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Let’s Get Together and Help Each Other

A few months ago, we started a dialog about forming “PODs” in our neighborhoods to help each other out in the case of an emergency, large or small.  A POD, as we were thinking, would be a self-contained unit (a group of homes) with the function of being able to help each other out in case of an earthquake or evacuation. Here are some of the goals of creating PODs:

  • Share phone numbers and email addresses for communication purposes.
  • Draw a map of each POD and know your evacuation route.
  • Put names, phone numbers on the map and distribute to the POD members.
  • Share any special needs that a member may have (cannot drive, cannot walk, etc.).
  • Gather medications if cannot return to the house.
  • Pets that need to be cared for if cannot return to house.
  • Pets that need to be collected in case of evacuation.
  • Ability to help children in case they are at school and parents cannot get to them.

There have been a few PODs formed throughout the park, it turns out, and we would like to expand on this so that all members of our community are included and can be taken care of during an emergency.  We had our first group POD meeting last weekend. We call our POD “Lower Kiowa” and we have 11 homes.

We are looking for some people who would be willing to be POD Leaders. A leader would be the person to get things going, set up meetings, collect and share information, and just be a focal point for the small group. We have several members of the community who have volunteered so far, but we need more. If you are interested, even just a little, please reach out.  We can create this project to fit anyone and everyone.  Let’s brainstorm and find ways to be helpful so we all have a plan in the event of an emergency – large (earthquake or evacuation) or small (I can’t make it home to let my dog out, can you help?).

What do you think?  Are you in?  I think it’s a win-win without much fuss – we just need to share some information. When we get a list of people who are interested in helping, we will have a meeting and get this project going.  I’m super excited about it.  Please join us!  Contact: Dana Hartzell via email – danahartzell@verizon.net


Fire Safety message from the board

Dear Neighbors:

Early this summer, we had another house fire in Chemeketa Park.  We are very lucky that the fire was able to be contained to the building of origin. The homeowner was at home when the incident occurred and promptly called 9 1 1. Thus enabling our local fire agencies to quickly respond to the residential structure fire before the situation spread to surrounding homes and vegetation. The Santa Clara County Fire Department and CalFire responded with eight engines, three Battalion Chiefs, a fire investigator and Copter 106, from the Alma Fire Station. Copter 106 dropped several hundred gallons of water when fire spread to a tree next to the home.  We are truly grateful to our local fire departments for their fast response and valiant efforts.

While it is true that summer is almost over, we are still in the midst of a record-breaking drought and one of the worst fire seasons in our state.s history.  The vegetation is extremely dry, and we need to continue to take measures to ensure that we are fire safe.  To that end, the Board is working with the Santa Clara Fire Safety Council to have brush removed from areas of the park.  Also, many neighbors have taken steps to improve the defensible space on their own properties.  (Information about defensible space can be found at www.fire.ca.gov.)

While these fire safe efforts are encouraging, there have been recent reports to the Board that indicate a disturbing trend.  Many neighbors report seeing individuals in the Park disposing of cigarette butts in an unsafe manner.  We ask that you please be careful when smoking, barbecuing, or engaging in any activity that has the potential to create sparks. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the Board.  Thank you for your continued efforts to keep Chemeketa Park safe!

State Water Board Approves Emergency Regulation to Ensure Agencies and State Residents Increase Water Conservation

On July 15th, the State Water Resources Board approved Emergency Regulation to Increase Conservation. Please see attachment

Mandatory 30% Reduction in Water Usage

By now you are probably aware of the water emergency facing California, but you may not be aware of its depth. To give you some perspective, this is the driest year in California.s recorded history.  That.s about 165 years. This puts us at great risk not only in terms of drinking water, but also fire.  In response to this emergency the Chemeketa Park Board of Directors and our water master have been working to make our water system as efficient and leak-free as possible.

While we will continue to do our part to ensure safe drinking water for the community, we need your help.  We have initiated mandatory water rationing.  We are requiring every resident to reduce his or her water consumption by 30%.  That may sound like a difficult task, but we are sure you are up to the job.

Here are some ideas on how to reduce your water consumption:

  • When washing dishes by hand it.s better to fill a tub with water than to let the water run.
  • Cut your time in the shower by half. Turn off the water while soaping up or washing your hair.
  • Cut down on watering your garden and/or lawn . both time and frequency.  Remember to water in the early morning or late afternoon to prevent water loss due to evaporation.

These are just a few ways to conserve water.  A more comprehensive list will arrive at your doorstep within the next few days. 

This said, there are some activities that will not be allowed during this mandatory water rationing phase.

  • Neglecting breaks or leaks in your waterline
  • Installing, cleaning or refilling swimming pools
  • Washing your car
  • Power washing your house, deck, patio or driveway

This restriction will remain in place until the rainy season at which point the situation will be reassessed.

 Thank you for your awareness and cooperation.


California drought

The State has declared that we are in a drought emergency. Please do your part to help reduce our water usage. Stay tuned for more information and water wise work shops in the near future.