Friday, April 29, 2011
*Ideal for securing antiques, collectibles, and other breakable items from falling
*Works on almost any surface
*Easy to apply with its pliable texture
*Non-toxic and non-damaging to your walls, surfaces, or furniture
*Easy to remove and reuse without leaving behind unsightly residue
I agree that it is all those things because I purchased some last year to secure my great-great-grandmother's lead crystal pitcher which means the world to me. The putty is basically really high quality Silly-Putty that you put under any breakables that you wouldn't want crashing down in an earthquake. Even if you hate all the breakable trinkets on your shelf and wouldn't shed a tear if they all broke, think of the time and energy you would save if you didn't have to clean up all that broken porcelain! I hate cleaning, especially when I have to exert effort like sweeping and making sure there aren't shards of glass anywhere. That's worth the $3.99 I paid for the package of Quake Hold at Home Depot.
I put the putty under the pitcher, as I previously mentioned, plus under a bunch of pictures, a vase and a terra-cotta pot I painted (poorly) while in Mexico. Plus, I still have half the package left. $3.99 well spent, my friends. Check out their website here and maybe next time you're at Lowe's or Home Depot, pick up a package. You can also get it pretty cheap at Amazon.com, so when you're picking up another copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (no, really, it's a book!), add some Quake Hold to your virtual shopping cart!
Monday, April 25, 2011
So, there you go. Go forth and conquer!
Friday, April 22, 2011
Your landlord's policy does not cover your personal property at all. You could lose your personal property in a fire, burglary or a severe storm. Without renter's insurance, your personal property wouldn't be replaced and you'd be liable for anyone who is injured inside your home.
I know, you're probably thinking "But I don't have any Picasso's or fur coats or a porcelain clown collection valuable enough to worry about." Still, make a list of everything in your house that you like, use, need and wouldn't want destroyed. You'll be surprised at what would be costly to replace: Clothing, furniture, a TV, computer, iPod, sports equipment or jewelry.
You might think that your furniture and TV are so lousy that you wouldn't care if they got destroyed, but if you had no insurance, you still have to pay out of pocket if you ever want to sit on something other than the floor and have a TV on which to watch Antiques Roadshow or Jersey Shore again.
The cost of renter's insurance is so low it just doesn't make sense not to have it, especially given the natural disasters that plague this area. When my husband and I rented a home about 8 years ago the cost of the renter's policy was about $15 a month, but our auto insurance was so thrilled that we had a renter's policy that we got a deduction on our premium which equaled to the renter's insurance not costing us a thing. Sweet!
When shopping for renter's insurance, be sure you're covered for these "named perils," as they're called in the insurance world: Fire or lightning, windstorm, smoke, vandalism or malicious mischief, theft, and accidental discharge of water, among other common loss types.
Earthquake protection costs extra, but in my opinion, is a cost worth incurring. Flood coverage may also be an additional expense, but that's a question an insurance agent would have to answer.
There are several options in what you want to cover, what liability limits you need and what you want your deductible to be. Why not give an insurance agent a call today to learn more?
It helps to take photos and keep a list of your belongings so they can be easily replaced after a disaster. Just be sure to store them someplace else!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Anyway, now it’s time to find a way to cook that food. Obviously, if you have electricity just carry on as normal. However, if you are without power, here are a few food-prep options.
1. A butane stove: these can be used indoors, provided you have PLENTY of ventilation. The best thing would probably be to use this outside under the cover of a porch or awning. These can be purchased here. This one is rated for indoor use and can be purchased here or at your local Ace Hardware or camping supply store.
2. Apple box oven: these things are super cool. Click here and here to learn more. Cooking brownies or muffins when the power is out? Yes, please! You can easily make one at home or you can attend a hands-on class in June and make one with the help of a professional! Check back next week for more details on the date and class location.
3. Grill: Use this outdoors only. Here’s why. If you’re stuck at home because of a severe winter storm or flood, why not treat yourself to a nice steak? No electricity required! Plus, it’s a good way to use up all that meat in the freezer that will go bad without electricity.
4. Fondue pot/chafing dish: this would probably take quite a bit of time (but if you’re trapped at home, it’s not like your social calendar is going to be full). If you happen to have fondue makings sitting around, have a nice disaster fondue party. However, if you are like 99.9% of Americans you don’t exactly keep fondue fixin’s on hand. But, you can certainly heat up some nice soup or chili in it!
So, what do you need to buy this week? How about (per family member):
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Galarnyk visits various bridges, dams, tunnels and other important structures to gauge their current safety level and how they might fare in a disaster. If you think that you can get to wherever you need to go in Cowlitz County following an earthquake, you are in serious disaster-denial. These are all issues to take into consideration when working out an emergency plan with your family.
For instance, I work on the Longview side of the bridge, but my children are on the Kelso side. If there is a large earthquake and both bridges are impassable, I need a plan to either get to my kids or have someone else get to them. I am not a great swimmer, so swimming across the Cowlitz to get to the Kelso side isn't an option. I've worked out plans with my daycare, my husband and other family members to take care of the kids in the event that I couldn't immediately get to Kelso.
For more on "Infrastructure America", click here. There's only been one episode (it premiered on the 17th), but it was very eye-opening. I know in future episodes he visits locations on the west coast, so watch for that.
This isn't necessarily an "emergency management" issue, but it was something I thought was important and relevant nonetheless. Most people are changing their lightbulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL's). If every household in the US replaced just one conventional lightbulb with CFL, the US would save $600 million in annual energy costs and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more that 800,000 cars!
However, CFL's do contain trace amounts of mercury, which is a dangerous neurotoxin, especially for young children, babies and pregnant women. Therefore, you should take special care when cleaning up a broken bulb and disposing of a used one.
How to clean up a broken CFL bulb:
1. Open a window before cleaning up, and turn off any forced-air heating or air conditioning.
2. Instead of sweeping or vacuuming, which can spread the mercury around, scoop up the glass fragments and powder. Use sticky tape to pick up remaining glass fragments or powder. Wipe the area clean with a damp paper towel or wet wipes.
3. Dispose of the broken bulb through your local household hazardous waste program or recycling program (at Waste Control in Kelso).
4. Wash your hands well after cleaning up.
5. If vacuuming is needed afterwards, when all visible materials have been removed, vacuum the area and dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag. For the next few times you vacuum, turn off any forced-air heating or air conditioning and open a window before doing so.
Don't throw used CFL's in the garbage where it might break en-route to the landfill and release mercury. Instead, recycle it. You can take bulbs to Waste Control in Kelso or to Home Depot. You can also visit http://www.earth911.org/ to find the drop-off place nearest to you.
Monday, April 18, 2011
But seriously, why is it important to do a Drop, Cover, Hold drill? As with anything, to react quickly, you must practice and make this reaction like second-nature. You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake, before strong shaking knocks you down--or drops something on your head. For more information on what to do in an earthquake, check out http://www.dropcoverholdon.org/
Attendees will learn how to grow an inexpensive, natural food garden. The presentation will be on Wednesday, May 4th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at St. Helens Elementary School at 431 27th Avenue in Longview. Come enjoy refreshments and gardening tips! For more information call 414-5581.
Once your garden yields a bumper crop, you should can the extras for long-term food storage. Cheap, easy, healthy food for your disaster kit--it's a win-win!
Two U.S. Geological Survey scientists contend that the Japan quake bolsters their idea that the planet is experiencing a spasm of great earthquakes, its second since 1900. Are more large-scale earthquakes coming? Check out the www.sciencenews.org link to learn more about earthquake clusters. There is also more information on earthquake clusters in this article from the Wall Street Journal.
Friday, April 15, 2011
These buckets include food and water with a 5-year shelf life, a pet first-aid kit, collapsible food and water dishes, a leash, a harness, nylon rope, an emergency blanket, light sticks, bio-hazard bags, toys, a can opener and a pet-emergency plan template. With the exception of a crate or kennel, this is pretty much everything you need in one bucket! The costs range from $45-59, but it's well worth it for the peace of mind. These would work great both for sheltering in place and something to easily grab in the event of an evacuation. If you have a high-maintenance pet that has to eat special food, I'd throw some of that in there as well as a toy that they have played with. If it's a previously-loved toy it will have their scent on it and make them feel more at ease.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
*Following a major disaster, do not call 9-1-1 unless your life or the lives of those around you are in danger.
*If there has been an earthquake, do not call 9-1-1 to tell them that there has been an earthquake. Trust me, they already know. Do not call to ask them when the shaking will stop. The fact that I mention these scenarios should give you a hint that they have happened in the past. In a major emergency, the 9-1-1 system can be brought down by too many calls. Informational numbers concerning power outages, water problems, shelters, etc will be established and posted for the community following a major disaster.
*Know your location! Dispatchers can not automatically detect your location if you are calling from a cell phone. It depends on what kind of phone you are calling from and how good the Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping is in your location. If you are calling from a landline, they can identify the origin of the call, but not the exact location. So, if you were in large building, like a school or office building, it wouldn't say exactly where you are (3rd floor, room 210 for example.)
*If you have a VOIP phone system (like Vonage, MagicJack or Skype), your 9-1-1 calls may be routed differently. Please click this FCC link to learn more about this.
*If the power goes out, cordless phones or phones tied to an electrically dependent base will not work. Have a spare, corded-type phone available to plug directly into the phone jack.
The Cowlitz County 9-1-1 Communications Center is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is the responsibility of the dispatcher to accurately, and quickly, identify the nature of your call and assist in solving the problem.
In case you've ever wrestled with the question of whether or not to call 9-1-1, ask yourself these questions:
What is the level of urgency?
Is there a danger to life and property?
Is someone the victim of a crime?
Do you have a police emergency?
Does the caller or someone else have an immediate medical emergency?
Does the caller need the fire department?
If the public safety situation is urgent and has the potential of escalating by not making the call, the choice should be to contact 9-1-1. If you should call 9-1-1 by accident, DO NOT hang up. Stay on the line and tell the dispatcher that everything is all right. If you don't, the dispatcher is required to find out the situation and send a police officer to the location from which the call originated.
If you need help, but it is not an immediate emergency, you can call the non-emergency line at (360) 577-3090. When you make a 9-1-1 call, dispatchers will ask you several questions. Please don't take offense and scream at them to just get you help. When an emergency call comes in, one dispatcher will gather information, while another dispatcher dispatches the call to fire and/or paramedics. Answering questions and giving the appropriate information is not slowing down response time.
Dispatchers are trained to get as much information as possible to best determine the nature of the problem. The information that you provide can assist officers in determining what they will need in order to keep others safe and out of harms way. Also, please realize that the dispatchers are trained to perform many tasks at once. If they ask you to hold, it is because they are dispatching help to you! For more information about our local 9-1-1 Communications Center, click here.
If you do need to call 9-1-1, remember give the dispatchers "LIP", by that I mean:
LOCATION: Your exact location
IDENTITY: Your name and call back number
PROBLEM: Brief, exact description of the incident
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
* 2 packages of eating utensils, paper cups and paper plates
* 2 rolls of paper towels
* 4 rolls of toilet paper
* Liquid dish soap
* Matches (waterproof is a good idea)
* Latex or Nitrile gloves
* Unscented liquid bleach (for water purification or other cleaning)
If you take the time to shop around at dollar stores, canned food warehouses or other discount-type establishments, you could get all this for under $20. Shelling out a crisp Jackson now could make you very thankful later!
If your waterlines have been damaged and the water needs to be purified there are two ways to do this. If you have electricity or have a butane burner, you can bring the water to a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes. If you do not have electricity you can use household liquid bleach (not scented or colorsafe). Add 16 drops (like from a medicine dropper, not 16 pours) per gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Just like any good mother, when hearing a rationale such as this, I'm tempted to scream, "I don't care whose fault it is, now you're BOTH in trouble!" Might as well take responsibility for yourself and your family and start learning more about disaster preparedness. I'm not saying you need a fallout shelter, a 10-year supply of food and a bunker full of ammunition. Although, that's cool too. No, I'm just suggesting that you find out more about what to do in an earthquake, what to do if there's a long-term power outage, how to create a sweet 72-hour kit for yourself, what kind of hazards should you be concerned about, and so on. Luckily for you, all this info is just a click away.
Now, if I'm preaching to the choir here, you might want to take a minute to ask your friends and family about their preparedness level and maybe give them some tips. You don't have to do it in a creepy, "Sit down Aunt Bea, we need to talk," intervention-style way. Just bring up some recent events, "Hey, that stuff in Japan was crazy right? What kind of emergency supplies and plans do you have?" See, easy!
Monday, April 11, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
When all of these fail, ham radio is there to save the day. To learn more about the specifics of ham radio, click here. Many of our local ham radio operators are part of a Ham Radio Emergency Service group that provides emergency communication services to Cowlitz County. Our local ham radio volunteers are absolutely integral to our success in emergency response and recovery! To find out more about our local radio club, check out their website here.
There are a few steps to take to become a ham radio operator. Fortunately, memorizing Morse code is no longer one of them! In the US, there are 3 license levels, or "license classes." These licenses are granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). To learn more about the levels, check out this website here which also has links to study materials. If you are interested in finding out more about HAM radio or would like to sign up for future training classes, please contact our office at 577-3130 or send us an email at DEM@co.cowlitz.wa.us.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
1 jar of Jam or jelly
1 jar Peanut butter
Box(es) of saltine crackers
Bags of beef jerky
Instant coffee/tea/powdered drinks (hello TANG!)
Consider keeping a few loaves of bread in the freezer and rotating them every few months
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
A whistle is one of the BEST things you can keep with you for several reasons. You use a lot less air blowing a whistle than screaming your head off, plus it’s way louder. I keep one in my desk drawer in case I’m trapped under rubble after an earthquake. The likelihood of the entire Sheriff’s Office collapsing on my head in an earthquake is pretty much a foregone conclusion, so a whistle makes me feel a smidgen better. Well, half a smidgen anyway. I don’t know how to use a compass, but I’m sure it could come in handy in some emergency situation. Obviously, I’d be the last one picked for the hiking team.I’m sure you could also pick up something similar locally at Bob’s, Survival Bunker or at REI. Check back next week for another cool thing.