Tag Archives: emergency preparedness

  •  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

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    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

  •  When Disaster Hits Home--A Disaster Preparedness Guide

    Home fires, downed power lines, and winter weather can be just as deadly as earthquakes and tornadoes. It’s important to prepare for natural disasters, but our NEW Disaster Preparedness Guide, “When Disaster Hits Home” is a great reminder to be ready for any crisis that may strike—big or small.

    We’ve teamed up with the Deseret News to create this free guide to help our customers and readers confidently answer the question: Am I prepared for the unexpected?“When Disaster Hits Home” can teach you and your family how to prepare for the unexpected in several ways. It includes helpful hints on how to …

    • Stay safe and prevent home fires
    • Prepare for floods (did you know floods are the most common natural disaster?)
    • Get the entire family involved in preparedness (It even includes a preparedness activity sheet for kids)
    • Build an emergency kit for school, work, home, cars, and pets
    • Survive in your car in freezing temperatures
    • Provide the basics of survival (food, water, shelter, and warmth) during an emergency

    This 12-page feature is a great resource for getting prepared whether you’re a seasoned prepper or new to emergency preparedness. “When Disaster Hits Home” will teach you things you may not have known about preparation, and statistics about natural disasters and unexpected emergencies that happen in the U.S. It even offers personal stories from people who have lived through unexpected disasters.

    Check out our new Disaster Preparedness Guide, “When Disaster Hits Home” online or, if you live in Utah, you can pick up a printed copy at one of our stores.  The demand for printed copies of our Disaster Guide was so high that we no longer have printed copies. If you would like to  print or download a copy, you can go to  http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/16e9a228#/16e9a228/ and print a copy to put in your emergency supplies.  It’s totally free and full to the brim with great info.

     

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

  • What would you do if you ran across wild animal tracks?

    It seems I just wrote a post about a family who went for a short mountain outing and ended up stuck in the snow for days. The last one happened in Nevada. This newest one happened in Idaho, and adds a chilling new element to an already frightening, if familiar, winter scenario.

    Friends Will Murkle and John Julian loaded up an SUV with their kids for an afternoon ride in the snow. When Will’s wife still hadn’t heard from them by midnight, she panicked. Turns out the group had gotten stuck in the snow and decided to walk to the nearest town for help.

    Which is when things got really dicey.

    “‘The scariest thing was when we came across fresh wolf tracks,’ Will Murkle said. ‘And we could tell wolves had been in the area recently.’”

    Not many of us would think to include bear spray or pepper spray in a car emergency kit, and even fewer of us would know what to do if we were to encounter an aggressive animal while stranded. The Murkle-Julian party got lucky—the tracks were as much of the wolves as they saw. So as not to rely on luck, however, here are a couple of resources to help us all avoid being eaten (or—more likely—just attacked) in an emergency situation.

    • Alaska knows a thing or two about wolves. Read their Department of Fish and Game’s article, “Living With Wolves”, then check the links to the left of that article for how to deal with other potentially predatory wildlife.

    Just because you’re isolated doesn’t mean all is lost! Know how to protect yourself and your family when circumstances are worse than you thought.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, Winter, preparedness, Emergency plan, Survival, emergency preparedness, wildlife

  • We often talk about making an emergency plan for your family, work, or school, but how many of you have an emergency plan for traveling from your home to your emergency meeting place? Right next to the important documents in your emergency kit, make sure you save room for your Commuter Emergency Plan.

    FEMA’s National Preparedness Community recently published a Commuter Emergency Plan that you can download and print. They suggest that the purpose of this plan is to help you come up with alternate routes for “traveling between your work and home, or other commonly visited locations in case of an emergency.”

    During an emergency, your regular routes home from work or school may be blocked by traffic or debris. The purpose of FEMA’s Commuter Emergency Plan is to help you think about that possibility and how you can get to safe destinations (like your home) using alternative routes.

    The Commuter Emergency Plan is a well-thought-out document—it takes into consideration the different types of transportation you could use to get from point A to point B. It also asks you to think about two alternative routes you can use and gives you links to public transportation systems so you can find updates on the transit systems that are still working.

    Check out FEMA’s Commuter Emergency Plan below, print one out, and start thinking about the alternate routes you’d use to get to safety in an emergency.

    commuter emergency plan

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

  • Learn how to plan a preparedness fair to share your knowledge of prepping with your community

    Like the proverbial elephant that must be consumed one bite at a time, planning a major event like a Preparedness Fair is best done one step at a time. Follow these simple steps for a successful fair:

    Decide the purpose of your Preparedness Fair.

    Are you trying to educate your community on the general advantages of thinking in terms of preparation? Are you hoping to encourage the employees of your company to get emergency kits to keep at work or in their cars? Or do you live in an area where severe weather is a constant threat, and you’re trying to help people prepare for that? 

    Decide who’s hosting the Preparedness Fair.

    A school, church, hospital, business, city or county jurisdiction, emergency services, or any combination thereof could participate in hosting the event. If your group is small, you may want to partner with another.

    Know your target audience.

    Will it be the general public, your church, club, or civic group, extended family, or employees of your company? The answer will dictate the size of the venue, number of presenters, and budget. If you’re trying to attract as many people as possible, you’ll need a large venue such as a community center, hospital lobby, or multipurpose room at a college. If you’re planning several presenters who will repeat their classes, you’ll want a building with classrooms as well as an open area. A local church might be ideal for that. (Remember: free is good!)

    Choose a goal or theme.

    Unless your fair is enormous, it’s usually better to have a central theme rather than trying to cover all aspects of preparedness.  Examples:

    • “Family Safety” with topics such as “Smoke and CO2 Detectors,” “Avoiding Risky Behavior,” “Hidden Dangers in Your Home,” and “Planning to Meet After an Emergency”
    • “Bringing in the Harvest” with classes on gardening, composting, fruit and vegetable recipes, and food preservation methods
    • “Making Your Own Emergency Kits” emphasizing car kits, first-aid kits, 72-hour survival kits, and baby bug-out bags
    • “Water Storage,” covering topics such as ways water can be contaminated, appropriate storage containers, and water purification techniques
    • “Keeping a Weather Eye,” with classes on earthquake, storm, fire, or flood preparedness, evacuation procedures, and how to turn off utilities.
    • For more ideas, browse our website, blog, and Insight articles.

     

    Select presenters.

    Decide if you want commercial booths and vendors or strictly informational presenters. (Remember, if your fair is hosted by a tax-exempt organization, then your presentations will need to be informational only.) Will your presenters expect pay or do it as community service?

    You could have several classes going at a time and let your audience rotate between them, plus have an informational video repeating in the main room along with several booths. Choose presenters who will be well-prepared and professional with up-to-date, practical information. Handouts are helpful. (See the “Education” tab on our website and look through our blogs and insight articles for materials you can use.)

    You may be able to get representatives from FEMA, CERT, or your local police and fire department. If you happen to be in Utah, you can schedule a representative from Emergency Essentials for your event. Just email preparednessevents@beprepared.com for information.

    Select a Crew.

    In addition to your presenters, you’ll need people to set up and take down booths, tables, and chairs; provide technical help with microphones, computers, projectors, etc.; contribute and serve refreshments; man a booth with kid-friendly activities; be greeters; and direct visitors to classrooms. Unless you can get volunteers to do these things, remember to figure staffing expenses into your budget.

    Advertise.

    Some good advertising methods are flyers, posters, community radio spots, word-of-mouth, email messages, yard signs, church or business announcements, Facebook notices, and newspaper article. Be sure all ads give the date, time, and location of the preparedness fair. Include a couple of “hooks” like refreshments or door prizes, and use the back of the flyer to detail activities and presenters.  The more people you involve in some aspect of the fair, the better your attendance will be—they’ll come and usually bring others with them.

    Good luck! Having followed the above guidelines, you should be all set to have a great Preparedness Fair. We hope your event is so successful you’ll want to do it again.

    Feedback: Have you hosted or attended a preparedness fair or expo that included some great ideas you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them.

    Resources for your event:

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, preparedness, Emergency plan, emergency preparedness, preparedness fair

  • The Yellowstone Super Volcano is even bigger than we thought

    Yellowstone Volcano More than Twice as Big as Expected

    A sleeping giant lies gently snoring in the northwestern quadrant of the United States—the Yellowstone Super Volcano. Researchers from the University of Utah recently determined its magma chamber to be 2.5 times larger than previously thought, measuring at least 55 x 20 miles and running between 3 and 9 miles below the surface of the earth.

    Professor Bob Smith of the University of Utah was surprised by these findings. Smith states, “We’ve been working there for a long time, and we’ve always thought it would be bigger…but this finding is astounding.”

    Unlike the traditional cone-shaped mountains of Mt.St. Helens and the Lassen Volcano—the two most recent volcanoes to erupt in the 48 contiguous United States —the Yellowstone Volcano has a wide, slightly bulging area. However, its surface is rising at the rate of about three inches per year, and according to Professor Smith, seismic activity in the area is increasing.

     

    Impact of an Eruption of the Super Volcano

    If Yellowstone really blew its top, scientists estimate that much of the United States and western Canada would be uninhabitable. Lava, poisonous gases, and a potential ten-foot layer of ash would cover the ground up to 1,000 miles away. Living in much of North America would become unbearable.

    The eruption would drastically affect climates in various parts of the world, just like after the 1816 eruption of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia. This eruption was the main cause of crop failures throughout the northeastern U.S. and much of Europe. 1816 became known as the miserable “year without a summer.” Sheep and migratory birds died of the cold—in June.

    For more details about the Yellowstone Super Volcano, check out the New York Post article, “Beneath Yellowstone, a Volcano that could wipe out the U.S.

    Although scientists predict that the Yellowstone Volcano will not erupt for at least another 60,000 years, realizing that events like volcanic eruptions can cause food shortages suggests that it’s important to prepare before an emergency hits. Since disasters are unpredictable, we encourage building a supply now.

     

    In addition to storing food, having an emergency kit would give you an edge on survival if any natural disaster or emergency happens in your area and you need to evacuate. If you’re not sure of potential dangers that may exist where you live, do a little research so that you can be as prepared as possible for any event.

    Photo of the "Crested Pool Hot Spring" at Yellowstone in same area as the Super Volcano

    Photo Courtesy of the New York Post

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, emergency kit, emergency preparedness, natural disaster

  • In November, Emergency Essentials worked with the disaster relief organization CharityVision to send supplies to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. With the help, support, and donations from our customers and vendors, CharityVision gathered supplies and flew 14 members of their team to Leyte to construct several makeshift medical clinics.

    Recently, the CharityVision team sent us an update and a few photos of the work they’re doing in those clinics to help those affected by the typhoon.

    This photo was taken outside of Ormoc City. CharityVision set up a clinic in this town nine days after Typhoon Haiyan and saw 1,000 people that afternoon.  If CharityVision was able to help this many people in just one day, imagine how many more they have helped in the few months they have been there!

     Update from the Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan

    Currently, CharityVision has raised an estimated $10,000 between donations from Emergency Essentials customers during our CharityVision drive and from several of our product vendors who have donated supplies.

    Although Typhoon Haiyan happened several months ago, there is still much to do to help the people recover from its impact. CharityVision’s volunteers are working hard to give medical attention to those affected by the typhoon.  If you’d like to help, there are several organizations accepting donations and supplies to help those in the Philippines.

    Make sure to check back on our blog for more updates from CharityVision. And in the mean time . . .

    Check out the Insight Articles and downloads below to learn about how community involvement can help yourself and others prepare for natural disasters.

    Neighborhood Emergency Plan” (downloadable pdf)

    Planning for an Emergency

    Preparing by Developing your Skills

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency preparedness

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