Middleton Tract

The Middleton Tract is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, adjacent to Portola Redwoods State Park, between La Honda and Loma Mar, in San Mateo County. This neighborhood:

  • Has a mutual water company run by volunteers. 
  • Holds community meetings annually. 
  • Communications and notifications mostly rely on GMRS radio.
  • Six residents have Ham radio licenses, including 2 ARES members.
  • Has several CERT volunteers. 
  • Many houses are equipped with fire hydrants.

See the wikipedia article for more about the history of neighborhood!

The neighborhood is remote and accessible by a single road.  After years of poor phone/internet/power services, it became clear that the residents of Middleton needed a way to communicate with the outside world during emergencies. This reached a tipping point when a mudslide cut off the only access road and a team of fire fighters and HAM radio volunteers literally hiked a HAM radio into Middleton. After that, several residents became HAMs. Then, the CZU fire came. As crucial as the HAM radios were during the CZU evacuation process (during which time there were no phones or power), it became clear that Middleton needed a more efficient way to reach every household in the event of an emergency. 
With much guidance from SSEPO, and the local HAM radio club (
SC4ARC), Middleton decided to borrow the idea from Portola Heights (their uphill neighbors) and try out GMRS radios. Middleton residents applied for a grant from SSEPO for the GMRS radios. 
Historically, Middleton residents had little experience with GMRS radios. But after the CZU evacuation, neighbors gave GMRS radios a try. Now, every family has their own emergency radio. Examples of common radio communication: reporting a downed tree across the road, checking on neighbors during power outage, sharing road condition updates, weather updates, power restoration information, etc.

(See the 
communication and radio pages for more information on these programs!)

The Middleton radio project has been a huge success! Thanks to SC4ARC and SSEPO!​