Monday, January 31, 2011


Winter Months Increase Fire Risk – Children Particularly Vulnerable

SEATTLE— Each year on average 18,300 Americans are injured, and more than 3,500 die in fires, with children age 14 and under making up 10-15 percent of all fire deaths. National Burn Awareness Week is traditionally observed the first full week in February, and according to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, it’s the perfect calendar observance to focus on preventing fires and protecting children.

“Children under the age of 5 account for fifty-two percent of all child fire deaths, and home fires tend to spike in winter months, placing younger children and toddlers at even greater risk,” said Murphy. “Many children are unable to escape from fire on their own, and I encourage parents and caregivers to use National Burn Awareness Week as an opportunity to take actions that keep their loved ones, and particularly children, safe from fire and burn hazards.”

Top tips to avoid fire and keep kids safe around the house include:
• Keep children at least 3 feet from hot stoves and cooking appliances. When cooking, use back burners with pot handles turned towards the back of the stove.
• Have fireplace flues and chimneys inspected for leakage and blockage from creosote or debris.
• Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire and keep it open until the ashes are cool. Store ashes in fire-resistant containers; cover the container with a lid, and dispose of ashes carefully.
• Place space heaters on a floor that is flat and level—Do NOT put space heaters on rugs or carpets. Keep space heaters at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture and other flammable materials and place them out of the flow of foot traffic. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
• Always tuck cords from appliances where children cannot reach them.
• Install smoke alarms on every level in your home, and inside and outside sleeping areas.
• Test smoke alarms each month and replace the batteries at least once a year.

Excellent online resources for fire prevention education materials and protecting children from fire and burns include:;;;; and Learn about FEMA’s Children’s Working Group (CWG) at

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Great Oregon Shakeout is tomorrow!!!

ShakeOut History and Purpose

With nearly 4 million people living and working in Oregon, a major earthquake could cause unprecedented devastation. What we do now, before a big earthquake, will determine what out lives will be like afterward. With earthquakes an inevitable part of Oregon’s future, we must act quickly to ensure that disasters do no become catastrophes.

The Great ShakeOut was created in Southern California in November 2008 and involved nearly 5.5 million Californians through a broad-based out reach program, media partnerships, and public advocacy by hundreds of partners. In early 2009 the decision was made to hold the drill statewide annually on the third Thursday of October. Oregon will be joining them in October of 2011.

A key aspect of the ShakeOut is the integration of comprehensive science-based earthquake research and the lessons learned from decades of social science research about why people get prepared. The result is a “teachable moment” on par with having an actual earthquake (often followed by increased interest in getting ready for earthquakes). ShakeOut creates the sense of urgency that is needed for people, organizations, and communities to get prepared, to practice what to do to be safe, and to learn what plans need to be improved.

Not just any drill will accomplish this. It needs to be big. It must inspire communities to come together. It must involve children at school and parents at work, prompting conversations at home. It must allow every organization, city, etc., to make it their own event. That’s why we are starting with just one County – it is a learning experience for us too.

To participate, go to and pledge your family, school, business, government agency or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create a dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness. All organizers ask is that participants registers (so they can be counted and receive communications), and at the minimum practice “drop, cover, and hold on” at the specified time. It is only a commitment of a few minutes for something that can save your life. It all begins with registering, which is free and open to everyone.

Take one minute to practice something that might save your life.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oregon Red Cross is operating a shelter in Welches

As you read this, the Oregon Red Cross is operating a shelter in Welches, providing a warm, safe place for 14 families to spend the night.

With flooding and landslides in the area, these families have been evacuated from their homes and their worlds have been turned upside-down. But, as always, the Red Cross is there in their time of need.

In the next few days, we'll be providing three square meals and lots of snacks. We'll help with clothes and clean-up supplies; health services and emotional support.

But our assistance goes beyond Welches. Earlier this week, we helped two families in Tillamook County when they were evacuated due to the threat of flooding. They each met with our disaster responders, who were able to provide lodging, food and clothes. The Oregon Red Cross was also hard at work in Newport, where a huge sinkhole threatened eight homes.

All this assistance is possible because of Red Cross supporters like you. Thank you.

To stay updated on all our efforts, be sure to visit our website.

Thank you,

Maree Wacker
Regional Executive, Oregon Red Cross

P.S. Monetary donations remain the best way to support relief efforts. To contribute, please click here.

Don't drive thru standing or moving water

You never know if the road is still there or not.

Friday, January 14, 2011

U of O Duck practices for Earthquake

I am happy to announce that we’ve finalized our “how to” video featuring the Oregon Duck ducking, covering, and holding in preparation of the Great Oregon ShakeOut. Please feel free to share far and wide.


Krista M. Dillon
Senior Planner
University of Oregon Emergency Management
1209 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1209

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Safety Tips for Your Home!

How to prepare for power outages during winter snow storms –

[Jan. 11]

Since the brutal winter cold set throughout the country, many people are seeking ways to augment their regular heating systems or to heat their homes in a power outage. There have been many accidental house fires and carbon monoxide poisonings related to alternate heating sources such as electric space heaters, gas heaters, fireplaces. Following simple home winter safety practices can help assure your family’s safety.

Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and inside or near sleeping areas. Be certain to check the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors on a regular basis. Even if the detectors are hardwired into your home, they have a battery back-up in the event of a power outage.

Alternate Heating Source Safety Tips

According to Daniel L. Schmidt of the Fairfax County Virginia Fire and Rescue Department, the following safety tips will help you keep a safe home:

•Keep at least three feet of clearance between your alternate heat source and anything combustible.
•Do not keep or store combustible materials in closed areas or near a heat source.
•Never leave a heater on when you are not in the room or when you go to sleep, and never leave children or pets unattended near heating sources.
•If you use an electric heater, be careful not to overload the electrical circuit.
•Avoid using electrical heaters in bathrooms as they may come in contact with water.
•Only use heaters that have been tested to the latest safety standards and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). These heaters will have the most up-to-date safety features, such as automatic shut-offs. It is important to install and use heaters according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
•Do not use a range or oven as an alternate heating source. This is a safety hazard and may be a source of toxic fumes.
•Do not use fuel burning appliances without the proper room ventilation.
•Never fill a kerosene heater while it is in operation or hot. Avoid overfilling.
In the event of a fire leave the house immediately, assuring all members of the family are out of the house – meet at a predesignated area such as a neighbor’s front door. Call the fire department from a cell phone or neighbor’s house. Do not re-enter the home for possessions!

Fireplace and Wood Stove Safety

According to the Home Safety Council, the following safety tips will help ensure a safe and satisfying experience when using your fireplace or wood burning stove:

•Burn only seasoned hardwood like oak, ash or maple;
•Do not burn trash, cardboard boxes or Christmas trees because these items burn unevenly, and may contain poisons or cause a home fire;
•Have a professional chimney sweep inspect chimneys every year. They will fix any cracks, blockages and leaks and clean out any build-up in the chimney that could start a fire;
•Creosote logs can be used to help reduce the build-up of creosote in fireplaces. Check labels to make sure the log has been tested and approved by UL. Even if you use creosote logs, fireplaces should still be inspected by a professional each year;
•Open flues before fireplaces are used;
•Use sturdy screens or glass doors to keep embers inside fireplaces;
•Keep young children away from working wood stoves and heaters to avoid contact burn injuries;
•Do not burn wood in a stove designed for pellets, or pellets in a stove designed for wood.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide is produced by burning fuel. Therefore, any fuel-burning appliance in your home is a potential CO source. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent and odorless killer that can take out an entire household if not detected and eliminated. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission there are several steps to help assure your families safety:

•Proper installation, operation, and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances in the home is the most important factor in reducing the risk of CO poisoning:
•Make certain appliances are installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and local codes. Most appliances should be installed by professionals:
•Always follow the appliance manufacturer’s directions for safe operation;
•Have the heating system (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually by a trained service technician;
•Examine vents and chimneys regularly for improper connections, visible cracks, rust or stains;
•Look for problems that could indicate improper appliance operations:
◦Decreased hot water supply;
◦Furnace unable to heat house or runs continuously;
◦Sooting, especially on appliances and vents;
◦Unfamiliar, or burning odor;
◦Increased moisture inside of windows;
•Operate portable generators outdoors and away from open doors, windows, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors;
•In addition, install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home. Every home should have a CO alarm in the hallway near the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area. The CO alarms should be certified to the requirements of the most recent UL, IAS, or CSA standard for CO alarms. Test your CO alarms frequently and replace dead batteries. A CO alarm can provide added protection, but is no substitute for proper installation, use and upkeep of appliances that are potential CO sources.
The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever) including:

•Shortness of breath
•If you suspect that you are experiencing CO poisoning, get fresh air immediately.
•Leave the home and call for assistance from a neighbor’s home.
•You could lose consciousness and die from CO poisoning if you stay in the home.
•Get medical attention immediately and inform medical staff that CO poisoning is suspected. Call the Fire Department to determine when it is safe to reenter the home.
Bonus: by following the safety measures related to carbon monoxide safety you will also help to ensure your family home appliances are more eco-friendly because the systems will be their most efficient.

Be Prepared for Winter Power Outages:

•Stock up on batteries, flashlights, portable radios, canned food, boxed food, manual can opener, bottled water and blankets;
•Use flashlights rather that batteries, as they reduce the risk of fire;
•Make certain you have at least one hardwired phone, as wireless phones require electricity to work;
•If outside temperatures are below freezing and your home has not heat, or only localized heat, run water at a trickle (from the tap the farthest from the water main) to help prevent the pipes from freezing;
•If the outside temperatures are low enough, store perishable food in a plastic bin in an outside shaded area or in an unheated garage or shed;
•Have sterno cups and a sterno camping stove available to heat food;
•If your home is unheated for an extended period, drain the water pipes and turn off the main water shut-off valve and the water heater;
•If a water pipe freezes, wrap it with cloth and pour hot water over the cloth until the pipe thaws and water starts flowing again. Once the water is running again, remove the cloth strips and wrap the pipe with dry insulation;
•If a water pipe breaks, close the main water shut-off valve and call a plumber. If the pipe is easy to reach, you can use a pipe repair kit purchased from a hardware store;
•Never use a heat lamp to thaw frozen pipes, many house fires have been started because the heat lamp overheats the combustible wall surface.

The staff of hope you have a safe and warm winter, while observing home safety practices.

Read GreenCelebrity.Net for more family friendly and and eco-friendly lifestyle ideas in the coming days and follow @02besunny on Twitter year ’round!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Earthquake and Tsunami programs

I wanted to let folks know that there will be several airings of shows about earthquakes and tsunamis in the next week or so.

History Channel will air "Megaquakes 10.0" from 9:00-11:00 pm on Wednesday Jan. 12
Wednesday Jan. 12 at 8:00 pm on OPB, NOVA's "The Deadliest Earthquakes"

Yumei Wang and Jay Raskin both participated in these shows.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Disaster Assistance Available for Small Businesses from SBA

Sacramento, CA – Small, non-farm businesses in Curry and Linn counties and the neighboring Oregon counties of Benton, Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Jefferson, Josephine, Lane, Marion and Polk, and Del Norte County in California are now eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

“These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the combined effects of excessive rain, flooding and below normal temperatures that occurred in Curry and Linn Counties from April 15 through June 30, 2010,” announced Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center West.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Judd said.

Small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4% for businesses and 3% for private, non profit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private, non profits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Judd said.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster at the request of Governor Ted Kulongoski.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration.

Information and application forms are available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659 2955, emailing, or visiting SBA’s Web site at Hearing impaired individuals may call (800) 877 8339.

The deadline to apply for these loans is August 29, 2011.

For more information, visit SBA’s Web site at
SBA Field Operations Center - West, P.O. Box 419004, Sacramento, CA 95841

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

UofO urged to shake, rattle and roll in Jan. 26 drill

Thousands of Oregonians are expected to “drop, cover and hold on” when Oregon’s largest-ever earthquake drill is staged Jan. 26 by a variety of statewide partners, including the University of Oregon’s Emergency Management Program and Department of Geological Sciences.

The Great Oregon ShakeOut – a one-minute drill that begins at 10:15 a.m. – is modeled after similar drills that have been conducted in California since 2008. Organizers stress the strategy of “drop, cover and hold” as the best strategy for personal safety in the event of an earthquake – drop to the floor, cover yourself underneath a desk or other sturdy furniture and hold on until the shaking stops.

The UO will test its UO Alert! text notification and Smart Classroom systems at the same time as the earthquake drill, to serve as a reminder to participate.

Organizers of the Great Oregon ShakeOut urge those wishing to participate to register before Jan. 26 at To register for prizes that will be awarded to participating faculty and staff, go to

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Earthquake Safety & Mitigation for Schools


A one-hour webinar for school officials, teachers, facility managers, and other local
stakeholders interested in learning how to reduce earthquake risks and take actions to
ensure school safety and continued operations. Information is based on FEMA 395:
Incremental Seismic Rehabilitation of School Buildings (K-12): Providing Protection to
People and Buildings, which is available for download at
Numerous school buildings located in multiple States and U.S. territories are vulnerable to
earthquake damage and losses. This includes potential:

Death and injury of students, teachers, and staff

Damage to or collapse of buildings

Damage and loss of furnishings, equipment, and building contents

Disruption of educational programs and school operations

And inability of the community to use schools as temporary shelters
At this webinar, you will learn the following:

How to assess and analyze your earthquake risks

How to develop an actionable plan to reduce and manage earthquake risks

How to initiate an earthquake risk reduction plan for existing school buildings that were
not designed and constructed to meet modern building codes

How to secure “non-structural” elements of the school facility

How to apply “incremental seismic rehabilitation” to protect buildings and ensure occupant
Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm EST. Please register by Friday, January 7, 2011.
Additional Dates:
Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm EST
Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm EST
Online webinar via FEMA Adobe Connect & Conference Line. Information will be shared upon
successful registration.
Registration is free. Please send your preferred date to participate, name, organization, address,
phone number and email address by fax at 650-593-2320 or by email at by
Friday, January 7, 2011.
Email: Please add to your safe list
Audio: Touch-tone telephone
Browser: Internet Explorer 6 or later, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, with JavaScript enabled
Internet: 56K or faster (high-speed recommended)
Audio/Video Streaming: Adobe Flash plug-in version 9 or higher
You are subscribed to the FEMA Private Sector email service. Visit us on the web at, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.


Resolve to be Ready in 2011 – Update Disaster Plans, Restock Disaster Kits and Replenish Community Blood Supplies

SEATTLE—January has been recognized as National Blood Donor Month for over forty years (since 1970). Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to holiday travel schedules, inclement weather and illness and January in particular is a difficult month for blood center blood donations. But according to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, if donations are down, the need for blood isn’t.

“Every two seconds someone in America needs blood, and approximately 40,000 units of red blood are needed every day,” said Murphy. “Donating blood is a safe, life-saving and selfless gift that enhances the level of preparedness for each and every community in this nation.”

Few blood centers can maintain more than a three-day supply of blood for transfusions. The need for blood, platelets, and plasma is constant, but only three in every 100 Americans donate blood. So-called “baby boomers” account for the majority of blood donations, but as a demographic are approaching an age when medications and health issues bar them from being able to donate. At the same time, they are the largest age cohort of the world population and require more donated blood for their own health, quickly using much of the supply they once supported themselves.
Resolve to be Ready in 2011 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, and Follow FEMA online at,, and Follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at Social media links are provided for reference only. FEMA does not endorse non-government websites, companies or applications.