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Ready at Home = Ready to Work

We*Ready Summer 2016

Santa Barbara Beach


This Edition's Contents

Home Preparedness

Situation Readiness & Response Team Celebrates 15 Years

How to Get Rid of Annoying TenANTS

Seasonal Concern: Summer Activity Safety

Let Us Know

Home Preparedness

Home Puzzle



Our 2016 ReadyDay was a success! Thank you to everyone who participated! One of the main things we continue to stress is to make sure that you have a home readiness plan so you and your family are prepared for any crisis, whether you’re at your house or here at Westmont. Here are a few easy steps to start your plan with your family:

  • Discuss what disasters may affect your area
  • Identify and collect important information (phone numbers, medical, insurance, ID, etc.)
  • Store important documents online
  • Pick an emergency meeting place
  • Create a go-kit (example here)
  • Subscribe to Nixle alerts
  • Practice your plan!

Here’s even more in-depth suggestions because you’re a pro!

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Situation Readiness & Response Team Celebrates 15 Years

When Disruption knocks at the college’s door, the Situation Readiness & Response Team gets up and answers it.

The college’s team with oversight for our emergency planning was established in June 2001. Originally called the “Crisis Management Team,” we eventually realized that not everything we encounter is a “crisis”. And our role is often to support a vice president in dealing with a situation, rather than to “manage” it. So for over a decade we’ve been the “SRT” (because, try it, saying SRRT is just awkward).

We have enjoyed uncommon stability. The seven-member team still includes five from the original roster: Tom Bauer, Chris Call, Stu Cleek, Jena Harris, and Troy Harris. The current team also includes Nancy Phinney and Kevin Hess, who have participated since about 2008. John Draper has been chairing the team for over a year (freeing Troy to focus on the íntegReady planning tool we created for Westmont that’s now licensed to over 20 other schools nationwide). Thankfully, we still enjoy working together!

We’ve responded to a number of misfortunes over the years, large and small, including the Tea Fire (2008), the Physical Plant Building fire (2002), a spate of local wildland fires (Zaca, Gap, Jesusita, Gibraltar and others), numerous incidents abroad (including one year that had students in hospitals in seven countries), three helicopter retrievals in the Sierras, mountain lions and coyotes and bears on campus (oh my!), a couple of armed intruder threats, and the list goes on.

We also oversee the college’s preparations for disruptive incidents—the Readiness part of our name. This includes plan development, emergency notification systems and processes, stockpile acquisition and management, and training and exercises (including our annual major earthquake drill called ReadyDay that’s been a tradition since 2010).

SRT is always looking for people to fill the “many-hands-make-light-work” roles on the college’s various readiness teams (Emergency Response Team [four people for each of 25 functions]; Area Response Team [two per major building]; Fire Brigade [17 Physical Plant employees have special certification for this work])—altogether about 150 employees presently serve in some designated response role. In particular, we need more people willing to help with our medical response and with the Light Search & Rescue (LSAR) team. Register your interest in an email to risk@westmont.edu. Join one of the teams that looks Disruption in the eye and says, “You might knock us over, but you won’t keep us down.”

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How to Get Rid of Annoying TenANTs

With the summer starting to heat up and California still in a drought (keep saving water!), you may find an increase of ants trying to get at your water (last year they managed to stream in from our electrical socket, showerhead, shower handle, window, and attic - so gross). So here are some quick tips to try to avoid a losing battle:

  • Use airtight containers for your food
  • Keep your counters and floors clean
  • Kill the advance scouts quickly
  • Seal off entrance areas
  • Use barriers and deterrents such as these natural ingredients
  • Use a spray
  • Use traps and bait (but not in the same places as the spray because you need to give the ants time to bring the poison back to their colony!)
  • When all else fails, call an exterminator :(

Here’s a more in-depth article if you still need more help. Good luck!

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Seasonal Concern: Summer Activity Safety


Say goodbye to June Gloom--whatever summer activities you have planned, take care to stay prepared & have fun!







Sun and Heat Safety

  • Whether you're at the beach, hiking a trail, or rocking out at the Santa Barbara Bowl, be sure to stay hydrated! There are lots of great water bottle options, including these awesome Eco-friendly choices where you don’t have to buy into the recent Hydroflask craze (because who needs to spend $30 on a water bottle??)! Don't forget to hydrate while you're at work, too. Many people have found that they will drink more water throughout the day if they keep a reusable cold cup (like this Starbucks option) filled at their desk. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!
  • We're not the only ones saying it--always wear sunscreen! One in five Americans are predicted to get skin cancer during their life, but it's easy to prevent - find out more about sunscreen usage here.
  • Here are some other tips from the CDC (shout out to Career Development and Calling, our own CD&C) for summer safety.

Beach Safety

  • Are you and your family educated about rip currents? Rip currents are strong, underwater currents that head away from the beach. Check out this weather.com resource for more information on how to identify, avoid, and escape from rip currents.
  • If an earthquake occurs while you are at the beach, immediately leave the beach and head for higher ground. You can view a Santa Barbara tsunami inundation map with the tsunami sign plan here (candidly, we think the map is a little optimistic, and we suggest you head for even higher ground if possible).

Tips to get rid of tar found here!

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Let Us Know!

What do you want read in We*Ready emails? Are there other emergency related topics that you've been curious that we haven't addressed? Let us know by emailing us at riskasst@westmont.edu, or calling at x6201.

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