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View a list of recent earthquakes here...
A great way to spend time outdoors with your family and friends is by going Geocaching
Since 2007, nearly 3,000 people have visited CUSEC geocaches, which provide earthquake safety and mitigation information to site visitors. As some visitors recently noted: To find a CUSEC geocache near you, see our cache listing page at the geocaching website.
"Thanks for the quake info."
"Glad to finally make it to New Madrid after seeing a documentary on earthquakes that happened here."
"Thanks for the cache - alot of (geologic) history at the museum."
September is National Preparedness Month
Since 2004, FEMA has designated the month of September as National Preparedness Month (#NatlPrep). Now is a great time to prepare yourself and those in your care for earthquakes and other disasters. The most important step you can take prior to a disaster is to be ready to take care of yourself before the next one occurs.
This September, we encourage you to "Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare" by joining FEMA's National Preparedness Community. By joining, you'll receive preparedness resources and up-to-date information on preparedness activities in your community. You can also explore America's PrepareAthon! (@PrepareAThon), which is sponsoring a National Preparedness Day of Action on September 30.
Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills Set for October 16
Following National Preparedness Month, individuals and communities in more than 45 States and Territories will participate in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills. Now held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut is set for Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 10:16 a.m.* During the self-led drill, participants practice how to "Drop, Cover, and Hold On". Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the proper response to an earthquake is to:
- Drop to the ground
- Take Cover under a sturdy table or desk if possible, protecting your head and neck and,
- Hold On until the shaking stops
Nationwide, more than 15 million people are expected to participate in earthquake drills and safety activities. In addition to the drills, many participant take extra steps to become more prepared for earthquakes. To take part in the ShakeOut, individuals and organizations are asked to first register to participate at www.ShakeOut.org. Once registered, participants receive information about showcase events in their area and regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.
CUSEC, with our Member and Associate States, coordinates regional activities for the Great Central U.S. and Great SouthEast ShakeOut Earthquake Drills. Oct. 16 marks the fifth Central U.S. ShakeOut drill taking place in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The SouthEast ShakeOut, now in its third year, includes Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
We encourage all of our newsletter subscribers to participate in this unique preparedness activity. To get started or to pledge your participation in the ShakeOut, please visit www.shakeout.org.
* If you cannot hold your ShakeOut drill on 10/16, you can select another day when you register.
CAPSTONE-14 Exercise Completed in June
In June, CUSEC Member, Associate, and several supporting States participated in CAPSTONE-14, a regional, multi-state exercise designed to test response and recovery capabilities following a major New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) earthquake.
CAPSTONE-14 was the culmination of three years of planning and preparedness activities led by the CUSEC Board of Directors. It followed and built upon lessons learned during the NSMZ Catastrophic Planning Project and National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE11), completing the full emergency management planning, training, and exercise cycle. During CAPSTONE-14, specific areas of focus included:
- Regional Communications
- Regional Situational Awareness
- Regional Transportation
- Private Sector Integration
- Regional Resource Management
- Military Support of Civilian Authorities
These areas, defined in 2011 by the CUSEC Board, drove the majority of the planning for the exercise, and each has seen multiple successes and lessons learned. Many of these lessons learned will be highlighted in an upcoming "After Action Report", which should be released within the next month.
CAPSTONE Webinars Available to View Online
In July and August, the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) and its First Responder's Group (FRG) and the National Information Sharing Consortium (NISC) led two CAPSTONE-14 "lessons learned" webinars. The first, held on July 24, addressed information sharing tactics and situational awareness lessons learned by CUSEC Member States. The second webinar, held August 26, covered "Public-Private Coordination in Emergency Response and Recovery" and included perspectives on CAPSTONE-14 from Walgreens, Wal-Mart, and Ameren Illinois representatives.
We would like to thank the FRG and NISC for organizing and hosting these webinars, providing our Member States and Private Sector partners an opportunity to demonstrate the innovations underway as we prepare to mitigate, respond to, and recover from disasters.
Earthquakes in Oklahoma: An Emergency Management Perspective
As a CUSEC Associate Member State, Oklahoma has been prepared to play a support role to CUSEC Member States affected should a moderate to major earthquake occur along the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ). Given the increase in the number of earthquakes that have occurred in the State within the past year, Oklahoma may one day find itself in need of the very same support that they are prepared to provide.
In a state commonly known for tornadoes, 183 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater occurred in Oklahoma from October 2013 through April 2014; according to a joint statement released in May of 2014 by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS). Also, seven earthquakes (four registering between 4.0M-4.3M) struck in the state within two days in early July of this year. As a result of the increased number of small to moderate earthquakes, scientists are suggesting that there is an increased possibility that Oklahomans living in the central and north-central part of the state will experience more damaging earthquakes in the future.
With this being said, emergency management officials with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) continue to make earthquake preparedness a priority.
"OEM is currently preparing for a two day NETAP training course featuring FEMA 154 (Rapid Visual Screening of Building for Potential Seismic Hazards), ATC 20 (Post-Earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings and Rapid Observation of Vulnerability and Estimation of Risk (ROVER)," said OEM State Director Albert Ashwood. ROVER is offered to local emergency managers, first responders, VOAD members and other officials as well as our private sector partners in the architecture and engineering fields," he added.
Director Ashwood also stated that the agency places a significant emphasis on public outreach activities to keep the state's residents aware of the earthquake hazard and to promote preparedness.
"OEM has implemented numerous public education programs in partnership with Oklahoma Geological Survey, including an education program for the past three years featuring half page newspaper ads and workbooks for teachers," he said. "We have participated in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut since 2011, coordinating media events at local schools to raise awareness. We have provided earthquake education materials to local emergency managers across the state for use in their local communities," he added.
Oklahoma is no stranger to assisting other states through the Emergency Management Compact Assistance Compact (EMAC), and has also been on the receiving end of it. As a next door neighbor to Arkansas, OEM participated in the CAPSTONE-14 exercise (in a supporting role to Arkansas). This gave the agency an opportunity to put interstate earthquake response to practice.
There is much speculation as to why Oklahoma is experiencing increased seismic activity. Scientists with USGS and OGS also addressed this issue in their joint statement indicating that a likely contributing factor is wastewater disposal by injection into deep geologic formations. The joint statement says that: "the water injection can increase underground pressures, lubricate faults and cause earthquakes - a process known as injection-induced seismicity. Much of this wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production and is routinely disposed of by injection into wells specifically designed and approved for this purpose. The recent earthquake rate changes are not due to typical, random fluctuations in natural seismicity rates."
In light of this information, Director Ashwood says that this in no way hampers OEM's capabilities in performing its emergency management duties.
"We work closely with our partners at Oklahoma Geological Survey and USGS and yield to those agencies as the experts in this matter, "he said. "It doesn't impact how OEM works to support local emergency managers. Should a major earthquake occur in Oklahoma, OEM will work to assist local jurisdictions with response and recovery just as we would for any other type of disaster," he added.
In Director Ashwood's own words, whether it's tornadoes, wildfires, ice storms or earthquakes, OEM takes an all-hazards approach to disasters. And while Oklahoma has more than its fair share of disasters, OEM's staff is prepared to do whatever is needed to support local communities impacted by disaster.
CUSEC BOARD UPDATES
New State Directors Join CUSEC Board
CUSEC's Board of Directors has recently changed, with new Directors being appointed in Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee this Summer.
In May, Mr. Michael Dossett was appointed to Director of Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. Dossett, with nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience in Kentucky, served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice from 2004 to 2008. In 2009, Mr. Dossett began his career with the Department of Military Affairs in August 2009 as a KYEM Regional Response Manager. Since then, he served as a Logistics Chief and also as Private Sector Program Coordinator, where he developed a nationally recognized best-practice model for the integration of public-private partnerships and alliances in disaster response, including the integration of the Private Sector Virtual Business EOC concept.
Ron Walker was named Director of the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency on July 7, 2014. He had recently retired after serving 35 years with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and a total of 36 years in law enforcement. Walker was born in Waynesville, Mo., and graduated from high school in Jefferson City, Mo. After high school he served one year with the Jefferson City Police Department before joining the Patrol. He served 19 years assigned to the Patrol's Troop A, which includes the Kansas City metropolitan area. In 1997 Walker moved back to Jefferson City to work at Patrol General Headquarters, serving his last 12 years with the Patrol as assistant commander of the Field Operations Bureau.
In late August, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced the appointment of David W. Purkey as the State Director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). Purkey has served as interim director of TEMA since the April retirement of Jim Bassham, former CUSEC Board Chairman. Mr. Purkey has held a variety of public safety and emergency management positions including serving as Morristown-Hamblen County Emergency Management Director, Tennessee State Trooper, and a Special Agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Chattanooga region. He has been a licensed emergency medical technician for 35 years and also served in the Tennessee Army National Guard and United States Army Reserves.
Please join CUSEC in welcoming our newest CUSEC Board Members and congratulating them on their appointments.
CUSEC Hosts Board of Directors Orientation
As a part of an on-going central U.S. multi-state coordination effort, CUSEC Executive Director Jim Wilkinson recently hosted a special earthquake orientation in Memphis on Tuesday, August 26. The orientation was for two of the newly appointed State Emergency Management Directors: Mr. Ron Walker from Missouri and Mr. Michael Dossett from Kentucky. Senior State Directors Mr. Art Faulkner (Alabama) and Mr. Robert Latham (Mississippi) also participated-all are members of the CUSEC Board of Directors.
The purpose of the orientation was to provide these new CUSEC Board Members a better understanding of the central U.S. earthquake hazard and its associated risks; as well as help to better equip them to prepare their agencies' response and recovery operational efforts for a no-notice (seismic) event. CUSEC hosts earthquake orientations for its new State Directors and Earthquake Program Managers. The orientation included a visit to the University of Memphis' Center for Earthquake Research and Information.
Jonathon Monken and Doug Eades Join NISC Board
The National Information Sharing Consortium (NISC) welcomed its newest board members from the CUSEC Member States of Illinois and Kentucky.
Mr. Jonathon Monken is Chairman of CUSEC Board of Directors and has led the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) as its State Director since 2011. With his experience serving in the military, law enforcement, emergency management and homeland security, he brings to NISC his extensive knowledge about public safety; and recognizes the critical nature of access to actionable intelligence as a means of saving lives and property when it matters most. As CUSEC Board Chair, Monken recently championed several CUSEC related initiatives including private sector integration and the Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (vBEOC) during CAPSTONE-14.
Mr. Doug Eades has served as the Systems Integration Manager for the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KyEM) since 2010. He coordinates with other Kentucky state agencies focusing on inter-agency relationships and the use of common software. He also coordinates with surrounding state agencies to present a regional approach to information sharing and management of operations for increased efficiency of resources during disaster situations. Mr. Eades has been a key-player and co-chair of the CUSEC GIS/Information Technology Working Group, working to develop and refine information sharing applications such as the Mutual Aid Support System (MASS) into nationally applicable models.
Congratulations to Chairman Monken and Mr. Eades on their appointments to the NISC Board.
2014 Ready Alabama Day is September 12
As a part of National Preparedness Month, Serve Alabama, the Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Volunteer Service, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, and the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency are teaming up to host Alabama's 11th annual Ready Alabama Day on September 12, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Alabama State Capitol's Circle Flags in Montgomery, Alabama.
With a goal to increase public awareness about being prepared for any type of disaster/emergency, Ready Alabama Day gives professional and volunteer responders an opportunity to show Alabamians the state's response capabilities through exhibiting response equipment and hosting interactive demonstrations. Governor Robert Bentley will also be on hand to recognize those who play a role in the response and recovery phases of all disasters. From 2003 to the present, Alabama has experienced the following types of disasters:
- 4.6M earthquake in Fort Payne, Alabama in April of 2003
- Hurricanes Ivan in September of 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005
- February-March 2007 Tornado outbreak
- April-July 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
- April 2011 Tornado Outbreak
- February 2014 Winter Ice Storm
- April 2014 Tornado Outbreak
- April-May 2014 Flooding
Ready Alabama Day is a reminder that Alabamians are vulnerable to any type of disaster; and that preparedness is the key to saving lives, property and building resilient communities. For more information, contact Brooke Mills at Brooke.Mills@ServeAlabama.gov.
IDCE 2015 Announces Call for Papers
The International Disaster Conference & Expo (IDCE) is now accepting papers for its 2015 annual conference to be held on February 10-12 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Interested presenters should visit http://www.internationaldisasterconference.com to access the Speaker Request to Present form, and to find a list of full requirements. The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2014.
Questions regarding paper submission and the conference should be directed to Kristen Chighizola at email@example.com.
CALENDAR & UPCOMING EVENTS
Sept. 1-30 - National Preparedness Month
Sept. 12 - Alabama Be Ready Day; Montgomery, AL
Sept. 17 - Mid-South Association of Contingency Planners EPIC Conference; Memphis, TN
Sept. 19 - Missouri S.A.V.E. Coalition Trianing; Lake Ozark, MO
Sept. 22-25 - I-BEAM Exercise; IN
Sept. 23 - Emergency Preparedness Academy; St. Louis, MO
Sept. 26 - Missouri S.A.V.E. Coalition Trianing; St. Louis, MO
Oct. 3 - Missouri S.A.V.E. Coalition Trianing; Blue Springs, MO
Oct. 9-12 - NEMA Annual Forum; Atlanta, GA
Oct. 16 - Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills; Nationwide
Oct. 25 - Ready Shelby Day; Memphis, TN
For more information or to view other upcoming events, please visit the CUSEC website online calendar.