Friday, May 27, 2011

How to help police officers affected by tornadoes

The following is a link to a story on about how to help police officers affected by the tornado:

Here is a news release sent out Thursday by Portland Police Bureau:

News Release from: Portland Police Bureau
Posted: May 26th, 2011 3:55 PM

The recent tornadoes in the Joplin, Missouri area left the community devastated. Many people lost everything, including 45 first responders. They have lost their homes, cars and clothing. Some of them only have the uniform they were wearing as clothing.

Responder Life, a group formed to support first responders and their families, is collecting donations of gift cards and money to assist the families in the aftermath of these devastating storms. Gift cards for restaurants, stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, Lowes, and Home Depot can greatly assist those first responders who are continuing to help the residents of the Joplin, Missouri area.

Members of the Portland Police Bureau are contributing donations to assist their fellow police officers in Missouri. The community can help as well. Donations can be mailed to:

Responder Life Donations
C/O: Carthage Police Department
310 West 4th Street
Carthage, MO 64836

Additional information about Responder Life can be found on their website,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

FEMA Administrator Calls Amateur Radio “The Last Line of Defense”

In an FCC forum on earthquake communications preparedness, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate described the Amateur Radio operator as “the ultimate backup, the originators of what we call social media.” The forum-- held May 3 at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC -- brought together officials from the White House, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), FEMA, the FCC and the private sector. Fugate and FCC Bureau of Public Safety and Homeland Security Chief Jamie Barnett gave the opening remarks.

Later in the forum, Fugate spoke more on Amateur Radio. “During the initial communications out of Haiti, volunteers using assigned frequencies that they are allocated, their own equipment, their own money, nobody pays them, were the first ones oftentimes getting word out in the critical first hours and first days as the rest of the systems came back up,” he told the forum. “I think that there is a tendency because we have done so much to build infrastructure and resiliency in all our other systems, we have tended to dismiss that role ‘When Everything Else Fails.’ Amateur Radio oftentimes is our last line of defense.”

Fugate said that he thinks “we get so sophisticated and we have gotten so used to the reliability and resilience in our wireless and wired and our broadcast industry and all of our public safety communications, that we can never fathom that they’ll fail. They do. They have. They will. I think a strong Amateur Radio community [needs to be] plugged into these plans. Yes, most of the time they’re going be bored, because a lot of the time, there’s not a lot they’re going to be doing that other people aren’t doing with Twitter and Facebook and everything else. But when you need Amateur Radio, you really need them.”

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Information from FEMA on Donations for Joplin, MO

Good afternoon everyone!

I'm currently working in FEMA's National Response Coordination Center in support of the disaster operation in Joplin MO. As a member of the donations management community, your help is requested in getting a strong donations message out to Facebook and Twitter networks, your friends, family and colleagues, and partner organizations that unsolicited donations of "stuff" (e.g. used clothing, miscellaneous food items, household goods) are NOT needed. The community is now facing a situation where the management of these donations is taking attention, focus, and energy away from relief activities.

The message that FEMA and the state of Missouri wish to have distributed is:

• Cash is best. It doesn't need to be sorted, stored or distributed, and cash allows the receiving voluntary agency to direct the donation to the needs that most urgently need addressing. Go to and click on "Missouri" for links to voluntary agencies helping on the ground.
• For information on other ways to help go to:

Thanks for your help!

Susan Jensen

Monday, May 23, 2011


News Release from: Oregon State Police
Posted: May 23rd, 2011 2:26 PM
Photo/sound file: (English "Click It or Ticket") Photo/sound file: (Spanish "Click It or Ticket")

Unbuckled vehicle occupants, including child passengers, along with impaired and other dangerous drivers will be the focus of increased enforcement efforts during the 2011 Memorial Day holiday weekend. Oregon State Police (OSP) and other law enforcement agencies statewide and nationally will be working overtime, putting increased patrols on the road in an effort to prevent the loss of hundreds of lives in traffic crashes during the extended holiday weekend.

Falling within the national "Click It or Ticket" campaign, May 23 - June 5, increased enforcement efforts nationally and in Oregon during the Memorial Day holiday period begins at 6:00 p.m., Friday, May 27, and end at 11:59 p.m., Monday, May 30.

ODOT's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reports six people died in six separate traffic crashes in Oregon during the 2010 Memorial Day holiday period, May 28 - 31. Since 1970, nearly 260 people have died in Oregon traffic crashes during this holiday period. Over the last 25 years, approximately 54 percent of these fatalities were the result of alcohol-involved crashes.

OSP Superintendent Chris Brown urges everyone traveling this holiday weekend to buckle up and have a rested, alert, and sober driver operating every vehicle.

"Speeding and driver impairment are factors most often leading to serious crashes so do your part by driving safe and sober and properly using your safety restraints and child safety seats," said Brown.

During the previous four Memorial Day holiday weekends, OSP troopers arrested over 320 DUII drivers, including 73 DUII arrests during last year's 102-hour holiday period. OSP's stepped-up enforcement efforts will be in conjunction with those by other law enforcement agencies in Oregon and around the country as part of Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort).

Carla Levinski, ODOT's Occupant Protection Program Manager, noted that alcohol and lack of safety belt use can be a lethal mix.

"Oregon crash data shows that almost half of our state's unbuckled fatalities are persons having measurable blood alcohol content," Levinski said. In addition, recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research suggests that most of Oregon's unbuckled fatalities occur on weekday afternoons and between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on weekends.

"Even though we rank third nationally in safety belt use, at 97 percent, we still have people ignoring the law, so Oregon police officers will be looking for these violators around the clock," said Levinski.

More information about the "Click It or Ticket" campaign is available on ODOT's website at

Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriff's Association, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, and Oregon Department of Transportation offer the following safety reminders for holiday travel:

* Get rested before you are tested. Fatigued drivers are more frequent during holiday weekends because of increased travel and activity. Be patient and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.

* Pay attention. An inattentive driver is a growing safety concern on our roads and an increasing factor in traffic crashes.

* Know before you go: Stay up to date on road conditions by visiting or calling 5-1-1.

* Even when workers are not present, all work zone speed limits still apply and fines double. Inactive work zones still have equipment, detours, and incomplete changes in the roadway so drivers need to slow down and be alert.

* Share the road. Don't tailgate and check your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes.

* Always use safety restraints and child safety seats correctly (see for free safety seat clinics and proper buckling tips)

* Don't drink and drive.

* MOVE OVER if you are approaching any type of emergency vehicle, tow truck or roadside assistance vehicle which is stopped on the roadside with emergency lights activated.

The National Safety Council estimates over 400 people may die and around 39,000 other will be injured in traffic crashes during this holiday period. During the last six most recent Memorial Day holiday periods the average number of traffic fatalities was 12 percent higher than similar non-holiday weekends.

Everyone plays an important part in keeping our highways and city streets safe. Immediately report aggressive, dangerous, and intoxicated drivers to the Oregon State Police at 1-800-24DRUNK (1-800-243-7865) or call 9-1-1.

Monday, May 16, 2011

10 Tips on Where to Put Smoke Detectors in Your Home

As part of an overall fire prevention plan for your home, the proper placement of smoke detectors is crucial. Knowing where best to install them can make a world of difference to your family’s safety. The following are 10 tips on where to put smoke detectors in your home. For more information see link at bottom.

1. Smoke detectors should be hard-wired to a dedicated circuit, without any switching that could inadvertently disconnect them. Each detector should have a backup battery allow it to work independently of house power in case of loss of electricity.

2. Your smoke detectors should be interconnected so that when one of them detects smoke, all of the detectors throughout your home will sound the alarm.

3. Place detectors directly outside all sleeping areas. If you sleep with your bedroom door closed, one should be installed inside the bedroom. Long hallways should have a detector installed every 30 feet.

4. Avoid installing smoke detectors near windows or doors. The drafts from them can redirect smoke away from the detectors, rendering them ineffective.

5. Make sure you allow at least 3ft. clearance from air registers and forced air units as these can also undermine the effectiveness of your smoke detector.

6. You should install a smoke detector at the top of any stairwells in the home. An enclosed stairway will act much like a chimney and channel smoke upwards to the top of the stairs.

7. Ceilings that are domed, cathedral-type, etc. should have detectors mounted within 3 feet of the highest point of the ceiling.

8. Do not install smoke detectors in dusty areas. The dust can cause the detector to either fail or give false smoke alarms.

9. Avoid installation in areas of high humidity such as bathrooms. The humidity can also generate false alarms.

10. You may need to try different types of smoke detectors depending on their sensitivity and placement to ensure proper operation and no false alarms. There are two types you can buy: ionization and photoelectric.

It’s a good idea to get in the habit of replacing smoke detector batteries at the same time that you set your clocks for a time change, as both are required twice a year, and the time change is a handy reminder. Remember that every room, and each floor of your home should have at least one smoke detector installed.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tsunami Evacuation Drills at the Oregon coast beginning next week!

May 13, 2011
Portland, Oregon: As part of the ongoing Tsunami Outreach Oregon education and awareness program administered by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) and Oregon Emergency Management (OEM), several coastal communities will be holding tsunami evacuation drills in the next 2 weeks.

The coastal communities of Pacific City and Neskowin and surrounding communities will be holding a voluntary Tsunami Evacuation Drill Tuesday, May 17, beginning at 10 AM. For more information on this drill, please contact Fire Captain Jim Kusz at (541) 407-0801.

Gold Beach, Port Orford and surrounding communities will be holding voluntary Tsunami Evacuation Drills Thursday, May 19, beginning at 10 AM. For more information on these drills contact South Coast Tsunami Outreach Coordinator Dave Lacey at (541) 373-0487 or Don Kendall, Curry County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Services Coordinator at (541) 247-3208.

On May 25 at 10 AM, the City Of Warrenton, nearby unincorporated areas, and Warrenton area schools will hold their voluntary Tsunami Evacuation Drill. For more information on this drill contact North Coast Tsunami Outreach Coordinator Patrick Wingard at (503) 717-3995.

The community wide drills in Pacific City, Gold Beach and Port Orford will also incorporate an aircraft broadcasting a message about the drill using an airborne public address system developed by Guardians From Above and the Power Sonix Corporation. This same type of airborne public address system has been used in search and rescue efforts by the Civil Air Patrol throughout the region and has been demonstrated in tsunami drills as an additional method of alerting coastal residents of a distant tsunami warning issued by the National Weather Service where sirens have limited coverage.

Read the complete news release in the attached PDF or go online at:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


- Celebrate Everyday Heroes; Support Whole Community Preparedness-

SEATTLE—National Emergency Medical Services Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day life saving of emergency medicine’s “front line.” Observances run 15-21 May, with 18 May set aside as Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Day.

This year’s theme is Everyday Heroes, and according to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, it’s all about celebrating EMS providers—first responders, hospitals, emergency physicians and public health providers, and engaging the Whole Community in reducing risk and saving lives.

“Our nation’s EMS providers do an incredible job, often risking their own lives to save ours. But they can’t do it all alone. National EMS Week offers an opportunity to celebrate this nation’s first responders, while sounding a clarion call for all of us to help them help us,” said Murphy.

“Planning for disasters means that we must plan for the Whole Community, including people of different ages and those with access and functional needs. It means planning for children, planning for the elderly, and planning for families without access to personal transportation. It means meeting our first responders more than half way when the chips are down.”

Tips to help be better prepared for emergencies, and enhance access to help during disasters include:

• Check on your access to 9-1-1. Some areas may not have 9-1-1.
Some have E-9-1-1 where an address is automatically stored in a data base.
Know what is available where you live and work.

• Build a “72 hour Disaster Kit” make a disaster plan, and keep a well-stocked
First Aid Kit.

• Make a list of emergency phone numbers. Write down the numbers you need in
your disaster plan and display them near all telephones in the house.

• Make sure your house number is visible from the street. Make it easier for
police, fire officials or emergency medical personnel to find your house.
Put large house numbers in a highly visible area. Make sure the numbers are
well-lit and can be seen at night.

• Keep a clear and up-to-date record of immunizations. This can help doctors
do a better job of diagnosing problems in an emergency.

• Write down medical conditions, medications and dosages. Being prepared in
advance helps assure proper treatment and prevent drug interactions.

• Make a list of allergies and reactions, and consider medical I.D. bracelets
or tags.

• Take first-aid classes. A basic class will teach CPR and proper ways to
treat burns, wrap sprains, apply splints, and perform the Heimlich maneuver.

FEMA’s Resolve to be Ready in 2011 campaign promotes Whole Community involvement in disaster preparedness. “Become involved in programs that strengthen your community’s disaster resilience. Investigate training and volunteer opportunities available through the American Red Cross, Citizen Corps or Community Emergency Response Teams,” continued Murphy. “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. Individuals with medical skills who would like to volunteer in a disaster should see the Medical Reserve Corps Program webpage at For more information on National EMS Week observances, visit: . 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.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Earthquake and Tsunami Preparedness Workshops Offered

Oregon Emergency Management Geologic Hazards Coordinator Althea Rizzo and other agency experts will be holding free preparedness workshops concerning tsunamis and earthquakes in several Oregon communities in May.

Oregon has suffered considerable damage from the recent distant tsunami from Japan, from two moderate earthquake events in 1993 and a distant tsunami from Alaska in 1964. Scientific evidence indicates that Oregon is at risk for much larger and potentially more damaging tsunami created by an earthquake associated with the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan brings the hazard home and offers a teachable moment. Join us as we talk about how to be more prepared for earthquakes and tsunamis in Oregon!

2011 QuakePrep Road Show Schedule
Location Venue and address Time of event

Monday, May 09, 2011 Corvallis
Linus Pauling Auditorium,
1111 NW Cleveland Avenue;
Corvallis, OR 97330 7:00-9:00 PM

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 Monroe Monroe Fire Station,
680 Commercial Street,
Monroe, 97456 6:00-8:00 PM

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 Eugene University of Oregon
129 McKenzie Hall 6:00-8:00 PM

Saturday, May 14, 2011 Brookings
Kalmiopsis Elementary School,
Multi-Purpose Room (Cafeteria),
650 Easy Street 12:00-4:00 PM

Port Orford
Port Orford Council Chambers,
555 W. 20th St
Port Orford, OR 97465 6:00-8:00 PM

Sunday, May 15, 2011 Coos Bay
Community Health and Education Center (CHEC Building),
3950 Sherman Avenue,
Coos Bay/North Bend, OR 1:30-3:30 PM

Pacific Auditorium,
2260 Longwood Dr,
Reedsport, OR 6:00-8:00 PM

Monday, May 16, 2011 Toledo
285 NE Burgess road,
Toledo or. 97391 2:00-4:00 PM

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 Tillamook
Tillamook Library,
1716 3rd St.
Tillamook, OR 97141 6:30-8:30 PM

Wednesday, May 18,2011 Seaside
The Seaside Civic & Convention Center,
Necanicum Room ,
415 First Avenue,
Seaside, Oregon 97138 6:00-8:00 PM

Train the Trainer workshop:
Thursday, May 19, 2011 Astoria/Warrenton
Holiday Inn Express,
204 West Marine Drive 2:00-7:00 PM

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 3, 2011
By Megan Taylor
Storm Tracker 9

The second topic of Severe Weather Awareness Week is tornadoes and waterspouts. This topic comes during a time that a large corner of the Southeast U.S. is cleaning up from a devastating April. We'll get to that event in a moment, but first let's talk specifically about tornadoes around our area.

The Pacific Northwest sees about seven tornadoes a year. The most common months for tornadoes are July and August. However, tornadoes have been reported in every month of the year. The most common time is between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m., but they still can occur at any time.

Severe thunderstorms that produce tornadoes are a little more difficult to produce in our part of the world. That's mostly because the Pacific Ocean prevents major temperature differentials, which is one of the primary requirements for violently convective weather. However, it DOES happen. There are also a lot of hills and mountains that help keep the air moving, and can aid rotation. The worst part about Pacific Northwest tornadoes is that they are a little harder to predict and therefore harder to warn for. That means the area's citizens have to be extra prepared. Here are a few quick safety tips should a tornado occur in your area.

Come up with a tornado plan BEFORE the tornado is occurring. Waiting for a warning is too late. Designate a time ever year that you and your family put together a disaster plan. This doesn't have to be limited to just tornadoes, but it can include your earthquake or tsunami, and fire plan as well.

If faced with a tornado or your area is placed under a warning, seek shelter immediately.

If you are in a building or home:

Get away from windows and exterior walls, such as the interior-most room of the building or a closet.

Get on the lowest level of the structure. A basement is the best place during a tornado.

Get under a sturdy piece of furniture. It could block you from falling debris.

If you are in a car, buckle your seat belt and drive to a nearby sturdy structure. If debris hits your vehicle, pull over. If you can find a lower level in the road than where you are, get out and lay down with your hands over your head. YOU ARE NOT A STORM CHASER, DO NOT DRIVE TOWARD THE TORNADO. If you cannot tell which way to drive, look to see which way the tornado is heading. If it looks like it is not moving, it is likely moving straight toward you. Make a 90 degree turn and drive away quickly, but safely.

If you are in mobile home, GET OUT if time permits. Even when tied down, mobile homes lead to most of the injuries and deaths related to tornadoes. When setting up your disaster plan, make sure to pick a location to go during a tornado warning that is sturdy.

Don't wait for the sirens. Tornadoes can form and begin destroying very quickly. Just because the sirens are not sounding doesn't mean the tornado will stop and wait. If you see a tornado, take shelter immediately. Some signs of an approaching tornado include roaring sounds, large hail and falling debris. Even if you can't see the tornado, seeing debris could mean one is nearby.

Oregon and Washington average around two tornadoes a year, but as many as 14 in one year have been recorded (Washington, 1997). Recent tornadoes include a small EF-0 tornado that destroyed a barn south of Pendleton in March 2011, a likely cold-air funnel that caused damage to a house and numerous trees in Creswell in December 2010, and the Aumsville EF-2 tornado that caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage and injured two in December 2010. Waterspouts are a little more common, but due to the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, they are often not seen. In the event of a waterspout, the NWS will issue a special marine warning. Waterspouts are dangerous and cause damage boats and harbors. Waterspouts CAN move onto land, becoming what is called a "land spout."

Other parts of the country are obviously more prone to tornadoes and severe weather, but this year has been especially deadly in areas in the Southeast U.S. The area known as Dixie Alley has seen two separate major outbreaks in April, both of which left numerous people dead. Here is a quick recap of the most recent historic outbreak.

The outbreak lasted from 8 a.m. April 26 to 8 a.m. April 28. During that time, a preliminary estimate of 312 tornadoes occurred. The most active day was April 27 when 226 estimated tornadoes pummeled through parts of Dixie Alley, Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, the Carolinas and even into the Northeast. On that day, at least 344 people were killed. While the rise in the death toll has finally decreased, given the damage, it will not likely be official until all of the rubble is sifted through. Overall, the two-day total was the most people killed since 1936 when an outbreak killed 454 people, most of which were in Mississippi and Georgia.

The deadliest tornado was the Tri-State Tornado which killed just shy of 700 people. This tornado occurred in an outbreak in March 1925 where well over 700 total fatalities occurred. Given the preliminary count for April, a few records were broken. The previous record for the most tornadoes in April was 267 which was set in 1974. The previous record for the most tornadoes recorded in any month was 542 tornadoes which was set in May 2003. Both of those records have been broken with April's preliminary 600 tornadoes this year. The record number of tornadoes in any single year is 1,817 which was set in 2004. So far, 2011 has seen 881 tornadoes with the most active month of May still occurring.

The Storm Tracker 9 Weather Team will be happy to answer any questions about tornadoes that you have.

Thank you Storm Tracker 9 Weather Team!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Landslide in Curry County - from the Curry Coastal Pilot

Coos slide knocks out some phone services

Written by Charles Kocher, Pilot staff writer May 03, 2011 11:06 am

A landslide in Coos County destroyed two miles of Frontier Communications fiber optic line late Monday night, interrupting some long distance and cellular services as far south as Brookings.

The Frontier cable was cut about 9:30 p.m. by the slide along Highway 42, east of Coos Bay, but there are no highway traffic alerts for that area.

Frontier officials said crews have been working all night to string a temporary line, and expect repairs to be completed by mid-day Tuesday.

Local phone, high speed internet and emergency services are not impacted. Both Frontier and the Curry County Sheriff's Office said 911 calls were not being affected by the outage.

Cell services were interrupted, the company explained, because some cell services are routed from their towers into the fiber optic network.

Watch for a complete report in the Wednesday, May 4, edition of the Curry Coastal Pilot.