VashonBePrepared Blog Posts

By John Cornelison on 4/29/2011 10:49 AM

The Vashon Maury Island Radio Club’s May meeting will be this coming Tuesday, May 3rd. 7:00PM at Vashon Fire Station 55 in the EOC room. Our first Show & Tell "Topic - Randy Bardwell, K7RDB presents his home-brew, high tech "uber go-box" and also VMIRC Business Meeting.

- Sharon Danielson KE7HBZ, VMIRC President

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 4/27/2011 9:03 AM

clip_image002Washington State Emergency Management Association (WSEMA) will hold their annual conference at the Red Lion Hotel in Port Angeles, Washington on September 27-29, 2011. The theme for the 2011 conference is “Preparedness: It’s Not a Mystery”.

If anyone is interested in speaking, the deadline for their call for presentations is 1 Jun: contact Cheryl Bledsoe [Cheryl.Bledsoe (at)].

By John Cornelison on 4/27/2011 8:41 AM

VIFR Recipe FormSusan Wolf, Linda Hamilton & Barb Cooper have been working to collect recipes for a cookbook, the sales of which will go towards providing an Explorer scholarship.  Everyone is encouraged to submit a recipe toward this great cause! Though no publishing date has yet been set, you can check with Barbara Cooper at 463-2405 for the latest information, and to reserve your copies.

By John Cornelison on 4/26/2011 8:52 AM
4-26-2011 at 9.43.21 AMToday there is a 300 yard isolation zone set up around the Hyundai Oakland container ship in the Port of Tacoma after a ~4:30 AM leak from a 55 gallon container of chlorobenzotrifluoride solvent. See KIRO TV’s report for details.

Might there be other chemicals...
By John Cornelison on 4/26/2011 8:31 AM
AT&T has started selling portable cellular antennas so customers can provide their own wireless coverage in disaster-struck or remote areas. Typically cell phone companies deploy mobile trucks with larger mobile cell towers, but this gives responders control over their own deployments – albeit with fairly limited service:

The Remote Mobility Zone can handle 14 simultaneous calls, and data at less-than-broadband speeds. Coverage extends up to half a mile from the unit. The "portable cell tower" can also be mounted in a car or truck.

By John Cornelison on 4/25/2011 12:52 PM
image King County OEM’s Pascal Schuback had a neat 138 character tweet today that took me well over an hour to digest:

Know the difference 2B ready RT @USGS: How much bigger is a 8.7 2A 5.8? Click "Try It Yourself" Calculator at top of

As they note on their site,

The magnitude scale is really comparing amplitudes of waves on a seismogram, not the STRENGTH (energy) of the quakes. So, a magnitude 8.7 is 794 times bigger than a 5.8 quake as measured on seismograms, but the 8.7 quake is about 23,000 times STRONGER than the 5.8! Since it is really the energy or strength that knocks down buildings, this is really the more important comparison. This means that it would take about 23,000 quakes of magnitude 5.8 to equal the energy released by one magnitude 8.7 event.

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 4/15/2011 9:04 AM
1) Installed latest version of the Document Repository software: Bring2mind.DMX_05.03.07_Install Release Notes for 05.03.07

Fix: Notifications not attaching document to email DMX-395

Fix: Notifications sent to all users DMX-402

Enhancement: Double check correct file transfer to storage DMX-400

Fix: WebDAV editing of entry in absolute root not possible DMX-397

New Feature: Add a script to analyze the state of the file storage rather than take immediate action DMX-396

2) Installed a photo gallery extension for the document exchange (Bring2mind.DMX.NewGallery_01.03.04_Install):

The gallery addon allows you to show DMX content as an image gallery. In the module's settings you specify where in the document tree you want the gallery to start. Folders...
By John Cornelison on 4/14/2011 9:12 AM
ff_0413011916eTom Miner, head of the Northwest's  sole FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Incident Support Team, riveted an overflow audience with a clear message that after a major regional disaster, federal help is very unlikely to arrive on Vashon for well over 3 days and likely 10 – or more...
By John Cornelison on 4/14/2011 7:23 AM
Disasters can typically generate up to fifteen years worth of a community's solid waste over a few days, with the potential to overwhelm day-to-day solid waste operations and to lead to years of disruption; FEMA estimates that debris removal accounted for 27 percent of their total disaster response costs for those U.S. disasters between 2002 and 2007; prolonged problems with the management of solid waste can lead to public and environmental health issues;  slow management of solid waste can also impede economic recovery by inhibiting rebuilding activities.


Read more in Charlotte Brown, “Disaster waste management: A review article,” Waste Management...
By John Cornelison on 4/12/2011 12:11 PM

rack mounted go boxRandy’s got the hottest (communications, not survival) go-box on Vashon – at least that I’m aware of. I don’t see any straps on it to carry it around, but otherwise it looks pretty impressive. Check it out at

Also Randy has just created a new MeetUp group for W7VMI. Join up at

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.


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 4/11/2011 6:09 AM
At their 2010 Awards Ceremony yesterday at Camp Burton, the Vashon Island Fire & Rescue’s 2010 Commissioners Award was bestowed upon VashonBePrepared. Fire Commissioners Rex Stratton, Gayle Summers, Ron Turner, David Hoffmann and Neal Phillip presented the award to General Joseph Ulatoski, Catherine and Michael Cochrane, Richard Wallace and myself on VashonBePrepared’s behalf. The award was clearly in recognition of all the volunteers...
By John Cornelison on 4/10/2011 1:28 PM
DotNetNukeNew features are detailed at I’ve also updated the Wiki module to 4.3.0 (alpha), and the Links module to 6.0.0 beta, and Forum module to 5.0.1. Lightbox Gallery has is a new install allowing FancyBox display of images. Unfortunately I’ve had to uninstall the effority.UserDirectory for now due to this issue, but a reinstall may solve this. To provide support for IE9, the Telerik controls have been updated to their Q1 2011 release, per Joe Brinkman’s guidance.  The wiki upgrade in particular should allow us to finally clear up those extraneous pages with funky characters – that prevented their deletion or even editing – but actually completely broke functionality for now. I anticipate the...
By John Cornelison on 4/9/2011 5:07 PM
Courtesy of the Museum of History and Industry, and the Seattle Emergency Operations Center where a large reprint is prominently displayed, is this neat old photo.

I also have an old news clipping of Laura Snyder's that I pledge to scan and make available before too much longer. There is also a treasure of Vashon Historical photos at the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Museum, though I don’t know the number that pertain to disasters and preparedness, aside from a movie they scanned to DVD entitled “Billingsley’s on Vashon Island” showing another (more explosive!) Civil Defense Drill.

By John Cornelison on 4/9/2011 3:45 PM
After lunch today I caught this poignant reminder of the recent Japanize triple disaster – and the world-wide support for the Japanese.

By John Cornelison on 4/9/2011 10:45 AM
Preparedness Pyramid - WS versionCurious how...
By John Cornelison on 4/9/2011 10:16 AM
EQ-logoA host of sister neighborhood preparedness groups in Seattle exist, all working under the City of Seattle OEM:     West Seattle Be Prepared (that apparently partially chose their name based on VashonBePrepared!)     Magnolia | Queen Anne | Interbay     Capital Hill Preparedness people          See Seattle Community Network for additional resources and organizations

    See for a regional sustainability group

By John Cornelison on 4/9/2011 9:57 AM

Cathy Wenderoth works for the Seattle Police Department as the Seattle OEM’s Volunteer Coordinator. She is now organizing Seattle’s first CERT classes.

By John Cornelison on 4/9/2011 8:48 AM
imageHere’s another funding source we’ve yet to consider on Vashon, but that is likely available.

In response to direction by Congress to develop "all-hazard regional catastrophic event plans and preparedness," in 2008 FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security established the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP), and released grants to the ten largest urban areas in the country. To implement this...
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 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 4/8/2011 7:44 AM
Subcommittee Reviews Status of U.S. Earthquake Preparedness Yesterday a lightly attended hearing was held by the Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation looking at renewing funding for earthquake preparedness. Two northwesterners testified: Mr. Jim Mullen, Director, Washington State Emergency Management Division; President, National Emergency Management Association & Dr. Vicki McConnell, Oregon State Geologist and Director, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

In 1977 Congress passed the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act (NEHRP) as a long-term earthquake risk reduction program for the United States....
By John Cornelison on 4/5/2011 12:03 PM
clip_image001If you haven’t seen this yet, there’s a fun preparedness campaign going on in April. Even if folks aren’t part of the first 200 people to sign up and get a free crank flashlight/radio or emergency kit, everyone will be entered for the Grand Prize! Note that the campaign is for people in King and Snohomish County. Please spread the word!

April Tip of the Month:  It’s Disaster Preparedness Month in Washington. Don’t forget, at 9:45 a.m. on April 20 – it’s the state-wide “Drop, cover and hold” drill. And check out this year’s preparedness campaign:

Take the "3 to Get Ready" preparedness challenge...
By John Cornelison on 4/4/2011 5:54 PM
Vashon_DERT At today’s Region 6 Homeland Security Council’s EMACS meeting, approximately $16K of unused funds from the FFY2009(or 2008?) Homeland Security Grant Program previously designated for Disaster Emergency Response Trailers (DERT) in King County, was re-allocated for Vashon! The trailer will primarily be used to store ADA compliant cots, blankets and pillows for use in community shelters to be set up for off-island visitors and workers unable to get home, or for residents with damaged houses.

Don Price (King...
By John Cornelison on 4/4/2011 10:39 AM

View our latest tweets at @VashonBPrepared, or just visit the home page of as an easy way to view these. Note that twitter names are limited to 15 characters, so the “Be” in our name has been shortened to “B”. Please note that we are only POSTING to this account and that they are NOT monitored, as is common with other public service accounts. For all emergencies, always call 911 first.

By John Cornelison on 4/3/2011 9:24 AM has a new set of nice publications for citizens with very basic advice to citizens for surviving and earthquake or tsunami.

By John Cornelison on 4/3/2011 9:15 AM

A great list of 2010 accomplishments by Barb Graff, Director of Emergency Management, and her staff at the Seattle Office of Emergency Management can be downloaded at:

By John Cornelison on 4/3/2011 3:41 AM

Amateur Radio operators are people from all walks of life--no matter what age, gender or physical ability. Did you know that most of the astronauts are Amateur Radio Operators? You're never too young or old. And, getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier! Now, you no longer have to learn Morse Code to get your first Ham Radio License, the Technician Class, as in years past! Just pass a 35 question multiple choice exam given by volunteer Ham Radio Operators and you will be "on the air" in no time!

Vashon - Maury Island Radio Club in conjunction with West Seattle Ham Radio Club will be presenting a Technician License Exam Preparatory Class Friday evening, 05-20-2011 to Sunday evening 05-22-2011.  This is a free course but participants are required to purchase a text book (approximately $29) and your ARRL VEC Test Fee will be $15

If you would like to sign up for this class, please contact Sharon Danielson at


By John Cornelison on 4/1/2011 3:23 PM
April is Disaster Preparedness Month. VashonBePrepared, in conjunction with the King County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) urges citizens to take simple steps to prepare for earthquakes, floods, man-made disasters and other emergencies.

“We can’t stop disasters from happening, but we can prepare to survive them,” says OEM Director Hillman Mitchell. “Now is a perfect time to think about what you would do if a large disaster were to strike our region."

Disaster planning consists of three simple steps: 1. Make a Plan Every family should have a plan for how they will communicate during an emergency and where they will meet if separated.

Establish an out-of-area contact. This should be someone out-of-state that each family member can contact to communicate their well-being.

Texting will often work, even if phone calls can’t go through.

If cell towers are down, landline calls may work.

Long-distance calls...

Search Blogs

Blog Calendar

<April 2011>
February 2024 (1)
June 2023 (2)
May 2023 (1)
March 2023 (2)
December 2022 (1)
October 2022 (1)
July 2022 (2)
June 2022 (1)
March 2022 (1)
February 2022 (2)
January 2022 (2)
December 2021 (1)
November 2021 (1)
September 2021 (3)
August 2021 (4)
July 2021 (6)
June 2021 (7)
April 2021 (2)
March 2021 (2)
February 2021 (1)
January 2021 (1)
September 2020 (2)
June 2020 (1)
May 2020 (5)
April 2020 (15)
March 2020 (10)
January 2020 (1)
April 2019 (1)
March 2019 (1)
July 2018 (2)
June 2018 (2)
May 2018 (1)
March 2018 (2)
February 2018 (1)
January 2018 (3)
October 2017 (1)
September 2017 (1)
June 2017 (2)
March 2017 (1)
February 2017 (2)
January 2017 (2)
November 2016 (2)
October 2016 (5)
September 2016 (3)
June 2016 (1)
May 2016 (2)
September 2015 (3)
June 2015 (2)
April 2015 (3)
March 2015 (2)
February 2015 (3)
December 2014 (3)
November 2014 (10)
October 2014 (2)
September 2014 (1)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (3)
June 2014 (2)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (2)
March 2014 (1)
February 2014 (1)
January 2014 (3)
November 2013 (2)
October 2013 (3)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (1)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (7)
February 2013 (1)
January 2013 (3)
December 2012 (2)
November 2012 (1)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (5)
August 2012 (4)
July 2012 (6)
June 2012 (11)
May 2012 (8)
April 2012 (11)
March 2012 (18)
February 2012 (11)
January 2012 (8)
December 2011 (4)
November 2011 (5)
October 2011 (22)
September 2011 (6)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (7)
June 2011 (25)
May 2011 (23)
April 2011 (36)
March 2011 (15)
February 2011 (8)
January 2011 (9)
December 2010 (4)
October 2010 (2)
September 2010 (8)
August 2010 (1)
July 2010 (3)
June 2010 (11)
April 2010 (1)
October 2009 (1)