The Clery Act is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to provide prospective and current students and employees with crime statistic information at UCI. It also requires a report with statements of UCI policy regarding safety and security procedures that are published in UCI’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report on or before October 1st of each year. In compliance with the Clery Act, colleges and universities must issue “Immediate Notifications” (known as “zotALERTS” at UCI) and “Timely Warnings” (known as “Crime Alerts” at UCI).
zotALERTS are issued upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students/employees occurring on the campus. Examples of situations in which a zotALERT may be sent include in-progress crimes, earthquakes, bomb threats, an armed intruder, gas leaks, explosions, or severe weather, among other situations. When UCI issues a zotALERT, a mass email is sent to all individuals with a UCI email address and a text message is sent to cell phone devices for those individuals who opt-in. Students, staff and faculty should visit http://www.oit.uci.edu/zotalert/ to register and opt-in for this service or to update zotALERT contact information.
Crime Alerts are issued for any reported Clery Act crime if the crime is determined to represent a serious or continuing threat to students and employees. The goal of a Crime Alert is to aid in the prevention of similar crimes from occurring and to help prevent others from becoming potential victims. Crime Alerts include information and tips that promote safety. When UCI issues a Crime Alert, a mass email is sent to all individuals with a UCI email address utilizing the ZotMail system.
The UCI Police Department would like to remind the community that in emergency situations or during crimes in progress, dial 9-1-1 or use an emergency phone available on campus. Emergency phone locations are marked on the campus map available at http://communications.uci.edu//documents/pdf/UCI_14_map_campus.pdf. The UCI Police Department Safety Escort program is available to anyone at (949) 824-SAFE (7233). For non-emergency situations, the UCI Police Department can be reached 24/7 at (949) 824-5223.
Last week was National Burn Awareness Week which seeks to bring attention to the unprecedented number of burn injuries that take place in America each year. Burns come in all shapes, sizes and colors and can be caused by a wide range of sources. Most adults understand common sense safety precautions while working with or around sources of heat whether this is a stove, fireplace, engine, faucet, etc. Children, on the other hand, don’t always understand these safety practices nor have the capacity to make informed decisions about the consequences. In fact, they not only have a lack of understanding and/or awareness but are actually drawn to these heat sources out of their natural sense of curiosity.
Every day, 352 children ages 19 and under are injured as a result of a fire or burn-related cause. Additionally, among children under 5 years of age, scalds or contact burns are responsible for 90% of all burn injuries and the most common places children experience these injuries are in the kitchen, dining room and bathroom. In an effort to prevent or respond to the number of household burn threats posed to children there are some excellent tips that you should be aware of:
- Cool a burn under cold running water for 10-15 minutes and call 9-1-1 for serious burns.
- Always supervise children in the kitchen and dining areas.
- Create a “No Child Zone” while preparing and serving hot foods and beverages.
- Don’t carry or hold a child while cooking on the stove. Instead, place the child into a high chair or other safe area while cooking.
- Children love to reach, so to prevent hot food or liquid spills, simply use the back burner of your stove and turn pot handles away from its edge; also, keep hot foods away from the edge of your counters. You can also purchase child safe locks for your oven, stove knob covers and a stove guard.
- Keep clothing from coming in contact with flames or heating elements.
- A small adjustment to your water heater can give you one less thing to worry about. To prevent accidental scalding, set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or the manufacturer’s recommended setting.
- Make a habit of placing matches, gasoline, and lighters in a safe place out of children’s reach and avoid novelty lighters as they may look like toys in a child’s eyes.
- When filling a bathtub turn on cold water first then mix in warmer water carefully.
Even if you don’t have children, this information may be valuable to a friend or family member you know who has or cares for children. For more information about burn awareness please visit the American Burn Association @ http://www.ameriburn.org/preventionBurnAwareness.php
February – Emergency Water
The “Get Ready; Stay Ready” campaign is already in its 2nd month now with February focusing on emergency drinking water. Water is, “hands-down,” the single most valuable resource in the days and weeks following a major disaster. Clean potable water will be needed for hydration but may also be used for attending to injuries, personal hygiene, meal preparation and many other purposes.
One of the most common questions asked regarding emergency water is “How much is enough?” The transparent answer to this is that following a major disaster such as a 7.8 earthquake in southern California; a very plausible scenario, it is realistic to anticipate that much of our infrastructure will fail for multiple days or weeks. With that said, it is understandable that many people do not have the space or resources to support this level of emergency preparedness and, therefore, a minimum threshold recommendation has been established as follows: 1 gallon of water per person/per pet; per day for 72 hours taking the following in to account:
- Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet and climate.
- Children, nursing mothers and ill people require more water.
- Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed.
- A medical emergency might require additional water.
If you are one that is limited to, for whatever reason, the 72-hour-minimum recommendation, then you are highly encouraged to speak with friends, family, support systems, etc. to have them include you in their emergency water planning efforts. This will, at least, provide you a contingency plan if/when your 3-day supply runs dry.
Lastly, let’s discuss where to get & how to manage emergency drinking water. There are a number of different ways you can store & treat emergency water. Some store water loosely in bulk bottles and/or drums that are treated and refilled every six months. See page 9 on the following link for instructions on this approach offered by the American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4440181_Food_and_Water-English.revised_7-09.pdf Other people stock up on water bottles found at your local grocery store and discard once the expiration date has expired. Either of the aforementioned approaches is fine, however, the UCI Police Department would like to encourage you to consider another approach: 50-year shelf life canned emergency water. It’s called “Blue Can Water” and comes in what’s comparable to your average 12oz soda can. More information on this product can be found at their website @ http://www.bluecanwater.com/ The following are just a couple benefits of going this direction with your emergency water planning efforts:
- You can take it if/when you need to evacuate your home.
- It can be divided and stored in various locations around your home.
- You only have to purchase is once or maybe twice (if you’re lucky in your lifetime.
- It actually tastes very good.
Ultimately, whatever method works best for you this month, go with that! The bottom line is that you have enough emergency water to support yourself, your family & your pets for a sufficient amount of time following a major event.
If you are a UCI student, staff or faculty member you should’ve received a Zotmail on January 10th regarding the presence of measles in Orange County and specifically identifying the UCI Ayala Science Library as one possible point of exposure here on campus. Since then, the numbers have grown and it is gaining a lot more media attention. According to the latest update by the Orange County Health Care Agency, there are now 22 confirmed cases of measles here in Orange County; all of which trace back to the initial identification at Disneyland Parks in mid-December. What you need to know about measles:
- Measles spreads by air and by direct contact with an infected person.
- Measles causes high fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes and symptoms generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected.
- People are contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears.
- Anyone suspected they have measles should call their medical provider before arriving at the medical office to avoid exposing other to the measles virus.
- For additional questions regarding measles (not covered above) students, staff & faculty are encouraged to contact the UCI Student Health Center @ http://www.shs.uci.edu/
Although the risk of contracting the disease in Orange County is still relatively low, measles is incredibly contagious and people can be exposed to it simply by being in the same room as a measles case during their infectious period. Vaccination is critical to prevent the ongoing spread of this disease. Many of us received the vaccination for measles (MMR) when we were too young to remember. Others, perhaps, aren’t sure if this is something they ever received. You may be a person that never received it as a child but are open to it now as an adult. In any event, the UCI Police Department encourages our community to use this current situation as an excellent reason to review your vaccination history and immunization records. For more information regarding infection prevention, please see the following article in the OC Register by one of our own doctors up at the UCI Medical Center. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/measles-648810-health-vaccine.html
The recent riots and chaos in Ferguson, MO remind us that public demonstrations and protests can spiral out of control almost instantaneously. Civil unrest is sometimes a taboo subject in emergency management because it’s unsettling, to some extent, to believe that a peaceful and functioning society and its people operating under a set of laws and principals can change so drastically. The term “mob mentality” is often used to describe this shift in behavior of the public when an overwhelming influence is present, whether good or bad. Many people that would normally not engage in illegal or unethical behaviors do simply because everybody around them is and there is a perceived lack of order and a temporary “new normal.”
Civil unrest/disturbance has been seen on both a local and national scale throughout history. Some of these events occur in isolated bubbles while others pose a chain reaction in other parts of the country. They can be organized or unorganized; planned or impulsive. It’s not uncommon for groups with a common purpose to use high profile trial verdicts, Supreme Court rulings and new laws as a means to initiate riots. However, we’ve also witnessed civil unrest following victories in professional sports, during parades/celebrations, at concerts and other events that are intended to be enjoyable for the public. Civil unrest has taken place outside of government buildings in large metropolitan areas, through the streets of small towns and even on the grounds of colleges and universities.
The UCI Police Department has managed many protests here on campus over the years and has policies and procedures for responding to these types of incidents. However, with each one it is recognized that no two events are the same and that anytime you have a large group of individuals in this type of a situation there is a potential for high volatility. As such, civil unrest has been ranked third on the campus Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (HVA) which examines the risk, impact and vulnerability of a variety of events. Therefore, we believe it is important for our community to understand what to do if/when they find themselves at the scene of such an event whether it is on campus or in their home community. Consider the following recommendations:
- Use common sense.
- Understand that these situations are volatile and can change quickly.
- Do not get involved, add to the size of the group, or go near the event out of curiosity.
- Leave the scene and find a safe place for you and your loved ones until the event is over.
- If there is no law enforcement presence, dial 9-1-1.
- Follow the instructions of law enforcement.
- Stay informed by watching the news, social media, etc.
- If you decide to evacuate, take your “go bag” and valued possessions. Then, lock your doors and windows before you leave.
On Monday, January 12th the UCI Emergency Services Division hosted the 12th Annual Zone Crew/CSAR Meeting in Pacific Ballroom D of the Student Center. This meeting, however, was much different than those in the past as 140+ participants took their seats to engage in a multi-scenario tabletop exercise. This exercise was a discussion-based exercise which prompted all participants to work with their counterparts at tables to talk through what actions would be necessary in response to an earthquake, release of hazardous materials and an armed intruder scenario. Following each scenario, zone representatives would stand up and share with the larger group some of the issues, questions and processes identified during their group’s discussion.
Prior to beginning the tabletop exercise, Associate Vice Chancellor Paige Macias and Police Chief Paul Henisey each welcomed the group and thanked them for being there and contributing to the safety and security of the UCI campus community. Anne Widney, the campus Emergency Services Manager, reviewed some of the major accomplishments of Emergency Services Division over the past year. Anne also introduced the emergency management initiatives that will be taken in 2015 and how Zone Crew and CSAR members can continue to stay involved and support these efforts.
Overall, the feedback received is that this was a successful meeting and a positive and fun way to engage our members. Training and education is vital, however, exercises help us understand our strengths and areas for improvement. This exercise, hopefully, provided this feedback to all that participated and we are looking forward to continuing to provide these opportunities to Zone Crew and CSAR members as we move forward. These two groups play an incredible role in our campus emergency management program and our mission could not be accomplished without them.
For additional information on Zone Crew and/or Campus Search and Rescue (CSAR) please contact Anne Widney at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-824-7147.
January – Communications Plan
Getting prepared for an earthquake or any large-scale disaster is kind of like building a puzzle in that there are many different pieces to it. Sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly where to begin and each piece completed gets you one step closer to an adequate level of preparedness. Over the next year we will be focusing on a different piece of preparedness for each month in our “Get Ready; Stay Ready” campaign 2015. For this month, we’re going to look at developing a family communications plan.
A communications plan is an extremely important part of the “preparedness puzzle.” Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so you must plan for how you will contact one another or at least communicate your safety to one another if separated. Begin this process by printing and completing the American Red Cross Emergency Contact Card for each member of your family found at the following link: http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240194_ECCard.pdf
At minimum, this card should identify the following once complete:
- Contact information for each person in your family.
- A pre-designated meeting location outside of your neighborhood.
- An out-of-area contact person and their phone number(s).
The latter is particularly important because following a large-scale earthquake in southern California cell phone lines within the area will be congested and there is a strong likelihood you will not be able to contact your loved ones within the affected area. However, by designating somebody outside the area or, better yet, the state you will have a much chance of getting through and communicating your safety and location status to them. This out-of-area contact person can relay information to various family members about other family members and act as the liaison of information. Each family member should retain a copy of the Emergency Contact Card in their wallet, purse, backpack, etc.
Next, your family should develop a document with additional important information using excel or another application including the following:
- Name, Date of Birth, SSN & important medical information (i.e. conditions, medications, etc.) for each person in your home.
- Name of doctor, pharmacy, & veterinarian for each person and pet in your home including phone numbers and addresses.
- A flexible reunification plan including where family members will meet if it happens while parents are at work or children are at school. Be sure to document the name of employer or school, address, and contact information. Parents should contact the school during the development of this plan to clarify what the school’s emergency plan is following a large-scale earthquake or other disaster while school is in session.
- Phone numbers for the gas, electric, water and telephone companies.
- Location of smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and water heater in the home as well as the shutoff locations for all utilities.
A copy of this spreadsheet should be printed and retained by each member of the household. Remember, all of this information is no good if it’s stored on a computer and inaccessible during a power outage so be strategic in planning where and how each family member will maintain their copy. It is equally important that this spreadsheet be reviewed and information validated every six months when you change the batteries in your smoke alarms during the time change.
With Christmas being less than 48 hours away there are still many of us tying up loose ends on our shopping lists. If you are still looking for the perfect “stocking stuffers” consider gift options that are practical, affordable and that will help ensure the safety of your loved ones. There are a number of emergency preparedness items that make excellent “stockings stuffers” which can still be purchased in common stores (warehouse and other retailers) today and hanging by the fireplace tomorrow night. The following are just a few examples:
- Flashlights (with extra batteries)
- First Aid Kit
- Utility Tool/Knife
- Hand Warmers
- AM/FM Radio
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
You will, of course, want to purchase only those age-appropriate items for the kids but most of these would be an excellent complement to or beginning of an emergency “Go Bag” for those on your list. None of these items will make the “Top 10 Gifts of the Year” but they sure have the potential to be an invaluable resource when we need them most. So, consider the gift of preparedness as we close in on this Christmas and begin another year!
Are you aware that UCI has its own low-power radio system that can be heard from anywhere on campus? It’s called ZotRadio AM 1690 which broadcasts messages related to campus parking, traffic advisories, public safety and emergency information 24/7. ZotRadio is a jointly administered effort between Transportation & Distribution Services and the UCI Police Department to ensure that our campus community remains informed on these matters concerning their schedules and personal well-being.
Our campus frequently hosts large events that can impact traffic and parking congestion. Sometimes construction on a building or roadway can slow the flow of your intra-campus commute and make you late to a meeting or to class. These roadway impacts can be planned or unplanned so it is always a good idea to get the information ahead of time by tuning in to AM 1690. For more information on ZotRadio visit Transportation & Distribution Services @ http://www.parking.uci.edu/services/traffic/zotradio.cfm
ZotRadio is one of many tools on campus that will be a critical resource following a major earthquake as it will allow for the quick dissemination of information to the campus community on actions to be taken including evacuation routes, road closures, specific hazards, shelter-in-place or any other pertinent information. It’s not only a widely accessible resource but a resilient one as well that campus authorities expect to be functional following a significant manmade or natural event.
Perhaps you have noticed the Emergency Alert Signage for ZotRadio that has been installed on traffic poles at the following five main campus entrances:
- East Peltason Drive and Pereira
- East Peltason Drive and Anteater Drive
- East Peltason Drive and Bison Avenue
- West Peltason Drive and Mesa
- West Peltason Drive and Pereira.
In an emergency, the yellow beacons will flash prompting the campus community to tune in to ZotRadio for further instructions. However, we’d like to encourage the campus community to increase familiarization with this resource by tuning in periodically and listening to one cycle of the recorded message. By doing this it will become more intuitive and automatic following an actual emergency.
Have you ever been in a public setting perhaps a shopping mall, movie theatre or concert and saw something that just didn’t look or feel right? Maybe it was an unattended item or somebody taking unusual pictures that raised your suspicions. If so, did you do anything about it? Most of us are probably guilty at some point or another in our lives of brushing it off as “nothing” and failing to take action. But what if that suspicious “nothing” was actually “something” and your response could save lives or property?
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched the nationwide “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign in July of 2010 as a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper authorities. Since then, many local law enforcement agencies have partnered with the DHS and each other to develop more localized versions of the same campaign. In Orange County we are fortunate to have an extremely advanced and collaborative network that responds to reported information called the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center (OCIAC).
This network of professionals is comprised of 11 agencies which work collaboratively to detect, protect and respond to numerous tips of suspicious activity every day in Orange County. This is accomplished through the collection, analysis and dissemination of information on all criminal risks and safety threats to law enforcement, fire, health, private sector and public sector stakeholders. The OCIAC invites the public to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement or directly to them by calling (714) 289-3949 or submitting a tip on their website @ https://ociac.org/
The best way to recognize suspicious activity in a public setting is by having good situational awareness. Terrorist attacks are not impulsive but rather quite the contrary. They typically require very meticulous planning and preparation. The following link provides a list of what are called pre-incident indicators to terrorism as identified by OCIAC: https://ociac.org/default.aspx/MenuItemID/217/MenuGroup/HomeRight.htm Also, please keep the following practices in mind and do your part to make UC Irvine & Orange County a safer place to work, live and enjoy:
- Take note of your surroundings.
- Know the routine of your business area, home and community.
- Look out for unusual conduct or behavior.
- Be aware of suspicious objects, packages or vehicles in your area.
- If you hear a threat by someone that could be credible, take it seriously and report it.