1906 San Francisco Earthquake Remembered


Scores of hearty San Franciscans and history buffs came together last Monday, April 18th to commemorate the anniversary of the great earthquake of 1906 with period costumes, a moment of silence and the traditional wailing of the sirens at the moment the quake struck 110 years ago.

Bob Sarlatte, the master of ceremonies for the day, walked the assembled throng through the events of April 18, 1906 that changed the face of the city forever, from the moment the magnitude 7.9 temblor struck to the raging blaze that followed and the stand firefighters made at Van Ness Avenue to stop the advance of the fire.

Monday’s ceremony was different than the 109 that came before it as it was the first commemoration since the last known survivor died earlier this year.

“We’re here to honor those who died, but also those who survived and rebuilt this city and continue to rebuild this city,” Sarlatte said to the crowd, many of whom came dressed in 1906-style attire. “It can and will happen again. The San Andreas fault never rests.” The entire article is available @ http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/110-years-later-San-Francisco-remembers-quake-victims.html

The San Andreas Fault is one thing that we here in southern California regretfully share in common with San Francisco and while our earthquake risks span far beyond this single threat, it is our greatest known hazard and thus the scenario that the Great Shakeout is based upon. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) and the California Geological Survey produced a very good 4-minute video which realistically depicts what a 7.8 earthquake scenario along the southern portion of the San Andreas Fault would render. The video can be viewed at the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z5ckzem7uA Likewise, re-visit our top 10 Earthquake Tips for the University @ http://www.police.uci.edu/em/EarthquakeSafetyTop10.pdf


Recent Rattles Along the Ring of Fire


Last week, three deadly earthquakes occurred along the “Pacific Ring of Fire” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_of_Fire) within the span of three days; 2 in Japan (6.2 & 7.0 magnitudes) and 1 in Ecuador (7.8 magnitude). Given the fact that the entire west coast is a part of this continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic belts and plate movements, these events have caught a lot of attention and speculation as to whether or not we could be next. http://abcnews.go.com/topics/news/disasters/pacific-ring-of-fire.htm?page=4 According to the US Geological Survey (USGS) it is far too early to conclude that there is any connection between the three, especially considering that 90% of the world’s earthquakes take place along the “Ring of Fire” annually. http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/18/americas/earthquakes-five-things-to-know/

Whether connected or not, these earthquakes are timely for all of us as next week (April 30th) is America’s PrepareAthon and nothing ignites one’s motivation to get prepared like a real-world event or, in this case, three real-world events. America’s PrepareAthon is a grassroots campaign for action to increase community preparedness and resilience. Visit FEMA’s PrepareAthon homepage @ https://community.fema.gov/ and learn about your hazards, what you can do to take action now, read stories about community and individual preparedness and much more. Be smart, take part, prepare!



March Is Red Cross Month


President Barack Obama has proclaimed March as Red Cross Month across the country, a tradition begun by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943. All of our presidents, including President Barack Obama, have designated March as Red Cross Month to recognize how the American Red Cross helps people across the country and around the world.

“Over a century and a half ago, as gunfire echoed through America’s skies and division flared between North and South, a trailblazing woman, Clara Barton, braved bullets and cannon fire to deliver much-needed care, comfort, and supplies to wounded soldiers of the Civil War. Undaunted by expectations of women at the time, Clara Barton persevered, as she had her whole life, and strived to aid those who sacrificed to save our Union. Determined that humanitarianism could thrive in peace as well as in conflict, she carried her resolve overseas upon the war’s end and was introduced to a relief organization in Europe that inspired her to come home to the United States and establish the American Red Cross.” Read the entire proclamation here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/02/29/presidential-proclamation-american-red-cross-month-2016

During Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross is recognizing the country’s everyday heroes – those who reach out to help people in need. These are the people who –

  • Help disaster victims get on the road to recovery
  • Give blood to help a hospital patient
  • Brighten the day of an injured service member who is in a hospital far from home
  • Take one of our lifesaving classes and step forward to assist someone having a heart attack or to save a drowning child

The Red Cross responds to a community disaster every eight minutes, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families at home and around the world. It must collect 14,000 units of blood every day to fulfill the country’s needs. It trains millions of people in first aid, water safety and other lifesaving skills. And it supports the vaccination of children around the globe against measles and rubella.

Red Cross Month is a great time to become part of the Red Cross. You can work on a preparedness plan with members of your household so you are ready for emergencies. You can also become a volunteer, give blood or make a financial donation. For more information, contact the local Orange County Chapter @ http://www.redcross.org/ca/orange-county


Meningococcal B Walk in Clinic


The college setting; particularly dormitories, can be a perfect breeding ground for any communicable bacteria, virus or disease which makes college students an at risk population when it comes to public health concerns. The close proximity of living quarters accompanied by beverage-sharing and other cultural practices common within the college setting all contribute to this elevated level of risk.

Many of us recall the Meningitis B outbreak which occurred at UCSB a couple years ago which, sadly, resulted in the amputation of one student’s legs. Since then, there have been two other west coast outbreaks at higher education institutions at the University of Oregon & Santa Clara University just weeks ago.  In spite of these recent outbreaks, UCI Student Health is being very proactive in offering Meningococcal B walk-in clinics for our students.  Please see below for more information and if you are a UCI student you should strongly consider getting yourself vaccinated!

The Student Health Center will be holding walk-in clinics for Meningococcal B Vaccination on March 10-11 and April 14-15 from 10AM to 4PM.  No appointments needed for the 1st dose—just come to the clinic.  Those who come in on the said dates will be booked for appointments for their 2nd dose which is after 1 month.  Insurance covers the vaccine cost for ages 16-23 years old.

Should you want additional information, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/mening-serogroup.html


Zika Virus: What You Need to Know


Lately, there has been a lot of international discussion about the Zika Virus and its risks. While education and information-sharing is vital to public health, the scope and reality of one’s personal exposure to or risk of a specific threat is oftentimes “lost” through the lens by which the media covers related news stories and reports.  So, the UCI Emergency Management Division wanted to share some facts with the campus community about the Zika Virus which comes directly from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).  This information is particular important to those within the community that travel internationally and are, inherently, at greater risk of exposure to the critters carrying this Virus.  So, please take a moment and read though the information below to get educated on the facts and visit the Orange County Health Care Agency for more information @ http://ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/dcepi/epi/disease/zika    For an additional questions or concerns you may have about the Zika Virus please contact the UCI Student Health Center @ http://www.shs.uci.edu/ 

What is Zika virus?

Zika is an infectious disease caused by the Zika virus, which is transmitted to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitos. Most infected people have no symptoms. The illness is usually mild, and severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. If symptoms develop, the most common are fever, rash, joint pain, and/or red eyes. Symptoms usually begin 3-7 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito and last several days to a week. There is no specific treatment for Zika virus disease. The only treatment option available is the provision of supportive care including rest, fluids, and use of analgesics and antipyretics.

What should Californians know about Zika?

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is monitoring the Zika virus outbreak in Latin America closely. As of February 5, 2016, there have been six confirmed cases of Zika virus disease reported in California residents, all in travelers returning from other countries with Zika virus outbreaks. These cases occurred in 2013 (1), 2014 (3), and 2015 (2). CDPH has also been notified of one preliminary positive case of Zika for 2016. CDPH requested that health care providers voluntarily report Zika virus infections. The CDPH laboratory can provide preliminary laboratory testing and coordinate confirmatory testing, which is currently provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What’s the relationship between Zika virus and microcephaly in newborns?

There is a possible association between Zika and microcephaly (abnormally small head and brain) in newborns. It is suspected that women who get infected with Zika virus may pass the virus to the developing fetus if they are pregnant. However, there are many causes of microcephaly in babies, and whether Zika virus infection causes microcephaly has not been confirmed. Studies are needed to understand this possible relationship.

What is the likelihood of Zika virus circulating in California?

There has been no known transmission of Zika virus in California and it is unlikely that Zika virus would spread significantly in the state. It is possible that a returning traveler infected with Zika virus could be bitten by an Aedes mosquito carrying the virus and that mosquito could bite someone else, transmitting the virus. However, because of housing conditions, water management, and mosquito control practices in California, there is generally less contact between humans and Aedes mosquitoes than in other countries. It is important that Californians avoid mosquito bites while traveling to affected areas to prevent these illnesses and their importation to California. It is also important that California residents, particularly those living in counties where the Aedes mosquito has been found, avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. These mosquitoes have been found in 12 California counties in the last few years (see map at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Documents/AedesDistributionMap.pdf). CDPH and local vector control districts will continue to collaborate to control and limit further spread of Aedes mosquitoes in the state.

What happens if you’re infected? Is there a cure?

There is no specific treatment for Zika. Talk with your health care provider about medications to help reduce fever and pain; rest and fluids are also helpful. Those who do show symptoms usually feel better in about a week.


Florida Elementary School Scare

Becomes Lesson Learned for Parents


Last Thursday, February 18th several parents of children attending Sebastian Elementary School (Sebastian, FL) learned a valuable lesson about making sure their emergency contact information on file is kept current following the bomb scare that led to a school evacuation.  Once the decision was made to evacuate the students and they had a location secured, school administrators sent a message out to parents via their mass notification system that, apparently, some parents never received due to outdated or incorrect information.  Needless to say, from a parent’s perspective, receiving this information second hand or seeing it on the news could be very freighting.  More details about this incident can be accessed @ http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/No-bomb-found-at-Sebastian-Elementary-but-threat-put-plans-notice-system-to-test.html

Mass notification systems are excellent resources that have truly revolutionized the manner in which the general public as well as specific groups (i.e. parents of children in school) receive emergency information. However, they are only as good and as useful as the information that is registered on file with the disseminating authority.  All parents reading this are encouraged to take some time over the next couple of weeks to follow up with your child’s school to see how they plan to notify you in the event of an emergency.  Some questions to consider include:

  • Do they have a mass notification system?
  • If so, what modes of notification are available? Voice, text, email, social media, other?
  • Do they have your current emergency contact information on file?
  • Will they allow you to add a secondary or tertiary contact to the list (i.e. spouse, grandparent, etc.)?   Lastly, everybody should make sure they have registered with their local city to receive mass notification alerts for active threats in your area. If you live in Orange County you can simply do this at Alert OC http://bos.ocgov.com/alertoc/alertoc.asp  Just select your city of residence and follow the subsequent registration steps. If you live in a city outside of Orange County then you should be able to find out how to do so by visiting your city or county’s homepage or contacting them directly.

If you are a student, staff or faculty member at UCI you should also verify that your current contact information is correct in order to receive zotALERTS for emergency situations that could occur on campus. This resource can be accessed @ http://www.oit.uci.edu/zotalert/ At this time, the zotALERT mass notification system cannot accommodate the registration of parent information. However, parents of UCI students are strongly encouraged to sign up for alerts via Nixle @ http://nixle.com/University-of-California-Irvine-Police-Department Nixle alerts are typically be sent out shortly following zotALERTS.

Lastly, everybody should make sure they have registered with their local city to receive mass notification alerts for active threats in your area. If you live in Orange County you can simply do this at Alert OC http://bos.ocgov.com/alertoc/alertoc.asp  Just select your city of residence and follow the subsequent registration steps.  If you live in a city outside of Orange County then you should be able to find out how to do so by visiting your city or county’s homepage or contacting them directly.


Preparedness 101: Fire Extinguishers


We all know that preparedness begins in the home targeting our most likely hazard: fire. This is why we draw evacuation routes, install and test functional smoke detectors and make sure we have fire extinguishers on hand.  However, are you aware of the various types of fire extinguishers and which ones can be used on which kinds of fires?  Have you ever practiced using a fire extinguisher before or are you aware of the correct method that should be used?  Sometimes simply having the right equipment on hand does not guarantee you are equipped with the knowledge to know when and how to use it.  This is why we felt it was an appropriate time for a “Preparedness 101” post featuring fire extinguishers; one of several “Preparedness 101” themes that will be addressed throughout the year.

A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives. But when it comes to extinguishers, one type does not fit all. There are five primary types of fire extinguishers, each designed to put out different kinds of fires:

  • A:  For use with materials like cloth, wood and paper;
  • B:  For use with combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, oil and oil-based paints;
  • C:  For use with electrical equipment like appliances, tools, or other equipment that is plugged in;
  • D:  For use with flammable metals like aluminum, magnesium, and titanium; and
  • K:  For use with vegetable oils, animal oils and fats in cooking appliances.

There are also multi-purpose fire extinguishers that might be labeled “B-C” or “A-B-C”. These are best suited for home use and can be found at most home improvement stores.

Before you consider using an extinguisher there are some very important details to remember:

  • The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate! Contact your local fire department for training in your area;
  • If you do not think you would be able to safely put the fire out in five seconds using an extinguisher, do not attempt to use it! Leave the area and call 911; and
  • When using an extinguisher, be sure to follow the PASS methodPull the pin, Aim low, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep from side to side.

To learn more about fire safety and other fire prevention efforts visit the Orange County Fire Authority @ http://www.ocfa.org/ or the U.S. Fire Administration @ https://www.usfa.fema.gov/


Psychological First Aid Training

UCI Emergency Services Hosts

Psychological First Aid Training for Campus Responders


The psychological of impact of disasters can oftentimes be more devastating to survivor than the physical damage or tangible losses themselves. Also, it’s very difficult to quantify this impact on a given population when conducting disaster preparedness activities and, as a result, efforts to mitigate these impacts can oftentimes be overlooked. The CSAR program covers a broad overview of disaster psychology, however, there was a recognized need for additional training. We wanted to provide our campus responders with a greater depth of knowledge in this area so that they will be more capable to effectively address the mental health concerns of disaster survivors after a devastating event.

On Monday, February 8th the UCI Emergency Services Unit hosted the American Red Cross Psychological First Aid course to members of both the Campus Search & Rescue (CSAR) and Care & Shelter Team (CAST). The objectives of this training were to 1) Help responders be able to recognize the signs of stress in clients, co-workers and themselves, 2) Apply Psychological First Aid principles in providing immediate support to people who may be experiencing stress, and 3) Understand how to obtain additional mental health support for themselves, co-workers and clients.

There were 45 campus responders that attended this course and the class was delivered by a certified American Red Cross Instructor. The American Red Cross has been an outstanding partner to the UCIPD Emergency Services Unit over the past few years with the development of the CAST initiative and continue to help shape and improve the program as it evolves.


13th Annual Zone Crew/CSAR Meeting


On Thursday, January 28th the UCI Emergency Services Unit hosted the 13th Annual Zone Crew/CSAR Meeting in Pacific Ballroom D of the Student Center. This meeting rendered the largest turnout yet with 190 participants and a large CSAR member presence. Featured speakers included Zone 6 Captain Colin Andrews, Zone 13 Captain Ben Delo, UCIPD Lieutenant Frisbee, UCIPD Sergeant LeSage and the Director of the UCI Counseling Center Dr. Jeanne Manese. Collectively, the speakers shared information with the Zone Crew/CSAR community pertaining to emergency preparedness initiatives, crime statistics and intervention programs and efforts/resources to identify, treat and support student populations struggling with mental health-related concerns. Anne Widney, the campus Emergency Services Manager, also presented some of the major accomplishments of Emergency Services Division over the past year as well as upcoming trainings, exercises and projects scheduled to take place in 2016.

The Zone Crew and CSAR programs, among others on campus, are vital to the preparedness mission of the University. This statement was reinforced with action by campus administration last year when approval was granted to develop and fund a part-time position within the Emergency Services Unit to solely focus on further development and refinement of training/exercise programs for these two groups. The UCIPD looks forward to officially welcoming this individual to the team in the near future.

For additional information on Zone Crew and/or Campus Search and Rescue (CSAR) please contact Anne Widney at awidney@uci.edu or 949-824-7147.

Zone Crew Meeting


PulsePoint: An Extraordinary Community Resource


At a recent community meeting, the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) shared information about a very important app that they are promoting as a “force-multiplier” to serve victims of cardiac arrest. The app is called PulsePoint and is available on both the iPhone and Android.

PulsePoint empowers individuals, within covered communities, with the ability to provide life-saving assistance to victims of cardiac arrest. Application users who have indicated they are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are notified if someone nearby is having a cardiac emergency and may require CPR.  If the medical emergency is in a public place, the application uses sophisticated location-based services to alert trained citizens in the immediate vicinity of the need for CPR.  The application also directs these citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest public access Automated External Defibrillator (AED).  More information can be found at: http://www.pulsepoint.org/

The Orange County Fire Authority along with several other fire departments within Orange County are already using this app which has received tremendous support from administrators. This video below, although a little outdated, explains in greater detail how this single app could render citizen-to-citizen aid until first responders arrive: https://vimeo.com/146326794