SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -? Officials with the state and federal agencies coordinating San Simeon earthquake recovery efforts today reminded Central Coast residents that accurate and timely information on what has happened and what they should do in the minutes and early hours after an earthquake or another emergency is a key to helping ensure their safety.
The officials, representing the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), recommend that homeowners, renters and business owners obtain a battery-operated radio or another system for receiving news and information.
"Californians can receive emergency information audibly through traditional battery-operated am/fm radios and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio receivers or electronically through OES's Emergency Digital Information Service (EDIS)," said Dallas Jones, director of OES and state coordinating officer for the earthquake recovery effort.
"WeatherRadio can be useful after an earthquake or another emergency. Federal, state and local officials can send the same emergency public information via NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) as they do through AM/FM/TV broadcasters," said Federal Coordinating Officer Peter Martinasco of FEMA.
NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather ? and other emergency ? information 24 hours a day.
"NOAA Weather Radio works in conjunction with the Federal Communication Commission's Emergency Alert System (EAS)," said Martinasco. "NOAA Weather Radio is an 'all hazards' radio network. It is a good source for comprehensive weather and emergency information."
EDIS is an electronic system operated by OES that provides emergency information via text, images and sound from government agencies to the media and the public. EDIS is part of California's Emergency Public Information (EPI) distribution network, which includes the FCC's Emergency Alert System.
EDIS information is available for free via the Internet at www.edis.ca.gov, or through email, cellular phones and wireless devices via a free subscription.
OES coordinates overall state agency response to major disasters in support of local government. The office is responsible for ensuring California's readiness to respond to and recover from natural, manmade and war-caused emergencies and for assisting local governments in their emergency preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery efforts.
SBA is the federal government's primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.
Disaster recovery assistance is available to any individual without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, economic status, or disability. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against in receiving disaster assistance, you may contact one of FEMA's Equal Rights Officers (EROs) a...