Tag Archives: natural disaster

  • Powerful Tornadoes Rumble through the Midwest

    Record-breaking tornadoes rumbled across the Midwestern and Southern United States on Sunday, April 27th, 2014. The storms began in Vilonia, Ark., creating a powerful, half-mile-wide tornado. According to Fox News, this tornado reduced buildings to rubble, stripped trees of branches, and even tore through cars and 18-wheelers, leaving destruction in its path.

    One Associated Press article quotes National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Hood as saying, “The tornado that hit Vilonia and nearby Mayflower would likely be rated as the nation’s strongest to date this year, as it has the potential to be at least an EF3 (Enhanced Fujita scale—measures strength of tornadoes in the US on a scale of 0 to 5) storm, which has winds greater than 136 mph.”

    After hitting Arkansas, the tornado moved to portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri. As of early Monday morning, a total of 18 deaths were reported across these states.

    Shortly after, Arkansas governor, Mike Beebe, issued a statement suggesting, “it will take days to estimate the total amount of damage, but as of now, the primary focus is on search and rescue efforts” to make sure that all are safe and accounted for.

    As the states impacted by these powerful storms continue to recover, consider adding to or enhancing your preparedness supplies. Weatherchannel.com believes that the storm on Sunday will not be the last this area of the country sees this month. In fact,  they issued a forecast predicting weather patterns in this part of the country for the rest of the week. They believe that the severe storms and tornadoes that began over the weekend may last into midweek.

    To learn more about the tornadoes that swept through the Midwest and South, check out these articles:

    Emergency crews searching for survivors after tornadoes kill at least 16 in central US” [Fox]

    Powerful Storms, Tornadoes Kill 16 in 3 States” [Associated Press]

    "Severe Storms Slam Midwest as First 2014 Death Confirmed" [CBS]

    Also, check out the Weather Channel’s predicted forecast and videos showing the damage of this powerful storm:

    Severe Weather Forecast: Outbreak of Severe Storms and Tornadoes Continues into Midweek” [Weather.com]

    And while you’re at it… learn what to do during a tornado by reading our Insight article, “Preparing for a Tornado.”

     

    What preparations have you made to survive possible tornadoes in your area?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Survival, natural disaster, Tornado, midwest

  • Landslide or Landcreep?

     "A Slow Moving Disaster"--Landslides in Jackson Hole Wyoming

    When I imagine disaster scenarios, I usually think of swift, surprising calamities—blink-of-an-eye kinds of moments that could change my world drastically. That’s why I’m still trying to process what’s going on in Jackson Hole. If you haven’t seen the headlines, there is what LiveScience.com is calling a “slow motion disaster” in progress.

    As a bizarre contrast to the recent and deadly landslide that shocked residents of Oso, Washington, a butte in Wyoming’s famous resort town is crumbling slowly, sending debris cascading into the business developments below and eating away at the properties above at a rate of nearly a foot a day, according to Reuters. And if that doesn’t sound drastic, talk to the 50+ evacuees, or the owners of the home that was “torn in two” as the earth dropped out from beneath it earlier this month.

    We’ve kind of had landslides on our minds lately. You can read our post about the Oso slide here. And below are a couple more resources for landslide safety.

    While fast and unexpected catastrophes can be traumatic, there’s something creepy about the slow, inevitable approach of disaster. But the trauma and damage can be lessened in both scenarios with a bit of preparation. Educate yourself, stay aware, and know the best practices to keep your family safe.

    --Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: natural disaster

  • Drop, cover, and hold on. According to the American Red Cross and Ready.Gov, doing these three things will protect you during an earthquake.

    On April 17th, 2014 at 10:15 a.m., our team at Emergency Essentials will practice our Earthquake Preparedness as we participate in the Great Utah Shakeout, a state-wide earthquake drill. If you followed our blog last year, you’ll know that we did this drill last April as well, and it was an eye opening experience.

    Here are a couple of tips we learned from last year’s Shakeout that can help you and your family survive an earthquake.

    1.      Practice Makes Perfect. Find out when the Shakeout is happening in your state, territory, or region, and sign up. If there isn’t a Shakeout in your area, hold a family or community drill of your own.

    2.      Learn to Drop, Cover, and Hold on.  Drop to the floor and find a sturdy desk or table to get under. If you can’t find a sturdy table or desk, the Red Cross also suggests “sitting on the floor next to an interior wall [or corner away from windows] and cover your head and neck with your arms”

    Sarah hiding under a desk

    Sarah hiding under her desk

    CAUTION: It’s safer to get onto all fours, so you’ll need enough space under your desk to do that. Once you've dropped under your desk for cover, hold onto your head.

    3.      Stay in the Building until the Shaking Stops.  If you’re told to evacuate after the quake, use the stairs and not the elevator.

    The Great Utah Shakeout: Practicing an Earthquake Drill

    Our assembly staff, evacuating the building post-quake.

    4.      Teach your family and friends what you’ve learned about earthquake safety so they can be prepared, too. You can read up on earthquake safety by checking our Insight Articles for what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

    If you practice the drop, cover, and hold on technique now, you’ll know exactly what to do to keep yourself safe in an earthquake. If you live in Utah, you can begin preparing for an earthquake by joining us as we participate in the Utah Shakeout this year.

    Come in to one of our stores on April 17th at 10:15 a.m. and participate in the drill there. We’ll have free samples of our food storage items, a “readiness rally” where you can practice your prepping skills and get a chance to win a prize!

    Happy Prepping!

    ~Angela and Steph

    Sources

    http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Emergency plan, natural disaster, Earthquakes

  • Recent Earthquakes in California cause people to prepare

    Since leaving Southern California a few years ago, I’ve been missing fresh avocado and Disneyland something fierce. One thing I haven’t missed? Earthquakes. I was reminded of how much I didn’t miss them when friends started reporting their experiences online with the recent 6.7 shaker.

    While the injury count is encouraging (none), the New York Times points to an important side effect: “For Californians, 2 Quakes Put Preparedness Back on the Map.” According to the article, the relatively gentle reminders lately have reminded a complacent community of the real and imminent danger of larger quakes. In fact, more than just encouraging residents to store water and practice earthquake safety, LA’s mayor is working with a prominent seismologist to overhaul the city’s unsound buildings and shore up its water and communications infrastructure.

    The short-term takeaway: events like this remind us of the importance of earthquake preparation. Is my house up to code? Have I stored food and water? Do I have ways to communicate with family or rescuers if phone towers are knocked out? These are important questions to answer, and you can find a thorough range of preparation resources in our post, “How to Prepare for an Earthquake.”

    There is, however, an even scarier lesson at work here. Angelinos certainly aren’t exclusively guilty of this, but the situation is a powerful reminder of how quickly we become complacent in our preparations. L.A.’s expert seismologist Lucille M. Jones calls the last 17 years “the quietest time we have ever seen,” in terms of seismic activity—but that’s barely a generation away from the lethal Northridge quake!

    A long stint without a disaster accomplishes two potentially fatal things. First, it tips preparedness off the radar of our consciousness. And second, it increases the likelihood of another disaster (for example, if experts predict my neighborhood will flood every ten years, and it’s been nine…). This principle really hits home for me. I said I was relieved to be away from the California fault lines, but experts have been predicting “The Big One,” a 9+ point mega-quake, here in my own Pacific Northwest for ages. The last one was in 1700. We’re long overdue, and we’re nowhere as prepared as Southern California!

     

    Whether it’s earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, or floods in your neck of the woods (and, let’s be honest, it’s never just one), don’t let a calm spell fool you. Follow LA county’s lead and take care of the problem before things get even dicier. Start here, and let us know how else we can help you!

    -Stacey

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

  •  The Shamrock Shake: California's 4.4 Earthquake

    Imagine waking up, not to your alarm clock, but to a magnitude 4.4 earthquake! What could you do to protect yourself if you were still groggy in bed when the quake started?

    This was a question many California residents had to ask at 6:25 a.m. PDT on Monday, March 17th, when a magnitude 4.4 earthquake was reported in the southern California area. This monumental earthquake was quickly labeled the #Shamrockshake by California residents and news teams on Twitter in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

    According to Robert Graves, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, this quake was the biggest shake in southern California since a magnitude 5.5 earthquake in Chino Hills in 2008. This unexpected quake reminds us of the importance of emergency preparedness, especially since Graves suggests that earthquakes of this magnitude often act as preludes to equal or stronger shakes.

    In fact, Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, suggests that "today's earthquake is a reminder that every L.A. family must be prepared with food, water, and other essentials, as well as a plan" even though there was no major damage reported in the area. But preparations don't just stop at food and water; there are also things you can do to prepare your home like bolting down furniture or securing bookcases.

    To find out the latest about California's 4.4 earthquake, check out the L.A. Times article, " Earthquake: 4.4 quake strikes Los Angeles; 6 aftershocks so far." Also, follow the #Shamrockshake Twitter hashtag for continual updates.

    As we suggest in our article “Preparing for Earthquakes”, if you're ever caught in an earthquake while you're in bed (like many in California were), hold on, stay there, and protect your head with a pillow.

    For more cool tips about how to prepare for Earthquakes, check out our Insight articles, blog posts and our Preparedness Checklists to start making an emergency plan today.

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

  • 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

  •  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

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