John's Vashon Preparedness Blog

All of John Cornelison's blogs are listed on this page chronologically. Use the Calendar or Search functions in the right column to search through time, via keyword, or look at the parent blog page to view all authors' posts.

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By John Cornelison on 6/7/2012 11:19 AM


 

ff_1283059Nearly a hundred islanders took part in the regional Evergreen Quake on June 5th & 6th at the Vashon Emergency Operations Center.

It was fairly historic for a number of reasons:

- Initial test of Operation Lifeline (King County’s redirecting their passenger ferry or hiring a barge – to support emergency needs on Vashon) - The Planning Section has adopted the standard ICS Planning Clock - and had the 1st real run-though of this during a major exercise - The Public Information Team...
By John Cornelison on 5/14/2012 7:29 AM


Wireless Emergency Alerts Capable LogoAs part of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) program, the Wireless Emergency WEA) service is starting up this month. Consumers do not sign up for the free, location-based 90 character text messaging service - but if they wish can opt out of weather and AMBER alerts – but not presidential alerts. Alerts will be issued for tsunamis, extreme winds, ice storms,...
By John Cornelison on 3/21/2012 8:44 AM


imageThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed consolidating their grants program for fiscal year 2013. This was met with criticism in Washington DC Tuesday.  Democrats particularly questioned the proposed consolidation of 16 individual grant programs into the National Preparedness Grant Program (NPGP)  during a hearing of the House Homeland Security emergency preparedness subcommittee. There were calls for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), port grants, transit grants and the State Homeland Security Grant Program to remain...
By John Cornelison on 3/1/2012 8:41 AM


The DHS recently released the FY 2012 guidance and application kits for seven grant programs that support the National Preparedness Goal. Grants total more than $1.3 billion, a reduction of nearly $1 billion from FY 2011 and $1.5 billion below the President Obama’s FY 2012 request. The DHS preparedness grants give priority this year to applicants in the nation’s highest-risk areas, including urban areas, with a focus on terrorism prevention. “Given the significant reduction in grant funding this year, we are maximizing limited grant dollars by setting clear priorities and focusing on the areas that face the greatest risk,” DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement.

- Read full report at http://urgentcomm.com/policy_and_law/news/preparedness-grants-cut-20120229/

By John Cornelison on 1/5/2012 8:18 AM


qslogo2VashonBePrepared has been working with the Debi Richards and the Vashon Chamber of Commerce and a large number of local businesses this fall to promote business disaster preparedness. A useful new national program has just been announced that promises to provide some great guidance for all of us. The big aim:

Identify your risk Make a mitigation project plan Implement techniques for ensuring and enhancing business resilience What a great new goal for Vashon businesses in 2012!

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)...
By John Cornelison on 10/21/2011 11:31 AM


HAZUS-MH: Earthquake, Wind, FloodHazus is a nationally applicable standardized methodology that contains models for estimating potential losses from earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. Hazus uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to estimate physical, economic, and social impacts of disasters.

HAZUS-MH is software developed by FEMA that analyzes risk from natural hazards in communities. Although Hazus-MH itself is free, it requires the users to have ArcGIS with ArcView license level.

Existing HAZUS-MH runs for Vashon (i.e. those for our 2005 Earthquake Study,...
By John Cornelison on 10/15/2011 7:09 AM


Feeds into the Washington State's Emergency Alert System



Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.

 

The first ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will occur on Nov 9 at 2 pm ET and last for about 3 minutes, according to Damon Penn, of National...
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 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 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 6/6/2011 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 6/3/2011 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 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 5/25/2011 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 5/22/2011 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

...
By John Cornelison on 4/27/2011 9:27 AM
imageSeveral major source of funds for Vashon – as distributed from FEMA to the State and then to the King County OEM have taken a major hit. Future funding is going to be tighter:

The State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSP), which supports a variety of state and local endeavors, including exercises, training, planning and equipment was cut by $225 million. That’s slightly more than 26 percent of the program, leaving a 2011 budget of $725 million. FEMA asked for $1 billion for the SHSP program. ...
By John Cornelison on 4/27/2011 9:15 AM
imageThe Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are pleased to share the following compilations of FEMA earthquake publications, at no cost:

Earthquake Publications for Teachers and Kids, FEMA P-710CD...
By John Cornelison on 4/25/2011 12:34 PM
image As Eric Holdeman recently pointed out, federal disaster funding is all wrong in 2011:

“The Disaster Relief Fund is getting $2.65B (that's a B for billion dollars) and the Predisaster Mitigation Fund is at $50M.”

We’re catching the cows after they’ve left the barn and not heeding Ben Franklin’s advice that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” which is a 1:16 ratio – not the 1:53 ratio federal politicians have apparently settled on.

...
By John Cornelison on 4/25/2011 9:02 AM
image The Five-Year NIMS Training Plan, originally released February 2008 is being revised. The comment period for the new National Incident Management System Training Plan ended February 22, several hundred comments have been adjudicated, and just last week the document was transmitted up to FEMA Deputy Administrator Manning,...
By John Cornelison on 4/12/2011 7:14 AM
Five active U.S. nuclear reactors -- the Diablo Canyon Power Plant and San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in California; the South Texas Project near the Gulf Coast; the Waterford Steam Electric Station in Louisiana; and the Brunswick Steam Electric Plant in North Carolina -- are situated in seismic activity-prone zones.

William Leith, acting associate director for natural hazards at the US Geological Survey, said that although most nuclear plants are in the central and eastern United States, where earthquakes are rare, the USGS ranks thirty-nine states as having a high or moderate earthquake risk. USA Today notes that new studies have shown that at least twenty magnitude-9.0 earthquakes have struck off the coast of Northern California, Oregon, and Washington in the past 20,000 years, most recently in 1700, he said.

-- www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/five-us-nuclear-plants-earthquake-zones

...
By John Cornelison on 4/11/2011 6:19 AM
FEMA logoNational Volunteer Week is observed 10-16 April, and according to  FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, it’s all about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities.

“National Volunteer Week offers an invaluable moment in time to celebrate this nation’s volunteers, and sounds a clarion call for all of us to help strengthen our communities,” said Murphy.  “Planning for disasters means that we must plan for the Whole Community, including people of different ages and those with various access and functional needs.  It means planning for children – and not just thinking of them as small adults. It means planning for the elderly, and planning for families without access to personal transportation.  Whole Community preparedness...
By John Cornelison on 4/8/2011 4:44 PM
Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-8) - National PreparednessOn March 30th, President Obama signed a Presidential Direction on the subject of “National Preparedness”, reflecting upon H1N1, Deepwater Horizon Christchurch and Sendai events - and lessons learned since the previous December 2003, Bush-era policy. 

Unusually, the text was released today, only the second of his six directives released to date, per...
By John Cornelison on 4/8/2011 3:56 PM

FEMA just announced this.

By John Cornelison on 4/8/2011 2:45 PM
http://www.gsnmagazine.com/node/22726 describes a major multi-state, national exercise simulating the 1811 New Madrid earthquake – actually a series of seismic events (up to seven on the Richter Scale) from December 1811 into 1812. According to FEMA, NLE 2011 will be the first NLE to simulate a natural hazard and also uses a state-based planning process rather than federal.

From FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate comes word of a new base plan for such events, the National Exercise Program Base Plan, as updated a few weeks ago, on March 18. National standards for such exercises are coordinated through the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP).

By John Cornelison on 12/7/2010 5:22 PM
FEMA offers a great set of coursework you can take over the Internet. Now they’ve announced some new courses: The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers self-paced courses designed for people who have emergency management responsibilities and the general public. All are offered free-of-charge to those who qualify for enrollment. To get a complete listing of courses, click on Course List link above.

FEMA’s Independent Study Program offers courses that support the nine mission areas identified by the National Preparedness Goal.

Incident Management

Operational Planning

Disaster Logistics

Emergency Communications

Service to Disaster Victims

Continuity Programs

Public Disaster Communications

Integrated Preparedness

Hazard Mitigation

New Courses Launched IS-18.11 - FEMA EEO Employee Course 2011...
By John Cornelison on 6/18/2010 12:16 PM

FEMA Administrator Fugate Applauds President Obama's Appointment Of Kenneth Murphy As Regional Administrator
Fri, 18 Jun 2010 07:00:54 -0500

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate today applauded President Obama's appointment of Kenneth Dean Murphy as FEMA Regional Administrator for Region X, which encompasses Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

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