Since 2012, Strawberry Creek Lodge has been lucky to have a CERT-trained resident willing to head the Tenants Organization Disaster Planning sub-committee and to implement special-project work sessions to help us deal with emergency situations.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers to train others about disaster preparedness - the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.
It has been awhile since the last major earthquake in Northern California. Nonetheless, even the word “earthquake” evokes avoidance. Not here! Group leader Ann Valliant has our residents trained in first-response tactics, location of emergency doors and routes for ambulatory and disabled residents, putting up canopy tents for temporary shelter, etc. The Project Committee gave away 99 Grab & Go kits at SCL in the summer of 2021, procured from the Berkeley Disaster Preparedness Neighborhood Network. Each of these red multi-pocket backpacks contains a radio/flashlight/charger, some first aid and personal protective supplies, some food & water.
Committee members have recently been been very clever in assuring a willing audience for training in how to restart generators, and to get residents to sign up for individual CERT training sessions in the next several months. Their most recent meeting started with a long interactive circus performance, before getting to the heart of the matter: scheduling residents for upcoming Generator-Restart procedures and the 20-hour CERT training sessions so more people will have disaster training and healthcare skills in the future !
REPORT FROM ANN SQUIRES,
SCL FOUNDATION BOARD CHAIR
The SCL kitchen was originally designed to provide dinners for the 150 residents who were required to eat in the dining room five nights a week.
As this program was disbanded many years ago, the needs of the kitchen have changed entirely. Residents now have their own food preferences and kitchens in their apartments to prepare their own meals. Sharing the kitchen with Berkeley Food Network, a community food program makes better use of this important resource.
Provision of meals at Strawberry Creek Lodge now is a health program as well as a social program The renovation includes extensive repair of the ventilation systems, new stoves, the addition of convection ovens, replacement of the dishwasher, complete replacement of the electrical system and demolition of a central island and food steamer tables. The walk in refrigerator and freezers will be repaired. It is our hope that we will be able to replace the enormous island in the dining room with more appropriately sized beverage islands.
This will be determined by the amount of money we are able to raise. In the process of this renovation project, the SAHA executives offered the master lease on the kitchen to the Strawberry Creek Lodge Foundation with the provision that we sublease the kitchen to a qualified food program.
SCLF has had a long-term relationship with the Berkeley Food Network, (BFN) whose mission it is to use sustainably sourced and recovered food for providing community meals. We are pleased that BFN has agreed to manage the kitchen in a way that allows the residents to hold holiday parties, birthday celebrations and memorials, all very important for our community.
Our Kitchen Planning Committee is made up of Ann Squires, as Chair and Barbi Jo Stim, Secretary of the SCLF Board of Trustees, Mukta Vie, Board Member and Chair of SCL Food Program, Ron Bohner, SAHA’s Facilities Project Manager, Gregor Markel, and Joseph Soares of Dahlin Architects and Julia Paige, Kitchen Program Manager of Berkeley Food Network. Julia is an active and valued participant in our Kitchen Renovation Planning Committee.
There has long been a discussion between our two organizations that our kitchen would be made available for their use in exchange for providing resident meals. We have recently contracted with BBI Con as our Construction Contractors with Will Rogan and Lauline Mitchell as our Managers. We are targeting a big Strawberry Creek Lodge Thanksgiving Dinner for the opening of our newly renovated kitchen.
Schematics below show portions of both the present and the proposed renovation designs.