Tuesday, August 27, 2013


People are  exposed to certain hazards as they work and play outdoors in open spaces, near or on tall
objects with conductive metal. You should pay attention to thunderstorm storm warning signs such as high winds, dark clouds, rain, and distant thunder.

Thunderstorms affect relatively small areas when compared with hurricanes and winter storms. The typical storm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. Despite their small size, ALL thunderstorms are dangerous. Of the estimated 100,000 thunderstorms that occur each year in the United States about 10 percent are considered severe. Even in the dissipating stage of a thunder storm, there are risks of lightning.

Sometime hail is created, which causes more than 41 billion in damage to property and crops each year. Large stones fall at speeds faster than 100 mph. Strong rising currents of air within a storm, called updrafts, carry water droplets to a height where freezing occurs. Ice particles grow in size, becoming too heavy to be supported by the updraft, and fall to the ground.

During thunderstorms, no place outside is safe. However, you can minimize your risk by assessing the lightning threat and taking appropriate actions. Stop what you’re doing and seek safety in a substantial building.


  • Call for help. Get someone to dial 9-1-1 or your local Emergency medical Services (EMS) number.
  • The injured person has received and electrical shock and may be burned, both where they are struck and where the electricity left their body. Check for burns in both places.
  • Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR.

Delay or postpone outdoor activities if lightning is evident in the immediate area. This is the best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation. Move to a sturdy building or vehicle. Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles. Stay away from tall objects such as towers,  fences, telephone poles, and power lines.

If you cannot get to an appropriate shelter or vehicle, find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding. If you are in the woods, and there are no other alternatives, take shelter under the shorter trees.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wasatch Fault Fly By Video

Fly along the Wasatch fault in Google earth to explore the earthquake risks along the Wasatch Front in Utah.

Volunteer Efforts Are Crucial

When Disaster Strikes, Volunteer Efforts Are Crucial

LINCROFT, N.J. -- As Superstorm Sandy made landfall in New Jersey last October, many residents who had lived in harmony with the oceans, rivers and bays of New Jersey for decades found themselves in life-threatening situations.

The emergency inspired hundreds of heroic acts. Among them:

  • In Brick, a couple who were lifeguards saved some 50 people from the floods.
  • A Vespa-riding school teacher carried gas and emergency supplies for people in desperate need of help.
  • An off-duty nurse delivered a baby by the side of the road.
  • A volunteer firefighter braved chest-deep water to rescue his neighbors.

In all of the areas impacted by the storm, people performed extraordinary acts of bravery and compassion.

Neighbors helped neighbors, community volunteers including first aiders and firefighters worked around the clock to rescue those in need and protect the safety of their neighbors.

And as the wind, rain and flood waters, receded, a veritable army of volunteers joined forces in the recovery effort.

As the one year anniversary of this historic storm approaches, it is a good time to remember and celebrate the role of volunteers in helping the residents of New Jersey meet the enormous challenges they faced in the weeks and months of recovery that followed the storm.

To date, 507 volunteer organizations have participated in the recovery effort in New Jersey. Of those, 124 have reported 166,598 volunteers who have contributed 951,731 hours worth $26.8 million.

“In a disaster such as Superstorm Sandy, the efforts of volunteers are critical to the recovery,” said Gracia Szczech, federal coordinating officer for FEMA in New Jersey. “The work of volunteers contributed substantially to helping New Jerseyans respond to the challenges they faced and begin their recovery.”

A coalition of volunteer organizations, the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), has worked with federal, state and local agencies to provide a wide range of services to New Jerseyans as they moved forward with their recovery.

FEMA supported their efforts by identifying populations with access and functional needs, identifying available federal assistance programs and providing coordination and donations management. Together, the agencies form a Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG). FEMA’s Voluntary Agency Liaisons work with the voluntary groups at the state and local levels and also refer people to the LTRG for help with specific needs.

The voluntary organizations’ work includes helping with flood debris cleanup as well as home repairs and reconstruction, providing short-term food, clothing and shelter assistance, and counseling services.

Among the local and national VOAD organizations that have been active in the continuing recovery are: the American Red Cross, the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Church World Service, World Renew, UMCOR (United Methodist Church), Mormon Helping Hands, Operation Hope, United Church of Christ, Catholic Charities, NECHAMA (Jewish Response), ICNA (Muslim Humanity) Rebuilding Together, Habitat for Humanity, Lutheran Disaster Response, Presbyterian Disaster Services, the Salvation Army, certain United Way organizations as well as faith-based volunteers from numerous other denominations, individual churches, synagogues and mosques.

Posted from www.fema.com
Release date: AUGUST 23, 2013
Release Number: 4086-211

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

FEMA Offers Disaster Preparedness Tips For Parents Of College Students

Families...are preparing to send their sons and daughters off to college – and many of those students will be away from home for the first time.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests that parents should make sure their students will be prepared for emergencies.

Whether it’s as simple as a power outage or as challenging as a storm like Sandy, being prepared can help your college student remain safe and deal calmly with the situation while helping other classmates to do the same.

Having a disaster readiness kit on hand can go a long way toward keeping your student safe and feeling secure in a challenging situation. A kit can be as simple as a backpack containing items like a flashlight, a small radio, extra batteries, a solar-powered or hand-cranked cell phone charger, energy bars, water and first aid supplies.

These days, most colleges have emergency plans that outline procedures in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

Check the college’s website to see if its plans are posted. If not, call the admissions officer to request a copy of the plan and to confirm that your student is registered with its emergency notification system.

Make sure that your son or daughter updates their cell phone contacts and adds an “In Case of Emergency” number in their contact list. Remind them that cell phone service may be unreliable in the aftermath of a disaster. Texting or communicating via social media may be possible when phone calls are not.

Work out a family communications plan with your college-bound student so that she or he will know where to get in touch with you at any time, or where to leave a message if communications between home and school are disrupted.

Prepare an emergency information sheet listing the names, locations and phone numbers for family members, physicians, medical insurance, and other important resources.

Check with your homeowners’ insurance company to see if your policy covers your student’s belongings at school. If not, you may need to purchase an additional rental policy to cover items
in your student’s dorm room.

Advise your student to keep their emergency kit under the bed or on the top shelf of a closet where it will be easily accessible in an emergency.

Ready-made disaster kits designed for students can be ordered from the American Red Cross at www.redcrossstore.org. Information on compiling your own disaster readiness kit is available on the web at www.fema.gov.

For more information on building a basic disaster kit and developing a family communications plan, go to www.ready.gov.

Original article posted from NJTODAY.net