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So, it’s a cold wet windy night so
people may start trickling in. We’ll try
to minimize the disruption. A
little bit about me, my name is Herbert Cole, I am
the Emergency Manager for the
City of Livermore, California,
and I’m a certified emergency
manager through the International
Association of emergency management. I’ve been in the emergency management world
off and on since 1991. I responded to
Hurricane Andrew the Northridge
earthquake, several tornadoes, and severe
storm events in the Midwest. I’ve worked
on disaster recovery with regard to
documentation and how you basically
bring businesses back up. About ten
years ago, after Hurricane Katrina, I decided
I wanted to make a midlife career
change to do this professionally
full-time. So I did. It’s long hours. Right now, forgive me if I start to
stumble, I’m working on 13 hours right
now. So we’re talking 14 by the time this is over. Tonight what
we’re going to talk about is Disaster
Preparedness Basics and a lot of this
you’ve probably heard before but
hopefully some of this you haven’t.
The idea here is to get you thinking. I’m
not here to tell you what to do, I’m here
to tell you some things to get your
brain going and the number one tool that
you have in a disaster or crisis
scenario is what…your brain.
When you’re in a crisis situation, the first
thing that usually checks out is common
sense and your brain. What we’re going to
talk about you tonight is going to
hopefully get you to the point where you
don’t do that. So (asks audience) What is a disaster?
Earthquake, fire, flood came from the audience. Those are hazards or events
that can become disasters. Disasters are
categorized by natural human influence
technological and what we describe most
there were all natural disasters right?
What’s a technological disaster?
From the audience…oil refinery blowing up, nuclear, losing all your
power for an extended period of time. That’s right, that could be a
disaster.
So disasters though are really a matter
of perspective, and the reason I’m
saying that is because it’s a beautiful
Sunday afternoon when I sit down to
watch the baseball game. I propped my
feet up on the table, I’ve got my drink
of choice, I’ve got a bowl of popcorn and
turn on the game. I’m in the middle of
the game, 3rd inning, it’s a really good game, and boom.
We have a 7.5 earthquake. Now I sit
there and go “oh what’s happening here”.
Things start kicking in right? The house is
rockin’, the house is rollin’. None of my
pictures came off the wall, none of my
furniture comes down, my TV stays
anchored to the wall, nothing comes out
of the shelves in the kitchen or out of
the cabinet. The refrigerator stays closed . . . my
house is moving! My next-door neighbor on
the other hand 7.5 earthquake all this
furniture moves, his cabinets fly open,
the refrigerator opens up, dumps food on the ground. Who has the disaster?
He does. Do I have a disaster? No. Why?Okay I’ve prepared,
I’ve mitigated. So it’s a matter of
perspective. From my perspective, I just
had a really big jolt. From his
perspective, he has a really big disaster. So what we
want to talk about tonight is how do you
get to the point where your perspective
is it’s not a disaster and we’re moving
toward eh, it’s just an
inconvenience. So hazards in our area…asks the audience, “name some hazards in our area”.
Because “disasters result from
a vulnerability to a hazard”. In the
scenario I just presented you, what were
the vulnerabilities that my neighbor
had to the earthquake? Furniture wasn’t
bolted down, that made it vulnerable to
things collapsing right? What else?
Refrigerator. How many of you latch your
refrigerator closed?
They don’t have latches any more. They used to, but children would climb inside and they
would get locked in. You can buy child
safety locks now for your refrigerator. One of the things that you don’t want to
see, is coming into the kitchen in the
middle of the night after the earthquake
and everything that was in the
refrigerator is now on the floor.
Not only do you have broken glass and
things like that now, you’ve got a big
mess to clean up. I didn’t have a mess to clean up, my neighbor did. So he was
vulnerable to that? What are some things
that we are vulnerable to in this area
with regard to hazards? Wildfire… what
else?
Flooding.What makes us vulnerable to
flooding? Location. So if you’ve built in
a floodplain you expect to get
flooded out? Probably. If you don’t build
in a floodplain then you don’t get flooded out. Many of us don’t have a
choice. We bought our house, we didn’t know we were in a
floodplain. But there are things that we
can do to mitigate against the damages
that occur just like I said in the first
scenario with the earthquake. I
mitigate against damages. The hazards
in our area,
what’s listed up here, is avalanche,
drought, earthquake, extreme heat, flood,
hazardous materials release, landslides,
severe winter storm, soil hazards,
wildfire and wind hazards. Which ones do
you think that we probably don’t have here? Avalanche. You’re not going to get one of those out here.
Did people in Japan think they would
have a 9.5 earthquake, coupled with a
tsunami, coupled with a nuclear meltdown all at once? So never say never. We may
get some heavy snowfall here someday
and snow builds up on these hills around us…you never know.
But no, we probably won’t have an avalanche in my
lifetime. What about severe winter storms?
Yeah, that one is a matter of perspective too, because typically, a severe weather storm has
lots of snow and ice and things like
that. Could we get that here? Imagine if
we got six inches to a foot of
snow here overnight. Probably a disaster
right? We don’t have snowplows, we don’t have any way to handle that. How would you go to
the grocery store? These are the types
of things that we need to think about,
“what are my vulnerabilities?” If you have
questions while I’m talking I’m more
than happy to entertain them, so just raise your hand.
Audience question: What about the chemicals at the lab? Answer: Are those hazards? I don’t know either.
So not knowing what the hazard is, is that a vulnerability? Yeah it is. So what do we have to do when we don’t know?
You can ask them. They may not tell us.
Okay, what we can do is prepare
and we’re gonna talk about that a little
bit when we’ll talk about a specific
hazard. It’ll go right to your
question. So, what is disaster
preparedness? Disaster preparedness is
one element of what’s called the
emergency management cycle. The emergency management cycle is made up of four
elements; mitigation, preparedness
response (which is the really sexy stuff
that’s what we put on the vests run out and do stuff).
And then the last one is recovery. So of
all of those, tonight we’re going to
focus on the preparation or preparedness
piece. When it comes to preparedness
there’s two types of preparedness,
there’s physical preparedness, and there is
psychological preparedness. So what’s physical preparedness? Having
water, having blankets, getting all of the
things that you need right?
What is psychological preparedness?
You’re understanding that you’re going
to be on your own. So this is where
we’re going to try and start you to
think a little differently tonight. So the
psychological aspect of preparedness is
you have to admit to yourself that there
are not enough first responders in the
world, especially here in Livermore, to
come and save you. They don’t exist. Right now, there are 18 first responders roaming
this city on duty. How many people are in
the city right now? About 90,000 at any
given time. People on the freeway and
people coming in and out to eat and
visit. So can 18 first responders respond
to – let’s say it’s 1%. One percent of the
population needs immediate life-saving care within the first
hour of an event. Can 18 first
responders take care of that? No. So what we
need to do is we need to start thinking
well what can I do? The other thing is
you need to begin to expect that you’re
going to be spending seven to ten days
on your own without ever seeing any help.
They’re gonna roll in here, but they’re
not going to get to us right away. Where’s the first place if there’s a
large earthquake in the Bay Area you think everything’s gonna go first?
San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose. That’s because that’s where the mass of
people is, and that’s where the resources will go.
That’s probably where the most
damage will be. So what we need to do is
we need to start thinking about how are
we going to take care of ourselves for
seven to ten days. So that’s the other
part of psychological. When I was younger
I didn’t want to admit these things are gonna
happen. I lived through every major earthquake in California except
Loma Prieta. I did not live up here at
that time. But starting in 1971 with San
Fernando and all the Southern California
earthquakes and all the big earthquakes
up here, I’ve been through them all, and I
always put my head in the sand. Even
though I was working in the industry
I was still skeptical, “they’re never that bad”. And then I saw Katrina on TV and I
was like, it can get that bad. Even Hurricane Andrew, it was bad, but it wasn’t
like Katrina. That was my wake-up call. I pulled my head out of
the sand and said I do need to start to
prepare, I do need to start to be able to
do these things on my own. So that’s kind
of what kick-started me into changing my
career path of doing this professionally. So psychological and physical.
Why do we prepare? Why do we physically
prepare? So we can have the stuff we need.
Okay…that’s the main reason. Why
do we have that stuff? We prepare
so that we can respond.
Preparation is the first step in
response.If we’re not prepared, we have
no way of responding. So what we want you to do is start to think about what you are
going to do when to respond?
They’re not mutually exclusive of one
another, they go hand in hand. We prepare
to respond. The extent of our response
need is determined by our preparation,
and our
mitigation efforts. Remember the mitigation I described in the first scenario? I bolted
everything down and everything was ready. I have all the supplies I need in case things go sideways.
But my response was minimal
because I did all of the work in advance. My neighbor on the other hand, do you
think he’s responding? Yeah, he’s in
response mode and he’s probably like
running around like a chicken with his
head cut off. He can’t figure out what to
do…I gotta clean this, oh I’ve got a
gas leak, I’ve got these things. He’s
experiencing the disaster. So the
ultimate goal of being prepared is
resilience. Remember Rocky V, where he fought Drago the Russian? (Rocky IV)
What was the whole premise about that
movie? It was basically, I’m gonna build
myself up like a piece of steel and you
can beat me down, but I’m gonna get back
up. And you can beat me down and I’m
gonna get back up. And he kept going and
kept going and kept going. And that’s
what we want to do when we start to
prepare. We want to get to that point
where we can be so resilient that
whatever it is that hits us it may knock us down, but we get back up really quick.
And that’s important not only for you
and your family it’s important for the
city of Livermore. Because the city of
Livermore needs to get back up and
running. We need the businesses to get
back up and running. We need the citizens
to get back up and going to work and
doing the things that keep our society
running. If you know what happened after
Katrina to New Orleans, it’s very sad,
because a lot of people did not have the mechanisms in place to
recover. And they left. They walked away. We don’t want to see that happen in
our community.We want people to bounce
back, we want our community to come back,
so we do that by starting this process
of preparation.
The way we start is building a kit. You’ve
all heard build a kit, make a plan, all of
that right? So how many of you have kits? Laughter from audience. How many of you gonna start a kit when
you get home? They’re really easy. In fact,
we’re gonna leave here with homework.
Essentials in a kit are basically
water – I’m not going to tell you what
to put in your kit because your kit is
personal okay? But you should have water,
a first aid kit, a flashlight and spare
batteries. You should have a whistle. Why
should you have a whistle? I
can whistle all day long but after
about three or four hours of screaming
(actually probably about an hour of screaming)
my voice is gone. Food? If
you’re going to put food in your kit you
need to make sure it’s food you’re going
to eat, because a lot of the stuff that
you might think about, bars that are meant to last a long time.
I was at an event last night, and they put out the old “rations” for everyone to sample. When I
ate it I was like, there’s no way, it was
like eating dried lemon cardboard.
It was really bad and I won’t eat that
in a disaster. So fun food that you will eat.
Next item, a regular am/fm radio, a multi-tool and duct tape, and cash. When I worked in the city
in San Francisco I went into the city
every day with a large sum of cash in
small bills. I always had cash on me in
the city. Why?
If there’s an earthquake or a power outage
and I need money, the
ATMs are probably not working. And I
guarantee you if there’s a large scale
earthquake, the banks are going to be
closed and the ATMs are not going to be
working. So what am I going to do? Make
sure you have some cash on you.
Toilet paper and hygiene supplies. So in
a disaster,
next to cash the next best thing is
toilet paper. Toilet paper will probably
go for $30 a roll. I’m not joking, it’s gonna be like gold and here’s a story: When I
worked Hurricane Andrew, there was a man that went up north to Canada every year. He lived there in the woods every
summer. When he went into town to pick up his supplies, he saw
the news that this hurricane had hit where he
lived the rest of the year. He took everything out of his truck, left it there at the store and he
loaded up on toilet paper, baby diapers,
and feminine hygiene supplies. He packed
his truck and he drove back to his
neighborhood, because he knew who his
neighbors were, and what they were going
to need.Water and food will take care of
themselves, but toilet paper, baby diapers,
and feminine hygiene supplies are the
things that people don’t think about. So think about putting those things that
you need into your kits. Next, a change of
layered clothing, to be able to go from
a very hot environment to a very cold
environment. So if your kit was built
this last summer and we had the
earthquake tonight and you put summer
clothes in there, are they going to do you any good tonight? So think about another layer of
clothing. And then beyond these
essentials, whatever you want. Put the
things that you want, not what somebody’s
gonna tell you, it’s what you want.
Make a plan. When you make your plan you
need to basically sit down and you need
to be methodical, because this plan is
not just a plan that you’re gonna write
and say okay we did it and throw it on a
shelf.This is your instruction manual.
Remember I told you the first thing that
checks out is your brain? So when your
brain checks out, you need a checklist. And that’s what this plan is going to be.
It’s not just for you, it’s for people that may come to your assistance
that don’t know you. So you want to
basically name each person covered by the
plan. You want to identify the home, work
and school address of everybody that’s
going to be covered in this plan. You
want the date of birth and their age,
any medical conditions, allergies, medications, access
and functional needs issues that they
might have. Driver’s license,
social security, medical… all of the
things that basically identify that
person because what you’re going to do
is you’re going to create an identity on
paper and that identity is going to be
used in a disaster for two things. One, to
identify that person. But two, to help
begin reconstructing that person’s life.
If you have pets, take a photograph of
yourself with your pet. Why? To prove you own that pet.
I may have my pet chipped but
somebody else could get that information, and you can say,
well here’s a picture of me and
my cat, we’re together.
Provide the physical description of any pets or family
members, such as hair color, eye
color, height, weight, and then include a
recent photograph with family members
also. Communication: You want to create a
communication aspect to your plan. This is just sound really weird but it’s
something I did in our house. When I
first started doing this again I created
an escape direction paper, like what they have on the back of hotel doors. I put that in each
one of my kids room and then I had one
on the garage door. My wife and my
kids were like “ehhh” and I said “it’s not for
you”. It’s for when we have guests
that come to visit and they stay in your room. They don’t know
where to go in case of an emergency. So if
there’s something that happens in the
middle of the night, we expect you to
meet out here, because you’re my guest
and I’m gonna take care of you. So we did
do that. We identified a neighborhood
location, a local location that’s about a
mile or two away.And then we have our
regional reunification spot that’s about
ten miles out. Actually ours is a little
farther than that now. But say somebody
sends you a message in the middle of the night
and it says you need to evacuate. Now what does that mean? If I tell
you you need to evacuate now, the city is
on fire,
I probably need to get out of the city.
Where’s my reunification spot out of the
city? Because if they’re all in the city
that could be a problem. So think about
that. Map each location so as you
identify these, create a map, even if it’s
just a AAA map. Or print out a Google Earth Map or something.
But identify your reunification spots. Everybody gets a copy of that. Have an out of state emergency
contact. If you have a
smartphone, create text message templates
that are ready to send out in a
disaster. Have them ready to go so that you
just basically have to find that one and
boom send it. I’m okay. I was at this
point at this time, and somebody will
know that you were safe at the time you sent it.
The last thing that I would
suggest you do for your communication
plan is download ______________.I’ll
have a link to that here in a second.
Important documents: You want to take all
of your important documents, whether it’s
a rental agreement, a lease agreement,
mortgage agreement. Your
health insurance. Anything
and everything that is basically
financially related. You need to
take that, you need to scan it, and you
need to put it into some kind of electronic format; put it on a hard drive or put it onto a
thumb drive and sock it away someplace.
Why is it important that you have those
documents and have them readily
accessible? Audience members says “in the case of the Santa Rosa fire, you can there you go
prove you owned the home, and, that you had insurance for it”. That is correct. Insurance is one of the big things, accounts for I just there you
go and insurance is one of the big
make sure you have your insurance
policies and your accounts and all of
that stuff included in that. When I
worked the Northridge earthquake
little known fact was that the
earthquake authority at the time which was funded
State of California was out of money in
almost nine hours. The people that got
paid were the people that showed up and had all the paperwork ready to go as soon as the doors opened.
We were not aware that the money had run
out. That was basically identified later. So
it’s those that have the paperwork up
front ready to go you’re going to get
your life back a lot faster than if you
have to try and find it. Question about having your information on a thumb drive, whether it would be able to use if there’s no electricity etc. The speaker responds that you may be able to use it at a
relief center. Usually they’ll have a
computer and you can hand it to them. Discussion about having paper copies also. Speaker suggests that they do that too.
I would strongly suggest you have both. I
have both. I have paper documents,
they’re stored off-site in a fireproof safe. I have identification
documents are stored on the East Coast
with my brother and then I have
electronic means also. As does my wife. Question about passports. They store them at the bank.
They should be okay there. You might not be able to get in there right away, so you should make a
photocopy or scan an electronic copy so
that you can at least have that, or the number.
I would store if you can still get a safety deposit
box, I would still keep it there. But I
make a copy of it…
so that you have a copy in the event
that they can’t get in the bank.
gonna give us the bank opens up, so that’s why I say make
electronic copies, scan them. You want to take anything that you cherish like
photographs things like that, make copies
of them, store them electronically. But other
things that you may cherish take pictures of them. I collect books. I have taken a video of
every single book that I own in my
library. Now they’re worth a lot to me
you know when I turn into insurance, they’re probably worth a quarter. But to me they mean
from the record but to me it means
something, so I do have a record of what
I own. So you want to keep that record
with you also. The fourth part of your
plan is to assign tasks to people
in your household. You basically want to say, well this
earthquake happens or this fire happens
or this flood happens or this meteor
happens, these are the things that each
one of us does. Or if you’re by
yourself make a plan – a methodical plan. This is what I do first, this is what I
do second, third, fourth..But you want to
make a methodical plan. Put out
small fires, clean up spills, turn off the
gas (only if you smell gas),
turn off the water, turn off the power. Whatever it is that needs to happen
create a checklist make it sequential, so
that you everybody has a job to
do. That does two things; one, it puts
people into action doing something
that’s gonna help with the response, but
it also starts to take their mind off of
what’s happened. By starting to do
something, you’re saying, okay, now I’m focused on
something. I’m not thinking about what actually
happened. And then you need to practice a
plan. So I told you about putting a little sign
on the back of the door? So my wife and I
came to an agreement when we started
planning in our house. I said you know if
one of us decides that we need to hold
a drill in the house, all we have to
say is “earthquake” and no questions
asked, we do the drill. That was our
agreement. So we have our go bags, we have
everything, we think we’re ready. So one night we’re reading
before it’s time to go to sleep and I go “earthquake” and she
looks at me and says “really”? Ok fine. So we jump up and we start going through the motions and it’s a
disaster. It was horrible. We thought we knew what
we were doing. I picked up my go-bag that
weighs like 70 pounds (what do I have in
here?) We’re starting over the
whole motion and we just started
laughing…we’re like “we’re dead this isn’t working”.
so we agreed to stop and promised, that we’d work on it
tomorrow. So we sat down the next day and we kind
of went through and said we don’t need all junk in these go bags. What I need is
when there’s a knock at the door and someone tells you, you have to leave now, that’s all I need.
That’s why now everything is electronic
on drives, that’s my paperwork. I’ve got
layered clothing, I’ve got a radio that I
can crank, that has a flashlight, radio,
and I can charge my phone on it. I pared
everything down to a small bag which is
basically grab it and get out. Before, we thought we were going camping and it just didn’t
make any sense. So practice this plan
when you create this plan practice it.
Because if you fail, failure is
information. It’s like whoa, what can I
do better next time. If you don’t fail you’re not
gonna know what to do. So you need to do
it. You need to find out what doesn’t
work so that you can fix it. Do it as a
fire drill, do it as an earthquake drill,
do a communications drill. Call the people back at the East Coast or
wherever it is. Just say we’re just checking
in, this is our communications test. We
just want to make sure we can reach you. Everybody knows who to call. Very simple.
Nothing elaborate. Do an economic stress
test. Figure out what you’re going to do
if your company your business goes away. Where do you get money from? How long can
you survive without that job? or if your
house fell down? or if your bank is gone?
Try to start to stress your system the
system that you live with every day and
then update your plan to fix what
doesn’t work. A great time to do this is
when we do the time change.
You know they tell you change your
batteries, do a drill right there. It doesn’t take long maybe 10 minutes at the most.
Get educated Get engaged: Join the community emergency
response team.They offer it twice a year through the
fire department here, excellent program.
Become a Skywatch storm spotter? We have
the National Weather Service come out
twice a year and they will train you
basically what to look for, for
severe weather. They want to know what’s
happening here in Livermore, because they can see what’s
happening on the radar, but the problem
is that the radar shoots over the
Livermore from Monterey. By the time it
comes over us it’s at 4,000 feet. Well if
it’s a low storm, like 2500 feet,
you can have precipitation coming out
they don’t see that . It could be hail it
could be whatever, so they want to know.
So you can become storm spotter. Become a ham radio operator. We are looking for
ham radio operators. They are going to do
the communications “go to” during a large
earthquake. And then you can also become a Red Cross volunteer. We’re looking for people
that may be interested in doing shelter
management. So if we have to spin up a
care of shelter sight we need people that step in that can do that. And then
take CPR/AED first aid training. So
these are the types of things that you
can do not only to help yourself, but to help
your community by doing that. I told you I’d
try to talk about ACALERT and the
communications needs . Alameda County went
out and purchased an app called ACALERT. This is the mass notification
system that the city of Livermore has
adopted. So it’s a system
that will notify you in the event of a
disaster, but it requires right now that
you opt in. Now there is an element like in Santa Rosa. Remember people so
they didn’t get the message etc. We can issue that message but we have to
go through the county to do that. So we
could call the county and say we
have something that’s happening really
really bad here and you need to notify
everybody, and they will do that. But for
other smaller events, let’s say for the
flooding like we had last February, right? It doesn’t impact the entire
community, but we can send out a notice
to the entire community that’s just a
warning, that we’ve got flooding in these areas, please
stay away. But those are “opt-in” and
there’s an app that goes with that
called AC Prepared. The ACALERT system sends to that
app also. But I would strongly suggest
that if you have not signed up for ACALERT
that you do. The website is acgov.org/emergency site.
I’ll have my information so if you want to
send me an e-mail I’ll be happy to send
this information to you.
This is the way that the city will notify or one of
the ways. The City has a reverse 911
system, but does anybody
know what the problem is with that? It goes to landlines only. How many of you still
have a landline? Most everybody? That’s good. A lot of people don’t,
so they can’t get notified. That’s why we’re
going to adopt this also. So this is why you’re here (showing a slide titled Earthquakes).
remember I told you in the beginning
If you’re not prepared for an earthquake,
you’re not prepared. I can see a
hurricane coming five-six-seven days out. Tornado, I might get thirty minutes
warning, sometimes you get more depending on how big the storm is.
But an earthquake, if it
happened right now, are you prepared?
No. You can’t run out and say oh and earthquake
just happened, now I’m going to get
prepared. You have to be prepared now
so earthquakes basically cause human
suffering. Referring to the slide with six separate photos,
shows a couple that had to move out of their apartment in Northridge and basically live on the
sidewalk for two weeks. These are people
lining up to get water because they had
no water. Loss of infrastructure…
you’ve got the Asilomar interchange
which is the I-5 between northern
and southern California out of Asilomar. This right here is a broken
water main with a gas rupture and then
you can’t see it but there’s electrical
lines down there also which is what
actually triggered the fire. So these
people aren’t going to have gas and they
don’t have water, they probably don’t
have electricity. And then the last one
is kinda to represent loss of services
that we depend on on a day-to-day basis. You’ve lost the hospital (that was actually
a Kaiser clinic, it wasn’t really a hospital). But the other one is in Coalinga where the city manager
of Livermore was actually there at
the time. I was just kind of making a
joke this is a TV repair shop so that’s
a service that we all really need. But those
are the types of things that we need to
think about because those are the
types of impacts that are going to occur here we have a large scale earthquake. An
earthquake is basically a rupture
underground usually less than 25 miles deep. It’s
basically the earth kind of grinding
against itself and then it kind of
sticks, and as it’s trying to get away
from that sticky spot, boom, it breaks.
When it breaks it sends out waves; S waves, T waves and a lot
of technical terms, but the bottom line
is the ground starts moving. When the
ground starts moving it can mean two
things
you can have a lot of fun. If I’m standing
out in a field and things moving, I’m like, ooh this is fun.
But if I’m in a building it may not be so fun. and that’s
going to be dependent on my preparation,
my mitigation, and all of those things.
Right now USGS says that there is a
99.7%
probability that within the next thirty
years – it’s always 30 years – it’s been 30 years
since I was a kid. But by 2032, we’ll have
6.7 or larger within the state.
A 6.7 is probably not even the “big one”. So in a earthquake if I
told you we just had a 6.2 earthquake
what does that mean to you? Is that a big earthquake?
Reasonably large right? So a 6.2 earthquake here versus a
6.2 earthquake in some place like Iran
are they the same thing? Building codes.
So a 6.2 doesn’t tell me anything, it just
took me how big the earthquake was. What
I look for and what I would have you
start looking for, and you can see this
every time they say there’s been an
earthquake, there’s what’s called a
Modified Mercalli Indicator or Index, or
MMI.
The “I” can indicate different names.
What it basically is, is it’s a scale
that goes from one to ten plus and it’s
perceived shaking, what is it that I am
feeling? A one is I don’t feel it. A
five is, oh yeah I hear some noise and
I can feel the building move
but when I get to a ten and above, the shaking is so violent that
literally right now I probably would not
be standing. I would probably be flying
through the air because the ground is
just moving. That tells me something. So if
you say “Oh yeah we had a 5.9 but with an MMI of 8”,
now I’m probably expecting some
damage from that 5.9. But if you tell me
we had a 5.9 with an MMI of 3, then I’m probably saying, okay, no big deal.
What causes the damage in the earthquake? It’s the shaking.
The amount of energy released doesn’t matter to me. I want to
know what that shaking is. So if you tell
me 5.9 MMI 7, okay, you’ve got my
attention. You tell me 5.9 MMI 2 – I’m going back to bed.
Because there is probably not a whole lot ofshaking going on. Question from audience: Do they still have the earthquake vulnerability maps?
Answer: yes they do. Avac, who used to do those kind of got out of the business of doing that, but they do
still exist.The probability maps and
showing on the fault which areas are most vulnerable.
Those are actually required by California state law and they do still exist. Livermore itself – different vulnerabilities.
One part of town versus the other
part of town.
What is our biggest threat here do you think?
Liquefaction and do we have a fault
nearby? We have the Greenville fault,
which runs right down Vasco and Greenville Road. Then we have the Hayward
fault too. So the Greenville can pop off at 6.7,
Hayward is probably about same. The
Hayward is a lot longer so we do have
some hazards in the area we are vulnerable to. You were just talking
about this right? I apologize once
again for how small this is (referring to map on Hayward Scenario slide) but what I’m showing is a scenario on the
Hayward Fault. This little dot right here
is Livermore I want you to watch that
little dot. This is the epicenter of the
earthquake. It’s going to be at the
intersection of the Hayward and the
Rogers Creek fault.
Describing the criteria for how the map is divided into categories…
When you start getting to this
dark area, almost black, you’re talking violent
violent shaking. When you’re in this yellow
to orange right here, you’re talking
destruction. You’re talking these buildings are going to be damaged.
I want you to watch this. This is actually created by a supercomputer. USGS
created this and it’ll give you an idea
as to what could
happen. Starts graphic. So about three
seconds, see how it’s sending out purple little blue, that’s when you might say, is
this an earthquake?
Not bad, little wobble wobble then BOOM right there. Now this place is rocking and rolling.
Now look at the dark that black, see that
black? How it’s reaching Livermore?
38 seconds. That’s the kind of ground movement that we don’t
want to feel and look at how long it keeps going on. We’re now 50 seconds into it.
Just keeps radiating and radiating and
radiating. Do you know why we’re gonna feel
it that way? What are we built on? These are loose soils, really soft soils.
This is where everything’s over eons have come down out of the mountains.
We’re built on silt down here. Remember when I said I used to stick my head in the sand?
I didn’t want to admit that that was going to happen. The reality is, it will probably happen in our lifetime.
Will it be that bad? I don’t know. But it will happen. So when it does happen, the first thing
you’re going to do is you’re going to
drop to the floor. Remember? Drop cover hold on right? You’ve all heard that?
right drop to the floor cover yourself, get
under an inner table or a piece of sturdy furniture.
Hold on to the furniture so as it moves you move with it. When the shaking
stops you check yourself first. Who’s the
most important person after a disaster?
You are! Your family your loved ones are
very important but unless you are at
100% and capable of taking care of yourself, it’s going to be hard
for you to take care of someone else. So
you need to go ahead and evaluate your
immediate surroundings in yourself
and then you need to decide what you’re
going to do. Am I going to stay in this
building, this house, or am I getting out?
Depending on the size of the earthquake
it may be safer to stay inside for the
time being. Most houses today can
withstand 6.5-7.0.
It will probably be okay. So you need to think about that, evaluate that. If you are
wheelchair-bound or you have mobility
issues and you can’t duck under
something, get down low, cover yourself
up with something, put a book over
you something. Get next to an interior
wall get down small. The idea is just to
protect yourself
so while that shaking is going on you
don’t get hurt. If you’re in bed, curl
up in a fetal position. Pull the covers
over your head, hide from the boogeyman.
That’s what we want you to do. Make
yourself smaller then put pillows
over you, put blankets over you, hold onto the bed, because the bed is
probably gonna start moving around so
you want to ride it out. Same thing, when
it stops, evaluate your surroundings and your personal situation and then go into
action. If you’re in a vehicle you want
to pull over to the side of the road
where it’s safe. That doesn’t mean pull
off under an underpass or an overpass
because that could fall on you. We
had that unfortunate accident in
Florida. So you don’t want
to get underneath an overpass. You want to stay
away from big trees because trees snap. There’s a tree in Sequoia that was
actually snapped off in an earthquake in
the 1800s and you can actually still see
where way up it just snapped. Avoid buildings, power poles, things like that. When the shaking
stops you need to evaluate your immediate surroundings and then you need to decide am I
gonna keep driving. Because while it may
be safe here, where you’re going down the
road…a bridge may be out, a road destroyed, there may be power poles down. You need to
understand what your routes are. I
know my routes home. I know I’m probably
not getting home because I have a couple
of creek crossings I’ve gotta get
across and in a large quake I’m probably not getting across. So I need to think about
that. If I’m on the road and I’m coming down through the Dublin
interchange, I’m probably not getting here. Same thing with the Altamont. What if the
railroad trestle goes down? It’s
right across the freeway right? Maybe I’m
not getting here or getting out of here. So
evaluate that? Think about that when you drive
around town. Look around and say, what if
something happened now,
could I get home, could I get to work,
could I get home from work?
Mitigation is basically the action that we take to minimize our vulnerability to the hazard.
So we always hear people say “oh you need to bolt the
foundation of your house down. That’s a mitigation measure. What we’re
trying to do is minimize the effects of
the earthquake on the foundation of the
house and the house sliding off the
foundation. I mitigated against food
spilling onto my floor by putting
latches on my refrigerator. So we
definitely want to do mitigation. Mitigation preparedness are
two different activities but they go
hand-in-hand.
Earthquake preparedness. This is
exactly what we talked about at the
beginning. Question: Don’t you want the house to be able to move a little bit? Answer: The house will bend. Most out in fact almost all houses are
made of wood so the frame will flex but
I don’t want the house sliding off the
foundation because then what can happen is the house can actually become damaged
when it slides off. When I was in Northridge, there’s a lady
standing in front of her house. The house
looks totally normal except that
the steps up to it – she had one of those
craftsman homes where you had to go up like
four steps to get up – well the steps are up here and the door is way down here,
at the top of the door. Now her house is not usable because it slid off the foundation.
So basically she lost her house. It survived because it bent but when it came off the foundation, it was no longer
a usable dwelling. So yes, you want some bending, but you don’t want to come in off of
your foundation. They build buildings that are built on rollers or rubber
dampers so that they do what you’re
saying, they can move back and forth.
In fact, there’s a hotel down in downtown
Los Angeles built on ball bearings and
when the Northridge earthquake moved
all those ball bearings were
like balancing stick on your finger and
that’s what it did to withstand the motion.
Develop an earthquake plan, just like you’re gonna create for any disaster. That earthquake plan
you’re going to develop is really going
to be that preparedness plan we talked
about. Because if you’re prepared for
earthquake you’re prepared for
everything.You want to conduct your
earthquake drills. You want to develop a
plan for reuniting your family members. Does all this sound familiar?
You want to identify the out of state
family contact. You want to keep a few supplies on hand.
You want to keep your vehicle’s gas
tank at least half full. Say this with
me, “half the tank is the new empty”.
Because when you pull into the gas
station you fill up for half a tank you
feel a lot better because you didn’t spend
$100, and the other thing is
is you’re not going to caught like
people in a hurricane Rita, who were told
to evacuate the city of Houston and
there are millions of people trying to
get out of town and they ran out of gas. So there you are on the side of the
freeway and you got a hurricane bearing
down on you and nowhere to go.
Now we’re not going to have that
happen here, but it could be something
like a wildfire, something like that. The idea is to make sure you
have enough gas to get out of the danger zone. When the earthquake occurs you’re going to
activate your plan. Remember I told you
it’s a checklist it’s not something we
create and put on the shelf. You’re going to activate that plan. You’re going to
execute each step of that plan in the
order that you created your plan. So if
you say Bob you do this, Sally you do this, Jimmy you do this. That’s
what people are going to do and execute
just the way that plan is written. You’re
going to respond in a calm methodical
and professional manner. And you will!
Because remember what I told you at
the beginning I told you be prepared
to respond right? Okay. So we only react. Let me give you an example of reactive.
I give you a box with all kinds of
buttons and lights on it, and when I handed it
to you, all of a sudden went off and
it’s flashing and making noise. What are
you gonna do? You’re gonna go Aack, what do I do with this? Right? That’s a reaction.
But if I train you and I explain what this
thing is how you turn those lights off
and everything, when it goes off, you’re
gonna go oh click-click click-click.
That’s a response. So when you came in
here you’re probably going I’ll react. Now when you walk out of here tonight
you’re gonna start to respond, because
you’re gonna think about it and think, okay, I got a
plan. I know what I’m gonna do. I’ve mitigated against these
vulnerabilities. I know what to expect. So
when all this happens my brains not
going to check out. I’m going to use my
brain, the most important
tool I have. Stress will make you
dumb. But if you practice and you know
what to expect and you’ve done all the
work in advance, that brain’s not going
to check out. So that’s why we prepare.
We prepare so that we can respond. So
here’s your homework.When you get home
get a bag.It can be a drawstring bag
or a backpack, whatever it is that you
decide. I want you to put a pair of slippers or some old shoes
in it, and I want you put a whistle in it,
and I want you to put a flashlight in it (with
some spare batteries hopefully). If
you don’t have one turn your little
radio am/fm radio. You’re going to take that stuff, you’re
gonna put it in that bag, you’re gonna put
it down next to your bed. You can
tie it to the frame, just kind of wedge it down there. That’s
your homework. Because when the
earthquake happens, it’s not going to be
2:00pm on a beautiful sunny afternoon. It’s going to be
at night, it’s going to be 34 degrees outside and the wind’s gonna
be howling, it’s gonna be raining and cold, and boom, it’s going to be
that scenario that we saw. That’s not
the time that you want to jump up and
react and basically step in glass to gather up supplies. I’d much prefer to reach out and grab
that bag and put on my slippers and I’m gonna use the flashlight to see what’s on
the floor. I have a radio to turn on to listen to, tuned to
KCBS and see what’s happening. I have a
whistle in the event that I become
trapped and need to use that whistle. I have it right next to my bed on my side
and my wife’s side. We each have a bag that has these things and that’s the beginning. That’s the beginning of
being prepared and responding. An audience member says she also put a crowbar under her bed, in case the doors
shift. That’s a good thing. Remember I told you, you want to create the kit for you. I never
heard that but I’m glad you brought it up. In Northridge I jumped up
outta bed and I was running to my
daughter’s bedroom because her crib was
right under her window and I’m worried it’s going to blow out.
I jump out of bed a the first thing happens is, I’m slammed back into the bed because I couldn’t stand,
and the bedroom door slams
shut. If I’d been running for that door
when it slammed shut I probably would have been hurt. Doors
can become weapons and
they can lock and easily get stuck.
I’m glad you brought that up, I’ve never
thought about that and I will put one under my bed now too.
Any questions? All right let me give you my information here (shows last slide). This is my
information. I am Herbert Cole, I am the
emergency manager for the city of Livermore.
My telephone number is 925-960-4038. You can call me, I will answer, I work for you. My email is [email protected] If you’d like me to come to your neighborhood and do this for your neighbors, let me know.
Couple final questions about schools, and Herbert’s answer was to reach out to all your kids’ schools and ask them about their emergency plans.

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