Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Focus on Fire Safety: Holiday Fire Safety

Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season. Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase your chances of fire. Based on data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), an estimated 250 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 170 home fires involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting occur each year. Together, these fires resulted in 21 deaths and 43 injuries.

Following a few simple fire safety tips can keep electric lights, candles, and the ever popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy. Learn how to prevent a fire and what to do in case a fire starts in your home. Make sure all exits are accessible and not blocked by decorations or trees. Help ensure that you have a fire safe holiday season.

Christmas Trees
What’s a traditional Christmas morning scene without a beautifully decorated tree? If your household includes a natural tree in its festivities, take to heart the sales person’s suggestion – “Keep the tree watered.”

Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires annually. Typically, shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. Well-watered trees are not a problem. A dry and neglected tree can be.

Selecting a Tree for the Holidays
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long and, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.

Caring for Your Tree
Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

Disposing of Your Tree
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.

Holiday Lights
Maintain Your Holiday Lights
Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.

Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets
Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch.

Do not leave holiday lights on unattended!Holiday Decorations
Use Only Nonflammable Decorations
All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents. If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.

Don't Block Exits
Ensure that trees and other holiday decorations do not block an exit way. In the event of a fire, time is of the essence. A blocked entry/exit way puts you and your family at risk.

Never Put Wrapping Paper in the Fireplace
Wrapping paper in the fireplace can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers that may result in a chimney fire.
Candle Care
Avoid Using Lit Candles
If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning.

Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree
Do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame – candles, lighters or matches.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Great Oregon Shakeout - Register Now!


www.shakeout.org/oregon

Time to 2011 ShakeOut:
1 month, 9 days 0:35:17
At 10:15 a.m. on January 26, 2011,* thousands of Oregonians will "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" in The Great Oregon ShakeOut, the largest earthquake drill in Oregon history!

Register now to participate and be counted.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

ON THE 199th ANNIVERSARY OF NEW MADRID QUAKE, FEMA URGES THE PUBLIC TO BE PREPARED TODAY

Visit www.Ready.gov to Learn a Few Simple Steps Every Family Should Take AND visit www.shakeout.org/oregon to learn about our upcoming Earthquake drill.

WASHINGTON - Today, on the 199th anniversary of one of the largest earthquakes ever to strike the U.S., the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Ready Campaign is encouraging all Americans to prepare for earthquakes and other disasters by making a new year's resolution to "Resolve to be Ready" in 2011. It only takes a few simple steps to prepare for emergencies, and anyone can visit www.Ready.gov to learn more.

"FEMA is not the team, we're only part of the team," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "We are constantly working with the entire federal family, state and local governments, the private sector, and faith-based and non-profit organizations to prepare for the next disaster, but we will only be as successful as the public is prepared. Today, the 199th anniversary of one of the largest earthquakes to strike the United States, should serve as an important reminder to all of us that disasters can strike anytime, anywhere. Preparing you and your family for emergencies is a great resolution for the coming year - it's simple and easy to keep. Visit Ready.gov for tips and ideas."

The earthquake took place in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ), which is the site of several of the largest historical earthquakes to ever strike the continental U.S. and remains a significant risk today. On December 16, 1811, the first of these quakes struck in the NMSZ. The earthquake caused strong shaking throughout the central U.S.--including in what is now the location of Memphis, Tenn., and its impacts were felt as far away as Washington and Ohio. Each of these earthquakes caused sand to erupt at the surface, triggered landslides and was followed by dozens of large aftershocks. The largest of the earthquake in the series, which occurred February 7, 1812, in New Madrid, Mo., caused large areas to be uplifted or dropped down in elevation.

Since then, the regions along the NMSZ have experienced explosive growth in both population and infrastructure. Another series of earthquakes with the magnitude of the 1811 earthquakes could prove catastrophic to the region.

FEMA and its federal partners, non-governmental organizations, and state and local officials will collaborate on a series of outreach efforts, partnerships and events over the next year, leading up to the 200th anniversary of the New Madrid quake - including Earthquake Awareness Month in February, the Great Central U.S. Shakeout and the 2011 National Level Exercise (NLE 2011). These events are designed to educate Americans on what they can do to be better prepared for earthquakes and other catastrophic events.

Individuals and their families can take the following steps to prepare for earthquakes:

Get an emergency supply kit
Make a family communications plan;
Stay informed of the risks in your community;
Check for hazards in the home;
Identify safe places indoors and outdoors; and
Educate yourself and family members.



For more information on preparing for an earthquake or other emergencies, please visit www.Ready.gov. For more information on resolving to be ready in 2011, visit www.Ready.gov/resolve2011. For more information on The Great Central U.S. Shakeout, visit http://www.shakeout.org/centralus/.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shelter and Collection Points in Aumsville

We have received three locations for the efforts in Aumsville.

A. Volunteer and Media Collection Point has been established at the Bethel Baptist Church at 645 Cleveland Street.

B. Human Shelter by the Red Cross has been setup at the Mt View Wesleyan Church at 111 Main Street.

C. Donation Collection Point has been established at the Allied Waste Site at 9613 Mill Creek Road.

News Advisory: Contact Information for Oregon Emergency Management

Oregon Emergency Management establishes a limited Joint Information Center (JIC)

A Joint Information Center is on a limited activation at OEM to answer media inquires about the recent tornado. Public Information Officers can provide any help media outlets need in informing the public about various state assistance that is available.

Tornado touches down in Aumsville

Salem, Ore. — Within one hour of a tornado touch down in Aumsville, officials at Oregon Emergency Management, a division of the Oregon Military Department, were in touch with Marion County and Clackamas County Emergency Managers.

Oregon Emergency Management is the initial point of contact for the Oregon Emergency Response System and is on stand by to assist the counties if additional resources are necessary.

Currently, the state emergency coordination center is on limited activation and is monitoring weather. Local emergency management officials are assessing damage. Residents are encouraged to stay away from damage and debris, especially any downed power lines.

Storm Cell NW of Eugene moving East

National Weather Service is tracking a storm cell north-west of Eugene, moving eastward. Warning posted below:

SHORT TERM FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
228 PM PST TUE DEC 14 2010

ORZ004-008-142330-
SOUTH WILLAMETTE VALLEY-CENTRAL COAST RANGE OF WESTERN OREGON-
228 PM PST TUE DEC 14 2010

.NOW...
AT 225 PM PST NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED AN
ISOLATED POSSIBLY STRONG THUNDERSTORM OVER HORTON...OR ABOUT 23 MILES
NORTHWEST OF EUGENE...MOVING EAST AT 35 MPH. OTHER LOCATIONS IMPACTED
BY THIS POSSIBLY STRONG THUNDERSTORM THROUGH 330 PM PST INCLUDE
UNCTION CITY...EUGENE AIRPORT...HARRISBURG. HAIL...VERY HEAVY
RAIN...GUSTY WINDS UP TO 40 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING CAN BE
EXPECTED IN THESE AREAS. HEAVY HAIL MAY ACCUMULATE ON ROADWAYS.

KOIN on Tornado in Aumsville

KOIN 6 has a report on the tornado that touched down in Aumsville.

A tornado touched down in the city of Aumsville, officials said.

The city is 12.2 miles southeast of Salem, and one administrator said city officials saw the tornado coming...

...The National Weather Service said some citizens are trapped inside cars because of downed power lines, but no officials have reported injuries yet. Hills said the tornado lasted from 11:40 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.


You can read the story here.

Thunderstorm Warning

At the same time the National Weather Service has issued a warning about thunderstorms and the potential for creating a tornado and other severe weather.

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
1222 PM PST TUE DEC 14 2010

ORC005-047-142032-
/O.EXP.KPQR.TO.W.0001.000000T0000Z-101214T2030Z/
MARION OR-CLACKAMAS OR-
1222 PM PST TUE DEC 14 2010

...THE TORNADO WARNING FOR CENTRAL CLACKAMAS AND CENTRAL MARION
COUNTIES WILL EXPIRE AT 1230 PM PST...

AT 1222 PM PST NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED THAT
THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WITH THE POSSIBLE TORNADO HAD WEAKENED AND NO
LONGER APPEARED CAPABLE OF PRODUCING TORNADOES OR OTHER SEVERE
WEATHER...THUS THE WARNING WILL EXPIRE AT 1230 PM PST.

CONTINUE TO MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS AS FUTURE WARNINGS ARE
POSSIBLE FOR YOUR AREA.

Tornado Warning

A Tornado Warning has been issued for Clackamas County and Oregon City, due to a tornado being spotted by law enforcement in Aumsville. The tornado was reported to be moving north-east. The warning stays in effect until 12:30 PST.

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
1216 PM PST TUE DEC 14 2010

ORC005-047-142030-
/O.CON.KPQR.TO.W.0001.000000T0000Z-101214T2030Z/
MARION OR-CLACKAMAS OR-
1216 PM PST TUE DEC 14 2010

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1230 PM PST FOR CENTRAL
CLACKAMAS AND CENTRAL MARION COUNTIES...

AT 1213 PM PST...LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTED A TORNADO. THIS
TORNADO WAS LOCATED OVER SOUTHWESTERN CLACKAMAS COUNTY...OR 23 MILES
SOUTH OF OREGON CITY...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 35 MPH. DAMAGE HAS BEEN
REPORTED...TREES HAVE BEEN BLOWN DOWN ACROSS ROADS WITH SOME
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR
OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Secretary Napolitano Announces Expansion of “If You See Something, Say Something” Campaign

Monday, Secretary Napolitano announced the expansion of the “If You See Something, Say Something” awareness campaign to hundreds of Walmart stores around the country, creating a new partnership with the nation’s largest retailer to help the American public play an active role in ensuring the safety and security of the nation.

More than 230 Walmart stores nationwide launched the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign today, and a total of 588 Walmart stores in 27 states will be on board in the coming days. A short video message, available here will play at select checkout locations – those with video monitors - to remind shoppers to contact local law enforcement to report suspicious activity.

DHS has worked over the past five months with federal, state, local, and private sector partners to expand the campaign to communities nationwide including the recent state-wide expansions in Minnesota and New Jersey, new partnerships with organizations including the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), Amtrak, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the general aviation industry and six state and local fusion centers across the Southeastern United States.

On Wednesday, Dec 1, DHS announced the expansion of the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign throughout Minnesota, including Mall of America and other public venues across the state. Campaign materials were unveiled at Mall of America by DHS Protective Security Advisory Glenn Sanders, Mall of America Security Director Major Doug Reynolds, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek and Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion.

The expansion of the campaign to Mall of America will include both print and video advertisements throughout the mall’s shopping and amusement park areas to help the thousands of daily tourists and shoppers identify potential threats and suspicious situations.


In the coming months, the Department will continue to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign nationally with public education materials and outreach tools designed to engage America’s businesses, communities and citizens to remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the county safe.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Portlander Reports on the Weather System

http://theportlander.com/2010/12/10/weather-system-oregon-washington/
Weather Systems Threaten Oregon and SW Washington

The National Weather Service is calling for wet weather for this weekend and into next week as the result of two weather systems heading towards western Oregon and SW Washington. Many rivers are expected to be near or going over their banks as a result of these weather systems. This will potentially cause water over roads, trees to fall across roads, and slides to block roads. ThePortlander and emergency management teams from around the region encourage you to do the following:
  • Do not drive into standing water over roads or streets – it is extremely dangerous!
  • Have a 72 hour supply of water and food in case you become stranded at home.
  • Watch for downed trees and power lines – remember never touch a downed power line!
  • Check for road closures and other transportation issues.
  • Clean out the water drains around your home including removing tree leaves from street drains.
  • If you live in an area that has experienced flooding in the past keep aware of the conditions in your area so you can evacuate if the water gets high.
  • Keep tuned to local weather stations on your TV or radio for updated information.

To stay on top of road conditions in Oregon, visit TripCheck.com. In Washington, navigate to wsdot.wa.gov. If a major emergency were to happen, the State of Oregon will post information on the Emergency Management page of Oregon.gov.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Massive Series of Storms Headed for Oregon

If you haven't already heard, there is a series of storms about to hit Oregon in what could be some of the largest storms we've had in years. The National Weather Service has issued a series of warnings for the Willamette Valley:

http://forecast.weather.gov/showsigwx.php?warnzone=ORZ007&warncounty=ORC047&firewxzone=ORZ604&local_place1=3+Miles+SSE+Keizer+OR&product1=Flood+Watch

...FLOOD WATCH FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH MONDAY MORNING FOR

NORTHWEST OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON...

.A MOIST STORM SYSTEM AND WARM FRONT WILL BRING HEAVY RAIN TO
MUCH OF NORTHWEST OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON ON SATURDAY...
WITH ADDITIONAL PERIODS OF HEAVY RAIN ON SUNDAY AND MONDAY. ON
SATURDAY...THE HEAVIEST RAIN IS LIKELY TO BE IN THE NORTH OREGON
COAST RANGE...WILLAPA HILLS...AND SOUTH WASHINGTON CASCADES...WITH
6-HOUR AMOUNTS AS HIGH AS 3 INCHES AND 24-HOUR AMOUNTS AS HIGH AS
6 INCHES. THERE IS AN EXPECTED BREAK IN THE RAINFALL ON SUNDAY...
AND THEN ANOTHER FRONT WILL BRING ADDITIONAL RAINFALL FROM SUNDAY
EVENING THROUGH MONDAY. FREEZING LEVELS WILL BE ABOVE 6000 FEET
FROM MID-DAY SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY. MANY RIVERS WILL RISE
SHARPLY SATURDAY...WITH FLOODING POSSIBLY AS EARLY AS LATE
SATURDAY AFTERNOON. FLOODING OF CREEKS AND PONDING IN URBAN AREAS
IS ALSO LIKELY.


...and...

...FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH MONDAY
MORNING FOR NORTHWEST OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PORTLAND HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF NORTHWEST OREGON AND SOUTHWEST
WASHINGTON...INCLUDING THE NORTH AND CENTRAL OREGON COAST AND
COAST RANGE...WILLAPA HILLS...INLAND VALLEYS OF NORTHWEST OREGON
AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON...AND THE NORTH OREGON AND SOUTH
WASHINGTON CASCADES AND FOOTHILLS.

* FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH MONDAY MORNING

* HEAVY RAIN SATURDAY WILL DRIVE RIVER LEVELS UP SHARPLY STARTING
SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND INTO SUNDAY.

* SEVERAL RIVERS MAY REACH FLOOD STAGE AS EARLY AS SATURDAY
AFTERNOON...WITH THE FLOOD THREAT CONTINUING INTO MONDAY.

SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON RIVERS OF MOST CONCERN INCLUDE...
THE GRAYS RIVER IN WAHKIAKUM COUNTY
THE COWLITZ RIVER IN COWLITZ COUNTY

NORTHWEST OREGON RIVERS OF MOST CONCERN INCLUDE...
NEHALEM RIVER IN TILLAMOOK COUNTY
WILSON RIVER IN TILLAMOOK COUNTY
TRASK RIVER IN TILLAMOOK COUNTY
SILETZ RIVER IN LINCOLN COUNTY
UPPER TUALATIN RIVER IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
LUCKIAMUTE RIVER IN POLK AND BENTON COUNTIES
JOHNSON CREEK IN MULTNOMAH COUNTY
PUDDING RIVER IN CLACKAMAS AND MARION COUNTIES

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING BASED ON
CURRENT FORECASTS.

LANDSLIDES AND DEBRIS FLOWS ARE POSSIBLE DURING THIS FLOOD EVENT.
PEOPLE...STRUCTURES AND ROADS LOCATED BELOW STEEP SLOPES...IN
CANYONS AND NEAR THE MOUTHS OF CANYONS MAY BE AT SERIOUS RISK
FROM RAPIDLY MOVING LANDSLIDES.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE ALERT FOR POSSIBLE
FLOOD WARNINGS. THOSE LIVING IN AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING SHOULD BE
PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLOODING DEVELOP.

THE NEXT UPDATE FOR THIS WATCH WILL BE ISSUED BY 5 AM PST SATURDAY.


At the same time, FEMA Region X has issued a statement regarding the incoming weather.

PINEAPPLE EXPRESS PROMISES WET WEEKEND FOR OREGON AND WASHINGTON

SEATTLE—The National Weather Service has reported record rainfall in Portland and has issued flood watches for western Washington counties. Current projections include snow in higher elevations, switching to rain over the weekend that could well soak inland communities, and according to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, emergency managers across the region are carefully monitoring weather
effects.

“Our state and local governments have done solid work preparing for this year’s winter storms, updating their websites and working closely with radio, television, and print media to inform and advise the public,” said Murphy. “I urge our citizenry to heed winter warnings from local emergency managers, and to exercise extreme caution when utilizing alternative sources of heat, power and transportation.”

In commending residents to review and update emergency plans and inventory and replenish disaster kits, Murphy stressed that emergency power needs can rank right up there with food, water, first aid kits and shelter.

If the power goes out:
• Don’t call 9-1-1 for information—use your battery-powered radio for emergency bulletins.
• Plan on cell phones or corded phones for emergency calls. Cordless phones require electricity.
• Turn off major appliances to protect against surges when the power resumes.
• Turn off all lights but one (to alert you when the power comes back on).
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to prevent food spoilage.
• Be particularly careful with generators, and never operate them indoors.
• Flashlights and electric lanterns are safer than candles.

“We’re all vulnerable if disaster strikes while we are driving, and emergency kits in every car and truck can be real life savers,” continued Murphy. “Disaster driving is one part preparedness, one part common sense, and one-part learning from experience. Avoid driving in severe winter storms or heavy rains, and keep
vehicle fuel tanks full, just in case.”

When driving in dangerous weather is unavoidable, Murphy offers the following safety tips:

• If caught in a storm or blizzard, and your car is immobilized, stay in the vehicle and await rescue.

• Do not attempt to walk from the car unless you can see a definite safe haven at a reasonable distance. Turn on the auto engine for brief periods to provide heat, but always leave a down-wind window open slightly to avoid deadly carbon monoxide poisoning (make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow). Leave the dome light on at night to signal rescuers, and exercise occasionally by clapping hands or moving around.

• Never attempt to drive through water on a road. Water can be deeper than it appears and water levels can rise quickly. Cars buoyed by flood-waters can float out of control. Wade through flood waters only if the water is not flowing rapidly and only in water no higher than the knees. If the car stalls in floodwater, get out quickly and move to higher ground (flood waters may still be rising and the car could be swept away.

• Auto emergency kits should contain as a minimum: blankets and warm clothing, booster cables and tools, bottled water, emergency rations, a first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, traction mats or chains, a shovel, and emergency prescription medications.

For information on FEMA’s Resolve to be Ready in 2011 initiative, Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, visit Ready.gov and CitizenCorps.gov.

Follow FEMA online at 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.

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.


For more information about the weather forecast, you can go to www.weather.gov and click to your location to get the up-to-date weather forecast from the National Weather Service.

Friday, December 3, 2010

CANDY CANES, MISTLETOE AND DISASTER PREPAREDNESS?

Resolving to be Ready in 2011 - Important Gifts for Important People

SEATTLE – From winter storms, floods and even pandemic contagion— all disasters have one thing in common: they remind us of the importance of pre-disaster preparedness. But good intentions need to turn into tangible deeds, and according to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, there’s no time like the holidays to start, by resolving to be ready before disaster strikes.
“The holiday season is a great time to give important, inexpensive gifts that say: ‘I want you to be safe!’ and reduce risk exposure for friends and loved ones,” said Murphy. “Gifts that can save lives are a wonderful way of welcoming in 2011. The dialogue and the mindset that goes along with it may mean even more than the gift itself.”
The Resolve to be Ready in 2011 initiative is led by FEMA’s Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and The Advertising Council. For more information on the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, visit Ready.gov and CitizenCorps.gov.
Emergency and preparedness items that might make great gifts this Holiday Season include:
• Portable, battery powered radio with NOAA Weather Radio channels, and extra batteries.
• Enrollment in a CPR or first-aid class.
• GPS units for vehicles.
• Emergency generators.
• Emergency cell phones.
• Carbon Monoxide and Smoke detectors.
• Appropriate fire extinguishers (kitchen, garage, car).
• Disaster kits for homes, offices and autos (first aid kits, food, water and prescription medications for 72 hours, eyeglasses, extra clothing, blankets, flashlights, spare batteries, heavy-duty work gloves, and sturdy pair of shoes).
• Emergency escape ladders for second-story exit in a fire.
• Car kits (emergency flares, shovels, ice scrapers, flashlights and fluorescent distress flags).
• Pet Disaster kits (food, water, leashes, dishes and carrying case or crate).
• A camp stove with extra fuel.
• The gift of a gardener to cut back combustible vegetation from wildfire-vulnerable homes.
• National Flood Insurance.

-MORE-
Resolving to be Ready//Add One

Follow FEMA online at 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.
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.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oregon Civil War Game

"The biggest game in Civil War history", "once in a lifetime opportunity", "for all the marbles" – these are just a few ways Saturday's ‘Civil War' football game in Corvallis has been described. As football fans across the state and the country watch what happens in the game, police and transportation officials remind travelers to stay focused on their game day driving before and after the game.

Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers, county deputies and several city police agencies will be on the alert for problems associated with extra traffic-related congestion and drivers who may be impatient, aggressive or impaired. An estimated 15,000 extra vehicles on Interstate 5 and roads leading into Corvallis will affect travel time and increase the potential for unanticipated problems. ODOT incident response personnel will be available to assist police and respond to reported incidents to help keep traffic moving on area roads.

Keep in mind these simple safety tips and reminders:

* Have a game plan before you leave
* Be alert and patient so you can make safe driving decisions
* Avoid distractions and keep your emotions in check while driving and when at the game
* Fasten your safety belt and have a sober, rested driver behind the wheel of your vehicle before and after the game

OSP Lieutenant Jeff Lanz urges all fans attending Saturday's game to conduct themselves in a manner that is courteous and non-offensive to those around them. Any fan that sees something dangerous or someone negatively affecting others from enjoying the game is encouraged to notify the nearest police officer, security personnel or usher.

"The safety of all fans, players, coaches and officials remain our number one priority at the game. Remember that possessing alcohol, being overly intoxicated or acting in a disruptive or obnoxious manner are some of the actions that will get you removed from the stadium and/or cited," said Lanz.

State, county and city police along with ODOT encourage reporting any possible intoxicated or dangerous driver by calling 9-1-1 or OSP dispatch at 800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865).

Up to the minute road and traffic condition updates are available on ODOT's travel information web site at www.TripCheck.com or by calling 5-1-1. For anyone who can't access 5-1-1, road and weather information can also be accessed toll-free within Oregon by dialing 800-977-ODOT (6368).

### www.oregon.gov/OSP ###

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If the Power goes out!

Until power does return, here are some home safety tips:

 Use alternative heat sources safely.

 Do not burn anything inside without adequate ventilation.

 Never use gas ovens, gas ranges, barbecues, hibachi, and most portable or propane heaters for indoor heating. These units burn up oxygen, create deadly carbon monoxide, and are a likely cause of fire.

 Have firefighting materials on hand: dry powder, fire extinguisher, heavy tarp or blanket, and water.

 Use portable generators only as independent sources of power.

 Do not connect generators to your home’s main service panels.

 Make sure generators are used where there is good ventilation.

 Keep doors to refrigerators and freezers shut to conserve heat.

 Use foods that can spoil rapidly first.

 “If in doubt, throw it out”.

Lastly and most important, we ask that you please check on your neighbors to make sure they are being taken care of during this extensive power outage.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tips for getting through till the power comes back on

The repair of the power grids has been difficult and power surges from appliances left on have hampered their success. Citizens are asked to shut off all unnecessary appliances in anticipation of power restoration. Until power does return, here are some home safety tips:

 Use alternative heat sources safely.

 Do not burn anything inside without adequate ventilation.

 Never use gas ovens, gas ranges, barbecues, hibachi, and most portable or propane heaters for indoor heating. These units burn up oxygen, create deadly carbon monoxide, and are a likely cause of fire.

 Have firefighting materials on hand: dry powder, fire extinguisher, heavy tarp or blanket, and water.

 Use portable generators only as independent sources of power.

 Do not connect generators to your home’s main service panels.

 Make sure generators are used where there is good ventilation.

 Keep doors to refrigerators and freezers shut to conserve heat.

 Use foods that can spoil rapidly first.

 “If in doubt, throw it out”.

Lastly and most important, we ask that you please check on your neighbors to make sure they are being taken care of during this extensive power outage.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

FEMA: PREVENT FIRES THIS THANKSGIVING

WASHINGTON- As our nation comes together to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its United States Fire Administration (USFA) would like to remind all residents to Put a Freeze on all Fires.

According to data from the USFA, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of five deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property loss each year. The leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings is cooking. In addition, these fires occur most frequently in the afternoon hours from noon to 4 p.m. And unfortunately, smoke alarms were not present in 20 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires that occurred in occupied residential buildings.

"Disasters can happen any time, any where, but some emergencies at home can be avoided by taking a few simple steps for safety," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "And don't forget this holiday season, while gathered around the table with family and friends, is a great time to talk about your family emergency plan, and what you would do in the case of a disaster."

FEMA and USFA have issued a special report examining the characteristics of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings. The report, Thanksgiving Day Fires in Residential Buildings, was developed by USFA's National Fire Data Center and is further evidence of FEMA's commitment to sharing information with fire departments and first responders around the country to help them keep their communities safe during this holiday. Read the report for more information.

The USFA also suggests these safety cooking tips:

Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace them if they are 10 years old or older.

Keep a close watch on your cooking. You should never leave cooking food unattended.
Keep oven food packaging and other combustibles away from burners and heat sources.
Heat cooking oil slowly and watch it closely; it can ignite quickly.

Don't wear loose sleeves while working over hot stove burners - they can melt, ignite or catch on handles of pots and pans spilling hot oil and other liquids.
Have a "kid-free zone" of at least three-feet around the stove and areas where hot foods or drinks are prepared or carried.

Keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.

"Thanksgiving marks the start of a very busy time for all firefighters," said Acting Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines. "Holiday decorations, heating, and increased indoor cooking all present just some of the causes of residential fires. Your place of residence should be the safest place of all. Protect it with working smoke alarms and know what to do if a fire should occur."

Deep-fried turkey has quickly grown in popularity but safety experts are concerned that backyard chefs may be sacrificing fire safety for good taste. If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, please use the following tips:

Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.

Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.

Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.

Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.

To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.

Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.

Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby.

Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.


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.

Vernonia Schools Groundbreaking Celebration

To all who have helped us reach this big milestone, come join us at the GROUNDBREAKING On December 2!


**10am Groundbreaking at the new school site, with Governor Kulongoski and the leadership team
**11am Student Assembly in the Washington Grade School gym
**11:30am Appreciation Reception hosted by Oregon Solutions in the Vernonia High School gym


We will celebrate the many recent developments that led to this exciting event, including the $1 million challenge grant by the Ford Family Foundation (see www.vernoniaschools.org) as well as financial and in-kind contributions by many other partners. See details in the electronic invitation attached below--and feel free to forward to your colleagues who have been involved. We hope to see you there!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Counties prep for 2-1-1 help line

By Alex Paul, Albany Democrat-Herald | Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010 9:00 am

By next summer, residents of Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties will be able to make a single phone call to learn how they can seek help with health care, transportation, food pantries and other needs.

A 2-1-1 phone program is expected to be up and running by then, according to Greg Roe, executive director of United Way of Linn County, and Jennifer Moore, executive director of United Way in Benton and Lincoln counties.

Two-one-one operates much like the well-known 911 for emergencies, they say. It has been operating in the Portland area and in seven Oregon counties with great success. The goal is to have 2-1-1 in effect in every county in the state by 2013.

Calls are answered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The service received more than 260,000 calls last year.

There have been more than 5,000 calls from people in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties to the Portland 2-1-1 program in the last year, according to Roe.

“People have heard about it and are looking for help where they can find it,” he said.

Moore said data is being compiled at a “hub” in Lincoln County. Once that work is done, the data manager will begin work in Benton and then Linn County.

“We are developing relationships and updating information for entire counties, not just with specific towns,” Moore said. “When someone from one of the three counties calls 2-1-1, the operator will be able to tell them not only where the nearest resource is available to them, but also, what materials are needed to qualify for help, hours of operation, and in some cases, how many vouchers are available at a given time so they aren’t wasting their time.”

Information compiled locally will be available through the 2-1-1 center in Portland. The goal is to make all information available statewide.

Also, the information will be available on-line for anyone with Internet access, Roe and Moore said.

Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties already share many services, and sharing one data manager helps reduce overhead costs, they added.

“There is a lot of need right now in all of the counties,” Moore said.

United Way in each of the counties will pay a share of the local program’s start-up cost, projected to be about $115,000.

Roe and Moore will soon start visiting local civic organizations to provide information about the 2-1-1 project and to seek monetary support.

Moore added that developing assistance referral data base systems in in each county’s 10-year plan to end homelessness.

“People’s needs change all of the time, so we will have to be able to change with them,” Roe said. “Right now, adult dental care is an issue since so many people have lost their insurance coverage.”

To learn more about the 2-1-1 program, or to have a United Way representative speak to your civic group, contact Roe at 541-926-5432 or Moore at 541-757-7717.

HELP MAKE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY WEEKEND TRAVEL SAFE, NOT TRAGIC

Posted: November 18th, 2010 11:04 AM
Photo/sound file: http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2010-11/1002/40013/ThanksgivCluck.jpeg

With the holidays upon us, thousands of Oregonians will take to the roads to spend time with family and friends. Oregon State Police (OSP) and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) remind travelers to be prepared for winter road conditions, buckle up and drive alert so everyone can arrive safely at their destinations. Police officers throughout Oregon and around the country will be busy sending the message to "Click It or Ticket" to save lives and prevent injuries on our roads.

"No one wants to start the holidays off down the wrong road by causing a collision or getting a ticket," said Captain Mike Dingeman, director of the OSP Patrol Services Division. "Save a life and save your money. Drive carefully, alert and sober, and buckle up every time on the road, day or night."

The longest holiday period of the year, the Thanksgiving holiday period covers 102 hours starting Wednesday, November 24, at 6:00 p.m., and running through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, November 28. Oregon is joining traffic enforcement efforts nationwide to reduce crashes, injuries and deaths on Oregon roads during the holiday period's special "Click It or Ticket" enforcement mobilization.

Some of the special enforcement efforts planned during the holiday period include:

* OSP, Malheur County Sheriff's Office, Idaho State Police, and Nevada Highway Patrol will target major routes, including Highway 95 between Interstate 84 and Interstate 80, on November 26 and 27 for expected increased traffic traveling to and from the Friday night Boise State / Nevada football game. (Media contacts listed at end of this news release)
* OSP troopers from the Coos Bay Area Command office will focus enforcement efforts on Highway 38 and Highway 42 for increased traffic traveling to and from the southern Oregon coast.
* OSP, Klamath County Sheriff's Office, Klamath Falls Police Department, and the Klamath County DUII Task Force will be participating in a multi-agency DUII enforcement effort on Friday and Saturday nights.

During last year's Thanksgiving holiday period in Oregon, two people died in two separate traffic crashes. Since 1970, over 230 people have died on Oregon roads during this holiday period.

"Sadly, the holidays, which for many are the happiest time of the year, is also one of the deadliest and tragic," said Dingeman.

The 2008 Thanksgiving holiday was no different around the country as 1,120 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that more than half of those killed were not wearing safety belts at the time of the crash. According to ODOT, over half of Oregon's motor vehicle occupant fatalities were also not using safety belts at the time of their crashes.

While seat belt use is at a record high of 83 percent nationally and 97 percent in Oregon, millions of people nationwide still fail to buckle up when they get in a motor vehicle despite laws requiring belt use in forty-nine states. Oregon continues to be in the top three states nationally for highest rates of safety restraint usage and for child seat use for children under age four, but booster seat use among four to eight year olds is a paltry 62 percent.

"Parents seem unconvinced of the benefits of booster use over adult safety belts for young children," said Carla Levinski, ODOT's Occupant Protection Program Manager. She offered the following tests for determining if a child is ready to use an adult safety belt system instead of a booster:

* Can the child sit on the vehicle seat so his/her whole back is touching the seatback?
* Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat?
* Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
* Is the lap belt touching the tops of the legs?
* Can the child sit like this for the whole trip?

Levinski reminds adults that Oregon law requires seat belts to be used properly, meaning wearing both lap and shoulder belts as intended. "Even though your Thanksgiving dinner may tempt you to do otherwise, remember that an unbelted occupant surviving ejection during a crash is only one in four," she said.

OSP, Oregon State Sheriff's Association, Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, and ODOT remind travelers to use TripCheck.com (or call 5-1-1) for the latest road conditions, paying close attention to your travel routes while keeping up on unexpected weather / road conditions, and follow these important safety tips:

Getting Ready for the Trip

* Plan ahead to give yourself plenty of extra time to get to your destination.
* Stay informed about weather conditions, potential traffic hazards and highway closures.
* Check road conditions by visiting www.TripCheck.com or calling 5-1-1
* Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter driving starting with good tires, a good battery, and a full tank of gas.
* Carry an emergency kit and chains or traction tires, especially if traveling over mountain passes.
* Snacks and bottled water also are a good idea for long trips, especially with children.
* Carry a map in case weather or road conditions force you to take a detour. Keep family members or friends aware of any significant changes in your planned route before you take the unplanned route.
* Get plenty of rest before you leave on any trip.
* Clear snow, ice or frost from windows and headlights before you leave.
* Make sure everyone is using safety restraints and secure any cargo.
* Always have a designated driver for any holiday activities that include alcohol.

On the Road:

* Drive according to conditions. If it's wet, icy, snowy or foggy, slow down and increase your following distance behind other vehicles to at least a four-second distance. Keep in mind that conditions may not be perfect to drive at the posted speed.
* Use headlights even in daylight to help other drivers see you.
* Don't use cruise control in wet, icy, snowy or foggy conditions.
* Be patient with all the other traffic on the highways.
* Watch out for pedestrians now that the days are shorter and darker, and remember they're often in dark clothing.
* If you get tired or drowsy, stop and rest during your trip or get a rested and sober licensed driver behind the wheel.
* There are still many construction zones on our highways, and even though work will be inactive over the holiday weekend there may be equipment, detours, and incomplete changes in the roadway. Stay alert and slow down because all work zone speed limits still apply and fines increase in these areas.
* Don't drink and drive or get into a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking.

Report any possible intoxicated driver or dangerous driver to the Oregon State Police at 1-800-24DRUNK (1-800-243-7865) or call 9-1-1.

Note to Media: Questions regarding local OSP patrol efforts and ride-along requests should be directed to your local OSP office.

More information, including links to Spanish versions of NHTSA's marketing materials, is available at:

http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/planners/Thanksgiving2010/index.htm

Winter travel safety information and links on ODOT's TripCheck.com and at:

http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/NEWSRL/news/10_25_2010_winter_driving_tips.shtml

Media contacts regarding the Highway 95 interagency patrol efforts mentioned above:
Oregon State Police - Sergeant Jason Reese (541-889-6469)
Idaho State Police - Sergeant Scott Dye (208-860-6286)
Nevada Highway Patrol - Trooper Chuck Allen (775-689-4680)
Malheur County Sheriff's Office - Sergeant Rich Harriman (541-473-5126)

### www.oregon.gov/OSP ###


Contact Info: Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Oregon State Police
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247
Pager: (503) 323-3195

Shelley Snow
ODOT Public Affairs
Office: (503) 986-3438

Monday, November 8, 2010

IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, FLOODS HAPPEN

-But Flood damage Doesn’t Have To-

SEATTLE—The month of November traditionally signals the beginning of flood season here in the Pacific Northwest. But just as you don’t need to live in a mapped floodplain to need flood insurance, you don’t need to live in a mapped floodplain to benefit from simple and affordable flood damage mitigation measures. According to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, it is safer, cheaper and ultimately much easier to limit future destruction than repair it.

“There are a number of low-cost actions that homeowners can take now to better protect or lessen the impact of heavy rain or future flooding,” said Murphy. “Many steps homeowners can take are simple, and can be accomplished in a few hours to a few days."

It is important to check with local building officials about standards and building codes as they vary according to jurisdictions. In addition, some mitigation measures may require hiring a contractor. Here are a few suggestions to keep your home safe when floodwaters come knocking:

Relocate or elevate water heaters, furnaces and major appliances. Elevate water heaters, furnaces and appliances, such as washers and dryers, especially if they are located in a basement. Place them on a pressure-treated wood or masonry base at least 12 inches above the previous high-water mark of a home's projected flood elevation.
Elevate or relocate electrical systems. Electrical panel boxes, circuit breakers, wall switches and wall outlets should be at least 12 inches above your home's projected flood elevation. Some basement or first-floor electrical systems may even be moved to a higher floor.

Interior and exterior floodwalls. To keep water away from indoor furnaces, utilities and appliances, build a watertight masonry wall around them.
Anchor fuel tanks. Indoor and outdoor fuel tanks should be anchored by non-corrosive metal straps or pressure-treated wood to prevent them from turning over or floating away.

Repair leaks and cracks immediately. Leaky roofs and foundation cracks let water into a home more readily. This weakens a structure and provides an ideal habitat for mold. If wet spots appear on the ceiling or cracks appear in a foundation, fix them immediately.

Clean gutters and drains. If gutters and drainage systems are blocked by leaves or debris, water can overflow and quickly flood a home or yard. Check all gutters and drainage systems regularly for leaves and nests. Also double-check storm drains on your street, as leaves and debris can block them, causing water to collect.
Install a backflow valve, check valve, drain plug or standpipe. These measures ensure sewage only flows one way – outside. Consult with a professional to remain code compliant.

FEMA’s How-To Series offers free information and publications for property owners and contractors about construction techniques and measures to reduce flood loss or damages. The series is available at www.FEMA.gov or by calling 1-800-480-2520. These include: Repairing Your Flood Damaged Home, Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House, Selecting Appropriate Mitigation Measures for Floodprone Structures, Design Guidelines for Flood Damage Reduction, Answers to Questions About Substantially Damaged Buildings and more.

Finances need not be a stumbling block to homeowners who have flood insurance. Policyholders may qualify for Increased Cost of Compliance coverage for substantially damaged properties, which helps pay to bring the home into compliance with local floodplain development requirements. Loans and help with insurance payments may also be available.

For information on the National Flood Insurance Program call 1-800-CALL-FLOOD ext. 304 or visit FEMA's Web site at www.floodsmart.gov. For more information on flood proofing your home, you can order the Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting, Publication 312, by calling FEMA at 1-800-480-2520.

For more information, call 1-800-427-4661, or visit: www.floodsmart.gov.

Friday, November 5, 2010

FEMA ENCOURAGES AMERICANS TO BE PREPARED AS THEY TURN THEIR CLOCKS BACK

Daylight Saving Time is a Good Opportunity to Make Sure Your Families Are Prepared for Emergencies


WASHINGTON-With Daylight Saving Time coming to an end, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging Americans to take advantage of the November 7 time change as a reminder to make sure their families are prepared for a possible emergency. A few simple steps like checking smoke alarms, developing a family communications plan, and putting an emergency kit together can go a long way toward keeping families safe.


"As we all get ready to turn our clocks back this Sunday, it's important for families to use this opportunity to get ready for possible emergencies," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "As a nation, we can only be as prepared as our public - the most important member of our emergency management team. I encourage everyone, as we fall back an hour, to also take a few simple steps to prepare their homes and loved ones for emergencies, including checking their smoke alarms and putting together an emergency kit."


Information on preparing for emergencies can be found at www.Ready.gov. Steps include developing a communications plan to ensure family members know how to get in touch with each other during an emergency, putting together an emergency kit, and staying informed of potential risks. It's important to remember that an emergency could be a large-scale catastrophic disaster, or a smaller-scale event like a car accident or house fire.


In addition to visiting Ready.gov, the United States Fire Administration is encouraging families to ensure their homes are equipped with working smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire so it's important to test alarms regularly and keep them properly maintained. This includes checking the manufacture/expiration date on the label, replacing the batteries, and cleaning dust away from the slots so that smoke can enter freely.


For more information about home smoke alarms and fire sprinklers, please visit: www.usfa.dhs.gov/smokealarms.


These news stories and other Individual & Community Preparedness news can be found on our website at www.citizencorps.gov.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Emergency communications drill set for Saturday

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) will be conducting their semi-annual emergency communications drill at the Marion County Public Works at 8 a.m. Nov. 6.



ARES is a national organization of ham radio operators who provide communications assistance to state and county emergency officials when the standard means of communication have been disrupted.
The November drill will involve all Oregon counties communicating with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and with each other. The emphasis of this drill will be using the new email over the air technology.



Read more: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20101101/UPDATE/101101041/-1/update#ixzz148geR9AB

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Make sure your vehicles are winter-ready to travel safely on our roads

A video taken from inside an Oregon State Police (OSP) trooper's patrol car last winter is a reminder for all drivers to avoid any distraction and do everything you can to drive safely, especially during the winter season when roads are slick and the unexpected happens quickly.

On January 7, 2010 at about 8:22 a.m. OSP Trooper Josh Nagle was westbound on Highway 20 near milepost 10 during icy conditions enroute to a reported injury traffic crash on Santiam Pass when the driver of an eastbound pickup lost control and traveled across the centerline. Nagle, who had been with OSP for one year, steered to the right shoulder in an attempt to avoid the oncoming out-of-control pickup but was struck nearly head-on. After the initial impact, a dump truck following Nagle's patrol car struck the rear of the involved pickup.

Bend Fire Department personnel spent about 30 minutes using ‘Jaws of Life' to extricate Nagle before he and the other driver were transported by ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend with non-life threatening injuries.

An investigation by Deschutes County Sheriff's Office concluded with the other driver being cited and convicted for Failure to Maintain a Lane of Travel.

"We are thankful this crash wasn't a fatal reminder and that both drivers recovered from their injuries. We hope this video reminds everyone to use your safety restraints and to be aware at all times, especially when winter and wet weather conditions can make driving challenging for anyone," said Superintendent Chris Brown.

OSP and ODOT urge everyone to prepare now for winter driving, following the tips and useful resources mentioned Monday in ODOT's news release:

http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/NEWSRL/news/10_25_2010_winter_driving_tips.shtml

"Now is the time for all drivers to get prepared and for car owners to make sure your vehicles are winter-ready to travel safely on our roads," said Brown.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

STATE FIRE MARSHAL REMINDS CITIZENS TO KEEP HALLOWEEN FIRE FREE

Posted: October 26th, 2010 3:18 PM

Oregon State Fire Marshal Randy Simpson reminds residents to keep fire safety at the forefront when participating in Halloween festivities.

"Events and activities surrounding Halloween can increase the risk of fire and injuries," says State Fire Marshal Randy Simpson. "When you combine an increase in candle use with decorations, costumes, and children, you have an increased fire risk. A safer option is to use battery-operated candles. We want to remind families to remember fire safety when decorating and participating in activities throughout the weekend."

In the five-day period surrounding Halloween (Oct. 28 through Nov. 1), over the past five years there have been 290 structure fires in Oregon resulting in 10 injuries and more than $5.5 million in property damage.

With Halloween just a few days away, the Office of State Fire Marshal offers tips to keep everyone safe:
• Only purchase costumes, wigs, and props labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant.
• Avoid flowing costumes or those that drag; these may easily contact an open flame and catch fire.
• Keep flammable materials such as dried flowers, corn stalks, hay bales, crepe paper, and other decorations well away from open flames and heat sources including light bulbs, heaters, etc.
• Consider using flashlights or battery-operated candles when illuminating jack-o-lanterns.
• Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torchlights when decorating walkways and yards.
• If using candles, place them out of reach of children and pets.
• Always use a sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic candleholder.
• Never leave candles burning unattended and be sure to blow them out before leaving the room or before going to sleep.
• Don't light candles with items embedded in them such as twigs, flowers, or leaves.
• Check decorative light sets for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Dispose of any damaged sets.
• Don't overload extension cords or electrical sockets.
• Be sure to have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom.
• Fight arson by reporting suspicious activity in your area to your local law enforcement agency.

More fire safety information is available at: http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/Com_Ed_Section.shtml.
If you are planning to host a haunted house, you can find state regulations at: http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/docs/Codes/AppendixK.pdf.

Monday, October 25, 2010

TEN THINGS PARENTS CAN DO TO MAKE HALLOWEEN SAFER

Posted: October 25th, 2010 1:24 PM

Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year for children, but sometimes the most hectic for parents. Nearly 94 percent of children between the ages of four and twelve participate in Halloween activities each year, so the Oregon State Police - Missing Children Clearinghouse and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) understand parents and children have concerns when planning for Halloween activities.

Parents need to take a moment to consider basic safety precautions that will help make Halloween and "Trick or Treating" a safer night of fun:

* CHOOSE bright, flame-retardant costumes or add reflective tape to costumes and candy bags so children are easily seen in the dark. In addition, carry a glow stick or flashlight.

* PLAN a trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets. Avoid unfamiliar neighborhoods, streets that are isolated, or homes that are poorly lit inside or outside.

* NEVER send young children out alone. They should always be accompanied by a parent or another trusted adult. Older children should always travel in groups.

* ALWAYS walk younger children to the door to receive treats and don't let children enter a home unless you are with them.

* BE SURE children do not approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless you are with them.

* DISCUSS basic pedestrian safety rules that children should use when walking to and from houses.

* CONSIDER organizing a home or community party as an alternative to "trick-or-treating."

* MAKE sure children know their home phone number and address in case you get separated. Teach children how to call 911 in an emergency.

* TEACH children to say "NO!" or "this is not my mother/father" in a loud voice if someone tries to get them to go somewhere, accept anything other than a treat, or leave with them. And teach them that they should make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming and resisting.

* REMIND children to remain alert and report suspicious incidents to parents and/or law enforcement.

Child safety is vital year round, but Halloween is an especially important time for parents and children to pay extra attention to their surroundings and not let their guard down. To help parents be prepared year round, the Oregon State Police – Missing Children Clearinghouse (OSP MCC) provides ID Complete Child Identification and DNA kits in case your child ever becomes missing. The free kits are available in English and Spanish.

To obtain a child ID Complete kit from the Oregon State Police - Missing Children Clearinghouse, call (503) 934-0188 or outside Salem at 1-800-282-7155, or e-mail child.idkits@state.or.us . Please provide your name, address, number of kits needed and a call back phone number when making a request.

***

About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since it was established by Congress in 1984, the organization has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children's hotline which has handled more than 2,475,300 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 151,300 children. The organization's CyberTipline has handled more than 957,760 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 39,334,670 pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its web site at www.missingkids.com .

### www.oregon.gov/OSP ###


Contact Info: Public Relations Department
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Office: (703) 837-6111
media@ncmec.org

Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247
Pager: (503) 323-3195

LA NINA SIGNALS SOGGY SEASON

-Thirty-Day Count Down for Flood Insurance?-



SEATTLE—The National Weather Service is projecting La Nina weather conditions this year, with attendant wet weather and above average lowland snow events. Here in the Pacific Northwest, flood season traditionally runs early November to early March—and this year may be a real wet one. According to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, National Flood Insurance offers the only comprehensive safety net against flood losses.

“Our first fall storm has already soaked roads and saturated soils throughout much of the Pacific Northwest, and floods are by far our leading cause of disaster-driven property loss,” said Murphy. “The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) pays off whether or not there is a Presidential disaster declaration. But there is a thirty-day waiting period before the coverage takes effect, so do not wait until waters rise.”

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies are available to communities that agree to adopt and enforce sound floodplain management practices, and according to Murphy, virtually every community in the northwest qualifies. “By aggressively managing their floodplains, local officials can guarantee access to affordable coverage, and that’s important,” said Murphy. “If you already have flood insurance, keep it current—now is a good time to review your policy to make sure it meets your current needs. If you don’t have flood insurance, now is the time to reconsider your financial exposure.”



Flood insurance covers structural damage and contents for all insurable residential and non-residential buildings. Policies can be purchased from any licensed insurance agent or broker. Maximum coverage for single-family homes is $250,000 for the structure itself, and $100,000 for contents. Renters can also insure their personal belongings for up to $100,000. Businesses can insure buildings for up to $500,000 for the structure, and contents for up to $500,000.

For more information about the NFIP visit http://www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-4661.



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.

Friday, October 22, 2010

FEMA ENCOURAGES AMERICANS TO START PREPARING FOR WINTER WEATHER

NOAA Annual Winter Outlook Released Today Forecasts "Winter of Extremes" for U.S.

WASHINGTON - Today, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its 2010 U.S. Winter Outlook predicting extreme weather patterns for different regions of the country this winter, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is reminding individuals to get ready for winter storms and extreme cold. Americans can find helpful tips and recommendations to help them get prepared at http://www.Ready.gov/america/beinformed/winter.html.

Among other things, NOAA's outlook forecast that the Pacific Northwest could have a colder and wetter than average winter, while the South may be warmer and drier than usual. While the threats vary across different parts of the country, almost everyone, regardless of where they live, is likely to experience some type of severe winter weather at some point in their lives.

"With winter right around the corner, it's never too early to start preparing for snowstorms, icy roads, and other types of severe weather," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "Whether you live in an area that is used to severe winters or not, there are three simple steps all Americans should take to get ready: put together an emergency supply kit, develop a family communications plan, and stay informed about the risks and emergencies in your community."

"Besides severe winter weather, disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, which is why it's important to be prepared wherever you live," Fugate continued. "I urge everyone to visit www.Ready.gov for more helpful tips."

Severe winter weather can include snow or subfreezing temperatures, strong winds and ice or heavy rain storms. An emergency supply kit both at home and in the car will help prepare people for winter power outages and icy or impassable roads.

An emergency supply kit should include a three-day supply of food and water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and extra flashlights and batteries. Thoroughly check and update your family's emergency supply kit and add the following supplies in preparation for winter weather:

Rock salt to melt ice on walkways;
Sand to improve traction;
Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment;
And adequate clothing and blankets to help keep you warm.
Ensure your family preparedness plan and contacts are up to date and exercise your plan. Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government, and ensure your home and car are prepared for the winter weather.
Finally, everyone should get familiar with the terms that are used to identify a winter storm hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Terms used to describe a winter storm hazard include the following:

Freezing Rain creates a coating of ice on roads and walkways.
Sleet is rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes roads to freeze and become slippery.
Winter Weather Advisory means cold, ice and snow are expected.
Winter Storm Watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
Winter Storm Warning means severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.
For more information and winter preparedness tips, please visit: http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/winter.html.

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.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

5 counties join pet evacuation disaster drill


Yuxing Zheng, The Oregonian
CANBY -- Animal noises pierced the chilly morning air inside the livestock barn of the Clackamas County Fairgrounds on Wednesday.

But instead of the usual oinks and moos, shrill howls from 20 or so dogs filled the cavernous room. The 25 or so "cats" sat silent, seeing as how they were actually plush toys.

The assembly of pets live and fake allowed animal service officials from Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington and Clark counties to stage a mock evacuation and sheltering exercise for pets. The training exercise helped emergency preparedness officials test their procedures for the mass sheltering of pets after a major disaster.

"With Hurricane Katrina and various other disasters, we have seen that people love their pets and they're part of the family," said Diana Hallmark, manager of Clackamas County Dog Services, which coordinated the exercise. "Emergency pet sheltering is that extra piece that allows people the peace of mind to be able to evacuate in a safe manner when they're first asked."

Wednesday's exercise simulated a post-earthquake evacuation of residents and their pets. Red Cross volunteers ran a human evacuation shelter in the fairgrounds' pavilion hall a short distance away.

First, community volunteers brought their dogs as well as stuffed toy bunnies, turtles and other toy cats to the pet shelter. Organizers feared real cats might have proved too "temperamental" for training purposes, said Tim Heider, a Clackamas County spokesman.

Officials then took pictures of each pet with its owner, with one photo going on top of each kennel. The owners and pets were each tagged with matching wristbands or collars with ID numbers: red tags for female pets and blue ones for males. The pets were then led to one of the individual kennels spaced in a grid pattern throughout the room.

Pets designated as having wounds or injuries were directed to a triage center. The most seriously "injured" pets, such as a stuffed horse, were sent to Multnomah County's mobile vet unit behind the building.

The training follows completion of a regional planning effort for the mass evacuation and sheltering of pets in the event of a large-scale disaster. Congress and Oregon passed laws calling for such plans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The practice session and the proximity of the pet and human shelters helped Clackamas resident John Gill feel more confident about potentially leaving his home in an emergency.

Under normal evacuation circumstances, "I'm not convinced I would give up my dog to a shelter," said Gill, whose 3-year-old poodle, Henry, participated in the exercise. "But I feel confident in this situation, where I can see him and I can talk to him."

At the end of the exercise, organizers noted several areas needing improvement, such as spreading out the reunification of owners and pets, putting more distance between the cats and barking dogs, and bringing in propane heaters.

The exercise also helped pet owners note their own weak spots.

Tualatin resident Noralyn Danielle said she learned she needed to complete emergency preparation work for her two Siamese cats, which had remained at home during the exercise.

"I didn't have their vaccination numbers. I couldn't remember the vet's name," Danielle said. "It's a wake-up call for us, especially if they need medication. It's all those things I would've never thought of."

Organizers of the exercise emphasized that owners should keep a three-day supply of food, water and medicine for their pets in case of a disaster.

Sandy resident Sarah Richardson said the exercise taught her to talk with relatives to ensure they could retrieve her three dogs from a shelter should anything happen to her during an evacuation.

"If I've lost everything in a disaster, if you reunite with your family and on top of that your pet -- that would be the ultimate comfort," Richardson said.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mitigation can save lives, property, money and lots of hassle!

Mitigation is one of those words people throw around expecting everyone to understand what it means. Though the word may not be common, it is very important. Here’s the definition.

“Mitigation” is any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects. This means taking steps to reduce damage from future hazards, like flooding.

Oregonians who need to make repairs or rebuild as a result of the December and January storms have a responsibility to themselves, their families and their neighbors to rebuild in a way that reduces future flood losses. It’s safer, cheaper, and much easier to limit future destruction than to repair it afterward and the rebuilding phase of a disaster is the ideal time to consider ways to limit future damage.

Mitigation steps that can be taken to protect homeowners from suffering repetitive loss include rebuilding with materials less likely to be damaged by water and raising utility connections and electrical outlets. Owners should avoid building in a flood plain unless they elevate and reinforce the structure and/or seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage through cracks.

Not only does mitigation save lives and property, it also may qualify you for lower-cost flood insurance. Contact your insurance agents for premium rates, and check with your local planning department or online to find ways to mitigate.

More information about mitigation strategies to reduce flood risk can be found at www.fema.gov.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Wet La Niña Winter On The Way

Kristian Foden-Vencil October 5, 2010 Portland, OR


Oregon has enjoyed some wonderful sunny days over the last couple of weeks. But as Kristian Foden-Vencil reports forecasters predict it's going to be an especially wet winter.

Last year, winter was pretty warm and comparitively dry. The region was moving out of an El Niño year. Now, says Clinton Rockey a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, we're in a La Niña pattern.

Clinton Rockey: "La Niña means we have cooler than usual water in the central and north Pacific ocean. and what that will bring to us is energized storm track for the winter months and generally speaking that means more rainfall for the Pacific Northwest and of course in the mountains that's going to result in a lot more snowfall."

He says rain will gradually increase now as we go through October. Then the big storms are expected to start in November. That's when the typhoon season ends in the western Pacific -- and moisture from those storms can curl over and come back across the ocean.

Clinton Rockey: "Certainly compared to last year this is going to be wetter. In fact, we haven't seen a wet one now probably for five or six years since we saw one this wet, that we're anticipating."

As for temperatures, he's not as sure where they’re headed. He says with more moisture there'll probably be more clouds, which means warmer nights and colder days.

In Portland, the city transportation department has already scheduled a winter preparedness meeting for next month, in anticipation of a wet winter.

Spokeswoman, Cheryl Cook, says they're also asking people to keep their storm drains clean.

Cheryl Cook: "Prior to a heavy rain fall event, when the forecast calls for it, to get out and stay on the curb with a rake or a pitchfork and check the catch basin nearest your home or your business."

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is also making predictions of a wetter, stormier year, with at least one Arctic outbreak likely.

Up in Seattle, utilities and government agencies have already kicked off a "Take Winter By Storm" campaign -- complete with a web page and a checklist of how to get prepared.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lists two really serious weather events in Oregon over the last 20 years. Both involved flooding.

The worst was over the winter of 1996-97 when there was $4 billion dollars worth of damage.



www.govlink.org/storm

Monday, October 4, 2010

Citizen Corp needs you

After September 11, 2001, America witnessed a wellspring of selflessness and heroism. People in every corner of the country asked, "What can I do?" and "How can I help?" A group named Citizen Corps was created to help all Americans answer these questions through public education and outreach, training, and volunteer service.

Citizen Corps has five programs where citizens may volunteer to be of service in their local areas. The five programs are Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Fire Corps, Medical Reserve Corps, Neighborhood Watch (USAonwatch.org), and Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS). For information on all of these programs go online to www.citizencorps.gov

The group that I want to discuss with you today is the CERT program. CERT educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs.

One also expects that under these kinds of conditions, family members, fellow employees, and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other. This was the case following the Mexico City earthquake where untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800 people. However, 100 people lost their lives while attempting to save others. This is a high price to pay and is preventable through training.

CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can

make a difference. Through training, citizens can manage utilities and put out small fires; treat the three killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; provide basic medical aid; search for and rescue victims safely; and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.

To find and join a CERT group in your area, go online at www.citizencorps.gov, click on programs and then CERT. You will be asked to enter the zip code for your area. Thank you for helping your community.

Friday, October 1, 2010

American Red Cross


Let's start with a stunning fact: 65% of home fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms.

When was the last time you tested your smoke alarm? Do you have one on every level of your home? And how old are the batteries?

www.oregonredcross.org/homefires

October is Fire Prevention Month, the perfect time to focus on fire safety. Test your smoke alarm and re-test it on the same date every month going forward. Replace the batteries at least once a year or check on 10-year batteries. And keep in mind that while carbon monoxide alarms are also lifesavers, they're not a substitute.

Want to do more? Talk to your family about a fire escape plan and then practice, practice, practice. And if a fire really does happen? Remember to get out, stay out and call 9-1-1. In no time at all, your Oregon Red Cross will be there to help.

www.oregonredcross.org/homefires
Let's start with a stunning fact: 65% of home fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms.

When was the last time you tested your smoke alarm? Do you have one on every level of your home? And how old are the batteries?

www.oregonredcross.org/homefires

October is Fire Prevention Month, the perfect time to focus on fire safety. Test your smoke alarm and re-test it on the same date every month going forward. Replace the batteries at least once a year or check on 10-year batteries. And keep in mind that while carbon monoxide alarms are also lifesavers, they're not a substitute.

Want to do more? Talk to your family about a fire escape plan and then practice, practice, practice. And if a fire really does happen? Remember to get out, stay out and call 9-1-1. In no time at all, your Oregon Red Cross will be there to help.

www.oregonredcross.org/homefires

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Oregon amateur radio operators ready for disasters: An enthusiast who established a Douglas County communication system is recognized | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon

ROSEBURG — Jerry Eifert and his band of amateur radio operators are good guys to have around in a sticky situation. When other communication systems fail, they’re the only ones who can send out an SOS.

“These guys are nuts, and I say that affectionately,” Douglas County’s emergency services director Wayne Stinson said. “They’ve taken an interest in public radio and have gone above and beyond.”

For the past 17 years, Eifert, 65, has overseen about 40 volunteers who are trained to broadcast reports in the event of emergencies such as floods, earthquakes, blizzards or windstorms.

“I love radio,” said Eifert, a retired Veterans Affairs hospital nurse. “I love the fact that I can serve my community.”



News: Last Seven Days | Oregon amateur radio operators ready for disasters: An enthusiast who established a Douglas County communication system is recognized | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Epidemic - the other disaster

Has anyone in your company been sick this year? Have employees had to stay home with sick children? Have employees come to work sick and spread germs to others just because you didn’t have any other way to stay in business?

When we think of disasters, we usually think of flooding or winter storms. The recent flu scare was a bit of a wake up call to some. Sick employees can be a disaster that will cause businesses to suffer, and in this economy most can’t afford to be closed even one day.

Previously we have discussed what small businesses can do to stay in business immediately following a big storm stressing the importance of having a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). If your business does not have a COOP you may find yourself floundering when your employees call in sick.

To make sure your business continues running smoothing with fewer employees, include a section of information in your COOP that addresses this issue. When you write your epidemic COOP, a few questions that need to be answered are:

• Who will be in charge and who will take over if that person is not available?
• Who can work from home?
• Which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating?
• Do you have an emergency fund to get through tough times?
• How can you provide good customer service and meet deadlines with fewer employees?

More information about COOP plans is available on the Internet and Oregon Emergency Management would also be happy to assist. Planning ahead can save you money.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What to do when the power goes out

Loss of electric power is very common in some areas of Oregon especially during winter storms. When the power goes out in the winter there are a few things you need to remember.

If the power is out all over the neighborhood or there are downed power lines, call the utility company to report the danger. Do NOT go near downed power lines and only call 9-1-1 if there is an emergency.

Listen to your battery-powered or car radio for news to find out when power might be restored and to get any other weather related instructions. Do not run your car in a closed garage.

Dress in layers and don’t forget that you lose heat through your hands and the top of your head. Wear gloves and a warm hat.

If you have a regular wood stove or fireplace, you can use it for heat. However, DO NOT USE kerosene heaters, BBQs, or any outdoor type heater inside. Such devices create poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas given off by combustion and could kill.

To avoid a power surge when the electricity returns, turn off major appliances, computers, TVs, stereos and other electronic equipment at the power source. Leave a light switch in the on position so you'll know when the power is restored.

If you have a generator, do not connect it to your home's power system unless it has been properly installed and disconnects you from the main power grid when it is operating. If you do not disconnect from the power grid, you can be sending electricity back down the lines; not just to your home. That could be deadly for power company workers.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Don’t forget your pets


Surviving an emergency such as a fire, flood, earthquake or terrorist attack depends on what you plan for your family today. Hopefully you have a family plan and a 72 hour emergency kit. Now, how about Fido?

Believe it or not, more people in the United States have pets, than have children. Many people consider their pets to be part of the family and wouldn’t dream of leaving them behind. I confess I fall into that category.

Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you need to make plans in advance for your pets. Assembling an animal emergency supply kit is one of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected. Include your veterinarian in your planning as they may have good ideas and suggestions specific to your pet.

Your pet kit should contain basically the same items as your family kit. They will need enough food and water for three days, medicines and medical records (in a waterproof plastic bag) and a first aid kit. Injured animals may need antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention, and isopropyl alcohol. A pet first aid reference book would be handy too.

Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. Your kit should include a backup leash and ID tag. You might also consider talking with your veterinarian about permanent identification such as micro-chipping.

Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, puppy pads, paper towels, plastic trash bags and chlorine bleach to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs. Nine parts water to one part bleach is a good disinfectant or you can use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water to purify it for drinking.

Don’t forget favorite toys, treats or bedding in you pet kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress, theirs and yours.

If you become separated from your pets, a photo of you together will help document ownership and help others to identify your pet when found.

Develop a pet care buddy system. Know who will evacuate the pet and where the pet will stay. Some shelters are now accepting pets with their owners or you can find pet friendly hotels outside your immediate area. There are boarding kennels and some veterinary hospitals will take pets during an emergency. Contact these places ahead of time.

Plan with neighbors, friends or relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Designate specific locations, one in your immediate neighborhood and another farther away, where you will meet in an emergency. You will need a crate or other pet carrier if it is practical for you to take your animals with you. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.

As in all planning, be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances and make every effort t to follow instructions from authorities on the scene. With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected. Take time now to get yourself and your pet ready.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Flooding predicted for Oregon this year

Since flooding is so common throughout Oregon, Oregon Emergency Management has decided to help get the word out. Whether flooding is from the flowing waters of state rivers, creeks, and streams, or from all too often coastal storms, being aware of your own flood risk and what you can do about it is very important.

To find out your flood risk, fill in your address on the form on the one-step flood risk profile at www.floodsmart.gov. All Oregon counties participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and can get flood insurance through most insurance agencies; however remember that floods are not covered under regular business, home owners, or renters insurance.

Knowing the reach of the highest flood on record is a good way of knowing what may flood again. Property within 100 feet of moving water such as a stream or river is at risk of flooding, particularly if the moving water is prone to debris jamming that can cause flooding. Coastal Oregon communities are subject to severe storms and erosion causing flooding of low or susceptible areas. More than 25% of all flood claims are from outside the flood zone Property that is flat is likely to flood.

Flood insurance, building smart, and taking protective measures are the best way to avoid the impact of Oregon flooding. Just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage, destroying homes, businesses, and wiping out personal savings should a resident NOT have flood insurance.