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National Preparedness Month: USAA and FLASH Combine Forces

Legacy Partner USAA and FLASH combined forces in September for National Preparedness Month by providing more than 800 USAA employees and contractors with mitigation and disaster preparedness information at expositions in San Antonio, TX (September 15) and Tampa, FL (September 24). 

During the events, attendees received a wealth of information and materials, including the popular If Disaster Strikes Will You be Covered?, played games including Last House Standing, and in San Antonio, enjoyed a keynote opening speech given by Richard Serino, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow from the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health. A special guest appearance by Col. Richard Cole, co-pilot from the Doolittle Raid of WWII, was the highlight of the San Antonio exposition. Col. Cole recently celebrated his 100th birthday, and has been a member of USAA for 73 years.

“Our partnership with FLASH at our preparedness expos helps us bring lifesaving messaging to our employees and the public”, said Tom Woods, Assistant Vice President P&C Underwriting, USAA, and FLASH Corporate Board Member. “Our members live across the country, and some relocate frequently. They may face perils of all kinds, and FLASH resources can help prepare members, their families, and homes for whatever extreme weather or natural disaster may occur.” 

Coordinated by FEMA, the theme this year was “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today”. National Preparedness Month is held each year to emphasize the importance of disaster awareness, provide resources, and help inspire people to take preventative action and be prepared should disaster strike. To learn more or to get involved go to ready.gov.

Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill: October 15…Are You Ready?

On Thursday, October 15, thousands of businesses, schools, and organizations will take part in a worldwide event known as the “Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill”.  Millions of people will practice "Drop, Cover, and Hold On", a fast, fun drill designed to help you, your family, and your co-workers know how to respond to an earthquake, both during and after the event. 

According to Mark Benthien, the Global Coordinator for ShakeOut, “Everyone, everywhere, should know how to protect themselves during earthquakes. Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are a great way to learn and practice what to do.”

To join the ShakeOut, and make sure your participation counts, register here. If you want to hold a ShakeOut drill in your organization, visit shakeout.org and sign up today.

Building Code Information Presented by FLASH at Flood Symposium and Municipal League Conference in Southeast Texas

The Texas State Collaborative (TSC) partnership, including FLASH and the National Weather Service (NWS), participated in the Southeast Texas Regional Flood Symposium on August 31, hosted by the Texas Floodplain Management Association and the Texas Flash Flood Coalition.

The symposium included emergency managers and officials, floodplain managers, Fort Bend County officials, media, NWS personnel, public information officers, San Jacinto River Authority representatives, Trinity River Authority representatives, and other professionals who gathered to share lessons learned from the catastrophic events of May and June, 2015.

Dr. David Maidment, from the University of Texas at Austin, presented the new "Community Flood Response System". As a part of the system, the NWS and federal water agency partners have established a new National Water Center (NWC) in Tuscaloosa, AL. This new center is designed to meet the growing challenge of providing flood-related emergency response services for local citizens, as well as providing information for the nation, including improved flood forecasting.

After receiving an overview of the Texas State Collaborative and a detailed synopsis of the Leadership Toolkits, Hector Guerrero, NWS Warning and Coordination Meteorologist, noted that "The Texas Flash Flood Coalition appreciates our partnership with FLASH and the Texas State Collaborative. The Leadership Toolkits are an important educational tool for organizations, city, and county officials, and others interested in improving resiliency and safety in Texas."

FLASH also shared the Toolkits in the exhibit hall at the Texas Municipal League Conference in San Antonio, September 22-25. Over 4,500 elected and appointed city officials, speakers, and exhibitors came together to learn about products and services designed to benefit their respective communities.

FEMA P-388 CD, “Safe Room Resources” Now Available

FEMA’s Building Science Branch has released its FEMA P-388 CD, "Safe Room Resources” (2015). This resource is designed to help communities mitigate damage or loss from tornadoes and other extreme-wind events, as well as provide public information resources to convey the importance of safe room construction. The release is part of FEMA’s ongoing mitigation effort to lessen the impact that disasters have on people and property.

The P-388 CD contains a wealth of information, including posters, maps, and other resources that are available to be downloaded in multiple formats, including high-resolution print quality and low-resolution screen quality for web use.

These resources may be downloaded by clicking here and can be ordered from the FEMA Publications Warehouse by calling (800)-480-2520.

Bay Area Earthquake Summits to be Held in November

On November 3 and 4, 2015, two QuakeSmart Business Summits will be presented in the East Bay area and San Francisco. The summits are a collaborative effort of FLASH, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, the Bay Area Earthquake Country Alliance, Legacy Partner Simpson Strong-Tie, Safe-T-Proof Earthquake Fasteners, and both the San Francisco and California Offices of Emergency Management.

In addition to learning about the QuakeSmart Community Resilience Program for Businesses and Organizations, summit participants will receive guided information designed to protect employees and avoid business interruption during an earthquake. The Quake Cottage earthquake simulator will be on-site and will allow attendees to experience a simulated earthquake in a controlled setting. Special guests will include the Chief Resilience Officers for the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. California OES Earthquake Officer Kate Long remarked, “Taking a whole community approach to earthquake preparedness and safety works best. Social scientists tell us that continuity of positive, empowering messaging between all the partners is much more likely to move people to action. We are pleased to support the QuakeSmart Summits and look forward to two great events.”

To register for the summit, visit  earthquakesummit.com or contact Project Manager, Barbara Harrison.

FLASH Annual Conference Early Registration Discount Ends October 17 – Don’t Miss Out

Early registration for the 2016 FLASH Annual Conference: The Next Generation of Resilience ends October 17, so register today to take advantage of the discounted price. Space is limited to 200 attendees for this must-attend event January 27 – 29, 2016 at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek. 

This year’s program will feature a diverse lineup of speakers and panels covering an array of topics crucial to the success of the disaster resilience movement, including:

  • The Next Generation of Codes/Standards/Policies
  • The Next Generation of Residential Construction
  • The Next Generation of Outreach/Education
  • Creating a Disaster Resilient Generation

The conference will include a special tribute luncheon honoring the 2016 National Weatherperson of the Year, celebrating the critical role meteorologists play in advancing disaster safety and resilience. Past recipients of this distinguished award include Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel and Former National Hurricane Center Director/WPLG Hurricane Specialist Max Mayfield.

Please join our sponsors, Huber Engineered Woods LLC, Portland Cement Association, International Code Council, and the American Institute of Architects to help underwrite this important gathering. Through sponsorship, your organization will be recognized by attendees, including the Nation's foremost voices in the disaster safety and resilience movement. Email Sarah Chason or call (850) 385-7233 for more information.