Disaster resources available to prepare for heat, wildfires, power outages, earthquakes – Red Bluff Daily News


September is National Preparedness Month, designated to encourage disaster and emergency preparedness. To help Californians prepare for extreme heat, earthquakes, public safety power outages, and wildfires, the University of California Cooperative Extension has created a disaster preparedness website organized for quick access to critical information.

The website https://ucanr.edu/Disaster has fact sheets with tips for preparing.

“Unfortunately, with a warming climate, we are facing more and more extreme weather events such as heat waves, wildfires, power cuts and storms. All Californians need to step up their preparedness efforts to be prepared for this more uncertain future,” said Susan Kocher, UC Cooperative Extension Forestry Advisor, co-author of disaster preparedness resources for the website.

Extreme heat

The Extreme Heat Events fact sheet offers suggestions for avoiding heat exposure, such as identifying nearby cooling centers and covering windows to keep heat out. It also suggests things to do in hot weather, like staying hydrated, taking cool showers, and keeping pets indoors. It describes the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, which can have serious health effects.

Power outage for public safety

During extreme weather events, electrical power in high fire risk areas may be shut off to prevent sparks. This precaution is known as a public safety blackout. A PSPS is most likely to occur from May through November, when conditions are hottest and driest.

UC Cooperative Extension recommends signing up to receive PSPS alerts from your energy company. Experts also advise planning for medications that need to be refrigerated or medical devices that require power. To prevent foodborne illnesses, they offer suggestions for keeping food safe during and after a power outage.

Forest fire and smoke

Wildfire smoke can harm your health. During wildfires, UC Cooperative Extension recommends wearing an N95 outdoors to reduce exposure to smoke and taking steps to prevent smoke from entering buildings. To reduce the risk of wildfire, the website outlines methods for clearing flammable vegetation around homes.


UC Cooperative Extension offers safety tips before, during and after an earthquake. It is helpful to identify in advance the safest place in your home during an earthquake. For example, doors are not the safest place in modern homes. Experts recommend crawling under a sturdy desk or table, while avoiding areas next to windows, under ceiling lights, or near large objects that could fall in an earthquake.

The website also offers resources on drought, post-fire food safety, and wildfire preparedness and recovery.

In 2020 and 2021, Cooperative Extension researchers across the country held listening sessions with community members who had experienced extreme weather events and other types of disasters to learn what worked well, what what had gone wrong and how communities could be strengthened.

In response, these disaster resources were developed by Kocher, UC Davis undergraduate student Caydee Schweitzer, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor Tracy Schohr, and specialist Vikram Koundinya. of the evaluation of the UC Cooperative Extension. The group plans to add fact sheets on other disaster-related topics in the future.

This project was funded by a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Renewable Resources Extension Act.

Source link

Comments are closed.