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NEWSROOM | Multimedia | California Governor's Office of Emergency Services
Updated: 2 hours 18 min ago

10 Artículos Un Kit de Emergencia Debe Tener

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 16:09

Septiembre es el Mes Nacional de Preparación y un buen momento para evaluar lo preparado que estás para la próxima emergencia. ¿No sabes por dónde empezar? Comience con un kit de emergencia. Aquí están algunas recomendaciones de artículos para su kit:

  • Agua
  • Alimentos enlatados
  • Radio portátil de pilas
  • Linterna
  • Pilas
  • Botiquín de primeros auxilios
  • Documentos importantes
  • Dinero en efectivo
  • Medicamentos recetados
  • Abrelatas

Ademas, no se olvide de artículos para las mascotas, bebes y familiares con necesidades especiales. Hay muchas más cosas que puedes incluir en su kit. Para más recomendaciones, visite www.listo.gov/es/kit.

 

Para más información y recursos, visite:

Oficina de Servicios de Emergencia del Gobernardor de California (Cal OES) 

Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias (FEMA)

 

Cal OES Director Ghilarducci On Mexico Earthquake: “Clearly This Is A Catastrophic Event”

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 15:26

Mark Ghilarducci knows all too well the challenges facing the search and rescue efforts in Mexico following a 7.1 earthquake.  As the Director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Ghilarducci oversees statewide public safety and emergency management and has responded to numerous earthquakes and disasters around the world.  He has served in both command and technical advisory positions at many high profile events, including the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, the 1995 Kobe, Japan earthquake and the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

“Clearly this is a catastrophic event,” Ghilarducci said, when describing the Mexico earthquake.  “The scale and the size of the impact of this event makes it very challenging for the rescuers.”

Ghilarducci says one of the biggest concerns facing search and rescue workers will be the threat of aftershocks.  “These situations are very challenging for rescuers because you’ve got all this concrete debris.  The way that the buildings collapse creates the potential, with aftershocks, for a secondary collapse.  It’s going to be very important for these rescue folks to first of all try to pinpoint where victims may be located and build a strategy by which they’re going to go in and shore up the building or the area that they’re working so that if there is an aftershock or secondary collapse, it doesn’t injure rescuers.  In essence, deconstruct that building to get in to where those victims are located.”

“Mexico City sits in a bowl,” Ghilarducci continued.   “It’s just the way the geography is.  Those aftershocks can be much stronger and they can have a greater effect on not only just the buildings that are already collapsed, where they’re doing rescue operations, but may result in new collapses in the area.   There’s a lot of people out rescuing.  There’s citizen volunteers.  There’s a lot of resources there.  They need to be very careful about the potential of other collapses that are going on in the area which would result in more injuries.”

Ghilarducci says it’s not uncommon to see people rescued alive even after being trapped for several days.  “We have seen rescues in previous cases, up to three weeks, live rescues that have been made.  We’ve seen it in earthquakes like in Haiti and in other parts of the country.  Even here in California we’ve had earthquakes where we’ve actually been able to rescue people up to a week after they’ve been trapped.   This is really important.  You have to understand that when buildings collapse they create what’s called a void space.  These are livable spaces or survivable spaces and you need to do due diligence and you need to be able to get and do as much search operations, using search dogs, using other kinds of technologies to be able to try and clear buildings.  The window can be, depending on the number of people and the type of structure, can be several weeks before we can say that search and rescue operations would be concluded.”

LINKS

Urban Search And Rescue Task Force

USGS Earthquake Page

Mark Ghilarducci

 

Don’t Wait Until The Big One To Be Earthquake Prepared

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 17:10

Living in California, there are constant reminders about the threat of earthquakes. On average, Southern California has about 10,000 earthquakes each year.

Prioritizing earthquake preparedness is a must for all Californians.

With various regions of the United States still reeling from destructive hurricanes, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck the Puebla area of Mexico on September 19. Search and rescue efforts are ongoing in impacted areas, where hundreds have died and buildings have collapsed.

Twelve days earlier, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake occurred offshore of Chiapas in southern Mexico.

 

Earthquake strikes on anniversary

More than 30 years ago on September 19, Mexico City was leveled by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake. The 1985 earthquake struck at 7:18 a.m., killing thousands and causing extensive damage to Mexico City and the surrounding region.

That event occurred about 280 miles to the west of the September 19 earthquake, according to the US Geological Survey.

 

Great California ShakeOut

To be prepared for the next earthquake, click here for more information on the 2017 Great California ShakeOut. Millions of people worldwide will practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:19 a.m. on October 19 during the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills, which began in California in 2008.

The drills are intended to assist families in preparing to survive and recover quickly from significant earthquakes, regardless of location, work or travel.

 

Drop, Cover, Hold On

Here are some preparedness tips on how to Drop, Cover and Hold On:

Indoors:  Avoid exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances, and kitchen cabinets with heavy objects or glass. Do not go outside during shaking. If seated and unable to drop to the floor: bend forward, cover your head with your arms, and hold on to your neck with both hands.

Individuals using a wheelchair: Lock your wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. Always protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.

In a stadium or theater: Drop to the ground in front of your seat or lean over as much as possible, then cover your head with your arms, and hold on to your neck with both hands until shaking stops.

In a store: Getting next to a shopping cart, beneath clothing racks, or within the first level of warehouse racks may provide extra protection.

Outdoors: Move to a clear area if you can safely do so; avoid power lines, trees, signs, buildings, vehicles, and other hazards. Then Drop, Cover, and Hold On.

Driving: Pull over to the side of the road, stop, and set the parking brake. Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking stops. If a power line falls on the car, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.

 

Earthquake Preparedness

Consider these steps to begin preparing your home and family, per the Cal OES Earthquake, Tsunami and Volcano Program:

  1. Identify potential hazards in your home and begin to fix them.
  2. Create a disaster-preparedness plan.
  3. Create disaster kits.
  4. Identify your building’s potential weaknesses and begin to fix them.
  5. Protect yourself during earthquake shaking.
  6. After the quake, check for injuries and damage.
  7. When safe, continue to follow your disaster-preparedness plan.

 

Did You Know?
  • To date, no one has predicted an earthquake. To do so requires identifying the fault, giving the magnitude and limiting the time period when the event would occur.
  • Most homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by earthquakes. Emergency loans or grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) do not take the place of earthquake insurance. Read more: FEMA.gov
  • Mobile homes and homes not attached to their foundations are at particular risk during an earthquake. Buildings with foundations resting on landfill and other unstable soils are also at increased risk of damage.
  • After a disaster, use of cell phones can shutdown wireless phone service and prevent 911 calls from getting through. To communicate after an earthquake, send a text, don’t call. Even if a text gets a “busy signal” the phone will continue attempting to send the message.

 

Additional resources

Cal OES

US Geological Survey (USGS)

California Earthquake Authority (CEA)

California Sends Urban Search and Rescue Teams to Support Hurricane Maria Response

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 00:47

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has approved the deployment of Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Force 2 (CA-TF2), Task Force 6 (CA-TF6) and Task Force 7 (CA-TF7) through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to aid the response to Hurricane Maria.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, has declared Hurricane Maria extremely dangerous as a Category 5 hurricane and issued Hurricane Watches and Warnings for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

For this deployment to Hurricane Maria, CA-TF2 consists of 27 personnel from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, CA-TF6 consists of 27 personnel from Riverside City Fire Department and CA-TF7 consists of 27 personnel from Sacramento City Fire Department.

This configuration of the US&R Task Forces was specified by FEMA for operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands because it provides light, fast, maneuverable, and easily transported urban search & rescue capabilities consistent with hurricane conditions on the islands.

These teams will augment four larger State/National US&R Task Forces and the FEMA US&R Incident Support Team (and a canine search team element of the Riverside City US&R Task Force (CA-TF6) that are already in Puerto Rico awaiting Hurricane Maria’s landfall.

Since 1992, California-based US&R Task Forces have been deployed to a long list of state, national, and international disasters including the 2007 Hurricane Gustav, 2007 Hurricane Ike, 2012 Hurricane Sandy, 2010 Haiti Earthquake, 2011 Christchurch Earthquake in New Zealand, 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, as well as most recently Hurricane Harvey and Irma.

Cal OES continues to monitor operations for Hurricane Maria and requests for assistance under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). EMAC, which includes the participation of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a nationally recognized mutual-aid system that provides the foundation for states to request and send resources across their borders when impacted by a disaster.

For more information, follow these links: Cal OES Special OperationsCal OES Urban Search & Rescue Task ForcesEMACNational Hurricane Center and Cal OES Newsroom.

 

Photo Source: NOAA Satellites

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Captain Pace Stokes Takes the Helm on the Ghost Ship Fire

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:07

Captain Pace Stokes, Alameda County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, sat down with Shawn Boyd at the Alameda County Emergency Operations Center in Dublin, California. Their recording session took place on day-1 of Urban Shield. For this year’s exercise Capt. Stokes was the deputy incident commander, where he said this was the first year that CERT was actively involved in the exercise and that there was a competitive element to their training. Capt. Stokes also talks about what helps him manage a large-scale training exercise like Urban Shield (there were 63 sites across five counties involved,) and about the ghost ship warehouse fire that killed 36 people on December 2, 2016 in Oakland.

Links

Alameda County Sheriff

Alameda County OES

Urban Shield

Cal OES Video Blog on Urban Shield and CERT

CERT Takes Center Stage at Urban Shield for First Time

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:00

The Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) from the Bay Area actively participated in the training exercise Urban Shield for the first time.  CERT was always present for support but this year was different – they trained front and center under the Green Command moniker.

The exercising personnel were separated into two groups: the victims/patients and the rescuers. Whatever team individual CERT members were assigned to, they all were put to the test and gained important knowledge, skills and understanding of what it takes to perform under pressure when lives are at stake.  CERT can always use more volunteers, and as you’ll see in the video you do have what it takes to become a CERT member; it’s up to you to decide whether you can or want to join.

According to their website, the CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs.  Since 1993 when this training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training. FEMA supports CERT by conducting or sponsoring Train-the-Trainer and Program Manager courses for members of the fire, medical and emergency management community.  There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide, with more than 600,000 individuals trained since CERT became a national program.

Urban Shield says it’s grown into a comprehensive, full-scale regional preparedness exercise assessing the overall Bay Area UASI Region’s response capabilities related to multi-discipline planning, policies, procedures, organization, equipment and training. Urban Shield continues to test regional integrated systems for prevention, protection, response and recovery in our high-threat, high-density urban area. The exercise evaluates our existing level of preparedness and capabilities, identifying not only what we do well, but areas in need of improvement. The previous years’ After Action Reports are referenced and used to assist in prioritizing upcoming expenditures possible for the region so we may become more prepared for any type of critical event or incident in our area.  The overarching goals of Urban Shield include striving for the capability to present a multi-layered training exercise to enhance the skills and abilities of regional first responders, as well as those responsible for coordinating and managing large scale events. Urban Shield is implemented to identify and stretch regional resources to their limits, while expanding regional collaboration and building positive relationships. In addition, this exercise provides increased local business and critical infrastructure collaboration. Urban Shield challenges the skills, knowledge and abilities of all who participate. It not only improves regional disaster response capabilities, but provides a platform for national and international first responders, as well as the private sector, to work efficiently and effectively together when critical incidents occur.

Map of Urban Shield Sites Links

California Volunteers & CERT

Community Emergency Response Team

Urban Shield

Swedish Group Comes To California To Observe And Learn

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 17:30

When members from various Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) from across Northern California gathered for a training exercise at the Alameda County Fairgrounds recently, a small group of observers there to watch the drills stood out.  Most of the group of nine were wearing shirts with the word, ‘Sweden’ across the front.

“We’re excited to be here and learn a lot about the Urban Shield exercise,” said the group’s organizer, Tove Frykmer.

Frykmer, a PhD student at Lund University in Lund, Sweden, spent six months as a visiting scholar at the University of California in Berkley.  It was during those six months stateside she first heard about Urban Shield, a training exercise involving local, national, and international first responder agencies.  She went back to her home country and immediately began plans to bring a group back to the states in time to observe as many Urban Shield exercises as possible.

“I collected a group of nine Swedes,” Frykmer said.  “It’s very diverse.  We have two fire and rescue service folks.  We have two policemen.  We have one from the Swedish Armed Forces.  We have one person from the Swedish FEMA and two representing the cities and counties in Sweden. ”

Watching And Learning

On this day, the Swedish delegation spent the afternoon watching CERT team members practice search and rescue drills.  They also spent the day talking with the dozens of law enforcement and first responders on hand.

“In the recent disasters we’ve had, we’ve seen that volunteers are the first ones to the scene in many cases and they’re the ones that are doing those roles that professional responders otherwise would be,” said Nathan Rainey with the Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services.

“We hope to learn how you develop an organized incident command system,” Frykmer explained.  “We’re also interested in learning if you have the same problems and issues in crisis management that we have in Sweden.  We hope to learn how you handle things and also to create this network to meet people from different organizations here and maybe bring some contacts back to Sweden.”

California is known for having one of the best mutual aid systems in the world, so it’s not uncommon for other countries to use the emergency programs here as a model.

“One thing that I’ve noticed is that you have a very organized system in California with the standardized emergency management system and the mutual aid agreement,” said Frykmer.    “In Sweden we work more on the next door municipality.  You have some agreements but in general it’s not as organized.  That’s a big difference between us and you here in California. ”

 

 

Inside Look: What Happens When First Responders Need Your Help?

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 12:10

We take you behind the scenes to see how everyday citizens are training to be ready when disasters strike. It’s called Community Emergency Response Teams, or CERT, and each local program trains community members in basic disaster response skills, such as small fire suppression, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

Watch the Show by Clicking Video Below More information Links

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Cal Volunteers & CERT

Planning and Preparing to go Back to School

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 14:37

As children put away their swimsuits and bring out their school supplies, there is no better time to teach them the importance of emergency preparedness. Realize that if a community experiences a disaster or emergency situation the school is probably going to be the safest place for a child.

“Public K-12 schools in California are legally required by the Field Act to be built to a higher construction standard than other buildings and are inspected more frequently – this makes them less likely to collapse during an earthquake,” explains Monica Carazo, Public Information Officer for the Los Angeles Unified School District. “Schools are also provided with fire alarms, sprinklers and extinguishers which guard against fires.”

Throughout the year, schools actively prepare for natural disasters, outbreaks, and other emergency situations. Both parents and students need to be aware and learn what to do during an emergency.

Parents should ask school administrators and teachers about emergency preparedness plans and know what steps they are taking to keep the children safe. Schools should have guidelines on how to shelter-in-place during natural disasters and how to secure classrooms during an emergency lockdown.

“Parents can ask to see the school’s emergency plan and can keep themselves informed of school procedures by attending parent meetings, reading the student-parent handbook, the school newsletter, and checking the school website periodically,” says Carazo.

It is important for parents to follow the protocols and processes set in place by the school regarding sheltering-in-place, lockdowns, and evacuations, since children’s safety could depend on it. Most importantly stay calm and wait to receive instructions from school administrators or local authorities.

For this reason, make certain the emergency contact information the school has on record is accurate and up-to-date. Changes to your office, name, address or phone number should be reported to the school as soon as possible to ensure that they have the correct information.

Every family should take the time to build an emergency kit, make a family disaster plan, and know how to be reunited with family members if there is an emergency during the school day.

Here are some steps to help be better prepared:
  • Make sure children know the full name, address, and phone numbers of parents or guardians. In this high-tech world of cell phones, memorizing emergency phone numbers is very important. Make a memory game for the most important phone numbers and addresses. Children should know their home address and at least two emergency contact phone numbers.
  • Make an emergency card, which includes important information about your child; their name, school, contact information, date of birth, if applicable a list of allergies, medical conditions, and medications. On the reverse side of the card, write down parent or guardian’s contact information and an additional emergency contact. This emergency card should be secured in child’s backpack.
  • Other items to keep in a backpack may include: water and non-perishable snacks; a pocket- sized first aid kit, and a whistle to alert others for help. It is also a good idea to make sure their school and teacher have a copy, too.
  • Go over different routes and ways to travel home, like walking, taking the bus, or riding home with another student who lives nearby. Have a unique meet-up location away from home. Practice getting to your emergency meeting place from school, friends’ homes, and after school activities.
  • Establish a secret code word with your child and whoever takes them home from school to protect against an unauthorized person picking them up.
  • Follow social media accounts for school, police, fire, and emergency management officials. Sign up for wireless emergency alerts and local news alerts.

So, when shopping for school supplies, checking bus schedules, and getting ready for class, make sure to have emergency plans in place. Remember, children who are prepared are more confident during stressful emergency situations. By following preparedness guidelines, parents, children, and school staff can improve their safety and peace of mind.

Additional Resources for Parents and Students:

Preparedness for Families

Preparedness for Schools & Educators

Be a Disaster Master

Pre-made Backpack Emergency Card

Sign up for Wireless Emergency Alerts

3 Consejos Para Estar Preparados

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 20:08

Hemos visto recientemente en varios partes del país lo fuerte que puede ser la madre naturaleza. California tiene varios riesgos tal como temblores, incendios forestales, tormentas fuertes y no sabemos cuándo ocurrirá el próximo desastre. Por eso es importante tomar medidas para prepararnos antes de que un desastre ocurra. Aquí están tres pasos para prepararse:

Identifique Sus Riesgos.

Cuáles son los riesgos peligros donde usted vive o trabaja? Cal OES MyHazards te ayuda a descubrir los riesgos en su área. Visite a MyHazards, aquí: http://myhazards.caloes.ca.gov/.

 

Haga Un Plan de Emergencia.

Es importante planificar con anticipación porque puede ser que no estés junto con su familia cuando un desastre ocurre. Información sobre lo que un plan de emergencia debe tener, aquí: https://www.listo.gov/es/haga-un-plan

 

Prepare Un Kit De Emergencia.

Es buen idea tener un kit de emergencia en su casa y su coche. Un kit de emergencia debe tener artículos como agua potable, comida enlatados, linterna, botiquín de primeros auxilios, y mas! Aquí esta más información sobre lo que un kit de emergencia debe contener: https://www.listo.gov/es/kit

 

Para más información y recursos, visite a:

Oficina de Servicios de Emergencia del Gobernardor de California (Cal OES) 

Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias (FEMA)

Sneak Peak at the next Inside Look: CERT Joins Urban Shield

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 14:48

Urban Shield has grown into a comprehensive, full-scale regional preparedness exercise assessing the overall Bay Area UASI Region’s response capabilities related to multi-discipline planning, policies, procedures, organization, equipment and training. Urban Shield continues to test regional integrated systems for prevention, protection, response and recovery in our high-threat, high-density urban area. The exercise evaluates our existing level of preparedness and capabilities, identifying not only what we do well, but areas in need of improvement. The previous years’ After Action Reports are referenced and used to assist in prioritizing upcoming expenditures possible for the region so we may become more prepared for any type of critical event or incident in our area.

For the first time, The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program will be training alongside other first res-ponders at urban Shield. CERT trains community members in basic disaster response skills, such as small fire suppression, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

Watch for a Cal OES Inside Look at CERT exercising at Urban Shield coming Thursday, September 14th. Here’s a preview.

Links

Urban Shield

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Cal Volunteers & CERT

California Swiftly Answers Requests For Hurricane Response

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 11:12

As two separate hurricanes battered the states of Texas and Florida just days apart, trained California personnel was strategically positioned to answer a request for assistance if needed. Within hours, members of the Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces (US&R) and Swiftwater/Flood Rescue were deployed to aid in the response of both hurricanes.

Requests for swiftwater teams through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) came via the State to State Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), while deployment of US&R teams came at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

 

 

HURRICANE HARVEY

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25 on the Gulf Coast. According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Harvey was downgraded to a tropical storm due to a drop in wind speeds and storm intensity. Meanwhile, life-threatening and devastating flooding along the Texas coast extended for days after the storm had passed due to heavy rainfall and storm surge. Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for 30 Texas counties in anticipation of Harvey making landfall.

Harvey set a new rainfall record with more than 51 inches in the Cedar Bayou gauge near Highlands, Texas, according to the National Weather Service. The previous record for rainfall in the continental U.S. was 48 inches, also in Texas, during Tropical Storm Amelia in 1978.

In response to Harvey, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. approved the deployment of eight Urban Search and Rescue teams: CA-Task Force 5 (Orange County Fire Authority), CA-TF1 (Los Angeles City Fire Department), CA-TF4 (Oakland City Fire Department), CA-TF8 (San Diego City Fire Department), CA-TF2 (Los Angeles County Fire Department), CA-TF3 (Menlo Park Fire Department), CA-TF6 (City of Riverside Fire Department) and CA-TF7 (Sacramento City Fire Department). Two additional Swiftwater/Flood Rescue teams from Long Beach City Fire Department and Ventura County Fire Department were both deployed on August 31.

In addition to Urban Search and Rescue and Swiftwater Rescue assets, California deployed the 129th Para Rescue Unit and RC26 Ariel Reconnaissance Aircraft from the National Guard; two Disaster Medical Assistance Teams; and an EMAC/Incident Support Team Specialist.

 

HURRICANE IRMA

In Florida, Hurricane Irma was one of the strongest hurricanes to ever form in the Atlantic Ocean. Thousands of residents were evacuated in advance of landfall, with a Hurricane Watch and Storm Surge Watch issued for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys. Governor Rick Scott also declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties in anticipation of the impacts of Hurricane Irma.

Governor Brown approved the deployment of Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Force 1 (CA-TF1) Los Angeles Fire Department and Task Force 4 (CA-TF4) Oakland Fire Department. Additionally, the deployments of Task Force 3 (CA-TF3) Menlo Park Fire Protection District and Task Force 8 (CA-TF8) San Diego City Fire Rescue Department were deployed after having recently returned to California from Hurricane Harvey before repositioning to assist in the response efforts of Hurricane Irma.

All four US&R teams consist of 80 personnel.

 

COMPARING US&R TO SWIFTWATER

The Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces are highly-specialized search and rescue units that can perform in heavy reinforced masonry structures, handle heavy rigging, specialized search functions and operate in swiftwater/flood environments.

California’s Swiftwater/Flood Rescue teams are each comprised of 14 local fire department-based personnel and a command element with specialized capabilities such as inflatable rescue boat handling, flood search methodology, night search operations, mud and debris flow rescue, and specialized tools for locating and rescuing people trapped by flood waters.

 

WHAT IS EMAC?

EMAC, which includes the participation of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a nationally recognized mutual-aid system that provides the foundation for states to request and send resources across their borders when impacted by a disaster.

 

Additional resources:

Cal OES

FEMA

National Weather Service

 

 

California’s Homeland Security Advisor Releases Statement on 9/11 Anniversary

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 11:58

SACRAMENTO – Today marks the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and on United Airlines Flight 93. This anniversary has significant meaning for the United States, as well as for California. Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and homeland security advisor to Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., has issued the following statement:

With this year’s somber anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and United Airlines Flight 93, these events are benchmark moments in our nation’s history.  It’s a reminder that the natural world’s hazards are not the only threats we face and the mission to keep our country, our state and our communities secure continues.

Today, while we honor and reflect on those who so senselessly lost their lives, those who were living their ordinary lives, but who reacted with extraordinary heroism, those emergency responders and recovery workers that sacrificed so much and all of those whose lives have been forever changed on this tragic day 16 years ago, it is important to remember that the threat of terrorism continues to be a factor in our daily lives, around the world and right here in California, as we witnessed as recently as December 2015 in San Bernardino with a terrorist attack consisting of a mass shooting and an attempted bombing.

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, along with our partners at state, local, tribal and federal public safety agencies, and partners in private sector have been tasked with keeping California secure and remaining at the forefront of security, emergency readiness and planning.  It is essential that this important task, also be taken seriously at home, as it requires all Californians in a unified effort to keep our communities safe and secure.

California has trained and outfitted thousands of public safety personnel for counterterrorism, including the establishment of the State Threat Assessment System and the California Cybersecurity Integration Center.  As the years move on from 2001, we strive to improve intelligence sharing and build awareness to detect, deter and prevent acts of terrorism to safeguard all our communities.

I ask all Californians to help us in this mission, by actively being informed, getting engaged and remaining as vigilant as ever.  If you see something suspicious, say something about it by calling 9-1-1 or inform your local police department.  Empower yourself, your family and your friends with the confidence of being prepared and having a family plan.

 

No Excuses! Take Time to Prepare!

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 17:01

Recent events due to Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricane Irma bring to mind the need for all of us to be prepared. While it is unlikely that a devastating hurricane will ever strike the Golden State, California faces the threat of other natural disasters. Past events have shown that earthquakes, wildfires, and flooding can have devastating effects on life and property in our communities.

Cal OES recognizes the importance of Californians being ready and better prepared for the next disaster. “The actions we take today to be better prepared can determine how quickly we recover or even survive when disaster strikes,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. Even Governor Brown understands the importance of being prepared, who has declared September “National Preparedness Month.” You can view the entire proclamation HERE.

With the types of disasters that threaten our state, one might wonder why anyone would not want be prepared. However, for whatever the reasons, the reality is many people come up with a lot of excuses for not preparing. Below are just some of the excuses people have used that when looked at more closely may cause one to rethink.

  1. I don’t live near a fault line where most earthquakes happen.

While California and earthquakes are usually paired together, California is prone to other natural disasters such as floods, landslides, wildfires, and an occasional tornado. So preparing for these disasters is just as important. And I bet you have at least one loved one that does live near one of the many of fault lines on the West Coast!

  1. My homeowners insurance will cover anything that’s damaged.

Homeowners’ insurance policies usually do not cover events like floods or earthquakes. They are separate specific policies that must be purchased. Besides it is the first 24 to 48 hours one should prepare for and it may take time for insurance companies to respond.

  1. The government will take care of me.

We all saw what happened with the Hurricane Katrina disaster and what is occurring now with Hurricane Harvey. In some cases, it could take the government days or maybe even weeks to arrive to assist victims. Agencies such as FEMA, the American Red Cross, and others may be able to provide some essential supplies to victims, but then they may have difficulty getting those supplies to the victims.

  1. I cannot afford to prepare a kit.

Keep an eye out for some events where organizations are giving away first aid kits. This is a great way to start preparing and gradually increase your supplies in small steps. Some cans of food, some water, batteries, etc. You’ll be how fast you survival kit grows.

  1. I’m just too busy thinking about today, to worry about tomorrow.

Well, if you don’t take the time to think about what may happen tomorrow and prepare, sadly there may not be a day for you to think about. So take just an hour or two and put your survival kit together. You can even make it a fun occasion and invite family or friends over to participate.

Additional Resources for Getting Prepared:

For Individuals & Families

For Businesses & Organizations

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For Tribal & Government

FEMA – Preparing Makes Sense

California Sends Additional Urban Search and Rescue Teams to Support Hurricane Irma Response

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 19:11

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has approved the additional deployment of Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Force 3 (CA-TF3) and Task Force 8 (CA-TF8) through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to aid the response to Hurricane Irma.

During the deployment, California personnel will use their highly-developed skills to assist emergency operations in and around the hardest hit areas of the state, conducting search and rescue operations.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Flo., has issued a Hurricane Watch and Storm Surge Watch for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys. Governor Rick Scott has also declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties anticipation of the impacts of Hurricane Irma.

CA-TF3 consists of 80 personnel from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District and CA-TF8 consists of 80 personnel from the San Diego City Fire Rescue Department. Both Task Forces recently returned to California from Hurricane Harvey and will be joining the Hurricane Irma response efforts.

These teams are two of eight State/Federal US&R Task Forces in California that is a highly-specialized search and rescue unit that can perform in heavy reinforced masonry structures, handle heavy rigging, specialized search functions and operate in swiftwater/flood environments. Earlier today, California sent CA-TF1 (Los Angeles Fire Department), CA-TF4 (Oakland Fire Department) and members of a US&R Incident Support Team to assist with the response to Hurricane Irma.

Since 1992, California-based US&R Task Forces have been deployed to a long list of state, national, and international disasters including the 1992 Hurricane Iniki, 1994 Northridge Earthquake, 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, 2001 World Trade Center and Pentagon Terrorist Attacks, 2004 Hurricane Charlie, 2004 Hurricane Frances, 2004 Hurricane Ivan, 2005 Hurricane Katrina, 2005 Hurricane Rita, 2007 Hurricane Gustav, 2007 Hurricane Ike, 2012 Hurricane Sandy, 2010 Haiti Earthquake, 2011 Christchurch Earthquake in New Zealand, 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and the 2015 Nepal Earthquake.

Cal OES continues to monitor operations for both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma and requests for assistance under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) process from the Southern United States region. EMAC, which includes the participation of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a nationally recognized mutual-aid system that provides the foundation for states to request and send resources across their borders when impacted by a disaster.

For more information, follow these links: Cal OES Special OperationsCal OES Urban Search & Rescue Task ForcesEMACFlorida Division of Emergency Management and Cal OES newsroom.

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Related Story:

California Sends Urban Search and Rescue Teams to Support Hurricane Irma Response 

 

Photo: U.S. Navy

Governor Brown Declares State of Emergency in Madera, Mariposa and Tulare Counties Due to Fires

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 18:31

California Governor Jerry Brown

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an emergency proclamation for Madera, Mariposa and Tulare counties due to the effects of the Railroad, Pier, Mission and Peak fires, which have burned thousands of acres, threatened homes and critical infrastructure and caused the evacuation of residents.

The full text of the proclamation is below or on the Governor’s website here – https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19943

PROCLAMATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY

WHEREAS on August 29, 2017, the Railroad Fire started in Madera County and rapidly spread into Mariposa County, and the Pier Fire started in Tulare County; and

WHEREAS on September 3, 2017, the Mission Fire began burning in Madera County, and the Peak Fire started in Mariposa County; and

WHEREAS these fires have burned thousands of acres, destroyed structures and continue to threaten homes, necessitating the evacuation of residents; and

WHEREAS these fires are threatening critical infrastructure and have forced the closure of roadways; and

WHEREAS extreme weather conditions and high temperatures have further increased the risk of fires; and

WHEREAS the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved Federal Fire Management Assistance Grants for the Railroad, Pier, and Mission Fires to assist with the costs associated with fighting these fires; and

WHEREAS the circumstances of these fires by reason of their magnitude, are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of the Government Code, I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exists in Madera, Mariposa, and Tulare Counties due to these fires.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the State Constitution and statutes, including the California Emergency Services Act, and in particular, section 8625 of the Government Code, HEREBY PROCLAIM A STATE OF EMERGENCY to exist in Madera, Mariposa, and Tulare Counties.

I HEREBY ORDER that all agencies of the state government utilize and employ state personnel, equipment, and facilities for the performance of any and all activities consistent with the direction of the Office of Emergency Services and the State Emergency Plan. Also, all residents are to heed the advice of emergency officials with regard to this emergency in order to protect their safety.

I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Proclamation be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given of this Proclamation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 7th day of September 2017.

_____________________________

EDMUND G. BROWN JR.

Governor of California

ATTEST:

_____________________________

ALEX PADILLA

California Sends Urban Search and Rescue Teams to Support Hurricane Irma Response

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 13:52

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has approved the deployment of Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Force 1 (CA-TF1) and Task Force 4 (CA-TF4) through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to aid the response to Hurricane Irma.

During the deployment, California personnel will use their highly-developed skills to assist emergency operations in and around the hardest hit areas of the state, conducting search and rescue operations.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Flo., has issued a Hurricane Watch and Storm Surge Watch for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys. Governor Rick Scott has also declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties anticipation of the impacts of Hurricane Irma.

CA-TF1consists of 80 personnel from the Los Angeles Fire Department and CA-TF4 consists of 80 personnel from the Oakland Fire Department. Both Task Forces are en route from their previous assignment conducting flood search & rescue operations for Hurricane Harvey to a Hurricane Irma federal staging location in Alabama.

These teams are two of eight State/Federal US&R Task Forces in California that is a highly-specialized search and rescue unit that can perform in heavy reinforced masonry structures, handle heavy rigging, specialized search functions and operate in swiftwater/flood environments. This deployment also includes a US&R Incident Support Team to assist with coordination and operations of the US&R Task Forces that have been activated nationwide for Irma thus far.

Since 1992, California-based US&R Task Forces have been deployed to a long list of state, national, and even international disasters including the 1992 Hurricane Iniki, 1994 Northridge Earthquake, 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, Hurricane Katrina and the 2015 Nepal Earthquake.

Cal OES continues to monitor operations for both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma and requests for assistance under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) process from the Southern United States region. EMAC, which includes the participation of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a nationally recognized mutual-aid system that provides the foundation for states to request and send resources across their borders when impacted by a disaster.

For more information, follow these links: Cal OES Special OperationsCal OES Urban Search & Rescue Task ForcesEMACFlorida Division of Emergency Management and Cal OES newsroom.

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Cal OES Director Secures Fire Management Assistance Grant from FEMA to Assist Response Agencies Battling Pier Fire in Tulare County

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 19:05

California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Director Mark Ghilarducci today secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help ensure the availability of vital resources to suppress the Pier Fire burning in Tulare County. The FMAG also enables local, state and tribal agencies to recover eligible costs.

Pier Fire Map 9/5/17. Courtesy InciWeb Pier Fire Incident Page.

The fire has already burned approximately 20,500 acres, threatening lives and property near the area of Springville. Cal OES is working with multiple response agencies to mobilize mutual aid strike teams and firefighters as well as fire engines, dozers, water tenders and aircraft.

More than 1,400 personnel have been mobilized to assist with the wildfire activity. Cal OES Fire, Law Enforcement and Inland Region personnel are currently working with other response agencies to address all emergency management, law enforcement, evacuation and mutual aid needs for the incident alongside the U.S. Forest Service and CAL FIRE. The recent sustained, high temperatures around the state and dry conditions have made an ideal environment for dangerous fire conditions throughout California.

The federal grant, which is provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund on cost-share basis, will assist local, state and tribal agencies responding to the fire to apply for 75-percent reimbursement of their eligible fire suppression costs.

Additional information is available at:
Fire Management Assistance Grants – http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/recovery/public-assistance/fire-management-assistance-grant 
Pier Fire Information page – https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5548/ 
Cal OES Twitter – @Cal_OES
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services – http://www.caloes.ca.gov/ 

 

Photo: USFS Alicia Embrey 

California USAR Task Forces Lending a Hand for Harvey had Contact with Katrina

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 18:58

On August 25th, as the northern tentacles of the monstrous Hurricane Harvey breached the Gulf Coastline of Texas, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. approved the deployment of Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 5 (CA-TF5) through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to aid the response to the storm. Within a few hours CA-TF5 was on its way.

The next day, Saturday, Governor Brown approved the additional deployment of Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1, 4 and 8 (CA-TF1, 4, 8) at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Then again on Sunday, August 27, the governor approved the additional deployment of specialized components of Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 2, 3, 6 and 7 (CA-TF2, 3, 6 and 7) through Cal OES.

With that last deployment, each and every one of California’s state/federal Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces were now assisting, or on their way to assist, with operations in Texas. That activation deployed the Water Rescue Mission Ready Package elements of those four teams. These California specialists in swiftwater and flood rescue have been assisting with emergency operations in and around the hardest hit areas of Texas, conducting search and water rescue operations. The deployment is also coordinated through the FEMA as part of the national response for this incident. All those task force teams have assisted in significant disasters outside of California’s borders. Three of those teams, CA-TF6, 7 and 8 were deployed to the Gulf Coast to assist with response efforts to Hurricane Katrina. Below are images captured during their deployment by the teams themselves.

Click to view slideshow. All photos contributed by the respective agency.

If you’d like more information about California’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Force program, or about those teams involved in both Harvey and Katrina, follow the links below.

Hurricane Harvey Relief US Military Photo Links

Urban Search & Rescue Task Forces

CA-TF6: Riverside

CA-TF7: Sacramento

CA-TF8: San Diego

 

Cal OES Director Secures Funds to Assist Response Agencies Battling Mission Fire in Madera County

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 15:57

Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci

California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Director Mark Ghilarducci today secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help ensure the availability of vital resources to suppress the Mission burning in Madera. The FMAG also enables local, state and tribal agencies to recover eligible costs.

The fire has already burned approximately 650 acres, threatening lives and property near the areas of North Fork and Cascadel Woods. Cal OES is working with multiple response agencies to mobilize mutual aid strike teams and firefighters as well as fire engines, dozers, water tenders and fire retardant drops from aircraft. In addition to firefighting resources, shelter operations staff and emergency communications capabilities are also being mobilized.

Mission Fire Map 9/4/2017. Courtesy CAL FIRE Madera-Mariposa-Merced Facebook

More than 350 personnel have been mobilized to assist with the wildfire activity. Cal OES Fire, Law Enforcement and Inland Region personnel are currently working with other response agencies to address all emergency management, law enforcement, evacuation and mutual aid needs for the incident alongside the U.S. Forest Service and CAL FIRE. The recent sustained, high temperatures around the state and dry conditions have made an ideal environment for dangerous fire conditions throughout California.

The federal grant, which is provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund on cost-share basis, will assist local, state and tribal agencies responding to the fire to apply for 75-percent reimbursement of their eligible fire suppression costs.

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