Search results for: 'first aid'

  • Home Necessities to Help You Be Prepared for Any Natural Disaster

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    By guest contributor Katherine Oakes

    Family - via Modernize via Modernize

    At Modernize, we believe your home is your sanctuary and your shelter. In the chance that a natural disaster or unforeseen emergency should occur, it is important to know that your home is still that safe space. Even though imagining those worst-case scenarios can be difficult at first, knowing that you and your family will be safe despite the extreme circumstances will be enough to give you peace of mind.
    Making sure that you and your loved ones are prepared for any sort of situation can seem like an overwhelming task. Where do you even begin? Start by narrowing it down and consider what items would be necessary to have stored in your home in case of an emergency. Since many of the incidents that occur and leave people stranded are due to natural disasters like hurricanes, storms, floods, earthquakes, or tornadoes, it’s more likely that you may be stuck in your home without power or access to clean water. Think about what kind of items and products you use on a daily basis and then make it more specific by asking yourself what you would actually need in order to survive?

    To help you get started, we’ve outlined some of the most important things to consider storing in your home in case of an emergency.



    At least half of the human body is comprised of water, and since dehydration can easily be one of the first things to seriously affect you when you are without it, it’s extremely important for keeping your area and yourself clean and hydrated. So as you are creating your plans, make sure that water is at the top of your list. FEMA recommends storing at least one gallon per person per day for two weeks at minimum, and it will be even better if you have the space to store more.


    via The Emergency Food Assistance Program via The Emergency Food Assistance Program


    If you are following the two week rule, then you’ll want to include enough food in your emergency storage to adequately sustain you and the other members of your household for that amount of time. It is, of course, wise to store non-perishable items like canned food or packages that require water and to consider how many calories they will provide per person per day. However, if you have the means to store food that needs to be slightly cooked, you can use cooking equipment that doesn’t need electricity and is battery-powered to do so.


    First Aid Kit

    Having a well-stocked first aid kit can make all the difference. There are plenty of kits for sale that come with all the essentials you might need. However, you can always create your own first aid kit by buying products individually and customizing it to your liking. Keep it nearby your food and water for convenience.


    Other Functional Necessities

    Add things like several flashlights, batteries, and matches, and candles to your storage as well. It’s also important to keep a hand-crank or battery-powered radio in your collection so that you can stay well informed throughout the process and know how to safely move forward with your loved ones. Also consider what daily medications you or others might need to have in case you cannot get more. Do your best to stock up and keep them in your first aid kit or in a safe place.


    What are some other home necessities you have on hand for an emergency? Let us know in the comments!

    Posted In: Planning Tagged With: home necessities, disaster preparedness, emergency kit, planning

  • Is Our Power Grid At Risk?

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    On August 14, 2003, high voltage power lines in Ohio brushed against trees and failed. A software bug kept an alarm from going off, which caused a chain reaction of power station failures that knocked the lights off for 50 million people in the eastern United States and Canada. Transportation shut down as airports, subways, traffic lights and tunnels stopped functioning. Cash registers and ATMs quit. Cell phones became useless when their towers stopped working. In Cleveland, Ohio, water pumps halted and left 1.5 million people without drinking water. The blackout caused $4 to $6 billion in damage and contributed to at least 11 deaths.

    Night Before Blackout - Power grid The night before the blackout (source: NOAA News)
    Night After Blackout - Power grid The night after the blackout (source: NOAA News)








    We in the U.S. don’t usually think about power. So let’s consider it.


    Electric Power System and Control Communications - Power grid Electric Power System and Control Communications (source:

    Electricity is unique. Unlike food or water, electricity can’t be stored. In any moment, all the power produced is used. It’s generated by one of 6,000 public and private power plants and sent hundreds or thousands of miles through high voltage wires. The whole system is divided into four regional grids. Most of the time, it’s a consistent, convenient flow. It’s designed so if one part of a grid fails, the electricity flow is transferred to another part. If a smooth transfer doesn’t happen, however, the electricity load can behave like a flash flood, sending a blast of power a station isn’t equipped to handle. When that station’s breakers fail, its electricity gets transferred to yet another station. If enough stations fail, there’s nowhere for the power to go. It slams through station after station, all of which shut down to protect themselves. Blackout.

    Alternatively, if one power plant fails, others might not immediately have enough power to supply everyone’s needs. This is an especial concern in the eastern U.S. during winter. Some plants run on natural gas. But heating needs take precedence. So if there’s not enough natural gas to both heat the population and generate electricity, electricity goes first. Blackout.

    Both utilities and government have taken many steps to improve the way they handle potential failures, including upgrading software, establishing communication plans and practicing emergencies. Two types of situations in particular make them nervous: geomagnetic storms and cyber and physical attacks.

    Solar Eruption - Power grid Solar eruption (source: NASA)

    The sun constantly barrages the earth with charged particles. Normally, the magnetic field around the earth stops most of the particles – and creates the aurora borealis light shows. Especially during times of high sunspot activity, however, the sun can eject a light-speed blast of x-rays and energy, called a solar flare, and particles from its outer layer, called a coronal mass ejection. A NASA writer compared the solar flare to a cannon flash and a coronal mass ejection to the cannonball. When the cannon flash hits the earth, it can disrupt radio communication and navigation. The cannonball is much worse. It can create electrical currents that can overload utilities. A 1989 geomagnetic storm took only 90 seconds to collapse a northeastern Canadian power grid. Millions of people lost power for up to nine hours. The storm also caused minor damage throughout the U.S.

    Longer outages of several days, even in one area, could cause widespread government, financial, and infrastructure destruction, according to a National Research Council workshop.

    “Loss of these systems for a significant period of time in even one region of the country could affect the entire nation and have international impacts,” one presenter said at the workshop.

    But at least scientists are getting better at predicting solar storms, their strength and duration. They can now give utilities 45 minutes’ warning. It’s something.

    Power Grid (The Weather Channel) source: The Weather Channel

    A more insidious threat is human attacks. A March 24 USA Today investigation found that the nation’s power grids face a physical or cyber-attack once every four days. Unless the attackers are, say, from the hacker group Anonymous, they don’t usually give any warning.

    On April 16, 2013, attackers cut six underground fiber-optic cables at a substation in northern California then fired more than 100 shots at its transformers. They caused more than $15 million in damage. They were never caught.

    Utilities and government agencies are trying to prepare for attacks. Every few years, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation runs a cyber attack response exercise. In its first, in 2011, 75 organizations participated. Its third is planned for this November.

    However, even the Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team admits it’s impossible to stop all attacks. The best they do is communicate effectively and contain damage.

    After a power grid disaster, government and utilities’ highest priorities will not be you.

    They’ll be getting power plants online and making sure medical facilities and first responders have the watts they need, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

    “While these government and industry groups initially focus on critical facilities, homeowners, business owners, and local leaders may have to take an active role in dealing with energy disruptions on their own,” the DOE wrote.

    Here are some ways to prepare, from, the American Red Cross and the DOE.

    • Have a fully stocked emergency kit including food and water, a flashlight, batteries, cash in small bills, and first aid supplies.
    • Keep your cell phone and other battery-powered devices charged and have an alternative charging method. If you have an electric garage door opener, know how to release it manually.
    • Keep your car’s gas tank full. You can run a vehicle for power, but not in an enclosed space, unless you like carbon monoxide poisoning.
    • If you use a power-dependent or battery-operated medical device, tell your local utility so it can prioritize your home. Have a backup plan.
    • Find out where to buy dry ice. Fifty pounds will keep a fully stocked fridge cold for two days. Without it, an unopened fridge will keep food cold for only about four hours. A half-full, unopened freezer will keep food cold for about 24 hours. Food in a packed, unopened freezer will stay cold for twice that long.

    Several months ago, a nearby transformer blew out. It was evening and rapidly getting dark. My special needs daughter panicked. I had my cell phone and its flashlight, but only about 10 percent of charge remained.

    I had a flashlight, but its batteries were dead. By the rapidly diminishing power from my phone’s light, I found batteries and got it working. My daughter calmed down. But the power didn’t come back on for several hours, and the electric company was working on the transformer well into the next day.

    I learned two lessons. First, keep my phone charged (maybe I haven’t learned that one yet). Second, know where emergency equipment is and make sure it’s in good shape.



    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios Tagged With: electricity, failure, power grid, power outage

  • Bad Moon Rising? How Much Credence Does Sunday's Blood Moon Deserve?

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    Moon over Water - Bad Moon Rising

    Early in the evening, just about suppertime, millions will have their eyes trained on Sunday’s total lunar eclipse. If your eyes are two of them, listen carefully as you gaze. You may hear the strains of an old ‘60’s tune floating through the air.

    “I see a bad moon rising. I see trouble on the way. I see earthquakes and lightenin’. I see bad times today.”

    Sunday’s moon might be called a Blood Moon for the red cast it will take on when it reaches full eclipse. For many, however, the name refers to ancient biblical prophecy declaring that, before the end of days, “the moon will be turned to blood.” For them, this is certainly a “Bad Moon Rising.”

    “I hear hurricanes a-blowin’. I know the end is comin’ soon. I feel rivers over flowin’. I hear the voice of rage and ruin.”

    Super Cell - Bad Moon RisingWhen Credence Clearwater Revival released this hit in early 1969, songwriter John Fogerty waxed prophetic when, less than four months later, Hurricane Camille hit the Gulf Coast of Mississippi—still the second strongest hurricane in US History.



    Religious ThingMark Biltz, founder of El Shaddai Ministries, has been warning the world about this Bad Moon since before the first of this tetrad arose in April of last year (a tetrad being a series of four consecutive full lunar eclipses). In a Washington Post interview he told writer Abby Phillip, “I’m just saying there’s a good chance there could be a war with Israel. I’m also saying there’s a good chance there could be economic calamity. And I’m basing that on the Bible and patterns.”

    Likewise, Minister John Hagee has been alerting the world that God himself has a message in the sky for us Sunday night. "There's a sense in the world that things are changing and God is trying to communicate with us in a supernatural way," Hagee told CBN News. "I believe that in these next two years, we're going to see something dramatic happen in the Middle East involving Israel that will change the course of history in the Middle East and impact the whole world," he predicted.

    “Hope you got your things together. Hope you are quite prepared to die. Looks like we’re in for nasty weather. One eye is taken for an eye.”

    Blood Moons, Bad moons, prophecies, calamities…you’d have to ask John Fogerty himself what he had in mind as he wrote his #2 Billboard hit. Rolling Stone Magazine did just that, and Fogerty quite frankly replied, “It was about the apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us.”

    I was a sixth grader at Cordova Meadows Elementary School when I first heard the strains of Bad Moon Rising. Since then, the world has seen plenty of earthquakes, hurricanes, rage, and ruin. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. Energy crisis, tsunamis, Ebola. Plunging markets, bursting bubbles, falling trade towers. Looking back, these calamities, along with the illnesses, accidents, layoffs, divorces and other set-backs that have hit me and mine over the last 45 years, never came with warnings, or moons, or top-forty hits. They just happened. I expect it’s the same for you and yours.

    “Don’t go around tonight. Well, it’s bound to take your life. There’s a bad moon on the rise.”

    Water Barrels - Bad Moon RisingSunday night, our cupboards will be stocked with several month’s worth of necessities. The propane tanks are full, cooking gear is at the ready, alongside a couple of tents and sleeping bags. Flashlights are charged, on the shelf with oil candles and the first-aid kit. Plus, over 200 gallons of clean water stand in barrels and jugs in the garage. When this bad moon rises, we’ll be ready…just like we have been for years. For us, family preparation has never been anything extreme, or fearful, or reactionary. We’re not cowering to mystic moons or ministers of doom. It’s just a part of our preparedness lifestyle—put a little bit aside each month for whatever God, or anyone else, has in mind.

    Bloo Moon Over Mountains - Bad Moon Rising

    So, my family will be goin’ around Sunday night. With cameras and binoculars in hand, we’ll throw a blanket out on the roof and watch this incredible super-moon rise and fade from white to red, marveling at it’s splendor. And while we’ll enjoy the evening, my wife and I are ever mindful that along with these peaceful times come also life’s challenges. But we’ll rest soundly until Monday morning, knowing we are prepared.


    Blood Moons Blog Banner - Bad MOon Rising

    Posted In: Planning Tagged With: shemitah, bad moon rising, tetrad, blood moon, Prepare

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