Posts Tagged ‘disaster preparedness’

Are You Prepared for 2015?

Posted on: December 29th, 2014 by Jessica Unger | SHEP

Now is an excellent time to take stock of your preparedness measures and explore new tools to supplement your existing emergency planning. FEMA has launched a new mobile site, increasing functionality on the move. Access to a desktop is frequently limited during a disaster and FEMA’s push to go mobile is augmented by other resources, like data.disasters.gov, which is a portal for disaster-related datasets and tools for innovative preparedness activities. FEMA has compiled a list of apps and other tools that provide disaster support on the cutting edge of technology. Ready.gov is launching a new campaign, Resolve to be Ready, which includes a series of social media–ready activities and tools. Start off the New Year right and be prepared for anything in 2015.

Asian Art Museum Proactively Addresses Earthquake Concerns  

Posted on: December 1st, 2014 by Jessica Unger | SHEP

In preparation for a three-month exhibit, “Roads of Arabia,” which would prominently feature 8-foot-tall Arabian sandstone colossi, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco sought new ways to protect the statues. While the museum itself is equipped with a number of features, including base isolators, to prevent earthquakes from damaging the collections, the scale of the colossi presented a challenge to traditional means of reducing risks. By using a system of thin, sliding plates concealed within the display podium, the museum hopes that in the event of an earthquake the colossi would be able to safely move, independent of the building structure, and remain upright. The system was designed by EQX Global and museum staff will be working with researchers from UC San Diego to measure any potential seismic activity and its effect on the colossi. Not only could the steps taken by the museum preserve these two artifacts, but if proven successful, the technology could be applied to other large collection items to protect them from earthquakes.

To read more about the exhibit and the Asian Art Museum’s disaster preparedness steps, click here. To read more about earthquake preparedness, see previous SHEP posts here.

Stormproofing the City

Posted on: November 25th, 2014 by Jessica Unger | AFR, New York City, NY

Is New York City ready for future natural disasters? That’s the question posed in this series by The Guardian, where experts share their knowledge of what NYC is doing to prepare for natural disasters since Hurricane Sandy. The series will interview scientists, emergency practitioners, and others in an effort to paint a complete picture of the many people working to prep the Big Apple for coming storms.

 

 

Climate Change Toolkit Offers Insight into Potential Hazards

Posted on: November 24th, 2014 by Jessica Unger | SHEP

Climate change is resulting in unpredictable and severe weather. In addition to increased risk of wildfires and drought, sea level rise will affect millions. The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit provides information on how to prepare for and mitigate the potential hazards of climate change. The toolkit includes planning assistance, case studies, and links to training opportunities. The Climate Explorer tool shows areas of climate change impact and stresses, along with a discussion of how different regions might be impacted. Just as we look to the historical record to evaluate the hazards that may affect our institutions and organizations, the Climate Resilience Toolkit gives us an opportunity to discover future hazards. Embrace a “climate-smart approach” and make sure you’re prepared for the challenges that climate change may bring to your community. For an overview of the contents of the Toolkit, a one-page flyer is available here to share, or view the Toolkit online here.

Participate in EMI’s Earthquake Focus Virtual Tabletop Exercise (VTTX)

Posted on: November 10th, 2014 by Jessica Unger | SHEP

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is offering a four-hour Earthquake Focus Virtual Tabletop Exercises (VTTX) in January. The VTTX involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting and can be used to assess plans, policies, training, and procedures. This exercise will provide an excellent opportunity for cultural agencies to engage with their EMA (and vice versa) to further customize the scenario to include cultural and historic resources. All 50 states and 5 US territories are at some risk for earthquakes. How prepared is your state to respond?

The VTTX differs from other tabletop exercises in that it is conducted using Video-Teleconference (VTC) technology (not web-based), and is intended to provide an opportunity for responders across the nation to participate simultaneously in a hazard-specific facilitated discussion. Lead facilitation for the exercise will be coordinated by EMI, with local facilitation provided by the participating EMA. This is a great opportunity to prepare for a potentially devastating earthquake.

Click here for more information. The deadline for your EMA to apply to participate in the exercise is December 22, 2014.

Participate in EMI’s Winter Storm Virtual Tabletop Exercise (VTTX)

Posted on: October 17th, 2014 by Jessica Unger | SHEP

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is offering a four-hour Winter Storm Virtual Tabletop Exercises (VTTX) in November. The VTTX involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting and can be used to assess plans, policies, training, and procedures. This exercise will provide an excellent opportunity for cultural agencies to engage with their EMA (and vice versa) to further customize the scenario to include cultural and historic resources.

The VTTX differs from other tabletop exercises in that it is conducted using Video-Teleconference (VTC) technology (not web-based), and is intended to provide an opportunity for responders across the nation to participate simultaneously in a hazard-specific facilitated discussion. Lead facilitation for the exercise will be coordinated by EMI, with local facilitation provided by the participating EMA. This is a great opportunity to prepare for potentially disastrous winter weather.

This format will allow the common delivery of exercise materials, scenarios, modules, and discussion questions among those participating in the exercise.

Click here for more information, but don’t delay. The deadline for your EMA to apply to participate in the exercise is November 3, 2014.

Are You Ready to ShakeOut?

Posted on: October 10th, 2014 by Jessica Unger | AFR

If your region is susceptible to earthquakes – and most regions are – you are encouraged to join in the Great ShakeOut, an annual event that promotes earthquake preparedness and organizes the “world’s biggest earthquake drill.” At 10:16 am on October 16, participants will “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” for at least one minute. FEMA encourages schools, childcare facilities, families, colleges, local, state, and federal government offices, tribal organizations, businesses, hotels, healthcare facilities, museums, libraries, other cultural institutions, and all individuals to participate. As of October 10, over 24,568,211 participants have registered. Promote earthquake preparedness in organizations and communities you are a part of by joining in.

 

Many resources are available to help you plan your participation and share valuable information about what to do in the event of an earthquake. If you choose to lead a drill, the Great ShakeOut provides manuals and tips for many different scenarios. If you are looking for information to share on what to do during and before an earthquake, FEMA has created a short video, “When The Earth Shakes,” which provides key information in an accessible format.

 

FEMA also invites you to follow along in a special Tweet Chat with ShakeOut, America’s PrepareAthon!, and the American Red Cross at 3 p.m. (EST) on October 15. Experts will provide safety tips and other information to get you prepared for earthquakes. Join the conversation using hashtag #EQChat.

 

Join in the Great ShakeOut on October 16

Posted on: October 3rd, 2014 by Jessica Unger | SHEP

During National Preparedness Month, we hope you took the opportunity to prepare for possible disaster events in your community and region. If your region is susceptible to earthquakes – and most regions are – now is the time to put your plans to the test! You are invited to join in the Great ShakeOut, an annual event that promotes earthquake preparedness and organizes the “world’s biggest earthquake drill.” At 10:16 am on October 16, participants will “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” for at least one minute. FEMA encourages schools, childcare facilities, families, colleges, local, state, and federal government offices, tribal organizations, businesses, hotels, healthcare facilities, museums, libraries, other cultural institutions, and all individuals to participate. As of October 3, over 23,049,339 participants have registered. Promote earthquake preparedness in organizations and communities you are a part of by joining in.

Many resources are available to help you plan your participation and share valuable information about what to do in the event of an earthquake. If you choose to lead a drill, the Great ShakeOut provides manuals and tips for many different scenarios. If you are looking for information to share on what to do during and before an earthquake, FEMA has created a short video, “When The Earth Shakes,” which provides key information in an accessible format. For more information, see previous posts about earthquake preparedness and mitigation, and increase your knowledge about the risk of earthquakes in your region.

September is National Preparedness Month

Posted on: August 29th, 2014 by Jessica Unger | SHEP

The 2014 National Preparedness Month theme is: “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare.” NPM will culminate with National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30. Throughout the month of September, the NPM website will offer valuable preparedness information to raise awareness about disasters and encourage participation on the last day of the campaign on National PrepareAthon! Day. Here are some of the resources available on the NPM website to help you get started:

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is hosting a series of free webinars as part of National Preparedness Month. The half-hour webinars will be presented at 2 pm Eastern each Wednesday in September. The first, Crisis Communication for Any Organization, will be held on September 3.

Visit http://snurl.com/296yw4e to register and learn more about the webinars.

Delaware Disaster Assistance Team (DDAT) Hosts Program on Mental Health and Disasters

Posted on: May 30th, 2014 by Jessica Unger | SHEP

Susan Duhl, private conservator and AIC CERT member, and Faye Rosenbaum, General Manager of the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance, presented a program to DDAT members as part of the Spring 2014 gathering on May 21 at Hagley Library in Wilmington, Delaware.  Susan discussed the theoretical and practical issues relating to stress and mental health that can arise among responding staff members during and following disaster situations, while Faye reflected on her experience and that of the Martha Graham Center’s staff during their response to and recovery from Superstorm Sandy.

Although DDAT programs have addressed a broad range of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery topics in the past such as creating a disaster plan, working with first responders, triaging impacted collections, and developing wet material recovery skills, this was the group’s first time addressing and considering the topic of mental health needs that often manifest in the wake of a hurricane, tornado, flood, or other disaster.

It was particularly interesting and useful to reflect on the more unique situations that can develop when the collections impacted belong to a performing arts organization such as the Martha Graham Center.  Because the collections themselves serve a different role within the organization than those of a museum, library, or historical society, the response and recovery process differed and created challenges with regard to triage, communication with response and recovery professionals, etc.

This program served as an outstanding starting point to address a vitally important topic and DDAT looks forward to continuing this discussion moving forward as we work together to support one another in strengthening our disaster preparedness skills.  For more information on the program, please contact Pat Young, DDAT Chair, at pyoung@udel.edu.