Earthquake Early Warning: One Giant Step Closer to Becoming Reality for California


Earthquake Early Warning is a system that uses earthquake science and technology monitoring systems to push notifications out to people via smart phones, internet, radio and a number of other devices when shaking is expected in a particular location. The seconds to minutes of advanced warning can allow people and systems to take actions to protect life and property from destructive shaking.  (Learn more @  Similar warning systems are currently being used in Mexico, China and Japan and have stood the test of proven effectiveness.  The development of this technology began in the U.S. in 2006 as a collaborative effort amongst numerous stakeholders (i.e. USGS, CalTech, Cal OES, California Geological Survey and several universities); however, has encountered challenges getting the appropriate funding necessary to move forward with implementation to make this service available to the public, until now perhaps.

A significant breakthrough in Earthquake Early Warning becoming a reality for California residents, business owners, tourists and other visitors took place two weeks ago when Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill No. 438 Earthquake Safety: Statewide Earthquake Early Warning System and Program. This bill repeals the ban on using the state general fund for earthquake notification and outlines the bureaucratic oversight of the program.   This legislation, combined with the allocated $10 million from the state budget, approved earlier this year, has provided the “Golden State” with all of the pieces needed to finally begin rolling out the warning system known as “ShakeAlert” over the next couple of years.  The OC Register covered this instrumental step towards statewide preparedness and outlined some specific examples of how this program will reduce the loss of life and economic impact in an article found @


Seismic Swarm of Activity in Southern California: What Does It Mean?


A swarm of small earthquakes located at the Salton Sea last week followed by an unusual prediction of an increased, yet short-term seismic risk by the State’s Earthquake Evaluation Council became a frontline story in the news last week. Typically, emergency planners in southern California welcome anything that gets earthquake risk some visibility because it allows a narrow window of opportunity to catch public interest as it relates to preparedness messaging.  However, it can also lead to “false alarm” fatigue as well, particularly when the media over exaggerates or mis-conveys the original information shared.

If you saw this story over the past week then you likely heard something that was reported differently somewhere else; both of which probably strayed from the original numbers shared by the State’s experts (see below). We witnessed a similar phenomenon just a few months ago (see article dated April 22, 2016 @ when the media was suggesting parallels between a few major earthquakes taking place along what’s known as the “Pacific Ring of Fire” and our own heightened risk of a major earthquake in southern California.

The truth is that southern California is “earthquake country” and, therefore, our earthquake risk really doesn’t vary from a consistent “always has been – always will be” type of hazard. The risk does not come and go with notable seismic activity, new findings in the field, enhancements to earthquake technology or even with the production of Hollywood movies such as last year’s released fiction film “San Andreas.”  Our hope is that the UCI community as well as other southern Californians understand this risk, take appropriate steps to prepare, and then are able to read these headlines with a “grain of salt”  as opposed to riding out the next seven days of anxiety and fear until this “would be” threat has “passed.”

Ensure that you are practicing the top ten tips on earthquake safety by visiting:

Also, if you are interested in reading the original prediction please visit the California Office of Emergency Services website @


Campus Search & Rescue (CSAR) Welcomes New Graduates


The UCI Campus Search and Rescue (CSAR) Program wrapped up training series #21 last week; welcoming 27 new graduates to the team.  There are now close to 400 trained faculty and staff members prepared to help support the needs of our campus following a catastrophic earthquake or any other natural or manmade disaster. These individuals received training on disaster preparedness, hazardous material and fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, terrorism awareness and workplace violence.  In addition to now being a resource for the campus, even more importantly, these members are now better prepared to handle crisis situations they may come across in their personal lives as well.

Traditionally, the course has been held each Fall, however, it appears as though the Emergency Services Unit may be able to offer a few sessions per year. For more information on this please stay tuned to this blog and like us on Facebook @ More information will become available in the New Year.  If you are interested in taking this course, please email Anne Widney, Emergency Services Manager, @ to be placed on the interest list. Again, congratulations to the new graduates and thank you for helping us make our campus a more resilient community.


Annual Flu Vaccine Clinic


Although the continued warm temperatures have not exactly alluded to a change in season, the fact that classes began on Monday lets us know that fall is officially here. Unfortunately, this also means that nasty virus we know as the flu is upon us as well. The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination every year. We’re fortunate here at UCI in that this resource is made widely accessible to students, staff and faculty. The Student Health Center ( is offering several options for their walk-in flu clinics this season. Please see below for the schedule and location:

  • October 7 Friday 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • October 13 Thursday 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • October 17 Monday 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • November 3 Thursday 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • November 10 Thursday 10:00am to 4:00pm

Student Health Center

501 Student Health

Irvine, CA 92697

Additionally, the SHC will also be offering a mobile flu clinic located on Ring Road between the Cross Cultural Center & Aldrich Hall from 10:00am – 2:00pm on the following dates:

  • September 22 Thursday
  • October 20 Thursday
  • November 17 Thursday

The cost of the flu vaccination is only $25. Students enrolled in the UC Student Health Insurance Plan pay nothing. For questions please call (949) 824-5301

Can’t make it to the clinic on campus? Most pharmacies including CVS, Walgreens, and Costco also offer walk-in flu shots. Or visit your primary care physician for the vaccine.

For more information on the 2016-2017 Flu Season visit the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) @


National Preparedness Month, September 11 – 17: Prepare Through Service


This Sunday, September 11th will mark the 15-year anniversary of the most devastating events to ever take place on American soil and while this will certainly be a day of remembrance for the innocent lives lost it will also be a day of recognizing how we can work together to strengthen our resiliency in this country from natural and human-caused disasters.  This is why the National Preparedness Month focus of September 11 – 17 is “Preparing through Service.”  There are a number of different ways you can volunteer and a countless number of organizations you may consider joining.  All of these, including those members of the National VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters), can be found at the following link:

There is no better way to honor those that have fallen victim to natural or human-caused disasters than to take action and this is an excellent way to do so.

Be Smart. Take Part.  Prepare


September is National Preparedness Month


September is here and this month represents many things to different people. For adolescents, college students and parents with young children it means back-to-school time; for football fans it means the long-awaited kickoff of NFL regular season games; and every now and then it means an occasional break  from the high summer temperatures as we transition in to the Fall season.  But September also represents, particularly in our post-9/11 world, National Preparedness Month which is a nation-wide awareness campaign focusing on individual and community preparedness for all types of emergencies.  The week of September 4 – 10 focuses on developing a Family Communication Plan.  For assistance with developing yours today visit:

Between climate change, the growing threat of international & domestic terrorism and a number of other geo, political and social issues, we continue to see a trend of growing risks both in our Orange County community as well as the country as a whole. The most effective way for our country to be prepared for the unknown and develop resilient communities begins in the “home” and with “you” and “me”.  In the immediate aftermath of a large-scale disaster, 9-1-1 will not be an available “lifeline” and first responders will be overwhelmed with the large volume of requests for assistance.  This is nationally recognized reality and the message that all levels of government from the federal level to local municipalities are pushing to citizens.  Communities, neighborhoods, families and individuals must become self-sufficient and this is the whole purpose behind National Preparedness Month.  Join the 20 million other individuals participating in America’s PrepareAthon at

The UCI Police Department is asking the members of our community (i.e. students, staff, faculty, visitors, etc.) to take action now and develop plans to prepare yourself, your family and your pets for the unknown. There are a variety of online resources can guide your effort to enhance your preparedness activities including the UCIPD website @ under “Emergency Mgmt” (right hand column), Ready OC @ and @

Be Smart. Take Part.  Prepare


Central Italy’s Earthquake Impact: Not All About Magnitude


A common misunderstanding about earthquakes is that their impact is primarily determined by magnitude (release of energy) as measured by the Richter scale. However, the recent devastation in Central Italy this week underscores the significance of two earthquake factors that are not centered on size.

  • The first is “Distance”: Distance is measured both along the surface of the earth (think distance from epicenter) as well as how deep the seismic activity is that takes place below the earth’s crust. Earthquakes can occur anywhere between the earth’s surface and approximately 450 miles beneath. An earthquake of a severe magnitude that takes place a couple hundred miles deep can result in far less impact on human populations than an earthquake of much lesser magnitude taking place closer to the earth’s surface.
  • The second is “Development”: Development is arguably one of the most significant factors as it relates to earthquake impact and is centered on how well buildings and infrastructure are designed within a given community. Oftentimes those communities that experience the greatest devastation from earthquakes are either in very poor countries or very old countries. Central Italy is an example of the latter. Constructing buildings to meet earthquake standards is very expensive which is a problem for poor countries and retrofitting buildings in old or historical cities to meet earthquake building codes is a nice idea but largely impractical.

Unfortunately, both distance and development were two strong contributing factors of the devastating earthquake that our neighbors across the globe experienced this week. The 6.2 magnitude earthquake took place less than seven miles below the earth’s surface and the majority of collapsed buildings, many of which constructed hundreds of years ago, were unreinforced masonry.

While California is not completely exempt from the risk of structural collapse; particularly with our own unreinforced masonry-constructed buildings, our seismic building codes have been enforced for nearly forty years and we are, by and large, pretty safe. However, the majority of our risk comes in the form of being injured or killed during an earthquake from anything non-structurally related.  This includes virtually all non-secured items within your home or workspace.  UCI takes this responsibility seriously and if you identify a seismic security risk in your workspace that has not been addressed it should be reported to your supervisor or facilities personnel immediately.  To learn more about what items/areas of risk you should look for and identify within your home visit Earthquake Country Alliance @ and follow their recommended “seven steps to earthquake safety.”


Deputies arrest three suspects for attempting to steal property from the Bluecut Fire evacuation areas


As if residents of fire evacuation orders don’t have enough to worry about with the fear of losing their home, recent arrests this morning in San Bernardino County now raise concern over potential for burglary.
On Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 7:00 a.m. deputies responded to a call of suspicious subjects at a home located within the evacuation area. Deputies arrived and made contact with the suspects, who were attempting to leave the residence with a flatbed truck. The suspects told deputies they were picking up property for a friend that lived at the residence. Deputies made contact with the property owner who advised that he did not give anyone permission to take his property.

The three suspects were taken into custody without incident and will be booked for Looting and Grand Theft Auto.

If anyone has information related to the suspects involved, they are urged to contact Sheriff’s Central Station at (909)387-3545. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at


National Immunization Awareness Month 2016


As summer begins to wind down, children will be heading back to school or beginning school for their first time. This can be a busy time for parents as they start shopping for backpacks, binders, pens/pencils, clothes, shoes and a number of other items that will help their children have a great start to the school year.  But let’s not forget the most important item on our back-to-school checklist: immunizations.  This action, above all, will help ensure your child has a healthy and successful year.

The month of August is National Immunization Awareness Month which is sponsored by the CDC and coordinated by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC). This initiative not only focuses on children going back-to-school but provides an opportunity to highlight the value of immunization across the lifespan.  Activities focus on encouraging all people to protect their health by being vaccinated against infectious diseases.

Visit the NPHIC or CDC for more information regarding immunization recommendations for pregnant women, infants/young children, school-age children, pre-teen/teen & adults.  Also, UCI students enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) will pay nothing for these immunizations, including the Men B vaccine, as they are covered as a preventative care measure. All flu and Men B vaccines for staff, faculty and students not enrolled in SHIP cost $25.00.  Please visit the Student Health Center for additional questions/consultation regarding immunizations.


L.A. Rams Arrive In Anteater Nation


One of the most highly anticipated events for anteater sports fans has arrived; the L.A. Rams are officially on campus and are set to kick off summer training camp this weekend. Over the next six weeks, the UCI community can expect to see thousands of non-campus-affiliated southern California visitors pouring in to the stands for “open practices” ( to welcome back their beloved team that left Los Angeles over two decades ago.  Also, in addition to the normal volume of media presence at NFL training camps and the fact that this will be the Rams homecoming, the team is also being featured on the HBO T.V. series “Hard Knocks” this year which will attract an even greater media presence.  As exciting as this may be for the community, there are certainly some increased levels of risk and safety measure that we want the community to be aware of regardless of whether or not you plan to take in a practice or two.

Below are some tips to ensure your safety and security over the next six weeks of this high profile event:

  • Risk: An increased number of non-campus-affiliated visitors increases the risk of “crimes of opportunity.” Risk Reducer: Be vigilant about locking your doors when you leave your home or car. Do not leave items of value lying around in visible places. Avoid walking alone at night or at least do so in well-lit areas. Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Risk: The community should expect an increased amount of cars, logistical vehicles and general traffic on campus; particularly during days of “open practices.” Risk Reducer: Increase your awareness on the road while driving and avoid distractions (i.e. phone, eating, radio, etc.), watch for pedestrians, obey speed limits and traffic signals, walk your bike when crossing the street, and plan extra time for meetings and such when traveling around campus.
  • Risk: Although this event will strictly enforce a No Alcohol policy, this never guarantees that everybody will obey the law. Risk Reducer: Be observant of social behavior and if you suspect for whatever reason that somebody(s) is acting irrationally or in a manner that could place others at harm contact the UCIPD or locate an officer that will have a significant and constant presence at the event.
  • Risk: The weather has been extremely hot over the past few weeks and this trend is likely to continue. Risk Reducer: Whether you attend these practices or are outdoors for any other reasons be sure to hydrate, wear a hat/visor and take other heat-related illness prevention measures. These can be found on our Emergency Management Blog post from June 15th @
  • Risk: As with any high profile event, the next six weeks may expose the campus’s risk of being a potential target for acts of terrorism and/or other intentional harm. Risk Reducer: As always, remain aware of your surrounding and if you “see something, say something” to the UCIPD @ (949) 824-5223 or for an emergency dial 9-1-1.
  • Follow additional rules set forth by UCI which can be found @

The extensive and collaborative efforts among many departments at UCI has laid the groundwork for our campus to be a good host to this returning NFL team while still protecting and respecting the needs of the campus community. These tips are just helpful to increase our own personal level of health, safety and well-being during this busy time of summer.