Coastside CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) is an emergency preparedness volunteer organization focused on creating a ready and resilient community along the San Francisco Bay Area coast from the southern side of the Tom Lantos Tunnel (Devil’s Slide) to Tunitas Creek Road.

If you’d like to join Coastside CERT, please fill out this form.

Coronavirus Information

Fire Battalion Chief David Cosgrave's Weekly Coronavirus Updates

First week of SIP; how to stay safe; eliminate home tripping hazards; pantry update

Links for help; public health guidelines; standing water removal; what CERTs are during doing SIP; how & when will this get better

Coping with SIP; volunteering safely/keeping your volunteers safe; prepare for wildfire season; mental health & reducing stress

SIP journey; neighbor to neighbor check-ins; how to get up if you are alone and have fallen

Appreciations: CERT citizen response, first responders, leaders in municipalities, social services, radio communications, reporting & publishing; preparing for journey back; earthquake safety: earthquake safety checklist & securing your space, local earthquake hazard map

Groundhog Day; State volunteer programs, 4 outstanding nonprofits meeting immediate needs for COVID-19 affected Coastsiders: Senior Coastsiders, Coastside Crisis Fund, Coastside Hope, ALAS; masks, COVID-19 testing: Chief Cosgrave's video; PG&E power shut-off prep

SMC COVID-19 detail; Chief Cosgrave's test results; Census 2020; Chief Cox's wildfire prep video; Coastside Gives: support hyperlocal nonprofits responding to COVID-19; Senior Coastsiders video: Delivering Love

Thank you to Coastside Gives donors!; respect to Public Health Officers, COVID-19 self-protective measures; 2nd Census 2020 link; preparing for Great ShakeOut 10/15, first of two Great ShakeIn webinar sign ups: Part 1 "Coastal Earthquakes and Tsunamis;" 1st anniversary of CFPD sponsorship

Great ShakeIn webinar: Part 1 "Coastal Earthquakes and Tsunamis", sign up for Great ShakeIn video Part 2 "Surviving Earthquakes & MyShake App"; SMC COVID-19 cases update by zip code, Dr. Morrow's new health orders here and here, Dr Erin Bromage COVID-19 infectious conditions video and explainer; CHP water rescue with Chief Lord and Chief Cosgrave; Yale Class "The Science of Well-Being;" antigen test results

Great ShakeIn webinars Part 1 and Part 2; "COVID on the Coast - Local Experiences" panel discussion webinar sign-up; Memorial Day weekend personal health & safety considerations, Exposure Notification Contact Tracing, talking with children about COVID-19.

Staying safe & well while re-entering society, "COVID on the Coast - Local Experiences" panel discussion webinar, mask slackers, Coronavirus Conundrum: experiencing all 4 stages of an emergency concurrently

Social distancing walks & hikes; HMB COVID testing; Congrats grads!; peaceful protest at the jetty; beach safety, sand collapse news video, safety tips for visitors; Dr. Gemberling's fomite webinar, COVID contagion chart; social distancing strategies, Dr. Morrow's must read "Health Officer Statements" on social reentry; mask packing, tweet: arson investigator Tess

National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, Vector Control; Webinar invite: Health of the City with Bob Nisbet, HMB City Manager; COVID case updates from SMC Health and SMC Manager, all county update videos; HMB COVID testing appts. 100% filled!; "The more we know the more we don't," Coronavirus May Be a Blood Vessel Disease, Which Explains Everything; 8 Things We Got Wrong About the First Deadly Pandemic

Shelter in Place orders ended, new SMC Health Orders, social bubbles, face coverings; review & recording of Health of the City webinar with HMB City Manager Bob Nisbet and Deputy City Manager Matt Chidester; grilling safety; newsletter pause

San Mateo County Health is working closely with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to respond to novel coronavirus and its potential impacts on the Bay Area.

San Mateo County COVID-19 Data by Location

Low-income families and our homeless neighbors on the Coastside need your help now. Abundant Grace Coastside Worker, ALAS (Ayudando Latinos a Soñar), and Coastside Hope teamed up to launch Coastside Crisis Fund to provide emergency financial assistance as well as retail gift cards to help people with food, cleaning supplies, gas, and other essential items and needs during this crisis.

Local resources for individuals and businesses to obtain and provide support and relief

Check for information and resources for the community as well as for daily updates.

Visite para obtener información y recursos para la comunidad, así como para actualizaciones diarias.

Click here for details on how to subscribe or to become a member.

Every Californian can safely help their community during these difficult times. Here are some ways you can make a difference.

Many businesses on the coast remain open. You can track the latest list here.

The Chronicle is compiling an exhaustive list of every coronavirus case in California.

For non-medical COVID-19 information, please call 211 or text "coronavirus" to 211211 for info and updates.

Click here for actions Coastsiders can take now.

Program Overview

Officially, this area is organized into two tactical branches: Branch 1 covers the area from Devil’s Slide to Frenchman’s Creek Road and Branch 2 covers the area from Frenchman’s Creek Road to Tunitas Creek Road.

Coastside CERT Branch 1 covers the area from Devil's Slide to Frenchman's Creek Road and Branch 2 covers the area from Frenchman's Creek Road to Tunitas Creek Road.

Organizational Structure

Coastside CERT is officially registered with FEMA and the State of California with the following details.

  • Program: Coastside CERT Branches 1 and 2 (operating jointly)
  • Sponsor and Fiscal Agent: Coastside Fire Protection District
  • Sponsor Point of Contact: Unit Chief Ian Larkin
  • Program Manager and Lead Instructor: Battalion Chief David Cosgrave
  • Program Coordinator: Cynthia Sherrill
  • Branch 1 Co-Coordinators: Jennifer Goshorn and April Larsen
  • Branch 2 Coordinator: Cynthia Sherrill (interim)

In practice, Branches 1 and 2 operate jointly with the program coordinator and branch co-coordinators handling day-to-day responsibilities for both branches as directed by Chief Cosgrave.

Other than Coastside Fire Protection District uniformed leadership and instructors, Coastside CERT is a 100% volunteer organization. Our current $60,000 training budget is provided by the Listos California Capacity Building reimbursement grant funding approved in May 2019. The grant period is July 2019 - December 2020. Coastside CERT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with an operating budget funded entirely by donations from our community.

Mission Statement

We work to protect our own, our family’s and our neighbors' lives, the environment, and property through emergency preparation, disaster response, emergency first aid and rescue actions, and public education.

Program Implementation

Our goal is to create a prepared and resilient community that will have an orderly and calm response to an emergency, disaster or prolonged utilities disruption. Additionally, we connect neighbors so that the community works cohesively and effectively together. Coastside CERT accomplishes these goals with a core leadership team supporting dual synergistic programs:

  1. Delivering free training for
    • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
    • Listos Program
  2. Coordinating Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness

Our training program ensures that, when officially activated, our CERTs will be the source of reliable, actionable information for first responders and be visible and useful resources for the neighborhoods.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program

CERT is a national program that trains the general public in basic disaster preparedness, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Here on the Coastside, Chief Cosgrave also covers hazards specific to our coastal community.

Coastside CERT provides free 24-hour basic emergency preparedness training program, advanced CERT courses, refresher courses, and special topic presentations. For information on upcoming classes see our Training page.

Listos Program

Listos ( is a state-wide grassroots disaster preparedness program that can be tailored to meet the individual needs of Spanish-speaking communities. Family-oriented and taught in Spanish, the program is delivered in a format that is both culturally and linguistically appropriate for the target population. Listos training dates on the Coastside will be announced later in the year.

Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness

Coastside CERT’s Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness is a local, homegrown grassroots program that relies on community involvement. Neighborhoods are meeting to define their own priorities and organize themselves around three objectives:

  1. Prepare each residence. This focuses on basic emergency preparation and hazard mitigation.
  2. Meet your neighbors before a disaster and create an emergency response plan for each block and neighborhood. This includes neighbors helping neighbors, rally points and a communication plan with first responders.
  3. Implement resilient shelter-in-place resources. This includes, but is not limited to, alternative power sources, water purification, telecom microgrids.

We encourage all levels of participation:

  1. Don’t have any spare time? Prepare yourself with:
    • Water — 3 gallons per day per person (don’t forget your pets!)
    • Food — items that don’t need to be refrigerated or cooked (don’t forget your pets!)
    • First aid kit — including prescription and over-the-counter medications
  2. Can check on your immediate neighbors? Coordinate with your Block Captain.
  3. Can help disseminate information to your block? Volunteer to be a Block Captain.
  4. Can facilitate meetings in your neighborhood and liaise with Coastside CERT and other neighborhoods? Volunteer to be a Neighborhood Lead.

We can’t do everything at once, but we can make progress towards resilience in small, coordinated steps, emphasizing common sense communications, cooperation, resource management, and risk mitigation.

As of June 1, 2020 our neighborhood overview is:

  • 32 neighborhoods
  • 1,348 in the database
  • 220 CERTs
  • 102 Hams
  • 136 Leads and 43 Support

For more details on each neighborhood, please see the Roster Summary spreadsheet and our Neighborhoods > Get Involved page.

Why is Emergency Preparedness Important?

While we are part of the larger Bay Area, we only have two, mostly two-lane roadways leading in and out, which greatly increases our chances of complete isolation in a regional disaster. We are subject to: pandemics, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, mudslides, road washouts, treefalls, bridge destabilization, tunnel closures, and utility and telecommunications disruptions.

Local Sister CERT Organizations

Coastside CERT fits into a larger regional network of adjoining CERT organizations:

Program: South Coast CERT (Branch 3)

  • Area: Covers south of Tunitas Creek, including San Gregorio, Pescadero, La Honda, and Loma Mar.
  • Sponsor and Fiscal Agent: La Honda Volunteer Fire Brigade
  • Program Manager: Chief Ari Delay, Co-Coordinators: Pat O'Coffey, Kathleen Moazed

Program: South Skyline CERT (Branch 4)

  • Area: Runs above Branch 3 south along Hwy 35 to the Santa Cruz County Line.
  • Sponsor and Fiscal Agent: La Honda Volunteer Fire Brigade
  • Program Manager: Chief Ari Delay, Coordinator: Peggy Wargo

Program: Kings Mountain CERT

  • Area: Kings Mountain CERT territory runs east along Hwy 35 above Woodside.
  • Sponsor and Fiscal Agent: Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade
  • Program Manager: Jon Fredrikson, Coordinator: Kim Ohlund

Other Local Volunteer Organizations

CERT is just one of many local volunteer emergency response programs making a difference in our community. We coordinate with Coastside Emergency Action Plan (CEAP), Half Moon Bay Amateur Radio Club (HMBARC), Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), Large Animal Evacuation Group (LAEG), Red Cross Shelter Operations Committee, Peninsula Humane Society, Disaster Airlift Response Team (DART), and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), as well as local social service agencies. Coastside CERT liaises with and is working toward a unified emergency response plan with local and county government agencies.