Archive for the ‘Hazard Awareness’ Category

2018 National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

Did you know that tomorrow, May 5, is not only Cinco de Mayo, but also Wildfire Community Preparedness Day?

That’s right… 2018 marks the 5th anniversary for National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. On this day, individuals everywhere are encouraged to volunteer a few hours of their time (or a whole day if you are super awesome!) in order to help reduce their community’s wildfire risk. We cannot stress enough how important it is to be informed about and prepared for the risks posed by wildfires… after all, we do live in sunny Southern California!

To learn more about why you might want to get involved with and support Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, check out this video.

So now you might be asking, “Well, all this information is great and, sure, it is important, but how can I get involved?” Lucky for you, there is a map for that! To find volunteer projects near you, visit the National Fire Protection Association’s webpage and search their project map. However, if you are in the Irvine area, we recommend attending the Orange County Fire Watch’s 3rd Annual Fire Watch Symposium, which will be held at the Quail Hill Community Center (39 Shady Canyon Drive) from 8:00am-12:00pm. It will be a great opportunity for those in attendance to learn more about fire prevention from experts in the field. If that doesn’t hook you in, then they will also have wildland firefighting equipment and personnel in attendance for folks to check out!

Lastly, don’t forget to view our UC Irvine fire preparedness webpage to learn more about what to do when you encounter a fire emergency.

Until next time – May the Fourth be with You!

Lightning Safety Awareness Week – June 23 – 27, 2014

Thunder Roars
Stay safe. Especially if you are traveling over the summer to the South or the Midwest where thunderstorms are the norm! June 23 – 27 is Lightning Safety Awareness Week. Summer thunderstorms in Southern California can mean lightning, blackouts, fire and more. Do you know your lightning safety? When thunder roars, go indoors. For more information visit:

Stay Cool – High Temps Bring Risk of Heat Related Illness

therm 3

Temperatures in many inland Orange County communities are expected to reach high temperatures above 95 degrees this week, increasing the risk of heat related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke for those who are more sensitive to heat.

Prolonged exposure to high temperatures may cause serious conditions like heat exhaustion or heat stroke and can even be fatal. Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea or vomiting and dizziness. At the first sign of heat exhaustion, move to a cool location, rest and drink fluids.  Warning signs of heat stroke may include an extremely high body temperature, unconsciousness, confusion, hot and dry skin (no sweating), a rapid, strong pulse, and a throbbing headache. If symptoms of heat stroke occur, immediately call for medical assistance. Move the person to a shady area and begin cooling their body with water.

Recommended precautions to prevent heat related illnesses include:

• Drink plenty of water; don’t wait until you are thirsty.

• Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.

•Stay out of the sun if possible, and when in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, and use sunscreen.

• Avoid strenuous activities if you are outside or in non-air conditioned buildings. If you are working outdoors, take frequent rest and refreshment breaks in a shaded area.

• Never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in closed cars or other vehicles.

• Check on those who are at high risk to make sure they are staying cool – including seniors who live alone, people with heart or lung disease, and young children.

• Stay cool indoors – if your home is not air conditioned, visit public facilities such as shopping malls and libraries to stay cool.

For more information on heat related illnesses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at

11th Annual Zone Crew/CSAR Meeting

Zone Crew

On Wednesday, January 22 the UCI Emergency Services Division hosted the 11th Annual Zone  Crew/CSAR Meeting. We had over 150 participants, making it the largest group to date! Anne Widney, Emergency Services Manager for UCI spoke about emergency management and Zone Crew, Dr. Lisa Grant-Ludwig spoke about Earthquake Preparedness and Early Warning Systems, Dr. Kristi Koenig discussed Global Emergency Preparedness, and Dr. Carl Schultz covered Altered Standards of Care.

Additionally, Police Chief Paul Henisey and Assistant Chief Jeff Hutchison thanked the group for all of their hard work and dedication to Zone Crew and Campus Search and Rescue Programs on campus.

Each year we strive to make this meeting relevant and interesting for all attendees. Emergency Management is a team effort on campus and we couldn’t do it without our Zone Crew and CSAR Team Members!! For additional information on Zone Crew and/or Campus Search and Rescue (CSAR) please contact Anne Widney at or 949-824-7147.


Campus Search and Rescue (CSAR) Welcomes New Graduates


The UCI Campus Search and Rescue (CSAR) Program wrapped up training series number 16 last week; welcoming 31 new graduates to the team.  This group represents the largest CSAR graduating class in UC Irvine history!  Since it’s inception nearly 280 individuals representing campus staff, faculty, and even some students have completed this course.

Individuals receive training on disaster preparedness, hazardous material and fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, terrorism awareness, workplace violence. The CSAR course is typically held every Fall, meeting twice a week from 12pm – 1 pm for 9 weeks. The campus is also looking to host an additional training series in Spring 2014.  If you are interested in taking this course please email Anne Widney, Emergency Services Manager, at to be placed on the interest list.

Winging It Is Not An Emergency Plan

ready dot gov

Emergencies can occur without warning. Do you have an emergency supply kit and a plan of action? Do you know what to do in the event of an earthquake? fire? flood? or other emergency?

September is National Preparedness Month. This is the perfect opportunity to take a few minutes at work to talk with your co-workers and students, and at home with your family or roommates to figure out a game plan for emergencies. Does your office have an emergency contact list? Does your family have an out of state contact identified for everyone to check in with? Have you identified a reunification site if you are unable to get home?  

Start preparing NOW for what may happen tomorrow. Don’t be caught off guard; without supplies or a plan. Check out these fun videos from that remind us how important it is to Have A Kit, Make A Plan, Be Informed, and Get Involved!

Winging It Is Not An Emergency Plan

Not Sharing Is Not An Emergency Plan

For more information visit: or

Also, for campus-specific information visit:

You Can Be The Hero!


September is National Preparedness Month. This year’s theme is You Can Be The Hero. Co-workers, neighbors and friends are often the first on scene in an emergency; making them our “heroes”. What can you do to prepare to be the hero? The following is a list of measures you can take at home and at work to become better prepared for the disasters you and your family may face.

  • Know your risks. What hazards does your community face? We live in an area prone to earthquakes, wildfires, flooding, and more. Review the UCI Emergency Operations Plan and ask your city/county emergency management agency for their plans as well.
  • Build A Kit – put together a go-kit that includes water, non-perishable food, prescription medication, flashlights, batteries, a NOAA weather radio, and other items. Have a kit at home, at work or school, and in your car.
  • Make A Plan – build a family preparedness plan that includes information on how to respond to your local hazards. Have a UC Ready Business Continuity Plan for your department.
  •  Be Informed – know what to do before, during, and after an emergency. Review the UCI Emergency Procedures Blue Flip Chart. Sign up for zotALERT; the UCI emergency text message system. Sign up for AlertOC to receive emergency notifications for your city.
  • Get Involved – sign up for Campus Search and Rescue Training, take CPR/First Aid Training at the ARC, and take fire extinguisher safety training at EH&S. Get involved with Zone Crew, know your assembly areas, and be prepared for emergencies at work and at home! Work with the UCI Emergency Services Division to coordinate a department continuity and/or emergency response tabletop exercise to test your plans ( or x4-7147).

These are just a few of the things you can do to prepare. Don’t worry – you don’t have to complete all of these things at once. Use National Preparedness Month to jumpstart your efforts. By preparing in advance for the possible hazards you may face, you just may be preparing to be the hero!

For more information visit and

Heat Awareness Day: May 24, 2013

heat awareness

Today, May 24, 2013, is Heat Awareness Day. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States. In the heat wave of 1995 more than 700 deaths in the Chicago area were attributed to heat. In August 2003, a record heat wave in Europe claimed the lives of approximately 50,000 people.

Living in Southern California we are no strangers to heat! Here is what you need to know. The National Weather Services (NWS) issues the following heat-related products:

  • Excessive Heat Outlooks – when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days
  • Excessive Heat Watches – when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24-72 hours
  • Excessive Heat Warning/Advisories – when excessive heat is expected in the next 36 hours.

Alerts are based on Heat Index Values that measure how how it really feels based on actual air temperature and relative humidity. Excessive heat can be hazardous based on how high temperatures affects the body. In times of high heat and high humidity it becomes more difficult for the body to cool itself properly sometimes causing heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and/or heat stroke.

Here are some tips to follow to avoid heat-related illnesses:

  • Never leave children, disabled adults, or pets in parked vehicles
  • Make sure your child’s safety seat and seatbelt buckles aren’t too hot
  • Always make sure everyone (people and pets) has left the car when you reach your destination
  • Slow down on hot days and reduce outdoor activities
  • Dress for the hot summer weather in lightweight, light-colored fabrics
  • Stay Hydrated – drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, as they cause your body to lose fluids
  • Stay in air-conditioned places during excessive heat periods
  • Don’t get too much sun
  • Use the buddy system when in the heat – monitor the condition of those you are with and have others do the same for you

For more information on heat-related safety please visit:

The UCI Heat Illness Prevention Program is managed by Environmental Health and Safety. For more information visit:

For more information on the UCI Emergency Services Division visit:

National Tsunami Awareness Week – March 24 – 30, 2013


This week is National Tsunami Awareness Week. I know you might be thinking, UC Irvine isn’t on the coast, so we aren’t affected. And while that is true, many of our students, staff, and faculty live in coastal cities in Orange County that have the potential to be threatened by a Tsunami.

A Tsunami is an unusually high sea wave that’s formed from an underground earthquake, underground volcanic eruption, a massive landslide, etc….then that wave is like a wall of water as it crashes ashore. The cause can be from a local source, like an underwater landslide off the California coast, or from a distant source, like a major earthquake in Alaska.

It is important to know what to do in the event of a Tsunami. Most importantly, follow evacuation orders and other instructions from local officials. If you are on the beach and see the water recede, get to high ground as quickly as possible.

All of the coastal cities in Orange County have gone through the process to be designated as Tsunami Ready by the National Weather Services. This program is designed to help cities, towns, counties, universities and other large sites in coastal areas reduce the potential for disastrous tsunami-related consequences. For more information visit or your City’s emergency management website.

10th Annual Zone Crew/CSAR Meeting

Zone Crew

On Wednesday, January 23 the UCI Emergency Services Division hosted the 10th Annual Zone Crew/CSAR Meeting. We had over 145 participants, making it the largest group to date! Linda Bogue, Emergency Services Manager for UCI spoke about emergency management and business continuity activities during 2012, representatives from the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center (OCIAC) talked about Terrorism Awareness and the Pre-Incident Indicators, and Corporal Bob LeSage with the UCI Police Department discussed Terrorism Awareness here at UC Irvine.

Additionally, Colin Andrews, Justin Arnold, and Jim Doyle were honored with Police Department Star Awards by Chief Paul Henisey, for their hard work and dedication to the Zone Crew and Campus Search and Rescue Programs on campus.

Each year we strive to make this meeting relevant and interesting for all attendees. Emergency Management is a team effort on campus and we couldn’t do it without our Zone Crew and CSAR Team Members!!