Have you ever experienced an 8.0 magnitude earthquake? If not, what if you had the opportunity to do so; would you take it? Might it increase your personal level of preparedness for you, your family, and your pets? Find out the answers to these questions and more at UCI’s annual Festival of Discovery taking place this Saturday, October 3rd from 9am – 3pm in Aldrich Park. The UCIPD Emergency Services Unit would like to invite you out to our shared booth with Public Health staged at the Local + Global Impact Pavilion (see bottom of map) where we will be promoting earthquake safety and disaster preparedness. Our interactive display includes the Quake Cottage, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake simulator, and tips on how to prepare and keep safe during an earthquake. The Festival is open to the public and includes free admission and parking. Invite your friends, family, neighbors… This should be a fantastic event and an opportunity to better understand why we say “Drop, Cover & Hold On.”
As a part of National Preparedness Month, UC Irvine Police Department is kicking off the ZotReady Campaign. ZotReady is a UC Irvine program designed to promote skills in emergency mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Our campus will soon begin seeing ZotReady posters throughout campus and receiving emergency-related material through a variety of methods. The ultimate goal is to reach each student, staff, faculty and resident on campus with, at least, the most urgent need-to-know information to prepare for and respond to emergencies. We’ve created Facebook & Twitter pages specifically designated to this campaign. Please take a moment and help us kick this messaging off together by “Liking” and sharing us with friends/family @ www.facebook.com/zotready & www.twitter.com/zotready
So, how ZotReady are you!?
In last week’s blog we discussed September being National Preparedness Month and how every citizen in this country is encouraged to begin, develop or enhance their steps towards being ready for the unknown. One of the campaign themes is the concept of taking one action each day of the month to increase your level of personal preparedness. This is known as the “30 Days 30 Ways” initiative and began at the beginning of the month. Understanding we are already nearly half way through September, you may either choose to take the elevated UC challenge “15 Days 30 Ways” or just begin the program today on Day 14 and complete the subsequent tasks for the remainder of the month. A new task is posted on each day of the month so as of today there are 14 activities identified. The website can be found at the following link:
An alternative to either of these commitments is to use this website and pick and choose those preparedness tasks that are most important and relevant to you/your family’s situation. Some of the activities that have already been listed for this month include the following:
- Contact your out-of-state contact and informing them you will be contacting them in a disaster.
- Sign up for mass notification messaging for your respective community (for Orange County residents visit Alert OC at http://bos.ocgov.com/alertoc/alertoc.asp & all UCI students, staff and faculty should verify that they are signed up to receive zotALERT notifications for local incidents here on campus as http://www.oit.uci.edu/zotALERT/).
- Connect with and follow first responder agencies on social media. You can begin by connecting with UCI Police department at the links below.
- Identify one or more causes of home fires and take one or more mitigation steps to reduce this risk in your own home.
- Take a picture and post it on social media of the most unique item in your emergency supply kit/go bag.
The “30 Days 30 Ways” website provides some fun ways you can post your tasks to social media and share with friends/family the commitments that you have made towards preparedness and increasing community resiliency. Lastly, check out the following video (remix) that was put together for National Preparedness Month 2015 @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlRxf0-HBe0&feature=youtu.be
September is National Preparedness Month and 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 means by which you may enhance your preparedness activities including following the UCIPD on social media (links at bottom), visit ready.gov (http://www.ready.gov/september) or Ready OC (http://www.readyoc.org/) and make the “promise to prepare,” and join the Campus Search and Rescue Team (CSAR). The CSAR program is a comprehensive; 22-hour training delivered over the course of three consecutive Fridays and covers a variety of preparedness topics and skills including fire suppression, medical operations/triage, light search & rescue, building structural assessment and much more. To register or gather more information about the program contact UCI Emergency Services Manager Anne Widney @ email@example.com
Between climate change, the growing threat of international 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 the “citizen” themselves. In the immediate aftermath of a large-scale disaster 9-1-1 will not be a “lifeline” and first responders will be overwhelmed with the large volume of requests for assistance. This is the message that all levels of government from the federal level to the local municipality 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 http://www.community.fema.gov/
Be Smart. Take Part. Prepare
September – Medicine Kit
The “Get Ready; Stay Ready” campaign focus for the month of August is on having access to the same prescription/non-prescription medication during a disaster that you do on a daily basis. So, with that said, what’s in your medicine cabinet? Perhaps pain relievers, medical prescriptions, contacts/contact solution or an asthma inhaler. What items did you use this morning when you woke up? Allergy medication, vitamins, nasal spray or lotion/ointment? And after dinner tonight is it possible you might need to take antacids, stool softeners or other comforting digestive supplements? These are a just a few of the many items that most households contain in their medicine cabinets and depending on the severity of need following a disaster, the inability to access some of these could cause a personal state of emergency for its consumer.
We encourage our campus community to take two preparedness actions this month. The first, is to inventory all medicine cabinet items used/consumed by each member of the household; this includes both prescription and non-prescription items. Make multiple copies of this inventory list and store copies in each household member’s “go bags.” This list should be reviewed and updated bi-annually during the time change in spring and fall with other emergency preparedness activities. Secondly, efforts should be made to purchase and store as many of these items as possible in emergency kits and cycle these through your medicine cabinet while constantly re-stocking your emergency supply; thus not to be wasteful. Expiration dates should be monitored and for condition-specific prescription medication consultation should be made with that individual’s doctor or medical professional as to the storing and cycling of these items.
This week marks the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the event that changed the manner in which the country prepares for, responds to and recovers from domestic incidents of all kinds. There were many lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and within each of the four phases of emergency management (preparedness, response, recovery & mitigation). These lessons are reflected the National Response Framework (NRF) which was released in 2008 superseding its successor document the National Response Plan (NRP).
The NRF is a continually updated federal document which outlines key response principles, roles and structures that organize a national response. It describes how communities, States, the Federal Government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector can coordinate efforts to respond effectively as a whole. This document can be found @ http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1914-25045-1246/final_national_response_framework_20130501.pdf
Katrina, the Category 5 hurricane that took over 1,800 lives and cost an estimated 108 billion dollars has many people in the south, to this day, working towards rebuilding their lives. However, many communities, as a whole, are strengthened as a result of the recovery and mitigation investments over the past decade. Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator visited the south this week to recognize these recovery efforts and acknowledge that there is much more preparedness to be done. The article can be found @ http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/FEMA-Director-tours-We-Wanted-to-Celebrate-the-Recovery-of-the-Coast.html
The greatest barrier to preparedness is complacency and, therefore, it is important to remember and recognize these historical anniversaries as terrible as they may be. In turn, we might, if even temporarily, resist the temptation to say “it won’t happen to me.”
August – Sanitation and Hygiene Supplies
The “Get Ready; Stay Ready” campaign focus for the month of August is on gathering the hygiene and sanitation supplies necessary to take adequate care of yourself in the days and weeks following a disaster. This task can be easily overlooked with all the additional concerns that may exist in the wake of a life-disrupting event. It not only helps keep you physically healthy but can also contribute to your mental well-being as well as it provides a sense of routine and normalcy. Consider the items below and determine which items are appropriate for your go kit/emergency supplies. Also, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) offers some great tips on personal hygiene and sanitation care following a disaster. This information can be found @ http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/sanitation.asp
- Medium-sized plastic bucket with tight lid
- Washcloth & towel
- Towelettes, soap & hand sanitizer
- Toothpaste & toothbrush
- Comb, brush
- Razor & shaving cream
- Lip balm
- Insect repellant
- Feminine supplies
- Heavy-duty plastic garbage bags& ties for personal sanitation uses & toilet paper
- Small shovel for digging a latrine
- Toilet paper
- Contact lens solution
- Two, 1-gallon size ziplock bags
As summer begins to wind down, children will be headed 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 https://www.nphic.org/niam or CDC http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niam.html for more information regarding immunization recommendations for pregnant women, infants/young children, school-age children, pre-teen/teen & adults. Also, for UCI students, please visit the Student Health Center http://www.shs.uci.edu/ for additional questions/consultation regarding immunizations.
Last Friday, July 17th a vegetation fire broke out in the Cajon Pass of San Bernardino County. This fire made headlines across the nation as it rapidly grew to an estimated 3500 acres before making its way on to the Interstate 15 freeway. At that time, motorists abandoned their vehicles at the order of the California Highway Patrol and ran for safety (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-fire-in-cajon-pass-20150717-story.html#page=1). Many would later find their vehicles to be nothing more and a charred frame. Those who were not forced to abandon their vehicle were stuck for hours on a freeway that was not moving. Some chose to turn the car off and sit alongside of the road. It was a very hot day and the fire, smoke and wind conditions compounded to the uncomfortable climate. Thankfully, there were no fatalities as a result of this highly volatile and unexpected incident.
While this was an incredibly unfortunate event, its incidents like these that validate our need to have “go bags” or preparedness kits in our cars as well as at home and work. I would be curious to know how many of these motorists had a pair of sturdy walking/running shoes in their car at the time they had to evacuate; particularly for those men and women traveling in formal attire. Did the motorists have bottled water in their trunk that they were able to grab before dashing out in to the hot and smoky environment? What about the motorists’ that were not forced to evacuate their vehicles but were stranded in their cars for hours well past their next meal time? Did they have non-perishable items to snack on and settle their stomach until they were able to eat a more substantial meal? Lastly, what were the implications for those motorists that failed to monitor and sustain a minimum of a ¼ tank of fuel in their vehicle prior to the gridlock?
The truth is that this could’ve happened to any one of us and the decisions we make regarding preparedness will largely determine the condition in which we find ourselves on that unfortunate day. Remember preparedness must take place wherever you go and not just where you rest your head at night; particularly because to most of us spend more time other places than we do at home. Please visit the following links for more information regarding “go kits” for your home, car and workplace.
Orange County resource: http://www.readyoc.org/prepare/kit.html
American Red Cross resource: http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240190_Be_Red_Cross_Ready.pdf
UCI Resource: http://www.nexisprep.com/universityofcalifornia
California is in its fourth year of a record-breaking drought which is rendering significant economic and environmental impacts leading to an unstable future for the Golden State. California produces the largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any state in the U.S. averaging around 2 trillion dollars and this drought is having a significant impact on many of these water-dependent economic engines. Many quality-of-life issues are also of significant concern. Therefore, it is critical that we as University stakeholders and residents of this great state continue our efforts to conserve and be mindful of our personal water usage. Any water use other than that for direct hydration or hygienic purposes should be given careful consideration. In many cases, water conservation measures can be increased simply by an elevated sense of awareness during its use.
The following link provides excellent water conservation tips for your kitchen, bathroom/laundry, outdoors and while at work: http://saveourwater.com/what-you-can-do/tips/ All of which can help increase your awareness These can all help raise the level of awareness needed to be better stewards of this precious resource.
Additionally, below are some of the most recent drought facts and information regarding the current status of this statewide water crisis:
- More than 44% of California is in “exceptional” drought — the worst level of drought.
- California is the world’s fifth-largest supplier of food.
- The current drought cost the (farming) sector an estimated $2.2 billion last year.
- An estimated 17,000 farm jobs were lost in California in 2014.
- The diminished hydropower capacity of California’s dams cost electricity customers a total of $1.4 billion in the past three years.
- California’s current drought is driest period in the state’s 163 years of recorded rainfall history.