Gasquet was the first community in Del Norte County to establish a Neighborhood Preparedness program. We have established 16 Neighborhoods. Each one is formed so that the people that are included within its boundaries are familiar with each other and live in close proximity to each other. This is intended to encourage neighbors to look out for each other; who knows your needs better than your family and friends. If an incident occurs, someone already knows the kind of help you'll need. Each neighborhood has a leader. The leaders job is to be available to help you become knowledgeable about the program and to help you learn to be prepared to take care of yourself, your family and friends. Also, to be available to organize your neighborhoods' efforts and coordinate them with the rest of the community efforts.
The residents of Gasquet live here because of its small size, beauty and solitude. But these attributes can come at a price. The Smith River, while wonderful, can also be destructive. Think back to 1964. That year there was an unusually heavy snow pack in the surrounding mountains. A warm, hard, melting rain coupled with a very high tide at the mouth of the river caused the highway and many of the bridges to wash out. This begs the question: Are you ready to care for yourself for at least 72 hours (food, water, medications, heat, shelter) if another catastrophic event were to occur? That same year a tsunami hit in Crescent City. The Cascadia subduction fault lies just off the coast. If an ocean floor earthquake occurs, the resulting tsunami wave could inundate Crescent City within minutes. Those that are able to flee might wind up in Gasquet. Crescent City services will be very busy for a long time. A quake like this is expected to have a range of effects, causing damage all the way to Interstate 5. It might cause damage from Fort Bragg to the northern Canadian coast. The State and national services will be spread very thin.
In the past couple of years, the Preparedness program has been at work in Gasquet. 15 of the 16 neighborhoods have volunteer leaders. They have had meetings with their friends and neighbors and trained on things like: how to turn off your power and gas; how to get water; first aid/CPR; storing financial records; food storage; and other information. We have two caches of medical, food, water filtration, blankets, and necessities. One is located on the Mountain School grounds and one at the Gasquet Fire Department. Remember, there is a bridge that could divide Gasquet in half! Also, we have installed a generator at the Fire Department. Hopefully, this year we will tie that generator into the American Legion Post next door too. This way we can feed, house, and have a medical facility on either side of the Horace Gasquet bridge. The Gasquet Bible Church has also volunteered its facilities for housing should the need arise. The Forest Service has agreed to be able to assist with whatever supplies and facilities they have available. Written agreements are in place between the local businesses and the Office of Emergency Services.
We have also acquired two Ham radios. One will be installed at the Gasquet Fire Station and the other at Bar-O Boys Ranch. If you have an interest in learning how to use a Ham radio and would enjoy being a part of a group, contact Bruce Barber who is setting up a local organization.
There are County-wide training programs being offered such as CERT...and disaster pet care capabilities through DART. Go back to the main page and click those buttons for more information. New stuff is always being offered. I'll post fliers at the Gasquet Market as they are announced.
So, there is a lot going on! If you're not involved...you may want to think about it!