Monday, February 28, 2011

March is American Red Cross Month

March is American Red Cross Month, a great opportunity for citizens, families and businesses to review disaster plans and build or restock emergency kits. According to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, the American Red Cross not only provides help, hope and healing when disaster strikes, but also offers a wide selection of CPR/AED, first aid, disaster response and emergency preparedness training.

“The American Red Cross is FEMA’s major partner coordinating food and shelter during catastrophic disasters, but the key to any successful emergency response, regardless of the nature of the event, is personal preparedness,” said Murphy. “Red Cross classes and resources help people prepare with a few simple steps: build an emergency supply kit, make an emergency plan, and stay informed of the hazards in your area. These resources can go a long way towards empowering our communities to make a real difference when the chips are down.”

American Red Cross Serving King and Kitsap Counties in Washington State CEO Randy Hutson certainly agrees. “We know that any steps you take today to prepare will help mitigate damage when disaster occurs,” said Hutson. “We encourage people to evaluate their own personal preparedness, and this month serves as a great reminder.”

Each year the American Red Cross Serving King and Kitsap Counties brings together 2,500 people to care for their neighbors, train 100,000 people in life-saving skills and respond to a disaster about once every other day. To find your local American Red Cross chapter, visit:

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.

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, February 24, 2011

The 10 Deadliest Quakes in U.S. History

Interesting article posted on February 24, 2011

The recent powerful earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand served as stark reminder of the unpredictability, helplessness and destruction that accompanies natural disasters. Those who live on or near the Pacific Ring of Fire, including Californians and Alaskans, are faced with the lingering threat of such an event each day. In an instant, their lives can be turned upside down — or ended — upon the sudden rupturing of a geological fault within the Earth's crust. Below are the deadliest, most dreadful earthquakes that have occurred in U.S. history (including those that occurred in territories that eventually became a part of the U.S.). If you're from the West Coast, then, chances are, you and your family can empathize with our friends in New Zealand.

1.San Francisco, California, 1906 — Roughly 3,000 Fatalities: Galveston and New Orleans are the only major American cities that have suffered comparably catastrophic natural disasters as San Francisco did in 1906. In addition to the scores of people who perished, it was estimated that the financial, trade and cultural center of the West accumulated $524 million in property loss, much of it due to the uncontrollable fires that engulfed the city after gas mains ruptured. Almost three out of four people were left homeless and were forced to relocate to different locations around the Bay Area. Initially, just 365 deaths were reported by city officials who didn't want to deter new potential residents and disrupt the city's rebuilding effort.

2.Unimak Island, Alaska, 1946 — 165 Fatalities: The 1946 Aleutian Islands earthquake resulted in a massive tsunami that killed 159 Hawaiians in Hilo, several Alaskans — Alaska was a U.S. territory at the time — and even one Californian. Waves ranging in height from 45 to 130 feet crashed into the coasts and caused panic among residents of coastal communities. Infamously, a wave more than 100 feet high toppled the Scotch Cap Lighthouse in Unimak Island, sweeping away and killing all five lighthouse keepers. Because the earthquake registered below an eight (7.8) and thus wasn't big enough to trigger a tsunami on its own, scientists hypothesize that the massive wave was caused by an underwater landslide.

3.Prince William Sound, Alaska, 1964 — 128 Fatalities: Longtime Anchorage residents will not soon forget the events of 1964. The Great Alaskan Earthquake, a magnitude 9.2, holds the distinction of being the most powerful recorded earthquake in North American history. Thirty blocks of poorly constructed buildings in the downtown area of state's biggest city were damaged or destroyed. Major landslides were the primary culprits, notably affecting a 130-acre area at Turnagain Heights and killing 30 people in Port Valdez. A 27-foot tsunami killed 23 people in Chenega and additional tsunami damage occurred in Hawaii and Japan.

4.Long Beach, California, 1933 — 115 Fatalities: Located in the highly populated Los Angeles area, Long Beach was a hub of activity during the early 1930s, which explains, in part, why the 1933 earthquake was so costly. Many of the fatalities were a result of poorly constructed buildings and the ensuing panic that occurred when earth began to move. Property damage cost about $40 million, a figure, along with the unnecessarily high death toll, that contributed to the passage of the Field Act, which mandated earthquake-proof construction of buildings in California.

5.Ka'u District, Island of Hawaii, 1868 — 77 Fatalities: More than 90 years before it officially became the 50th state, the Kingdom of Hawaii suffered a magnitude 7.9 earthquake that shredded the Kau, Keiawa, Ninole, Punaluu and Waiohinu areas, disintegrating wooden and straw houses and knocking over stone churches. A three kilometer-wide landslide submerged the hillside at Kapapala, killing 31 people and destroying everything that stood in its way. The Kau-Puna coast was struck with a tsunami that drowned 46 people. Fortunately, the more densely-populated modern Hawaii has yet to experience such an unforeseen disaster.

6.San Fernando, California, 1971 — 65 Fatalities: The images of collapsed freeway overpasses that we associate with more recent earthquakes originated with the 1971 San Fernando quake. Several major structures were damaged, including buildings at the Olive View and Veterans Administration Hospitals, as tectonic ruptures shook the area. It resulted in a $505 million in property damage and the injuries of more than 2,000 people.

7.Loma Prieta, California, 1989 — 63 Fatalities: The nation witnessed the Loma Prieta earthquake on live television as it interrupted the World Series, which, coincidentally, involved the two teams from the Bay Area. Little did most people know, including the fans, players and reporters in the stadium, that it was severe enough to cause 3,757 injuries and $6 billion in damage. In the subsequent days, television news programs relayed images of the collapse of the two-level Cypress Street Viaduct, a part of Interstate 880 in West Oakland, which killed 42 people. A 76-by-50-foot section of San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge also collapsed; one person who drove into the resulting gap in the road died.

8.Northridge, California, 1994 — 60 Fatalities: Five years after the Loma Prieta ordeal, Southern California was hit with convulsions almost as strong and even more destructive. The powerful ground acceleration caused roughly $20 billion in damage and injured more than 7,000 people, with the Northridge and Sherman Oaks areas bearing the brunt of the quake. Freeway overpasses collapsed, the scoreboard at Anaheim Stadium plunged into the seats and fires damaged parts of Malibu, San Fernando Valley and Venice. The delayed filming of various shows, including Seinfeld and General Hospital, was a notable disruption caused by the quake.

9.Charleston, South Carolina, 1886 — 60 Fatalities: Few people realize the eastern U.S. is susceptible to earthquakes too. Charleston suffered through one of the largest quakes to hit the region in 1886, when 2,000 buildings around town — almost all of the buildings in the city — were damaged. Additional structural damage was reported as far away as Central Ohio and shaking could be felt as far away as Chicago and New Orleans. To this day, buildings battered by the quake still stand, adding to the historical mystique of the city.

10.Hebgen Lake, Montana, 1959 — 28 Fatalities: Yellowstone is no stranger to seismic activity — it experiences thousands of earthquakes each year, most of which are undetectable to people. On several occasions, a quake with a magnitude of six or greater has shaken the park, including one that occurred nearby Hebgen Lake in 1959. All of the fatalities were caused by an enormous landslide consisting of rocks, soil and trees that cascaded down Madison River Canyon. The mass of material halted the flow of the Madison River and created a 53-meter-deep lake. New geysers erupted, hot springs were muddied and steam emanated from cracks in the ground. The environmental impact of the quake made Yellowstone an even more fascinating study for geologists.

Friday, February 18, 2011


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Oregon and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by a severe winter storm, flooding, mudslides, landslides, and debris flows during the period of January 13-21, 2011.

Federal funding is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe winter storm, flooding, mudslides, landslides, and debris flows in the counties of Clackamas, Clatsop, Crook, Douglas, Lincoln, and Tillamook.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Dolph A. Diemont has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Diemont said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

Follow FEMA online at,,, and Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at The social media links provided are for reference only.

FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications. 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.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

10 Tips to Avoid Your Pipes Freezing in Winter

Good article from Lawn Care Services

There is nothing worse than waking up after a long and cold winter’s night just to find that none of your faucets are working because your pipes have frozen solid. This is a nuisance for many reasons, starting with the costs for professional thawing of pipes, to the wait that you will endure if you can’t pay someone to do it for you, as well as the nuisance of not having an essential resource in your home. Having water is one of those things that are difficult to go without, and of course just as your pipes are freezing you always seem to have more need for your home’s water supply. Well, if you don’t want to go through the nuisance or costs of freezing pipes, which could easily reach $200 or more, you can follow these 10 tips to avoid your pipes freezing in winter. These tips will help ensure that you don’t get one of these bothersome mornings after a cold midnight freeze.

Insulating pipes is a must. If you are in an older home, you will find that not many, if any of the pipes are insulated, whether they once were or never have been. With most new homes, the pipes have already been insulated, but there are times when you must look them over to ensure they are. If not, it is essential that you insulate the pipes to avoid them getting too cold and freezing when the temperature drops.

Leave a slow drip on. If the water is flowing, chances are that it won’t freeze up as quickly; giving you time to thaw out what does freeze before your water is halted. At night before bed, or before leaving if you will be away for long, you can turn the faucets on just a smidge so there is a slow drip that will prevent your pipes from freezing.

Frequently turn faucets on and off. There are some of you that live in areas that are so cold the pipes can freeze fairly quickly. For this reason, it is often a good idea to go around the house turning faucets on and off to ensure a good flow of water and unfreeze any frozen water in the pipes before it sets in.

Heated tape. If you do experience a bit of freezing in your water, which can affect your water’s flow, you can use heated tape in order to ensure the pipes remain warm and free from freezing over. This is also a great solution for those of you who have waited too late and may have already experienced some pipes freezing.

Make sure the area of the main pipes is warm and insulated. Most times, the pipes that freeze are those located under and outside of the house, those that are exposed to the coldest of the weather. For these pipes, it is important that you ensure the part of the house in which they can be found that there is a sufficient amount of warmth and insulation to ensure the cold air isn’t penetrating through to the pipes.

Keep space heaters in rooms that have pipes that freeze. If last winter you found that your bathroom pipes were freezing before any others due to the temperature in the bathroom, then it is a wise tip to make sure you have a good and functioning space heater in that room to make sure the pipes remain warm. This can be done within any room that you frequently find the pipes frozen in the winter.

Make sure pipe system is updated. There are many outdated systems that are comprised of copper and steel pipes that are known for freezing fairly easily. For this reason, it is important that you check your pipe system to ensure that it has been updated. If not, it is a good idea to either update or insulate very well.

Shut off water supply to any outside taps of your home. These are the first of your pipes to freeze, and although located outside, can cause major interior damage. For this reason, you should find the shut off valves for these pipes and cut them off before the winter arrives.
Don’t forget the hot water pipes! There are many with the misconception that only the cold water pipe is going to freeze, leaving them with the ignorance to leave hot water pipes unprotected. These pipes must also be insulated in order to prevent freezing and the risk of burst water pipes in the home.

Drain all water from pipes if leaving for an extended amount of time. If you are going to one of those great holiday family get together events out of town, it is always wise to cut the main water valve off and drain all water from pipes to ensure that there is no freezing and damage while you are away.

Frozen water pipes are no joke. The actual pipe damage caused by your pipes freezing can actually be the last thing on your mind, behind all the damage to your home and belongings. The best way to avoid these risks is to ensure that you follow these and other tips to prevent frozen pipes in the winter.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Top 10 Ways That Moving to a New House Can Be a Disaster

From our ready Teri Jones: For more info:

Who wouldn’t want to move into a new home? Take a minute to uncover the reality of new homeownership. Often, even when the mortgage is doable, there are many “extras” that you never had to deal with before, including house taxes, unforeseen costs from home repairs and higher electricity bills. While you no longer have a landlord asking for the late rent, owning your own home means that you are now your own landlord. Sometimes this doesn’t hit people until the kitchen faucet breaks for the third time, or it’s your responsibility to replace that overhead ceiling fan in the middle of summer. While there are many benefits of having a home to call your own (the space, designing it as you see fit, and not sharing a wall with three different neighbors!) there are many other factors to take into account before nose-diving into it.

Moving into a new home can be more expensive than you budgeted for. As opposed to an older home, new homes are placed on the market at escalating prices, so you’ll need to be prepared for that. If you’re not moving into your grandma’s home, chances are you will have competition of offers, and while you’re not the only one wanting to move into that new starter home in the suburbs, you will have to fight for it.
Broken down appliances and fixtures. Especially in new homes as opposed to older homes, you’ll want to keep the brand new appliances, condition of the walls and your door fixtures looking brand new or as much as possible for when you sell your home later on.
The chaos of confused movers and packers extends a 1-day task into several. Moving from your old place into your new place can cause a headache. Getting all of your ducks in a row for moving day is a lot of work but once the day comes and goes, you’ll be glad you were organized and thorough in your preparations. Moving companies also tend to charge by the hour, so being organized is a plus.
Going into deep debt. Moving to a new home involves a lot of unforeseen expenses. Some costs include food for the refrigerator, light bulbs, lawnmower, rugs, furniture, hardware, and more. Not to mention that cute lamp and that adorable bath mat and towel set that is just a little pricey. Little things add up!
Moving in your furniture only to move it again. Take a look at what your home needs before moving in! Does your new home need carpet or hardwood floors as opposed to what it already has? Does it need some color on the walls? Doing these preliminary changes before moving in can save you a lot of work later on.
Being disappointed once the deal is done. Be 100% sure this is the house of your dreams. With the many things you’ll have to deal with down the line, such as cost repairs of failing appliances and the amount of time alone you’ll spend here, it’s worth it to love your home in spite of all its minor inconveniences.
Leaving precious things behind or fragile things getting broken. Plan ahead and pack everything yourself! Although it can be a time intensive project, don’t hire or rely on friends, professionals or family to help you pack up your things. Otherwise, you may go crazy as you unpack and can’t find your dinner plates or family photos.
The moving company loses or breaks your furniture. Don’t hire the cheapest moving company. Spend money where it important to, like a reliable moving company that knows what they’re doing and won’t break your bed!
Someone gets lost in the caravan…unfortunately they have the only key. Make copies of keys. Prior to moving day, make sure you have plenty of key copies, but not too many. You want everyone in the family to have a copy, and make sure they work so you and your movers aren’t locked out on moving day.
Heat stroke, heart attack, or other injuries from using muscles you haven’t used in years. Take a breath. Pace yourself and get help when you need it. You’ve worked hard to get to moving day, and this is your moment to take a breather. Nobody deserves it more than a new homeowner!
While moving into a new home can be overwhelming at first, your new home will soon bring you all the joy, space and privacy you hoped for. Enjoy being your own landlord, painting the walls to your liking and most of all, relishing the fact that this home is yours for as long as you want it to be!

Posted in Moving News

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Be A Winner This Super Bowl Weekend by Having a Designated Driver - "Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk"

The blitz is on this Super Bowl weekend when Oregon law enforcement agencies will be part of a nationwide team intensifying efforts and stressing the importance of driving sober to save lives on our highways.

On Wednesday, February 2, 2011, an event to raise awareness about the importance of driving sober was held in Keizer kicking off Oregon's intensified enforcement efforts associated with the national "Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk" message. Volunteer drinkers tested by police officers demonstrated the intoxicating effects of alcohol on driving to encourage fans to be a designated driver. This local message complements the national "Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk" message supported by the National Football League (NFL), the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the HERO Campaign and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition.

"We're reminding everyone that real Super Bowl fans want to make the right call by either volunteering to be or handing the keys to a designated driver, or finding a safe alternative to get home safely without driving under the influence," said Captain Mike Dingeman, director of the Oregon State Police Patrol Services Division.

The "Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk" message supports the league-wide designated driver campaign called "Responsibility Has Its Rewards." Celebrating its eighth season in 2010, the campaign encourages fans to participate in designated-driver programs supported by beer and concessionaire companies at every NFL stadium nationwide. Throughout the season at all 31 NFL stadiums, more than 170,000 fans made the responsible decision by pledging to be designated drivers this season.

"Designated drivers make sure everyone gets home safely," said Troy Costales, ODOT's Safety Division administrator. "We are asking all party hosts and bar owners to take extra good care of designated drivers this year. They should be rewarded for taking on such an important responsibility."

According to NHTSA, Super Bowl Sunday has become one of the nation's most dangerous days on the road due to impaired driving. Forty-eight (48) percent of fatalities nationwide on Super Bowl Sunday (12:01 a.m., Sunday, to 5:59 a.m., Monday) involve a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. Last year in Oregon there were no traffic fatalities during Super Bowl weekend. Two people died during 2009's Super Bowl weekend, neither of which were in alcohol-involved crashes.

The following are statistics reflect DUII arrests by Oregon State Police troopers and traffic fatalities reported between 12:01 a.m., Saturday, through 5:59 a.m., Monday, during the previous four Super Bowl weekends:

* During the 2010 Super Bowl weekend, there were 0 traffic fatalities and OSP troopers reported 58 DUII arrests
* During the 2009 Super Bowl weekend, there were 2 traffic fatalities and OSP troopers reported 50 DUII arrests
* During the 2008 Super Bowl weekend, there were 5 traffic fatalities and OSP troopers reported 23 DUII arrests
* During the 2007 Super Bowl weekend, there were 2 traffic fatalities and OSP troopers reported 42 DUII arrests

Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriff's Association, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, ODOT and MADD stress that designating a sober driver should be on the top of everyone's Super Bowl party list. Join their team and report possible intoxicated drivers to 9-1-1 or Oregon State Police dispatch at 1-800-24DRUNK (800-243-7856).

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:

* Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in an impaired driving crash.
* Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
* Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
* Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
* Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.

If you are attending a Super Bowl party or watching at a sports bar or restaurant:

* Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys.
* Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself—eat enough food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
* If you don't have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you; or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
* Use your community's Sober Rides programs;
* Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired.

Remember, Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk, and always buckle up – it's still your best defense against other impaired drivers.

Additional tips and more information are also available at