Tag Archives: water

  • 6 Ways You Are Not Prepared For Disaster

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    In regards to a May 7 story from the Weather Channel web site (weather.com) described “10 Things You’re Not Doing to Prepare for Natural Disasters,” I conducted a non-random, tiny sample size survey of 11 friends and relatives to see what they were and weren’t doing. Some of them said they felt pretty prepared for an emergency.

    I asked 11 questions based on the story from weather.com. The questions and results are at the bottom of this post.

    Let’s look at the top six things people weren’t doing.

     

    Do you have a disaster plan for your family?

    Not Prepared? Be Prepared!Only two people surveyed said they have a disaster plan.

    “I have a plan if there’s a [house] fire,” one said.

    A disaster plan covers what you might face in your area: wildfire, hurricane, or winter storm for example. Where do you meet if some of you are away? Do you shelter at home or evacuate? What are your escape routes? It should answer all those questions.

    FEMA has multiple templates for disaster planning including a “Family Communication Plan" and “Emergency Financial First Aid Kit.”

     

    Have you set aside a few hundred dollars in small bills?

    Not Prepared - Dolla billzSeven survey participants had not.

    “But we do have an emergency fund in a bank,” one said.

    You need cash for about a week, suggested Ann House, coordinator of the Personal Money Management Center at the University of Utah.

    “In three days, usually the electricity is back on, the heat is back on and stores are up and going, so if you want to be on the safe side, [keep cash for] a week. The rest can go in the bank,” House said.

    Another respondent had cash in larger denominations.

    House said that might not work.

    “If you were out of water and somebody came by with a water selling wagon, you might be giving the person a $100 bill for water. It’s $1 bills that are going to come in handy for emergencies,” she said.

     

    Have you got a full first aid kit including prescriptions?

    Not Prepared - First Aid KitOnly three participants kept a first aid kit ready with prescriptions.

    FEMA’s pamphlet “Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Special Needs” recommends keeping enough daily medication for at least a week along with copies of prescriptions and dosage information.

    Many insurance providers won’t allow you to get more than a month’s supply of prescription medicines. One survey participant said his family keeps their prescriptions where they can grab them as they’re going out the door. That way they don’t have to get around insurance to obtain extra medicines.

     

    Have you practiced for a disaster?

    Not Prepared - PracticeFive said they had.

    One survey respondent said her church congregation hosted a community disaster event a couple of years ago. She didn’t say if she’d practiced since then. FEMA recommends practicing at least twice per year.

     

    Is your car ready for a disaster, including a gas tank at least half full?

    Not prepared - gasSeven said no.

    Start by getting a car kit together. It should include emergency supplies, tools, and a change of clothes, according to ready.gov.

    Next, make sure the vehicle is in good condition. Then plan where to go and how to get there. Ready.gov provides a commuter emergency plan where you can fill out alternate routes and modes of transportation.

    Most importantly, keep your gas tank at least half-full, Gwen Camp, director of individual and community preparedness for FEMA told weather.com. If you hit gridlock during an emergency and your tank is empty you might not make it to a gas station.

     

    Have you stored at least three gallons of water per person in your family?

    Not prepared - with waterCamp told weather.com you should store at least one gallon per person per day for drinking, cooking and sanitation.

    FEMA offers information about how to prepare and store water including bottle types to avoid and how much bleach to sanitize water.

     

     

    How are you doing in your emergency preparations? In what ways are you not prepared? You can take the survey and see my results below.

     

    - Melissa

     

     

    Survey:

     

    How many of the following things have you done to prepare for an emergency?

     

    Y             N             1. Do you have enough food for your family for three days?

     

    Y             N             2. Have you set aside a few hundred dollars in small bills?

     

    Y             N             3. Do you have all your important records stored somewhere safe and easy to obtain?

     

    Y             N             4. Do you have an out-of-area emergency contact?

     

    Y             N             5. Have you stored at least three gallons of water per person in your family?

     

    Y             N             6. Do you have a disaster plan for your family?

     

    Y             N             7. Do you have a place to stay in an emergency, especially if you have pets? (many places won’t allow them)

     

    Y             N             8. Are you trained in CPR and/or first aid?

     

    Y             N             9. Have you practiced for a disaster?

     

    Y             N             10. Is your car ready for a disaster, including a gas tank at least half full?

     

    Y             N             11. Have you got a full first aid kit including prescriptions?

     

     

     

    Results:

     

    Table 1:

    Yes No Maybe/No answer
    1. Food for 3 days 11 0
    2. Savings in small bills 4 7
    3. Records easily accessible 8 3
    4. Out-of-area emergency contact 8 3
    5. Three gallons of water per person 7 4
    6. Disaster plan 2 7 2
    7. Emergency shelter 10 1 "our car"
    8. First aid trained 6 3 2 "not certified"
    9. Practiced for a disaster 5 5 1 "somewhat"
    10. Car prepared for disaster 6 5
    11. First aid kit with prescriptions 3 7 1

     

     

    Graph 1:

    Survey Graph

    Posted In: Additional Reading, First Aid and Sanitation, Planning Tagged With: small bills, gas tank, not prepared, water, disaster

  • Proof California Can Beat the Drought

    |2 COMMENT(S)

    California is losing more water than it receives. Likewise, other states are in similar drought conditions. What would it take beat the drought? To ask another question, what would it take to turn a desert into an oasis capable of providing enough food and water for millions of people?

    Beat the Drought - Israel Restoration Israel

    The answer? Ask Israel.

    The Middle Eastern country has fought for many millennia to produce a way to subsist in the desert. Now, Israel is something of a paradise.

    They didn’t reach this point overnight. It took time. Israel had to convince her population that their water wouldn’t last forever. There were sacrifices that had to be made. But, according to Alexander Kushnir, head of Israel’s Water Authority, it was their attitude towards the situation.

    They said they would beat the water shortage and dadgummit they did! It took improvising – including various water recycling methods – and developing innovative new technologies, such as drip irrigation (which is utilized all throughout North America). They have also chosen to plant crops that can succeed in an area that receives almost no rain at all throughout the year. Israel has made changes to the way they operate in regards to their water. Now, they are no longer lacking for water.

    So what can California, Nevada, and other drought-stricken states learn from Israel? For one thing, they can learn that it’s possible to beat the drought. But it might take some tough actions, sacrifices, and more innovation.

    In the case of Israel, it’s a country approximately the size of New Jersey, with just over 8 million people. California, on the other hand, boasts a population of just under 40 million. So of course, there will be differences in the way their drought is fought.

    Beat the drought - don't drink water?But one of the takeaways here is that it’s all about attitude. No matter where you live, drought may pay a visit, or maybe it’s already worn out its welcome. No matter which category you fall under, overcoming the drought may require more than just not drinking water while eating out.

    While there’s not a whole lot you can do on a national or state level, you can still do your part. And, if you play your cards right, doing your part could help you conserve and save more water for you and your family to use later on.

    Like Israel, take initiative when it comes to conserving – and storing – water. Instead of watering your lawn, perhaps you could use some of that water to fill up containers for future use. Instead of taking a long shower, just be in and out as fast as you can and use the water you would have consumed to keep filling those water containers.

    Rain barrels are another option for collecting water, so if it ever does rain, you’ll be set. Recycle water when you can. Excess shower water can be used to water plants, for example. If you live close to the ocean, desalinators could become very useful. Desalinators take salt water (like that from the sea), subtracts the salt and other unpleasantries found therein, and leaves you with good, clean drinking water. Although they are rather expensive, they could be a life saver.

    Just like how Israel found ways to be self-sufficient with water, you can too. You may not be able to beat the drought for your state, but you can at least beat the drought for your family.

     

    How have you beat the drought you're in?

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Water Storage Tagged With: Israel, beat the drought, California, drought, water

  • Procrastination: A Recipe For Disaster(s)

    Why aren’t you prepared for a major emergency?

    According to a recent survey of 3,000 people, the majority claim they just keep putting off getting prepared. These people have even taken First Aid courses, so we know they’re interested and even want to be ready. Procrastination is keeping us from being prepared.

    Procrastination and emergency shelter does not mix.We all know disasters like to make an appearance when it’s least convenient for us, and when we least expect it. The recent 7.8 magnitude Nepal earthquake should be a smack back to reality. One moment life is good, the next…, well, it’s quite literally in shambles. This earthquake is just one reason we should not just be thinking about preparing, but actually doing it. And if you don’t think such a disaster can happen to you, just remember the earthquake that struck Michigan earlier this month. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said that "It's rare for Michigan to experience earthquakes, but as we were reminded today, it does happen.”

    And if it does happen, why do we still procrastinate?

    Mike Lloyd of News 1130 thinks that starting to prepare can be a little overwhelming, and he may be right. That’s why St. John Ambulance is providing people with 15 Easy Steps to Emergency Preparedness. St. John Ambulance is trying to remind people about the basics and also other things that people tend to forget about.

     

    1. Make An Emergency Plan

    It all starts here, folks. As Ben Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Does anybody ever really want to fail? And yet we plan on it – all the time – when we don’t plan ahead for disaster. Make a plan. To get you started, here are some things you should think about when planning:

    • Exits and evacuation routes
    • Family meeting place
    • Emergency contact
    • Plan for pets
    • Important documents (Social Security cards, birth certificates, insurance, photos of family members and pets, passports, health information, prescriptions, etc.).

     

    1. Emergency Kit

    This is pretty much the go-to for every disaster. Make sure you have a kit, because when disaster strikes, hospitals could very likely only be taking in those that are most seriously injured. Your emergency kit should help you survive the next three days after the disaster. But you might not even be home when the disaster hits, to the people at St. John Ambulance suggest to plan ahead for that, too.

     

    “You may be in a vehicle, so you need a kit for on the road or at work. You may have high-heeled shoes on at work – how are you going to walk? You may not get home for many days.”

     

    If you’re unsure where to start in building your emergency kit, ready.gov has some good resources to look through. Or, if you’d prefer getting a kit already packed and prepared by experts, check out our wide-range of emergency kits.

     

    1. Emergency Food and Water Storage

    We are all encouraged to be able to sustain ourselves for at least three days following a disaster. Having an emergency kit will definitely help with that, but without food and water (especially water), it’s going to be most unpleasant.

    Water storage doesn’t have to be difficult. Start by filling up 2-litre bottles from your kitchen sink and storing them out of direct sunlight. Each person should have about a gallon of water per day, so if you’re planning on using 2-litre bottles, that’s going to be about 6 bottles per person per day. If you have more room, consider investing in some water jugs, or even water barrels. These will help provide you with more water, so if you do need more than just three-days’ worth of water, you’ll be prepared. At the very least, make sure you have enough water for 72-hours. Every six to 12 months, you should get out your water storage and switch out the water so it always tastes fresh.

    Food is also fairly simple to store these days. Freeze-dried food can last up to 25 years, so if you get a can or two of your favorite meal to keep on hand, you’ll have a three-day supply of food without any hassle on your end. Best of all, freeze-dried meals are delicious and easy to prepare – just add hot water, wait about 10 minutes, and you’ve got yourself a full-on meal!

     

    Procrastination is unpreparedness.So you see, preparing for disaster doesn’t have to be hard. You can even start today by filling water containers and stashing them in your storage room. That will take about five minutes.

    Now’s the time to start preparing. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Even if nothing happens, there is peace of mind that comes in knowing that if a disaster did strike, you would be ready for it. Don't let procrastination get the best of you. Prepare today!

     

     

    What strategies have you found that help you get motivated to prepare?

     

     

    Drought Procrastination - Dont' Do It

     

    Posted In: Emergency Cooking, Emergency Kits, First Aid and Sanitation, Food Storage, Insight, Planning Tagged With: procrastination, disaster preparedness, emergency preparedness, water, First Aid, Emergency plan, food storage

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