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  • Preparing for a "Once in a Lifetime" Flood or Storm


    Throughout the past few years, storms of all strengths and sizes have swept through the United States, leaving destruction in their wake.

    In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy killed over 100 Americans during her tirade. Those who survived were forced to continue on despite the destruction of thousands of homes, and the fact that millions were without power for weeks. Even still, a year after Hurricane Sandy exploded across the East Coast, 26,000 people are without homes.  In Sept. 2013, Colorado residents were shocked when a year's worth of rain poured down in just two days, causing flooding almost 200 miles wide. With these once-in-a-century storms that seem to be growing more frequent, what should you do? The answer: prepare.

    In fact, this is a lesson that one of Emergency Essentials’ founding partners, Don Pectol, learned as a boy living in California in the 1950’s. As a survivor of both a once-in-a-century and a once-in-a-thousand-year flood, Don (along with his family) learned a powerful lesson about the importance of emergency preparedness.

    In the Lessons Learned article “I Survived a Once in a Lifetime Flood Twice,” Don shares what he took away from those two devastating events:


    "The influence this flood had on me and my family was a powerful reminder of the principle of preparedness. We knew floods could happen where we lived, but not like this! We moved to higher ground. Higher ground is not just a physical location; it is also a state of mind and a way of life. Being prepared for emergencies is ‘moving to higher ground.’"


    Hear more of Don’s story straight from Don himself in this 30 second Emergency Essentials TV Spot:

    Don provides a great reminder that if you’re prepared, you’ll feel a sense of safety and security. Your levelheadedness and preparations before the storm could make all the difference for you and your family as you’re able to rely on yourself to provide for your most basic needs.

    When widespread emergencies (such as flooding and storms) occur, it's better to be able to rely on yourself when everyone else is relying on governments and relief agencies (who can take days—even weeks—to get set up). During Hurricane Sandy and the Colorado floods, relief resources were stretched thin because of the huge numbers of people relying on these agencies.  In widespread or large-scale emergencies, relief resources can run out quickly, leaving citizens on their own.

    We hope the possibility of these once-in-a-century storms gives you more incentive to start your preparations now, even if disasters haven’t increased in your area quite yet.

    For help getting prepared, check out the resources below.

    -          Start with a good emergency kit

    -          Checkout our emergency survival gear

    -          Look at emergency food and food storage options

    Learn how to prepare for a flood or hurricane.

    Read more about disaster preparedness on our Read First page, our blog, and our Insight Articles.











  • Fire Season Safety and Preparedness Tips

    Tips for Wildfire and House Fire Preparedness - Emergency Essentials

    Wildfire season has already started, and high-profile fires have already started in California and Colorado in the last several weeks.

    This news article gives great tips and suggestions for preventing wildfires and house fires—practical tips, and some I hadn't thought of before, including where you park your car when you’re out and about. Click here to read all 8 tips in the original article. Here’s my favorite:

    Target shooting
    Did you know that by July of 2012, 20 fires had been started last year by target shooters, including the Dump Fire, which burned 5,507 acres and cost $2.1 million to fight? The heat of bullets mixed with the hot, dry earth can be a very dangerous mix. Consider either visiting indoor shooting ranges or taking a couple months off from target shooting during the summer.

    Another tip includes having an evacuation plan. Your plan should include an emergency kit, bug out bag, or go bag, as well as a meeting place away from the house where everyone can meet in case of an emergency evacuation.

    Maryn McKenna shared her first-hand experience with an unexpected fire via Wired Magazine in her article, The Risks You Don’t Think of: A Plea to Pack a ‘Go Bag.’ She and her husband packed for a possible evacuation from their home because of a tree that had fallen on an electrical transformer next to their house. They packed their bags, and ultimately didn’t need them. Here’s what she said about her packing:

    To be honest, I give myself a C. I grabbed the cat’s food and dishes, but didn’t think to take the medication I give her twice a day. I took all the devices that access my stuff in the cloud, but didn’t recall that I keep some things out of the cloud for security; I should have taken the external back-up that sits on my desk. And, if things went very bad, I might have had a hard time dealing with the details; I relied on having web-based banking, but I didn’t think to take the phone or account numbers for any of the utilities. And I committed those fails despite minimal things to distract me: my spouse (aviation engineer) and I (epidemics and disasters journalist, pilot) are pretty accustomed to emergencies; we had only one pet to wrangle; and we didn’t have any small children or mobility-challenged elders to keep calm. And, most fortunate of all, we ended up not having to run.

    In the case of a large-scale evacuation, you will most likely have a few minutes to pack (versus a home fire where you need to evacuate immediately), but only a few. Keep emergency kits, important documentation, and precious keepsakes or photos where they can be packed quickly; that will help ease the stress of an evacuation and leave you with the assurance that you got everything vital out of the house.

    Think you’ll be able to “wing it” when an evacuation order comes knocking at your door? Evacuation: The 10 Minute Challenge, a video created by the Insurance Information Institute, shows the difference planning ahead will make—because those ten minutes will go by a lot more quickly than you’d expect:

    Get ready now for the possibility of a house fire or short-notice evacuation. Check out our pre-assembled emergency kits, get an escape ladder for each second-story bedroom, and learn more of the basics for Before, During, and After a fire in our Insight Article about Emergency Fire Safety.

    Be careful this summer, and stay safe!

    --Urban Girl


    P.S. I have my own tip for you. A couple of years ago we had a kitchen fire at my house (and no, I’m not the one who started it). We started chatting with the firemen who came, and they said that many house fires are started by toasters that short out in the middle of the night. So keep those electronics unplugged when you’re not using them.

  • Holy Supercell Batman!

    Wow. WOW. Have you seen this video?

    A supercell near Booker, Texas from Mike Olbinski on Vimeo.

    I only wish he’d captured more!

    These images from Sean R. Heavey, a photographer in Montana, are also astounding. They're scary and beautiful at the same time.

    Supercell Sean Heavey

    You should know that the images have been altered; they’re compiled from several different images that he took. Still, they're worth looking at.

    Man, nature is impressive.

    ~ Steph

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