FY12 HSGP GRANT SUPPLEMENTALS HSGP Supplemental Resource: Support for Public-Private Collaboration
Supplemental Resource: Children in Disasters Guidance ON THE FRONT LINES American Preppers Network: The Five Principles of Preparedness CERT Training video "Safety in the After Disaster Environment FEMA Seeking input by April 2 on working drafts of Frameworks (PPD-8)
Formidable Footprint exercises/tabletops (Earthquake 3/31 and Flood 4/28) DID YOU KNOW...
Note from Bill & j: This was going to be a brief update about lessons learned from Japan one year later, but after reading so many articles, our Spotlight story just grew and grew. If you don’t have time to read the entire post, at least scroll down and watch the awesome Arigato video near the end.
Sunday March 11, 2012 marks the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant disasters in Japan. The 9.0 Tohoku earthquake, the strongest ever to hit Japan and among the five most powerful earthquakes ever recorded, along with the subsequent tsunami claimed the lives of over 20,000 people. Amazingly there were no deaths attributed to the nuclear complex meltdowns, but the radioactive materials may eventually add to the annual cancer death toll very slightly in years to come.
SOME FACTS AND FIGURES
Did you know…
...the massive wall of water that struck Japan in March was actually the result of at least two waves that combined to create a more powerful tsunami?! According to researchers from NASA and Ohio State University, ocean ridges and mountain ranges below the surface of the water channeled the waves created by the 9.0 quake off the coast of Japan, bringing them together far out at sea to form a "merging tsunami".1
...according to NASA, the massive trembler slightly shifted the position of Earth's figure axis (the axis about which Earth's mass is balanced) by about 17 centimeters (6.5 inches), towards 133 degrees east longitude?! Earth's figure axis should not be confused with its north-south axis. This shift in Earth's figure axis will cause Earth to wobble a bit differently as it rotates, but it will not cause a shift of Earth's axis in space—only external forces such as the gravitational attraction of the sun, moon and planets can do that.
NASA also explains in comparison, the 2010 magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile shifted Earth's figure axis by about 8 centimeters (3 inches) and the 2004 magnitude 9.1 Sumatran earthquake shifted Earth's figure axis by about 7 centimeters (2.76 inches). 2
Some other mindboggling figures include…
6 = approximate number of minutes the shaking lasted during the 9.0 earthquake in Sendai (80 miles or 130 kilometers west of the epicenter). It's also the number of miles the tsunami traveled inland in areas.
133’ = the massive tsunami that slammed parts of Japan reached heights up to 133 feet (40.5 meters) in some places! The waves that struck the Fukushimi reactors were almost 46 feet (14 meters) high.
961 = Total number of aftershocks in Sendai on March 11, 2011 (Note: This is total for 1 day only and a tally of magnitude 4.0 – 9.0 quakes only..! There were many smaller aftershocks too.)
19,349 = Total number of magnitude 3.0 or higher earthquakes in and around Japan in 2011 (total from Jan 1 – Dec 31, 2011).
80,000 = number of residents in Fukushima Prefecture still displaced due to the nuke power plant disaster
270,000 = number of buildings damaged or destroyed
386,739 = number of homeless people at one point.
To put the quake figures into perspective, check out the following 2011 Visualization map video. This is a spectacular way to describe and see how alive the Ring of Fire is near Japan. The first minute shows examples of what the graphics mean on the map then be prepared to watch and hear the daily action throughout 2011 (esp during March!) Also wait for (or skip ahead to) the charts and graphs starting at 6:50 mark of vid. (Hat tip to TAO Emergency Management Consulting)
HEALTH IMPACTS AND THE CLEANUP
On June 6, 2011 Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the reactor meltdowns at the plant released about 770,000 tera becquerels of radioactive material into the air between March 11 and March 16, doubling an earlier estimate. That’s about 14 percent of the radiation emitted in the Chernobyl disaster in modern-day Ukraine.
But, according to experts assembled this month by the Health Physics Society for a panel discussion, health impacts from the radioactive materials released in the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns will probably be too small to be easily measured. And the area cordoned off by the Japanese government as uninhabitable is probably far too large, the experts said.
One panelist, Kathryn A. Higley, a professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Oregon State University in Newport, Ore., who holds a doctorate in radiological health science stated, “From a radiological perspective we expect the impact to be really pretty minor.” Not that the additional radiation exposure won’t induce a few extra cases of cancer, the experts said, but these will be indistinguishable from the background rate of cancer, which will eventually strike about 41 out of every 100 people.3
The Telegraph reported last June the health of over 2 million residents in Fukushima prefecture in northeast Japan will be monitored over the next 30 years in order to ease growing concerns surrounding radiation contamination. Residents received questionnaires to determine the degree of their contamination risks, with subsequent tests including examinations for internal radiation contamination. The findings will be stored on a database created by Fukushima Medical University in order to monitor the longterm potential effects of radiation exposure in the region.
Authorities also announced last June that 34,000 schoolchildren in the region aged between 4 and 15 were given radiation dosimetres to hang around their necks in order to monitor their exposure.4
As stated above, tens of thousands of residents have not been allowed to return home in the hardest hit areas with the exception of a few short trips to gather some belongings. Most items and treasures are left for fear of radiation contamination, but for some it is a chance to visit graves of their lost loved ones. The mental scars run deep.5
The NY Times reports the Japanese government has begun handing out an initial $13 billion in contracts meant to rehabilitate the more than 8,000-square-mile region most exposed to radioactive fallout — an area nearly as big as New Jersey. The main goal is to enable the return of the 80,000 or more displaced people that lived near the reactors. It is far from clear, though, that the unproved cleanup methods will be effective.6
As far as the nuclear power plant, a roadmap setting out the mid- to long-term activities needed for the decommissioning of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactors has been released, according to World Nuclear News. Tepco plans to remove all of the used fuel from the four pools within ten years, during which time it will determine what reprocessing and storage methods it will use to deal with it. The plan envisages decommissioning activities being completed within 30 to 40 years.7
Part of the reason scientists weren't expecting such a strong quake in Japan was the fact that a quake that powerful had never before been recorded and seismic predictions based on the known record of earthquakes in Japan did not forecast such an event.
"The lesson is that 400 or 500 years of historical records is not enough," said James Mori of Kyoto University's Disaster Prevention Research Institute.
In the wake of the Tohoku quake, researchers hope to make significant improvements to earthquake models and forecasting, both for Japan, and for the entire planet. They have a wealth of data to work from, as no other large earthquake in history has been recorded by as many instruments with as much precision, said John Anderson, a seismologist at the University of Nevada.
The warning was issued just eight seconds after the first wave of the earthquake was detected, Mori said. It sent a message to 124 television stations and 52 million phones. It automatically caused bullet trains to stop and elevators to halt.
However, calculations of the earthquake's likely strength based on the initial wave turned out to be wrong because the earthquake increased in power over time. Consequently, the system underestimated the severity and extent of the temblor, and the warning was not sent to places like Tokyo, which initially seemed too far to be affected, but actually was.
Furthermore, the tsunami warning, which followed the earthquake warning, did not reach many coastal residents who had already evacuated, or whose televisions and radios had stopped working due to power outages sparked by the earthquake.8
A recent editorial in The Mainichi Daily News points out one lesson learned in their perspective is the importance of politics. The government's response to the disasters has demonstrated that politics has not functioned properly and has been in chaos since March 11, 2011.
For example, the 4 trillion yen (approx $49 billion US$) initial supplementary budget for fiscal 2011 -- designed to finance disaster recovery efforts -- did not become law until May 2, 2011. Furthermore, the government's compilation of the principles for disaster recovery -- which provide direction during the recovery period and cover the scale and length of recovery measures, the financial resources required and the designation of special restoration zones -- did not come until July 29 .. 4 1/2 months after the disasters.
A second lesson Mainichi Daily News writes is the inevitability of a fundamental review of Japan's energy policy -- including nuclear power and the overconfidence of the safety of nuclear power plants. And, since the Fukushima incident, all countries have been scrutinizing and updating safety plans, equipment, protocols and procedures.9
Newsmax.com reports many U.S. facilities are making and considering expensive upgrades. For example, Minneapolis-based utility Xcel Energy, which owns the Monticello and Prairie Island plants, is expected to spend up to $50 million for more diesel pumps and generators to pump water on damaged reactors in the event of a natural disaster or accident. And recently the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the first safety upgrade measures for American nuclear plants since the Japanese catastrophe. The measures are designed to bolster the safety operations already in place at the nation’s 104 nuclear reactors.10
Also, a new website and report (48-pg PDF) released March 8, 2012 by the American Nuclear Society concludes that U.S. nuclear power oversight is adequate to protect public health and safety, but that emergency zones should be reevaluated and possibly expanded. (Note: ANS's findings, videos and more are available at http://fukushima.ans.org/ )
Accident management and the “lack of forthright information” from officials is also a key lesson learned by not just Japan but the global community. An independent report by the Rebuild Japan Intiative Foundation released late February 2012 reveals the Japanese government withheld information about the full danger of last year's nuclear disaster from its own people and from the United States, putting U.S.-Japan relations at risk in the first days after the accident. It also offers one of the most vivid accounts yet of how Japan teetered on the edge of an even larger nuclear crisis than the one that engulfed the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.11(Note: An abstract of report is available at http://rebuildjpn.org/en/ and the English translation of full Report will be published in summer 2012.)
MASSIVE DEBRIS FIELD
In case you haven’t heard yet, the U.S. and Canadian West coasts are bracing for a massive sea of debris floating in the Pacific Ocean that could start coming ashore this year and on into 2013. Scientists and oceanographers estimate the sea of debris – maybe 1 or 2 million tons (or more) of lumber, refrigerators, fishing boats, toxic waste and other objects – is in an area estimated to be twice the size of Texas.
Japanese estimates about 20 million tons of debris was generated by the earthquakes and tsunami but most of it stayed on land or sunk rapidly. But it is possible about a million or more tons are still on the ocean and slowly moving west.12
Jack Barth, an OSU oceanographer and expert in ocean currents, said the debris is still months away from arriving on the West Coast, though it is possible that strong winds may push some floating items that rise high above the surface more quickly to the North American shore.13
According to BBC News, International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) scientific computer programmer Jan Hafner explains, "So far, the debris field has spread in length more than 2,000 nautical miles, and is more than 1,000 nautical miles wide." 12
The IPRC, which is based at the University of Hawaii, was studying debris paths at the time of the tsunami, and was perfectly placed to produce exquisite forecasts of where the Japanese material was likely to spread.
The team's model incorporates sea surface height and wind data acquired by satellites. They developed an animation that shows the likely evolution of the field up to present day. It is important to note that although the field appears as a block of colour in the simulation, the block does not represent a physical island of debris. What the simulation shows is the area of ocean where debris might be found, but look over the side of any ship and you would very probably see no debris at all because the individual items have now become widely separated.14 Anyone can monitor daily reports and view the animated movie about the debris field on IPRC’s site.
COULD IT HAPPEN HERE?
Scientists are still unraveling Japan’s giant earthquake and tsunami, and some of what they're finding doesn't bode well for the Pacific Northwest. Detailed analyses of the way the Earth warped along the Japanese coast suggest that shaking from a Cascadia megaquake could be stronger than expected along the coasts of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, researchers reported recently at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
"The Cascadia subduction zone can be seen as a mirror image of the Tohoku, (Japan) area," said John Anderson, of the University of Nevada. In Japan, the biggest jolts occurred underwater. The seafloor was displaced by 150 feet or more in some places, triggering the massive tsunami. But in the Northwest, it's the land that will be rocked hardest -- because the Pacific coast here lies so close to the subduction zone.15
As far as a tsunami’s affect on a U.S. nuclear plant, there are only 3 reactor complexes on the west coast (2 in southern California and one in Washington), but the east coast has quite a few structures along the seaboard from New Hampshire to Florida. Most of Canada’s 20+ power stations are in Ontario, but both Quebec and New Brunswick have one operating station in each province.
As mentioned above, safety procedures and plans at all 104 nuclear plants in the U.S. are being reevaluated extensively. And all but one are located on or near oceans, lakes or rivers so officials are studying plans to ensure enough resources are available. The nuke plant located just outside Phoenix (the largest plant in the country) uses treated effluent from several area municipalities to meet its cooling water needs, recycling approximately 20 billion gallons of wastewater each year.
Although some hot zones and towns are still off limits, officials from Hirono, located just outside the no-entry 12-mile exclusion zone surrounding Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, have reopened its original town hall offices. Hirono’s local government offices, which were evacuated outside the region following last year’s disaster, are the first in the region to return home, marking a significant step towards the renewal of Fukushima communities hit hard by the nuclear crisis.16
Discovery Channel Japan plans to release several unique documentaries on the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, in time for the earthquake’s first anniversary on March 11. The TV documentary series, collectively called “Rebuilding Japan,” is a seven-part series which follows Japan's efforts to recover from the aftermath of the 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami that rocked the country. Each episode will focus on separate aspects of the country's infrastructure and the incredible people who are rebuilding it. Learn more at www.discoverychannelasia.com/tv-shows/rebuildingjapan
Also, as mentioned in our April 2011 enews, a Kindle ebook called 2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake was created by a group of unpaid professional and citizen journalists who met on Twitter. In just 4 weeks the group compiled essays, artwork and photographs submitted by people around the world, including people who endured the disaster and journalists who covered it. It also contains contributed pieces from several authors. The 98-page “Quakebook” costs $9.99 with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society www.quakebook.org
ARIGATO FROM JAPAN EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS
We wanted to share an amazing and heartwarming video from people in the Tohoku area expressing their gratitude to all of the international aid that has helped them. (Hat tip to American Preppers Network for sharing this video link. Warning: Tissue alert.)
Earthquake Safety Tips (4-pg PDF from our IT’S A DISASTER! book) - click here
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims, families and friends of the recent tornado outbreaks, winter storms and wild weather across the country over the past several weeks.
Many states across the U.S. set aside a week during the month of March to observe Severe Weather Awareness week. Every state is unique in their dates set as well as any planned activities but, as we’ve seen this year, March can definitely bring some extreme weather swings. Visit your state or local Emergency Management, Health or Fire or Police or Sheriff department’s website to find local emergency information, safety tips and tools to help you and your loved ones prepare for severe weather outbreaks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone avoid unnecessary exposure to mold, especially anyone at high risk for infection. For more information on mold or mold cleanup visit www.cdc.gov/mold/cleanup.htm .
Fiscal Year 2012 Homeland Security Grant Program Supplemental Resource: Support for Public-Private Collaboration
FEMA is pleased to announce an important resource for state, tribal and territory-level efforts to partner with the private sector in emergency management and homeland security initiatives: the Fiscal Year 2012 grant supplemental to support Public-Private Collaboration.
This is the second annual grant supplemental for private sector collaboration, and corresponds to language written into the Homeland Security, Tribal and Emergency Management grant guidance. The suggested uses outlined in the FY 12 supplemental are based on feedback on actual needs identified by state-level government and private partners who are already doing great work.
In addition to sharing resources to help build and sustain public-private partnerships, the supplemental outlines key ways grant funding may be spent to promote public-private collaboration, including: Program management; Tools, resources and activities that facilitate shared situational awareness between the public and private sectors; Structures and mechanisms for information sharing between the public and private sector; Operational Support; Joint Training and Exercises with the Public and Private Sectors; Outreach and marketing to support recruitment, as well as sustain and increase year around partnership efforts. Download 8-pg PDF or read more on USFRA
As we’ve mentioned before, since September 2010 Fedhealth has been 1 of 7 “Private Sector Organizations” listed on FEMA’s Public Private Partnership Tools page (under the "Public-Private Partnership Resources" section) due to our collaborative programs associated with our IT’S A DISASTER! books. Learn more at www.fema.gov/privatesector/ppp_tools.shtm
Our disaster preparedness and first aid manual qualifies as community education and makes a great draw-down vehicle since we can commit funds within an hour of your request. Plus, due to the deeply discounted Govt/nonprofit price, free customization and discounts on freight, purchases can provide agencies and nonprofit organizations about a $4-to-$1 return on match. Learn more or call Fedhealth at 1-888-999-4325.
FY12 HSGP Supplemental Resource: Children in Disasters Guidance
Children under the age of 18 comprise nearly 25 percent of the U.S. population and have important and often complex planning and emergency response needs. Homeland Security Grant Program awards may be used by states and local jurisdictions to ensure that the needs of children are met through disaster planning. Consistent with the development and sustainment of the core capabilities and capability targets identified in the National Preparedness Goal, this supplement provides guidance for grantees to incorporate children into their planning and purchase of equipment and supplies; provide training to a broad range of child-specific providers, agencies, and entities; and exercise capabilities relating to children, such as evacuation, sheltering and emergency medical care. For more information, visit: www.fema.gov/pdf/government/grant/2012/fy12_hsgp_children.pdf (25-pg PDF)
ON THE FRONT LINES
American Preppers Network recently posted The Five Principles of Preparedness by Phil Burns on APN’s blog. Here is a snippet of the post…
There are basic principles that keep us and our families grounded that are key to our happiness as a family unit while we Walk the Path of the Prepper. There is safety and peace that comes from having car insurance, home insurance, medical insurance,etc. What many families frequently ignore is “Standard of Living Insurance”. At its heart, this is what Preparedness, Self-Reliance, Prepping – however you want to call it – is. By Getting Started in Prepping, or continuing in Prepping as the case may be, and following these five Principles of Preparedness we can provide our families with the assurance that we will be able to maintain a certain standard of living. This standard of living is dictated by the level of preparedness we are able to achieve and maintain. Continue reading on APN
DHS’s 30 minute CERT Training Safety in the After Disaster Environment video prepares Community Emergency Response Teams members for the types of hazards encountered after a disaster and discusses safety while working in the disaster affected area. It is also available on Youtube if you have trouble viewing below vid.
FEMA and its partners are seeking input on four working drafts of the National Planning Frameworks, and the initial draft of the Recovery Federal Interagency Operational Plan, which are part of Presidential Policy Directive 8 / PPD-8: National Preparedness. PPD-8 is a policy directive that asks federal agencies to work with the whole community—including all levels of government, individuals and communities, businesses, nonprofits and faith-based organizations—to work together to improve national preparedness. As an element of the implementation of PPD-8, the National Frameworks, focusing on Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response and Recovery, clearly define key preparedness roles and responsibilities for the entire community.
Over the course of the next 30 days, stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide additional input to the drafts of these Frameworks and the initial draft of the Recovery Federal Interagency Operational Plan. The period will end on April 2, 2012. Visit www.fema.gov/prepared/ppd8.shtm to view the working drafts of these documents and submit your input using the accompanying matrix.
Formidable Footprintexercise series has been developed in accordance with Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) protocols. The objective of the exercise series is for CERTs, Neighborhood Watch Programs, Neighborhood Associations, Community / Faith Based Organizations, Citizen Corps, Fire Corps and others to work as a team to become better prepared for the next disaster their community may face. There is NO charge to participate in these monthly exercises. The Earthquake exercise is on Sat March 31, 2012 … and Flood is on Sat April 28 .. both from 9:00AM - 4:00PM EDT. Note: It is only a 3-hour exercise so your group can be scheduled within the 9a-4p timeline as needed. For more information and to register for the 2012 exercises visit www.formidablefootprint.org
DID YOU KNOW…
... subduction zones have been considered as possible disposal sites for nuclear waste, where the action would carry the material into the planetary mantle, safely away from any possible influence on humanity or the surface environment, but this method of disposal is currently banned by international agreement. Source: World Nuclear Association
... deep-seated infighting within the five-member U.S. nuclear safety regulator was exposed in December after Congress released complaints about misconduct at the highest levels of the agency. The details shed new light on how caustic relationships have become at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is rolling out a sweeping series of reforms for U.S. nuclear power plants in the wake of the disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant. On one side is the agency's chairman, Gregory Jaczko, who previously worked for prominent nuclear critics in Congress. On the other, four commissioners -- two Democratic appointees and two Republicans -- who complained to the White House in October that Jaczko was overstepping his powers, and intimidating senior NRC staff and an independent group of advisors that was reviewing the agency's analysis of the Fukushima accident. Sources: Reuters and WNN
... 23 U.S. reactors have the same design as those at Fukushima and NRC regulators assured the public these reactors had been updated with special safety equipment ("hardened vents") that would prevent a hydrogen buildup and explosion. But … the Fukushima reactors had the same hardened emergency vents and they failed miserably. Source: The Christian Science Monitor
COOL LINKS / IDEAS
NOAA and NASA are working on a series of next-generation weather satellites called Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R, or "GOES-R series," that will improve warnings of deadly tornadoes and other severe weather with the first expected to launch in late 2015. These next-generation weather satellites bristle with state-of-the-art instruments for improved scouting of these killer storms, even at night. Tornadoes are, by their very nature, difficult to pin down. The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) on GOES-R will improve meteorologists' ability to assess conditions that spawn twisters. Compared to current GOES imagers, the ABI provides twice the spatial resolution, three times as many channels of information, and more than five times the update rate. Learn more at NASA.gov
FEMA’s free smartphone and tablet apps contains preparedness information for different types of disasters, an interactive checklist for emergency kits, a section to plan emergency meeting locations, information on how to stay safe and recover after a disaster, a map of open FEMA Disaster Recovery Center locations (one-stop centers where disaster survivors can access key relief services) and Shelters, general ways the public can get involved before and after a disaster, and the FEMA blog.
PR News’ Crisis Management Guidebook, Vol. 5 can give you the tools you need to rewrite your crisis plans now and meet these challenges. The crisis experts who present their hard-earned wisdom in these pages offer you a step-by-step action plan for getting through the first hour of a crisis, tips for crafting messages under pressure, insight into dealing with violence in the workplace, advice on creating a social media action plan, checklists to gauge your readiness for a crisis and much more.
Organizations and providers of products and services have been at risk of reputational crises ever since the first enterprising caveman/woman began trading animal pelts for berries. The lessons in preparing for and managing risk have since been handed down through the centuries, and have been refined by today’s PR professionals, whose distilled wisdom PR News has presented in four editions of its Crisis Management Guidebook.
Chapters Include: Media Relations; Internal Communications; Reputation Management; Issues Management; Digital Communications; Litigation PR and The Crisis Plan. Learn more at www.prnewsonline.com/store/55.html
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