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It’s Everyone’s Fault in California

21 Jan

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image via nationalgeographic.com

Remember the “old days” in California, a whole month ago, when the idea of a major earthquake meant a widespread disaster in Northern or Southern California?

Now, Caltech seismologists have released scientific evidence that a “major earthquake” in California could actually produce shaking and widespread damage throughout the entire state.

New evidence coming from researchers studying the 1999 Taiwan quake and the 2011earthquake in Japan indicates that previously “stable” creeping zones were active in both incidents.

“What we have found, based on laboratory data about rock behavior, is that such supposedly stable segments can behave differently when an earthquake rupture penetrates into them. Instead of arresting the rupture as expected, they can actually join in and hence make earthquakes much larger than anticipated,” says Nadia Lapusta, professor of mechanical engineering and geophysics at Caltech and coauthor of the study, published January 9 in the journal Nature.

 So what should this new data mean to your average Californian? Quite a bit.

“…a creeping segment separates the southern and northern parts of California’s San Andreas Fault. Seismic hazard assessments assume that this segment would stop an earthquake from propagating from one region to the other, limiting the scope of a San Andreas quake. However, the team’s findings imply that a much larger event may be possible than is now anticipated—one that might involve both the Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas.”

 Historically, emergency response to major California earthquakes has come from agencies in unaffected areas of the state. Southern California offers up resources to the North and vice versa. With the new quake model, both ends of the state would be affected, making it impossible to receive resources and aid.

Most importantly, this should be a reminder to all of us that we should be prepared to support ourselves and our families for a minimum of 72 hours following a major disaster. If a statewide earthquake struck, we should expect emergency services, food, fuel and utilities to be unavailable for much longer. Consider increasing your storage to a one to two week supply of essentials.

For more information on the Caltech report, visit the Caltech News page.

For more information on how you can prepare for a disaster, visit ready.gov.

Information for this article also found here.

Lessons from Sandy

6 Nov

It’s been a week since Sandy barreled into the East Coast. Since then, we’ve been intently watching the recovery effort via television and social media. It has reminded us of a few things that we should ALL remember when preparing for and recovering from a disaster.

It CAN happen to you
The worst possible thing you can do in regards to disaster preparedness is to believe that it can’t or won’t happen to you. Disasters can strike anytime and anywhere. Knowing what to do in an emergency and keeping disaster supply kits at home, work and in your vehicle are critical. It’s never too early to prepare for the worst, while hoping for the best.

Listen to Emergency Alerts and follow their direction.
Nothing saddens and frustrates us more than seeing emergency workers attempting dangerous rescues of people trapped or injured because they did not heed an evacuation warning.
Disaster and Preparedness agencies work tirelessly to give us as much warning of danger as possible and back it up with a great deal of technology. If your area receives an emergency alert, be sure to listen and follow any directions provided. You can now receive emergency alerts via email and smartphone. Apps are available for most devices or through your wireless provider and many communities have systems that you can register for online. New York State and Santa Clara County are just a couple examples. Check with your county or state.

Include supplies for your children.
Before we had children, we knew that we could survive on sea rations and energy bars for a week without complaint. It was a matter of calories and energy, plain and simple.
But then we had kids and  just can’t imagine them having to eat survival rations in the wake of a disaster. Children are creatures of habit, and so are their stomachs. It’s always best to keep familiar food items for your children in your emergency kit. Snacks and packaged foods with good shelf-lives are best. This will be both familiar and comforting to your children. (We like the convenient packaging and 1-year shelf-life of the Plum Organics products.)
And don’t forget essentials like diapers and wipes!

A little help goes a long way.
In the wake of hurricane Sandy, we have seen a massive relief effort mobilize to help those impacted by the storm. But the smaller acts of aid and kindness should never be minimized. Bringing an elderly neighbor water and medicine or setting up a charging station on your block can be just as welcomed.


ShakeOut Today, Be Ready for Tomorrow

18 Oct

Today, over 9.3 million Californians will Drop, Cover and Hold On during The Great California ShakeOut. This will be the largest earthquake drill to date in the United States.

While some areas of California are more likely to have earthquakes than others, all of California is at higher risk compared to the rest of the country. You could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes: at home, at work, at school, or even on vacation.

What we do now will determine our quality of life after our next big earthquake. Are you prepared to survive and recover quickly?

The Great California ShakeOut is an annual opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes: “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” The ShakeOut has also been organized to encourage you, your community, your school, or your organization to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure your space in order to prevent damage and injuries.

We encourage everyone to take the opportunity today to practice your response to a major earthquake!

For more information, visit shakeout.org.

Real Families Have a Plan!

9 Oct

Fire Prevention Week is an excellent reminder to create or update your home fire escape plan and practice the plan with everyone in your household.

Last weekend, the Rogers family was nice enough to invite us into their home while they created and practiced their home fire escape plan. If you think you don’t have time today to make your plan, think again. The entire exercise took about 30-45 minutes!

With three kids ages 3 to 8, it was important to include all of the children in the plan. First we talked about what to do when the smoke detector alarm sounds, and the family picked an outside meeting place.

We walked through the house and had the kids help to choose 2 ways out of each room.

Next, we talked about feeling a closed door for heat before opening it to escape and crawling low under smoke.

When the family was confident with the information, we had everyone (parents included) go to the rooms where they sleep. We set off the smoke detectors and watched while the family did an excellent job of safely evacuating the house to their meeting place.

Once outside, we took a few minutes to practice stop, drop and roll…The kids always have fun with this part!

We’re proud of the Rogers family for taking the time to plan and practice their fire escape plan! Does your family have a plan?

For more information on how to create a fire escape plan for your family, visit nfpa.org.

Don’t forget to test your smoke detectors monthly and practice your fire escape plan regularly.

 

An App for Every Emergency

26 Sep

Okay, we’ll admit it, we love a new gadget just as much as the next techie. The buzz surrounding the newly-released iPhone 5 is in full swing here in the Bay Area and it has inspired us to revisit some of our favorite smartphone apps…that’s emergency preparedness apps, of course!

Here are a few of our favorite emergency preparedness apps that every phone should have.


Earthquake

By American Red Cross
Free
iPhone, Android

 

This app, released only a few days ago by American Red Cross is not only our favorite of the Red Cross series of apps, but also our favorite of all earthquake apps. Earthquake includes USGS earthquake notifications,  ShakeZone intensity maps, excellent preparedness information, emergency light with alarm, and more. Our favorite part of the app is the customizable “I’m Safe” alert that allows you to notify friends and family via text, email, facebook and Twitter immediately following an earthquake.


FEMA

By Federal Emergency Managemant Agency (FEMA)
Free
iPhone, Android, Blackberry

 

This is a great app for all-around preparedness. It includes information for different types of disasters, an interactive checklist for emergency kits, information on staying safe after a disaster and recovery information. The app also provides a map with FEMA Disaster Recovery Center locations.

 

NOAA Weather Radio

By Christopher Coudriet
$2.99
iPhone

We’re huge proponents of having a weather radio on-hand for severe weather emergencies and natural disasters. Now you can stream NOAA Broadcasts on you iPhone! This app also includes severe weather alerts, animated radar, National Weather Service data and forecasts via Weather Underground. We quickly found ourselves checking weather all over the Country with this app.


First Aid

By American Red Cross
Free
iPhone, Android

 

Nothing replaces quality First Aid training, but we can all use a little help sometimes. This app provides simple step-by-step instructions to guide you through everyday first aid scenarios. It also includes useful safety tips and videos to refresh your first aid skills. Our favorite feature of the app is its full integration with 9-1-1, so you can call EMS from the app at any time!

Do you have a favorite emergency or preparedness app? Let us know by posting a comment!

Pledge to Prepare in September!

31 Aug

September is National Preparedness Month. It’s a great time to prepare yourself, your family and your business for an unexpected emergency.

If you’ve seen the news recently, you know that emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities just like yours, to people like you. We’ve seen tornado outbreaks, flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis and power outages in U.S. Cities affecting millions of people for days at a time.

In the event of a large-scale emergency or natural disaster, you and your family should have a plan and enough supplies to last at least three days without electricity, water or local services.

Every day during the month of September, Response LifeSafety will be providing disaster preparedness tips (via facebook and Twitter) to help you prepare and stay safe in the event of an emergency.

For your ‘Daily Dose of Preparedness’ like us on facebook and  follow us on Twitter!

You can also join us in the Pledge to Prepare with the FEMA National Preparedness Coalition.

Guess What?!

15 Aug

Who doesn’t love a nice gift?! This week one of our students brought us this great addition to our disaster supplies and we want to find out if you can guess what it is…Head over to our Facebook page and post your best guess for a chance to win a great preparedness item!

Colorado Blazes Are a Warning For The West

28 Jun

If you haven’t noticed already, it’s fire season in the Western U.S. While Southeastern states are facing tropical storms and flooding, the West is beginning to see the effects of an incredibly dry winter and warm weather.

The LA Times reported this morning that though the fire season is still in its early stages, many Western states have already been hit hard. Record temperatures and a lack of rain have created especially dry fuel conditions, and more than 1.5 million acres of land have been consumed by fires. Among the states affected have been Arizona, California, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. About 29 large active fires are currently being fought, officials said.

Although the Waldo Canyon fire has received the most attention in recent days because of the number of people in possible danger, the biggest blaze in the state is the High Park fire near Fort Collins, north of Denver. The High Park fire has burned more than 87,000 acres and destroyed 257 homes. One woman has been killed and about 4,300 people forced to flee. Flames are continuing to race farther into expanses of dead trees in the Roosevelt National Forest.

Homeowners can protect themselves from the threat of wildfire by creating a defensible space around their home and property and by taking steps to “harden” their home. See our posts here and here for information on these steps.

Remember that your home could be affected by wildfire even if you live outside of the interface area. Flying embers can reach homes up to one mile from a fire.

*Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and enter our giveaway for some great preparedness products!

Partnering in Preparedness

19 Jun

As we have always taught in our disaster preparedness courses, one of the key elements in preparing for the next earthquake is securing and strapping the contents of  your home and workplace.

Over the past 20+ years, many steps have been taken on the West Coast to retrofit aging buildings and secure infrastructure to withstand the next major earthquake. But the unsecured contents of a building can cause just as much damage and injury.

In the 6.7 Northridge, CA earthquake in 1994, 55 percent of quake related injuries were due, not to collapsing buildings, but because of unsecured objects falling or breaking.

Response LifeSafety is excited to announce a new partnership with SAFE-T-PROOF fastening systems.

SAFE-T-PROOF products are something that we have put to use in our homes and offices and trust to recommend for our clients’ home and commercial uses. Their securing and strapping products are second to none and we couldn’t recommend them highly enough for your preparedness needs. We’ve also found, through our own use of the products, that they double as excellent “childproofing” to prevent furniture tipping.

In celebration of our new partnership, SAFE-T-PROOF is offering 10% off their products when you use the coupon code RLSAFETY at checkout. Visit the SAFE-T-PROOF website for more information or to place an order.

Visit the Response LifeSafety facebook page for some great SAFE-T-PROOF giveaways, and stay tuned in the coming weeks as we highlight some of our favorite fastening products.

For all your preparedness needs and training, visit our website.

Staying Prepared in Earthquake Country

26 Apr

Last week marked the 106th anniversary of the 1906 Great Earthquake and Fire. Besides being an incredible piece of Bay Area history, commemorating the quake reminds us all to be prepared.

The 1906 Great Earthquake struck at 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906. It took the lives of an estimated 3,000 people and left San Francisco in ashes; much of the destruction caused by fires. The 1906 earthquake remains one of the worst tragedies in California history.

“We are reminded on this date each year that we must remain diligent in our efforts to be prepared, as individuals and, as a community,” said San Francisco Fire Chief Hayes-White.

As individuals, we can prepare by having a plan and keeping emergency supplies at home, at work and in our vehicles. Find a list of supplies to keep at home here and a checklist for your car kit here.

Additionally, there are number of things that we can do on a daily basis to keep ourselves safe and prepared for the next disaster. Find those here.

For all of your emergency preparedness and response training needs, please visit our website!