MV Emergency Safety Team

Creating a safer, more resilient community


We are now certified as a Firewise Community! Dedicated volunteers started several years ago surveying the existing pyrophytic plants, making a book of plants to replant after the fire-prone vegetation is removed, and holding community drills and meetings.

We have submitted our first proposal for a grant to assist with the fire-mitigation work (remove, replace, and water) we are faced with. This is for a small amount of money, but it's a start and we're ready to get on a roll. One of the selection criteria for this grant is how well the project is supported by the community, measured by how many votes our proposal receives on the website where it is listed. That site is:

Just click on the link above or copy/paste this url into your browser's search window and click on the "VOTE" button. That's it. You can vote once a day from each browser you have. The more votes we log, the better our chance to score this grant! 

Here's John Hansen's report on the latest Firewise day with NFD Fire Marshall BC Bill Tyler, NFD Fire Chief Mark Heine, and NFD Director and Marin Valley Firewise co-chair Bill Davis; check out the pics! MarinValley2016FirewiseDay

Why is Firewise good? We now have access to numerous free materials, online trainings, virtual workshops, and more likelihood of getting grants to remove and replace the little green cans of kerosene known as juniper bushes.

And here's the previous meeting where we chowed down on some luscious chili and learned more about fire safety:


The Marin Valley Fire of September 30, 2016

The first major wildland fire the Marin Valley community has ever experienced was effectively and professionally managed by the NFPD (Novato Fire Protection District) with cooperation and assistance from NPD (Novato Police Department), Marin Valley Park Management, and MVEST emergency volunteers. 20 acres of mostly grassland adjacent to the Marin Valley community was blackened but there was no residential property damage, and no reported injuries.

Shortly before noon on Friday, September 30, 2016, a fast-moving, wind-driven wildfire posed an imminent threat to the Marin Valley community.  The incomprehensible speed at which this threat was developing raised great concern among residents, and provided the initiative for some MVEST personnel to self-organize and respond. In the end, about 20 acres burned along the north edge of the Marin Valley community and the west edge of the adjoining Mar Vista community. Flames approached to within about 10 feet of several homes, however property damage was prevented and there were no reported injuries.

Details and analysis of what we learned here in the MVEST After-Action Report: Marin_Valley_Fire_9-30-2016_MVEST_AAR

An enormous and heartfelt THANK YOU to all the strong, agile, efficient, intelligent firefighters who came from all over to help, and CalFire's fire planes with the fire retardant. We are all more grateful than you can imagine.

If you live here, join MVEST and learn how to keep you and your neighbors as safe as possible while the pros are doing their job! Contact John Hansen, 415.847.7155,


What do you do first in a disaster? The Marin Medical Reserve Corps showed us lifesaving information, and they made it easy and fun! Take a look at the beautiful flyer John and Erma put together: First_Aid_for_Disaster_Response_flyer and call John to find out when the next one is. 415-847-7155,


Let's all be safe, warm, and well fed after a disaster! It's not a huge deal if we break it down into steps. MVEST block captains learned how to start in their recent training, and they'll be coming around in the next weeks to help us all prepare. Here is a great place to start, One of the neighbors on Wild Oak has a plan: disaster strikes, we make sure everybody is safe and warm, then we break out the barbecues and have a block party!

Feeling totally unprepared? Go to and here for a checklist

The MVEST volunteers, led by Ray Schneider, have put together these helpful checklists for you to print out. MVEST_PPG_Emergency_Information, MVEST_PPG__Contacts, MVEST_PPG_First_Aid_Food_Sanitation, and MVEST_PPG_Evacuate. Print 'em out, fill 'em in, and sleep well at night.

If you don't already have one up on your fridge, here is the form so you can make yourself a Vial of Life; it's everything you would want an emergency responder to know if you couldn't tell them yourself.

Fire-safe MCMCC

The drought has inspired many of us to begin planning for a response to wildfire; not only are we surrounded by hillsides full of flammable grasses, but there are lots of old junipers full of dry needles (and volatile green needles) in the park. As you remove them and replant, here's a resource for you:

On both computers in the Clubhouse library, click on Mike Krupp's MVMCC Plant Catalog on the desktop. He gathered recommendations from the UC Davis extension, and some of the excellent gardeners in the park picked their favorites from lists of fire- and drought-resistant plants; they will need minimal or no watering after they are established, and do well in clay soil. These suggestions are provided as a service to MVMCC residents by the volunteer Tree & Shrub Committee.

Here is a Fire Department doc on how to create your own Defensible_Space and here is a list of plants that ignite readily and burn intensely, and a list of fire-resistant plants UC_Plant_list. The Fire Department website is


CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Training

In 2014 Sandy Wargo and the team from the Novato Fire Department came to the Park to put on a CERT Training for 20 park residents! We learned how keep our homes as safe as possible, practiced putting out a fire, conducted a disaster drill to rescue trapped and injured residents, learned how to triage, and more.




Highly recommended for everybody. There are trainings all over Marin. For more info, contact John Hansen,








The Fire Dept. held an emergency evacuation drill at the park in October 2014; a huge success! Read all about it here MVEST_Evacuation_Day_Oct_2014_Echo.