How many Utahns participated in 2012?


How many are in for 2013?


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Emergency Planning and Checklists

We recently went over what can happen and how to prepare your own community to better respond to emergencies, as well as preparing your family by creating a family multi-disaster plan. You can begin this process by gathering your family together to discuss the different hazards, warning systems, evacuation plans and other community plans in your area. Discuss with them what you would do if family members are not home when a warning is issued. Additionally, your family plan should address the following.

  • Escape routes.
  • Family communications.
  • Utility shut-off and safety.
  • Insurance and vital records.
  • Special needs.
  • Caring for animals.
  • Safety skills.

Friday, August 20, 2010


The Emergency Alert System (EAS) can address the entire nation on very short notice in case of a grave threat or national emergency. Ask if your local radio and TV stations participate in the EAS.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from a nearby National Weather Service office to specially configured NOAA weather radio receivers. Determine if NOAA Weather Radio is available where you live. If so, consider purchasing a NOAA weather radio receiver.

Ask local authorities about methods used to warn your community.

The above information is found in the FEMA Are You Ready? Guide book.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Getting Informed

-To order your own personal (free) copy of the Are You Ready? Guide book to follow along with B. Ready call FEMA at 1 (800) 480-2520


Learn about the hazards that may strike your community, the risks you face from these hazards, and your community's plans for warning and evacuation. You can obtain this information from your local emergency management office or your local chapter of the American Red Cross.

For the following hazards listed, record the risk level for your area and how you can reduce your risk.

Natural Hazards:
  • Floods
  • Hurricanes
  • Thunderstorms and Lightning
  • Tornadoes
  • Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
  • Extreme Heat
  • Earthquakes
  • Volcanoes
  • Landslides and Debris Flow
  • Tsunamis
  • Fires
  • Wildfires
Technological Hazards:
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Nuclear Power Plants
  • Explosions
  • Biological Threats
  • Chemical Threats
  • Nuclear Blasts
  • Radiological Dispersion Device (RDD)


The Emergency Alert System (EAS) Can address the Nation on a National emergency on a very short notice . Find out if your local radio and TV stations participate in the EAS.

Also National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio (NWR) broadcast a continuous stream of weather information. Find out if NOAA Weather Radio is available in your area and consider buying a NOAA weather Radio receiver.


Evacuations are more common than many people realize. Hundreds of times each year, transportation and industrial accidents release harmful substances, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes. Fires and floods cause evacuations even more frequently. Almost every year, people along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts evacuate in the face of approaching hurricanes.
When community evacuations become necessary, local officials provide information to the public through the media. In some circumstances, other warning methods, such as sirens or telephone calls, also are used. Additionally, there may be circumstances under which you and your family feel threatened or endangered and you need to leave your home, school, or workplace to avoid these situations.

The amount of time you have to leave will depend on the hazard. If the event is a weather condition, such as a hurricane that can be monitored, you might have a day or two to get ready. However, many disasters allow no time for people to gather even the most basic necessities, which is why planning ahead is essential.


Be sure to talk to your local officials and ask them the following questions pertaining to your community's disaster / emergency plans.

Does my community have a plan?
Can I obtain a copy?
What does the plan contain?
How often is it updated?
What should I know about the plan?
What types of hazards does it cover?


It's important to also know your children's school emergency plans as well.
  • Ask how the school will communicate with families during a crisis.
  • Ask if the school stores adequate food, water, and other basic supplies.
  • Find out if the school is prepared to shelter-in-place if need be, and where they plan to go if they must get away.
In cases where schools institute procedures to shelter-in-place, you may not be permitted to drive to the school to pick up your children. Even if you go to the school, the doors will likely be locked to keep your children safe. Monitor local media outlets for announcements about changes in school openings and closings, and follow the directions of local emergency officials.

For more information on developing emergency preparedness plans for schools, please log on to the U.S. Department of Education at


Make sure that your workplace has a building evacuation pan that is regularly practiced.

  • Take a critical look at your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to determine if it is secure or if it could feasibly be upgraded to better filter potential contaminants, and be sure you know how to turn it off if you need to.
  • Think about what to do if your employees can't go home.
  • Make sure you have appropriate supplies on hand.

The above information is found in FEMA's Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness manual.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why Prepare?

There are real benefits to being prepared.

Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. Communities, families, and individuals should know what to do in the event of a fire and where to seek shelter during a tornado. They should be ready to evacuate their homes and take refuge in public shelters and know how to care for their basic medical needs.

People also can reduce the impact of disasters (flooding proofing, elevating a home or moving a home out of harm's way, and securing items that could shake loose in an earthquake) and sometimes avoid the danger completely.

The need to prepare is real.

Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property.

If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere.

You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area -- hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme cold, flooding, or terrorism.

You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


As the month of September approaches (National Preparedness Month) I've felt it a good idea to touch base on the Are You Ready? Guide that FEMA did a few years back. So for the rest of August and into September I will be posting bits and pieces out of the Are You Ready? guide.

Following is a list of different subjects that are discussed in this booklet.

Basic Preparedness Information
Natural Hazards
Technological Hazards
Recovering from Disaster
Water conservation Tips
Disaster Supplies Checklist
Family Communications Plan

Please feel free to comment on anything!

Monday, August 09, 2010

An interesting little survey from Red Cross: Web Users Increasingly Rely on Social Media to Seek Help in a Disaster

Monday, August 02, 2010



A committee required by the Superfund Amendments and Re-authorization Act (SARA), LEPC is made up of representatives from government, industry, elected officials, environmental groups and others. This committee reports to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC). Businesses using or generating certain quantities of materials on the EPA's Extremely Hazardous Substance list must report to the LEPC and their local fire departments. Any business which uses, manufactures, stores or transports hazardous materials is required to have procedures for safe handling of these materials as well as emergency response procedures. The Hazardous Materials Section of the Utah State Fire Marshal's Office is an active participant in the LEPC's throughout the state. Fire departments and other response agencies are also required to have procedures for unexpected or uncontrolled hazardous material spills. Many solids, gasses, liquids used in the production of fuels, medicines, plastics, and other products and processes in our communities are classified as hazardous. Hazardous materials are used stored and transported daily throughout Utah. Under most circumstances, these materials are handled safely, However, when improperly handled, disposed of or released, these substances can become hazardous to people and the environment necessitating coordinated planning for emergencies. The Haz Mat Section of the State Fire Marshal's Office provides Haz Mat training, at no cost to the response community for just such an emergency. Many of the LEPC's statewide have evolved into an "all hazards" planning group. The Department of Public Safety's, Division of homeland Security has become a very important part of the planning efforts of the LEPC's. They have worked with and built upon the plans initially used for hazardous materials response and created useful all hazards plans.

24-Hour "Haz Mat Help Line" 801.256.2499

The above information is also found on our Guide to Personal and Family Preparedness handout.