Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
On Tuesday, April 27, Deputy Managing Director for Emergency Management MaryAnn E. Tierney welcomed officials during a tour of the Office of Emergency Management’s new Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in a Box. The EOC in a Box is a portable EOC that contains essential equipment for officials to carry on operations from a centralized hub in the event the City’s EOC is not usable or it is more practical to set-up an EOC elsewhere. The officials conducted the tour during the kickoff event for a federal exercise, LibertyRADEx, coordinated by the U.S. E.P.A., held at the Sheraton Philadelphia Center City Hotel.
“The EOC in a Box provides us with much needed redundancy, enhancing our ability to manage and coordinate emergency operations whatever arises,” said Deputy Managing Director for Emergency Management MaryAnn E. Tierney. “It will allow us to quickly establish an EOC if we decide it will be more beneficial to be located closer to an emergency, or provide us with an alternate location in the event that our primary EOC isn’t accessible.”
The EOC in a Box is equipped with laptops, a multi-functional network printer, servers and routers, mapping capabilities, a portable weather station, and a tactical communication bridge. It is also equipped with portable projectors, a portable projection screen, touch screen monitor, and a public address system. The EOC in a Box comes with light towers, a remote lighting system, and an uninterruptible power system. The equipment is stored in weather-resistant, shock-proof carrying cases on wheels, making is easy to deploy. Eight portable shelter tents, tables, and chairs can be used as temporary office space.
The EOC in a Box was funded by a $559,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Monday, April 26, 2010
A national Homeland Security exercise called Liberty RadEx will take place in Philadelphia April 26-30.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection are leading which will involve over 30 Federal, state and local agencies and more than 700 personnel at various locations in the city.
At some locations people can expect to see personnel in special protective clothing and workers simulating activities such as monitoring the air and collecting wipe samples from surfaces. Signs will be posted at these locations to inform the public that an exercise is taking place. The drill will test the country's capability to clean up and help communities recover from a terrorist attack. For more information, contact the EPA at 215-814-5100.
Also see the EPA Press Release and the article on Philly.com.
Also see the EPA Press Release and the article on Philly.com.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Southeastern Pennsylvania Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters Honored during National Volunteer Week, April 18-24
During this week all over the nation, volunteers are being recognized for their commitment and dedication to service. Experience shows that government by itself cannot solve all of our social service needs. “Volunteers are essential to Philadelphia’s success as a caring and compassionate city,” said Deputy Managing Director Tierney. “It is only fitting that we recognize the SEPA VOAD members and the other agencies who responded to the call for help and for coordinating the recovery efforts of the families who were affected by this devastating fire. These volunteer agencies provided hope during the most trying times and their commendable efforts are an inspiration to all of us.”
It was a chaotic scene when the Fire Department arrived around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 22 and quickly sounded multiple alarms. It was later determined that a burning candle sparked the fire that quickly spread throughout the apartment complex, injuring 21 residents and four firefighters. “While the professionals of the PFD always respond to assist citizens in danger as a job requirement, it is those who voluntarily step up in a time of need that the Fire Department recognizes for going above and beyond the call of duty” said Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers. “We salute all volunteers for their commitment to Dedication and Service.”
SEPA VOAD was called after 34 families were forced to evacuate their apartments during the fire. Over the next three months, more than 20 SEPA VOAD and other agencies “adopted” 17 of these families to assist with their recovery needs. Thanks to their efforts, all of the families have recently found new residences and are in the process of rebuilding their lives. “SEPA VOAD is an example of what a true partnership can create,” said Tom Foley, CEO of the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter. “No one entity could have achieved these kinds of results alone in the wake of the Austin Manor fire. The American Red Cross is fortunate to have such committed partners in the region." Each year, SEPA VOAD works collaboratively to provide hope and make a difference to their neighbors in need. Through its coordinated planning efforts, SEPA VOAD matches community needs with resources provided by member agencies to ensure that all clients get the help that they need.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
(Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers Honors the Volunteers that Assisted the Victims of the Austin Manor Fire on November 22, 2009)
We all have role to play in keeping Philadelphia safe and secure. Take simple steps to be prepared for emergencies, such as getting trained in basic first aid and volunteering to help local emergency responders.
How can you participate?
Volunteer as a member of any of these agencies who are helping Philadelphia’s first responders prepare for emergencies:
- American Red Cross, Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter
- Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society
- Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee
- Philadelphia Fire Department
- Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps
- Philadelphia Town Watch Integrated Services
- The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia
- Second Alarmers Association of Philadelphia
- Southeastern Pennsylvania Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters
Monday, April 12, 2010
Not every explosion has a terrorism connection. Transformers and generators sometimes explode due to age or wear. The following are basic guidelines if you are near an explosion of any type.
On the Street:
On the Street:
- Regain your bearings. Determine if you are injured, and where the blast occurred.
- Move immediately in the opposite direction of the blast.
- Do not walk close to buildings, as glass and debris may still be falling.
- Once you are out of the danger area (at least three blocks), try to remember and write down any information you can about the event. Anything you can remember may be helpful later on.
In a Building:
- Regain your bearings. Determine if you are injured, and note structural damage.
- Quickly note secondary hazards – fire, smoke, toxic fumes and the smell of gas.
- Determine whether you should evacuate or shelter in place.
- Once clear of the danger area, record all information.
On a Train:
- Regain your bearings. Determine if you are injured and note structural damage.
- Quickly note secondary hazards – fire, smoke, toxic fumes.
- Both the tunnel and the train will be dark – move as slowly as is practical.
- Upon exiting the train, be careful to avoid the charged rail.
- Move as a group away from the train.
Monday, April 5, 2010
If you or a loved-one has special needs, consider the following emergency preparedness tips:
- Will you need help to evacuate? Determine who will help you and how you will get to a safe place or shelter.
- Make sure you have a method for reaching your emergency contacts.
- Locate all usable exits from each room and from your building. Make a habit of knowing where the exits are whenever you are in a new location (such as shopping malls, restaurants, movies and theaters).
- Know evacuation plans for all places where you spend time. Every building’s plan is different. Find out if there are floor marshals, and if they are responsible for evacuation plans. Be sure to let them know what special assistance you may need in an emergency.
- Have a backup transportation plan in case your usual method is not available.
- Practice your plans through regular drills. If you practice drills, you can evacuate with greater ease during a real emergency.
- Practice dealing with different conditions and unexpected situations, such as blocked paths or exits.
- Do you rely on special means of communication, such as American Sign Language or computers that “speak”? Develop a plan for speaking with emergency workers and other unfamiliar people (for example, writing messages or pointing to words and pictures).
- Are you are blind or have low vision? Make sure your support network members practice guiding and directing you.
- Include service animals in all drills so they become familiar with exit routes.