|Shown as October 2015|
Emergency Management News
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Imagine a wildfire raging in your community and only having minutes to evacuate your home. What do you want to take out of your home? How will you communicate with loved ones? These are just some of the questions you should be able to answer before a disaster strikes.
America’s PrepareAthon! released a new video, “Cloud of Smoke,” that gives a first-hand account of what it’s like to experience a wildfire, and highlighting the importance of being prepared. Here are a few things you can do to get ready now:
- Sit down with your family and talk about what you would do in an emergency;
- Create a family emergency communications plan; and
- Have an evacuation plan.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Join the ‘Safety Friends Unite’ Twitter Chat
Let’s hear it for National Preparedness Month! Get in the spirit of preparedness during a special Twitter chat titled, “Safety Friends Unite on Twitter for National Preparedness Month” hosted by America’s PrepareAthon! on .
This chat will highlight activities everyone can do including families, youth, and schools to prepare for emergencies. Featured guests will include preparedness friends from federal agencies and organizations that serve the community:
- Ready Wrigley (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention);
- Flat Stella and Stanley (the Ready Campaign);
- Sparky the Fire Dog (National Fire Protection Association);
- Owlie Skywarn (National Weather Service);
- Ready Robin (Robins Air Force Base);
- Fred the Prep Dog;
- Lassie; and others!
Follow along using #SafetyChat.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
September is National Preparedness Month: Week 4
The hazard-focused theme for week 4 (September 20 – 26) of National Preparedness Month is power outage. Although power outages can happen anytime, they are often associated with severe weather. Since power outages can last for several hours or several days, it’s important to plan ahead. The Ready Campaign offers the following tips to prepare.
BEFORE a power outage:
- Charge devices that use battery power and ensure you have extra batteries for these devices;
- Identify local sources where dry or block ice can be purchased;
- Keep your car tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to fuel their pumps;
- Create a disaster supply kit that includes alternative cell phone chargers, a flashlight, water & nonperishable food, a non-electric canopener, cash, and a battery or hand-crank radio.
If you require power for medical or assistive devices, get battery back-up for the devices, know how long the batteries will last, plan a location you can move to that has power, ask local Emergency Management for information about registering to be identified as someone that has power dependent medical devices, and learn what services may be available.
DURING a power outage:
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. For most standard size refrigerators and freezers, a cool temperature can be maintained for several hours. For food you need to use, plan on having a cooler with conventional or dry ice available;
- Use flashlights for emergency lighting. Never use candles due to extreme risk of fire;
- Only use a generator outside of your home and keep it away from windows and doors;
- For drugs that require refrigeration, check the manufacturer’s label or contact your doctor for guidance. Most drugs can be stored on ice for several hours; and
- Make preparations to keep refrigerated medications in a closed cooler until the power comes back on.
Learn the importance of being prepared for power outages and get more survival tips in FEMA’s “Going off Grid” resource guide.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Make preparedness fun for the entire family with interactive games from the Koshland Science Museum. As you explore the activities, be sure to try your hand at the Resilience Jigsaw Puzzle to learn what it takes for communities to be resilient. According to experts at the Koshland Science Museum, there are several criteria for building a resilient community, including:
- Infrastructure and facilities that withstand disasters;
- Transportation that is operational within a week;
- Measures that reduce the impact of disasters;
- Plans that help businesses reopen quickly;
- Community plans and agreements that leverage expertise and partnerships; and
- Groups that support the community.
In addition to these interactive games, you can also find resources on the new America's PrepareAthon! website to prepare your family and organization for disasters.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
America’s PrepareAthon! Events Recap
Thank you for making the spring 2015 America’s PrepareAthon! and the April 30 National PrepareAthon! Day such a success. More than 7.5 million people have been participating in PrepareAthon! events so far this year. We appreciate your efforts in creating a more resilient nation. Here’s a recap of some of the exciting activities from across the country.
Several communities practiced preparing for tornadoes. Spartanburg County, South Carolina held its first America’s PrepareAthon! event which included a countywide tornado drill involving several schools, businesses, and two hospitals. According to local officials, nearly 60,000 people participated in the drill. At the same time, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division conducted the South Carolina Statewide Tornado Drill. Local media coverage included stories on WSPA-TV (CBS), WFXG-TV (Fox) and in the Spartanburg Herald Journal.
Schools in Louisa County, Virginia held their second America’s PrepareAthon! event where more than 6,000 students participated in preparedness activities, including a statewide tornado drill and sheltering-in-place.
Students at Jouett Elementary School learned about tornadoes and safety procedures. During mini-assemblies, students in kindergarten through fifth grade learned how to identify the early warning signs of a tornado and made emergency kits and communications plans to share with their families. Louisa County plans to continue its participation in America’s PrepareAthon! during National Preparedness Month in September and theGreat Shakeout Earthquake Drill in October!
Other communities prepared for earthquakes. Nearly one million residents in Utah participated in the Utah ShakeOut Earthquake Drill. Held each spring, the Utah ShakeOut helps residents practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” in response to an earthquake. The event also included preparedness fairs across the state in support of America’s PrepareAthon!
During the America’s PrepareAthon! event in Los Angeles County, California, participants experienced simulated earthquakes in a shake trailer and watched an earthquake preparedness video. Also, the American Red cross hosted a puppet show and talked to children about the Pillowcase Project, a disaster preparedness education program that teaches students in grades 3 – 5 about personal and family preparedness. Students received a sturdy pillowcase after completing the program, and they were encouraged to store their personal emergency supplies kit in the pillowcase. In addition, FEMA and the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management held an interactive preparedness quiz and distributed emergency preparedness brochures.
On National PrepareAthon! Day, many families, business, and organizations shared their activities on Twitter using #PrepareAthon. Take a look at ourcollection of photos to see their preparedness in action.
Sunday, September 6, 2015
National Preparedness Month: Week 2 Focuses on Wildfire
Get ready for Week 2 (National Preparedness Month (NPM), which highlights hazard-focused themes to encourage you to prepare. Wildfire is the hazard-focused theme for Week 2 of NPM. These fires can occur anywhere and destroy homes, businesses, natural resources, and agriculture. In fact, several states in the Northwest have recently experienced devastating wildfires, sparking evacuation orders for thousands of people.) of
If a wildfire threatens your community, the best action to protect yourself and your property is to evacuate. Evacuation orders vary by state and may range from voluntary to mandatory. When authorities issue a mandatory evacuation notice, leave the area immediately to avoid being trapped.
There are also some things you can do to make your home or business more resistant to catching fire and burning. The How to Prepare for a Wildfire guide from America’s PrepareAthon! outlines the following steps, including:
- Create a defensible space (free of leaves, debris, and other flammable material) of up to 200 feet from your home or business;
- Use fire-resistant materials for landscaping and construction; and
- Maintain sources of water such as swimming pools, wells, ponds, and hydrants to ensure they are accessible to the fire department.
Download the 2015 National Preparedness Month Social Media Toolkit from the Ready Campaign and America’s PrepareAthon! to share preparedness and safety messages with family and friends.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
The “Last House Standing”
What can you do with three minutes and $100,000? According to theFederal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), you could have the “last house standing.”
“Last House Standing” is FLASH’s exciting new mobile gaming application (app) that provides the ultimate design and disaster challenge! To begin, players are given three minutes and $100,000 to build a stylish and durable home in a virtual community. At the end of the challenge, a natural disaster strikes the neighborhood and the home is scored for flair and survivability. High scores are displayed on the Master Builder Board.
Get in the game! Download the app today and compete with friends to become a master builder and have the “last house standing.” It’s available for free on Apple and Android devices.
To learn more about “Last House Standing,” take a look at this video clip from FLASH.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Don't Get Hijacked After a Disaster!Imagine returning from vacation and discovering that your home was ransacked while you were away. Every piece of furniture, all your clothes, the kids toys, and even the family photos are all gone. If you are like most people, you would call the police and report a theft, then you would call your insurance company and file a claim. Now, imagine your home getting damaged by a disaster like a flood or a fire. First, you file a claim with your insurance company and then hire a mover to transport and store everything in your home until the repairs are completed. A few months later, the work is finished and you are ready to move back in, but wait, there's a problem. The moving company you hired refuses to bring your belongings back. Why? They have decided to increase their bill and are holding your property hostage until you pay it! To make things worse, they threaten that your stuff will be sold or auctioned off if you don't. Steve and Susie Peeler experienced this first hand and share their heartwrenching story on the CBS Early Show at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/
Believe it or not, moving scams like this are common and usually considered civil matters rather than criminal, so the police may not be able to help you. However, there are a number of ways you can avoid scams like this from happening to you and here are some tips to protect yourself:
1] Avoid telephone or internet quotes. Oftentimes low ball quotes given over the phone or online are provided by moving brokers and not the actual movers themselves. Have any prospective movers give you their estimates in person so they can accurately estimate the weight, labor, and materials needed to do the job.
2] Ask if there will be any additional costs that are not included in the estimate and if there will be, get those costs in writing as well. Movers may charge extra for packing materials, difficult building access, moving expensive antiques or unusually heavy items, etc.
3] Get references from family members or friends. Talk to people who have used a mover and were satisfied with their service.
4] Do your homework and be sure the company is legitimate. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there is a complaint history and contact the Department of Transportation - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to see if they're licensed and reputable.
5] Get everything in writing and never sign a blank contract. Read every word and make sure that all your belongings are listed in detail.
6] Take photos and/or video of your belongings before they are packed. This will give you evidence of what you own and its condition prior to the move.
7] Keep important paperwork like financial documents and sensitive personal information with you and don't allow high value items such as jewelry, fine artwork, firearms, coin collections, precious metals, etc. to be moved. Items of this nature can be stolen by people working for the movers.
8] Don't pay up front. When you do pay, use a credit card that will help you fight any fraudulent charges.
September is National Disaster Preparedness Month. If you would like to know how to prepare for recovery and learn how to avoid the many pitfalls that present themselves in the aftermath of disaster events, get The Red Guide to Recovery - Resource Handbook for Disaster Survivors. To get your copy, click on the link below.
For information on how we can customize The Red Guide to Recovery for your community:http://www.
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