Kenwood Press


Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

email print
News: 12/01/2017

Oakmont post-fire lessons



By Marty Thompson and Jim Brewer

Oakmont residents offered stories of their evacuations and suggestions for improving emergency notification at a workshop sponsored by the Oakmont Village Association board on Nov. 14.

Some people told how Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies (COPE) notifications worked for them the morning of Oct. 9; others said they awakened and got out on their own.

“In an emergency your neighbors are your closest family,” said Sue Hattendorf who organized and runs COPE.

Audience suggestions included pushing the city to install emergency warning sirens, equipping COPE volunteers with bullhorns, and recruiting more COPE volunteers.

“It’s on us to prepare for emergencies,” declared board member Linda Oneto, who led the workshop which drew 200 people to Berger Center.

Dealing with post-fire stress

Residents got encouragement from Dr. Dana Nussbaum, a licensed psychologist in Novato who specializes in the health and well-being of emergency responders and their families.

“If you feel like you’re down in the dumps? Guess what? You’re normal,” she said. “Post trauma response” emotions can range from depression and anger to loneliness or guilt, she said. These emotions normally would dissipate in about 30 days, but “this event was so much bigger than a single fire. There were multiple factors that added to peoples’ stress level.”

Nussbaum, who lives in Sonoma County, said it’s often easier to recognize stress in others than ourselves. “So if you hear more than one person express concern about how you are doing, it might be a good time to check in with yourself.”

Stress responses from the fires might be triggered again by the anniversary date, by wind, or even the smell of smoke coming from a neighbor’s fireplace, she said. The key “is to notice these situations and realize they are normal,” Nussbaum said.

If, towards mid- or late-December you or someone you care about is still suffering and it hasn’t dissipated, or if you’re experiencing distressing intrusive thoughts or unable to sleep, it may be time to seek a professional who is trained to help alleviate these post-fire stress responses. Again, such stress responses are normal, just particularly strong. The sooner you deal with them the sooner you will feel better.



Recently Published:

05/15/2018 - Fatal accident on Sonoma Hwy.
05/15/2018 - Glen Ellen Church Pastor departing
05/15/2018 - Rebuilding permits work in progress
05/15/2018 - Cannabis dispensary proposed for Oakmont
05/15/2018 - Kenwood water tests come up clean
05/15/2018 - Not something you see every day...
05/15/2018 - Lawmakers, administrators discuss SDC future
05/15/2018 - SVCAC agenda all about cannabis
05/15/2018 - Human factor is the wildcard in health of local mountain lions
05/15/2018 - A celebration of SDC’s residents, legacy
05/01/2018 - Glen Ellen Telegram May 1, 2018
05/01/2018 - Decked out in Earth Day finery
05/01/2018 - Plan ahead for Kenwood 4th of July Celebrations
05/01/2018 - Getting their hands dirty
05/01/2018 - Kicking off 'The Year of Sonoma Mountain'

Community Calendar

Spann to talk red wine at SIR #53
05/23/2018
more...
Deadwood Desperado, or A Mother's Grief,
05/25/2018
more...
Forest Therapy walk
05/26/2018
more...
Late spring hike at JLSP
05/26/2018
more...
Oakmont’s 16th Annual Car Show
05/26/2018
more...
Deadwood Desperado, or A Mother's Grief,
05/27/2018
more...
Memorial Day family hike
05/28/2018
more...
Funky Fridays
06/01/2018
more...
La Luz and GE Forum team up for free community dinner
06/03/2018
more...
Special Calabazas hike with Bill & Dave
06/09/2018
more...
GE Fire Association’s Dinner Dance
06/30/2018
more...


Weather Underground PWS KCAKENWO2