Emergency Management


Civil Engineer Readiness and Emergency Management Flight
The Civil Engineer Readiness and Emergency Management Flight, offers this information guide to help you get acquainted with the VAFB Emergency Management Program. This guide is designed to assist you and your family in preparing for emergency situations. This information should give insight into actions that may help protect you and your family members during an emergency. We highly recommend that every military member take the time to sit down with family members and discuss the contents of this guide. All military and civilians working on this installation have both general and specific responsibilities during any disaster/emergency. In addition, each individual has an obligation to be familiar with these responsibilities and to ensure that their dependents are briefed on survival measures to be taken in any possible disaster situation both on and off base. 

MAJOR PEACETIME ACCIDENTS
A major accident is an accident causing extensive damage to federal or civil property and may include mass casualties. It is differentiated from those day-to-day emergencies that are routinely responded to by base emergency forces through its size or its involvement of hazardous materials. Such accidents include ground accidents, aircraft mishaps, and hazardous material spills or incidents.

NOTIFICATION
Disaster Response Force (DRF) will be notified as outlined in the 30 SW OPlan 32-1 (Disaster Preparedness Operations Plan). Individuals located within, near, or downwind of the danger area of a major accident will be notified by the Security Police, Fire Department, or the base cable system. 

PERSONNEL SAFETY
Personnel or family members do not necessarily have to be located in the danger zone to be affected by the aftermath of a major accident. For instance, nonessential personnel and family members could be affected by a hazardous chemical spill miles away. If those individuals location happened to be downwind of the accident site, they could be directly affected by fumes or smoke released as a result of the accident. If personnel or dependents find themselves in such a situation, they should observe the following procedures:

1. If vapors or smoke have not reached your location, immediately evacuate the area by a crosswind or upwind route away from the incident site.
2. If evacuation is not possible, take shelter indoors, cover exposed body surfaces, close all vehicle and building windows, vents, etc., and remain until it is safe to emerge.
3. If the smoke or vapor plume has reached your location, take cover indoors immediately.
4. Close all doors, windows, and turn off all ventilation systems.
5. Taping or stuffing all door and window cracks may provide added protection.
6. Remain indoors until notified that it is safe to emerge.

NATURAL DISASTERS
Natural disasters caused by earthquakes, floods, inclement weather, or fires can affect VAFB and the surrounding community either directly or indirectly at any time. Appropriate actions taken by individuals before, during, and after the event will minimize loss of life and property.

There are certain things you can learn and do that will help you prepare for, and cope with, almost any type of natural disaster. Perhaps the most basic thing to remember is to keep calm. Take time to think, and then take the appropriate action. The appropriate action will either be what you and your family have planned for in advance or what base officials have directed. 

WARNING SIGNALS
A three to five minute steady tone on the base siren will be used to alert personnel of an imminent peacetime emergency. If you should hear the alert signal, monitor radio, TV, base public address systems, or Security Forces for additional instructions. Do not tie up the base telephone system. 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WEATHER WARNING AND A WEATHER WATCH?
A three to five minute steady tone on the base siren will be used to alert personnel of an imminent peacetime emergency. If you should hear the alert signal, monitor radio, TV, base public address systems, or Security Forces for additional instructions. Do not tie up the base telephone system.

1. A Weather Watch is a notice to advise affected agencies of the potential for warning-level weather conditions before actually issuing the warning, allowing affected agencies advance notice to prepare.

2. A Weather Warning is a special notice provided when a weather condition severe enough to pose a hazard to property or life is occurring or is suspected to occur.

TYPES OF NATURAL DISASTERS: EARTHQUAKES
An earthquake is a shaking of the ground caused by the sudden breaking and shifting of large sections of the earth's rocky outer shell. Earthquakes are among the most powerful events on earth, and their results can be terrifying. A severe earthquake may release energy 10,000 times as great as that of the first atomic bomb. Rock movements during an earthquake can make rivers change their course. Earthquakes can trigger landslides that cause great damage and loss of life. Large earthquakes beneath the ocean can create a series of huge, destructive waves called tsunamis (pronounced tsoo NAH meez) that flood coasts for many miles. Earthquakes almost never kill people directly. Instead, many deaths and injuries in earthquakes result from falling objects and the collapse of buildings, bridges, and other structures. Fire resulting from broken gas or power lines are another major danger during a quake. Spills of hazardous chemicals are also a concern.

The force of an earthquake depends on how much rock breaks and how far it shifts. Powerful earthquakes can shake firm ground violently for great distances. During minor earthquakes, the vibration may be no greater than the vibration caused by a passing truck.

WHAT TO DO: When you feel an earthquake, duck under a desk or sturdy table. Stay away from windows, bookcases, file cabinets, heavy mirrors, hanging plants, and other heavy objects that could fall. Watch out for falling plaster and ceiling tiles. Stay under cover until the shaking stops, and hold onto your cover. If it moves, move with it. Below are some additional tips for specific locations:

1. If you are in a HIGH-RISE BUILDING, and not near a desk or table, move against an interior wall and protect your head with your arms. Do not use the elevators. Do not be surprised if the alarm or sprinkler systems come on. Stay indoors. Glass windows can dislodge during the quake and sail for hundreds of feet.
2. If you're OUTDOORS, move to a clear area away from trees, signs, buildings, electrical wires, and poles.
3. If you're on a SIDEWALK NEAR BUILDINGS, duck into a doorway to protect yourself from falling bricks, glass, plaster, and other debris.
4. If you're DRIVING, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses, power lines, and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over.
5. If you're in a CROWDED STORE OR OTHER PUBLIC PLACE, do not rush for exits. Move away from display shelves containing objects that could fall.
6. If you're in a WHEELCHAIR, stay in it. Move to cover, if possible, lock your wheels, and protect your head with your arms.
7. If you're in the KITCHEN, move away from the refrigerator, stove, and overhead cupboards. (Take time NOW to anchor appliances, and install security latches on cupboard doors to reduce hazards.)
8. If you're in a STADIUM OR THEATER, stay in your seat and protect your head with your arms. Do not try to leave until the shaking is over, then leave in a calm, orderly manner. Avoid rushing toward exits.

AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE CHECK LIST 

1. Be prepared for aftershocks, and plan where you will take cover when they occur.
2. Check for injuries. Give first aid, as necessary.
3. Remain calm and reassure others.
4. Avoid broken glass.
5. Check for fire. Take appropriate actions and precautions.
6. Check gas, water, and electric lines. If damaged, shut off service. If gas is leaking, don't use matches, flashlights, appliances, or electric switches. Open windows, leave building, and report to gas company.
7. Replace all telephone receivers, and use for emergency calls only.
8. Tune to the emergency broadcast station on radio or television. Listen for emergency bulletins.
9. Stay out of damaged buildings.

FOG
Fog is a very common occurrence here during the summer months. At night the fog rolls in from the ocean and usually dissipates by midmorning. The fog can be very thick and cause treacherous driving conditions. Here are some safety tips: 

1. SLOW DOWN!!!!
2. Drive with low beams on. Fog will reflect the light from high beams and actually reduce visibility.

FLOODS
Flooding often occurs during the winter months. Flood Warnings forecast impending floods, and are distributed via radio, television, and local government agencies. A warning message will predict the severity of flooding (minor, moderate, or major), affected river or rivers, and where/when the flooding will begin. FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS are the most urgent flood warnings issued. Radio and television stations will broadcast the latest flood information and warnings.

FLOOD SAFETY RULES
Flooding often occurs during the winter months. Flood Warnings forecast impending floods, and are distributed via radio, television, and local government agencies. A warning message will predict the severity of flooding (minor, moderate, or major), affected river or rivers, and where/when the flooding will begin. FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS are the most urgent flood warnings issued. Radio and television stations will broadcast the latest flood information and warnings. 

1. Find out how many feet your property is above or below possible flood levels so when predicted flood levels are broadcast you can determine if your home may be flooded.
2. Keep a stock of food that requires little cooking and no refrigeration; electric power may be interrupted. (Don't forget a can opener)
3. Keep a portable radio, emergency cooking equipment, lights and flashlights in working order.
4. Keep first aid and critical medical supplies readily available.
5. Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, filling stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days.
6. It is advised that items such as jumper cables, a shovel, chains, first aid kit, canned food with can opener, water, blankets, and extra clothing be stored in your automobile. (These items are not only good for a flood but are good for any emergency situation)
7. If located in low lying areas it is advised that material like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber is on hand for emergency waterproofing.

WHAT TO DO WHEN A FLOOD WARNING IS RECEIVED 

1. Store drinking water in closed, clean containers. Water service may be interrupted
2. If flooding is likely, and time permits, move essential items and furniture to upper floors of you house.
3. If required to leave your home, move to a safe area before access is cut off by floodwater.
4. Turn off all electric circuits at the fuse panel or disconnect switch. If this is not possible, turn off or disconnect all electrical appliances. Turn off the water service and gas valves in your home.

DURING THE FLOOD 

1. Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding
2. Do not attempt to cross flowing stream when water is above your knees!!!
3. Do not attempt to drive over a flooded road. The road may be washed away and you and your vehicle could be swept away.
4. If your vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. Don't attempt to save your vehicle, it's not worth it.

AFTER THE FLOOD 

1. Avoid using food that has come in contact with floodwater.
2. Use caution when drinking tap water, it may have become contaminated. If it has an unusual odor or taste do not drink it.
3. Use caution when around electrical equipment in wet areas. Ensure that the equipment is dried and checked before returning to service.
4. Use flashlights, not lanterns or torches, to examine buildings. There may be an explosion or flammable hazard present due to the flood.
5. Report broken sewer and utility lines to CE or other appropriate authorities.
Stay tuned to your radio or TV stations for advice and instructions on the following:
     a. Medical Care
     b. Emergency assistance for issues such as housing, clothing, food, etc...
     c. Ways to help you and your community recover from crisis.

LIGHTNING
Everyday, in more than 1,800 performances around the world, nature produces a breathtaking sound and light show staring millions of fire bolts that strike with dazzling speed and awesome power. Even though they are breathtaking, they are very dangerous. The average yearly death toll for lightning is greater than all tornadoes or hurricanes. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, lightning kills about 150 Americans a year and injures about 250. When lightning is close by, the thunder is a sharp, explosive sound. More distant strikes produce the familiar growl and rumble of thunder. The distance in miles to a lightning strike can be estimated by counting the number of seconds between lightning and thunder and dividing by five. The following are some safety precautions that can keep you from becoming a statistic: 

1. Stay indoors. Don't go out unless absolutely necessary.
2. Stay away from open doors and windows, fireplace, radiators, stoves, metal pipes, sinks, and plugged in electrical appliances
3. When there is no shelter, avoid the highest object in the area. If only isolated trees are near, your best action is to crouch in the open.
4. Avoid hilltops, open spaces, wire fences, exposed sheds, and any electrically conductive objects.
5. If in a car stay inside the car and keep your hands off of metal parts.
6. Don't handle flammable materials in open containers when lightning is present.
7. Avoid using objects like fishing rods or golf clubs. Golfers wearing metal cleated shoes are fine lightning rods.
8. Don't take a shower or bath. If you are swimming get out and dry off.

FIRE
Fires are a special hazard on Vandenberg AFB and the surrounding area. The fire season starts around June and continues through December. This is the time of the year when brush and grass become extremely dry. During this time, nature is waiting for some careless individual to make a mistake. Therefore it is essential that everyone:

1. Follow good housekeeping rules and be particularly careful not to start fires outdoors without the written permission of the Base Fire Chief.
2. Never allow children to play with matches
Keep your garden hose handy
3. Report all fires immediately 

On Vandenberg AFB, many fires have been caused from exhaust system of motor vehicles. Therefore you should never drive off road or park off the hard surface, except when authorized.

FIRE PREVENTION
The Fire Department may not always be nearby, so it is essential that you: 

1. Keep a small fire extinguisher and know how to use it.
2. Check the extinguisher regularly for serviceability.
3. Know how to put out small fires.
4. Observe basic fire prevention safety rules and be particularly careful not to start fires.

FIRE REPORTING
To report a fire from a base extension and from base housing, Dial 9-1-1

RECOMMENDED EMERGENCY SUPPLIES
The American Red Cross recommends the following items.

WATER: Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more.

1. Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation/sanitation)
2. Keep at least a three-day supply of water for each person in household. 

FOOD: Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. The following items are some examples to think about when preparing your kit: 

1. Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
2. Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)
3. Staples - sugar, salt, and pepper
4. High energy foods - peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
Vitamins
5. Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons with special diets
6. Comfort/stress foods - cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags.