Tag Archives: emergency preparedness

  • Could you survive the Hunger Games?

    As I sat in a packed movie theater watching the premier of Catching Fire, the second installment in the Hunger Games series, I started to evaluate my own survival skills—could I be as resourceful (and resilient) as the main characters, Katniss and Peeta? Would I know how to survive off the land?

    The recent release of Catching Fire on DVD (March 7th, 2014) made me think about how the media portrays emergency preparation. While a lot of things in the Hunger Games are Hollywood-ized, the underlying principles of preparedness can help us fill the gaps in our own emergency plans.

    Survival: Resourcefulness at its Finest

    For those of you who are Hunger Games fans, I have a question: During tribute (contestant) training, which types of tributes does Katniss always seem to migrate towards, becoming their friends and allies in the arena?

    Katniss is drawn to people who have practical survival skills: plant identification, logical/mathematical skills, or cunning curiosity and cleverness. Her focus gives us something to think about in our own emergency preparations.

    While it’s important to know self-defense during an emergency, it’s equally (possibly more) important to know how to survive off the land and how to be resourceful with the minimal supplies you may have.

    Hunger-Games-Style Survival Skills Self-Evaluation

    Take a moment to evaluate your survival skills based off lessons learned in the Hunger Games. Let’s say you only have one tool to work with.

    • How would you get food for yourself or others?

    • Could you cure illnesses or treat wounds using natural remedies?

    • Do you know how to recognize and forage for edible plants?

    • Would you know the various uses for plants (treating illness, dressing wounds, eating)?

    • Would you know how and where to get clean water when there are no fresh sources available?

    • Would you know how and where to build a shelter for safety and warmth?

    • Would you know how to build items to help you survive, using just natural resources? (fire, splints, boats or rafts, tools, fish line and fishing hooks)

    Evaluate the Skills You Already Have

    You might have more survival skills under your belt than you think. For instance, I am really good at finding items around my home and using them to build and create new things. This skill could be transferred to a survival setting and help me create shelters, splints, or fishing hooks.

    Think about the skills you already have and how those skills could transfer to a survival situation. These skills, though small, may help you and your family survive. You may be surprised by what you already know; then take it one step further and learn new survival skills.

    You can start beefing up your survival skills by checking out our large selection of survival skills articles under the [“skills”] http://beprepared.com/blog/tag/skills-2/ category on our blog and [Insight Articles]

    May the odds be ever in your favor.

    --Angela

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Survival, emergency preparedness, survival skills

  • How to Prepare for a Flood

    Of all the natural disasters we've talked about during National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, floods are probably the most common. If you think about it, floods can be manmade disasters  (like a washing machine overflowing or a pipe bursting) or natural disasters (like overflowing river basins and heavy rainfall). Floods can even be caused by runoff from ice and snow in an area.

    Recently, snow totals in the eastern and southern United States have dramatically increased. And as snowfall increases, so do snowpack levels for the area. In fact, it's anticipated that in the great lakes region a large snowpack will melt this spring. The runoff from this snow pack will be so large that it could cause flooding in some areas of the region. Since snow totals have been so high in some areas of the country this winter, flooding from snowpacks may be a real possibility, giving us more reason to prepare. Keep an eye out for flooding prospects in your region by checking out NOAA's Spring Flood Outlook page.

    The water damage floods create calls for extensive clean up like we saw during the 2013 Colorado flood. And like all natural disasters, the recovery and reconstruction of an area is largely accomplished through community involvement.

    Here are several sources and personal accounts from flood survivors that can help you learn how to prepare for a flood and how to cope with its aftermath.

    Educational Resources

    What to do before, during, and after a flood

    5 Tips for Walking Around Safely After a Flood

    Personal Accounts

    Why I Prepare: Lessons from the Colorado Flood (four-part series)

    Preparing for a Once in a Lifetime Flood

    Check out  our blog and Insight Articles to learn more about preparing for the variety of disasters that can happen in your area.

    Sources

    "Snow Ice Cover Will Boost Great Lakes Levels" --http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GREAT_LAKES_WATER_LEVELS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-03-05-23-07-43

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Emergency plan, emergency preparedness, natural diasters

  • Your Drought-Year Garden

    If you’re like me, a sunny afternoon in March finds you tearing through your Territorial seed catalogue and poring over cryptic drawings of garden plots. It’s like I can hear my backyard’s biological clock ticking and I can’t wait another minute to get outside!

    As part of your preparations for your 2014 garden, you’re probably checking out seed calendars and companion planting charts. Here’s one more graphic you might want to consider from the U.S. Drought Monitor:

    How will your garden do in your area during this drought?

    Experts are calling the current western dry spell one of the “worst droughts in 500 years”, severely affecting the supply of drinking water, as well as that for crop irrigation. In fact, one of the most far-reaching effects of even a localized drought in an agricultural state like California is rising produce prices across the country (read about food storage and drought here).

    In that light, gardening may seem like a smart way to beat the heat. However, if you live in any of the highlighted areas on the map above, there are some serious considerations for the home gardener. Some Californians have already been required to restrict water use. Your neighborhood may not be in quite such dire straights, but there are ways all of us can garden a little more conservatively in a dry year.

    Check out these tips and tricks for gardening in lean times:

    Water conservation is a good idea any time, but this year seems to be providing us a compelling reason to conserve. Read about California’s challenges and some solutions you can implement at home and in the garden. Then get outside and get those peas in the ground!

    Sources:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/02/us/severe-drought-has-us-west-fearing-worst.html

    Photo Courtesy of U.S. Drought Monitor

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, preparedness, water, Emergency, Survival, water storage, garden, gardening, emergency preparedness, drought, produce

  • Throughout National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, we want to help spread the word about how you can prepare for natural disasters in your area. Last year one natural disaster occurred over and over again, wreaking havoc across many states in our nation—tornadoes.

    Prepare yourself to face any type of severe weather storm, even a tornado

    In November of 2013, the Midwest faced dozens of record breaking tornadoes that flattened neighborhoods, damaged homes, and sent many people into panic. Oklahoma faced the largest tornado on recordfor their area. Tornadoes even happened in Denver, CO where twisters are uncommon.

    The unexpected tornado in Denver shows that it's important to know how to prepare for a tornado even if they are uncommon to your area. So think about how you would prepare for a tornado. What would you do? Where would you go?

    Check out our Insight Articles “What to do During a Tornado” and “Tornado Preparedness” for tips on what you can do to keep you and your family safe. Also, learn from FEMA the importance of Developing an Emergency Response Plan for Tornadoes.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has also prepared the following videos to help you prepare for a tornado.

    What to do Before a Tornado

    What to do During a Tornado

    What to do After a Tornado

    In honor of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, consider making today your tornado preparedness day—make a plan to keep you and your family safe if a tornado passes through your town.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, FEMA, NOAA, disaster, Weather, emergency preparedness, natural disaster, Tornado, National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, tornadoes, Tornado preparation

  • National Severe Weather Week

    Traditionally, hurricanes and tornadoes occur seasonally, so we know when to expect them and how to prepare. But earthquakes can come at any time of the year. And, if large enough, they can cause huge amounts of destruction. So in honor of National Severe Weather Preparedness week, let's use today to start thinking and planning about what we can do now to be ready for an earthquake.

    If you're an earthquake novice, check out the articles below to learn how to prepare for them. And even if you've lived through an earthquake, you might pick up some tips you didn't know.

    What to do before, during, and after an earthquake

    Check out our Quake, Rattle, and Roll series to find out how to prepare and keep yourself safe during each phase of an earthquake.

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: Easy steps to take before the big one hits

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: What to do during an earthquake

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: What to do after an earthquake

     

    Supplies you need for an earthquake

    Our Insight article, Preparing for Earthquakes gives you a good checklist of items you can include in your emergency supplies to help you deal with each phase (before, during, and after) of an earthquake.

    For instance, did you know that the United States Geological Survey (USGS) suggests storing a fire extinguisher in your emergency supplies for an earthquake? Find out more of the items you'll want to have during an earthquake by reading our article Preparing for Earthquakes

     

    How to Protect Yourself in an Earthquake

    Learn how to protect yourself through participating in your state's Shake Out Program. Last year, the staff at Emergency Essentials took the Utah Shake Out challenge. Read about it in our article, Baby Steps: The Great Utah Shake Out and then go to the national Shake Out website to find out when a regional earthquake drill will be held in your state. Also, check out the Disaster Preparedness Guide:Get Ready to Shake Out that we put together in partnership with BeReady Utah and the Deseret News (one of Utah's biggest newspapers).

     

    Come back tomorrow for more resources and tips to help you prepare for severe weather.

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: preparedness, emergency preparedness, natural disaster, emergency supplies

  • When Typhoon Haiyan first set down in the Philippines last November, Emergency Essentials worked with disaster relief organization CharityVision to provide relief to those affected by the severe natural disaster. We sent supplies donated through your purchases and by our generous vendors, and we were able to outfit a great team. CharityVision recently sent us an update on the progress of their relief efforts, along with a few photos that illustrate how your donations have helped those in need.

    Those affected by Typhoon Haiyan continue to face the aftermath of the destructive storm

    A volunteer and children from the Philippines using the Wavelength Emergency Radio

    CharityVision has quite a few projects underway to help the long-term recovery and reconstruction of the area. They’re working to build a larger reserve of medical supplies and to set up a modular hospital facility. They also plan to provide shelter and power to families, hold gardening classes to teach self-reliance, and offer additional services to help  those in need. Each of these projects is possible because of the generous donations CharityVision has received from communities and companies around the world.

    As CharityVision works to "Build Back Better", those affected by Typhoon Haiyan strive to get their lives back.

    Although injured, refugees from Typhoon Haiyan smile as they plan to restart their lives

    One of CharityVision’s major goals is creating projects that will better the living conditions in the affected areas for those who saw their lives turned upside down by the typhoon. All of these projects are to help restore jobs and offer employee growth to those working in those jobs. CharityVision seeks to “Build Back Better”.

     “We view the reconstruction as an opportunity to build back better,” CharityVision posted on their new Facebook page Action Humanitarian which focuses on their efforts in rebuilding the Philippines. “Our current plans include structures that will withstand future storms to avoid the repetitious cycle of rebuilding following destruction.” They go on to say that their building plans will provide added protective elements over previous building styles without adding extra cost or skilled labor.

    Amongst the chaos and ruin that Haiyan caused, an additional issue has appeared: how does the country keep certain areas of the country occupied when so much of it is desolate and destroyed? Despite the international relief efforts aimed at the Philippines, the quality of life is dwindling in areas where lack of power caused by the typhoon creates a lack of commerce leading to a lack of jobs. Talented workers and students are leaving certain areas and moving to other locations for work. Learn more about the quality of life in the Philippines from the New York Times article “Months After Typhoon, Philippine City Suffers From an Exodus of Jobs

    Refugees from Typhoon Haiyan still feel the affects of the destructive storm

    Princeton Tec headlamps prep victims of Typhoon Haiyan for night with white ultrabright light

    As you can see, natural disasters can still have effects long after the storm has passed through making it even more important to prepare yourself. In the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan cased months of difficult—and it isn’t over yet. Get started today on your own preparedness plans so you can be as resilient as possible if a disaster strikes.

    Check out the following articles to help you develop a valuable skill set that will help you survive in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

    Preparing by Developing your Skills

    How to Build a Fire

    First Aid for Wounds

    Emergency Shelter

     

    Sources:

    https://www.facebook.com/ActionHumanitarian

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness, natural disaster, survival gear, philippines, Typhoon Haiyan

  •  National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

    Max Mayfield, former director of the National Hurricane Center, once said:

    “History teaches that a lack of hurricane preparedness and awareness are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.”

    Since it's National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, we've gathered up five stellar resources from our preparedness archives. They'll help you prepare for hurricane season and hopefully reduce the effects of a hurricane on you and your family.

    Luckily, hurricane season doesn't officially start until June 1st, so you've got plenty of time to study up on hurricane preparedness before the season hits. Even if you don't live in an area affected by hurricanes, this information is great to pass along to friends and loved ones who do. Also, it's always good to be informed about emergencies so you know what to do if you ever encounter one (like on that vacation you hoped would be so relaxing).

    Here are five resources to help you prepare:

    1. What to do before a hurricane checklist (downloadable print out)

    2. What to do during a hurricane checklist (downloadable print out)

    3. What to do after a hurricane checklist (downloadable print out)

    4. Hurricane Preparedness Insight Article

    5. Preparedness Pantry Blog Hurricane Preparedness Five-Part Mini Series

    We'll be back tomorrow with more tips and tricks for preparing for severe weather.

    In the meantime . . . we're curious--what's your best tip for hurricane preparedness?

     

    Sources

    Max Mayfield quote http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency preparedness, natural disaster

  • Prep yourself each day with a new survival skill during National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

    Throughout 2013, severe weather disasters touched down all across the country. Whether citizens faced tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, or other disasters, the importance of preparing became very apparent. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have teamed up for their third year to inform the public how to best prepare for severe weather. They have chosen March 2-8, 2014 as National Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

    This year’s campaign, “Be a Force of Nature: Take the Next Step,” encourages individuals to set an example for others in their communities through disaster preparation and responses. For example, when tornado warnings, hurricane alerts, or other alarms notify the public of oncoming weather conditions, be an example and take action first rather than ignore the warnings.

    Often many will choose not to seek shelter immediately after hearing the alert. Instead, they wait to hear a second warning. Sometimes a second warning never comes. But once in a while that second alarm will sound and those who didn’t act after the first alert are caught in the chaos of a severe weather storm. If you take action to prepare, others will follow and, ultimately, stay safe.

    Knowing how to prepare for different weather disasters—and responding immediately to warnings—can help save your life. And so FEMA and NOAA ask you to “Be a Force of Nature.”

    Throughout this week, “Be a Force of Nature: Take the Next Step” challenges the public to take a single preparedness action each day. Your action can be something simple such as preparing an emergency evacuation plan for your family, or as complex as building your food and water storage supply. No matter what action you choose to do, this week is meant to better prepare you and your community for severe weather.

    Check back this week for tips on what you can do to stay safe during severe storms.

    Sources:

    http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1392907694854-c8defc5a1deef616f4c2fefb760b65bd/Severe+Weather+Preparedness+WeekToolkit.pdf

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness, severe weather, National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

  • Attack on the Power Grid

    |5 COMMENT(S)

    If the power grid got knocked out, are you prepared?

    “Almost everything we do in modern society relies on electricity.” So would you be able to survive without it?

    Granger Morgan, quoted above, heads the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. After a 2013 attack on an electric grid near San Jose, CA nearly knocked out Silicon Valley’s power supply, Granger and other lawmakers and analysts were shocked that no one was doing more to prevent a repeat attack.

    Many wonder if we’d be prepared to live without power considering how much we rely on power.

    The Los Angeles Times reports that the 2013 attack, which Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (the facility’s owner) once downplayed as vandalism, is now being treated as a possible act of terrorism.

    It would actually be fairly easy for a criminal group to knock out the power grid, according to a report issued in 2007 by the National Research Council committee (which was chaired by Morgan). If the power grid was knocked out, large regions of the U.S. could be denied “access to bulk power systems for weeks or even months,” leading to “turmoil, widespread public fear and an image of helplessness that would play directly into the hands of terrorists.”

    Unfortunately, as the Los Angeles Times reports, not much has been done to protect the nation’s power system. Read their full article here.

    Considering this vulnerability, it’s important to be prepared on an individual level for a power outage. Think about the following:

    • What would you do to protect your perishable foods?
    • How would you stay warm?
    • How will you see in the dark each day?

    Addressing these questions will get you off to a good start. To learn more about staying safe and powered up in  an outage, check out our Insight Article, “Preparing for and responding to a power outage”.

    Also take a look at some gear you can add to your emergency supplies. Adding even a few basics will make your time during a power outage or blackout more comfortable, and it will feel a little less like an emergency. These product categories are a great place to get started:

    Check out some gear that can help you stay warm in a power outageCheck out gear that will help provide you with power in an emergency     Check out this gear that will help light your way in a power outage

     

    What do you think is the best thing you can do to prepare for a power outage?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: preparedness, Survival, power, emergency preparedness, power grid

  • Survival At Sea

    Jose Salvador Alvarenga survived at sea for over a year eating nothing but raw fish and birds' blood

    Did you hear about this? Earlier this month, a ragged figure washed up on the shore of one of the Marshall Islands and claimed he’d been lost at sea…for 13 months!

    José Salvador Alvarenga, a fisherman from southern Mexico, went missing at the end of 2012 when a storm blew him and his companion off course and set them adrift in the Pacific. The young companion apparently succumbed to starvation, but Alvarenga has told the press a shocking story of surviving on raw fish and birds’ blood for more than a year. You can read about his unbelievable adventure here.

    “Unbelievable” gets right to the heart of the matter. Some have expressed doubts about Alvarenga’s credibility, citing the impossibility of survival under those circumstances. But experts beg to differ. National Geographic, for one, has weighed in with a headline claiming “Surviving More Than a Year Adrift at Sea Is Possible, With a Little Luck”.

    …a little luck, we say, best supplemented with a lot of skill. I live in a coastal state where boat emergencies are a very real thing, but wherever you reside, there are important things to know about ocean safety. Here are one or two:

    Finding potable water at sea

    Fishing for survival

    Boat Safety

    Be prepared when spending time at sea. Whether boating, swimming, fishing, or having another water adventure out on the waves, take emergency supplies along … just in case. The following items have been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, meaning they have been sealed against water, moisture, and air, giving you a better chance of survival if you ever find yourself in a situation like the one Alvarenga experienced.

    Here are some other items we recommend taking with you:

    Your own castaway story might sound like a swashbuckling adventure, but we’ll opt for more preparation over raw fish and birds’ blood any day.

    --Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, preparedness, water, Survival, emergency preparedness, survival skills, survival at sea

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