• 02/15/2019 12:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    PMC Emergency Preparedness Event

     submitted by: Julianne Buchler

    Being new to the state of California, having recently moved here with my husband, our 1-year old son, and our cat, and also never having had to think much about wildfires or earthquake preparedness, I was very keen to attend the recent Emergency Preparedness event hosted by the PMC this past week. Not sure what to expect, I went with questions stemming from hearing about the tragic events of the Camp Fire last October and feeling like a beginner (a.k.a., “unprepared”) attendee. One week after the event, I now find myself grateful for a new feeling of “better preparedness” (a.k.a., not as completely frightened at the prospect of a disaster as I was before and very thankful to the amazing first responder services for their insight!). The PMC event included three speakers including a Chris Godley from Sonoma County Emergency Services, Ron Klein from the Petaluma Police Department, and Paula Dueweke with Petaluma Fire Department. These speakers presented a multitude of helpful advice through the sharing of stories, personal experience, and training. To help those who might be interested, highlights from the event are included below related to three key areas outlined by the speakers including Alerting, Preparedness, and Connection.

    1. Alerting

    What stuck with me most regarding alerting, or the act of becoming aware of a pending / current disaster was the emphasis on the responsibility of the individual and family to both facilitate access to existing alerting systems, as well as to respond as advised once given an alert. In terms of awareness of alerts, the speakers outlined different systems that are activated in the event of a disaster. These included wireless alerting that will alarm on a wireless phone for all individuals in a given region, as well as those that are by subscription and alert only for those who have signed up to the service. Regarding the responsibility to act on alerts received, the speakers highlighted many cases where alerts were ignored leading to tragic outcomes for individuals. Key points and actions for preparedness regarding alerting included:

    • Sign up for the County of Sonoma Alerting System (www.socalalert.com) and register phone numbers / emails to receive alerts for Sonoma County

    • Download the CodeRED Mobile Alerting system to receive alerts as selected in the app

    • Sign up for the local Petaluma Alerting System, Nixle (www.nixle.com) and customize alerts

    • In the event an alert is received, such as an evacuation order, comply with this order ASAP

    • Keep your phone on (can be on silent) and in a place where you can hear it so that alerts can be received at any time of day or night  

    • Ask relatives / friends out of state to sign up for the same alerting systems so that they can both be aware as well as serve as a second alert by calling to check in the case you miss the alerts

        2. Preparedness

    This topic got me very excited to go home and spend almost a full day (thankful to my husband for occupying our son!) preparing our disaster plan and kits. Included is a scanned copy of the informational handout provided at the event (***), and below I have outlined points that I found helpful / interesting as well as pictures from my experience pulling together our disaster plan and kits.

    • Prepared / purchased disaster kits are good, but do not contain everything you need!! These kits are designed to act as a starter with basic materials that you will need to add based on the needs of your family. Even though I had purchased a kit previously, I realized that I had never actually opened it and didn’t know what was inside vs what items I needed to add. Additionally, one of the kits we had that my husband had bought previously was discovered to be out of date (regarding food and water contents).

    • Take items out of any kit that you have and identify what additional items you need to include. Here is a picture of my two kits on the table and some additional items that I had forgotten we had stored around the house that I wanted to include in the kit (lantern, fire extinguisher, radio, batteries, extra glasses):


    • Check the expiry date of any kits you have and replace out of date contents such as food and water.

    • Extra items I found helpful and included in the kit (that I didn’t think of before!):

    • Garbage bags: can serve as poncho, tarp, block for under doors, ect.

    • Duct tape: when combined with garbage bags can do many things

    • Can opener: if “sheltering in place” and the power goes out on any electric appliances, important to be able to open cans and pet food

    • Manual water purification filter (e.g., filtration straw): does not have an expiry date like tablets and can be used on many sources such as pools, toilet tanks, etc.

    • Pet food, litter box, litter, feline calming phermones: A full pet preparedness checklist is included (***), something I had forgotten even though our cat is our child!

    • Extra driving glasses: The extra pairs of glasses from around the house (some older prescriptions) are great to put in the car or “go kit”, as well as stored in substantial shoes under the bed

    • Substantial shoes under the bed: During the Napa fire, the highest rate of injury was to feet from people who got out of bed quickly and ran around in bare feet on broken items and glass

    • BATTERIES!!!!: Many batteries. Best tip here was to tape extra batteries to flashlights in the case the installed batteries do not work

    • Flashlights: Extra flashlights, especially in places including beside the bed with substantial shoes, and in the car (from above, with batteries taped to lights)

    • Paper map of the region: In the event of evacuation (especially if new to the area like we are), have maps of the region and surrounding areas and discuss / highlight evacuation and alternate evacuation routes

    3. Connection

    Written out emergency and contact information: In the event of an emergency it can both become difficult to remember information such as phone numbers, as well as wireless internet may go down, making it impossible to search for numbers online. Write out emergency numbers to place both in the disaster kit, as well as someplace accessible in the home, such as beside the fridge, where everyone knows they are posted. Include numbers such as local dispatch, poison control, 24/7 veterinary services etc. Note: Petaluma Emergency Dispatch numbers are (707)-778-4372, and (707)-726-2727

    You can find the Red Cross family emergency planning document here:



  • 02/12/2019 2:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Does everyone know that the PMC loves to set up and fill meal trains for mamas who need a helping hand? Read Jessica's testimony below to hear more about this awesome resource.


    PMC Meal Train!
    Submitted by: Jessica Marcy

    Just had a baby and don’t know anyone in the PMC yet - ask for a meal train!  Slipped and fell after giving your splashing toddler a bath and threw out your back? Ask for a meal train! Lost a friend or family member and can’t bring yourself to cook? Ask for a meal train. Mamas: don’t be afraid to reach out!

    I had my daughter in October 2017, and 7 months later my husband rushed me to the hospital with serious pain in my chest, stomach, and back.  It turned out I needed to have surgery to remove my gall bladder.  To add insult to injury, literally, during the surgery some gallstones slipped and I had to go back a few days later for a separate procedure.  Needless to say, I needed support.

    Even though I am a very outgoing and social person, I was initially hesitant to reach out to the PMC ask ask for a meal train because I felt embarrassed.  I was healing okay and should have been able to take care of my family, right?  I got over that very quickly once I realized what recovery actually looked like.

    So I took the plunge and reached out… and guess what?  It was so worth it, and NOT embarrassing at all. When it came to getting rest after caring for my kid all day, instead of worrying about a meal for my family, that food on my doorstep made all the difference.

    I have volunteered for a few meal trains and, honestly, it feels good to be able to do one small thing.  For me, bringing a meal to someone is no big deal.  But as a mom who’s been on the receiving end of a meal train, it’s a huge deal.  

    I know it how hard it can be, but I want all of you stubborn mamas out there to know it’s okay to ask for help! My meal train was filled quickly; this is a community of parents who GET IT.  They get that stuff happens, that life is hard sometimes, and they really want to help lift you up. 

    If the idea of asking for help still seems scary to you, have a friend to ask for you!  Shoot a quick text saying, “Hey - I’m having a really hard time adjusting after my c-section.  Think you can send the Meals-in-a-Pinch coordinator an email and ask for a 5-day meal train?”

    This resource is here for you - use it!  I’m so glad I did.

    Editor's Note: I cannot agree with what Jessica wrote more! Just two months ago I had my third baby, and my hands full. A friend requested a meal train for me before I could even get around to doing it, and I was blown away by how quickly it filled up. I also have really enjoyed bringing meals to others; it's a fun and fairly easy way to participate in supporting our PMC village. 

    To request a meal train for yourself or on behalf of another member, please email: meals@petalumamothersclub.org

    - Caitlin McSorley 


  • 02/05/2019 1:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    Preston Stohs

    January Member of the Month


     My wife and I have lived in Petaluma for a little over 3 years, we previously lived in Colorado. The  PMC was a great way for us to make connections and especially for getting established in a new  town while we started our Family. We have one son, Ever, who is almost 2 1/2. He’s a playful,  thoughtful, outdoor-loving and abundantly energetic little guy that keeps us on our toes physically  and mentally. 

     I was happy to be involved in the start of the PMC Dads group which is really just starting to have  a firm foundation. I’m excited to see what that grows into and the amazing things that will come of  it. It’s a great group of Dads that are easy going and great to hang out with. The Dads group has  been an important part of my life as a new parent, and especially as a father to have a  community of other guys to talk with, learn from, and have a great time with while we navigate the  parental world. 

     My wife and I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2012 which was 2000 miles of long days, and  constant ups and downs. While it pales in comparison to the joys and blessings of having our  son, it certainly prepared us for parenthood in a way we never would have imagined. Plans don’t  go as planned, unknown things are always around the next corner, and it’s important to be  prepared for any kind of weather! But having a strong community, like Petaluma and the PMC  group makes all the difference in the world. 

     Looking forward to meeting more people in this community and further participating and growing  the Dads Group - encourage Dads to join if they aren’t already part of the group!


  • 02/05/2019 1:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    Caitlin McSorley

    January Board Member of the Month


     Thank you, PMC board, for nominating me as board member of the month. My role in editing the blog this  year has allowed me more time to write (a treasured pastime) and to stay involved with this awesome  organization. 

     I’ve gotten a lot from being a part of the PMC, and have realized the importance of support and shared  experiences in parenting. I consider myself fortunate to have a helpful husband, close family members, and  lifelong friends. But the friendships I’ve made with other moms of young children have often helped me  stay sane in all this chaos. Well, maybe not entirely sane, but closer to it.   

     Motherhood has been my greatest, most fulfilling, and yet hardest journey in life. As a stay at home mom  of three, my daily life revolves around my kids - aged 4, 2, and 1 month – and I wouldn’t have it any other  way. I consider myself to be successful in this job (most days) but it hasn’t always been easy giving up my  past life to get here. Some days the 24/7 needs feel like they are too much to handle; others are filled  entirely with joy and love. Through the good and the bad, in every day, I’m proud to have achieved the title  of “Mama”. 

     My partner in crime, my true love, without whom this life would not be possible, is my dog. Just kidding -  it’s my husband, of course. Our life together revolves around our little family, but my husband and I rely  the most on our love and connection to be the center of it all. Not all days are easy, and we don’t always see  eye to eye in parenting. But we work as a team (good thing, since the little ones outnumber us now). 

     When I’m not focusing my time and energy on family life, I try to find some quiet solitude. I enjoy writing,  reading, baking, and walking (which used to be running, before my body turned into a baby machine).  Eventually, when the kids are in school, I look forward to joining other adults in the working world once  again. But for now, I’m all about kids, family, mom friends, and lots of coffee.

     Thanks again, PMC, for all the support and for making me board member this month!  


  • 01/31/2019 9:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film ArchiveSubmitted by Madeline Backman


    This weekend we took a trip the the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive*.  I have such delightful memories of this place when it was in its old location and I was in my blissfully easy pre kid days.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but was blown away with how kid friendly BAMPFA is now. 

    In addition to the current Masako Miki exhibit, which is a giant felted wonderland, there is a children’s art area in which kids can use a ton of supplies to make whatever they can dream up. There is also a sweet reading and building area, and really great interactive seating area where kiddos can move large soft benches to make forts and climbing structures.  They also show films and have tons of special events.  Even though we went on a Sunday it was not overly crowded and most visitors were families with kids.  We spent about 2 hours at the museum with only one meltdown (over leaving the gift shop without getting to buy anything) so I’d call that a success.  


    Since it’s across the street from the UC Berkeley campus there are so many reasonable, casual and kid friendly eating places within a block or two of the museum.  We ate at Comal Next Door, the causal Mexican food sister restaurant to one of our favorite (pre kid) places.  Other great options include Cancun, Saturn Cafe & Sliver Pizzeria.  

    We also walked around the UC Berkeley campus for an hour or so, rounding out a really nice day in the East Bay. 

    The best part was that since we just joined the Petaluma Museum we get into most Bay Area museums for free.  It’s an awesome perk and makes supporting our local museum even more rewarding.  


    *https://bampfa.org/

  • 01/21/2019 1:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Ryan Ray

    Baby Ryan Ray, born 1/10/19 to parents Coree and Jesse.

    - Coree Ross Suarez

  • 01/20/2019 12:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Evelyn Jeanne McSorley


    Born 12/12/18.

    Welcomed lovingly by Caitlin, Kevin, Big Sis Addie, and Big Bro Owen. 

    - Caitlin McSorley
  • 01/20/2019 12:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Florence Campbell Smith 

    Born 11/20/18!

     - Danielle Ticoulat-Bowers

  • 01/20/2019 12:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Asa Anderson Welensky

    My little guy arrived 12/5/2018. Here’s Asa Anderson Welensky.

    Looking forward to seeing all the other new babies soon! Big brother is 3yo and named Levi, Dad’s name is Zach:)

    - Annie Welensky
The Petaluma Mothers' Club

P.O. Box 521 Petaluma, CA 94953-0521

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