Center of Excellence – Homeland Security Emergency Management

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

July 2, 2013

Emergency Management recommends ‘cooling’ centers to avoid excessive heat

Filed under: General Interest — coe at 5:36 pm

The National Weather Service has declared an excessive heat warning for the Puget Sound region until 11 p.m. Monday, July 1. The Pierce County Department of Emergency Management reminds everyone to stay out of the heat as much as possible, and to check on elderly neighbors during this time.

Locations around Pierce County that people can go to cool down include movie theaters, local malls, and other large stores, as well as Pierce County libraries throughout the region. Other facilities that are open include:

• Sprinker Recreation Center, 14824 C St. in Spanaway 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. • Anderson Island Fire Department, 12207 Lake Josephine Blvd. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. • Fife Community Center, 2111 54th Ave. E 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Mon-Tue • City of Buckley Multi Purpose Center, 811 East Main 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Mon-Tues • Mid County Community Center, 10205 44th Ave. E in Tacoma 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. Mon-Thurs • Steilacoom Community Center, 2301 Worthington St 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. Mon-Thurs • Bonney Lake Senior Center, 19304 Bonney Lake Blvd 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Mon-Fri • Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mon-Fri • Chapel Hill Church, 7700 Skansie Ave. in Gig Harbor 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mon-Thurs

The following locations allow people and their domesticated pets to come in and get out of the heat. Pets

need to be on a leash or in a crate and owners much provide water if they plan on being in the store for long periods of time. • Lowe’s – all stores, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. • Petsmart – all stores • VCA Pacific Avenue, 10324 Pacific Ave in Spanaway, open 24/7

According to the National Weather Service, an excessive heat warning means that a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely.


WSEMA Scholarship

Filed under: Education,General Interest — coe at 5:34 pm

WSEMA is pleased to announce that it is now receiving applications for the $2500 Joel Aggergaard Memorial Scholarship. WSEMA announces the winner of this scholarship at our annual Conference in September.

Eligible Applicants include students pursuing a certificate, diploma, baccalaureate, or graduate degree in emergency management or a closely related field. The scholarship award will be directly paid to the college.

All applicants must be residents of Washington State and attending a college or university in the State of Washington having completed one academic term (quarter or semester) prior to the scholarship application period. Applicants living in Washington State, participating in a distance learning program, are also eligible to apply.
Joel Aggergaard began working for the Washington State Department of Emergency Management in 1970′s and served until his untimely death in 1996. He thoroughly enjoyed his career with Emergency Management, and his “heart” was with supporting local Emergency Management Programs.

It may be necessary to be a local emergency manager to fully appreciate the enormous contribution Joel made to local programs during the years he worked with emergency management. If you have been stressed to the point there is not one additional free minute in your day, but you need to get an issue clarified with State Department of Emergency Management and it must be taken care of today …then… you will begin to understand. A phone call placed to Joel reached someone who was not only usually familiar with the issue but also very interested. The issues either became resolved or a commitment was made from Joel to follow-up for resolution.

Joel was commended for his extraordinary work with emergency management and named the “most helpful” state official by local, county and city emergency managers across Washington State. Joel assisted with countless floods, storms and local emergencies, and was a welcome addition to any activated Emergency Operating Center during a disaster.

Joel was also an avid supporter of youth and their activities. Because of his selfless support and commitment to local emergency management directors, WSEMA has chosen to provide an educational scholarship commemorating Joel in the hope that others who possess his worthy qualities and have a personal dedication to achievement may have expanded opportunities.

Joel’s life and dedication to emergency management in the State of Washington inspired this scholarship. Please pass along this opportunity to any students who qualify.

Deadline for application is August 1, 2013. Go to the WSEMA site to download the scholarship application:

Source: WSEMA

May 29, 2013

Apply for the 2013 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards Today

Filed under: Education,Emergency Preparedness — coe at 8:01 pm

The application period for the 2013 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness (ICP) Awards is now open. Please nominate outstanding individuals, organizations, Citizen Corps Councils and programs working to make our communities safer, stronger and better prepared for any disaster or emergency event.

The ICP Awards application period is open through June 5, 2013. All submissions must feature achievements taking place between January 1, 2012 and June 5, 2013. Please submit your application to A distinguished panel of judges from the emergency management industry will select the winners in each of the following categories:
• Outstanding State Citizen Corps Council Initiatives;
• Outstanding Local Citizen Corps Council Initiatives;
• Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team Initiatives;
• Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness;
• Preparing the Whole Community;
• Awareness to Action; and
• Community Preparedness Heroes.
Winners of the 2013 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards will be announced in fall 2013. They will also be FEMA’s honored guests at a community preparedness roundtable event in Washington, D.C. As you prepare your submission, don’t forget to take a look at previous winners on our website.

We can’t wait to see what incredible work is being done to support preparedness and awareness in communities across the nation! Visit to learn about more information on how to apply!

May 21, 2013

2013 Upcoming Events:

Filed under: Education,Event — coe at 5:52 pm

For Teachers and Community Educators–

Educational and professional development opportunities are available this summer for teachers interested in expanding their curriculum to include an emphasis on Cascade Range volcanoes.  The USGS-CVO, in cooperation with other agencies, offers these workshops and resources for community and classroom educators.


  • Mount St. Helens Teacher Workshop, June 24-26, 2013. This three-day workshop, offered at the Coldwater Science and Learning Center, provides information and resources for your school’s field trip to Mount St. Helens.  More information will be posted soon by the Mount St. Helens Institute at
  • Mount Rainier Teacher Workshop, July 29-August 2, 2013.  This five-day classroom and field-based workshop at the Mount Rainier Education Center offers information, classroom activities, and resources for Mount Rainier and other Cascade Range volcanoes.  More information will be posted soon on the Mount Rainier Teacher Professional Development, at
  • STEM Fest Vancouver Science Festival, September 21-23, 2013.  This will be a fun filled three-day Vancouver, WA, community science festival.  Watch the STEM Fest website,, for schedule details as the date approaches.
  • National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), October 24-26, 2013.  While participating in NSTA conference in Portland, OR, sign up for a half-day field trip to USGS-CVO and visit USGS-CVO’s volcano session during the NSTA meeting. NSTA information is available by clicking NSTA webpage,

HSEM eNews Volcano Awareness Month

Filed under: General Interest,Washington State — coe at 5:50 pm

The Month of May is Volcano Awareness Month  and a good time to mark your calendars for the Great Washington ShakeOut!  Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:17 a.m. on October 17th*. 


Last year the Center and our over 75% (twenty-five) of our SBCTC colleges and members of our SSEM Council partnered with state Emergency Management Division (EMD) and Pierce College’s Homeland Security Emergency Management Degree Program (HSEM) to support the involvement of our community and technical colleges in The Great Washington Shakeout. This is the state’s largest earthquake preparedness drill and helps colleges meet state and federal requirements for preparedness drills and exercises. Forty four Washington colleges and universities reached more than 158,000 participants.


Again this year the HSEM Degree student interns from Pierce College are working with State EMD to support the ShakeOut event which will be held on October 17.    We look forward to having even more of our colleges participate in this year’s event.  The link to register is below along with additional information.




Register now for the largest drop, cover, and hold drill in history at

May 18, 1980 remains a vivid memory for millions of Washington’s residents as the day that Mount St. Helens propelled volcanic ash skyward to an altitude of 80,000 feet in just 15 minutes.   Volcanic ash clouds traveled across our state and around the world, as did the message that Cascade Range volcanoes can erupt. They can disrupt our lives, our state’s economy, and entire regions of our nation. Eruptions in the Cascades have occurred at an average rate of twice per century during the past 4,000 years, and future eruptions are certain.   Many of those eruptions, lasting weeks to years, would have caused considerable property damage and loss of life if they had occurred today. The USGS and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network monitor the Washington Cascade volcanoes to detect subtle changes that may herald the next eruption and work closely with local, State and Federal emergency managers to prepare for the next volcanic eruption in Washington.


We invite you to learn more about volcanoes and volcanic hazards in Washington State by visiting the USGS website at!  Now, you can register to receive regular volcano activity updates and be notified of new activity via the Volcano Notification System (VNS), and keep informed about USGS-CVO current events at home page HOT STUFF. 



Free Emergency Preparedness Workshop!!

Filed under: Emergency Preparedness,Training — coe at 5:40 pm

Where: Pierce College Ft Steilacoom
When: Thursday, May 30, 2013 @ 1:00 p.m.
Located: International House, Room 103


April 17, 2013

Save the Date: ECC Mini-Activation – Active Shooter Recovery TTX

Filed under: Emergency Preparedness,Event — coe at 7:46 pm

King County Emergency Management is hosting the free event on June 4, for partners in their region and they are encouraging school/college emergency managers to attend.  You can contact Stephanie Supko (contact information below) if you have questions and the registration link is below.  This is a good opportunity to “exercise” your plans and work with your partner agencies in the King County area.


 When: 1:00-4:00 June 4th

Location: RCECC, Coordination Room

Open to all ESFs and regional partners – highly recommended for ESF 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13 & 15, city and school emergency managers


Purpose:  To explore, through facilitated discussion, the responsibilities expected of a city or county Emergency Operations or Coordination Center (EOC/ECC) in response to an active shooter event once the scene has been secured.  In addition, there will be a brief presentation on the EOC impacts and responses from the event at Sandy Hook Elementary School from Mary Schoenfeldt, Everett OEM.



ESF Coordinators and Zone Coordinators, please share this invite with others whom support your ESF or zone.


Contact Information:

Stephanie Supko
Emergency Management Program, Senior Manager Plans, Training & Operations
King County Office of Emergency Management
(206) 205-4089 office
(206) 707-5433  cell
(206) 205-4056 fax



April 16, 2013

Seattle Emergency Management Summit on May 7th.

This summit is a rare opportunity to connect with peers across jurisdictions and throughout agencies.  We know it can be difficult to make time to interface with some of your fellow emergency responders when we all get caught up in the whirlwind of our own projects.  The EM Summit is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with past acquaintances and develop a few new relationships. Furthermore, these summits are the ideal setting to engage with top technology leaders on what’s new and what’s needed in the field.  Joining us on the stage this year will be leaders from the City of Seattle, the Center for Regional Disaster Resilience, the Northwest Healthcare Response Network, and others.

  You will hear about emerging technologies in preparing for mass casualty events, how experience and innovation are influencing public safety solution development , FirstNet, new video surveillance capabilities, situational awareness in disaster response, next
generation 9-1-1, and much more.  This is the event to hear about the top new technologies all in one location. Don’t miss your chance!

The full agenda and more featured speakers can be
viewed here:

I hope that you can join us for this important
event! There is no cost to attend and you can register online here:

For more information contact Marty Pastula, Publisher & Vice President, Emergency Management Media

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »