Friday, April 30, 2010


SEATTLE— Next week is National Arson Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is Community Arson Prevention. According to FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Dennis Hunsinger, the goal of this year’s Arson Awareness Week is to focus attention on the horrific crime of arson, and provide communities with tools and strategies to combat arson in their neighborhoods, businesses, schools and places of worship.
“Arson robs communities of their most valuable assets—lives and property,” said Hunsinger. “Fighting arson effectively takes the entire community. Firefighters across the country do the very best they can, but they can’t do it alone.”
Steps that can reduce incidents of arson include:
• Contact your local fire or police department if you know or suspect an arson crime.
• Report suspicious activity near houses or other buildings. Support Neighborhood Watch programs.
• Keep leaves and flammable debris away from buildings. Don’t make it easy for an arsonist to start a fire or facilitate a fire’s spread to adjacent buildings.
• Keep matches and lighters out of reach of small children.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2008 Uniform Crime Reporting statistics showed that 14,011 law enforcement agencies reported 62,807 arsons. Arsons involving structures (residential, storage, public, etc.) accounted for 43.4 percent of the total number of arson offenses. Mobile property (cars, motorcycles, etc.) was involved in 28.9 percent of arsons, and other types of property (such as crops, timber, fences, etc.) accounted for 27.7 percent of reported arsons.
For more information, including a media kit for the 2010 Arson Awareness Week campaign, please visit the USFA’s Web site at
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, April 29, 2010

Do you remember a time when there was no 911 system?

It was our responsibility to have emergency phone numbers available. The 911 system has been a huge improvement and very reliable but we take it for granted as we do our much of our technology. We need to remember that all technology is dependent upon sometimes unpredictable things such as electricity, towers, satellites, and weather.

When the 911 system is interrupted, it is often during the worst possible time so we are reminding everyone to have the phone numbers to the police, fire, Veterinarian, and ambulance posted by your phones or in a location known by each member of the family.

Phone service may also be interrupted. It is important to check your home and cell phones by calling neighbors and establishing your own communication system in the event of an emergency. Neighbors should maintain contact with each other for mutual support. Being ready for the unexpected is what emergency preparedness is all about.

Remember, you can not Text 911. You must call and if you call from a cell phone you need to be prepared to give your location to the call taker.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Did you know you can dial 211 for help?

Unless you live under a rock, you know that for fire, police and other emergencies you can dial 911. Did you know that you might not need to?

There is a service in six Oregon counties called 211. This is also a single easy-to-remember number that helps people find assistance with critical health and human services information and in an emergency can support effective disaster response.

In simple terms this means that if you live in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Crook, Deschutes, or Jefferson, calling 211 may be what you need. These services are limited due to lack of funding but hopefully in the future will be available statewide.

It can be overwhelmingly difficult to find a phone number for an agency or help line. We often give up and go without necessary services. By calling 211, a person can get information or referral for family and individual needs, financial assistance, housing and shelter, healthcare, food, government programs, mental health, education, and employment.

In normal times and in disasters, this number provides information to deal with a personal crisis, leaving 911 for life-threatening situations.

Next time you have a need that is not life-threatening; remember 211 might be available to you. If it’s not today, it may be tomorrow. The 211 program is currently covering approximately 78 percent of the US population with varying degrees of service in 26 states including statewide coverage in Washington, Idaho and Utah.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Steps to Help Keep Pets Safe and Healthy

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month™ and a reminder to keep your family pet safe and healthy as we head into spring and summer. See the American Red Cross steps to keep your pet safe. Also, be on the lookout for National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day on May 8 meant to raise awareness about the importance of planning for pets' safety before disaster strikes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


News Release from: Oregon Military Department

Posted: April 22nd, 2010 11:02 AM

SALEM, Ore -- The Oregon Army National Guard is supporting the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in a search effort using an OH-58 Kiowa Helicopter at Yeon State Park in Multnomah County in the Columbia River Gorge.

The OH-58 launched from the Salem Flight Facility at approximately 10 a.m. Thursday morning to assist in the search for a 60 year old accomplished hiker who left for a hike Wednesday afternoon and never returned. His family reported him missing later that evening when he didn't return as expected.

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Department is the lead agency coordinating all search efforts.

For the Army Fact File on the OH-58 Kiowa go to:

Contact Info: Contact Info:

Cpt. Stephen Bomar
Oregon Military Department, Public Affairs Officer

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why Drop, Cover and hold on?

April Earthquake Proclamation Month

Practice the Right Thing to Do.
It Could Save Your Life.
Who: You
What: Earthquake drill
When: April 21, 2010, 2 PM
Where: Right where you are
Why: Practice makes perfect sense
How: Drop, cover and hold on!
Learn more by watching the

On April 21, 2010, Clackamas County will be conducting its annual, State-mandated, earthquake drill. All government employees are required to practice how to Drop, Cover and Hold On – the recommended personal protective action to take during an earthquake.

You will be more likely to react quickly when shaking begins if you have actually practiced how to protect yourself on a regular basis. A great time to practice Drop, Cover and Hold On is by participating in the Clackamas County Shakedown on April 21st.

Monday, April 19, 2010 - Weather News | New Western Storm Will Be Disruptive

Storm hits the West Coast first, then the Plains later on. Henry discusses severe weather.
A storm set to begin quietly as some rain from coastal areas of northern California to British Columbia Monday will become stronger, colder and more disruptive with time as it pushes inland and spreads over much of the West this week. - Weather News | New Western Storm Will Be Disruptive

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Interviewed in the Statesman Journal!

On Monday, April 5th, I had an interview for the Statesmen Journal published on page 6C. The interview is about how OEM tries to educate the public on being prepared for emergencies.

An excerpt from the interview:

Q: Is it difficult to straddle the line between urging people to plan intelligently and scaring people?

A: It is difficult. I talk to schools and some parents have said, "We don't want you to talk to our kids because you're going to scare them." But if you think about it, how long did it take the fire department to get fire drills in school? How many fire drills do you have in a school during the year, and nobody thinks anything about it. It doesn't scare the kids. I've got to get there with emergency kits.

I want to put the question to you, my readers. What kind of message do you think would be effective in communicating the importance of preparation to the public without scaring them? How can we get people thinking about disaster preparation in a meaningful way?

If you have a good idea, email it to me at and I will present those ideas here on the blog.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Posted: April 8th, 2010 2:11 PM

ODOT extended the studded tire season a second time through Saturday, April 17. Weather forecasts call for continued difficult driving conditions in some snow zones until early next week. Motorists should have studded tires removed from their vehicles by 12:01 a.m., Sunday, April 18. ODOT encourages drivers to not wait until the deadline if they are not driving in snowy conditions.

For more information, contact:, 5-1-1, or 800-977-6368

### ###

The Oregon Civil Air Patrol will be holding a major Disaster Relief Exercise on April 17th and 18th

The Oregon Civil Air Patrol will be holding a major Disaster Relief Exercise on April 17th and 18th, which will coincide with National Earthquake Prepardness Month. lt will create an environment that is as close as possible to that of a real statewide disaster involving an Earth Quake event along the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast of Oregon. Every attempt is being made to insure that all participants will be faced with realistic requests and taskings.

The Oregon CAP will be working closely with other state agencies and will involve approximately 100 personnel and 7 specially equipped search aircraft including a Cessna C-182 which is
equipped with a Power Sonic airborne PA system used for Tsunami warnings. This same
aircraft and system played an important role during the recent search for 4 year old Zoey
Dorsey early last month. The system is being credited as being instrumental in assisting
in the successful life saving search effort due to it's ability to broadcast a high quality, easily
heard recorded message from Zoey's grandmother, encouraging her to hold on and to help
let ground searchers know where she was. Demo video @

The major focus of the simulated environment will create an expected possible real world situation in which the Northern part of the state has received limited damage from the event while the Southern coastal area will have received massive damage to its infrastructure. In a situation like this, CAP would establish a functional Incident Command Post at it's Aurora Airport facility located on the Willamette Aviation campus at the North end of the airport, where it has a pre-established working infrastructure and contact with the Oregon Joint Operations Center in Salem. The CAP scenario will further simulate that the CAP's Medford Airport operations center facility is usable but is lacking any infrastructure such as electricity, telephone, cell phone, or internet. In this case, the Medford CAP facility will be designated as a remote staging area using generators for power and radio communications to interact with the Aurora ICP.

To facilitate emergency communications, the CAP will be working closely with the Navy-Marine Corps Military Auxiliary Radio System,( MARS), in addition to CAP's regular radio communications network. The MARS system has the capability to send radio based telecommunications, email, documents and photos across the nation using secure radio network frequencies.

The media is invited to attend the exercise, both in Portland and Medford, to gain an understanding of the potential impact of such a major event and how volunteer agencies, such as the CAP which is an auxiliary of the United States Air Force, will work closely with various local and state agencies to respond to such major incidents.

Advance notification of media intent to attend would be appreciated.
Please email intent to attend to Thomas Traver

Official government geological studies support the prediction that such a major event will occur, but no clear time table is presently available.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Red Cross says "Are you Ready?"

In January, there was an earthquake in Haiti. In February, an earthquake in Chile. In March, a swarm of quakes in Southern California. And as the temblors get closer to home, you might be wondering, "Just when will an earthquake strike Oregon…and will I be ready?"

April is Earthquake Preparedness Month, the perfect time to plan for when "the big one" hits our area. And we know it will. There have been about 40 documented great earthquakes along the Cascadia Subduction Zone and we're already overdue for the next one.

A small investment of time and money can save lives in a disaster. This month, make it a priority to get a kit, make a plan and be informed about the natural disasters that can strike our state.

To help you get prepared, use code EARTHQUAKE for a 20 percent discount on the five featured items at the link above. Starting at just $12, there's no reason not to be ready for anything.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Governor Declares April to be Earthquake and Tsunami Awareness Month

April is Earthquake and Tsunami Awareness month! DOGAMI is working with the governor to spread awareness on the dangers of earthquakes and tsunamis, and to try and teach what is necessary to increase your chances of surviving such a natural disaster.

An excerpt from the full-color PDF press release:

Have you practiced your drop, cover, and hold drill lately? Do you know what to do at the coast if the ground starts to shake?

Portland, Oregon: Governor Ted Kulongoski has proclaimed April to be Earthquake and Tsunami Awareness Month, saying in the proclamation that Oregon has taken many steps during the past two decades to help make the citizens of the state safer from future earthquakes (see attached proclamation).

Further information can be found on the DOGAMI websites, including emergency preparedness information, available training, and tsunami evacuation maps.