September is National Preparedness Month
September 2016 - Each September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Ready Campaign host "National Preparedness Month" - an effort to improve individual and community preparedness towards disasters. In 2016, National Preparedness Month is a timely reminder that we all need to be better prepared. In the past two months, there have been earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and severe weather that have caused damage and loss of life in the Midwest and Southeast United States. From Hurricane Hermine to the historic flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to the moderate M5.8 earthquake near Pawnee, Oklahoma, these events have impacted thousands of individuals. While natural disasters cannot be prevented, many of their impacts can. On a community level, it is important to adopt and enforce modern building codes, which take into account local hazards, to reduce deaths and injuries, as well as improve community resiliency. On an individual level, being prepared for a disasters can be accomplished in a variety of ways. From making communications plans to reconnect with family members, to building disaster supply kits, to taking first aid training, citizens can play an important role in improving their own ability to respond following an event.
Following National Preparedness Month, CUSEC will again be participating in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill, set for Thursday October 20 at 10:20AM, local time. The ShakeOut is another dedicated time to practice how to be prepared and stay safe, for earthquakes and other disasters. In 2015, more than 40 million people participated in ShakeOut drills around the globe, practicing how to "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" in the event of an earthquake. We encourage everyone to learn how to stay safe and how to participate in the ShakeOut by visiting www.shakeout.org/centralus.
FEMA P-154 & ATC-20 Training set for this October
August 2016 - CUSEC and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency are presenting a FREE training opportunity this October in Memphis, Tennessee. The training will include FEMA P-154: Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards (pre-event) and ATC-20: Post-Earthquake Safety Evaluations of Buildings (post-event). The training is targeted to building officials, engineers,
architects, building owners, facility managers, emergency managers, risk
analysts, and others interested in building inventory and safety assessments from a seismic perspective.
Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP), the training is free and open to the public. Participants must pre-register for the training by September 30, 2016. Registration is available online at http://register.cusec.org.
Longstanding CUSEC Board Member Retires
July 2016 - June 30, 2016 marked the retirement of longstanding CUSEC Board of Directors Meber and current Vice-Chairman, Mr. David Maxwell. Director Maxwell has served the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) in several functions for more than 37 years, starting as a temporary employee in 1978 and as State Director for the last 10 years. He also serves as State Homeland Security Advisor and is on numerous boards and committees within the State, including the Arkansas Governor's Earthquake Advisory Council. Since his appointment to State Director in 2006, Director Maxwell has served as an officer of the CUSEC Board of Directors. Maxwell is also a past president of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), and chaired several NEMA Committees over the years.
In 2015 NEMA presented Director Maxwell with the Lacy E. Suiter Distinguished Service Award, named in honor of the former Tennessee Emergency Management Agency Director, a pioneer of emergency management and founding member of the CUSEC Board of Directors. Both Maxwell and Suiter played active roles in CUSEC's early formation and success. The award is presented annually by NEMA to an individual that has made cumulative outstanding contributions to the field of emergency management. CUSEC would like to thank Director Maxwell for nearly four decades of commitment to improving all aspects of emergency management preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery, and we wish him the best during his retirement from public service.
In late May, Mr. A.J. Gary, former Chief of Police for the Conway Police Department, was appointed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison as the new director of (ADEM). Please join us in welcoming Mr. Gary to the CUSEC Board of Directors.