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  • City of Tents - Living After the Nepal Earthquake

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    TweetSaturday saw a major earthquake in Nepal. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake has left a death toll of over 4,000. Entire towns have been flattened. With multiple aftershocks still shaking the area, along with landslide in the steep mountain, thousands are still anxious about their safety.

    On the first night following the Nepal earthquake, thousands of people were left on the street without shelter. IN the days since, tent cities are starting to take shape, springing up all over the region, providing at least some form of shelter for those without—shelter that may have to last for weeks, even months. And with aftershocks still rolling, people are staying outdoors in tents to avoid the danger of another collapse. BBC News reported on the scene at Kathmandu:

     

    Tent City Associated Press

    “Vast tent cities have sprung up in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, for those displaced or afraid to return to their homes as strong aftershocks continued. Thousands spent Sunday night - their second night - outside.”

     

    As we’ve seen in Kathmandu, tents are the go-to for those in the affected areas. And with such wide-spread devastation, how long will they have to remain in these tent cities? Which begs the question, if an earthquake struck your area, would you be prepared with shelter for you and your family?

    Just over a week ago, we at Emergency Essentials participated in The Great Utah Shakeout – an event designed to help people prepare for an earthquake. We set up a shakeout camp which consisted of a variety of tents—from tiny two-man pop-ups, to our premium Barebones cabin tents, to our 450 sq. ft Geo Shelter dome tent, all outfitted with the gear that will help people survive comfortably following a large quake. Those who stopped by our camp enjoyed strolling about our little camp (even though 6 inches of snow was on the ground in the morning hours, followed by 40 MPH winds in the afternoon…an appropriate touch Mother Nature provided to help us illustrate survival in trying conditions). I’ll tell you what, I was definitely grateful we had those tents set up, because it was a chilly day.

    The Barebones tent not only demonstrated the ability withstand all types of conditions, including heavy snowfall and strong winds, but was outfitted with cots, a desk, and even a wood burning stove. The Barebones Safari Outfitter Tent can comfortably house up to four people, and through several seasons if necessary. Take a look!

    Barebones

    Barebones Pano

    IMG_4152IMG_4151

     

    If I were in Kathmandu and forced to find a place to live for an indefinite amount of time, this would be right at the top of my list. And, with some alternate energy sources like a Goal Zero Yeti 1250 or some solar panels to provide light and power, this would definitely take some of the pain out of the disaster.

    The Nepal earthquake shows us how important shelter can be. Fortunately they’ve had some nice nights, but earthquakes don’t always wait for good weather, as our weather on ShakeOut day demonstrated.

    So, are you prepared with shelter? We hope so. But if not, check out our Barebones tents so when disaster does strike, you’ll have the shelter you need to protect you and your family.

     

    Barebones Outfitter Safari Tent: http://beprepared.com/barebones-safari-outfitter-tent.html

    Barebones Little Bighorn Tent: http://beprepared.com/barebones-little-bighorn-tent.html

    Shake Out Camp Blog Post: http://beprepared.com/blog/17966/shakeout-camp-surviving-well/

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Diesel Spill Contaminates Local Water Supply

    Last Wednesday, residents of Nibley, Utah were put under a water ban for 48 hours.

    do not drinkNo, it’s not drought conditions that cause the town to order the water ban. Not a water main break or power outage, either. It was diesel fuel contamination that fouled the water. Washing with such water can cause health issues. Eating food cooked with such water can cause health issues. And drinking the water? Well, best not to go there, either.

    Can you imagine not being able to drink, cook with, or wash in the water that comes free-flowing from your faucet? That’s exactly what the residents of Nibley had to put up with last Wednesday. In fact, they are still under a partial water ban, 5 days later.

    If a city official posted a note on your door stating you were not to use your water for 48 hours, how would you fare?

    We’ve talked about water storage a lot on this blog, and for good reason. Usually it’s about drought and its nasty effects. But as we see here, that’s not the only reason you could be forced to go without water.

    So what can you do to have water when your main supply is suddenly unusable?

    1. Water storage

    Having water barrels or some form of water storage will help see you through until your water supply becomes usable again. We have three different sizes of water barrels (15 gallon, 30 gallon, and 55 gallon), and a 160 gallon water reserve that can stack to create to create a 320 gallon water reserve. Of course, you may not have room for such large containers. Fortunately, you still have options for water storage in smaller containers, such as 5-gallon containers, bottles, cans, and pouches. These smaller containers make storing water easier in smaller homes and apartments where a 55-gallon water barrel just simply won’t work.

    1. Water filters

    Sometimes you just don’t have room for water barrels. Fortunately, water filters and purifiers are small and don’t take up a lot of space. They are capable of turning all kinds of water unsuitable for human consumption to clean, drinkable water. Remember though, water filters won’t work for chemical-based contamination, like a diesel spill, so that comes back to water storage.

    1. Water purifiers

    Water purifiers are another option for getting clean water. Instead of filtering out the baddies, water purifiers kill the harmful substances in the water. For example, the SteriPEN Emergency Handheld Water Purifier uses ultraviolet (UV) light to eliminate over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Another option are purification tablets, which are effective against those nasty protozoa, bacteria, and viruses using the same proven technology as in municipal water supplies. Compact and lightweight, they make a great travel-sized option for purifying water.

    Unfortunately, water purification won’t remove diesel fuel from your tap water, either…again, coming back to water storage as the only viable long-term solution.

     

    As you can see, having a proper water storage will help you get through those unexpected water bans. We can never know for sure when something like that will happen, but we can always be prepared for when they do come.

    For a full list of water storage and water filter options, check out our water storage page and water filter page.

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • 3 Steps for Preparing Your Family For Calamities

    Caring MotherMothers have got to be the best nurturers around. They’re loving, caring, and all they want is what’s best for you. They prepare their children for all kinds of things: school, bullies, the cold, cold winter…you name it. But when it comes to catastrophes…well, less than half of parents out there have prepared their family for an emergency? Now, I’m not a mathematician, but I’m pretty sure that’s not a very good ratio of preparedness..

    We might think, “The odds that such a disaster will affect me is 1,720 to 1” (which, ironically, is the same odds as successfully navigating an asteroid field, according to C-3PO). We think that because the odds are in our favor, we shouldn’t have to worry about it. But that’s where we’re wrong.

    Wendy Sue Swanson, MD (2011) recounts in her Parents Magazine article why it really is important to prepare, even if we don’t think we will be affected:

    “‘Although disasters are rare, prepping for them is one of those crucial 'just in case' precautions, like having smoke detectors,’ explains Parents adviser Irwin Redlener, M.D., director of the Center for National Preparedness at Columbia University. Planning for a catastrophe also makes you ready for a less severe event like a fire or a local power outage.”

    Smoke Detector 01We all have smoke detectors. They help prepare and alert us. We never expect to burn our house to the ground, and yet we all have smoke detectors so that if such a disaster could happen, we can stop it from becoming even worse. Essentially, we have smoke detectors to protect our family.

    The same can be said of preparing for emergencies and disasters. Smoke detectors are a “just in case” precaution, as Swanson noted. Perhaps a reason why smoke detectors are so widely implemented is their relative ease to buy, install and maintain. Well, following three preparedness activities are just as simple, and once you’ve done them, your family– especially your children – as that much better prepared for an emergency

     

    1. Create a communications plan

    PhoneTeach your children your phone number. Dr. Swanson suggests that children are able to memorize a 7- or 10-digit number by age 5. She councils to “practice with your child and turn the phone number into a song, like a modified version of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.’”

    Having a designated meeting place for your family will help you gather together during an emergency. There are certain circumstances – such as a fire or an earthquake – where your house may not be the best meeting place. Find a location away from your home, like a nearby school or park. Go there with your children, so they know how to get there, too.

     

    1. Create an emergency kit

    K7 A400 Emergency KitRemember the smoke detector example? We use those in our home, “just in case.” So, then, we should have emergency kits for the same reason. Do your kids have one? If not, now’s the time to get them one. If you need some ideas, follow this link to learn more about what you need in an emergency kit, with links to checklists and pre-built kits.

    As your children grow, so will their needs in their emergency kits. For example, they might grow out of diapers or other clothing. Having an updated emergency kit will definitely make their lives more comfortable. Swanson also suggests making some “refresh” cards, taped to each kit. These cards will detail “which items need to be replenished,” says Swanson, “or which info needs updating, and when.” For example, food bought for the kit five years ago will surely need to be refreshed (unless it’s properly prepared and packaged for long-term storage).

     

    1. Know your neighborhood

    NeighborhoodKnowing the area in which your children live and play can protect them from unforeseen dangers. Look for dangers that your kids might not recognize. Swanson suggests using the fire department as a resource by asking them “about specific threats to your neighborhood such as unstable trees, streets prone to flooding, or transportation challenges.”

    She also encourages working with your neighbors. Don’t know them yet? Well, now’s as good a time as any! Everybody has unique skills and talents, and working with your neighbors during an emergency can bring all those skills together, so everybody can benefit. It’s best to work with them before something happens, so you’ll be ready when it does.

    By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to providing the protection your family needs. Preparing for calamities doesn’t have to be difficult. Just take it step by step, day by day.

    As Dr. Swanson admonishes, “Don’t freak out. You can do this.”

    If you ever have any questions as to what more you can do, feel free to give us a call! We’d love to talk with you. Our number is 1-800-999-1863. Or, visit our website at beprepared.com. We’re here to help you be prepared for any situation. And remember, if Han Solo can successfully navigate an asteroid field, you can prepare your family for that unforeseen disaster. We believe in you!

     

    What steps have you taken to prepare your family for emergencies? Let us know in the comments!

     

     

    Source:

    Swanson, W. (2011). “Are You Prepared For an Emergency?”. Retrieved on April 22, 2015 from http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/advice/emergency-preparedness/.

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Emergency Kits, Food Storage, Planning, Uncategorized Tagged With: family plan, Preparing your family, Mother's Day, Emergency

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