Sandoval Signpost


An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988
  Public Safety

Bird houses by artists

Birdhouse works-of-art to benefit SAFE House. (l. to r.) "Yellow-legged Table with Cow... and Bird House (with mother-in-law quarters),” by Riha Rothberg and Wayne Mikosz; "Mobile Home,” by Dianna Shomaker; and "Sanctuary," by Gail Gering

Placitas artists support SAFE House

—Gail Gering

Thirty birdhouses were auctioned on Sunday, April 29, at the St.Clair Winery and Bistro, during the fourth annual Bird House for SAFE House benefit dinner. S.A.F.E. House, the only shelter in Albuquerque for victims of domestic violence, grew out of an informal collaboration of community women who started offering their homes as "safe houses." Today in their current location, the nonprofit agency houses up to 85 people per night and offers services to over 1,000 families, annually.

The basic wooden birdhouses were fabricated by volunteers in three different styles, and artists in Albuquerque and Placitas have created from these structures some very imaginative works of art (not for outdoors) to generate much needed funds for the organization.

Information about S.A.F.E. House and the Bird House for SAFE House event can be found at On the site, you will also find a wish list of items that can always be used, as well as a way to make a safe, secure donation.

Public safety officials want citizen input on disaster planning

—Sidney Hill, Sandoval County Public Information Officer

Public safety officials from across Sandoval County are seeking public input on strategies for minimizing the potential damage from natural disasters or other hazardous incidents that might strike communities within county limits.

The best ideas will be incorporated into the county’s five-year All-Hazard Mitigation Plan, a critical document that must be drafted by August 2012.

“Mitigation planning is not how we respond to emergencies such as wildfires or floods,” says David Bervin, Sandoval County’s Assistant Fire Chief for Emergency Management, “it’s what we as a community do to reduce the impact of such events before they happen.”

Under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, local and tribal governments are required to develop and maintain a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan in order to be eligible for non-emergency federal hazard mitigation grants.

Hazard mitigation planning involves identifying and profiling the natural hazards most likely to occur in a community, assessing the region’s vulnerability to these hazards, and establishing goals, actions, and projects that mitigate the associated risks.

All county residents are encouraged to contact public safety officials with ideas for how their local communities can better prepare for any potential disaster.

The Sandoval County Fire Department is leading the multi-jurisdictional effort to develop a hazard mitigation plan for all communities within the county’s limits.

Other local, state, and federal agencies also will have input into the plan. The planning team will address the following elements:

  • Natural hazards that may impact or have impacted the community
  • Profiles of the most relevant hazards
  • Vulnerability assessment to the identified hazards
  • Goals and objectives for hazard risk reduction/elimination
  • Mitigation actions/projects to achieve the stated goals and objectives
  • Plan maintenance strategy for the next five-year cycle.

An updated draft of the plan is expected in August 2012. For additional information, visit or contact David A. Bervin, Sandoval County Fire Department Assistant Chief for Emergency Management at:

Fire Department ready

Sandoval County firemen stand by for duty

Red flag protocols apply to all mountain communities

—Karen Takai

Red flag protocols: a temporary warning indicating the presence of dangerous combinations of temperature, wind, relative humidity, fuel or drought conditions which can contribute to new fires or rapid spread of existing fires.

The East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association, composed of all jurisdictional agencies that respond to fire and emergencies in the mountain communities, requests the help and cooperation of our visitors and community.

Fire response agencies have certain protocols within their agencies when a Red Flag is announced by NOAA. The Dispatch communication groups (within all jurisdictional fire response groups) are immediately informed of the Red Flag warning. They, in-turn, pass this information through their communication channels to all response personnel and crew in the field. Agencies then heighten their response by getting ready in case a fire does break out in our area.

For the safety of life and property we are requesting that our communities and visitors help firefighters by also following these community protocols during red flag events: no campfires, smoking outside, or welding until the Red Flag Warning is lifted by NOAA

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