Tag Archives: Emergency Management

Emergency Planning Webinars for Schools and Houses of Worship

Also from FEMA:

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students and Federal partners are pleased to announce a series of upcoming webinars designed to provide an in-depth review of the “A Closer Look” section of the Obama Administration’s recently released Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans and Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Institutions of Higher Education.

The next available webinars in this series will focus on preparing for, responding to and recovering from an active shooter situation and on implementing Psychological First Aid in school and postsecondary settings.  To register for the upcoming webinars, click here.

Access the PowerPoint slides and review the 90 minute overview presentation from the recent webinar, Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plan for Houses of Worship, held July 25, 2013.  This webinar was presented by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships, Federal Emergency Management Agency, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center.

FEMA: More Ways to Socialize

From FEMA:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has advanced the way it keeps you informed using social media.

Stay connected with the latest social media conversations about preparedness, safety and emergency management as they happen in the Social Hub, FEMA’s new one stop shop for social engagement. The Social Hub features information on popular topics and updates from the National Weather Service and other trusted sources.

For those looking for career information and company-focused messages, the FEMA LinkedIn page will now feature job postings, safety tips, workforce news and more!

New Release of the VOST Workbook

I’ve upgraded the VOST Workbook to version 4.0. The bug fix in the formula that I had you fix in the last version is now taken care of but I hope you got a grand little spreadsheet formula lesson by following my instructions.

The big addition to the workbook comes at the suggestion of  Jeff Phillips, who liked my general availability calendar that I use for my team but requested that it be included in the workbook.

AvailabilityImage

The worksheet lets you  track team member availability for anticipated length of deployment and can be adjusted by each member for his/her own time zone to fill in that availability. It also lets the team lead look at any given day to see where gaps might exist in coverage.

After importing the calendar into the deployment workbook, I personally prefer to have this calendar in a separate workbook, altogether. If you would like the calendar provided as a separate product, leave a comment and if people want it, I’ll upload it to Google docs, too.

The reference link on the VOST page of this site has been updated to point at the new template version and the link on the cover sheet of the new version has a link to the updated User Guide.

Here are the links to each, separately, however, for your convenience. As is stated on the VOST page, these are set to read-only. Please make a copy for your own use:

New FEMA Tools for Disaster Preparedness

From FEMA:

FEMA has released several new tools you can use for disaster preparedness.

The FEMA smartphone app has been updated with a new feature called Disaster Reporter available for Android users. The Disaster Reporter lets users share disaster-related information for events occurring within the United States, allowing citizens, first responders and others to view and contribute information on a publicly accessible map.

Don’t have the FEMA App? Download it for Android, iPhone or Blackberry today!

The 2013 National Preparedness Month toolkit is also now available. It includes suggestions for events and tools and resources to support outreach efforts on a community level.

Protecting Your Home During a Wildfire

From the FEMA NPM Team:

Wildfires can spread rapidly, with little-to-no warning, often going unnoticed until it is too late. These wildfires, commonly started by human error, quickly ignite and burn through tinder-dry bushes and trees, and unfortunately spread to nearby homes as well.

If you live in a fire-prone area there are various ways that you can help reduce the chance for severe damage to your home and property, by designing and landscaping your home with wildfire safety in mind; selecting materials and plants that can help contain a fire rather than fuel it.

For home design and construction:

  • Use fire-resistant or noncombustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling.
  • Treat wood or combustible material used in roofs, siding, decking, or trim with fire-retardant chemicals evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory.
  • Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees around your property such as hardwoods, and avoid more flammable pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.

For home maintenance and safety:

  • Regularly clean your roof and gutters to remove any debris;
  • Install a fire alarm on every floor in your home and test monthly;
  • Have a garden hose long enough to reach your home and any other structures on the property;
  • Ask the power company to remove any branches that are near or on the power lines; and
  • Mow your grass regularly.

A great resource for proper home and property fire prevention planning is www.firewise.org. The site contains a variety of fire safety and prevention  information designed for residents, property owners, fire departments, community planners, builders, public policy officials, water authorities and architects. To learn about Firewise’s upcoming Wildfire Education conference click here.

Should you be directed to evacuate your home due to a wildfire, follow the instructions of local officials, and be sure to take your battery operated radio, disaster preparedness kit and lock the door behind you when evacuating. If you have time to prepare the home before leaving, visit the U.S. Fire Administration website for additional tips.

New Wildland Fire Assessment Program Workshop Available at FRI, August 16

Are you attending Fire-Rescue International in Chicago this year? If so, REGISTER TODAY for the Wildland Fire Assessment Program (WFAP) workshop that will be held on August 16.

WFAP is a joint effort by the U.S. Forest Service and the National Volunteer Fire Council to provide departments with training on how to properly conduct assessments for homes located in the wildland-urban interface. This is the first program targeted to volunteers that specifically prepares a firefighter or a non-emergency department volunteer for how to conduct an assessment and what to look for during an assessment, as well as provides departments with the printed materials they may need to determine how close they are to becoming a fire-adapted community.

This is a four-part, train-the-trainer course that covers the following topics: understanding the wildland-urban interface (WUI) problem, identifying the zones, evaluating the home, and available resources. Students will be able to take the classroom information, along with a toolkit and supplemental resources, back to their respective departments and teach personnel how to properly conduct a home assessment for residents living in the WUI.

Class Information
Date:
 August 16, 2013
Time: 1:00 – 4:30 pm
Location: Hyatt McCormick (rooms are connected to McCormick Place)
Room: Grant Park B

Register for this class at https://wfap.wufoo.com/forms/wildland-fire-assessment-program-workshop-fri/. Attendance is limited to 30 students. Questions? Email Lori Moon at lmoon@nvfc.org.

Visit http://www.nvfc.org/programs/wildland-fire-assessment-program for more information about WFAP.

VOST Workbook Template Quickfix for Total Effort Hours

NOTE: This post is now obsolete, as I have released Version 4.0 of the Workbook and the formula has been corrected in that version.

Jeff Phillips noticed on a recent deployment that, somehow, the hours were not calculating properly in the total FTE box. I’m not sure why it doesn’t work that way anymore but I managed to fix it on the fly.

I will be releasing a new version this week, as I have added a staff availability calendar to the template. In the meantime, though, Caz Milligan used the workbook template for EQNZ last night and had the same problem, so here is the updated formula for the Check In/Out sheet, cell H3. Copy this formula, paste into cell H3, and hit Enter/Return on your keyboard and that should fix it. If not, please leave a comment and I’ll see what’s going on:

=(sum(E6:E199))*24

Local encounters 7/20/2013

I have mentioned Hillside Market and its cafe in one of my Stuff in the News posts and hadn’t gotten around to blogging about it. Yesterday, I was catching up on some social media stuff in what I refer to as “my office” there.

Alcove at Hillside Market

Alcove at Hillside Market

Regina Ress happened in for her shift as barista in the café, when I was in yesterday.

ReginaRess

Regina Ress at Oasis Café

If you haven’t met Regina, you ought to (all the ladies over there are wonderful, though). She is a storyteller from Lower Manhattan and here in Santa Fe. She does storytelling events at Hillside and has a CD of stories available there (or online), as well. She was also kind enough to mention me in a blog post the other day, and came over to tell me about it. Fun to see VOSTing mentioned in a totally out of the ordinary context:

Our “children’s corner” has morphed into a comfortable table-for-two semi-private space. As I write this, a woman who volunteers coordinating information for firefighters is bent over her laptop in there, working with teams dealing with the many wild fires in the region.  She said to me that the café is a real “refuge.”

It is true – the café is a refuge. It’s pretty quiet, with an indoor fountain and a lovely courtyard outside.

Courtyard at Hillside Market

Courtyard at Hillside Market

If you live in the Santa Fe area or are passing through for a visit, it’s a great place to stop and have a cup of coffee (regular or snobby available) and do some shopping for items by local artists. Pretty much all the stuff you see in the pictures is for sale. There’s also a greenhouse, where they are going to grow local food and Oasis Café is soon to be Vista Café with restaurant food.

Also be sure to check out the events calendar, that has yoga classes, writing workshops, and other happenings. And they don’t mind if you just hang out and have coffee. This place actually WANTS to be a community hub. This is what the 285 corridor needs. I’m rooting for them. I hope you will, too!

How To: Create a Facebook Interest List

Note: This is not just for SMEM. A journalist friend was about to “friend” a lot of politicians or Like their Facebook pages because it’s coming close to some elections. She apologized to those of us who are friends and I suggested to her that this might be a better route, so she doesn’t have the discomfort of “Liking” being interpreted as support.

An interest list is a list of Facebook pages that you compile, using your Facebook profile, to maintain awareness of a particular topic. Note that you cannot currently create an interest list with a Facebook page. So, if you’re planning on creating a list for monitoring a topic or for networking with similar groups to your own, you must create the list from your profile and make it publicly available, if others will be using it to monitor/network.

Why would I want to create an interest list? Can’t I just “like” all the pages I want? Well, of course you can! The disadvantage of that approach, however, is that your topic-related pages will be mixed in with all your personal friends’ updates and you may miss something important. If you create a list, you can click on the topic header and read through only the posts for the emergency at hand.

How do I create one of my very own (or two or three)?

  • Log in to your Facebook account.

  • Look at the left-hand side of the Home page (where your newsfeed is) and scroll down until you see a menu header that says Interests. It will look something like this:

Interest List Option

  • Click on the menu item that says Add Interests
  • Once you click there, you have the opportunity to look for existing lists. You do that by typing into the “Search for lists” box
  • Then click the Follow button if you find one you like. Of course, you can follow as many as you want.

IL_2

You can (and should) also create new lists.

  • First click the + Create List button (see previous image)
  • You will be shown a set of pages that you can add to this new list

IL_3

  • To add one or more items, click on the image (s) and a check mark  will show (you can toggle it back off to deselect)

IL_4

Hat tip ^ to my friends at 30Days, 30Ways, who are about to start their annual preparedness game. Do give them a follow and play along too or be a sponsor!

  • You can also add friends or profiles of people you follow
  • Once you’ve selected some things to add, click Next and it will ask you for a name for the list and whether you want to make it available publicly, to your friends, or private.

IL_5

  • Once you have created a list, you can add pages as you find them. You don’t even have to Like the pages. If you add a page to your interest list, it will show up in the list but not individually.
  • Your list will always be available in the left-hand menu, where you started building it and you’ll get a consolidated post daily, with a couple of highlighted items. As, you can imagine, if you’ve liked 50 accounts, this is a much better way to go.

I hope you’ll make your lists public and if you have some already or make a few after reading this, feel free to share the link(s) in the comments.

Old Smokey Bear is back with a better message than ever!

EAR TO THE GROUND WITH DNR & COMMISSIONER FRANZ

Trying to fit in with the various trends of our nation, Smokey Bear has changed over the years. He tries to be hip with these changes, but he’s still Smokey and now he’s back to his original self, well, sort of…

Since 1944, Smokey Bear has been American’s icon for wildfire prevention. Despite the campaign’s success over the years, wildfire prevention remains one of the most critical issues affecting our country, and Smokey’s message is as relevant today as it was in 1944.

Smokey has always made a statement, such as, “Only you can prevent wildfires.” But now, he’s taking a different approach to educating all ages. This approach is a hug from him when you prevent a fire. Who doesn’t want a hug from Smokey?

The venerable bear is now less an authority figure than a model of positive reinforcement who embraces people who show they know how to…

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