Tuesday, September 30, 2014

An Utterly Terrifying Risk Assessment of California's Next Big Earthquake

Scientists don't know when California's next great earthquake will strike, but they do know just about everything else about it, and the potential ramifications are terrifying: impotent rescue services, widespread fires, and no fresh water for months.

And yet California officials haven't done much to prepare for such an immense disaster, said Lucy Jones, a seismologist at the U.S. Geological Service, at The Atlantic's CityLab 2014 summit in Los Angeles. “There's so much that science knows about what's going to happen, and we're seeing that not being used," she said.

Jones is working with the L.A. government to create a seismic-resilience plan, and she had a dire warning for other California cities that don't brace for the worst from the San Andreas fault. Click on the link below to read the article posted at MSN.com from John Metcalfe at CityLab.com.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Know Your Neighbors, Get Involved In Community Preparedness

Whether you just moved into your neighborhood a week ago or you’ve lived there for 25 years, getting to know your neighbors has always been an important part of a functioning society. It can also be helpful in a crisis, because after a disaster occurs, the people in closest proximity to you – and the people who will be able to help you most immediately – are your neighbors.

They may need your help as well. Research reported by FEMA says that people often are not as prepared for disasters as they think they are. Forty percent of survey respondents said they did not have household plans in the event of an emergency, and nearly 60 percent did not know their community’s evacuation routes. Almost 20 percent of responders said they had a functional disability that would affect their ability to respond during a disaster, but only 25 percent of those people have made arrangements to or alerted others to their disability in case of an event. In a different survey, 46 percent of people said they expect to rely on people in their neighborhood for assistance in the first 72 hours after a disaster.

There are several ways to find out what you can do to help. If you live in an area that is known for disaster events or has had them recently, it can be as simple as asking them how they dealt with any previous incidents. Their feedback can teach you what precautions are the most effective for the situation.

You can also organize your neighbors with the help of local service groups such as Citizen Corps Councils, Neighborhood Watch teams, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), as well as local fire and police departments and emergency management agencies. Their input can help you figure out your neighborhood’s biggest needs.

FEMA also recommends hosting meetings with family, friends and neighbors to plan service projects, set service goals, and learn about existing local emergency response plans. Community-based organizations often lack the capacity to manage large numbers of volunteers, so they need individuals to organize themselves and work alongside them.

Follow FEMA online at www.twitter.com/FEMASandy, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/FEMASandy, www.facebook.com/fema, www.fema.gov/blog, 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, September 27, 2014

Become A Licensed Amateur (ham) Radio Operator

Dear East Bench/Foothill residents.

We are seeking to increase the number of licensed amateur (ham) radio operators here on the East Bench and Foothill area.  Ham operators are a critical component in our ability to community with city officials and emergency responders during a disaster.  If we can talk with them when cell phone, land-lines, and Internet are down, we will be able to get help to arrive to the area more quickly.


If you've ever considered becoming an amateur radio technician, now's the time.  Radios are now the size of a walky-talky, you don't need to learn Morse Code, and learning can be done online, through books, and self-study.

There are a few of us who have indicated interest in getting licensed this year - it does require a license from the FCC which is obtained after passing an exam - and we welcome you to join us. We plan to have a question/answer session this fall with our ham radio leaders to help us with any concepts that may seem unclear.

There are two exam sessions scheduled this year in SLC at the SL County Complex.  One is on October 4th, the other on December 6th.  It would be fantastic if everyone interested could sit for the exam by the end of the year.  Here's where you can find the exam schedule http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session.  Some people study solely from manuals or online and attend a testing session to obtain their license.  Here is a schedule of many of the test sessions locally in the coming months: http://www.xmission.com/~uarc/testinfo.html .  If you go the self study route, as many of us will, you would need to check if the session you choose would be open or allows only class participants to test.

Below is all of the info you need to get started...

Getting Started with Ham Radio

1.  Understand the basics of ham radio.

2.  Prepare for the exam

Find a class to attend or study online
Check out The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual from the library or buy your own copy or take the study course online (more expensive).
If you are already have a good background with electronics, you could probably review the FCC rules and regulations that apply to Amateur Radio and pass the test without a class. Download the question pools to ensure your knowledge is adequate.

3.  Take online practice tests (you will first test for the lowest level of Technician, but can take exams for General and Extra Class licenses; select the appropriate level from the links)

4.  Schedule and take the real exam.

5.  Set up a station.

6.  Get on the air and get involved by networking with other ham radio operators in the community.

"Technician" is the entry-level license by the FCC as an amateur radio operator, "General" is next, and "Extra" is highest.  The pool of questions changes every four years for the Technician level exam, and the newest manuals are available now for the 2014 - 2018 exams.

There are two manuals published for the Technician level:

     *  The ARRL Technician Class License Manual (http://www.arrl.org/shop/Ham-Radio-License-Manual-3rd-Edition/) and

     *  The manual by Gordon West (http://www.w5yi.org/catalog_details.php?pid=76&sort=4)

Online Manuals and Practice Tests

     * When studying for the Technician exam, some prefer the Gordon West manual, but ARRL has some nice help online at http://www.arrl.org/ham-radio-license-manual.

     * This online practice exam is also highly recommended: http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/index.html

     * You can preview and practice online for free (e.g., http://www.dxzone.com/cgi-bin/dir/jump2.cgi?ID=5626 and http://www.dxzone.com/cgi-bin/dir/jump2.cgi?ID=19673), although you don't get personalized tracking of your scores and weak areas as you would at the subscription site.

     * You can see more free sites at:   http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Ham_Radio/Exams/Exam_Practice/

     * And another practice test here http://qrz.com/hamtest/?op=start&t=t2014

     *  There are also several ham radio study/test apps available for your cell phone or tablet.  Take it on the go!

General information about obtaining a license in amateur radio:

     *  http://www.qrz.com/i/ham-radio-howto.html.


Q: Do you have to know Morse Code to get an Amateur Radio license?

A: NO!

Q: Why is amateur radio helpful in emergencies?

A: When traditional communication methods (landlines, cell phones) fail, ham radio is available.

Q: Is ham radio expensive?

A: It varies just as much as buying a television varies. You could go for a small radio with fewer options or a very expensive unit with all the bells and whistles. When you're licensed there will be many other hams who are willing to give suggestions.  A good handheld radio is approximately $140.

What can becoming a ham do for you?  During emergencies and everyday life, amateur radio operators can contact family members who are also licensed.  Hams provide valuable service to their communities during disasters when the usual modes of communications are not functioning.  Hams who participate in clubs or public service events such as Scouting For Food Drive, marathons or parades develop a camaraderie that lasts for years.  And ham radio can be just plain fun!

(Many thanks to Susan Smith for much of the content of this email!)

Captial City News Interview: SAFE Neighborhoods

Poonam Kumar interviews Salt Lake City's Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, John Flynt, about the statewide SAFE Neighborhoods program and earthquake safety.

S.A.F.E. Neighborhood Program Prepares Residents for Disasters Program helps train residents to open and operate neighborhood shelters.
Salt Lake City, in partnership with the Salt Lake City School District and the American Red Cross Utah Region, will launch the Schools Aid Families in Emergencies (S.A.F.E.) Neighborhood Program to better prepare residents for a disaster. The program centers on training community members to open and operate American Red Cross-supported shelters at their local elementary schools following a major disaster.

SAFE Neighborhoods training available

Announcement from John Flynt, Community Preparedness Coordinator for SLC

Hello Everyone,

The school year is upon us and we need to give the SAFE Neighborhoods program a big push to educate and encourage Salt Lake City residents to play a part in making sure they are as prepared as possible for a catastrophic event.

Below are two lists of dates that have been set to provide different levels of the SAFE Neighborhoods program training. The first list is of the specific schools listing the level of training and date that will be provided at each. The second list is of training sessions I have scheduled to hold at the new Public Safety Building.

This program started as a pilot program for Salt Lake City but I am pleased to say that as of this year will be implemented throughout the Wasatch Front and by next year, potentially state wide. Please help promote the program as much as you can as it is quickly becoming a critical component of state-wide disaster preparedness planning. This being the case, we are currently developing a new interactive website and will be updating fliers and other literature over the next couple of weeks. I will send out notices and updates as they are completed.

If you have distribution/contact lists for groups with which you communicate and/or coordinate regularly, please distribute this information to them and consider sharing them with my office (Emergency Management).

Schools currently scheduled:

• Lowell Elementary – District 3
1. SAFE Orientation – September 16th, 2014 at 6:30-8:30pm
2. Shelter Fundamentals – September 27th, 2014 at 9:00am-1:00pm

• Wasatch Elementary – District 3
1. SAFE Orientation – November 18th, 2014 at 6:30-8:30pm
2. Shelter Fundamentals – December 6th, 2014 at 9:00am-1:00pm

• Bennion Elementary – District 4
1. SAFE Orientation – October 7th, 2014 at 6:30-8:30pm
2. Shelter Fundamentals October 25th, 2014 at 9:00am-1:00pm

• Bonneville Elementary – District 6
1. SAFE Orientation – October 21st, 2014 at 6:30-8:30pm
2. Shelter Fundamentals – November 8th, 2014 at 9:00am-1:00pm

• Uintah Elementary – District 6
1. SAFE Orientation – September 30th, 2014 at 6:30-8:30pm
2. Shelter Fundamentals – October 11th, 2014 at 9:00am-1:00pm

• Nibley Elementary – District 7
1. SAFE Orientation – November 4th, 2014 at 6:30-8:30pm
2. Shelter Fundamentals – November 22nd, 2014 at 9:00am-1:00pm

In addition to the school training dates, these are training sessions and dates scheduled to be held at the PSB.

Date                                Training                       Time 
9-13-2014                       Shelter Manager          9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
10-18 & 25-2014            DIST                            9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
12-4 &11-2014               Shelter Manager          5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
1-6, 13, 20, & 27-2015   DIST                            5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
2-21-2015                       Shelter Manager           9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
3-7 & 14-2015                DIST                            9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
4-21 & 23-2015              Shelter Manager          5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
5-5,12,19,26-2015          DIST                            5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

DIST = Disaster Instructor Service Training (Train the Trainer course)

Thank you everyone for your time and contributions to the program!

Click on the following link for more information:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Making an emergency plan for your pets

I ran across an interesting article from CNN about making sure you have an emergency plan set up for your pets. I was mostly surprised by how similar the suggestions for pet emergency kits were for the suggestions for human emergency kits.

To read the full article and see the 10 tips to help kick-start your emergency plans, click on the link below:

Monday, September 1, 2014

Emergency Preparedness Fair


SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM


1400 SOUTH  1900 EAST

Bring your friends and neighbors for a great night of emergency education and enjoyment!

If you have any questions, please call
Amy Carmen at 801-486-1051.