Thursday, September 17, 2009

Application period opens for seismic rehabilitation grants

SALEM, Ore – Oregon Emergency Management (OEM) announced today that grants are available for eligible applicants for seismic rehabilitation projects on certain type facilities. Grant applications will be accepted effective Sept. 15 through mid November, 2009. Information regarding eligibility and grant information can be located on OEM’s website: http://www.oregon.go/OMD/OEM/index.shtml.

The Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program (SRGP) provides funds to strengthen public schools and emergency services buildings so they will be less damaged during an earthquake. Reducing property damage, injuries, and casualties caused by earthquakes is the goal of the SRGP.

Senate President Peter Courtney has been instrumental in sponsoring legislation to provide the means to begin these projects. Approximately $30 million included in the 2009-11 Governor’s Recommended Budget to fund this program received approval by the Legislative Assembly during the 2009 Legislative Session.

“We have a responsibility to keep Oregonians as safe as possible,” Courtney said Tuesday. “This is a great opportunity for Oregon to move forward to retrofit school buildings and emergency services facilities.”

A 2007 report from Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries shows over 1,000 school and emergency services buildings at high or very high risk for collapse during an earthquake.

A recent report, “The Geologic Hazards, Earthquake and Landslide Hazard Maps, and Future Damage Estimates for Six Counties in the Mid/Southern Willamette Valley” indicates that an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter Scale in Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Oregon Coast would result in future damage estimates at $12 billion in property damage and nearly 1,000 deaths in the region, which includes Yamhill, Marion, Polk, Benton, Linn, and Lane Counties.

FEMA news release on Pet preparedness

The Time to Assess Animal Preparedness Plans is BEFORE Disaster Strikes

September is National Preparedness Month, and this year the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is using the calendar observance to focus on changing perceptions about emergency preparedness, and helping Americans understand what it truly means to be Ready.

Being Ready is all about taking four simple but all-important steps: get an Emergency Supply Kit; make a Family Emergency Plan; be informed about emergencies and their appropriate responses; and get involved in community preparedness initiatives. According to FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Dennis Hunsinger, the time to make proper provisions for pets is before disaster strikes.

“Including pets, working animals and livestock in disaster planning can be vital to peace of mind and should be part and parcel to basic emergency preparedness,” said Hunsinger. “If you must evacuate your home, it’s always best to take your pets with you, but plan ahead. Work with your office of emergency management to learn about evacuation policies and pet shelters.”

Sound animal disaster preparedness planning should encompass: one week’s emergency rations and water; identification tags, leg bands or tattoos; pet first aid kits; and current photos of your animals, filed with your important papers. If you use a ‘pet sitter’ while on vacation, discuss disaster plans and evacuation sites, and if your regular veterinarian does not have a disaster plan, locate one who does.

Detailed plans for pet and livestock owners are available at, but basic guidance includes:
If you must evacuate, take your pets with you. If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pet.

Make a backup-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals your self. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.

Ensure that pets and livestock have some form of identification that can facilitate their return.
Do not corner wild animals or try to rescue them. Call your local animal control office or wildlife resource officer.

Do not approach wild animals that have taken refuge in your home. Open a wibdow or provide another escape route. Should the animal stay, call your local animal control office or wildlife resource officer.

Free emergency information for pet owners is also available by calling 1-800-BE READY, at FEMA’s website at and FEMA FOR KIDS site: In addition, an instructional video demonstration of how to build a disaster emergency plan is available at:

H1N1 Swine Flu Webcast tomorrow for small businesses

DO YOU WORK IN OR OWN A SMALL BUSINESS? FLU.GOV H1N1 WEBCAST TOMORROW Friday, September 18, 1-2 PM EDT Join experts from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, U.S. Small Business Administration and the National Federation of Independent Businesses Legal Foundation Learn how to prevent and reduce the spread of the flu in a webcast conversation, hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ask experts your questions and share your concerns so that you can be prepared this flu season. To participate, visit

Tsunami warning system test

Tsunami warning-system test set for Washington, Oregon, California this morning
The National Weather Service is testing its tsunami-warning system this morning in Washington, Oregon and California.
By Susan Gilmore
Seattle Times staff reporter

The National Weather Service tested its tsunami-warning system this morning along the West Coast to make sure the alert system was working.
The test message was designated for coastal communities throughout western Washington.
At the same time, the Weather Service used the alert as an earthquake drill for some schools and businesses.

Normally, the alert would say the magnitude of an earthquake, where it occurred and whether a tsunami was likely, said Jeff Michalski with the National Weather Service. But today's test will only ask if the alert was received, Michalski said.

"This is a test transmission for dissemination of tsunami information," he said.
The Weather Service broadcast the test alert through its Emergency Alert System (EAS) on NOAA radio.

The earthquake drill was statewide in a joint effort with Washington State Emergency Management.

There are more than 1,000 NOAA Weather Radio stations across the nation with 22 serving Washington state. More than 96 percent of the state's population is served by NOAA Weather Radio.

In 1975, NOAA Weather Radio was designated the sole government-operated radio system to provide warning information for both natural and technological hazards.