America’s PrepareAthon: Wild Fires

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Today is a nation wide effort to help people become more prepared.  There are several issues and ways people can help.  I have choose to focus on wild fires. There are many links within the article that will take you to a different page, I recommend you right click on them and then select “open link in a new tap.” This will make reading the article a lot smoother.  The below information comes from the official website: America’s PrepareAthon!

WILD FIRES:

Before a wildfire strikes your area:

  • Know your sources of information
  • Prepare your home and workplace
  • Develop an emergency communications plan
  • Know what to do when a wildfire approaches

For more detailed information, download How to Prepare for a Wildfire, a hazard-specific guide, which provides information on the basics of each hazard, how to protect yourself and your property, and what steps to take now.

As more and more people make their homes in woodland settings, homeowners face the increasing danger of wildfire. Usually, lightning or an accident can trigger these events and often they begin unnoticed. Fires spread quickly igniting brush, trees, and homes. Homes that survive almost always do so because the homeowners were prepared. Before a wildfire strikes your area, be prepared to evacuate threatened areas on short notice; reduce sources of fuel near your property by ensuring it is well irrigated and free of highly flammable vegetation and landscaping; and review your homeowners or renters insurance policy.

 

Be Smart. Know Your Hazard

Wildfires can occur anywhere and can destroy homes, businesses, infrastructure, natural resources, and agriculture. For more information, download the How to Prepare for a Wildfire guide, which provides the basics of wildfires, explains how to protect yourself and your property, and details the steps to take now so that you can act quickly when you, your home, or your business is in danger.

Wildfire Basics

  • WHAT: A wildfire is an unplanned, unwanted fire burning in a natural area, such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. As building development expands into these areas, homes and businesses may be situated in or near areas susceptible to wildfires. This is called the wildland urban interface.
  • WHEN: Wildfires can occur at any time throughout the year, but the potential is always higher during periods with little or no rainfall, which make brush, grass, and trees dry and burn more easily. High winds can also contribute to spreading the fire. Your community may have a designated wildfire season when the risk is particularly high.
  • WHERE: Wildfires can occur anywhere in the country. They can start in remote wilderness areas, in national parks, or even in your back yard. Wildfires can start from natural causes, such as lightning, but most are caused by humans, either accidentally—from cigarettes, campfires, or outdoor burning—or intentionally.

Know the Risk

Do you want to have a better understanding of the wildfire risk you and your community face? Below is a map of the United States and the frequency of wildfires greater or equal to 300 acres in your county since 1994.

Map Information: This area is a map of the continental US, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii including states boundaries. It is entitled “Wildfire Activity by County 1994-2013”

It includes data from the USGS Federal Fire Occurrence Database, including U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Bureau of Land Management. This map displays the frequency of wildfires by county at three levels. In the first category, for counties that have had wildfires greater or equal to 300 acres, from 1994-2013, it displays the frequency of these wildfires for three levels of frequency; second, it displays the counties where the largest wildfires were less than 300 acres; and third, it displays the counties where no wildfires were reported.
In the first category of wildfires greater than 300 acres, the highest frequency of reported wildfires (101-1,308) occurred mainly in the states of Alaska, northern Washington, eastern Oregon, northern and southern California, central and southern Idaho, western Montano, northern Colorado, northern Nevada, northern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and southern Florida. The second highest frequency of wildfires (21-100) occurred in the same Western states, but more evenly distributed, with the addition of most of Wyoming and a few counties within North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and Hawaii. The third highest frequency of wildfires (1-20) occurred primarily in the states already described with additional parts of Wisconsin, Michigan, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and eastern Maine.
In the second category of the states that include wildfires of less than 300 acres, the map identifies counties within almost every state but primarily counties in Northern, Southern and Mid-Atlantic states plus a few counties within Puerto Rico.
In the third category of the counties with no recorded wildfires, the map identifies central Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, northern Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, southern Michigan, Ohio, central Kentucky, central Tennessee, southern Alabama, southern Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and most of New England.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
ORR Mapping and Analysis Center, Washington, D.C., March 13, 2014. Sources: ESRI, USGS.

Additional Resources

For more information on protecting yourself from a wildfire and protecting your property and belongings, download these helpful resources:

  • Be Smart-Know Your Alerts and Warnings: The factsheet provides a brief summary of the various alerts and warnings available from Federal, state, local governments as well as the private sector that you can sign up for to stay informed and be ready to take action to be safe.
  • Be Smart-Protect Critical Documents and Valuables: The checklist helps you to take an inventory of your household documents (e.g., financial and medical records), contacts, and valuables.

Take Part. Your Day of Action

 Everyone has a role to play in preparing for a disaster. America’s PrepareAthon! provides Playbooks and resources to help organizations from across the community implement successful preparedness activities that will enhance the resilience of individuals, organizations and the whole community. Many individuals within an organization can lead this effort; you may be a manager, employee, teacher, or volunteer.

Select the community sector below that best represents your organization and you will find a Playbook that explains the benefits of participating and suggests simple drills and exercises. Also included are step-by-step guides and resources to make implementation easy.

Prepare. Promotional Materials

Research shows there is a strong relationship between talking about preparedness and taking action. America’s PrepareAthon provides easy-to-use branding and promotional materials available to download and use in implementing and promoting your day of action. You are encouraged to create your own PrepareAthon! using the provided Logo Usage Guidelines.

Please review the America’s PrepareAthon! Resource Catalog to see all the print and digital materials available for download. Also provided are a Media Guide to help with outreach to media, including fill-in-the-blank templates, and a Communications Toolkit filled with social media tips, tools and templates.

  • Resource Catalog - This Resource Catalog provides an overview and examples of the easy-to-use information resources, branding materials, and promotional materials that are available to download and use in implementing and promoting a day of action.
  • Communications Toolkit - This guide provides key messaging as well as social media tips and tools that can be used to promote and support America’s PrepareAthon! activities.
  • Media Event Planning Guide - This guide provides media planning and outreach guidelines, and includes fill-in-the-blank templates.
  • Be Smart. Take Part. Prepare Your Organization for Disaster - This brochure presents organizations with a brief overview of America’s PrepareAthon! and explains how they can participate to build resiliency in their organizations.
  • Promotional Package – Wildfire
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National Preparedness Coalition

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This is an off shoot of Ready.gov website.  They set up the website so that people from all walks of life could help each other out.  Here are a few of the elements they offer:

  •  Regional Discussions:  “Connect and collaborate with coalition members near you.”
  • Preparedness Discussions:  “Learn from and share best practices with members from around the country.”
  • Find or add events:  “Find events near you or add your events.”

 Here are some of the members in the database:

  • Businesses/Private Sector
  • CERT Groups
  • Faith-based Organizations
  • News Media
  • Military
  • Colleges/Universities

There is a CERT forum on the site.  People from all over the nation ask questions, give recommendations and look for people to connect with.

This site is highly recommended if you have a CERT team or are a professional emergency manager who is looking for some great insightful information.  But if you don’t fall in those categories, don’t let that stop you from checking them out.  There are still plenty of recourses that will help you on your path to becoming a more prepared person.

Snap Shot: Drop, Cover and Hold

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We have all heard of the saying.  For those that live or lived in earthquake country, we had the drills in school.  “Earthquake, earthquake, now kids go under the desk and hold on real tight.” 

What is the real point of doing this?  Does this really help anyone out in a real earthquake?  And if so, then why do all the youtube videos show people just standing around when it starts to shake?  What about the “triangle of life”, what makes it a good or bad concept? 

These are all great questions (pat myself on the back)  and let us see where it takes us.

Q: What is the real point in doing this?

A:  The real point of doing this is to stay alive.  Things fall down, and head injuries are no laughing matter.  If debrie does fall all around you, you will have a pocket of air.  The hope is that it could be enough to keep you alive until rescue comes.

Q: Does this really help anyone out in a real earthquake?

A:  No, it’s just a sad, sad joke Continue reading

CERT App Will Help Coordinate Volunteer Responders

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Stronger community

VIA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT NEWS   

By: on July 02, 2013
 

A new public safety mobile application may soon help emergency response coordinators stay up-to-date on their volunteer teams and improve coordination with other public safety groups.

Called CERTify, the app enables Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) coordinators to send messages and assignments to team members during an emergency situation. It also enables decision-makers to keep a closer eye on volunteers’ safety and rescue credentials, to ensure that their skills and certifications are current.

CERT training consists of instruction in first-aid, search-and-rescue, basic firefighting, and other basic emergency skills for citizens. The training curriculum takes about 30 hours to complete, and course materials are provided by the federal government. After training is complete, volunteers can form community teams and help first responders after a disaster. Continue reading

Go Stay Kit

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Today we finish the 8 part series to the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and possible personal solutions.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Wood from Go Stay Kit.  A great product to help every family on their way to completing their emergency plan. 

Different ways to connect with Go Stay Kit

Facebook 

Twitter 

Linkedin

If you have an idea or know someone that could help promote this product PLEASE contact Steve.  This is an American product made here in Oregon. I would love to see it succeeded, wouldn’t you? steve@nullgostaykit.com

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Buy one for your family or friends.  

Disaster Song by Mc Frontalot