VashonBePrepared Disaster Preparedness Blogs

Everyone's blog is listed on this page chronologically. Use options on the right to search or filter by various means - or to look further back in time. Subscribe for automatic delivery of these updates using RSS or Twitter using the tag VashonBPrepared - no 'e' to keep within the 15 character limit. These used to automatically show up on our Facebook page - but they no longer allow that. Any VashonBePrepared volunteers can easily blog - contact the Tech Team to get set up.

All Recent Blogs

By John Cornelison on 6/18/2017 12:17 PM
clip_image002Vashon Maury Island Radio Club and VashonBePrepared invites the public to visit Vashon’s amateur radio volunteers at this Saturday’s 2017 Field Day event!

Vashon Hams gather at our new Field Day location atop the Swallow’s Nest Bluff on June 24th & 25th to compete in the largest single amateur radio and emergency preparedness exercise.

Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio. Families and the...
By John Cornelison on 6/7/2017 9:44 AM
The Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast of North America spans from northern California to southern British Columbia.SEATTLE – A year following one of the nation’s largest domestic drills, lessons-learned continue to guide strategies that improve the Pacific Northwest’s ability to survive and recover from a catastrophic Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake and tsunami.

On June 7, 2016, more than 20,000 emergency managers in Idaho, Oregon and Washington kicked off Cascadia Rising 2016, a four-day, large scale exercise to test response and recovery capabilities in the wake of a 9.0 magnitude CSZ earthquake and tsunami. The exercise involved local, state, tribal and federal partners,...
By John Cornelison on 3/16/2017 7:50 AM
Although this is still evolving, the initial blueprint of the federal budget has the following language:

DHS starts on page 23 of the 62 page document.  FEMA preparedness grant language is on page 24.

Eliminates or reduces State and local grant funding by $667 million for programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that are either unauthorized by the Congress, such as FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program, or that must provide more measurable results and ensure the Federal Government is not supplanting other stakeholders’ responsibilities, such as the Homeland Security Grant Program. For that reason, the Budget also proposes establishing a 25 percent non-Federal cost match for FEMA preparedness grant awards that currently require no cost match. This is the same cost-sharing approach as FEMA’s disaster recovery grants. The activities and acquisitions funded through these grant programs are primarily State and local functions. •

Link to the Trump budget blueprint...
By John Cornelison on 2/24/2017 11:37 AM
Your Bookmarks Will Need To Change Too!

The National Weather Service’s primary web site www.weather.gov plans to implement an upgrade. The improvement will involve the point ‘n click site specific forecasts and zone forecasts.

Once these changes occur on March 7, all your current forecast.weather.gov bookmarks will change. Links to a specific forecast page will display an error message that includes a URL to the new web site location. That is your opportunity to update your bookmarks to provide access to NWS forecasts quickly after the upgrade.

The primary focus of the upgrade is to make the forecast pages more reliable during weather events, but there are some benefits of new forecast pages as well that include:

· Addition of 7-day hourly forecast information to the point forecast page

· A new mobile-friendly landing and graphical/tabular forecast page

· Low-bandwidth optimization for all pages, on a partial roll-out at launch

...
By John Cornelison on 2/21/2017 8:46 AM

Date: May 5th, 6th, 7th.

Hours: 5th - 6PM to 9PM, 6th - 9AM to 5PM, 7th - 10AM to 3PM. Testing will start at 3PM.**

**Testing for any level amateur license will be available and open to anyone. Cost $15.

Cost: $35 + student to purchase The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual 3rd. Edition. Cost varies between Kindle version and paperback. $19 - $26

Place: Vashon Island Fire & Rescue, Main Station 55 - SW Bank Rd.

Training class will prepare the participant to take the technician's level amateur radio test being given Sunday, May 7th.

Contact Sharon Danielson AE7SD for additional information. kharazi (at) aol.com

By John Cornelison on 1/25/2017 7:06 AM
Emergency Preparedness & Response: A Half Day Basic Class on February 4 ... OR ...A 45-hour Course Packed With Skills Participation in CERT is highly rewarding for both you and your neighbors. If community support when problems arise is important to you, CERT will likely be an extraordinarily positive experience.  CERT originated in Los Angeles in 1994 to support the city fire department, and has been enhanced and extended to hundreds of communities by FEMA to help citizens safely help each other in various emergencies.   The rewards are: Increased safety at your home & businessIncreased personal preparedness for windstorms, earthquakes and power outages New life-saving and first aid skillsIncreased self-confidence New friendsParticipation in the Vashon communityStylish green hard-hat and hi-vis vest (for team) Requirements to be on the active team: Vashon resident - full-time or part-time Very basic physical fitnessBasic CERT course (3 parts; see back of this flyer) Several additional Vashon-specific...
By John Cornelison on 1/4/2017 8:35 AM
1-4-2017 at 8.25.05 AMA number of devastating earthquakes and powerful storms made 2016 the costliest twelve months for natural catastrophe losses in the last four years. Losses totaled US$ 175bn, a good two-thirds more than in the previous year, and very nearly as high as the figure for 2012 (US$ 180bn). The share of uninsured losses – the so-called protection or insurance gap – remained substantial at around 70%....
By John Cornelison on 11/18/2016 8:54 AM
CERT.512x324A few good (but currently inactive) CERTies needed for January 20 and 27 Refresher

The Refresher is an 8-hour review of medical and SAR (Search and Rescue), plus lots of updates for people who took the basic course awhile ago and would like to join the active team.  The course is held in two 4-hour sessions on Friday evenings.

If you’re currently active with CERT and would like to help with medical or an...
By John Cornelison on 11/4/2016 4:06 PM
OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee today issued a directive to state agencies to bolster Washington state efforts to prepare for a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

The directive establishes a new Resilient Washington subcabinet charged with providing a coordinated approach to preparing for and responding to a major earthquake or tsunami. The subcabinet’s efforts will address everything from educating the public about personal preparedness to planning for major disruptions to utility and fuel services and destruction of major roads, bridges and airports. The subcabinet will also develop recommendations and plans for ensuring availability of medical and human service operations.

“We know the question isn’t ‘if’ a large-scale earthquake will happen in our state, but how well we will be prepared,” Inslee said. “While there’s no way to fully anticipate all the impacts a large-scale earthquake will have on our infrastructure,...
By John Cornelison on 10/23/2016 2:52 PM
The Seattle Times took a look at the Cascadia Rising final draft report: we failed.

Not so much Vashon, but the state.

The article is at:

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/washington-states-plan-for-megaquake-grossly-inadequate-review-finds/

The draft report is at:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3152696-CR16-State-AAR-Final-Draft-Oct-21-2016.html

Executive Summary Overarching Conclusions A large magnitude Cascadia Subduction Zone fault earthquake and tsunami is perhaps one of the most complex disaster scenarios we face as emergency management and public safety officials in the Pacific Northwest. Due to this complexity, life-saving and life-sustaining response operations will hinge on the effective coordination...
By John Cornelison on 10/21/2016 11:23 AM
2016 Patient PosterThe Seattle/King County Clinic is a giant four-day FREE clinic.

Healthcare professionals from around the region volunteer to provide quality dental, vision, and medical care.  Patients receive free healthcare services including dental fillings and extractions, complete eye exams, free prescription eyeglasses, mammograms, Pap smears, flu vaccine, foot care, and much more.

When:

Thursday, October 27 through Sunday, October 30

Where:

Tickets will be distributed at the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center, 200 Thomas St (2nd North & Thomas St).  The Clinic will be held at Key Arena at Seattle Center, 401 1st Ave N Seattle, WA 98109

Patient outreach:...
By John Cornelison on 10/20/2016 3:41 PM
VashonBePrepared held its annual meeting yesterday at the Vashon Emergency Operations Center.

A simple affair this year, many of our partner organizations reviewed the last year’s activities and plans for the year and the coming year. See our list of accomplishments which soon should reflect some of these activities.

A key item ahead is to hopefully upgrade the VIFR Training Center, and merge our EOC into this larger location.

VashonBePrepared’s board then voted in a new set of bylaws, which cleaned up some antiquated language, but primarily enlarged the number of our partner organizations – many of whom have been participating informally for years:

New VashonBePrepared Partners Vashon Island School District (VISD) Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) Voice of Vashon (VoV) Vashon Chamber of Commerce ACS (replaces Vashon Maury Island Radio Club) ...
By John Cornelison on 10/14/2016 8:25 AM

	Woman cleaning inside of home after a storm.Most homes on Vashon are well built against the seasonal rains and water we face. Still, if a drain clogs, or the incoming rain is heavier than the system can take you may still wind up with a flooded basement or other area of your home.

FEMA has a number of guidelines borne of experience for how homeowners can handle floods. Although focused on floods from Hurricane Mathew out east, many of the same guidelines apply to floods that may occur on Vashon.

Check out FEMA’s flood clean-up guidelines here.

By John Cornelison on 10/14/2016 8:13 AM


As a glance outside will show, we’re currently experiencing a strong storm. Actually there are two storms, one a day away from the other.

Check local weather reports (e.g., NOAA or Weather Underground) for the latest reports as the predictions are changing fairly quickly.

In addition to the checklist on our website, here are some other points that may be helpful in your winter storm season preparations:

Water - If possible,...
By John Cornelison on 9/27/2016 11:50 AM

Seattle Colleges has generously offered to host an Incident Command System 100/200/700 Combination Course at no charge.

The course will be held Thu, October 13, 2016 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at South Seattle College, 6000 16th Ave SW, Seattle, WA.

If you are interested in participating in any of the VashonBePrepared groups, this is an excellent way to get up to speed on the terminology and concepts used on Vashon – and throughout the United States.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/incident-command-system-100200700-combo-course-tickets-27103829283

By John Cornelison on 9/27/2016 11:37 AM
Proclamation_Seattle_2016_Emergency_Preparedness_MonthIn an effort to prepare Seattle communities for ‘The Big One’ and other disasters Seattle may face, Mayor Murray has proclaimed October 2016 as Emergency Preparedness Month.

Please join the Office...
By John Cornelison on 6/11/2016 6:53 AM
CascadiaFeatureThanks to All Who Participated What a team! How is it possible that so many people can work together for four days and achieve so much?

The answer: It's what Vashon is all about, isn't it? Neighbors helping neighbors.

Many thanks to everyone who came to "play" in Vashon's Cascadia Rising earthquake exercise.

We had many new faces and our mailing list (http://goo.gl/qk7zTf)...
By John Cornelison on 5/21/2016 10:27 AM
Download a PDF version of this brochure (with better layout!) by clicking here.

Vashon Island Fire & Rescue Welcomes National Guard VIFR Chief Hank Lipe A Note from Fire Chief Hank Lipe Nobody could ever truly be ready for an earthquake as bad as the Cascadia scenario. It will overwhelm even the best efforts of our small fire district and the many organizations and volunteers in the VashonBePrepared coalition.

But Islanders are resilient and I know we will all work together as neighbors to take care of each other as best we can until mainland help arrives. Still, a community’s response to a large scale disaster is only as good as its planning and training. That’s...
By John Cornelison on 5/4/2016 5:09 PM
AlertKC-color King County is investing in a new regional public emergency alert and notification system which features a public alert service - ALERT King County - to keep residents informed about significant events or emergency situations.

ALERT King County replaces RPIN (Regional Public Information & Notification) and uses the capable CodeRED software to drive the system.

The new software offers enhanced features that allow officials to more precisely target...
By Vicky de Monterey Richoux on 9/14/2015 8:41 AM

VashonAlliedArts.org hosts an important lecturer on earthquakes, coming to Vashon in November.

By John Cornelison on 9/8/2015 3:42 PM
Alert SeattleStay informed when you are roaming the urban lands: Consider subscribing to AlertSeattle – the City’s new, real-time emergency alert and notification system.

When emergencies happen, be the first to know. AlertSeattle is your link to real-time, official notifications from the City of Seattle.

AlertSeattle is a free service that allows you to sign up online to receive customized alerts via text message, email, voice message, and on social media (Facebook and Twitter). This service is provided by the City of Seattle at no cost; however, message and data rates may apply.

In addition to emergency alerts, you can also choose to receive customizable community notifications. These will include notifications about severe weather,...
By Vicky de Monterey Richoux on 9/1/2015 9:31 AM
Best practice: Start small, maybe, but do start.
By Vicky de Monterey Richoux on 6/2/2015 8:55 PM

1) People of mountain villages and island communities may be similarly vulnerable in the event of severe disruption of critical systems and services.
2) Governments and NGOs will be hard-pressed to help, especially in outlying areas.
3) Household and community resilience may make the most difference during rescue, recovery, and rebuilding.

By John Cornelison on 6/2/2015 7:49 AM
imageLast Thursday, FEMA and its partners released the 2015 National Preparedness Report (NPR). The NPR is an annual status report summarizing the Nation's progress toward reaching the 2011 National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient nation. This report marks the fourth iteration of the NPR. The 2015 NPR places particular emphasis on highlighting preparedness progress in implementing the National Planning Frameworks. The Frameworks describe how the whole...
By John Cornelison on 4/29/2015 3:10 PM

http://www.arrl.org/images/view/Regulatory_/Color_Band_Chart_Image_1.jpgA Technician Test Prep class is schedule for May 15th 6PM to 9PM, 16th 10AM to 5PM, 17th 10AM - 3PM.

Cost of the class is $30 to cover instructors expense's, the cost of the test and an official ham license.

Additionally, students need to purchase a new textbook since the question pool has changed as of July 14th. Here is a link to the ARRL Store but this book is available at other outlets:

http://www.arrl.org/shop/ARRL-Ham-Radio-License-Manual-3rd-Edition/

To register for class, contact:

Sharon Danielson via email: kharazi (at) aol.com

By Vicky de Monterey Richoux on 4/18/2015 11:23 AM
Find me at the NERO table next Saturday.
By Vicky de Monterey Richoux on 4/18/2015 10:36 AM

Twenty-six students completed CERT training; what will they do next?

 

Best practice: train, cross-train, review, practice, drill!

By John Cornelison on 3/20/2015 5:10 PM
On March 25, 2014, we published this nadir view of debris and a barrier lake created by a major landslide near Oso, Washington; the image was acquired by the Landsat 8 satellite on March 23. - earthobservatory.nasa.govA year after Oso, Arts WA is hosting a way for poets to memorialize that tragic event. Here’s one great entry:

One March morning the landscape shrugged—

fields dammed the river, hillsides fattened and rolled

—a hungry black bear feasting on every fallen thing.

When there is no one to blame but the rainfall,

no trial, no jury, no jail—our cry for justice is empty.

We have only the hope of no one suffering,

that bodies succumbed the way an infant...
By Vicky de Monterey Richoux on 2/3/2015 4:29 PM

Opportunity for free training from experts in first aid, search and rescue, and other disaster response topics.

(UPDATE: CERT class is now full, but express your interest to get on the list for the next class.)

Best practice: Engaging in community preparedness helps us get better at household preparedness

By Vicky de Monterey Richoux on 2/3/2015 4:14 PM
Best practice: take advantage of good weather to review the basics
By Vicky de Monterey Richoux on 2/3/2015 10:33 AM
Vashon Community Emergency Response Team training opportunity

Best practice: engaging in ongoing, varied and specialized training programs makes participants even more resourceful for supporting their families and neighborhoods
By John Cornelison on 12/5/2014 10:09 AM
Two joint studies are out this week and indicate that the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013’s predictions of a global sea rise of a bit over 3 feet by the end of the century could be way off.

Apparently warm ocean water is already undermining a vast stretch of West Antarctica ice that could release enough water to raise sea levels by up to 11 feet in the next 100-200 years. 13 million people live within 10 vertical feet of the ocean and Miami, New Orleans, and New York City would be the cities most affected.

Read yesterday’s Washington Post’s article...
By John Cornelison on 12/4/2014 6:41 PM
12-4-2014 at 4.20.00 PMPersonal weather stations (PWS) supplement public weather stations, such as those at airports. Given the right equipment, citizens with a PWS can share their weather data with a number of services who will aggregate the data and help collectively provide better weather forecasts for the region.

Owners also get more...
By John Cornelison on 12/1/2014 9:32 AM
According to the LA Times, the entire west coast should get access to the first generation of early earthquake warnings as early as next year. Dependent on congress’ upcoming vote, the budget would be some $16 million annually.

The new system would be the first generation, after a bare-bones prototype system has proven the concept over the last year or so in a limited set of locations. California would go from 200 to 400 sensors while 275 sensors are apparently all that are currently planned for Oregon and Washington.

Specialized systems have been in place for years. For instance the Alaskan Way Viaduct automatically is closed...
By Vicky de Monterey Richoux on 11/24/2014 8:43 AM

Best practice: keep useful and comfy items in your car, to navigate seasonal surprises

By Vicky de Monterey Richoux on 11/17/2014 8:18 PM

Best practice: communicate periodically via social media or whatever medium suits your group.

By Vicky de Monterey Richoux on 11/17/2014 7:03 PM

Best practice: get informed about local hazards, and how to mitigate them for your home and neighborhood.

Best practice: celebrate milestones together, and reward outstanding accomplishments!

By John Cornelison on 11/13/2014 5:15 PM
Seattle to host Nov. 18th Twitter event to take questions about landslides

1916_Landslide_near_Duwamish_Head,_West_SeattleDid you know that most landslides occur between the months of October and April? And that 86 percent of landslides are caused to some extent by human activity? Landslide season is upon us and the City of Seattle is urging residents to take preventive measures to protect themselves and their property from possible landslides.

Heavy rains are likely this year for the Pacific Northwest. As the rainfall continues to increase throughout...
By John Cornelison on 11/10/2014 8:40 PM
11-10-2014 at 6.08.39 PMThe American Red Cross has released a slew of apps for the Android and Apple marketplace.

One of their latest - Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies - is oriented at 7-11 year olds...
By Vicky de Monterey Richoux on 11/10/2014 6:03 PM

Best practice: laminated map of your NERO, plus colored stickers to designate the status of each household.

Best practice: after an incident, use maps and forms to assess your neighborhood, then call 9-1-1 to report up.

Best practice: have older buildings reviewed by a contractor to make sure they have had seismic (earthquake) retrofits.

By John Cornelison on 11/10/2014 1:12 PM
20Most folks believe the National Weather Service just reports on the weather – but I remain skeptical. I actually think they know how to control it – when it fits their key goals.

As conclusive proof, realize that the NWS proclaimed this week as “Winter Weather Awareness Week”. As a direct result – not coincidentally as many naively assume – the nation is going to be plunged...
By John Cornelison on 11/5/2014 9:48 AM
WinterReady2013Handbook-1 The Vashon Beachcomber, publisher of last winter’s “Vashon Winter Ready 2013 Handbook” has kindly allowed VashonBePrepared to make the handbook available online. As we gear up for our annual winter storm season, you can review this great overview of winter preparedness on our Severe Storm page. Kudos also to VIFR, Voice of Vashon, Puget Sound Energy, and VashonBePrepared for their contributions to the handbook.

...
By John Cornelison on 11/4/2014 9:55 PM
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOver 25 ham radio operators showed up for the local amateur radio club’s bimonthly meeting tonight at Vashon’s Emergency Operations Center.

John Galus, past president of the club demonstrated the newly upgraded Local Area Communication Caches (LACCs) for the Dockton and Burton radio stations. (The north end and Tahlequah and 5th Station 55 caches have yet to receive the latest updates, but received upgrades in the form of hand-me-downs from the other caches.)

...
By Vicky de Monterey Richoux on 11/4/2014 3:35 PM

Best practice: combine Neighborhood Emergency Response Organizations with Block Watch.

Best practice: meet at least annually with your neighbors, to refresh information and include new residents.

Best practice: invite experts who can help you organize, provide useful tools, and support your efforts.

By John Cornelison on 10/29/2014 11:31 AM

SeismicMonitorHere are some interesting resource pages for Earthquakes:

Earthquakes Data Magnitude 5.0 and Over 2005 - 2014
http://krilloil.com/blog/earthquake-data/

Seismic Monitor
http://www.iris.edu/seismon/

Quakes - Live Earthquakes Map
http://quakes.globalincidentmap.com/

By John Cornelison on 10/22/2014 6:22 AM
VashonBePrepared Convenes Community Meeting on Landslide Risk 29Oct2014_AnnualMtg.1826x1200VashonBePrepared invites the entire community to learn more about landslide risks on Vashon, a risk that ranks in the top three for the Island, right up there along with earthquake and severe weather. The informational meeting, which will include a question and answer session, will take place on Wednesday, October 29th,...
By John Cornelison on 9/22/2014 7:27 AM
At least our knowledge of the Seattle Fault’s extent grew. This is according to USGS researcher Craig Weaver, as quoted in today’s Seattle Times article.

Apparently the quake occurred at the intersection of the Seattle Fault and another fault on the Olympic Peninsula. The article also references a 1995 quake near Vashon with magnitude 5 – which also turned out to be along the Seattle Fault.

The picture to the right (from the USGS)...
By John Cornelison on 8/27/2014 1:13 PM

According to UW’s John Vidale, as reported by KING-TV and The Seattle Times, getting an early warning system in place for WA would cost some $17 million annually. We’ve a rudimentary system, but that’s seemingly not ready for prime time. It apparently is a priority for California’s legislators, but not (quite yet) ours. Maybe that will change!

More about California’s system – which gave a 10-second notice to the recent Napa quake is available at CBS.

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