Monday, March 28, 2011

Governor Kitzhaber Applauds Federal Approval for Curry County Disaster Assistance

(SALEM, Ore.) –The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced it will fund repairs and replace damaged public infrastructure in Curry County just four days after Governor Kitzhaber sent a formal request for a Federal Disaster Declaration to President Obama. The Port of Brookings-Harbor was damaged by tsunami waves that hit the Oregon Coast on March 11. “I am grateful for the speed with which our Federal partners have made this assistance available,” Governor Kitzhaber said. “It will help us quickly rebuild the port and get Oregonians back to work.” State and federal disaster assessment teams estimated damages at $6.7 million to the Port of Brookings- Harbor. Curry County met the state’s criteria to request federal disaster assistance. FEMA will now begin working with Curry County and the state Office of Emergency Management on scopes of work, design and construction schedules and reimbursements. The Federal share of assistance is not less than 75 percent of the eligible cost for emergency measures and permanent restoration. The remaining 25 percent is the responsibility of the applicant. With the Federal declaration, damage assessments will begin in Coos and Lincoln Counties, where ports were also damaged, to determine if they meet assistance thresholds. “We’ll continue to work with Curry County until they are back on their feet. We’re also looking toward the future to make sure we’re prepared for an emergency,” said Kitzhaber. Attached is a summary of the Federal Disaster Declaration. The Governor’s website has easy access to make donations to recovery efforts in Curry County and in Japan. For more information please visit: For more information about FEMA’s Public Assistance Program: For the formal request to President Obama:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Radiation Monitors Continue to Confirm That No Radiation Levels of Concern Have Reached the United States

During a detailed analysis of four west coast RadNet air monitor filters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified trace amounts of radioactive iodine, cesium, and tellurium consistent with the Japanese nuclear incident. These levels are consistent with the levels found by a Department of Energy monitor last week and are to be expected in the coming days.

EPA’s samples were captured by three monitors in California and one in Washington State on Friday, March 18 and sent to EPA scientists for detailed laboratory analysis. The data was reviewed over the weekend and the analysis was completed Monday night. The radiation levels detected on the filters from California and Washington monitors are millions of times below levels of concern.

In addition, last night preliminary monitor results in Hawaii detected minuscule levels of an isotope that is also consistent with the Japanese nuclear incident. This detection varies from background and historical data in Hawaii. This isotope was detected at our fixed monitor in Hawaii, and it is far below any level of concern for human health. The sampling filter from this monitor is being sent to our national radiation lab for further analysis.

In a typical day, Americans receive doses of radiation from natural sources like rocks, bricks and the sun that are about 100,000 times higher than what we have detected coming from Japan. For example, the levels we’re seeing coming from Japan are 100,000 times lower than what you get from taking a roundtrip international flight.
EPA is in the process of conducting detailed filter analyses for fixed monitors located in Oregon.

EPA’s RadNet filter results for San Francisco, Seattle, Riverside and Anaheim, California detected minuscule quantities of iodine isotopes and other radioactive particles that pose no health concern at the detected levels. Below are the results of the detailed filter analysis. All of the radiation levels detected during the detailed filter analysis are millions of times below levels of concern.

All units are in Picocuries per meter cubed.

- Filter results for Anaheim, Calif. found:
Cesium-137: 0.0017
Tellurium-132: 0.012
Iodine-132: 0.0095
Iodine-131: 0.046

- Filter results for Riverside, Calif. found:
Cesium-137: 0.00024
Tellurium-132: 0.0014
Iodine-132: 0.0015
Iodine-131: 0.011
- Filter results for Seattle, Wash. found:
Cesium-137: 0.00045
Tellurium-132: 0.0034
Iodine-132: 0.0029
Iodine-131: 0.013

- Filter results for San Francisco, Calif. found:
Cesium-137: 0.0013
Tellurium-132: 0.0075
Iodine-132: 0.0066
Iodine-131: 0.068

EPA’s RadNet system is designed to protect the public by notifying scientists, in near real time, of elevated levels of radiation so they can determine whether protective action is required. In addition, an analysis of the filters in the monitors can identify even the smallest trace amounts of specific radioactive isotopes.

As part of the federal government’s continuing effort to make our activities and science transparent and available to the public, EPA will continue to keep RadNet data available at:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Health Dept. info line and website on Radiation

The Dept. of Health has set up an information line for people who have questions about the radiation and other issues from the Japan Nuclear accidents.

The Number is 877-290-6767.

There is also a web page where you can find important current information on any monitoring of Oregon's exposure. The webpage is

Friday, March 18, 2011

Oregon Health Authority Radiation Information

The Oregon Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program and the Radiation Protection Services are closely monitoring information on the radiation release reported in Japan after explosions at a reactor site and subsequent events.

No Health Risk to Oregon According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, given the thousands of miles between Japan and the U.S., there is minimal risk at this time that Oregon and other states will experience any harmful levels of radioactivity.
Since the explosion, there have been no elevated radiation readings detected in Oregon and air sample results remain normal. Oregon Public Health receives hourly reports of atmospheric data and will continue to monitor the situation.

How safety is monitored – air detectors

The Environmental Protection Agency has a network of radiation detectors throughout the country that continuously monitor for the presence of radiation. There are two monitoring stations in Oregon – one in Portland and one in Corvallis. The network is called RadNet. The RADNET program is designed to provide immediate and long‐term information about radiation to protect the public and the environment.

How the monitoring works

The RadNet program monitors atmospheric data as it comes in. Oregon Public Health’s Radiation Protection Services program monitors the air and precipitation coming into Oregon.

The information is updated and recorded hourly. For more information about RADNET visit:

For More Information: State Resources

Oregon Health Authority,
Information on Radiation Protection
HOTLINE: 1‐877‐290‐6767

Oregon Public Health Current Hazards:

Radiation Protection Service:

Oregon Poison Center:

Federal Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Radiation Event Medical Management:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Health Dept. info line and website on Radiation

The Dept. of Health has set up an information line for people who have questions about the radiation and other issues from the Japan Nuclear accidents. The Number is 877-290-6767.

There is also a web page where you can find important current information on any monitoring of Oregon's exposure. The webpage is

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Potassium Iodide tablets

Q. Why are potassium iodide tablets used during emergencies involving radiation exposure?
A. Potassium iodide tablets may be recommended to individuals who are at risk for radiation exposure or have been exposed to excessive radiation to block the body’s absorption of radioactive iodine. Using potassium iodide when inappropriate could have potential serious side effects such as abnormal heart rhythms, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte abnormalities and bleeding.

Q. Should I be taking potassium iodide to protect myself?
A. No. Potassium iodide tablets are not recommended at this time, and can present a danger to people with allergies to iodine, shellfish or who have thyroid problems.
Q. Should I purchase potassium iodide as a precaution?
A. No. Potassium iodide is only appropriate within a very close proximity to a nuclear event. Using potassium iodide when inappropriate could have potential serious side effects such as abnormal heart rhythms, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte abnormalities and bleeding.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Website from Public Health

We are pleased to announce that the Oregon Public Health Division has launched its new website. The new website will allow us to better fulfill our key role of sharing health information. You will notice that the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) standards are applied to the websites.

The main Oregon Public Health Emergency Preparedness page is accessible at:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Oregon Public Health web site link - KI pills are not necessary

There is NO NEED to take potasium iodide pills (KI) It is not necessary, not appropriate and is not safe!!! These pills are only used at the site of the accident. Also, people can overdose on these and they can be dangerous for pregnant women.

Do not worry! Nothing has been detected and there is no expectation of an contamination here.

Use this link for more information concerning the Japan nuclear issue and how it will not affect Oregon.

There are monitoring stations throughout the country.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nuclear event in Japan poses no health risk in Oregon; state continues monitoring

STATEMENT FROM OREGON PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION DIRECTOR MEL KOHN, M.D., M.P.H. The Oregon Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program and the Radiation Protection Services are closely monitoring information on the radiation release reported in Japan after an explosion at a reactor site Saturday.

There have been no elevated radiation readings detected in Oregon and air samples remain normal. Given the current size of the release and the distance from Oregon, we do not expect that to change and there is no public health risk to the state. We are also in contact with our federal partners including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The Oregon state health department will continue its monitoring work as the situation in Japan develops and changes.

The EPA website also has good information in their live feed section.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami waves still dangerous

Please stay off the coast. I am watching TV and see people on the beach with children. The first Tsunami wave is not the largest and even if we get small waves - they could be traveling very fast and are dangerous.

Waves could be unusual for a few hours. Please - stay off the beach.

Japan Earthquake will cause Oregon Tsunami

Good morning readers. As you know, Japan had an 8.9 earthquake last night. This has caused tsunami warnings all along our coast. The warning means that a tsunami with significan widespread inundation is imminent or expected. Dangerous coastal flooing accompanied by powerful currents is possible and may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival.

We are expecting waves from 3 1/2 feet to 6 1/2 feet. The farther south you go on the coast, the higher the wave will be. Arrival time is between 7:15 and 7:30.

Please stay away from the beach! Coastal communities are evacuating away from the immediate coast.

Thank you. Be careful.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Get Ready for Flood Safety Awareness Week - March 14-18, 2011

Flooding is a coast to coast threat to the United States and its territories in all months of the year. National Flood Safety Awareness Week, from March 14 to 18 this year, is intended to highlight some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what you can do to save life and property.

You can prepare yourself and help prepare your communities by educating yourself on the risks of flooding and the ways you can prepare and respond to flooding. Here are some resources to get you started: The Ready Campaign has a page dedicated to flood safety awareness at

FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program has a variety of resources at Also, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a Flood Safety page at The DHS Center for Faith Based & Neighborhood Partnerships will hold a National Flood Awareness Safety Week Stakeholder conference call, Tuesday, March 15 from 12-1PM EST that will provide additional information on what it means to get ready for flood season. There is a limit of 300 people on the call.

Call-in information is: 1-888-391-6569 Pin # 8622712.

Find out more about being a StormReady community at

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

FEMA asks: How do you stay prepared on a budget?

The economic downturn has made staying prepared more difficult in recent years. Fortunately, many Americans have found creative and inexpensive ways to be ready in case of an emergency. FEMA asks, what steps have you taken to stay prepared on a budget? We are looking for items and their uses, tips, stories, and good practices.

What items do you keep in your home, car, or workspace that help you stay prepared? Have you been involved in a disaster and found a particular yet inexpensive item especially useful? Are there inexpensive ways that help you fulfill the recommendations ( for a preparedness kit?

To help you get started thinking of ideas, we have provided an example guide for preparing on a budget from the Seattle Red Cross, the Everett Office of Emergency Management, and ReadyCorps. Before April 30, 2011, please send your suggestions to and put “Preparing on a Budget” in the subject line. We look forward to reading your ideas and examples!

This notice and other Individual & Community Preparedness news can be found on our website at

The National Office of Citizen Corps
FEMA Individual & Community Preparedness Division

FEMA · U.S. Department of Homeland Security · Washington, DC 20472

Reply Reply to all Forward

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring Ahead To Prepare For Disasters

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Daylight Savings Time in the United States starts on the second Sunday in March of each year and the Federal Emergency Management Agency encourages all Americans to use the change to daylight savings time to update emergency preparedness plans. For years, firefighters and safety professionals have asked the public to change smoke alarm batteries throughout their homes, as they move their clocks ahead. According to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy (former Oregon Emergency Management Director), the March ritual of making homes safer from fire is also a great opportunity to review disaster preparedness plans and restock disaster kits.

"You know, FEMA is not the nation’s emergency management team. True, we are an important part, but still—just a part of the team – a team that includes the entire federal family, state, local and tribal governments, faith-based and non-profit organizations, and especially the public," said Murphy. "Let’s all take full advantage of this year’s switch to Daylight Savings Time and resolve to be better prepared in 2011: build or restock your disaster kit, make or update your disaster plan, and stay informed of the hazards in your area."

FEMA’s Resolve to be Ready in 2011 campaign promotes Whole Community involvement in disaster preparedness. "The key to successful disaster response, regardless of the nature of the event, is personal preparedness," continued Murphy. "And no matter how busy or hectic our daily routine, we all need to take the time to take positive action to prepare ourselves, our loved ones and our communities in the event of severe weather, earthquake—or any other major disaster."

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.