The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Do You Know What Shelter in Place Means?

"Shelter-in-place" means to take immediate shelter where you are—at home, work, school, or in between. It may also mean "seal the room;" in other words, take steps to prevent outside air from coming in. This is because local authorities may instruct you to "shelter-in-place" if chemical or radiological contaminants are released into the environment. It is important to listen to TV or radio to understand whether the authorities wish you to merely remain indoors or to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family.

How do I prepare?
At home
•Choose a room in advance for your shelter. The best room is one with as few windows and doors as possible. A large room, preferably with a water supply, is desirable—something like a master bedroom that is connected to a bathroom.
•Contact your workplaces, your children's schools, nursing homes where you may have family and your local town or city officials to find out what their plans are for "shelter-in-place."
•Find out when warning systems will be tested. When tested in your area, determine whether you can hear or see sirens and/or warning lights from your home.
•Develop your own family emergency plan so that every family member knows what to do. Practice it regularly.
•Assemble a disaster supplies kit that includes emergency water and food supplies.

At work
•Help ensure that the emergency plan and checklist involves all employees. Volunteers or recruits should be assigned specific duties during an emergency. Alternates should be assigned to each duty.
•The shelter kit should be checked on a regular basis. Duct tape and first aid supplies can sometimes disappear when all employees know where the shelter kit is stored. Batteries for the radio and flashlight should be replaced regularly.
In general
•Learn CPR, first aid and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). (Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for more information.)

How will I know when I need to "shelter-in-place"?
Fire or police department warning procedures could include:
•"All-Call" telephoning - an automated system for sending recorded messages, sometimes called "reverse 9-1-1".
•Emergency Alert System (EAS) broadcasts on the radio or television.
•Outdoor warning sirens or horns.
•News media sources - radio, television and cable.
•NOAA Weather Radio alerts.
•Residential route alerting - messages announced to neighborhoods from vehicles equipped with public address systems.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Power Outage Tip

Know the safe temperature zones of perishable food. When the power goes out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold. The refrigerator, if unopened, will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will maintain its temperature for around 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What to Do When the Power's Out

The hazard-focused theme for week 4 (September 20 – 26) of National Preparedness Month is power outage. Although power outages can happen anytime, they are often associated with severe weather. Since power outages can last for several hours or several days, it’s important to plan ahead. The Ready Campaign offers the following tips to prepare.

BEFORE a power outage:

·        Charge devices that use battery power and ensure you have extra batteries for these devices;

·        Identify local sources where dry or block ice can be purchased;

·        Keep your car tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to fuel their pumps;

·        Create a disaster supply kit that includes alternative cell phone chargers, a flashlight, water & nonperishable food, a non-electric can opener, cash, and a battery or hand-crank radio.

If you require power for medical or assistive devices, get battery back-up for the devices, know how long the batteries will last, plan a location you can move to that has power, ask local Emergency Management for information about registering to be identified as someone that has power dependent medical devices, and learn what services may be available.

DURING a power outage:

·        Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. For most standard size refrigerators and freezers, a cool temperature can be maintained for several hours. For food you need to use, plan on having a cooler with conventional or dry ice available;

·        Use flashlights for emergency lighting. Never use candles due to extreme risk of fire;

·        Only use a generator outside of your home and keep it away from windows and doors;

·        For drugs that require refrigeration, check the manufacturer’s label or contact your doctor for guidance. Most drugs can be stored on ice for several hours; and

·        Make preparations to keep refrigerated medications in a closed cooler until the power comes back on.

Learn the importance of being prepared for power outages and get more survival tips in FEMA’s “Going off Grid” resource guide.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Do You Know NOAA?

NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) provides weather, water and climate data and forecasts and warnings to protect life and property and enhance the national economy. Our goal is a Weather-Ready Nation, one that is prepared for and responds to weather-dependent events. Here’s what we’re doing to prepare the public for fall weather hazards.