VashonBePrepared Disaster Preparedness Blogs

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Disaster news and links of interest for Vashonites
By John Cornelison on 9/23/2011 2:43 PM

According to the Herald Tribute, Paine Field is the 1st non-military federal staging area to receive certification to launch evacuations or medical treatment for disasters anywhere in the U.S. See the Press release here.

By John Cornelison on 9/23/2011 2:35 PM


image"Public Health Preparedness: 2011 State-by-State Update on Laboratory Capabilities and Response Readiness Planning," is the latest report by the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response that evaluates the nation’s ability to respond to public health emergencies such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters. This report focuses on public health laboratories, which are critical for identifying and understanding health threats and disease outbreaks, and response readiness planning, which...
By John Cornelison on 9/23/2011 7:12 AM

The Heritage Foundation’s David Muhlhausen challenged the efficacy of the DHS's Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grant program. While there may not be adequate independent review of the results, I know there is good competition for these funds in King County and they are going to solid programs. Read the interview at: http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/many-dhs-grants-ineffective-lack-proper-oversight

By John Cornelison on 9/21/2011 11:32 AM


imageConnect to https://connect.hsin.gov/pets/ 1:50 pm (PST?) on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. (Enter as a guest.)

No registration is required, and the webinar is free.

From the home to the farm, pets, livestock, and animals are an important part of our lives.  However, when it comes to preparing for disasters, they can pose some unique challenges and it's important that they are included in emergency and disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

If you are part of an organization that does work in the...
By John Cornelison on 8/26/2011 4:48 AM


VashonTrueValueIt’s great to note that Vashon True Value’s online store has a special section for Emergency Preparedness! (Hopefully they will soon round this out to include all the items from VashonBePrepared’s disaster checklists.) Other local stores...
By John Cornelison on 8/23/2011 12:27 PM

The region between Richmond and Charlottesville in Virginia received a 5.9 magnitude earthquake at 1:51 p.m. on Tuesday.

Colorado got a 5.3 quake near Trinidad just before Noon. The only larger quakes since 1882 were from human activity: explosives or drilling – pumping waste underground that apparently lubricated the fault line!

The USGS reports there was no correlation between the two quakes.

Social media (Twitter) carried many reports on these…

By John Cornelison on 8/13/2011 11:58 AM


2011 Hazus Conference, Seattle, WAThe Associated Press came to this week’s 5th Annual Hazus conference held at the federal building and wrote up a nice piece citing (yet again) that we are not ready for the huge quakes possible from any number of faults, but especially the Seattle and Cascadia faults:

   Of particular worry to government agencies - and emergency planners like Schelling - is the 680-mile long Cascadia fault line, which runs just 50 miles off Washington's shore. Scientists have found that a big 8.0 to 9.0 earthquake has hit that fault line about every 500 years. The last one struck in 1700.    According to a 2005 study that used Hazus data, such a strong earthquake would level parts of the region, bringing landslides,...
By John Cornelison on 8/7/2011 1:54 PM


In case you are following the debate on auctioning off the “D” block – dearly desired by public safety officials for helping solve the interoperability issues so notable during the 9/11 attacks – check out this latest story by the National Journal which reports the legislation is definitely in play with the latest budget battles. (VashonBePrepared has not taken a stand on this issue, but knows many of you are tracking this issue!)

...
By John Cornelison on 7/14/2011 3:10 PM


 

Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference 2012 April 10-11, 2012 Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, Tacoma, WA

 

Call for Presentations - Deadline - September 15, 2011

Complete the application online at www.piepc.org

Researchers, scholars, and practitioners in emergency management are invited to participate in the Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference to be held at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center in Tacoma, WA on April 10-11, 2012.

Partners in Emergency Preparedness has conducted a very successful regional conference each spring for over 15 years. The Conference has grown into the largest...
By John Cornelison on 7/9/2011 9:54 PM


imageOregon and Washington are likely to have a very serious earthquake in future decades, according to a disturbing article in the Oregonian.

“Within the next 50 years… Washington and northern Oregon face a 10 to 15 percent probability of an offshore quake powerful enough to kill thousands and launch a tsunami that would level coastal cities. … the Northwest is dangerously unprepared...
By John Cornelison on 7/8/2011 8:42 PM


Hazard Mitigation Grant ProgramsFEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs provide funding for eligible mitigation activities that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages. Currently, FEMA administers the following HMA grant programs:

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)

Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM)

Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA)

Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC)

...
By John Cornelison on 7/8/2011 7:23 PM


President Obama and FEMA Administrator Fugate at White HouseThe key Washington insider’s news organization has a new positive interview with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. It sounds like he wants to involve the community, and actually go beyond the...
By John Cornelison on 7/8/2011 9:49 AM


An oil spill off Vashon was one of the first incidents where a team of Vashon CERTs and Public Information volunteers deployed, back on October 14, 2004. As an island with precious habitat and adjoining shipping channels, Vashon residents need to think not only of land based but water based incidents too.

Responses to a water based incident, such as an oil or hazardous materials spill, are based on the annually updated Northwest Area Contingency Plan (NWACP). The Northwest Area Committee (NWAC) and Regional Response Team 10 (RRT10) are currently completing updates to the NWACP for the 2011 version.

Here is...
By John Cornelison on 7/5/2011 11:40 AM


ReadyBusiness_LogoSeptember is National Preparedness Month (NPM)! This awareness month is sponsored by the Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps. NPM is held each September and is designed to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities

September 2011 is the eighth annual NPM and this year’s slogan is: “This September: A Time to Remember. A Time...
By John Cornelison on 7/5/2011 9:25 AM


Registration is open during July ONLY for the upcoming NW Citizen Corps Expo, to be held from 7:30 AM to 5 PM on August 20th at the Washington State Fire Training Academy (east of North Bend on I-90).

Begun in 2003 as the CERT Expo, the scope was broadened in 2008 to be a Citizen Corps Expo. The intended audience is trained and registered CERT volunteers, MRC medical professionals, and ham radio operators. The cost is $30, and includes a full-day of training and exercise, light breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages. The NW Citizen Corps Expo 2011 is operating under Mission Number 11-T-336, which provides liability coverage to locally registered Emergency Workers.

Learn more about the Citizen Corps at www.CitizenCorps.gov

Agenda

The...
By John Cornelison on 6/29/2011 3:16 PM


US_CERT_Presence.110629In this issue of the 12 page CERT National Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 4, you will read about the creative and diverse ways CERT members serve their communities when they aren’t activated for emergency situations.

Also featured in this issue is an article on the Pasadena Community College CERT’s full-scale ShakeOut exercise, and the Denver CERT program’s success in building community partnerships....
By John Cornelison on 6/29/2011 9:38 AM


imageThe King County Healthcare Coalition is a network of healthcare organizations and providers working together to strengthen emergency preparedness and response. A voluntary organization administered by Public Health – Seattle & King County, the Coalition is open to all organizations and individuals that provide or support health care services in King County.

The Seattle...
By John Cornelison on 6/27/2011 10:53 AM


Field Day 2011 - June 25-26!36 amateur radio operators and elected officials attended Vashon-Maury Island Radio Club’s 2011 Field Day Saturday and Sunday.

The formal objective for Field Day is:

To work as many stations as possible on any and all amateur bands (excluding the 60, 30, 17, and 12-meter bands) and to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions. Field Day is open to all amateurs in the areas covered by the ARRL/RAC Field Organizations and countries within IARU Region 2. DX stations residing in other regions may be contacted for credit, but are not eligible to submit entries.

...
By John Cornelison on 6/27/2011 10:50 AM


John Galus will give an Introduction to Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) to VIFR firefighters and EMTs at VIFR Fire Station 55 at 7 PM(?) on July 5th.

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.

For details on the Western Washington Section see: www.arrl.org/Groups/view/western-washington or wwa.arrl.org. Washington State ARES info is at: www.wastateares.org

...
By John Cornelison on 6/24/2011 5:56 AM


6-24-2011 at 6.47.55 AMIf you’ve not come across them, Paul Nichols has created several time lapse earthquake maps. Working at the University of Canterbury's Digital Media Group, he takes USGS or GeoNet data and plots it using the Google Maps API to create a fascinating animation.

The main message is that “the” quake is actually a “quake swarm” - with a few prominent releases that really stand out amongst a background of thousands of smaller...
By John Cornelison on 6/22/2011 1:14 PM


cdc_logoThe CDC has a slew of professional, tested and vetted PSAs that could come in handy on Vashon after a disaster.

They have both disaster specific PSAs:

Earthquakes Extreme Heat Floods Hurricanes Wildfires Winter Weather As well as generic messages for:

Mobile Devices, Staying Safe After a Storm, Food and Water, Prescription Drugs, Cleanup, and Coping As well as Disaster Information for Specific...
By John Cornelison on 6/14/2011 5:59 PM


wa_rcw_wacMany answers to questions you may (or may not!) have had are to be found in the following section of law:

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=38.52

The current list:

38.52.005 State military department to administer emergency management program -- Local...
By John Cornelison on 6/14/2011 4:41 PM


The Seattle Times posted a special section on June 10th with useful tips for those with (or concerned about) a landslide. My neighbor who had a very expensive landslide late last year just pointed this useful information out to me. Read the full report at: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/realestate/2015278322_realslidersbar12.html Where to get more information on landslides Chris Winters

Special to The Seattle Times

GREG GILBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES

A crack in the earth in March made the foundation slip at this home on Burl Place in South Everett. It was declared unsafe and the owners moved out.

...
By John Cornelison on 6/14/2011 6:42 AM


“The United States is the most severe weather-prone country on Earth according to the National Weather Service. Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and other natural disasters can strike without warning and force you to evacuate your home or cause disruptions in mail service.”

I’ve not found confirmation for this, but this quote comes from a FEMA press release this morning urging electronic deposits for federal benefits (over checks that cost more money, get lost or stolen), so I presume it is accurate.

...
By John Cornelison on 6/12/2011 10:06 AM


There is critical legislation regarding public safety organizations’ ability to communicate – without paying telecommunication companies huge fees (subsidies?!). A reprint on one side of this issue follows. (Note that VashonBePrepared has not taken a stance on this or any other legislative to date. We may in the future – our 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status only prevents us from spending a “substantial” portion of our budget for influencing legislation.)

The Politics of the D-Block: Now is the Time to Communicate with Your Members of Congress

Bill Webb has served as Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) since 1995. Established in 1989, CFSI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy institute designed to enhance Congressional awareness about the concerns and needs of the fire and emergency services. In his capacity, Bill works closely with members of Congress and fire service leaders on developing federal legislation to improve the readiness of our nation's fire and emergency services. William M. Webb, Executive Director, Congressional Fire Services Institute...
By John Cornelison on 6/10/2011 9:59 AM


NEHRP Impact on the Built Environment - FEMA P749There are many federal entities that sponsor research, but a very few like the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) which provides a critical link between important research findings and practical application. For us in Washington—the second highest...
By John Cornelison on 6/10/2011 9:01 AM


Figure 2 Major tectonic plates (courtesy of USGS). For a more complete explanation of plate tectonics, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dynamic/dynamic.pdfThe Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce that Earthquake-Resistant Design Concepts:...
By John Cornelison on 6/9/2011 7:30 AM


Recent Mississippi Damage - from www.msema.orgI heard that “our” very own Don Price recently served as the head of ESF-6 for FEMA’s recovery efforts in Mississippi! He and other locals who have been serving afield will present their debrief on Tuesday, June 21st, from 1 – 3 PM. The location is the King County Office of Emergency Management Room 114 – Main Coordination Center.

There have been ground breaking developments in Children’s issues, FNSS, ADA, ESF 6 multi-agency coordination and more. Lessons learned, best practices and how to apply them to our local operations will all be discussed.

Speakers:

Don Price, Emergency Management Program Manager, King County...
By John Cornelison on 6/9/2011 6:38 AM




Yet another post on the value of cash – versus unsolicited donations of (often inappropriate) goods and supplies comes from the UPS Foundation’s Humanitarian Relief Program Manager. Just back from the annual meeting of NVOAD, held in Kansas City – hours from Joplin, he had the following take-homes:

Donate Money If Donating Goods, Verify Items Will be Accepted and Used For Volunteers, Take Advantage of Disaster Assistance Training He recommends helpful web tools: Aidmatrix Network and HandsOnNetwork.org....
By John Cornelison on 6/8/2011 10:16 AM


securing_water_heater

Are your bookcases secured - or your water heater? There are often personal tasks that we all need to accomplish - but need a bit of advice or to see the basics before tackling these projects. The following were designed for exactly this purpose!

For our media outreach efforts, and for individual preparedness, please be aware of the following videos produced for Washington residents.  These videos were produced in partnership with Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management and the Washington State Emergency Management Division. Funding for the project was made possible through grants from Governor Christine Gregoire, Washington State Citizen Corps and a donation from Puget Sound Energy. 

...
By John Cornelison on 6/7/2011 2:00 PM


imageSeattle, Washington, June 1, 2011 – On Friday, March 11, 2011 at 2:46 PM (local time), the northeast coast of Japan was struck by a magnitude 9.0 (M9.0) subduction earthquake as the boundary between the Pacific and the North American plates ruptured along an offshore section. The rupture extended about 200 miles along the Japan coast, resulting in approximately 100 feet of vertical slip and causing a series of devastating tsunamis. A similar event along the Cascadia...
By John Cornelison on 6/7/2011 12:31 PM


CERT Training materialsLearn about the activities of CERTs across the country in the CERT in Action! stories just posted at the national CERT website:

Bay, Texas CERT Partners with Red Cross, Community, to Respond to Apartment Fire...
By John Cornelison on 6/7/2011 12:03 PM


hazus-logoMark your calendars!  The Annual Hazus Conference will be held in Seattle, Washington, August 10 – 12, 2011, at the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building. 

HAZUS-MH is software developed by FEMA that analyzes risk from natural hazards in communities. To register for this FREE conference, please visit www.hazus.net. From their site:

HAZUS-MH is a powerful risk assessment methodology used to analyze potential losses from natural hazards including floods, hurricane winds and earthquakes. HAZUS uses state-of-the-art Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software combined with science, engineering and mathematical modeling to map and display hazard data and the results of damage and economic loss estimates for buildings and infrastructure. ...
By John Cornelison on 6/7/2011 11:52 AM


Camp Burton GroundsAs initially announced at VashonBePrepared’s Annual Meeting, King County Office of Emergency Management is making arrangements with Camp Burton...
By John Cornelison on 6/7/2011 6:36 AM


About 42 million people were forced to flee their homes because of natural disasters around the world in 2010, more than double the number during the previous year, experts said Monday.

One reason for the increase in the figure could be climate change, and the international community should be doing more to contain it, the experts said.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre said the increase from 17 million displaced people in 2009 was mainly due to the impact of "mega-disasters" such as the massive floods in China and Pakistan and the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti.

- Read full story: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/06/501364/main20069401.shtml

...
By John Cornelison on 6/6/2011 9:31 AM


Are You Ready? Guide

The FEMA publication Are You Ready?: An In-depth Guide For Citizen Preparedness, is a 200-page comprehensive guide that walks the reader through a step-by-step approach to getting informed about local emergency plans, how to identify hazards that effect their local area, and how to develop and maintain an emergency communications plan and disaster supplies kit. Other topics covered include evacuation, emergency public shelters, animals in disaster, and information specific to people with disabilities. Are You Ready? also provides in-depth information on specific hazards including what to do before, during, and after each hazard type.

You can download English and Spanish preparedness guides or order them for free...
By John Cornelison on 6/6/2011 8:28 AM


 



Vashon Island Fire & Rescue Recruit Video









Vashon's Jojo has produced a great new video aimed at helping recuit volunteers to help the community with the vital work of fighting fires & helping provide medical help. Congratulations!

...
By John Cornelison on 6/4/2011 5:36 AM


imageFlights of fancy (and a bit of vulgarity) continue over in the editorial offices of the Onion as they present their take on recent disasters: a personified Earth is tired of humans’ presence.

How society views and ‘socializes’ disaster is as important as the ‘science’ predicting and understanding disaster...
By John Cornelison on 6/3/2011 8:25 AM


Up to forty percent of businesses affected by a natural or man-made major disaster never reopen ReadyBusiness_Logo

Washington, D.C., June 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Up to 40% of businesses affected by a natural or man-made disaster never reopen, according to the Insurance Information Institute. In a nationwide effort to raise the business community’s awareness about how to prepare their businesses and employees...
By John Cornelison on 6/2/2011 12:43 PM


Mass care has a LOT of details (DSHR Groups Activities, from claremont.redcross.org/DRdashboard)The goal of this free forum is to bring together government, non-profit, faith-based and other partners who would have a role in Mass Care (shelter, feeding, distribution of emergency...
By John Cornelison on 5/31/2011 12:14 PM


Scientists now can track the minuscule motions of shifting plates as they happen, thanks to an expanded network of GPS sensors that covers the region like a blanket and beams back data almost instantly.



"If the Pacific Coast or Mount Rainier moves a couple of centimeters, we'll see it within five seconds," said Tim Melbourne, director of the Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array, or PANGA. Once the network's "real-time" functions are fully operational, PANGA will be able to pinpoint some earthquakes more quickly and accurately than traditional seismometers — and eventually issue warnings before destructive shaking hits cities or tsunami waves slam the shore.

Scientists use the GPS data to calculate the gradual buildup of strain on faults and identify the places most likely...
By John Cornelison on 5/31/2011 7:42 AM


Carbon emissions from energy use reached a record level last year, up 5% from the previous record in 2008, the International Energy Agency said.

The Paris-based agency called the findings a "serious setback" to limit global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F), which was set at the U.N. climate change talks in Cancun, Mexico, last year.

"Our latest estimates are another wake-up call," said Fatih Birol, chief economist at the IEA. "The world has edged incredibly close to the level of emissions that should not be reached until 2020 ... it will be extremely challenging to succeed in achieving this global goal agreed in Cancun."

Carbon emissions climbed to a record 30.6 gigatonnes in 2010. For the 2-degree goal to remain attainable, emissions in 2020 can't be greater than 32 gigatonnes.

-- www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/05/31/world.carbon.emissions/index.html?hpt=T2

...
By John Cornelison on 5/28/2011 7:40 AM


2011 Amateur Radio Week ProclamationVashon Maury Island Radio Club will celebrate Washington’s Amateur Radio Week on Vashon with our own Field Day. (We’ll actually be over achievers by holding a two day event, on June 24 & 25!)

Events kick off Saturday with breakfast at Sporty's (an hour early at 8:00 AM) with a procession to the venue on Sunrise Ridge where we’ll...
By John Cornelison on 5/26/2011 12:43 PM


Federal support is growing for tribes to have increased resources and lines of communication with the federal government when natural and other disasters strike.

Several tribal officials have complained in recent years that when snowstorms, floods, or other emergencies have occurred in their areas, they have faced a slow response from the federal government in ways that might not happen to other communities. Lack of direct communication, poor coordination, and slow outreach have all been cited by tribal leaders as reasons for the problem.

- Full story by Rob Capriccioso on May 25 at: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2011/05/tribal-sovereignty-disaster-legislation-introduced/

...
By John Cornelison on 5/26/2011 11:52 AM


imageA second disaster threatens to overtake Joplin MO by way of a tidal wave of unsolicited goods (things like clothing, miscellaneous household items, mixed or perishable foodstuffs, diapers...) and volunteers who just show up to help.  Critical resources are being redirected from the important work of response and relief to managing what has become a crush of unneeded donated items.  Social networking sites are promoting collection drives while radio stations, small and...
By John Cornelison on 5/26/2011 10:49 AM


Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN) is a new public safety system, announced May 10th, to send free text alerts to cell phones. Geographically-targeted Presidential, emergency and AMBER alerts will use unique vibrations and tones to send alerts of imminent threats to safety. PLAN complements the existing Emergency Alert System (prior to 1998 known as the Emergency Broadcast System) and will be implemented by the FCC and FEMA. While the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) Is apparently voluntary, the Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) Act requires those wireless carriers to activate PLAN technology by April 2012.  AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have pledged earlier support.

IPAWS-OPEN Architecture, per www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/ipaws/ipaws_cap_mg.pdfThe...
By John Cornelison on 5/26/2011 6:58 AM


“900 security cameras feed into a central command center”

I see plaid! Photo: VashonSoftwareLast week, a senior DHS official examined security measures at the nation's largest ferry system; Betsy Markey, DHS's assistant secretary of intergovernmental affairs, rode aboard a ferry last Thursday in Seattle as it sailed from Colman Dock to Bainbridge Island; Markey's visit comes as a part of...
By John Cornelison on 5/25/2011 8:29 AM


Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano (May 19) Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the release of FY 2011 grant guidance and application kits for 12 DHS grant programs totaling $2.1 billion to assist states, urban areas, tribal and territorial governments, non-profit agencies, and the private sector in strengthening our nation's ability to prevent, protect, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. In FY 2011, DHS grants were reduced by $780 million from the FY 2010 enacted level, nearly a quarter of FY 2010 DHS grant funding.  Read the full announcement here.

...
By John Cornelison on 5/24/2011 7:37 AM


Cliff Mass“According to the regional climate simulations being done by my group and others at the UW, global warming will bring MORE low clouds during the spring around here.” – Cliff Mass in his June Gloom and KUOW Weekday blog. While he thinks most people will like the hotter summers also forecast - I’m not so sure I like that!

Sadly, if you hadn’t heard KUOW has ‘fired’ Cliff Mass over editorializing on the Weekday Show. His shows have been insightful – and even brilliant. I’m surprised KUOW thinks their audience can’t handle an occasional opinion.

...
By John Cornelison on 5/22/2011 7:45 PM


Eric HoldemanIt was a different type of Judgment Day and it came early on Thursday when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the 2011 Homeland Security Grants and the numbers were not pretty.  Most funding was down significantly and for others the funds were nonexistent.  The only true winners in the process were the big cities like New York that retained their full funding amounts--based on risk. See the Wall Street Journal article Some Cities Lose Funding to Prevent Terrorism

...

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