on three Sunday mornings in the month of August.
    Click the map above to make it bigger.  
    If you're in one of the areas and you'd like to participate:
    1. Send an email to
    2. Include your name, contact information, and address

    Berkeley Fire Department will provide instructions on how to participate in the drill.

    This is your chance to experience the challenges of evacuation. What we learn from these exercises will be used to help form Berkeley's Evacuation Plan. Please check out the maps below and sign-up so that you can be notified. The more people participating, the more realistic the scenario will be.
Prior to the drill, sign up for AC Alert:
    Once you are signed up, you will receive a message on your evacuation day.
On the morning of your date, pay attention to emergency alerts, either on your phone, computer or radio. Follow the directions. You will be told to try to make your way to either a Temporary Refuge Center if you are on foot, or an Evacuation Center if you are in a vehicle. The locations will not be released until the morning of the exercise.
    When you arrive at the destination, check in with the greeter. Don't forget to grab your " Go Bag". If you have a pet, and want them to be part of the training, figure out how to bring them with you.
    You may hear directions over a loudspeaker and you may hear many sirens.
    If you are unable to do the evacuation exercise on your assigned date, then participate on the other day.
    If you have any questions, email:
    For an evacuation checklist click here.  
    I look forward to seeing you at either the Temporary Refuge Center or the Evacuation Center on either the 11th or 25th of August.  
chipperChipper Program is Coming Again  
    Use the chipper program to help you manage the vegetation around your home! You can save hundreds of dollars of dump fees by taking advantage of this program

The second pass just started. For many of you, it's not too late to schedule a major trim and clean-up of your tree branches and shrubs, especially those close to your home.
Chipper schedule

Chipper instructions
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insuranceFire Insurance Update
House fire     In my last newsletter, I wrote about hearing that some fire insurance policies were being canceled on homes in the Oakland hills. Several people who live in the Berkeley hills wrote back to me about letters from their carriers informing them that their policies would not be renewed.

    Concerned about this, I called State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. I have an appointment to have a discussion with him later in August. If you have questions that you need answers to, please send them to me. I will try my best to have Commissioner Lara answer them and then I will pass his answers on to you.

    In the meantime, everyone should pay their premiums on time and stay with your current insurance carrier. This is not a good time to change. Keep your property clear of vegetation, and trim tree branches away from roofs and keep them at least six feet off the ground.

videoFire Safety Meeting Video
Fire safety video

    On May 21st I organized a Fire Safety Town Hall at the Northbrae Church. There were several excellent and informative presentations which have now been made available on my website. In addition, the entire meeting was videotaped by Berkeley Community Media. If you missed the meeting, the video is also now available.  Click here to see the presentations and the video of the entire meeting.

acalertEmergency Notifications
     AC Alert will be Berkeley's primary emergency alerting system for the public. It is one of the tools the City of Berkeley uses to communicate emergency information and instructions to the community. AC Alert can send:
  • Voice alerts to phones
  • SMS text messages
  • Email
  • TTY/TDD messages
    Listed AT&T "land lines" are automatically included to receive voice messages from AC Alert for emergency warnings. Community members must sign up to receive voice or text alerts on cell phones, VoIP phones, unlisted phones, TTY/TDDs or through email.

    If you want to receive emergency alerts and updates, sign up for AC Alert.
  • Need a new refuse can?
  • Have a favorite pothole you want filled?
  • Want to report illegal dumping?
CALL 311

Susan Wengraf
Berkeley City Council District 6
(510) 981-7160
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