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September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), and the theme for this year is: "Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare". There are also weekly themes, so each week we'll be sharing tips and information concerning the following on our Facebook and Twitter pages (be sure to Like and Follow us):
Week 1 - How to Reconnect with Family After a Disaster
Week 2 - How to Plan for Specific Needs Before a Disaster (youth and children, business, organizations, those with disabilities, pets, etc.)
Week 3 - How to Build An Emergency Kit
Week 4 & 5 - How to Practice for an Emergency
For more details about National Preparedness Month please visit: www.ready.gov/september or @Readygov on Twitter. And if you haven't already signed up to receive text alerts during an emergency from the City, please do so today at SMCAlert.info. The Director of Emergency Services, Randy Breault, will also be providing the City Council with a presentation about National Preparedness Month at the September 2, 2014 Council Meeting. Last weekend's earthquake in Napa makes this all the more timely, as we clearly saw it is not a matter of "if", it is a matter of "when" a disaster will strike!
The City just received notice that Sector San Francisco had received several notifications in reference to a brown/red substance in the Bay Area and off shore. This substance is RED TIDE algal bloom. CA Fish & Game indicated this substance is moving into the area, which is why we wanted to inform you of it now. Do not be alarmed, it is NOT the result of an oil or hazardous material spill. Please see the below photo that was confirmed ride tide last week in the Oakland Estuary. If you're interested in learning more about red tide, please click here.
San Mateo County residents watching television or listening to the radio on the morning of Wednesday, November 9, will hear the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
The 11 a.m. test will provide local, state and federal authorities the opportunity to ensure vital safety information can be communicated from the nation’s capital to the public via television and radio broadcasters and cable operators.
No action will be needed on the part of the public. The test will look very much like standard emergency alerts and will begin with three tones and the words, “This is a test.”
Federal officials will initiate the three and half minute test from Washington, D.C. and it will activate Emergency Alert System across the nation. Once the test is completed, regular programming will resume and broadcasters, cable, and satellite providers will provide the FCC with details of their participation.
- Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.
- You will hear the familiar Emergency Alert System tone and a voice say “this is a test,” and potentially see a message on your television
- It will last less than 4 minutes
- No action is needed or required on the part of the public
Although the public is not required to take any action during the test, San Mateo County officials recommend residents to take the opportunity to review their own emergency plans and to update emergency supplies. County officials also urged residents to sign up for to receive local emergency alerts at www.SMCAlert.info
SMC ALERT is an alert notification system used to immediately contact you during urgent or emergency situations with useful information and updates by sending text messages to your e-mail accounts and cell phones, smartphones and other hand-held devices.
Contact: San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services, (650) 363-4955.
Flu season is here and with new cases of the flu now confirmed, San Mateo County Health officials urge everyone ages 6 months and older to get a flu shot. In addition to healthcare providers, retail stores and pharmacies, such as Costco and Walgreens, also have seasonal flu vaccine available. For people who do not have a healthcare provider, the Health System and partner organizations are now offering the flu vaccine at clinics throughout the County. Click here to see the list of flu shot clinic locations. No appointment is necessary for these clinics, and no I.D. is required. Some clinics may request a small donation. The next nearest clinic, in terms of date and location, is being held in South San Francisco this Sunday, 11/6 at St. Augustine's Church (3700 Callan Blvd.) from 10:00am - 3:00pm.
For more information about the flu, and for a schedule of Health System-sponsored vaccine clinics in San Mateo County, visit www.smhealth.org/flu/vaccines, or call (650) 573-3927.
September marks not only back to school, but National Preparedness Month.
Recent weather events such as Hurricane Irene, the earthquake on the East Coast, and other natural disasters highlight the need for Americans to prepare for emergencies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, the Ad Council and Google Crisis Response are collaborating to launch a new preparedness web resource, Get Tech Ready on behalf of the Ready.gov campaign.
Released just before the start of National Preparedness Month, this new resource educates individuals and families about how using modern-day technology can help them prepare, adapt, and recover from disruptions brought on by emergencies or disasters.
Get Tech Ready provides Americans with tips on how to use technological resources before, during, and after a crisis to communicate with loved ones and manage one's financial affairs. Preparedness tips on the website include:
- Learning how to send updates via text and internet from your mobile phone to your contacts and social channels in case voice communications are not available;
- Storing your important documents such as personal and financial records in the cloud or on a secure and remote area or flash or jump drive that you can keep readily available so they can be accessed from anywhere; and
- Creating an Emergency Information Document using the Ready Family Emergency Plan [ http://www.ready.gov/translations/makeaplan/ ] to record your emergency plans.
You can also check out the FEMA blog, which is made available in English and Spanish.
Launched in 2003, National Preparedness Month is designed to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies throughout the year. The "Ready" campaign was also launched in 2003 by FEMA in partnership with the Ad Council. Since its launch, media outlets have donated more than $900 million in advertising time and space for the PSAs. The new PSAs will air in advertising time that will be entirely donated by the media.
It's nice to know that the media corporations are taking Emergency Preparedness seriously. Now - it's your turn.
If you were here in Brisbane in 2008, you most certainly recall the wild fire that started near Quarry Road and burned its way through Owl and Buckeye Canyons on San Bruno Mtn. More than 200 residents were forced to evacuate that Sunday evening, with the fast-burning fire ultimately charring an estimated 300 acres among the two ridges. It wasn't until late afternoon on Monday that the fire was able to be contained. Fortunately, the nighttime fog that moved in on Sunday evening, coupled with the hard work of local and regional firefighters that worked into the night prevented any homes or structures from being burned...but some on Trinity came dangerously close.
This is why the City's Office of Emergency Services, in partnership with North County Fire Authority, conduct the annual Community Wildfire Awareness exercise each year. This year's exercise will take place on Saturday, May 21, 2011, from 9:00am - 11:00am. No one is being asked to evacuate during this drill, but those residents living on Trinity Road and Kings Road (up to the midpoint of the 100 block) should expect a knock on their door during this awareness event. Firefighters will be personally delivering information to these homes, as their properties are adjacent to the "Wildland Urban Interface". What the firefighters also want to make sure these residents know is that in the event of an ordered evacuation, residents are to proceed to the City's Residential Assembly Point, located in the parking lot next to the Sierra Point Yacht Club at the Brisbane Marina (500 Sierra Point Parkway). This is where emergency personnel will be located to assist community members, and provide information regarding a city shelter, if one is needing to be opened.
Please note, there may be some disruption to traffic flow in the City during 9:00am - 11:00am, as there will be emergency equipment operating in town, including the possibility of a CAL FIRE helicopter. Please spread the word to your neighbors, so that no one is unintentionally frightened with the sound of a chopper flying overhead. It was this type of helicopter that made trips back and forth from the bay, dropping buckets of water to help douse the flames.
Brisbane is committed to the protection of life, property, and the environment. With your assistance, we will continue to improve the public and private response to emergencies and the natural disasters we all could face. If you have any questions regarding the Community Wildfire Awareness Exercise, please call the Director of Emergency Services, Randy Breault, at (415) 508-2131, or Frank Panacci, Deputy Fire Chief, at (650) 991-8138.
The 7th Annual San Mateo County Disaster Preparedness Day is being combined this year with the San Mateo County Fair! Taking place on Day 1 of the County Fair - Saturday, June 11th - families and youth of all ages will be well-served. Take a free and fast course in basic CPR, get emergency kit and disaster plan instructions, and watch first-aid, Police, Fire, and emergency equipment demonstrations. The Brisbane Office of Emergency Services (OES) and our Community Emergency Volunteers (CEVs) will be participating in the event, which takes place at the San Mateo County Event Center (2495 S. Delaware St., San Mateo). Click here to view the flyer, and here to view the flyer in Spanish. Make sure you get there early (before 11:00am) to take advantage of FREE parking and FREE admission to the Fair!
They say, "Timing is everything." When spoken in regards to earthquakes, the effect can be bone-chiling. Consider this: four major earthquakes have taken place worldwide in the span of just over a year, starting with the catastrophic magnitude-7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, followed just one month later on February 27th with the magnitude-8.8 earthquake devastated Chile. Then, almost exactly one year later, on February 22, 2011, a magnitude-6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand. And, of couse, Japan a few weeks ago on March 11th was rocked by a 9.0 earthquake in its northeast region. An article published on www.newsweek.com, entitled, "The Scariest Earthquake is Yet to Come", states that three corners of the Pacific plate have been hit with recent earthquakes - the northwest with Japan's quake, the southwest with New Zealand, and the southeast with Chile. That leaves just one point - the northeast - or, more specifically, the San Francisco Bay Area, unaffected.
While that is very sobering to hear, perhaps even frightening, the truth of the matter is this: we live in a beautiful and picturesque region of the state, but the Bay Area is also home to a number of fault lines, most notable being the San Andreas and the Hayward Fault. Check out the below eye-opening video to see just how much destruction an earthquake would cause if one were to strike the Bay Area today.
While it is true that earthquakes, unlike tornadoes and hurricanes, know no season – April is observed as National Earthquake Preparedness month. For our protection and for the protection of our families, we need to take specific earthquake precautions so that we can be prepared when disaster strikes. Click here to be taken to the Specific Disasters section of City's Office of Emergency Services webpage to see what you need to do before, during, and after an earthquake. We hope you not only find the information useful, but that it moves you to action in preparing for the next "big one", because, It could be here before we know it.
Our hearts go out to the people in Japan who suffered mass destruction and devastation last night when an 8.9 earthquake hit off the coast of Japan - the largest to ever be recorded on the island nation. Dozens of aftershocks have followed since, along with a tsunami, which isn't uncommon after such a great mass movement of the earth. The underwater earthquake went on for over 3 minutes...triggering tsunami alerts to faraway coastal regions, even here - the San Francisco Bay Area.
The San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services earlier this morning issued a voluntary alert for Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Pescadero and other coast side communities. There is NO THREAT to Bay side communities, which includes Brisbane. However, emergency crews are asking the public NOT TO gather or drive towards the coastal area/beaches at this time as this can interfere with their evacuation efforts.
Thank you for your assistance to our neighboring communities.
A recent update from CalEMA and the National Weather Service indicates that snow is expected at sea level on the Bayside Friday afternoon and evening, and there is a concern regarding the potential for "black ice" on roadways on Saturday night.
Now would be a good time to ensure you have at least half a tank of gas in your vehicle, that your car has an emergency preparedness kit (including a warm jacket), and that you have a cell phone charger.
Tomorrow's evening commute will be a mess - drive safe and slow. To the extent possible, avoid driving Friday and Saturday evening.
Sandbags continue to be made available at the Brisbane Public Works Corporation Yard, located at the junction of Lagoon & Tunnel Rd. To learn how to lay sandbags in an area you want to protect, click here.
Be safe out there this weekend!
Are you Ready? Starting October 5th, we will be opening our Community Emergency Response Team training to all Residents and Employees of Brisbane. This FEMA-developed training course was previoulsy only available to Community Emergency Volunteers (CEVs). For the first time, this course is now available to all interested parties. This eight-module series of two-hour classes will be held from 7pm-9pm (please check the flyer for location of each class). Attendance at all classes is suggested, but not required. This is your chance to make sure you and your family are ready should a disaster happen in our town.
September is National Preparedness Month and this year the Ready Campaign, partnered with the Ad Council and the Weather Channel, is spreading the emergency preparedness message to as many households as possible by launching a new series of public service announcements (PSAs) asking all Americans to participate in National Preparedness Month by preparing themselves for the full range of hazards threatening the United States including natural disasters, cyber attacks, pandemic disease, and acts of terrorism. This year marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the most tragic and destructive disasters in American history. In remembrance of this national tragedy, we must reaffirm our commitment to readiness and the necessity of preparedness.
By empowering Americans with information about the risks we face, we can all take concrete actions to protect ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Ready Campaign provides simple and practical steps every American can take to be better prepared. Some of these simple and practical steps start with attending the 6th Annual San Mateo County Disaster Preparedness Day, Visiting the Public Safety Pavilion at the Brisbane Day in the Park on October 2nd, vesting our Disaster Preparedness Section, and/or simply purchasing an Emergency Preparedness Kit. Remember, each month OES will publish a tip of the month to help you with Emergency Preparedness tips.
July’s tip of the month is to arrange an out-of-area contact person and complete an out-of-area contact card for each of your family members.
During disasters, phone services and other means of communications often become disrupted. Anxiety adds to the stress of the event as you wonder if your loved ones are safe. An out-of-area contact can ease worry regarding your family’s well-being.
If you are separated from your loved ones when disaster strikes, you will wonder how and where they are. The stress of the event may make it difficult to remember information as routine as phone numbers. We recommend every family member in your household have an out-of-area contact card in their wallet, purse, or backpack at all times.
Ask an out of area-of-area friend or family member to be your contact person. This is the person each of your family members will call to let them know how and where they are. This information will be relayed back to each of your family members as they call and report their status as well.
Phone lines were “hardened” years ago to withstand nuclear attacks and are quite resistant to damage. It’s difficult to make local calls not because of damage, but because of the number of people that are trying to make phone calls at the same time. However, you are typically able to make long distance calls. You should always keep a phone at home that does not require electricity. Cordless phones require electricity! If the power is out – your cordless phone is out!
Pay phones are part of the emergency services network, and are a priority to be restored to service. Tape coins needed to use a pay phone to your out-of-area contact card so you are always able to make a call if a disaster strikes.
Cellular phone systems may be damaged or overwhelmed during a disaster. Since texting takes up much less of the wireless system capacity than voice-to-voice call, you may be able to get through by texting when the system is unable to make or receive calls.
Print the City of Brisbane's Out-of-Area Contact Card. Complete this card and give one to each of your family members. Remember to tape the necessary coins to to if just in case you need to use a pay phone!
With Fire Season approaching our tip of the Month for May is to participate in our 4th Annual Wildland Fire Evacuation Drill Participation will improve Brisbane's safety preparations in two ways. First, you will learn the City's evacuation and assembly plan for residents, which may prove to be life-saving information in case of a real emergency. Second, your voluntary evacuation will provide public safety personnel the real-world challenges of directing outbound residential traffic and inbound fire protection equipment. This is also an opportunity to test your own personal evacuation plan and family reunification plan which may also prove to be life-saving during a real emergency.
North County Fire Authority (NCFA) and Brisbane Office of Emergency Services will simulate an ordered evacuation of Sierra Point Road residents (between Humboldt Road and San Benito Road) on Saturday May 22nd, 2010 starting at 9am. Evacuation of Sierra Point Residents is completely voluntary, but your participation will help improve Brisbane's safety preparations. Although we are only evacuating residents on Sierra Point Road, all Brisbane residents are welcome to participate. Starting at approximatley 9am, Police will start the evacuation of Sierra Point Residents using loud speakers. Listen for the evacuation order and head to either the Sierra Point Yacht club (if you choose to evacuate by car) or to the Community Park (if you choose to evacuate on foot) to be checked in at the Residential Assembly Point.
October 2009 Flu Season Starts Oct 1st
October 1st starts the beginning of flu season and this year flu season is much more complex than other years with the arrival of the H1N1 (swine) flu. It is more important than ever to stay informed and take steps to help lessen the effects of the flu in our community. There are three steps you can take to help prevent yourself and others from getting the regular (seasonal) flu or H1N1 (swine) flu.
- Get a flu shot
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid contact with sick people
There are things you can do to protect yourself and others from the flu by reading the “What’s New with the Flu” brochure from the San Mateo County Health Department.
September 2009 6th Annual National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month and this year the 5th Annual San Mateo County Disaster Preparedness Day, Visiting the Public Safety Pavilion at the Brisbane Day in the Park on October 3rd, visting our Disaster Preparedness Section, and/or simply purchasing an Emergency Preparedness Kit from City Hall. Remember, each month OES will publish a tip of the month to help you with Emergency Preparedness tips.
North County Fire Authority (NCFA) and the City's Office of Emergency Services (OES) will simulate an ordered evacuation of Humboldt Road Residents (between Solano Road and Glen Park Way) starting at 9AM on Saturday May 16, 2009. Participation is completely voluntary and if you choose to participate, please follow the directions of the public safety personnel and drive to the Residential Assembly Point located near the Sierra Point Yacht Club at the Sierra Point Marina. Should you need to evacuate on foot, there will be an assembly point at the Community Park, along with transportation to the Residential Assembly Point at the Marina.
April 2009 Swine Flu Information
The human swine flu outbreak continues to grow in the United States and internationally. According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as of April 28 there have been 64 laboratory confirmed cases in the United States; 11 of which, San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services (SMC OES) reports, are in California. There have been no reported cases in the Bay Area or San Mateo County. SMC OES is working closely with the State and CDC, along with neighboring counties to slow the spread of the swine flu. The presentation of the swine flu is very similar to regular seasonal flu (fever, sore throat, cough, congestion, and muscle aches). We must all continue to take the same preventative measures we took during this past seasonal flu
- Cover your nose and mouth with tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your nose and mouth. Germs spread that way.
- Try to avoid contact with sick people. Influenza in spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
- Stay home when you are sick or wear a mask when out in public.
April is Earthquake Preparedness Month
This month's devastating earthquake in Italy, along with the earthquake we encountered here in the Bay Area in March, reminds us of the importance of being prepared for an earthquake here in Brisbane. Are you prepared if we had an earthquake tomorrow? Visit our news section and learn about getting a kit and making a plan. You can also visit our specific disaster section and learn about earthquake safety. Here are 10 simple things to think about when preparing for an earthquake:
- Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit in your home, car, and at work.
- Decide where your family will reunite if separated.
- Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers.
- Choose an out of area contact person for your family to report their whereabouts and conditions to. It may be easier to contact an out of area person than it would be to contact a local person if phone lines are busy or down.
- Learn how to shut off gas, water, and electricity in case lines are damaged.
- Keep breakable heavy objects on lower shelves.
- Secure your water heater and appliances that could move.
- Learn the safe spots in your home; under sturdy tables, desks, or against inside walls.
- Learn the danger spots in your home; windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fire places, and tall furniture.
- Conduct practice drills. Practice "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" and physically place your and your family in safe locations. Put your family plan to the test and make sure it works for your family. If not, make necessary adjustments.
March 2009 Earthquake shakes Bay Area
A moderate earthquake shook Northern California today, March 30, at 10:40am. The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake measured a magnitude of 4.3 and centered 11 miles north of the City of Morgan Hill and 16 miles east-southeast of San Jose City Hall. Please read the News Release from San Mateo County OES on Practical Emergency Survial Tips.
October 1st marks the beginning of another flu season. The best prevention of spreading the flu is frequent hand washing. Also avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth and avoid contact with people who are sick. Always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and place your tissue in the trash. View the checklist from the San Mateo County Health Department on things you can do to protect yourself and others from the flu.
Office of Emergency Services will be at "Day in the Park"
Brisbane Office of Emergency Services will be participating at this years Day in the Park. We will be teaming with Brisbane Police Department, North County Fire Authority, Brisbane Community Emergency Volunteers, Red Cross, and San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services to provide information about Emergency Preparedness. Come to the Community Park in Brisbane October 4th 10am-5pm.
This September marks the 5th annual San Mateo County Disaster Preparedness Day Fair, City of Brisbane's Office of Emergency Services National Preparedness Month Presentation on September 24th at Mission Blue, purchasing Emergency Preparedness Kits from City Hall, and visiting the City of Brisbane's Office of Emergency Services webpage to learn how to prepare yourself for possible disasters. You can also view the following four 5 minute instructional video's on emergency preparedness:
How prepared are you for an emergency? Whether it's taking part in a fire drill, listening to the flight attendant's safety talk, or putting together an emergency preparedness kit, there are several simple steps we can all take to improve our odds in an emergency.
Due to the recent Quarry Road fire on San Bruno Mountain, City Staff and Public Safety Personnel will hold a Community Incident Debrief at 9am on Saturday June 28, 2008 at the Sierra Point Marina; 500 Sierra Point Parkway (west of Sierra Point Yacht Club). All members of the community are requested to participate. Lowes Home Improvement will be present to educate residents on California Native Drought Tolerant Fire Safe Plants and their use in creating defensible space.
During the month of April, which is Earthquake Preparedness Month, The Office of Emergency Services, would like to encourage organizations, individuals, and families to have a disaster plan in place. Visit our Disaster Preparedness Section to learn more about creating a disaster plan and our Specific Disaster Section to learn about preparing for an Earthquake. Along with The Red Cross, we recommend that everyone have an Emergency Preparedness Kit at home, in your car, and at your work and office.
To assist with its theme of preparedness in 2008, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security now has four 3-5 minute instructional videos available for viewing on its website: Older Americans, Ready Pets, Americans with Disabilities, and Ready America.
October 1st is the start of flu season and lasts until Spring Time. The best prevention is frequent hand-washing. Take a few minutes to learn how to properly wash your hands to help prevent the spread of the flu at home and work. Click here to view the San Mateo County Public Health Department's influenza preparedness guide.
National Preparedness Month is a nationwide effort to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies. Throughout September, The Office of Emergency Services is encouraging organizations, individuals, and families to prepare themselves by attending events such as the San Mateo County Disaster Preparedness Day Fair, purchasing Emergency Preparedness Kits from City Hall, and visiting the City of Brisbane's Office of Emergency Services webpage to learn how to prepare yourself for possible threats.
3rd Annual San Mateo County Disaster Preparedness Day is September 29, 2007, 10am - 2 pm, at the SMC Event Center. Survival Do's and Don'ts, First-Aid, Police, Fire, School-Site Emergency Plans & Emergency Equipment Demonstrations. Fire, Earthquake, Flood, Terrorism - Is Your Family Ready? Free gifts for the first 1,200 families!!
The City of Brisbane's Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services will be simulating an ordered evacuation of Kings Road residents on July 28th, 2007 from 9am - noon. Participation is completely voluntary but we do encourage you to participate. Look for your "Operation Wildfire" brochure in the mail.
A recent article in Government Technology's publication, Emergency Management, reported that only 7% of the population has taken the three steps the Red Cross considers necessary to be prepared for an emergency:
get a kit, make a plan, and be informed.
Some more surprising results from this poll of 2,500 respondents:
- 90% of Americans who have a disaster kit feel prepared. Yet only 28% actually have a kit.
- 60% of American households have a pet, yet only 37% have a plan for their pets during a disaster.
So, knowing all this, what can you do?
Watch this 20-minute tutorial online from the Red Cross.
Locally, the summer brings fire danger and menacing "earthquake weather" - please take the time to prepare your family for the disaster we can only hope never arrives. Remember, Red Cross 3-Day Emergency Preparedness Kits are available for purchase at a discounted rate to Brisbane citizens and employees of Brisbane businesses. Just stop on by City Hall!
For more information on how to prepare yourself and your family in the event of an earthquake, please visit any or all of the first 6 sites listed under
Cold Weather News Release from the State OES
Take action to protect yourself and your family against severe cold and freezing temperatures, set to drop into the 20s and 30s Wed&Thurs, 1/10-1/11.
See the Emergency Supplies Checklist below for more tips:
Emergency Supplies Checklist (State OES)
Wondering how you can better serve your community in the New Year? Well, if you would like to participate in raising community awareness of emergency responses, update your training in areas of emergency operations and management, or become certified in CPR and Standard First Aid, amongst many other value-adding activities, then you might just want to contact the Brisbane Fire Department about becoming a CEV! (415) 468-7190.
If you would like more information about what you can do to stop the flu this season, visit the San Mateo County Health Department's website.
For more information about winter storm preparedness, visit FEMA's website.
Winter Storm Info for Kids, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency
Give a hand and help to maintain one of the 400+ inlets in Brisbane!
** City residents may pick up sandbags free of charge at the City Hall parking lot, 50 Park Place.**
With Fire Season approaching our tip of the Month for May is to participate in our 4th Annual Wildland Fire Evacuation Drill. Participation will improve Brisbane's safety preparations in two ways. First, you will learn the City's evacuation and assembly plan for residents, which may prove to be life-saving information in case of a real emergency. Second, your voluntary evacuation will provide public safety personnel the real-world challenges of directing outbound residential traffic and inbound fire protection equipment. This is also an opportunity to test your own personal evacuation plan and family reunification plan which may also prove to be life-saving during a real emergency.
This month's tip of the month is to sign up for SMC Alert. SMC Alert is San Mateo County's Community Alert Notification System that is used to immediately contact you during urgent or emergency situations with useful information and updates by sending text messges to your email (home and/or work), cell phones, pagers, and/or smartphones/handheld devices. When registering for SMC Alert you will have the option to pick which city or town you would like to receive alerts for - make sure you click Brisbane! To register simply go to www.smcalert.info.
As we review the earthquake devastation in Haiti and extend our heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery from their suffering, the city suggests that each of its citizens review their individual disaster preparedness plans, and we specifically ask you to complete the Residential Survey Form so that we will be better able to assist you if a disaster happens.
As we approach the end of 2009, we would like to remind everyone to make Emergency Preparedness part of your New Years Resolution. We would like to help make your Emergency Preparedness New Years Resolutions a reality by providing important information and tools to help you succeed. Our tips for 2009 include Getting a Kit, Making a Plan, and Being Informed about potential disasters in our area. Being informed about the potential disasters you may encounter is the beginning step to understanding Emergency Preparedness. In 2010, we will continue to give you tips each month - something small you can do to help you become and stay more prepared. Brisbane Office of Emergency Services would like to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Holiday Season.
This November, we would like you to Be Informed about the H1N1 (Swine) Flu. The regular (seasonal) flu comes every year. With the spread of the H1N1 (swine) flu virus, many more people may get sick. That’s why it’s important to help stop the spread of the flu, to recognize signs of the flu, and know what treatment you should use if you get the flu. There are three steps you can take to help prevent yourself and others from getting the regular and H1N1 flu:
1. Get the Flu Shot! This is the first and most important step to protect against getting the regular flu. A new vaccine for the H1N1 (swine) flu may be available soon.
2. Avoid the Flu Virus! The H1N1 (swine) flu is spread from person to person the same way as the regular flu, by coughing, sneezing, or touching something with the flu virus on it, such as a desk, doorknob, or telephone, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Take these steps daily to avoid getting or spreading the flu virus:
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you sneeze or cough and throw the tissue away.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol hand cleanser, especially after you cough or sneeze.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth – germs spread this way.
· If you are healthy, try to avoid contact with sick people.
· If you get the flu, stay home until your fever is gone for at least 24 hours (without needing to take any medicine to stop your fever).
3. Be aware and be prepared! Avoid contact with anyone that is sick. Follow the advice of health officials who will notify the public about sending children home from school or childcare and cancellation of other public events. The symptoms for both the regular flu and H1N1 (swine) flu are similar:
· High fever, chills, and body aches
· Muscle aches
· Sore throat
· Dry Cough
· Runny nose or stuffy nose
· Very tired
· Sometimes nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
If you or someone you know get the regular flu or H1N1 (swine) flu you should:
· Get plenty of rest
· Stay home and away from people
· Drink plenty of clear fluids, such as water or juice
· Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco
· Take medicine to relieve flu symptoms such as Advil
· Write down information like medications and date and
time of symptoms
· Call the Doctor if Symptoms get worse
(See below for Emergency Warning Signs)
Emergency Warning Signs - Children:
· Fast breathing or trouble breathing
· Blue or gray skin color
· Not drinking enough fluids
· Severe or constant vomiting
· Not waking up or interacting
· Being irritable and not wanting to be held
· Symptoms improve but return with fever & bad cough
Emergency Warning Signs - Adults:
· Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
· Pain or pressure in chest or stomach
· Fever does not improve with over-the-counter medicine
· Sudden dizziness or confusion
· Severe or constant vomiting or diarrhea
· Symptoms improve but return with fever & bad cough
Fall began September 22, 2009 and we have had several Thunder and Lightning Storms this year. For October we would like you to be informed about Thunderstorms, Lightning, and Power Outages.
In the United States, lightning kills 300 people and injures 80 on average, each year. All thunderstorms produce lightning and all have the potential for danger. Those dangers can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, wildfires and flash flooding, which is responsible for more fatalities than any other thunderstorm-related hazard.
Lightning's risk to individuals and property is increased because of its unpredictability, which emphasizes the importance of preparedness. It often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a thunderstorm hazard
- A thunderstorm watch means there is a possibility of a thunderstorm in your area.
- A thunderstorm warning means a thunderstorm is occurring or will likely occur soon. If you are advised to take shelter, do so immediately.
Prepare Your Home
- Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
Power outages can happen at any time, not just during Thunder and Lightning Storms, and can last for hours or even days. It is important to always be prepared for a power outage. The following list will help you prepare your home and family for when a power outage strikes.
- Fill plastic containers with water, leaving about an inch of space inside each one for the frozen water to expand. Place the containers in the refrigerator and freezer. This chilled or frozen water will help keep food cold for several hours if the power goes out.
- If you use medication that requires refrigeration, most can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist.
- Back up computer files and operating systems. Consider buying extra batteries and a power converter if you use a laptop computer.
- Turn off all computers, monitors, printers, copiers, scanners and other electronic devices when they are not being used.
- Get a high-quality surge protector for your electronic equipment.
- If you have an electric garage door opener, find out where the manual release lever is located and learn how to operate it.
- If you have a telephone at home or at work that requires electricity to work (such as a cordless phone), plan for alternate communication, including having a standard telephone handset, cellular telephone, radio or pager.
- Keep your car fuel tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power the pumps.
- Remember that equipment such as automated teller machines (ATMs) may not work during a power outage, so make sure you have extra cash at home.
- Know if you live in an area that has rolling blackouts. A rolling blackout occurs when a power company turns off electricity to selected areas to save power. The blackouts are typically for one hour, then the power is restored and another area is turned off. Hospitals, airport control towers, police stations, and fire departments are often exempt from these rolling blackouts. They can happen at any time of day and may affect the same area more than once a day.
With the recent Hazardous Material response in South San Francisco which ended up being an ammonia leak at the Columbus Salami plant, we wanted to you to be informed about Hazardous Material Spills/Chemical Leaks for September.
A chemical spill or leak is the release of a toxic gas, liquid or solid that can poison people and the environment.
Possible Signs of Chemical Threat
- Many people suffering from watery eyes, twitching, choking, having trouble breathing or losing coordination.
- Many sick or dead birds, fish or small animals are also cause for suspicion.
If You See Signs of Chemical spill or leak: Find Clean Air Quickly
- Quickly try to define the impacted area or where the chemical is coming from, if possible.
- Take immediate action to get away and call 911.
- If the chemical is inside a building where you are, get out of the building without passing through the contaminated area, if possible.
- If you can't get out of the building or find clean air without passing through the area where you see signs of a chemical spill or leak, it may be better to move as far away as possible and shelter in place.
- If you are outside, quickly decide the fastest way to find clean air. Consider if you can get out of the area or if you should go inside the closest building and "shelter-in-place."
If You Think You Have Been Exposed to a Chemical
If your eyes are watering, your skin is stinging, and you are having trouble breathing, you may have been exposed to a chemical.
- If you think you may have been exposed to a chemical, strip immediately and wash.
- Call 911
- Look for a hose, fountain, or any source of water, and wash with soap if possible, being sure not to scrub the chemical into your skin.
- Seek emergency medical attention
On June 11, 2009 the H1N1 (swine flu) was officially declared a pandemic flu so for August we would like you to Be Informed about Pandemic Flu and Flu Awareness. You should know both the magnitude of what can happen during a pandemic outbreak and what actions you can take to help lessen the impact of an influenza pandemic on you and your family. Ready.gov recommends the following checklist that will help you gather the information and resources you may need in case of pandemic flu.
Plan for a pandemic:
- Store a two week supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters.
- Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
- Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
- Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
Limit the spread of germs and prevent infection both during a pandemic and during regular flu season:
- Avoid close contact.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
- Clean your hands.
- Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits.
- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
This July we would like you to Be Informed about Fires. According to FEMA, more than 4,000 Americans die and more than 20,000 are injured as a result of fires - many of which can be prevented. Preparing your home is the first step in surviving and preventing fires. Installing properly working smoke alarms decreases your chances of dying in a fire by 50 percent. Place smoke detectors on every level of your residence - placing them outside each bedroom (on the ceiling or high on the wall), at the top of open stairways, at the bottom of enclosed stairways, and near (but not in) the kitchen. Test and clean your alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year - a good way to remember this is to change the batteries when you change your clocks for day light savings time. It is important to know what to do during a fire - do not waste time gathering valuables or making phone calls. Fires can spread quickly and become life threatening in 2 minutes and engulfing a residence within 5 minutes. Review escape routes with your family and practice escaping from each room. Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut and consider escape ladders if your residence has more than one level. Remember to teach family members to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer in a fire) when escaping a fire.
For the next 7 months (June - December) our tip of the month is - Be Informed. Each month we will provide you with information on a specific emergency/disaster that could happen in Brisbane and how to prepare for them. For June, we want you to be informed about Extreme Heat. With the summer months approaching it is important to know what to do when a heat wave hits the Bay Area. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest the following tips to prevent Heat Related Illnesses:
- Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic); regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink.
- Don't drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar.
- Stay indoors and, if possible, stay in an air-conditioned place.
- Wear lightweight, light colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- NEVER leave anyone, including animals, in a parked vehicle.
You can also prepare your home for Extreme Heat by following Ready America's preparedness tips:
- Install window air conditioners snugly, insulate if necessary.
- Check air conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
- Weather strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
- Cover windows that receive morning and afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers.
Keep in mind that it is better to be prepared for a heat wave than stuck in the middle of one with no plans. City of Brisbane's Office of Emergency Services wishes everyone a safe summer.
The April tip of the month is - Make a Plan. Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes. It is important to plan in advance and consider the following questions: How will you contact one another? How will you get back together if you are separated? Even if your family is together, you need to have a plan - whether it's an evacuation plan or a shelter in place plan. Spend one weekend and put your plan together. Use the Family Emergency Plan Card or the Online Family Emergency Planning Tool to help guide you through your emergency plan. It is always better to be prepared for the unexpected than caught in the middle of a disaster with no plans.
Failing to Plan = Planning to Fail. Your family deserves better!
This year, Brisbane Office of Emergency Services is going to provide simple ideas on how to "Get Ready" in response to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Ready Campaign for 2009. Each month we will provide simple ideas on how you can prepare yourself, your home and your family. In the months to come, we will provide ideas on how to get a kit, make a family plan, and be informed.
The March tip of the month is - Get an Emergency Kit. City Hall has emergency preparedness kits at the Public Works/OES Counter for $52.00. A local Brisbane Company specializes in Emergency Preparedness and Supplies; if you are interested in purchasing emergency kits in bulk for your business/home/employees you can contact Med Life Services at 415.468.8733.
If you are interested in creating your own emergency preparedness kit, follow the Ready Campaign's Emergency Preparedness Supply Kit Checklist. Remember to always customize your emergency kit to your specific needs by using the "Additional Items to consider" checklist.
With the New Year approaching, the U.S. Department of Homeland security’s (DHS) Ready Campaign is reminding American’s to Resolve to be Ready in 2009. Resolve to be Ready is a nationwide effort designed to encourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to take action and prepare for emergencies in the New Year.
Being Ready for emergencies can be an easy new year’s resolution to keep by following the Ready Campaign’s three simple steps: 1) Get an emergency preparedness Kit; 2) Make a family emergency plan; and 3) Be informed about the types of emergencies that can happen in your area and their appropriate responses.
By taking these three steps – in particular having an emergency preparedness kit both at home and in the car – Americans will be prepared for winter mainstays like power outages and icy roads. Each of these kits should include basic necessities such as water, food, and first aid supplies to help you survive if you are without power or become stranded in your vehicle. You can also visit the OES Specfic Disaster's section to learn about potential disaster's and how to prepare for them.