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Entries in Disaster Preparedness (14)

Monday
Apr202009

Disaster Tip of The Week: Keep An Emergency Kit In Your Car

You never know exactly when a disaster or emergency may strike, especially out here in earthquake country where I am. So, it is important that you have enough supplies in case your car breaks down, you have to wait for someone else to come along or if you have to walk to safety.

In addition to the more common items like jumper cables, or emergency car starter, and work gloves be sure that you carry some of the following items.

  • Flashlight, with extra batteries ( or one that requires no batteries)
  • A multi-tool
  • Duct tape
  • Whistle
  • Thermal Blankets-at least two
  • A wool blanket
  • Ponchos with hoods
  • A couple (at least two) Body warmers (provides instant heat)
  • Water proof matches
  • A candle (preferably a long lasting survival type)
  • 3 days worth of water (aqua blox)
  • 3 days worth of survival food bars (You can use power bars as well, just be sure to check expiration dates)

You'll especially want the food if you need to walk to safety or to your home. In the case of an earthquake with major infrastructure damage you'll most likely have to walk for several miles to reach home.

If you are stranded in the middle of no where it is best to stay with the car and wait for help. If you need to leave the car for safety reasons, stay on the road at all times, you will be more likely to get help and be spotted by someone.

Friday
Apr172009

Disaster Tip of The Week: Is 72 Hours Enough To Prepare For A Disaster?

I constantly hear from other sources, both private, and from the government, that you should prepare to be on your own for 72 hours following a disaster.

However.... What you do not hear too often, is that 72 hours is often the MINIMUM length of time that you should be prepared to go before help arrives.

There are those that feel that you should prepare to the extent that no help ever arrives, though I am not going to go to such an extreme, at least not at this time.

So what is a good length of time to prepare for a disaster? Well, that depends on many factors really, such as are you alone? Will you have other family members with you? What are the needs of the other people in your group? Do some require extra attention? Special diet needs, etc.?

What many people are unaware of is that during a major disaster, infrastructure that we take for granted everyday will be destroyed or rendered useless. Some of these infrastructures rely on one another to keep working. 

For instance, without electricity, or power backups water pumping stations are not going to be working. This will lead to sewage treatment and water treatment problems.

In some cases it can be as long as 4-5 months before some of these services become available again. I have heard of reports as long as 6 months before some utilities become fully restored.

While the utilities have plans in place for such operations, you may have to travel to a water station which may also be inaccessible by vehicles and may require you to walk several miles to an aid station to get food, water and other needed supplies.

I would recommend that you have enough supplies for a month at a minimum, but some may need more. Keep in mind that this will be a high-stress situation, you may be sleep deprived which also increases caloric needs.

My main point in all of this is that we are very under prepared, 72 hours is just 6 3 full days. The average preparedness kit contains only enough items for 3 full days.

Most people do not even have a three day emergency supply kit, which in most cases are designed to take with you and provide enough supplies until you reach a point of relative safety.

If you have not yet taken action to prepare, please take the time to do so now.

How about you, do you think 72 hours is enough?

Wednesday
Mar042009

Disaster Tip of The Week:Have Flashlights Ready, With Plenty of Extra Batteries 

The timing of this week's disaster tip could not be better, since the power went out in my neighborhood last night for about 45 minutes.

Having flashlights or battery powered lanterns near by during a power outage or during a disaster is very good for helping to keep people calm. Being able to see what you are doing is a great help too.

Some people suggest propane lanterns and candles, and being from the North East these were common in my house as a kid and great for when storms knock out the power.

However, during major disasters these are not the best choice, since there is a fire danger. Gas leaks are very common.

If you are going to use a candle, lantern or even before you light a match or lighter, be 100 percent sure it is safe to do so.

So, if you can use battery powered, or even hand cranked powered lights, at least until you know it is safe to use other sources.

I keep several battery powered lanterns with batteries in them at all times. I also have a few other lanterns and lights ready but without batteries in them.

I also have enough batteries for each light source along with back up batteries for each which some may say is a little over kill, but hey, it's about being prepared right?

Wednesday
Feb252009

National Disaster Summit Currently Taking Place Around The Country

The 2009 National Disaster Summit is underway making the rounds around the country. The next National Disaster Summit event is taking place in Nashville, TN on March 19th.

If you are looking for an excellent event or confreence on disaster preparedness I recomend that you attend this event.

From the National Disaster Summit site:

Whether you are just starting to think about creating a disaster plan for your business or looking to update your current plan, our educational seminar will provide you with the knowledge and tools needed to create a complete and efficient plan. More importantly, the information you receive will give you confidence that your business, employees and property will survive and recover in the event of a disaster.

Join them as they discuss

* Business continuity plans, procedures and project management tools
* Business risk analysis and impact of potential disasters
* Developing business unit management plans and procedures
* Implementing disaster plans through detailed testing and employee training
* Environmental issues and air quality control following a disaster
* Deploying emergency response and recovery teams to ground zero
* Insurance claims management to ensure maximum benefits under a policy
* Procedures to follow in reconstructing and restoring your structure and operations
* Life/safety techniques and proper triage training
* Effective communication systems during emergencies
* Pandemic, avian flu and other dangerous viruses
* Private/Public partnerships and government funding
* County fire department planning and resources available
* Federal, State and Local Government disaster planning and preparations

To Register for one of the events Follow the links below, and be sure to check out their website:

National Disaster Summit

The remainder of the 2009 venue schedule:

March 19 - Nashville,TN

April 16 - Fort Lauderdale, FL

May15 - Chicago, IL

July 16 - Houston, TX

September 17 - Seattle, WA

October 22 - Philadelphia, PA


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