Councilmember Susan Wengraf
Newsletter #83

October 14, 2020
Red Flag Warning Issued
Red Flag Warning Issued
5:00am Wednesday (10/14) through 11:00am Friday (10/16)

==The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning which includes the Berkeley Hills, due to high winds and dry conditions. High pressure building over the northern Great Basin will aid in strengthening east-northeast winds across the ridges of northwest California. Strong gusty winds combined with a warm dry air will create a critical fire weather threat Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning.

==During this high wildfire danger period, extreme caution is urged by all residents, because a single spark can cause a major wildfire.

==PG&E does not anticipate a Public Safety Power Shut Off in Berkeley at the time of this writing. Please check here for updated information.

  • Subscribe to AC ALERT
  • Remain alert and monitor conditions around you
  • Review your Go-Bag and ensure that it is complete, packed and accessible
  • Have at least 1/2 tank of fuel in your vehicle and park facing the street or downhill
  • If you keep your car in the garage, make sure that you know and practice how to open and close your garage door without power
  • Be ready to assist your neighbors if an evacuation is ordered
  • DO NOT smoke or use power tools or grills/barbecues or create any source of flame or spark outside
  • Avoid driving or parking in dry grass or vegetation

==Barbeques are prohibited in all City parks when there is a Red Flag warning in effect.
==All Grizzly Peak vehicle traffic is prohibited from stopping at all lookouts and turnouts between 9pm and 6am. Cars parked illegally at these locations during these hours are subject to citation. 
Evacuation Orders
==I am sharing the following guidelines published by the Oakland FireSafe Council to help you determine what best to do before and during an evacuation order.

==These are not absolute rules, as no one can know before a disaster takes place where the threat will come from and what the best way to safety will be. You’ll need to make careful decisions and take the safest actions when the event occurs.

  • Listen for notifications, monitor your surroundings, and follow all instructions given by officials.
  • Dress in protective clothing and put on sturdy boots, gloves, face mask, and eye protection.
  • Have your cell phone charged and a flashlight handy as heavy smoke turns day into darkness.
  • Determine as best you can the safest and shortest route away from the threat(s), down off any hill and towards a major road, highway, or an area to take refuge in.
  • Help any neighbors who need assistance, but don’t put yourself in further danger.
  • Take one vehicle or carpool to reduce congestion; always have at least 1/2 tank of fuel.
  • Roads with double-yellow lines are major egress routes, but if blocked you may have to use alternate routes – make sure you have a map to refer to and don’t rely on cell phone GPS.
  • In general, when evacuating it is safest to remain in your vehicle and on the pavement, even if you are stuck in traffic, as a vehicle will provide significant protection from heat and gases.
  • Evacuating by bicycle or by foot should be a last resort – unless it is your only safe option out.
  • Evacuating on trails or fire roads through parks or areas of dense vegetation should be avoided unless there is no other safe option out.
  • If your escape route is totally blocked and wildfire is approaching, look for a fire-resistant building, a large, open area such as a field or parking lot, or even a pool or lake to take refuge in.
  • If you are stuck in your vehicle or have taken refuge, call 911 to report your location.
  • If ordered to shelter-in-place to allow others to evacuate first, unless you feel in danger.

==During this stressful time, do your very best to remain calm and not panic. If you ever feel unsafe or that you may be in danger, leave early if you can!
Drop Off Boxes for Mail-In ballots
==My apologies if you went to drop off your ballot at a non-existent ballot box location. I had received information from the Registrar of Voters that ballot boxes would be installed at 4 additional locations, including the North Branch library, during the first week of October.

==Apparently, the manufacturer of the ballot boxes was unable to produce them in time and installation is delayed. There are currently 2 official and secure box locations:
  • In front of 2180 Milvia, near the corner of Allston Way and Milvia.
  • On Bancroft Way between Sather Gate and the Architecture building.

==The box in front of the North Branch Library has been promised by end of the week.

==If you need additional information about all of the candidates and ballot measures, Voters Edge is useful.=
I\If you are concerned about either receiving, mailing, or dropping off you ballot and having it certified by the registrar, you can track your ballot here.
Emergency 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