September is National Preparedness Month

September 19, 2018

National Preparedness Month (NPM) takes place each September and is an ongoing reminder to review the necessary preparations you should take in the event of a natural disaster. This September the sentiment seems even more relevant than most years as the Eastern coast feels the impact of Hurricane Florence and the Western States recover from a particularly deadly fire season.

This NPM the focus is on planning, with an overarching theme of: Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How., according to ready.gov. Visit the website today to get free reference materials, checklists, and information on how to best prepare for a natural disaster. It’s important to remember that nothing can beat being prepared when a disaster occurs, and there is no substitute for thinking ahead.

Some simple tips to help you prepare now:

  • Know how to perform some basic home maintenance like securing TVs, dressers, and appliances in event of an earthquake.
  • Learn how to turn off the utilities to your house like natural gas and water in the event of leaks or broken pipes.
  • Ensure your smoke alarms are working with fresh batteries, and also keep a fire extinguisher with the right ratings available in your home.
  • Learn CPR, and keep a First Aid Kit ready in your home.
  • Work with all your family to ensure that everyone knows how to evacuate the house beforehand.

Some other important information available on epa.gov, is how to report emergencies and some general information about any emergency.

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) also offers several items that can help you prepare this NPM. On govinfo, there is a newly-published feature article that offers several links to related publications on disaster preparedness. These publications cover a variety of topics ranging from the National Flood Insurance Program Administrative Reform Act of 2017 to the Pets Evacuation to the Disaster Relief Act of 1974.

GPO also offers access to several items that can help your organization celebrate this unique history. The U.S. Government Bookstore offers several titles about this topic in the Disaster Preparedness Collection.

Some of those include:

  • National Response Framework, 2008 National Response Framework is a guide to how the Nation conducts all-hazards response. It is built upon scalable, flexible, and adaptable coordinating structures to align key roles and responsibilities across the Nation, linking all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector. It is intended to capture specific authorities and best practices for managing incidents that range from the serious but purely local, to large-scale terrorist attacks or catastrophic natural disasters.
  • Disaster Preparedness Manual: Natural Disasters, Man-Made Disasters, Patient Fact Sheets The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs takes disaster planning and response very seriously. This manual, comprised of three major sections, summarizes actions that Veterans and their families can take to effectively cope with a disaster.  The sections are:
    • Natural Disasters (tornadoes, floods, etc.)
    • Man-Made Disasters (chemical attacks, bombings, etc.)
    • Patient Fact Sheets
  • Owlie Skywarn’s Weather Book – Provides an easy to read pamphlet about storms: hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, lightning, emergency preparation kits, safety at school, and more. Although written to be understandable for children ages 8 to 12, it contains valuable disaster preparation and response information of use to parents, teachers and other adults. At head of title on cover: Watch Out Storms Ahead.

GPO’s commitment to Keeping America Informed will continue to strive to provide access to Government information on all issues that affect the public in all aspects of their life.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

About the author: Blogger contributor Scott Pauley is a Writer and Editor in GPO’s Library Services and Content Management offices.


Psychosocial Issues for Children and Adolescents in Disasters

August 13, 2018

Hurricane season has officially started, which means severe storms can form without warning—potentially causing major devastation in their paths.  In the days following a natural disaster such as a hurricane, adults and children alike find themselves thrown into chaos, confusion and heartbreak. Children are particularly vulnerable, which is why Psychosocial Issues for Children and Adolescents in Disasters advocates for increased sensitivity to the emotional vulnerability of children after such events. While presenting insightful strategies to mitigate the effects of disaster, this manual succeeds in fulfilling its purpose: expanding the understanding of the world from a child’s point of view, and the nature of their responses to natural disasters.

The publication is broken down into four categories: The World of Childhood and the Developing Child, Reactions of Children to Disasters, Helping the Child and Family and finally, Guidelines for Caregivers, Mental Health and Human Service Workers; all of which provide compelling insight in how to provide effective care.

For those of us who aren’t well-versed in child psychology, this book explores several child development theories to illustrate the importance of a successful transition into normal day-to-day life after trauma.

These fascinating theories range from the Piaget Theory – stating that the capacity to understand one’s environment increases with growth – to the Attachment Theory as developed by John Bowlby; a phenomenon revealing that children make strong affectional bonds to nurturing figures as a protective method from risk or harm. The Attachment Theory is most significant following a disastrous situation, as these events typically result in long-lasting fear and anxiety if left unaddressed.

Further still, what I have found to be most compelling is the fact that an adult’s reaction to a traumatic event plays a powerful role in a child’s recovery. Experts discovered that children’s symptoms of fear and stress dramatically decrease when adults empathize with them. This is a surefire way to establish a successful transition into well-adjusted adulthood – one where adults develop healthy coping mechanisms rather than developing behaviors that place a strain on their physical and mental health.

Let us not forget that enduring a disaster is no small feat, and the responsibility of helping children recover does not rest on parents alone. Assisting a child through the healing process – whether it be from a natural disaster or a death in the family – will have a lasting, positive effect. Use this source as your guide to being an effective support system to a child (or loved one) in need.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

About the author: Blogger contributor Aubree Driver is an intern in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales office.


Rebuilding after a busy hurricane season

September 26, 2017

This year’s catastrophic impact of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, has left many communities with the daunting task of having to rebuild.   The Federal government offers help to homeowners directly affected by this season’s hurricanes. Drawing on lessons learned about coastal building damage after past hurricanes, FEMA produced Home Builder’s Guide to Coastal Construction, a 180 page manual including a series of 37 fact sheets to provide technical guidance and recommendations concerning the construction and renovation of coastal residential buildings.

The Guide is a proven success to assist anyone living in an area subject to flood and wind forces; especially along America’s coastal low lands, and vulnerable locales including, Florida, and America’s Caribbean territories of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Whether you’re a builder, contractor, realtor, homeowner, business owner, or working in the construction, real estate, or economic development arena, you’ll find this comprehensive manual and fact sheets present incredibly valuable and immediately useful information aimed at improving the performance of buildings subject to the fury of flood and wind forces found in coastal environments.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Harvey, Irma, and more to come! Be prepared for a busy hurricane season.

September 8, 2017

Agencies of the Federal government are stepping up to do everything possible to help communities in “harm’s way,” with this year’s hurricanes of historic proportion causing devastating impact in Texas, Florida, and other coastal states.

You can become better prepared to face potential new storms through preparedness you can take in advance of any future natural disaster such as hurricanes, with help from the government.

At https://bookstore.gpo.gov there’s a variety of publications available providing expert advice on getting ready prior and better prepared after a storm of serious magnitude hits your community. Guidance for contractors, roofers, property restorers, local and state public officials, volunteers, and individuals to better understand how to rebuild and move to a better tomorrow. Here are a few to consider; or go on https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Disaster Preparedness Manual: Natural Disasters, Man-Made Disasters, Patient Fact Sheets. This manual, comprised of three major sections, summarizes actions that Veterans and their families can take to effectively cope with a disaster.  This illustrated reference emphasizes actions designed to prevent or reduce impact of natural or human-caused hazards. Information is also presented to assist those with access and functional needs, including children, people with disabilities, and older adults, as well as pets.

Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning, Nature’s Most Violent Storms: A Preparedness Guide, Including Tornado Safety Information for Schools an illustrated guide showcases some facts about weather-related events, and suggests life-saving actions you can take if you find yourself in an unexpected situation resulting from a weather-related event.

Psychosocial Issues for Children and Adolescents in Disasters provides information and guidance for individuals concerned with the mental health needs of children who experience major disasters. This background, training, and experience will vary and may include physical and mental health professionals, professional and paraprofessional social service personnel, school and daycare personnel, clergy, volunteers, and parents.

Do yourself, and America, a favor. Be prepared. Be educated. Be ahead of the next natural disaster where you live. Save lives, including your own.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Don’t Give Fire a Place to Start

October 7, 2016

An unforgettable fire began in Chicago on October 8, 1871. Legend has it that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over a lamp which set a barn—and the entire city—ablaze. Tragically, the Great Chicago Fire burned for days, killing scores of people, decimating roughly 3.3 square miles, and leaving more than 100,000 Chicagoans homeless.

1871_great_chicago_fire_destroyed_buildingsThe Great Chicago Fire not only changed public thinking about fire safety, it inspired Fire Prevention Week—an annual commemoration of that devastating inferno. Going back over 90 years, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public safety observance in America. This year it runs from October 9-15.

One theme for Fire Prevention Week has been “Don’t Give Fire a Place to Start.” That’s a message that Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration wants every American, especially children, to take to heart. FEMA’s popular Sesame Street Fire Safety Program Family Guide is available through GPO.

Family coloring book. Fire literacy primer. A get-it-together-you-grown-ups safety guide. It’s all those things. FEMA and Sesame Street really deliver. Everybody do the Elmo happy dance!

064-000-00067-5However, this guide is not just about Elmo. A proper shout out goes to Cookie Monster, Grover, and Telly Monster. Together, the furry fire brigade educates with catchphrases like “hot, hot, stay away. hot, hot, not for play” and “get outside and stay outside!” The playbook covers how to avoid hot things that burn, make a home escape map, family practice time, and what to do if the smoke alarm sounds. There are kitchen safety tips for parents and caregivers, too.

Start a healthy discussion around a scary thing like a fire emergency. Demonstrate that preparation and prevention are skills that the entire family can work on together. Cultivate lifelong fire safety habits. As the guide says, “fire safety begins at home.’ Simple steps make a big difference in staying safe from fires.

Sometime after the Great Chicago Fire, it was discovered that a journalist fabricated the O’Leary cow rumor. The real cause of the fire has never been confirmed. But it did start a national conversation on the basic but essential elements of fire safety. As Fire Prevention Week reminds us, prevention is a big part. Fires are mostly preventable. It’s on everyone to take charge.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Prepare for the Start of Hurricane Season

June 1, 2016

stormBatten down the hatches! There’s a storm a brewin’ off the port bow. Don’t worry, despite the sailor-y weather warnings, there’s no looming squall to be alarmed about (at least as I write this blog). But there’s plenty to be prepared for as the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that the June 1-November 30 season “will most likely be near-normal…[with a] 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms [with] winds of 39 mph or higher.”

Prepare for hurricane season, and other types of severe weather, with two FEMA publications that provide actionable information about home building tornado- and hurricane-prone areas.

Home Builder’s Guide to Coastal Construction

This FEMA-produced series of 37 fact sheets presents technical guidance and recommendations for construction in disaster-prone coastal environments. To help you weatherproof your habitat from top to bottom, foundation to roof, this resource details construction need-to-knows. Divided into 10 different categories, the fact sheets represent various coastal building components and requirements that are distinct from those for inland.

064-000-00055-1Yes, the coast is pretty. It’s also a high-load, extreme-conditions environment. If living in a coastal home requires more upkeep, then building a coastal home certainly requires special consideration. Know thy flood zones! And follow the real estate credo of “location, location, location.” Homes in coastal areas must be situated, designed, and constructed to withstand the forces of coastal erosion, wind corrosion, and flooding from the ocean. To that end, “a building can be considered a success only if it is capable of resisting damage from coastal hazards and coastal processes over a period of decades.’

Exceeding minimum requirements of coastal building could mean a reduction in storm damage, building maintenance, and insurance premiums. Shoring up a coastal building against shore effects is an economic no-brainer.

Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business; Includes Construction Plans (CD)

064-000-00069-1When extreme winds from hurricanes and tornados threaten person and property, safe rooms can save lives. Building a safe room in your home and small business doesn’t require an advanced design degree or a bottomless bank account. With some sound information and planning, homeowners can work with a builder/contractor to stand up a safe room. As more and more people chose to live in the possible path of storms, a structure that provides “near-absolute protection, or a high probability of being protected from injury or death” is patently worth it.

tornadoThis digital collection constitutes an update to FEMA’s original and impressively helpful guidance. Since the first edition was issued in 1998, “more than 1 million copies of the publication have been distributed, and nearly 25,000 residential safe rooms have been constructed with FEMA funding assistance.” The revised CD contains PDFs of illustrated floor plans, risk assessment criteria, and even a few examples of how safe rooms have saved lives.

Almost every state in the Union “has been affected by extreme windstorms such as tornadoes and hurricanes.” The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implores all citizens to “prepare, plan, and stay informed.” For more hurricane- and tornado-specific guidance, including how to make an emergency plan and supply kit, visit DHS’ https://www.ready.gov/.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


30 Years Since Challenger

January 27, 2016

January 28th marks 30 years since the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. On that day in 1986, the NASA Space Shuttle orbiter broke apart a mere 73 seconds into flight. The vehicle disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean. All seven crew members perished. Among them was Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first teacher in space. Initial post-incident inquiries determined a catastrophic O-ring failure caused the explosion; an investigative commission cited a flawed decision-making process was also to blame. Such a tremendous loss put the program on hiatus and Congress on an earnest search for answers.

Challenger crew. Front row from left, Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair. Back row from left, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis, Judith Resnik. Image source: www.nasa.gov

Challenger crew: Front row from left, Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair. Back row from left, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis, Judith Resnik. Image source: www.nasa.gov

GPO’s Federal Digital System makes available the “Investigation of the Challenger Accident” report issued by the House Committee on Science and Technology. The result is 450 pages of findings and concerns. Page seven beautifully sums up the heavy task:

“Perhaps it is arrogant to dissect and interrogate relentlessly projects and programs that bring home repeated A’s for achievement and accomplishment. However, all of us— NASA, the Committee, the Congress and the Nation—have learned from the Challenger tragedy that it is wisdom to do so, and it is a reflection of respect for the human fallibility that we all possess.”

The Space Shuttle program resumed not long after the investigation closed. Its three decades of stratospheric history is the subject of NASA’s “Celebrating 30 years of the Space Shuttle Program.” Contained within the coffee table-worthy publication is dazzling color photography. Each page has quick facts on every orbiter mission and crew. Milepost moments, such Hubble Telescope deployment and the first American woman in space, Sally Ride, receive honorable mention. The book is a love letter to the program’s above-planet discoveries and home planet breakthroughs.

033-000-01355-8In the preamble, NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. writes of the Challenger disaster:

“We’ll never forget…Many of us counted them as our personal friends, and their achievements will live on in the spirit of perseverance and grit and hope in which they lived and worked. They were all true heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to this country.”

That tribute is a reminder of how the story of human space flight—its bounds pushed by the Shuttle program—is one of unsurpassed achievement and tragedy. 30 years and 135 missions defined the agency and inspired a skilled, committed engineer and astronaut workforce. That’s why, year after year, NASA upholds its ranking as the best place to work in the Federal Government. The agency is stocked with grown-up kid scientists living their starry-eyed dream of space exploration. They’re the not-so-secret sauce keeping NASA on the frontline of research and results.

The Shuttle’s 2011 retirement was, as Administrator Bolden called it, bittersweet. After all, orbiters Challenger, Columbia, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor helped build the largest human made structure in space, the International Space Station. Some of the bitter to that sweet, of course, is the Challenger disaster. It was a profoundly tragic pause in NASA’s determined mission to reach into the unknown. But it pressed on. Such boundless sight is what makes NASA the world leader in space and a spearhead of the human experience.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Click on the Links: For the free resources, click on the links above in the blog post.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


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