2017.08.01 NNO

NNO 2017NNO 2017


On August 1, 2017, dozens of Don Carol Neighborhood Association (DCNA) neighbors gathered at Nannette and Ramses Erdtmann’s home to socialize, share potluck dishes, renew friendships and consider DCNA priorities and aspirations with respect to preparedness to meet emergencies head-on, in an organized manner, and protective of the people living in our community.

Phil Machell opened the business portion of National Night Out (NNO) by thanking Nannette and Ramses for their generosity and graciousness in hosting this year’s event in their beautiful new home. He introduced the nine DCNA Area Monitors, who individually are responsible for a dozen or so households in their immediate proximity. The areas are designated on the DCNA Map by separate colors. Having a group of Area Monitors forming the “Leadership Team” for DCNA has been an important aspect of the growing structure in our neighborhood for making consensus decisions about our emergency preparedness and being more responsive to emergencies when they occur. The Area Monitors, acting as “point persons” for a manageable number of immediate local neighbors is expected to improve communications and contribute to our overall preparedness to deal with eventual emergencies in an organized and efficient manner.

DCNA Co-Chairs, Phil Machell and Chet Grycz, were honored by the Area Monitors, who presented each of them with an engraved paperweight thanking them for their friendship, leadership and inspiration. The unexpected presentation was particularly appreciated by Chet who is presently undergoing a second round of chemotherapy. Because of unpredictable reactions to his treatment, Chet had recently announced his decision to step down as Co-Chair (though he will continue to be as active as permitted by his chemo). Phil announced that Andy Flint had agreed to take on some of the responsibilities vacated by Chet. Andy will become Associate Chair of DCNA. We are grateful and delighted to welcome Andy in this new role.

Phil next observed that long-time DCNA activist and supporter, Adrienne Kopa, was unable to attend this year’s NNO. She has recently moved back to her home from a short hospitalization. Adrienne was missed at this year’s NNO. A card was signed by several of Adrienne’s long time friends and neighbors and was given to David Kopa (Adrienne’s son) to share with her.

NNO 2017

Acknowledging the significant step of forming a functional “leadership team” and a structure for preparing ourselves to meet future challenges of emergencies, Phil observed that the next DCNA priority was populating specialized teams of individuals willing to be trained in one of three categories:

  1. Search and Assessment
  2. CPR and First Aid
  3. Personal and Family Disaster Preparedness

Happily, more than a dozen individuals signed up for the various categories! This is a record for responsiveness. Bravo! DCNA will undertake to provide a condensed one-hour training or other training opportunities for those who volunteer for each of the categories. The intention of the training is to improve community skills on how to knowingly respond to neighborhood emergencies. The motivation is to build an ever more capable cadre of people who can be called upon for help when needed. “Right now, we have defined a structure. What we need to do, next, is populate the structure with well-prepared individuals,” observed Phil.

Phil’s comments were echoed by Captain Rune Hoyer-Nielsen of the El Cerrito Fire Department and his colleagues from Engine Company 27, who answered questions from those attending before concluding the business part of the meeting. A delightful and productive time was had by all! Many thanks to all our participating neighbors.