September is National Preparedness Month, so now is a great opportunity to get ready for the Great Shakeout, the world’s largest earthquake preparedness exercise. SPARC member, and ARES LAX Northeast District Emergency Coordinator, Oliver Dully, K6OLI has written a guide to using Winlink’s built-in “Did You Feel It?” form during the Shakeout.
Send Winlink DYFI (“Did-you-feel-it?”) Exercise reports with your group. We encourage you to send reports with Modified Mercalli Intensity V (5) or greater.
At our February 2022 monthly membership meeting, SPARC welcomed a fixture of the local ham community, Nancee Darling, K8NBD. Nancee is an active member of several local groups including ARESLAX Northeast and ALERT. She gave an important presentation on Stop the Bleed, a program from the American College of Surgeons that teaches how to stop bleeding in a severely injured person. Nancee is a certified STB instructor, and she advocates that everyone should learning how to provide assistance in an emergency. Stop the Bleed is “a skill that can be utilized with your family, in your neighborhood or after that horrific traffic accident. You will enhance your ability and confidence to recognize life-threatening bleeding and intervene effectively. The person next to a bleeding victim may be the one who’s most likely to save him or her or yourself.”
Nancee followed up a few days later with more detail on liability concerns about intervening when someone is injured. “While Good Samaritan laws are different between jurisdictions,” she explained, “most of them share three common elements. They are that the helper is protected from liability if:
They obtain the permission of an ill or injured victim to render aid, when possible. They provide care in an appropriate and non-reckless manner. They provide care due to the situation being an emergency, and trained help has not arrived yet.”
Below is a video Nancee recommends on how to use a tourniquet.
SPARC thanks Nancee for sharing this practical and potentially life-saving information.
On July 16, National Public Radio’s Morning Edition aired a story about the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Auxiliary Communications Service. SPARC salutes its members and friends who volunteer with this vital local emergency preparedness organization.
Each September, SPARC encourages our community to get ready for emergencies in conjunction with National Preparedness Month. We’ve compiled many our our favorite guides, tips and resources on our Preparing for Emergencies page.
Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the coronavirus.
Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.
Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.
On Saturday, September 14, SPARC demonstrated a new amateur radio station that has been added to the city’s Emergency Operations Center. Our fire department has invested in a dedicated antenna on the roof of city hall and a dual-band VHF/UHF radio. This equipment will help keep communications open even if traditional phone and Internet systems stop working.
In honor of September being National Preparedness Month, SPARC invited city officials, CERT members and Neighborhood Watch captains to see the station in action. The demonstration coincided with the annual ARRL September VHF contest to ensure there was sufficient on-air activity to test the station’s capabilities. SPARC members operated four additional radios to compare against the EOC station. The new station performed well, picking out signals that the others were unable to hear. The station is a valuable addition to the city’s preparedness resources.
SPARC thanks the city fire and police departments for allowing us to use the EOC for this open house and test. We appreciate the hard work that the city and other civic groups do to keep our city resilient and ready.
The inspiration for the page came from a discussion started by Bob Vanderwall WB6YJJ during our weekly on-air nets in 2017. Net participants discussed the state of their own preparedness, shared advice and recommended various tools. In the aftermath of the July earthquakes near Ridgecrest, there was renewed interest in emergency prep and new urgency to share our ongoing club discussion.
If you have suggestions on how to improve the page or corrections to any of the contact information listed there, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thank you!
Our friends at the South Pasadena Community Emergency Response Team have released their calendar of events for the rest of 2019. We’ve added these events to our calendar page and will update the listings if/when new dates are announced. Visit the CERT page to register for the refresher course or the fall training session.
May 25, 2019
8am – noon
CERT Refresher Training (held at SPFD)
July 4, 2019
9am – 2pm
CERT Booth in Garfield Park after the annual Festival of Balloons
Local NPR station KPCC commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the devastating Northridge earthquake with coverage on-air and on its news site LAist. They’ve also produced a new podcast to help you get ready for the next quake, one that could be even more damaging than Northridge. It’s called The Big One: Your Survival Guide, and it’s available wherever you download podcasts. The podcast’s homepage includes links to KPCC/LAist articles on earthquake prep and an interactive map to visualize faults and liquefaction zones in our area. (You may not like what you find!)
Separately, the City of Los Angeles has released an app called ShakeAlertLA. It is designed to give you an advanced warning of a quake if one is detected by the ShakeAlert system. Dr. John Vidale of the Southern California Earthquake Center gave a talk on ShakeAlert at a SPARC-sponsored community meeting last May.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers self-paced independent study courses for those who have emergency management responsibilities, but the content can be useful to the general public. All are offered free of charge to those who qualify for enrollment.
Two introductory courses have recently been revised. The FEMA website claims they only take between two and four hours to complete. Several members of SPARC have taken these classes and recommend them to anyone interested in learning more about handling major incidents.
IS-100.c, An Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS 100
This course introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. The course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
IS-700.b, An Introduction to the National Incident Management System
This course provides an overview of NIMS. NIMS defines the comprehensive approach guiding the whole community — all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations (NGO), and the private sector — to work together seamlessly to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the effects of incidents. The course provides learners with a basic understanding of NIMS concepts, principles, and components.
Together, these two online courses form the foundation of NIMS training for all incident personnel.