Preparedness

Portland Disaster Plan

To avoid having Fairbanks done a dozens times, I am doing Portland, Oregon where I grew up.

a. Was it easy or difficult to find your community’s plan? Describe how long it took, or in the extreme case, that you never actually found it online.

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/pbem/46475

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/pbem/75383

It took about 7 seconds to find the disaster plans for Portland. I typed “Disaster Plan Portland” and the first page of the google search brought up relevant links for the area.

b. Describe one thing you think shows your community is well-prepared in case of a disaster

Flooding. Localized  flooding can still occur on creeks in the Portland area.  However large scale floods like the Vanport 1948 flood  do not occur in the metro area anymore. Vanport was a suburb of Portland that literally got wiped off the map by flooding. (It doesn’t even exist anymore) This event caused the Flood Control Act of 1950 to be passed which built dams on the Columbia River, and created flood plans. The Portland area now has levy’s and flood walls along it’s urban areas that border the river. Although minor flooding can still occur, it isn’t a “disaster”.

c. Describe one way you think an improvement could be made to your community’s plan.

Infrastructure retrofitting. The chance of having more than half the bridges in Portland be cross-able after a major earthquake is almost zero to none.  Many would collapse and many more would be damaged. The bridges in the area need serious retrofitting, but issues always arise of the cost being too high to maintain them properly to be ready for an earthquake.

d. Answer the following question: Do you feel better or worse about how well your community is prepared after reading it’s plan?

Better, because I know that people have their careers dedicated to keeping us safe in emergencies in Portland. However, serious changes need to occur to fund replacing or retrofitting ageing infrastructure.

 

SR-22- Cyber Security

An Improvement to the IS-22: Thinking Deeper on Cyber Terrorism

Many people don’t think of disasters such as flooding to be human caused, but just acts of nature that humans try to avoid. However, in this time period, with everything connected to computers, having security not just physically in person, but online, is essential to prevent human caused disasters. Infrastructure like nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams could be damaged and disaster could strike if necessary steps aren’t taken to ensure it’s controls aren’t subject to meddling for terrorists online.

How can we stop this from occurring?  SR-22 needs to go more in depth on what an remain connected online, and what shouldn’t be controllable online. Too much can be controlled remotely now for convenience, but this all comes at a cost to security.

Although I’m sure there are protocols that aren’t discussed present for every site, I feel like if something could compromise security and lead to a disaster occurring, it has no reason being on a computer attached to the online world. It should be on a computer without internet capabilities, and restricted access to avoid disaster.

Although thankfully the United States hasn’t experienced a cyber security breach that lead to  a massive disaster, the Y2K event highlighted how important this subject is because so many systems around the US and the world rely on computers to operate, and their failure could result in unimaginable harm.

 

My own preparedness (and issues!)

Hi all

This is a little late but I feel like I should at least post about my own family’s preparedness and issues. The holes I see in my family are: no great communication plan, inadequate water storage, fluctuating levels of stored food, we don’t always have spare gas for the generator, and incomplete first aid supplies.

The ways in which we are well-prepared include: generator and plug in on the circuit breaker, with a switch to cut off the generator to the line power, great defensible space (house is surrounded by a lawn), ample camping gear and supplies for cold weather, woodstove for back up heat and a healthy wood pile, plenty of light sources (headlamps, LED battery lights).

We are currently making some improvements mostly related to improving our defensible space. Our power line runs behind our house and we have a bunch of older aspen and poplar trees that routinely break and fall on the power line. This is a fire hazard and also can knock out power to a lot of houses in our neighborhood! We just marked a whole new bunch of trees for removal – just waiting for GVEA now to do their part! They are too dangerous for us to remove ourselves, but at least we are in the queue now. Still more improvements to go, first of all – communication plan is needed!

Assignment #4- Unit 8

a. Was it easy or difficult to find your community’s plan? Describe how long it took, or in the extreme case, that you never actually found it online.

It was relatively easy to find it. I do not live in an incorporated city. So I took a look at the web site for the Kenai Peninsula Borough. They are using a new web site, and I was not familiar with the new site. There was a quick link to the old one. There I was able to enter a search for “emergency management”. After that, I sifted through the “2-1-1” and fema links to find the info I was looking for that the borough created.

b. Describe one thing you think shows your community is well-prepared in case of a disaster.

Recently the borough had discovered that the early warning system was inaccurate and delayed. This discovery was made when a tsunami warning was given to everyone in the borough and not the desired targeted areas. Every cell phone and reverse 911 land line got a warning for a tsunami, when only a hand full of communities were intended and needed to have the warning. They have since found a new vendor for this service. Testing of the new system have proved it to be prompt, accurate and reliable. These warnings are used for earth quake, tsunami, volcano and wild land fires.

c. Describe one way you think an improvement could be made to your community’s plan.

The biggest threat historically to the area is wildfire. There is not any thing in the formal plan about this. The borough should work with the division of forestry to have “drive by’s” done and letters mailed to home owners with a grading of how fire wise their homes are. Fire wise is a program used by the DOF to help people keep their homes safe from wildfire. This non invasive means of helping specific residents would cost little, take little time and could lead to an improvement.

d. Answer the following question: Do you feel better or worse about how well your community is prepared after reading it’s plan?

I am indifferent. When the rubber meets the road, every one is responsible for them selves. They have the plan because they should. But I don’t trust in their ability to actually do more than inform me that something is happening as opposed to actually helping me mitigate the problem at my door step.

e. Read through all the other student’s posts and comment on the one that you think shows the best prepared community of all. =)

Unit 8, Assignment 3: Preparedness Improvement

Honestly, my pre-improvement emergency preparedness is pretty low. I have a little bit of camping equipment, such as a stove, water filter, and sleeping bag, but in terms of actual supplies I’m definitely underprepared. I think that the biggest gaps in my emergency preparedness are the lack of food and water at my house in the event of an emergency where I get cut off from the road.

My improvement to my emergency preparedness was to buy three gallons of purified water to keep under my sink in case the water doesn’t work anymore.

Hopefully I never have to use it! Also, I set a reminder on my phone to switch out the bottles in 6 months so that I’m sure it’s good water if the need does arise.

Unit 8, Assign. 4, Clatskanie OR, Preparedness

I originated from Oregon in the Columbia County area. They have a Preparedness Plan website

Finding website: Found in the first few minutes. Had various other links for different parts of being ready.

Part done well: Family Preparedness

The Website has several good links about how to be prepared for a disaster as a family.  Such steps are getting children aware and engaged about the threat. Another method was making disaster kits and preparing a house for any sort of disaster.

Part that needed improvement: Consolidate Information

Even though there is a lot of informational links on the page, I feel like they should put it all together on one page. Specially the main page.

How I feel about how prepared my past communities is:

I would think it was fine from a outsiders perspective but since I have family still in the area, I feel the site should focus on displaying key factors about preparing, surviving, recovering from a disaster. I lived in the area till I was 16 and never saw this webpage. I was taught about disasters and how to be prepared for one in school though.

Unit 8, Assign. 3, Preparedness

1 Improvement to the IS-22:  Water Filter before and after a  Disaster

Image result for water filter

The water in Alaska Fairbanks is not very great, to begin with. Due to high amount certain chemicals. The University of Alaska Fairbanks released a series of emails to students and faculty talking about how the tap water had an abnormal amount of Trihalomethanes (TTHM). TTHM are four volatile organic chemicals which form when disinfectants react with natural organic matter in the water. People who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.  This is not the only abnormal amount of chemicals found in the Fairbanks tap water.

High amounts of certain metals have been identified in the water along with certain chemicals accosted with the military improperly disposing of harmful toxins in the past. Needless to say, people normally filter their water in Fairbanks.

Because of this, I own two water pitchers to feel better about drinking the tap water. While I was taking a drink of water, I suddenly realized how useful the water pitcher would be if I ever was is in a disaster event that cut the clean water supply to me. I could simply use the pitchers to clean water of dirty and up to fine-grained particles and metals. I would make sure to still boil the water if I could because I am not sure the filter in the pitcher would get rid of microscopic threats. However, if worse comes to worse, I will at least have mostly clean water to drink till a recovery plan is made.

Pre-Improvement and Post-Improvement Photos

The nice part of living on campus is we have fire and police department on campus along with most of the dorms and apartments on campus have fire alarms systems

The nice part of living on campus is we have fire and police department on campus along with most of the dorms and apartments on campus have fire alarms systems

Re-analyzing my can food stock that has a range of nourishing factors from the food triangle. After reviewing, I went and got the parts of the triangle I was missing

Checking my water pitcher filter qualities to see if it would be safe to filter mudwater

Preparedness in my community: San Clemente, CA

I chose to do some research on the city I graduated from high school in. It is a beach city prone to tsunami and earthquake hazards in southern California. It is also susceptible to wildfires and a not so natural hazard, the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

San Clemente City website

a. Was it easy or difficult to find your community’s plan? Describe how long it took, or in the extreme case, that you never actually found it online.

The emergency plan, or I should say plans, were easy to find. It was the first thing to pop up on a google search.

b. Describe one thing you think shows your community is well-prepared in case of a disaster

The city has an alarm system set up for the case of a tsunami warning.

c. Describe one way you think an improvement could be made to your community’s plan.

It could include maps with routes to evacuate in cases of fire or nuclear meltdown and safe spots in the case of a tsunami.

d. Answer the following question: Do you feel better or worse about how well your community is prepared after reading it’s plan?

After seeing what they had to offer on their website and the recommendations they make to prepare prior to a natural disaster is very reassuring.

 

Unit 8 assignment 3

 

Previously I didn’t have much in the way of hazard preparedness besides the things I already had for day to day use.  Living in Alaska  means I already had plenty of warm clothing and things to sleep with. I also already have a lot of camping gear; flashlight, sleeping bag, tent, portable cookware. I decided that in order to step up my preparedness to make an emergency kit. Things I added to my kit are non perishable food items (this is very important), a fire extinguisher, compass, a tool kit, and butane for my portable stove top.