zotALERT Sign-Up/ New Mobile Application

We are continuously working to ensure our community is prepared for an emergency and one critical component to this is ensuring timely communication that can alert you to potential threats or safety hazards. To do this the campus has developed the ZotALERT system. ZotALERTS are issued upon confirmation or believe of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving a potential immediate threat to the health or safety of community members 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. At times, zotALERTS may be general in nature because the situation is unfolding. They provide important information known to authorities at a specific point in time. Additional information will be sent out by the campus as it becomes available. If Verano Place receives a zotALERT, relevant to the community it is our practice to forward it to the community list serve to ensure the community is informed.

To ensure you receive timely communication, please take a moment and consider signing up for ZotALERT (if you have not already done so already).
• 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.
• Residents who live in full apartments in family housing can sign their partners up for zot alerts, visit http://www.resnet.uci.edu/zotalert.html for more information.

If an incident is unfolding the following resources are available to you as a means to get information from the campus:
• Facebook – http://facebook.com/UCIrvinePD,
• Twitter – http://twitter.com/UCIrvinePD
• UCI Emergency Resources “the flip book” – http://police.uci.edu/UCI_EmerProc.pdf


Jennifer Nelson Martinez
Associate Director of Apartment Life
Verano Place Housing
University Of California, Irvine
6529 Adobe Circle Road, South
Irvine, CA 92617

Winter Storm Preparedness

A winter storm is forecast for southern California beginning tonight and continuing through Saturday, December 13. Active weather advisories include a high wind warning, flood watch, and high surf advisory for various cities throughout the area. The UCI Police Department Emergency Services Division is monitoring the situation in conjunction with other campus and local emergency personnel, and Facilities Management staff are preparing the campus for the storm.

At this time, there are no plans to cancel classes or suspend campus operations, but be prepared for travel delays. If the situation worsens and impacts the campus, emergency information will be made available via www.uci.edu, zotALERT emergency text messaging, the campus emergency information line 866-IRV-NEWS, and ZotRadio AM 1690.

For weather updates, please visit http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Irvine&state=CA&site=SGX&lat=33.6488&lon=-117.841#.VIn4Nsma9bw

As the first significant storm of the winter, this is a good opportunity to review storm preparedness information and resources. During any storm event, it is important to take steps for your own safety:
— Use caution when outdoors during high wind and thunderstorm activity. Be aware of overhead hazards such as tree limbs and power lines.
— Never approach a downed wire, even if it is not actively arcing or sparking. Report all downed wires to 911.
— Allow extra time during commute periods to account for wet roadways, heavy traffic, and accidents. Drive cautiously and leave extra space when following to allow for increased braking distances in wet conditions. Remember that California state law requires headlights to be on during all periods of rain.
— Make sure you have a full tank of fuel to avoid running out during heavy traffic.
— Do not attempt to drive or walk through flooded areas.
— Bicyclists and motorcyclists should use lights and wear reflective rain gear or vests to ensure that they are visible.
— Take steps to prepare your home. Ensure that your gutters are clear and that any exterior furniture or other items that might become airborne in heavy winds are properly secured.
— If you have low-lying areas on your property, take steps to mitigate flooding by using sandbags.
— Have flashlights and lanterns available in the event of a power outage, and be sure that they have fresh batteries.
— Never use charcoal or propane fueled devices such as grills, heaters, or lanterns inside. These present both a fire hazard and a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Additional preparedness information can be found at www.police.uci.edu under Emergency Management.

Paul Henisey
Chief of Police
UCI Police Department

Tip Tuesday: How to Maintain Levels of Tolerable Stress

Contributed by: Taisha Lewis, Verano Housing Assistant 

Websters Dictionary defines stress as, “strain felt by somebody; mental, emotional, or physical strain caused”. A mild amount of stress is normal for most people and can even be healthy as it motivates human beings to solve problems and strive for better life conditions. However, high and prolonged levels of stress can be detrimental and the effects can be devastating.

As graduate students and graduate student families stress can be especialy elevated. Balancing extensive studies, employment, financial issues, family life, and other obligations can be difficult and can lead to extreme levels of stress. This stress can manifest in many ways. One impact of stress is that it dramatically increases the likelihood of troubled relationships. Stress impacts our ability to communicate efficiently and productively resolve individual and interpersonal conflict.

Maintaining healthy levels of tolerable stress is a lifelong skill that is continually evolving and changes with circumstances. Time-management and life-style changes are two of many tools that can be used to manage stress. However managing stress in a relationship, and addressing existing damage that stress has caused, can prove to be quite challenging from some. In these instances outside help can prove most beneficial. Whether for individuals, families, or couples the following resources provide free counseling services:

UCI Counseling Center

South Orange County Family Resource Center

Families Forward

Emergency Planning- Are You Ready?

The new academic year is just around the corner, get ahead on individual and family emergency planning before school begins. Northern California was recently rocked by a large scale earthquake – when disaster strikes, will you be ready? Do you know what to do at work and at home? Do you have a family plan? It’s important for all of us to be prepared to take care of our families, our homes, our campus community and ourselves. In California, whether it’s wildfires, earthquakes or winter storms, it’s not a matter of “if” a disaster will strike, but “when”. We face our share of natural disasters and we’re not immune to human caused events. BE SMART. BE RESPONSIBLE. BE PREPARED. BE READY!

Here are Ten Ways You Can Be Disaster Prepared . This list is adapted from guidance developed by the California Office of Emergency Services and the UCI Police Department. Take action today – get prepared.

What are the hazards where you live? What hazards do we face on campus? Find out what natural or human caused disasters pose a risk for you. Do you live or work in a flood plain, near a major earthquake fault or in a high fire danger area? Are you prepared for an unexpected human-made disaster that can strike at any time? Does your neighborhood or community have a disaster plan?
Your family needs a plan that tells everyone:

Where to meet if you have to evacuate. Designate a meeting place outside your home where family members can go. Have a backup meeting pace in your neighborhood in case your first rendezvous point is inaccessible. Make sure your children’s schools and day-care providers or caregivers have a disaster plan and that they schedule annual “disaster drills” with parents to ensure your children’s safety.

Who you’ve identified as the out-of-state friend or family member to be your “family contact” for everyone to check-in with. It is often easier to call long-distance following a disaster.

After you have developed your plan, practice it! Start by having family members meet at a designated spot outside your home like you would after a fire or after the shaking stops. Know how to respond in the event of any disaster, whether to stay put indoors or whether to evacuate your neighborhood by car. If your family needs to evacuate, know the proper evacuation procedures and routs as determined by your local city officials.

On campus, review your work area or department plan with your colleagues. Take an opportunity at an upcoming staff meeting to review emergency procedures. To coordinate a brief evacuation drill, contact your school’s facility manager or zone captain.

If you are stranded in your car or have to be self-sufficient at home until help arrives, you need to have a disaster kit with you. Be prepared with a minimum of 3 days of supplies in case vital services are unavailable or utilities are shut off.


Parents, talk with your kids about what the risks are and what your family will do if disaster strikes. Practice your family disaster plan every 6 months. Empower your children to help write the family plan, build the disaster supply kit, and lead the drills. Refresh the kit twice each year to insure age appropriate supplies for your children. The more informed and involved children are in disaster planning, the more prepared they will be.


Infants, seniors and those with special needs must not be forgotten. Make sure that supplies for your infant are in your kit and that you have items such as medication, oxygen tank or other medical supplies that seniors or persons with disabilities may need. Be sure that your have enough special needs supplies for at least 3 days. If you have a family member in an assisted living facility, ask to review the facility’s disaster plan.


Take a basic first aid and CPR course from the American Red Cross. Make sure to take the periodic refresher courses to keep your training current. The training could save the life of a loved one or neighbor following a disaster.

On campus, the Anteater Recreation Center (ARC) offers low cost (or sometimes free) classes. Classes are scheduled conveniently during the workday and on weekends.

You must secure the contents of your home or office to reduce hazards, especially during shaking from an earthquake or an explosion. Strap down large electronics, secure cabinet doors, anchor tall furniture and secure overhead objects such as ceiling fans and pictures.

If you live in a high fire danger area, also take the necessary steps to protect your home against wildfires. For advice on making your home fire safe, contact your local fire department.

Disaster preparedness must now account for man-made disasters as well as natural ones. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count. Be vigilant for suspicious packages, unusual activities or behaviors, and out-of-place, unattended backpacks or other materials. Take action to notify the police so that they can respond appropriately.


Take part in your community planning, preparedness and response teams. Join your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), the American Red Cross, and other community or faith-based organizations in your area.

On campus, keep emergency preparedness on your staff meeting agendas. Participate in Zone Crew activities. Attend training and become a Campus Search and Rescue (CSAR) Team Member.

Helpful Links to Get You Ready!

Daylight Savings

It’s time to turn the clocks ahead and lose an hour of sleep this weekend when Daylight Savings Time kicks in at 2:00 a.m. Sunday. When you turn the clocks ahead, it’s a good time to take a few basic steps to ensure you are ready in the event of an emergency.

CHECK YOUR SMOKE ALARM BATTERIES. When you turn the clocks ahead, take a few minutes to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and push the test button to make sure the alarms are working. If have questions about how to do this contact the Verano Place Housing Office at 949-824-5964.

REVIEW YOUR EVACUATION PLAN AND LOCATE YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD ASSEMBLY AREA.There are many reasons you might need to evacuate your apartment. You should evacuate immediately when:

  • a fire and/or life safety emergency occurs,
  • your building fire alarm activates,
  • you are notified to do so by emergency response personnel or Student Housing staff.

Daylight savings is a great time to review the various neighborhood assembly area locations in Verano Place and ensure your household knows what to do if you need to evacuate. When an evacuation is necessary place your red “EVACUATE” door tag on your outside doorknob as you leave your apartment. Once outside, move to the closest Neighborhood Assembly Area (NAP site) and check in with Verano Place Staff. While gathering at the assembly area, please try and keep streets and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and personnel. If you suspect someone may be trapped in a building notify emergency personnel. Before returning to the building, wait to receive the “all clear” from staff or emergency personnel.

Map_VP_AssemblyAreas 2-001

GET YOUR HOUSEHOLD PREPARED. Disaster can strike anywhere, anytime. Daylight savings is a good time to:

  • check your emergency supply kit and rotate out any expired food, water, medication, etc.
  • create an emergency supply kit for your car or office.

For more information on personal preparedness visit www.ready.gov or www.readyoc.org

For information on preparing an emergency kit on a tight budget visit http://sites.uci.edu/emergencymanagement/2013/09/26/preparedness-on-a-budget/

Kitchen Fires

Many families gather in the kitchen to spend time together, but it can be one of the most hazardous rooms in the house if you don’t practice safe cooking behaviors. Cooking equipment, most often a range or stovetop, is the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Cooking equipment is also the leading cause of unreported fires and associated injuries.

With the start of a new school year, we want to remind our community of a few important pieces of information regarding cooking fire safety. Please take a moment to read through these items.

Watch What You Heat

  • The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
  • Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you have to be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.

Keep Things That Can Catch Fire and Heat Sources Apart

  • Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your stovetop.
  • Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.
  • Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire if it comes into contact with a gas flame or electric burner.

Protect Children from Scalds and Burns

  • Young children are at high risk of being burned by hot food and liquids. Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove.
  • Keep young children at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from any place where hot food or drink is being prepared or carried. Keep hot foods and liquids away from table and counter edges.
  • When young children are present, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible.
  • Never hold a child while cooking, drinking, or carrying hot foods or liquids.
  • Teach children that hot things burn.
  • When children are old enough, teach them to cook safely. Supervise them closely.

How and When to Fight Cooking Fires

  • When in doubt, just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are already getting out and you have a clear path to the exit.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt). Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.
  • In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.
  • If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. Unplug the appliance if you can safely reach the outlet.

Additionally, please keep in mind that according to Verano Place and University policy, “the use of candles/incense in University-owned residence areas is prohibited unless written authorization is given by the Fire Safety Division. Open flame devices such as exposed candles, incense or fog machines are not permitted.”

Source: http://www.usfa.fema.gov

Don’t Freak Out, Shake Out

Today, October 17 at 10:17 AM, UC Irvine is participating in The Great California ShakeOut. You will receive a zotALERT around 10:10 AM/10:12 AM asking you to Drop, Cover, and Hold On for one minute at 10:17 AM.  Please encourage your entire department to participate in this exercise.   The chance of a 6.7 magnitude (or greater) earthquake — the size of the 1994 Northridge earthquake – happening within the next 30-year period is 97% in Southern California!

In addition to earthquakes, there are other emergencies and disasters that we could experience such as fires, power outages, floods, terrorism, pandemic illnesses, active shooter events, among many others. What can you do, starting today, to better prepare?

Assess your emergency supplies at work, in your car, and at home. If you haven’t put together your emergency kits, now is the time to do so!

  • Make sure your office is fully equipped with blue flip charts, evacuation door tags, emergency procedures posters, etc.
  • Know where your assembly area is located and the Zone Crew staffing for your building http://www.ehs.uci.edu/em/zonemap.html

More information on the ShakeOut can be found here: http://www.shakeout.org/california/

Preparedness information can be found at the following sites: http://readyoc.org/  http://snap.uci.edu/viewXmlFile.jsp?cmsUri=public/MainMenuEmergencyManagement.xml