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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Author: Created: 6/15/2010 5:35 PM RssIcon
Disaster news and links of interest for Vashonites
By John Cornelison on 3/30/2011 9:25 AM
ff_1267241.1000x693Thanks to Phil W7PDZ, Tim W7TRH, Jim WA7KYI & VIFR’s Bob Larsenff_1267225...
By John Cornelison on 3/28/2011 8:49 AM
 knightfoundation.org_dotAsset_377221.pdf-pg15-Haitian Media and Communications Ecosystem You’ve no doubt heard about volunteers across the globe helping assist with Haitian, Libyan, and other crises by crowd sourcing: geolocating and tagging new reports and data from a wide variety of news sources like phones, web forms, tweets, email and more. By filtering for keywords and locating these reports on a map, a wide variety of emergency managers, researchers, and citizens can rapidly get a better feeling for late breaking information – well before a reporter or others have had time to synthesize the data into a summary or overview.

...
By John Cornelison on 3/25/2011 8:34 AM
Release Date and Time:03-25-2011 08:19:00 AM

"Triangle of Life" theory is dismissed by quake experts. The technique is not applicable for earthquake experiences in the U.S. The safest response is to "Drop, Cover, and Hold" until the ground stops shaking.

With images of Japan’s devastating earthquake fresh on our minds, so is another round of Internet misinformation about what should be your first move during an earthquake. The King County Office of Emergency Management wants you to know that "Drop, Cover, and Hold" is the best method to protect yourself during an earthquake in the United States, especially in our own quake-prone region.

“Unfortunately, emails have circulated recently, touting the ‘Triangle of Life’ technique, which incorrectly claims that people can use ‘voids’ or ‘empty spaces’ as a way to survive earthquakes,” said Hillman Mitchell, Director of the King County Office of Emergency Management. “Simply put, the technique is not applicable for earthquake experiences in the United...
By John Cornelison on 3/21/2011 12:21 PM

Jim Mullen, Director, Emergency Management DivisionJim Mullen, director of the Washington State Emergency Management Division and president of the National Emergency Management Association, wrote an excellent op-ed in yesterday’s Seattle Times, citing the value in maintaining funding for disaster preparedness – which is currently under threat. Read it online at:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2014538720_guest21mullen.html

By John Cornelison on 3/17/2011 6:35 AM
Residents and business owners in unincorporated King County have a new way to report non-emergency crimes and traffic complaints.

The King County Sheriff's Office launched a new online reporting system today at www.reporttosheriff.org. Citizens living in unincorporated King County and the 12 communities that contract with the Sheriff's Office can use the website to report a variety of crimes, including vandalism, car prowls, thefts from vehicles or yards, identity theft, mail and bicycle thefts and nuisance phone calls. Abandoned vehicles, suspicious activity, drug activity and chronic traffic problems also can be reported.

Crime victims will be able to print out copies of the their reports so the information can be sent to insurance companies.

The system is meant for non-emergencies. Emergencies and in-progress crimes should still be reported to 911. "This new reporting system was developed for the convenience of folks who may not want to call in or wait for a deputy," Sheriff Sue Rahr said in a press release.

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By John Cornelison on 3/15/2011 9:16 PM
japan_google.pngToday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan has had surprisingly limited impacts on the structure and routing dynamics of the regional Internet. Of roughly 6,000 Japanese network prefixes in the global routing table, only about 100 were temporarily withdrawn from service — and that number has actually decreased in the hours since the event. Other carriers around the region have reported congestion and drops in traffic due to follow-on effects of the quake, but most websites are up and operational, and the Internet is available to support critical communications.

Those who have been following our blogs on Libya...
By John Cornelison on 3/15/2011 10:04 AM
Diesel-powered unit will serve community shelter during power outages 

Franciscan Foundation President Jon FloraFranciscan Health System has donated a large emergency-power generator to the community of Vashon Island so residents can have a safe, warm, lighted building in which to seek shelter when Mother Nature knocks out electricity to homes and businesses...
By John Cornelison on 3/14/2011 7:47 PM

www.abc.net.au/news/events/japan-quake-2011/beforeafter.htm has incredible photos of the Japanese earthquake’s aftereffects – as contrasted with an initial view of the same scene.

By John Cornelison on 3/14/2011 7:32 PM

You may think your insurance policy covers your home, apartment or business for earthquakes and floods. The Northwest Insurance Council thinks you should take a closer look, because many people are not insured for such national disasters.

The Olympian reports the insurance council is urging Washington residents to consider both earthquake and flood insurance. The council says earthquake and tsunami damage is not covered under most standard homeowners, renters and business owners insurance policies.

Earthquake insurance is available as a separate policy or as an endorsement to current coverage. Flood insurance policies are provided through the federal government's National Flood Insurance Program.

- http://www.seattlepi.com/local/6420ap_wa_quake_insurance.html

By John Cornelison on 3/14/2011 7:30 PM

Gauges at the University of Washington lit up for hours after the initial Japanese earthquake, which now has been determined to be the fifth largest earthquake in the world since 1900.

"Unmistakable; any instrument in the world could see this earthquake," said John Vidale, a seismologist at UW.

"You can see there are still continuing magnitude four, five and six earthquakes," he said as he motioned to a monitor on Friday.

Vidale said he wasn't totally surprised by the massive quake -- it happened on one of the most volatile subduction zones in the world.

Local seismologists haven't seen any increased seismic activity on Washington's side of the Pacific Ocean, but Vidale said the event should serve as a reminder that the region is due for a smaller quake.

- http://www.kirotv.com/news/27169289/detail.html

By John Cornelison on 3/14/2011 7:26 PM
Losses from the quake, tsunami and fires will total at least $100 billion, including $20 billion in damage to residences and $40 billion in damage to infrastructure such as roads, rail and port facilities, catastrophe modeling firm Eqecat estimated.

Another firm, AIR Worldwide, estimated that losses covered by insurance could reach between $15 billion and $35 billion from the earthquake alone. It did not estimate losses from the tsunami or the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeastern Japan.

According to AIR, the number of Japanese businesses and homeowners with earthquake insurance is relatively low, ranging between 14% to 17%. As a result, the total financial toll for the catastrophe could be considerably higher than the estimate of insured losses.

- http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/13/news/international/japan_earthquake_cost/index.htm?source=cnn_bin&hpt=Sbin

By John Cornelison on 3/14/2011 7:23 PM
“This week's earthquake caused the main island of Japan to shift as much as 13 feet to the east, seismologists say. That may sound like a shocker, but it's just one of the natural changes that come along with an 8.9-magnitude temblor — like the 1.6-microsecond speed-up of Earth's daily rotation and the 4-inch shift in Earth's axis.”

- http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/03/12/6256280-how-the-quake-shifted-japan?chromedomain=cosmiclog>1=43001

[updated] Also Cathy Rogers forwarded this link with additional details on this topic:

- http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110314/ts_yblog_thelookout/japans-earthquake-shifted-balance-of-the-planet

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By John Cornelison on 3/4/2011 10:03 AM
ff_1267127cI happened to be out taking pics of the ff_1267130new...
By John Cornelison on 3/3/2011 10:21 AM
The ARRL is mobilizing the amateur community to oppose HR 607, a bill that would offer up the entire amateur 70 cm allocation for other purposes as part of a spectrum swap: www.arrl.org/hr-607 www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h607/show  

HR 607 would devastate W7VMI and local ARES emergency efforts. The bill was introduced on 2/10. Voice your option to: www.opencongress.org/people/show/400262_James_McDermott

http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/lubbockleft/2011-02-27/gop-targets-public-radio-amateur-radio-and-pbs ties this with the apparent additional effects of the bill to defund PBS and NPR.

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By John Cornelison on 3/1/2011 8:54 PM
The efficacy of the terrorist threat level scheme is dubious: how to convey something so complex simply? John Cleese has a smart interpretation of these:

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross."

The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out.

Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level...
By John Cornelison on 2/28/2011 9:24 AM
Taking advantage of the Nisqually Earthquake’s ten year anniversary were several retrospectives on note from key Washington disaster officials:

WEMD Director Jim Mullen posts his notes about how close we came to an even larger disaster, impacts of tightened budgetary constraints, and a chance meeting with FEMA’s head of preparedness efforts – who just happened to be in Christchurch for the latest quake: http://blogemd.blogspot.com/2011/02/thirteen-seconds.html

Seattle Office of Emergency Management Director, Barb Graff, pulled out a recent report that gives nice detail to the accomplishments done after the Nisqually Quake in Seattle: quite a lot!

Sadly this anniversary comes at a time that funding for the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network is facing significant budget cutbacks threatening many regional services.

...
By John Cornelison on 2/24/2011 9:12 AM

The recent 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, killed many more people and caused far more damage than the September 2010 7.1 magnitude earthquake which struck the same area; the reason: even though this earthquake was weaker than last year's event, it was much shallower; was situated directly under Christchurch; hit during the lunch hour when more people were exposed to damage; and shook sediments that were prone to "liquefaction," which can magnify the damage done by the ground shaking; scientists say the same description nicely fits many major cities and towns in Washington, Oregon, California, and British Columbia.

- See the full post at: www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/nz-earthquake-illustrates-risks-us-west-coast

By John Cornelison on 2/16/2011 1:26 PM
image Yes, 2012! More is to come, and you can consult Chief Lipe or Exercise Czar Rick Wallace for all the details, but for now please just add the following dates to next year’s calendar:

2012 Exercise Series Functional Exercise: June 5-6 Logistics Drill: June 12-14 Recovery TTX: August 15 & 22 Overview Evergreen Quake is a series of three exercises that is intended to test the ability of local, state, federal and tribal governments, as well as select private sector entities located within the eight-county...
By John Cornelison on 2/11/2011 7:24 AM
Although this is dated (from July 26, 2010), it is unlikely these dates will change as they have generally been used for some years. It also helps us realize how to take part most effectively in planning (and funding!) efforts for the county. It comes from Jennifer Schaal, UASI Program Manager, Washington State Emergency Management Division.

Additional information on state level grants (i.e., primarily for counties I suspect, but perhaps open to Vashon directly) can be found at: www.emd.wa.gov/grants/grants_index.shtml

January FY11 Write IJs and obtain stakeholder reviews (EMD w/optional input)     February FY11 IJs continue...     March IJs continue...   FY11 Core Group approves final project list ...
By John Cornelison on 2/10/2011 11:50 AM
The Pacific Northwest is exploring solutions that can provide officials an overview of a regional event.

The existing situation is very fragmented:

WA State is currently using ESI’s WebEOC (for which Vashon has an account) & ESiWebFUSION but this has an older architecture & cumbersome user interface and doesn’t readily allow integration with other technologies in use elsewhere.

The state has a wrapper or GIS based viewer for WebEOC, known as the Washington Information Sharing Environment (WISE) that also aggregates additional data (including from the military, as it was developed by the National Guard)

I’m not aware of what FEMA or DHS uses, but I suspect it is something else.

Neighboring states use WebEOC and other custom solutions. (Oregon is adopting – with some trouble- a more regional system: Virtual Emergency Network of Multnomah, for instance.)

King County has an independent...
By John Cornelison on 2/9/2011 10:25 AM
At the 2/8 refresher, Rick & Deb Brown of VIFR kindly came with their daughter and helped local Vashon CERT members practice first aid and bandaging techniques on each other – including participant Rex Stratton. Here are a few photos (click on them to open larger pictures):

ff_1243874eff_1243877eff_1243882e

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By John Cornelison on 2/8/2011 7:27 PM
Bellevue’s MRP Engineering has a new engineering bulletin entitled Chile Recovers From 2010 M8.8 Earthquake that looks at progress made since their M8.8 earthquake February 27th, 2010. It concludes with these implications:

Chile is making headway in rebuilding its heartland following a massive subduction zone earthquake that affected modern structures as far away as Santiago (335 km from the epicenter). However, the recovery from a major earthquake need not be a lengthy process. Organizations with earthquake exposures can learn from this event and should consider proactive steps to enhance safety, reduce damage, and minimize downtime. • Review business recovery plans to include dedicated resources (contactors, suppliers, and engineers). • For existing operations, assess earthquake risks (buildings, contents, and critical lifelines) and identify specific areas of improvement relative to safety and business risks. • For proposed construction, perform independent design reviews to verify...
By John Cornelison on 2/7/2011 10:21 AM




This is likely the last year that VMIRC will build and sell J-Poles to local hams so get them while you can! Here are some pics of the group assembling in Meadow Creature’s facility.

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By John Cornelison on 1/31/2011 12:39 PM

vifr.org (Small) Congrats to VIFR and especially Chris Coley and Chief Lipe and others who put a lot of work replacing the functionality of www.VIFR.org with a new portal based website from Firehouse Solutions. Check VIFR’s new web site which has a history, photos of all the island’s equipment, lots of background on the fire district, and more information for volunteers and the public. There is a private side to the web site also that security offers much additional functionality to staff and volunteers.

By John Cornelison on 1/31/2011 11:33 AM

wstrohl_RSS_Grunge_Green_125x126 A new web site started yesterday and is already making many waves by attempting to be the ultimate portal for discussing Social Media’s impact for Emergency Management. Looks like an interesting source of best practices and ideas as we start crafting our own Vashon specific Social Media strategy/plan…

Check it out at: www.sm4em.org!

By John Cornelison on 1/15/2011 8:39 AM
23-27 January Washington State Convention Center

12:00–4:00 p.m Free of Charge and Open to All! weatherfestsmalllogo Teachers, students, families!  Mark your calendar for the American Meteorological Society’s 10th Annual WeatherFest, a cool, super-size science fair to teach you all about the weather, climate and related fields.

What is WeatherFest? WeatherFest is an interactive science and weather fair designed to instill a love for math and science in children of all ages and to spark a young person’s interest in this area so they may consider...
By John Cornelison on 1/14/2011 9:38 AM
5W14FLOODINGCalifornia has more risk of catastrophic storms than any other region in the country – even the Southern hurricane states, according to a new study released Thursday.

The two-year study by the U.S. Geological Survey is the most thorough effort yet to assess the potential effects of a "worst-case" storm in California.

It builds on a new understanding of so-called atmospheric rivers, a focusing of high-powered winds that drag a fire hose of tropical moisture across the Pacific Ocean, pointed directly at California for days on end. The state got a relatively tame taste of the phenomenon in December.

The team of experts that developed the scenario can't say when it will happen. But they do say it has happened in the past and is virtually certain to strike again.

...
By John Cornelison on 1/13/2011 10:02 AM

The declaration (noted at www.seattlepi.com/local/433304_emergency12.html) would presumably make affected homeowners and businesses eligible for low cost loans and other assistance.

Does anyone on Vashon know this process and how to best support locals seeking such assistance for this or any future disaster? If so, please contact me as I’m curious about this process.

By John Cornelison on 1/6/2011 6:07 PM
$ www.safecomprogram.gov/NR/rdonlyres/132003E7-6C43-4E15-97D6-A2A4E5A2704F/0/GrantProgramsforSAFECOMWebsite.pdf has a huge list of grant programs – many of which we are eligible to apply for. Indeed if you see a critical need (and can properly justify it!) for funds for a key program, I suspect we can likely find funds for it…

This overview was mentioned in today’s release of the Fiscal Year 2011 SAFECOM Guidance on Emergency Communications Grants (www.safecomprogram.gov) for use...
By John Cornelison on 1/5/2011 5:28 PM
enableUS & The Community Emergency Preparedness Information Network Present:

The 2011 enABLED in Emergencies Conference March 2-3, 2011 • Tacoma, WA ________________________________________ "If you are waiting for a situation to develop, you are going to lose your ability to change the outcome." Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator

About This Conference This day and a half conference is hosted by enableUS and the Community Emergency Preparedness Information Network (CEPIN) and will examine some of the greatest challenges that emergency management, disability, public health and human services communities face when responding to disasters and emergencies.  This interactive and engaging seminar will focus on new FEMA sheltering guidelines, emergency evacuations for disability communities, jurisdictional liability issues and building collaborative community partnerships.  Regional issues such as ice storms, flooding and earthquakes will be discussed as well as the effectiveness of special needs registries,...

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