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2018 Campus Search and Rescue (CSAR) Annual Training

The UCI Campus Search and Rescue (CSAR) program, which is coordinated by Anne LeSage from UCIPD’s Emergency Management Division, held its annual training for new members in August 2018. CSAR is a voluntary program that is open to all UCI faculty and staff, and provides participants with the necessary tools and information to improve their ability to assist family members, neighbors, and colleagues during and after an emergency or disaster.

With the completion of the 3-day, 18-hour training, which was held in the Palo Verde Community Room on August 3, 10, and 17, the campus welcomed its 23rd CSAR Cohort that was comprised of 32 new volunteers. These new members will now bolster the cadre of dedicated CSAR volunteers – over 400 individuals have been trained since the program’s inception in 2004 – that are prepared to answer the call and assist the campus following a large emergency or disaster. For example, should an activation of CSAR by campus leadership be required, these individuals may be asked to assist emergency responders by searching lightly damaged buildings, triaging injured people, providing limited first aid, and performing other duties, as necessary.

As such, the rigorous, yet fun and engaging, CSAR curriculum has been designed to ensure all participants who successfully complete the program have the adequate knowledge and skills to perform the aforementioned vital duties following any emergency or disaster. In all, topics covered during the training include disaster preparedness, emergency utility shut-offs, hazardous materials handling, fire safety and suppression, disaster first aid and triage, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, terrorism and active shooter incidents, and a review of campus emergency management plans. Lastly, the final training session closes with a full-scale drill to practice and reinforce everything learned throughout the course.

If you are a UCI faculty or staff member and are interested in learning more about CSAR, please contact Anne LeSage at, or visit the CSAR webpage.


June is Pet Preparedness Month

Have you thought about your pets when creating your disaster plan and your emergency kit?  Make sure your animals stay safe and remain a loving part of your family by taking the steps below:

  • Get a Rescue Alert Sticker – The Rescue Alert Sticker will notify people that pets are inside your home.  Place sticker in a visible spot for a rescue worker to see.       Include the types and number of pets in the home, the name of your veterinarian and your veterinarian’s phone number.  If you have evacuated, write “EVACUATED” across the sticker.
  • Find a Place for your Pet – Never evacuate without your pets.  Make sure you have a predetermined place you and your pets can go in the case of an evacuation because not all shelter or other designated places of refuge will allow pets.
  • Pet Emergency Kit – Along with an emergency preparedness kit for your household, it is also a good idea to create one for your pets. Some items to include are: a pet first-aid kit, enough food and water to last 3-7 days and toys to keep your pet occupied.

For more pet preparedness tips, the following are terrific resources:

Annual Holiday Teddy Bear & Toy Drive


Greetings Anteater Community,

Just a friendly reminder that the UCI Police Department is still accepting donations for the annual Teddy Bear & Toy Drive!  So, please stop by today or tomorrow with any unwrapped item (teddy bear or toy) you would like to provide a child with this holiday season.  Donations will be accepted at the following locations:

UCI Police Department, University Hills Community Center, Puerta Del Sol Office, Camino Del Sol Office, Palo Verde Office, Pippin Commons, The Anteatery, Applied Innovation, OIT (MSTB 263), OIT (131 Innovation Dr., Suite 200).

The bears and toys will be donated to help comfort children receiving care at UCI Medical Center and at other Orange County children’s organizations.

Thank you,


Are You MenB Ready?


Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection caused by Neisseria meningitidis that can affect the brain and spinal cord. It spreads through close or lengthy contact (i.e. kissing, sharing drinks, coughing, living in the same household).


Walk-in clinic
10am – 4pm
Student Health Center
(949) 824 – 5301
Free vaccination with UCSHIP
($191 without UCSHIP)
*For ages 16-23



Get Ready; Stay Ready Campaign 2015

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 @

  • Medium-sized plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Washcloth & towel
  • Towelettes, soap & hand sanitizer
  • Toothpaste & toothbrush
  • Shampoo
  • Comb, brush
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Razor & shaving cream
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellant
  • Feminine supplies
  • Heavy-duty plastic garbage bags& ties for personal sanitation uses & toilet paper
  • Disinfectant
  • Small shovel for digging a latrine
  • Toilet paper
  • Contact lens solution
  • Mirror
  • Two, 1-gallon size ziplock bags

Superstorm Sandy Recovery, 2 Years Later


Last Wednesday, October 29th, marked the 2-year anniversary of when Superstorm Sandy made landfall along the eastern seaboard and wreaked havoc in New York and New Jersey; earning every penny of its claim as the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Two years later recovery is occurring, although not at the rate that many residents and business owners would hope. Insurance claims are being paid and federal assistance is being issued, although not as much or as effectively as many recipients would like. However, the recovery process for Superstorm Sandy is not unique to the other recovery efforts we’ve witnessed in the U.S. following major disasters. This is because recovery takes time and is a long-term process no matter how you “slice” it. Unfortunately, much of this time waiting for the payout of claims and financial assistance disbursement is spent living under less-than-ideal conditions. The following article discusses some of these recovery frustrations faced by Superstorm Sandy victims two years after its devastation.

Financial recovery, although difficult, is oftentimes not even the primary struggle in one’s recovery efforts but rather just a compound to the loss of loved ones or items of sentimental value that cannot be recovered. This is why every household is encouraged to speak with their loved ones about preparedness, make contingency plans with one another, identify and mitigate hazards, learn CPR/First Aid, prepare supplies, and plan to protect or salvage sentimental items, documents or pictures that you couldn’t bear to lose in a disaster. In spite of the disasters that our country has experienced and collectively responded to, we, as a culture, do not place the value we should on personal preparedness and this is, unfortunately, highlighted when we get in to the recovery efforts of these major disasters as illustrated in the disaster cycle image attached (Preparedness -> Response -> Recovery -> Mitigation).

It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” and “what kind” of disaster will be our Hurricane Katrina or Superstorm Sandy here in southern California. And, while there are some recovery factors that will inevitably be outside your control, much of your recovery and conditions of your recovery in the months and years to follow will be directly influenced by your level of personal preparedness and mitigation efforts you put forth now.

Disaster cycle

Safe Halloween & Time Change Preparedness Reminders


This Friday, October 31st children and adults will be celebrating the Halloween festivities. Some adults will be supervising their children’s Trick-or-Treat activities, others will be at costume parties and social establishments, and everybody will be out and about after dark. The intent of this holiday is to have fun whatever it is you are doing; however, ensuring your safety takes an elevated level of precaution on this particular night. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) encourages Trick-or-Treat chaperones to practice the “SAFE HALLOWEEN” tips in addition to providing safety tips for those expecting Trick-or-Treaters or party guests at their home. These can be found at the CDC website @ Another great resource for Halloween safety can be found in this 2-minute video created by Safe Kids Worldwide:

Even if you are not participating in the festivities you can contribute to the safety and well-being of others by driving slower than normal in residential neighborhoods, avoiding distractions in the car like eating or talking on the phone, and merely sustaining a heightened level of ‘driver’s awareness’ for pedestrians and other distracted drivers.

In addition to this being Halloween weekend, it is also the time of year to change your clocks and your batteries. As a reminder, every 6 months (approx.) in accordance with the time changes (Spring & Fall) the UCI Police Department encourages everybody change out the batteries in all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in the home. These devices save lives and it is important that they are powered with a fresh source of energy whenever we ‘Spring Forward’ & ‘Fall Back’. A comprehensive list of tips related to smoke detector preparedness can be found below:

  • Have smoke alarms on every level in your home, especially outside sleeping area and preferably inside bedrooms as well.
  • Test them at least once a month, and replace batteries when you change your clocks twice per year,
  • Replace all detectors after 10 years.
  • Place smoke alarms according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Clean the outside ONLY of a smoke alarm by gently going over the cover with the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Never paint a smoke alarm.
  • Whenever a smoke alarm beeps take it seriously. It might just be a false alarm from cooking, temperature changes, or dust-but you can’t afford to ignore the alert. Everyone in the family needs to react immediately.
  • Develop and practice a home escape plan. Make sure your family knows two ways out of each room, a safe meeting place outside, how to call 9-1-1 once they’re out, and why they should NEVER go back in to a burning house.

Another ‘Fall Back’ practice we encourage of all of our students, staff & faculty is to review & update your family’s emergency plan and your emergency supplies/go kits. This is important because contact information changes and many supplies with an expiration date become perishable over time such as food, water, medication, etc. An outdated plan or kit could defeat the purpose of preparing these items in the first place so remember to keep these items current with the time change.

Fall Back 2



Stop, Think, Connect: October Is National Cyber Security Awareness Month


Online and digital systems have become a fundamental way of life for us in America and around most of the globe. If you own a business, go to school, communicate with friends, have a job, take vacations, Christmas shop, read the news, are a member of a club or organization, or virtually (no pun intended) anything else then the odds are that you do so through some sort of online or digital system. There is no doubt that these systems have enabled our society to become more efficient and productive; however, they have also increased our vulnerability to personal information and breaches in security.

Cyber security is so vital to our personal lives as well as critical infrastructures here in the U.S. that October has been dedicated National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The concept of this designated month and the “Stop, Think, Connect” campaign (see is that we can build resilience as individuals and as a nation through awareness and responsible cyber practices. Take a look at the “best practices” below and conduct a self-assessment how many of these practices you currently employ. Challenge yourself to adopt at least a couple of these to further protect yourself and your equipment and contributing to the security of this technology for all. Please visit for more information.

Keep A Clean Machine:

  • Keep Security Software Current: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • Automate Software Updates: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.
  • Protect All Devices That Connect to the Internet: Along with computers, smart phones, gaming systems, and other web‐enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
  • Plug & Scan: USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.

Protect Your Personal Information:

  • Secure Your Accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site.
  • Make Passwords Long & Strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
  • Unique Account, Unique Password: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.
  • Write It Down & Keep It Safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer.
  • Own Your Online Presence: Set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s ok to limit how and with whom you share information.

Connect With Care:

  • When In Doubt, Throw It Out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or if appropriate, mark as junk email.
  • Get Savvy About Wi-Fi Hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.
  • Protect Your $$:When banking and shopping, check to be sure the sites are security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://,” which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.

Be Web Wise:

  • Stay Current. Keep Pace With New Ways to Stay Safe Online: Check trusted websites for the latest information, and share with friends, family, and colleagues and encourage them to be web wise.
  • Think Before You Act: Be wary of communications that implores you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true, or asks for personal information.
  • Back It Up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.

Be A Good Citizen:

  • Safer For Me = More Secure For All: What you do online has the potential to affect everyone – at home, at work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community.
  • Post only about others as you would have them post about you.
  • Help the Authorities Fight Cybercrime: Report stolen finances, identities and cybercrime to (Internet Crime Complaint Center) and‐complaint (The FTC).

Stop. Think. Connect

The Great ShakeOut 2014


It was less than two weeks ago that UCI proudly received national media attention for the world’s largest pillow fight in history. Now, our campus has yet another opportunity this week to set a world record for the largest number of anteaters to ever shake-it-out together in this year’s annual statewide (and worldwide) earthquake exercise. On Thursday, October 16th at 10:16 a.m. our students, staff and faculty are encouraged to join the 10.1 million other Californians in practicing Drop, Cover, and Hold On for one minute as we simulate responding to a 7.8 magnitude earthquake along the San Andreas Fault.

Most of us know that southern California is “earthquake country” and each October, during the Great ShakeOut, we collectively participate in this opportunity to practice personal safety measures and to spend 60 seconds reflecting on the reality of this risk. This one minute could potentially save your life during a real event. If you think about how many cumulative hours we spend each year practicing other safety precautions such as buckling our seatbelts, waiting at crosswalk signals, locking our doors, clearing fire hazards, paying insurance premiums, etc. it reinforces that this small investment of time is well worth its potential return.

A campus wide zotALERT notification will be sent at 10:16 a.m. reminding everyone to participate. Whether you are in a lab, classroom, or office, Drop, Cover, and Hold On, wherever you are when you receive the alert. If there is no table or desk near you, drop to the ground and then, if possible, move to an inside corner of the room away from any windows. Be in a crawling position to protect yourself and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. DO NOT move to another location or run outside. Earthquakes occur without any warning and may be so violent that you cannot run or crawl. Visit to learn what to do in other settings. You can also visit for more information about this exercise.

We may not make it in to the Guinness Book for this one but we will be a much safer, prepared and resilient community for it.

National Fire Prevention Week: October 5th – 11th 2014


Fire Prevention Week

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9th falls. This is because October 9th 1871 marks two of the most significant fires in American history: The Great Chicago Fire and the Peshtigo Fire of Northeast Wisconsin. The Great Chicago Fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 people homeless, and burned more than 17,400 structures and over 2,000 acres. While this fire may be the better-known of the two, the Peshtigo Fire was even more devastating. This fire killed 1,152 people, and scorched 16 towns and 1.2 million acres. Although both fires started on October 8th, their detrimental impacts to these communities soared on October 9th, hence the designated day/week of observance.

We are reminded this week that fire hazards are unique to other types of disasters in that they are not geographically or climate-specific and can occur anywhere. They can be initiated indoors or outdoors, in the cold weather or warm weather, and can be manmade or ignited via natural means. Fire hazards are also unique in that there are a number of preventative and mitigation measures that can be taken against this hazard which can gravely increase one’s chance of survival such as properly functioning and appropriately placed smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, planned evacuation routes, fire extinguishers, etc. In fact, according to FEMA, smoke detectors and sprinkler systems together can reduce the risk of a fatal fire by 82%.

So, what’s the risk to college campuses and student housing when it comes to fires?According to the Center for Campus Fire Safety, there are an estimated 3200 fires annually on U.S. college campuses resulting in an average of 10 fatalities per year. This includes both on and off-campus housing. Cooking causes more than 2/3 of all fire-related injuries followed by careless smoking, arson, unattended candles, and the overloading of extension cords and power strips. The following are some good safety tips for preventing fires on college campuses:

  • Cook only where permitted and never leave cooking unattended.
  • Don’t smoke. UCI is a smoke-free campus.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets.
  • Never leave candles unattended and put them out after each use.
  • Always have a primary and alternate escape plan and practice them.

There can be unique considerations when it comes to fire safety for individuals that live with disabilities or access/functional needs in student housing on campuses and these are discussed in the video clips 6-9 on the following page:

Also, the following link provides an excellent video about 9 fires that took place over the course of three weeks on different U.S. college campuses in 2012 and highlights the seriousness of this issue:

For more information on fire facts and general fire safety/prevention of this annual campaign please visit the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) @ Here you can find information for specific audiences, take a quiz and test your knowledge on fire safety, etc. You can also learn about fire safety procedures specific to UC Irvine @

Remember, working smoke alarms save lives, test yours every month!