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.

Join Us to get updates and safety information

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

10/10 Area-wide Earthquake Radio Drill

Step 1 - 8/20

Due to technical difficulties, the webinar recording of Chief Cosgrave's webinar explaining the concept of the area-wide drill is not available. Instead, here are Chief Cosgrave's slides explaining the overall concept of the Area-wide Radio Drill, Jenny Goshorn's presentation of the Frenchman's Creek Drill, and Jim Williams' slides introducing his September 3rd walkie-talkie tutorial webinar.

Step 2

Neighborhood leads who want to participate invite their residents to Jim Williams' walkie-talkie webinar tutorial.

Step 3 - 9/3

Walkie Talkie tutorial. The link to the recording is here.

CERT member Jim Williams presents basic walkie talkie radio communications training. General disaster communications are summarized and operation of the walkie talkie radio model adopted by most neighborhoods, the Midland GXT 1000, is explained in detail. Here are his slides:

Walkie Talkie Radio Quickie Training 2019_28_14Artleta.pdf

Step 4

Participating neighborhoods stage their own practice drills sometime between 9/4 - 10/9.

9/19 Frenchman's Creek

9/20 Montara East & West

10/3 Alsace Lorraine

10/3 Downtown HMB

10/3 Miramar East & West

10/4 El Granada

Yet to be scheduled:

Arleta Park

Branch 3 & 4 (Pescadero, La Honda, Loma Mar, San Gregorio, Questa)

Cañada Cove

Clipper Ridge

Cypress Cove



Kehoe/Casa del Mar

Moss Beach

Ocean Colony

Rural South HMB

Seal Cove

Step 4.a - 9/20

Chief Cosgrave hosts a Q & A Zoom on Sunday, 9/20, 3-4 PM, to answer your questions about the 10/10 drill. Sign up here.

Step 5 - 10/10

Area-wide drill begins at 10am with participating neighborhoods and a Department Operation Center (DOC) at Coastside Fire Station 40.

New CERT Hybrid Basic Training

This is the new way to take CERT Basic Training - Start Now and Graduate by November 8th!

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact the Coastside and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, earthquake survival skills, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

Coastside CERT basic training also offers additional instruction in basic radio communication, neighborhood emergency response organization, evacuation information, and tips for surviving a fire in the Tom Lantos tunnels.

Using the training learned in the classroom and during CERT exercises, members can assist their community or workplace following an emergency event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. Coastside CERT Hybrid Basic Training is a powerful and informative course in actionable local emergency preparedness knowledge.

The course is FREE. You will receive a CERT manual in class and CERT backpack kit upon course completion.

This free training includes an online lecture portion and is to be followed up by an in-person, hands-on, practical portion.


  • Estimated Time = 12 hours

  • Access it on your mobile device or computer.

  • Complete it at your pace and at your convenience, but finish by November 6, 2020.

  • Course progress will be saved and can be resumed later.

  • You will receive the link to the online portion of your training once you register.

  • Periodically, Chief Cosgrave will hold Check-In Zoom sessions with registered students to add local Coastside knowledge to your online training and answer you questions. With a genuine passion for teaching, Chief Cosgrave weaves his three decades of Coastside first responder experiences in and out of FEMA's basic training curriculum with threads of practical life-saving skills, relatable stories to boost, your Coastside survival IQ, and a wicked sense of humor. He knows where all the bodies are buried, so to speak (says he won't tell :), and shares his amazing experiences to teach you, your family, and your neighbors how to stay safe.

  • Certificate of online completion must be emailed to coastsidecert@gmail prior to the hands-on, practical portion of your training beginning November 7, 2020.


  • Estimated Time = 16 hrs

  • Date and Time: November 7th-8th, 9-5

  • Location: Coastside Fire Station 40, 1191 Main St., Half Moon Bay, 94019

  • All COVID-19 precautions will be observed: temperature checks, masks and gloves, social distancing, handwashing, and sanitizing.

  • Must attend both days and times in order to receive final certificate of course completion. You will be a full-fledged CERT graduate by end of session on November 8, 2020.

  • Chief Cosgrave will design the format and content of the November 7 & 8 in-person training based on localized knowledge and this standard curriculum checklist. No slides. The emphasis is on learning by doing: Instructors demonstrate and students practice the skills, progressing from one skill station to another.

If you have any questions, please contact Coastside CERT Program Coordinator Cynthia Sherrill ( Thank you!

Don't know what CERT is? Check out this video!

Coronavirus Information

COVID-19 Testing in Half Moon Bay - How It Works

Next Testing Dates: Tuesdays, September 22 and 29, 2020,

9 AM - 3 PM, Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church, Church & Kelly Streets (Church St. side, north end of block)

Appointments open the Saturday before each Tuesday testing. Sign-up at Click on COVID-19 Program and follow prompts.

  • San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services (OES) sends a team of 15-20 people to create pop up drive thru COVID testing stations at various locations around the county on a rotating basis.

  • Testing in HMB follows a pattern of two Tuesdays on and two Tuesdays off: 9/22 & 9/29, 10/20 & 10/27, etc.

  • The HMB COVID testing site in HMB is an all-outdoor, weather-dependent operation that can be shut down by high winds, rain, or bad air quality to protect the health of the testing team.

  • This is a drive thru testing site. Arrive in your vehicle with mask on and windows up. Show your ID (name, photo, birthdate) through the window to the assistants who check you in from outside your vehicle. Have your appointment reference # handy in case your paperwork is not immediately available. The assistants will place your testing paperwork under your windshield wiper and direct you to drive forward to the nurses' stations for testing.

  • Nurse's will direct you through the testing process. Lower your window slightly and a testing kit will be passed through the opening. Open the small vial and circle the q-tip-size swab 10 times in one nostril then 10 times in the other. Place the swab back in the vial and pass the sealed test kit back to the nurse. That's it.

Fire Battalion Chief David Cosgrave's Newsletters

CZU August Wildfire Complex Fires, Wildfire Preparedness, Firefighters actions, CERTs & Hams mutual aid activation; COVID Testing, 10/10 Area-Wide Earthquake Radio Communications Drill, Jim Williams' Walkie Talkie Training Webinar, How to become a Ham radio operator during COVID

Dr. Morrow's 8/6 Statement about SMC re-closing businesses; wildfire season: PUC Fire Map, PG&E transmission lines explainer, new PSPS policies, new Power on Peninsula battery and solar suite of programs; CERT Hybrid Basic Training; Steve Urick; On-going Covid-19 testing in HMB; Announcement of upcoming area-wide earthquake radio drill; COVID testing reporting compromised.

Returning to work safely - especially essential workers - in English & Spanish; Dr. Scott Morrow's 7/20 Statement; Listos Informagente; Employer Playbook for Safe Reopening; Project Baseline free COVID testing returns to HMB; Frenchman's Creek radio communications earthquake drill - a Coastside first; completing Spring CERT 2020 training.

Local COVID cases back on the rise; Stanford Q&A with Dr Fauci; CERTs respond to city request to assist SMC OES with HMB public testing site; SMC Health link if you have COVID symptoms but no health insurance; visitors disregarding masks & distancing; 2 Coursera offerings: University of Toronto Managing Mental Health During COVID-19 discussing physical/social distancing and managing anxiety, and Johns Hopkins Contact Tracing certificated training course.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.