“Nice To Meet You”


Tuesday February 21, 2023
From the messy desk of Amanda Eichstaedt

Hey Neighbor!

We have one neighbor who lives down the road, and every time we meet we say “Hey Neighbor!” We don’t really hang out, but we know that we could reach out in case either of us needs something. We may only run into each other a few times per year, but we are still neighbors.

And while I don’t greet all the folks in the town that way, there is a basic understanding of who is here, and where they live, all the while staying out of each others’ business.

I know who the neighborhood liaison is for my neighborhood. He has a radio and can call in to the Fire Station when and if the disaster council is activated. There are others in the “hood” who have the smaller walkie talkies and they call in to our neighborhood liaison to give updates. In fact, there is a radio drill each month to make sure that everyone is on board, equipment is working, etc.

The purpose of these neighborhood groups will become glaringly apparent in the event of a disaster. Important information about vulnerable people who might need immediate assistance, structure damage, and general area assessments will be done by those people in the neighborhoods. This information will help first responders and dispatchers identify what types of aid are most necessary.

While we in West Marin are only 30 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, we are in a sparsely populated, rural area. This means we have limited services for the geographic area that reaches from Muir Beach all the way up north of Tomales, and inland to Nicasio and the San Geronimo Valley. 

A favorite view on a calm beautiful day in rural West Marin.  photo. A Eichstaedt

The most helpful thing that you can do is to be prepared to handle a disaster, at least for the first several days, on your own. There are lists and lists and lists of how to prepare “go bags,” how to secure objects, fireproof your home, and what to do first in the event of all different types of disasters. Great info exists at Ready Marin and Fire Safe Marin as well as in KWMR’s Emergency Info page.

And you can be really prepared, sort of prepared, or not prepared at all. Your call.

The more prepared you are, the more able you will be to assist others who may not be as prepared. I am thinking about neighbors with mobility issues, the elderly, and visitors to the area, folks not as familiar with the lay of the land, who might get caught unaware in West Marin during a disaster. The likelihood of this happening is pretty high. 

Do you know who your neighborhood liaison is? If you are wondering how to get involved, or even to just up your awareness, the information is HERE. They even have other community information on their site. Click HERE.

And remember, KWMR is a nonprofit organization made up of six employees and many volunteers. Each of these people may face their own struggles during a disaster. KWMR strives to get on the air as quickly as possible to bring listeners important information. Be patient with us, and know that we are all in the same boat.

CERT training is a great way to up your game! Community Emergency Response Team. You will learn all kinds of tips and tools for being ready in the event of a disaster.

I would say that we are moderately prepared at our place. It’s that damned “go bag” that I keep pilfering from, or needing to use the suitcase, etc. I really need to to keep that thing current!

Thanks for doing your part!

Amanda Eichstaedt 
Station Manager and Executive Director