Center of Excellence – Homeland Security Emergency Management

July 29, 2014

Center of Excellence – HSEM: Helping Haiti in a Time of Need

Filed under: Emergency Preparedness,Event,General Interest — coe at 7:59 pm

Mary Schoenfeldt, one of  the faculty members for the Pierce College Homeland Security Emergency Management Degree Program and the Public Outreach Coordinator with Everett Office of Emergency Management is a long time member of Green Cross which helps people who have been traumatized due to a disaster or catastrophic event.  Mary went with a group of Rotary members to Haiti to work with teenagers who are disaster victims for the earthquake.  Mary took 50 of the Center’s “to go” bags to share with the children and brought us back pictures of the children with their new bags.  She said  she could not believe the excitement by the children for receiving the bags which Mary had also added some additional supplies.  Certainly helps all of us put into perspective how important even the smallest items and gestures can be when someone is in need.   If you would like more information about what Mary does with Green Cross you can contact here at Mary Schoenfeldt MSchoenfeldt@everettwa.gov .  Thank you Mary for all the amazing work you do with people who have been through.

 

Haiti pic_COE

March 6, 2014

Press Release: 2014 COE-HSEM Summit!

2014 State of the State – Discovering Communities of Practice and Career Pathways in HSEM Summit: June 17 & 18, McGavick Conference Center, Lakewood, WA.

The Homeland Security Emergency Management industry is rapidly growing and changing. Jobs within the industry are varied and becoming more specialized and technical. This Summit, sponsored by the Center of Excellence for Homeland Security Emergency Management, will bring together practitioners and educators from around the state to share their knowledge and experience with others in this “communities of practice.”

This Summit will address many issues including the importance of all hazards Emergency Management as it is being used in both the public and private business sector, the intersections of health care and cyber security with Emergency Management and the changing world on eLearning with new tools and other innovations.

Who is part of this “Communities of Practice” that should be attending our Summit?

 

–        First Responders

–        IT Professionals

–        Allied/Public Health Educators & Practitioners

–        Risk Management & Business Continuity Professionals

–        HSEM Educators and Practitioners

–        Global Trade Supply Chain Management Industries

–        Public Safety and Private Security

–        Maritime Port & Transportation Security

–        Food Safety and Food Security

Registration will available on our website, http://www.pierce.ctc.edu/dist/coe/ , starting March 25, 2014. Please contact Kellie Hale at khale@pierce.ctc.edu for more information

January 24, 2014

Puget Sound Cyber Security Summit

Filed under: Education,Emergency Preparedness,Event,Washington State — coe at 5:32 pm

2014 Puget Sound Cyber Security Summit

Cascadia Subduction Zone 2016 Castrophic Earthquake and Tsumani Exercise Kick-Off Meeting

Filed under: Emergency Preparedness,Event,Training,Washington State — coe at 5:31 pm

Cascadia

December 16, 2013

Prevent Cold Injury, Frostbite, and Hypothermia

Cold injuries can occur whenever air temperature is below freezing (32 degrees F). Freezing of the skin surface is called ‘frost nip‘. When freezing extends deeper though the skin and flesh, the injury is called ‘frostbite‘.

Hypothermia is a life threatening condition in which deep-body temperature falls below 95°F (normally 98.6°F).

While you can get hypothermia even during relatively warm conditions, when temperatures plummet the danger and risk of getting frost nip, frostbite, or hypothermia becomes even greater – because it can come on much faster.

Tips to prevent hypothermia…

Body temperature falls when the body cannot produce heat as fast as it is being lost.

 

Heat Loss Through The Head

At rest, the body core loses about 7 percent of its heat through the head.

When exercising, the head will lose more body heat which can ramp up to 50 percent heat loss, but the heat loss percentage will then diminish when you start to sweat and when your muscles start demanding more blood flow.

When in hypothermia however (shivering), core body heat loss through the head increases to as much as 55 percent and remains at this high level.

 

Cold Injury and Hypothermia Prevention Tips

Stay hydrated. A dehydrated body will slow blood circulation.

Avoid smoking – nicotine will constrict the blood vessels.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine which can lead to dehydration.

If cold, it is better to be active than to huddle up.

Heat production is increased by physical activity, but avoid sweating.

Don’t skip meals which will lead to slower metabolism and blood flow.

Wear the right clothes the right way.

Too much clothing can cause overheating and dehydration.

Avoid tight fitting clothing.

Clothes should be worn loose and in layers.

Clothing should be made of material that water vapor can pass through.

Avoid 100 percent cotton. Use synthetic fabrics for wicking moisture.

Use water and wind resistant outerwear. Nylon, Gore-Tex.

Socks should be changed frequently.

Keep hands well protected. Mittens are better than gloves.

Cover your head. Wear a hat!

Use insulated hats and gloves made with materials such as Thinsulate™

Stay Dry. Stay Dry. Stay Dry.

A very lean person is more susceptible to cold (fat is an insulator).

Self Check by pinching your fingernail to watch how fast the blood returns to your finger.

Avoid being alone in the very cold. Buddy system.

Keep an eye on your children who don’t know about the dangers of cold.

Keep a survival kit nearby which should include a means to make fire.

Know how to build a fire and how to procure tinder and kindling in wet conditions.

Understand ‘wind chill’ and avoid windy places.

 

Winter Storm Prepardness

When there are forecasts of a winter storm bearing down on you, remember this… BEFORE the winter storm hits, check the following winter weather preparedness items for your home and your vehicle…

This short list should be a general reminder of things for you to think about BEFORE a winter storm strikes. In no way is this list all-inclusive (it would take a book), and in fact this list is quite minimal. If you’re interested, there are many additional articles to be found within our blog regarding preparedness, preps, and being better prepared.
Food Supply
While most people have enough food in their home to last at least a few days, double-check your consumables in advance of others clearing out the grocery store shelves of milk and bread, etc.

You should ALWAYS have some food in your vehicle (as in, 72-hour emergency kit). At a minimum, keep a number of food bars (typically 200-calories each) in case you’re stranded or delayed in bad weather. In theory, 10 of these would be enough calories for a day’s survival for one person.

Medicinal Needs
If you know that you are nearing a prescription refill, it is better to take care of that before a winter storm.

Flashlights and Batteries
Check your flashlights that they work. Do you need more batteries? Do you have a flashlight in your vehicle?
LED Lantern technology 
Best Rechargeable Batteries

Portable AM/FM Radio
Having a battery operated portable AM/FM/Shortwave radio is imperative for when the power goes out. It will become your source to information from the outside world.
Best Cheap Portable Radio
Best Portable AM/FM/Shortwave Radio

Weather Radio
A public alert weather radio is good all year round for all severe weather. During the winter you will be alerted to winter storm watches and warnings, and more…
NOAA Weather Radio Basics

Portable Emergency Heater
Most home heating systems will not operate if the power goes out. It is prudent to consider an alternative means of keeping warm in your home.
Mr. Heater Buddy

Sleeping Bag
If the power goes out, it would do you well to have a decent sleeping bag, which will keep you warmer than just in bed with blankets. Lots to pick from… Check temperature ratings…
Queen Size Sleeping Bag

Coffee Percolator
Creature comforts are important too. If you are like most people and you drink coffee in the morning, about the only way you’re going to get that cup of coffee when the power goes out is with a percolator (along with a portable camp stove to heat it).
Coffee Percolator

Portable Cook Stove
Without power, a portable camp stove will allow you to heat food, etc. Check for safety issues regarding cooking indoors. Some are deemed safe, while others are not.
Portable Gas Stove

Blankets
Do you have warm blankets at home? It is also important to keep a blanket to wrap around you in your vehicle during the winter.
The Warmest Survival Blanket

Road Flares
Should you get ditched in a snow drift or an unfortunate accident, a series of road flares will greatly increase visibility and caution for other drivers. You can find these at auto-parts stores and other stores…

Snow Shovels
I know this is pretty obvious. But don’t forget to keep a snow shovel in your vehicle! They make all sizes and shapes, so find one that will fit in your trunk.

Ice Melter
There are several types of ‘road salt’ for melting ice. There are also specific varieties that are pet-safe (won’t hurt their paws). Keep some at home, and a small bag in your trunk of the vehicle. Kitty litter works well for temporary traction.

Ice Scraper
Just be sure that you remember to put it in your vehicle. I would get a new one each year because the plastic blade tends to chip after a bit of usage and will not always do as good a job on the window the following winter.

Windshield Washer Fluid
Get the kind that is good to below zero-degrees! Otherwise it will freeze and won’t spray on your windshield when you need it the most. Check the label.

Fill Your Tank
Always keep your gas tank closer to FULL than EMPTY, especially during the winter.
The point is to run through an overview of what you might need BEFORE a winter storm hits. The big thing is to plan for an assumption that you may lose power. This is where it gets most dangerous (other than the dangers of driving during a winter storm). Be safe.

 

15 Tips for Staying Safe While Out Shopping

Filed under: Emergency Preparedness,General Interest — coe at 8:38 pm

Burglars know that shoppers are out shopping during the holiday season, and look for easy targets and vulnerabilities to exploit.

Here are a few common-sense tips to reduce the odds of becoming a victim…

1. Eliminate any signs that you are gone. Make your house look like you are home. Leave some lights on. Leave the TV or radio on.

2. Don’t tweet or facebook your social status that you are out shopping.

3. Maintain situational awareness of what is happening around you.

4. Don’t daydream while you’re walking around.

5. Keep your head up and look around you. Look confident.

6. Avoid walking around with your head down in your smart phone while texting.

7. Shoppers should always keep one hand free. When you are carrying a lot of bags or packages in both hands, you are more vulnerable.

8. When you are out shopping, go with someone else. Shop in pairs. Thieves are less likely to strike when there are a lot of people around.

9. Ladies, avoid carrying a purse. Instead, just carry your ID and payment in your pocket. You might consolidate those things (including additional necessities) into a smaller wallet which could drop into your pocket while shopping. You could keep your purse in the trunk of the car if you must bring it with you.

10. Carry pepper spray. Particularly when going to and from a parking lot, carry it in your hand while walking towards your vehicle. It is convenient to attach to your key-ring.

11. Have your car keys out and ready BEFORE you get to your car.

12. If you are licensed to carry a firearm, do so. It is your ultimate protection. If you are not, then you might consider looking into it.

13. If you are carrying a lot of packages back to your car, look around you. See if anyone is watching you loading packages into your car.

14. Put purchases in the trunk, out of sight. Not in your back seat.

15. Shoppers who are out late should park in well-lit areas.

Source: Ken Jorgustin via http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/tips-for-staying-safe-while-out-shopping/

August 26, 2013

Did You Know…? Hurricanes on the Horizon!

Filed under: Emergency Preparedness — coe at 10:30 am

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) recently updated its 2013 Hurricane Season Outlook. Because the season has already produced several named storms in the Atlantic hurricane region, NOAA now predicts an above-average hurricane season, with the possibility of being very active.

This season is expected to produce 13-19 named storms, of which 6-9 are expected to become hurricanes and 3-5 to become major hurricanes. The season ends November 30 but peak season runs mid-August to late October.

While the Eastern Pacific hurricane season is expected to be below normal, it only takes one hurricane or tropical storm to cause a disaster which can occur whether a season is active or mostly quiet.
Therefore, people are urged to prepare for every hurricane season regardless of the outlook. In addition to having an emergency kit and family communications plan, you should:

 Learn your community evacuation route;
 Have paper maps on hand in case cellular networks are down;
 Cover your home’s windows with storm shutters or plywood; and
 Get flood insurance protection.

Hurricanes can produce heavy rains that may cause extensive flooding. Homeowners insurance typically does not cover flood dam-age. To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself contact the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration.

Before a Hurricane

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:
To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

 Know your surroundings.
 Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
 Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
 Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
 Make plans to secure your property:
 Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
 Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
 Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
 Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
 Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
 Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
 Determine how and where to secure your boat.
 Install a generator for emergencies.
 If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
 Consider building a safe room.

Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection. Flood insurance is the only way to financially protect your property or business from flood damage. To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) Web site,www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419.

During a Hurricane

If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:

 Listen to the radio or TV for information.
 Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
 Turn off propane tanks
 Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
 Moor your boat if time permits.

Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency.
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.

 If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelter are particularly hazardous during hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
 If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
 If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway.

Read more about evacuating yourself and your family. If you are unable to evacuate, go to your wind-safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:

 Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
 Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
 Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
 Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
 Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.

Avoid elevators!

After a Hurricane

 Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
 Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.

If you have become separated from your family, use your family communications plan or contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS/1-800-733-2767 or visit the American Red Cross Safe and Well site: www.safeandwell.org

The American Red Cross also maintains a database to help you find family. Contact the local American Red Cross chapter where you are staying for information. Do not contact the chapter in the disaster area.

 If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
 If you cannot return home and have immediate housing needs. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the near-est shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).

For those who have longer-term housing needs, FEMA offers several types of assistance, including services and grants to help people repair their homes and find replacement housing. Apply for assistance or search for information about housing rental resources

 Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed¬ out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
 Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
 Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
 Stay out of any building if you smell gas, floodwaters remain around the building or your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.
 Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
 Use battery-powered flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles. Note: The flashlight should be turned on outside before enter-ing – the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present.
 Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
 Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
 Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
 Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
 Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

 

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)

July 15, 2013

10 Ways To Be Prepared:

Filed under: Emergency Preparedness,General Interest — coe at 9:05 pm

1. Identify Your Risk
What are the hazards where you live and work? Find out what natural or human caused disasters pose a risk for you. Do you live or work in a flood plain, near a major earthquake fault or in a high fire danger area? Are you prepared for an unexpected human-made disaster that can strike at any time? Does your neighborhood or community have a disaster plan?

2. Create A Family Disaster Plan
Know where to meet if you have to evacuate. Designate a meeting place outside your home where family members can go. Know who you’ve identified as the out-of-state friend to be your “family contact” for everyone to check-in with. Keep a touch-tone phone (and phone cord) that does not require plugging into an electric outlet (after a disaster, cell phones and wireless phones may not be working). Take care of your family pets too. Store food and water for them in your disaster supply kit.

3. Practice Your Disaster Plan
Start by having family members meet at a designated spot outside your home – like you would after a fire or after the shaking stops. Know how to respond in the event of any disaster — whether to stay put indoors, or whether to evacuate your neighborhood by car. If your family needs to evacuate, know the proper evacuation procedures and routes.

4. Build A Disaster Survival Kit For Home And Car
If you are stranded in your car or have to be self sufficient at home until help arrives, you need to have a disaster kit with you.

Your home disaster supply kit should have at least the following items and be kept in containers that can be easily carried or moved such as backpacks, plastic totes or wheeled trash cans.

Carry a smaller kit in your car:
• Have at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable and canned food, and water for all family members. Replace water every six months. Don’t forget to restock food items.
• First Aid Kit.
• Battery-powered flashlight and portable radio with extra batteries. Replace batteries on a regular basis.
• Change of clothing and footwear, and one blanket or sleeping bag for each family member.
• Extra set of car keys, and a credit card and cash.
• Extra medications.
• Sanitation supplies (such as soap, cleaning supplies, shampoo, toilet tissue, etc.)
• An extra set of prescription glasses.
• Keep important family documents in a waterproof container.

5. Prepare Your Children
Talk to your kids about what the risks are and what your family will do if disaster strikes. Practice your family disaster plan every six months. Empower your children to help write the family plan, build the disaster supply, and lead the drills. The more informed and involved children are in disaster planning, the more prepared they will be.

6. Don’t Forget Those With Special Needs
Infants, seniors and those with special needs must not be forgotten. Make sure that supplies for your infant are in your kit and that you have items such as medications, or other medical supplies that seniors or persons with disabilities may need.

7. Learn CPR And First Aid
Contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross today and get trained on basic first aid and CPR.

8. Eliminate Hazards In Your Home And Workplace
You must secure the contents of your home or office to reduce hazards, especially during shaking from an earth-quake. Strap down large objects, secure cabinet doors, anchor tall furniture, and secure overhead objects such as ceiling fans and pictures. If you live in a high fire danger area, also take the necessary steps to protect your home against wildfires. Find out how you can make your home fire safe.

9. Stay Aware, And Understand The Risks
Stay abreast of the dangers and risks as they pertain to current events and the goings on in your local (and wider) area. Don’t be caught off-guard.

10. Get Involved, Volunteer, Bear Responsibility
Donate blood, join a local Community Emergency Response Team. Educate your neighbor(s). Volunteer. Perhaps join your local American Red Cross. Get involved and bear responsibility.

Source: Modern Survival Blog

4 Burglar Deterrents For Your Home Security

Filed under: Emergency Preparedness,General Interest — coe at 9:03 pm

These four simple, inexpensive, and practical security items WILL present a deterrent to a home burglar…
These cheap but effective home security devices provide effective deterrence and resistance to home burglary while you sleep peacefully at night.

1. Fake TV

This little device is amazingly effective in its similarity to a real TV from the perspective of a burglar who is outside looking at your windows during the night. It recreates the light of real TV with its bright LEDs which fill a room with light in thousands of possible shades of color while it simulates scene changes, fades,

swells, and on-screen motion. Just put it on a 24-hour timer for the evening hours, and from outside, it looks just like someone is home watching TV. Most burglars will not break into an occupied house.

2. Fake Security Camera

Today’s remarkably inexpensive fake security cameras look like the real thing and will completely fool a would-be burglar. Most of them also have a blinking LED light for realism. They can be mounted literally anywhere – with the idea being to have them in plain sight.

3. Door Security Bar

A security bar for your front and/or back door will provide an unbelievable amount of stopping power to a burglar attempting to force their way in. The harder they push, the more resistance it creates. It literally takes just seconds to place this under your doorknob at night before you go to bed.

4. Door Stop Alarm

While the security bar under your door handle will deter a burglar, a door-stop alarm will screech a siren should the door budge at all. This will alert you in the middle of the night, and give you time to dial 911 and take defense actions… This is also a great solution for those who travel overnight.

Source: Modern Survival Blog
http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/4-burglar-deterrents-for-your-home-security/#more-28823

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