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Friday, September 30 2011
Posted by: Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency & Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission

Ask anyone who has lived through a significant disaster what that experience was like and – without a doubt – one of the things some people are likely to recall is how difficult it was to communicate from their mobile phones with friends, family and emergency services like 911 in the immediate aftermath.

Many of us were reminded of this last month, when both a 5.8 magnitude earthquake and Hurricane Irene struck parts of the East Coast. People immediately reached for their phones to call loved ones or 911. Unfortunately, in some cases, loss of power made communication difficult.

The FCC and FEMA are doing everything we can to empower the public to be prepared for all emergencies (you can visit www.Ready.gov or www.Listo.gov to learn more). But one of the lessons learned from that August earthquake was that we can do more to educate the public about the most effective ways to communicate before, during and after a disaster.

Today, we are pleased to release a set of new, easy-to-follow tips to help all Americans prepare their homes and mobile phones for a disaster. These tips are practical things everyone can do to better preserve the ability to communicate effectively during – and immediately after – a disaster.

While we don’t have control over when or where the next disaster will strike, we do have control over what we do to prepare. Check out these tips and please, take one more step and share it with your networks. Use Twitter, Facebook, email or a good old-fashioned phone call to help us spread the word – and help more Americans get ready before the next disaster strikes.

And remember, if you have a question about your particular mobile phone device, contact your wireless provider or equipment manufacturer.

Before a Disaster: How to Prepare Your Home and Mobile Device
  1. Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers in your cell phone and in or near your home phone.
  2. Keep charged batteries and car-phone chargers available for back-up power for your cell phone.
  3. If you have a traditional landline (non-broadband or VOIP) phone, keep at least one non-cordless phone in your home because if it will work even if you lose power.
  4. Prepare a family contact sheet. This should include at least one out-of-town contact that may be better able to reach family members in an emergency.
  5. Program “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you if you are unable to use your phone. Let your ICE contacts know that they are programmed into your phone and inform them of any medical issues or other special needs you may have.
  6. If you are evacuated and have call-forwarding on your home phone, forward your home phone number to your cell phone number.
  7. If you do not have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card to use if needed during or after a disaster.
  8. Have a battery-powered radio or television available (with spare batteries).
  9. Subscribe to text alert services from local or state governments to receive alerts in the event of a disaster. Parents should sign up for their school district emergency alert system.

During and After a Disaster: How to Reach Friends, Loved Ones & Emergency Services
  1. If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. Remember that you cannot currently text 9-1-1. If you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1. If your area offers 3-1-1 service or another information system, call that number for non-emergencies.
  2. For non-emergency communications, use text messaging, e-mail, or social media instead of making voice calls on your cell phone to avoid tying up voice networks. Data-based services like texts and emails are less likely to experience network congestion. You can also use social media to post your status to let family and friends know you are okay. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you can use resources such as the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well program (www.redcross.org/safeandwell).
  3. Keep all phone calls brief. If you need to use a phone, try to convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family.
  4. If you are unsuccessful in completing a call using your cell phone, wait ten seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion.
  5. Conserve your cell phone battery by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using that draw power, unless you need to use the phone.
  6. If you lose power, you can charge your cell phone in your car. Just be sure your car is in a well-ventilated place (remove it from the garage) and do not go to your car until any danger has passed. You can also listen to your car radio for important news alerts.
  7. Tune into broadcast television and radio for important news alerts. If applicable, be sure that you know how to activate the closed captioning or video description on your television.
  8. If you do not have a hands-free device in your car, stop driving or pull over to the side of the road before making a call. Do not text on a cell phone, talk, or “tweet” without a hands free device while driving.
  9. Immediately following a disaster, resist using your mobile device to watch streaming videos, download music or videos, or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion. Limiting use of these services can help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 9-1-1.


Check http://paper.li/WilberforceDMR/disaster-emergency-management regularly to find other helpful tips for preparing for disasters and other emergencies.

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 07 2009

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is joining forces with the Evansville Levee Authority this week to assess the integrity of the city's 27 miles of flood protection levees and their pumping stations.

The Evansville levee system, begun after the disastrous 1937 flood, is designed to protect the city from the floodwaters of the Ohio River and is divided into seven sections.

Construction of the Knight and Howell levee — the city's first — began in 1939 and was completed in 1948. The newest section, along Pigeon Creek on the city's North Side, was added in 1994. The Federal Emergency Management Agency began calling for the certification of levee systems throughout the country in 2007 in response to levee failures at New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina

By FEMA regulations, levee systems must provide protection from an annual 1 percent flood chance, often referred to as a 100-year flood. FEMA also uses the information to formulate new flood insurance rate maps.

Jay Perry, superintendent of the Evansville Levee Authority, said monthly inspections are made to the system, but he added that the FEMA certification inspection process is much more intense and expensive.

The inspection process alone will cost the Levee Authority $408,000.

"It's a lot more thorough than our other inspections we've had, too," Perry said. "They're looking at everything from Point A to Point B and everything in between."

The 28 Corps engineers operate in teams that review the geotechnical, structural, mechanical, electrical and hydraulic aspects of the levees.

Daniel Frank, the Corps' levee safety program manager, said the inspections are just "the field scenario portion" of the accreditation process, which he expects to end Friday.

After the inspections and field reports, Frank said, the Corps will have until Nov. 12 to report to FEMA.

If Evansville's levee system fails to meet accreditation requirements, Frank said the levee authority then would have 18 months to meet the regulations before being classified as unaccredited. Such a classification could lead to FEMA deeming the area a flood zone.

"If that were the case, people who don't have to pay for flood insurance now may have to pay for it in the future," Perry said. "Hopefully, it won't come to that here. We have a few things here that aren't perfect, but that's with anything."

At the river stage of 26 feet, station pumps begin dumping rain and storm water into the Ohio River, Perry said.

"Our pumping season is from November to June. Sometimes we pump into July. This year, the river came up in August, so it really all depends on weather conditions."

The levee sections have 19 pumping stations that include 55 pumps.

Perry said small units can pump about 1,000 gallons of water per minute, and the larger units can process 143,000 gallons per minute.

In addition to paying for the inspections, Perry said, the Levee Authority will spend $100,000 to clean six miles of pipes at the pump station locations. The process must be videotaped and sent to FEMA for further assessment.

Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/sep/03/inspectors-making-sure-levees-will-keep-city-dry/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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The Trentini Team
F.C. Tucker EMGE REALTORS®
7820 Eagle Crest Bvd., Suite 200
Evansville, IN 47715
Office: (812) 479-0801
Cell: (812) 499-9234
Email: Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com


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