Friday, December 11, 2015

Emergency Tip: December's Do1Thing.com Prep Task - First Aid


Do1Thing.Com's Goal for Decmber: Make sure your family knows what to do while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Below is a list of things the Do1Thing team recommends you can do to achieve your goal this month.
Choose at least one, and complete it!


Visit this month’s Do 1 Thing topic page for fact sheets, videos and additional resources on ensuring your family gets the correct emergency information.

Background

Do 1 Thing is a web-based, twelve-month preparedness program that focuses on a different area of emergency preparedness each month. Remember: emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

It’s as easy as:
  1. Click on this month’s topic
  2. Select one of the easy “Tasks”
  3. Do that one thing!
So visit http://do1thing.com/ today and get started preparing yourself, your family, and your community right now!

Please see my January 2015 post about the entire Do 1 Thing program for additional information.

Image credit: Do1Thing.Com

Friday, November 6, 2015

Emergency Tip: November's Do1Thing.com Prep Task - Emergency Supplies


Do1Thing.Com's Goal for November: Make sure your family has the important items that it needs when leaving your home in a disaster.

Below is a list of things the Do1Thing team recommends you can do to achieve your goal this month.
Choose at least one, and complete it!

Visit this month’s Do 1 Thing topic page for fact sheets, videos and additional resources on ensuring your family gets the correct emergency information.

Background

Do 1 Thing is a web-based, twelve-month preparedness program that focuses on a different area of emergency preparedness each month. Remember: emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

It’s as easy as:
  1. Click on this month’s topic
  2. Select one of the easy “Tasks”
  3. Do that one thing!
So visit http://do1thing.com/ today and get started preparing yourself, your family, and your community right now!

Please see my January 2015 post about the entire Do 1 Thing program for additional information.

Image credit: Do1Thing.Com

Friday, October 9, 2015

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) - Learn What You Can Do to Help Keep Our Internet Secure


National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is every October and is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. 2015 marks the 12th year of National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

This year also marks the fifth anniversary of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign. NCSAM 2015 will highlight the overall message of STOP. THINK. CONNECT. plus the major concepts: “Keep a Clean Machine,” “Protect Your Personal Information,” “Connect with Care,” “Be Web Wise” and “Be a Good Online Citizen.”

Weekly Themes
NCSAM focuses on a different cybersecurity issue for each week in October.



Remember, we are all responsible for our cyber security. Visit www.staysafeonline.org/ and their blog @ www.staysafeonline.org/blog/ to learn how you can help your family, community, and business stay safer online.


Image credit: www.staysafeonline.org

Friday, October 2, 2015

Emergency Tip: October's Do1Thing.com Prep Task - Power


Do1Thing.Com's Goal for October: Make sure your family is able to safely meet its basic needs during an electrical outage.

Below is a list of things the Do1Thing team recommends you can do to achieve your goal this month.
Choose at least one, and complete it!



Visit this month’s Do 1 Thing topic page for fact sheets, videos and additional resources on ensuring your family gets the correct emergency information.

Background

Do 1 Thing is a web-based, twelve-month preparedness program that focuses on a different area of emergency preparedness each month. Remember: emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

It’s as easy as:
  1. Click on this month’s topic
  2. Select one of the easy “Tasks”
  3. Do that one thing!
So visit http://do1thing.com/ today and get started preparing yourself, your family, and your community right now!

Please see my January 2015 post about the entire Do 1 Thing program for additional information.

Image credit: Do1Thing.Com

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Emergency Tip: September 30th is National PrepareAthon! Day!


September is National Preparedness Month 

 - And today, September 30th, is National PrepareAthon! Day!

From Ready.gov/prepare:

OVERVIEW OF AMERICA’S PREPAREATHON!

America’s PrepareAthon! is a nationwide, community-based campaign for action to increase emergency preparedness and resilience. Each spring and fall, America’s PrepareAthon! will provide a national focus for individuals, organizations, and communities to participate through drills, group discussions, and exercises to practice for local hazards.

Campaign Goals
Increase the number of individuals who:

  • Understand which disasters could happen in their community;
  • Know what to do to be safe and mitigate damage;
  • Take action to increase their preparedness; and
  • Participate in community resilience planning.

To learn more about how you can play a role in your community’s preparedness, visit www.ready.gov/prepare

For more information on National Preparedness Month, visit Ready.gov/September or follow the campaign on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/readygov, on Twitter, at https://twitter.com/Readygov,

Images credit: FEMA.gov

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Emergency Tip: Make a Plan for Power Outages during this Fourth Week of National Preparedness Month


September is National Preparedness Month 

 - This week's theme from FEMA is Planning for Power Outages!

From Ready.gov:

Before a Power Outage
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.For more information visit: Get Tech Ready
  • Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
  • Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full-gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
  • If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device determine a back-up plan.For more planning information tips visit: Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs.


During a Power Outage: Safety Tips
  • Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.For more information about food safety visit our food page.
  • Take steps to remain cool if it is hot outside. In intense heat when the power may be off for a long time, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or “cooling shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
  • If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system. 

After a Power Outage
  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
  • Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.
  • Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies.





IMPORTANT: See my post from last year: "It's 9/11 - Do You Have a Family Communications Plan?" for great advice on simple ways your family can stay in touch during an emergency.

For more information visit Ready.gov/September or follow the campaign on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/readygov, on Twitter, at https://twitter.com/Readygov,  or for FEMA Region VII, www.twitter.com/femaregion7. For more information about events for America's PrepareAthon throughout September, and for National PrepareAthon! Day information, visit www.ready.gov/prepare.

Images credit: FEMA.gov

Friday, September 25, 2015

Emergency Tip: September's Do1Thing.com Prep Task - Be Informed


Do1Thing.Com's Goal for September: Make sure your family is able to access important information in a timely manner before and during an emergency.

Below is a list of things the Do1Thing team recommends you can do to achieve your goal this month.
Choose at least one, and complete it!

Visit this month’s Do 1 Thing topic page for fact sheets, videos and additional resources on ensuring your family gets the correct emergency information.

Background

Do 1 Thing is a web-based, twelve-month preparedness program that focuses on a different area of emergency preparedness each month. Remember: emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

It’s as easy as:
  1. Click on this month’s topic
  2. Select one of the easy “Tasks”
  3. Do that one thing!
So visit http://do1thing.com/ today and get started preparing yourself, your family, and your community right now!

Please see my January 2015 post about the entire Do 1 Thing program for additional information.

Image credit: Do1Thing.Com

Friday, September 18, 2015

Emergency Tip: Make a Plan for Hurricanes during this Third Week of National Preparedness Month

This week's theme from FEMA is Hurricane Prep. 

September is National Preparedness Month 

 - This week's theme from FEMA is Hurricane Preparation and it's hurricane season in the North East!

From FEMA.gov:

What is a hurricane?
Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over the water and move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. These large storms are called typhoons in the North Pacific Ocean and cyclones in other parts of the world.

Which parts of the U.S. are threatened by hurricanes?
Each year, many parts of the United States experience heavy rains, strong winds, floods, and coastal storm surges from tropical storms and hurricanes. Affected areas include all Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, parts of the Southwest, the Pacific Coast, and the U.S. territories in the Pacific.

When is hurricane season?
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends November 30.

Know your risk: 
Do you want to have a better understanding of the hurricane risk you and your community face? Below is a map of the United States and the frequency of hurricane and tropical storm activity by county. Atlantic data dates back to 1851, while Pacific data includes storms since 1949.



See the complete list of hurricane tips at http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.



IMPORTANT: See my post from last year: "It's 9/11 - Do You Have a Family Communications Plan?" for great advice on simple ways your family can stay in touch during an emergency.

For more information visit Ready.gov/September or follow the campaign on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/readygov, on Twitter, at https://twitter.com/Readygov,  or for FEMA Region VII, www.twitter.com/femaregion7. For more information about events for America's PrepareAthon throughout September, and for National PrepareAthon! Day information, visit www.ready.gov/prepare.



Images credit: FEMA.gov

Friday, September 11, 2015

Emergency Tip: Make a Plan for Wildfires during this Second Week of National Preparedness Month

This week's theme from FEMA is Wildfire Prep. 

September is National Preparedness Month 

 - This week's theme from FEMA is Wildfire Preparation and very timely - see the latest California Wildfires news.

From Ready.gov:

Basic Safety Tips 

  • If you see a wildfire and haven't received evacuation orders yet, call 9-1-1. Don't assume that someone else has already called.
  • If ordered to evacuate during a wildfire, do it immediately- make sure and tell someone where you are going and when you have arrived.
  • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications.To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”
  • If you or someone you are with has been burned, call 9-1-1 or seek help immediately; cool and cover burns to reduce chance of further injury or infection.

Prepare Your Home
  • Regularly clean the roof and gutters.
  • Maintain an area approximately 30’ away from you home that is free of anything that will burn, such as wood piles, dried leaves, newspapers and other brush.
  • Connect garden hoses long enough to reach any area of the home and fill garbage cans, tubs, or other large containers with water.
  • Review your homeowner's insurance policy and also prepare/update a list of your home's contents.

Before Wildfire season- Make a Wildfire plan
  • Know your wildfire risk.
  • Make a wildfire emergency plan.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building or to evacuate.
  • Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio, for weather updates, emergency instructions or evacuation orders.

See the complete list of wildfire tips at http://www.ready.gov/wildfires.



IMPORTANT: See my post from last year: "It's 9/11 - Do You Have a Family Communications Plan?" for great advice on simple ways your family can stay in touch during an emergency.

For more information visit Ready.gov/September or follow the campaign on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/readygov, on Twitter, at https://twitter.com/Readygov,  or for FEMA Region VII, www.twitter.com/femaregion7. For more information about events for America's PrepareAthon throughout September, and for National PrepareAthon! Day information, visit www.ready.gov/prepare.

Images credit: FEMA.gov

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Emergency Tip: Make a Plan for Floods during this First Week of National Preparedness Month

This week's theme from FEMA is Flood Prep. 

September is National Preparedness Month 

 - This week's theme from FEMA is Flood Preparation. 

Did you know flooding is the most common and costly disaster in the United States? Even here in the NorthEast, flooding is a significant problem, especially during hurricane season and our winter months.

Quoting FEMA:
“Flooding is fresh on the minds of many people in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. With so much flooding during the past few months, it’s a good time to consider the true risk,” said FEMA Region VII Regional Administrator Beth Freeman. “But it’s not enough to simply realize flooding is a real threat for us all. This month, this week, today, we hope everyone will take action to develop and practice a family emergency communication plan for hazards like flooding. This year our theme is, 'Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.'

Fewer than half of Americans have taken the time to plan what they will do if there is an emergency. Sitting down and developing a communication plan with loved ones doesn’t cost a thing, but can save a lot if a flood or another disaster impacts you and your family.

IMPORTANT: See my post from last year: "It's 9/11 - Do You Have a Family Communications Plan?" for excellent advice on simple ways for your family to stay in touch during an emergency.


For more information visit Ready.gov/September or follow the campaign on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/readygov, on Twitter, at https://twitter.com/Readygov,  or for FEMA Region VII, www.twitter.com/femaregion7. For more information about events for America's PrepareAthon throughout September, and for National PrepareAthon! Day information, visit www.ready.gov/prepare.

Images credit: FEMA.gov

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Emergency Tip: August's Do1Thing.com Prep Task - Get Involved

Get Involved! There are many ways you can help in an emergency - becoming a CERT volunteer is just one way.

Do1Thing.Com's Goal for August: Make your community stronger by getting trained and getting involved.

The police and fire department can't do it all when an emergency occurs.

Everyone in our community has a role to play when disaster strikes.

First prepare your family, then think of ways to help others in your neighborhood.

Below is a list of things the Do1Thing team recommends you can do to achieve your goal this month.
Choose at least one, and complete it!


Learn more: The "Get Involved" fact sheet has more information about being aware of and preparing for your family’s unique needs. (This fact sheet is available in multiple languages and formats here.)

Visit this month’s Do 1 Thing topic page for fact sheets, videos and additional resources on family preparation.

Background

Do 1 Thing is a web-based, twelve-month preparedness program that focuses on a different area of emergency preparedness each month. Remember: emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

It’s as easy as:
  1. Click on this month’s topic
  2. Select one of the easy “Tasks”
  3. Do that one thing!
So visit http://do1thing.com/ today and get started preparing yourself, your family, and your community right now!

Please see my January 2015 post about the entire Do 1 Thing program for additional information.

Image credit: FEMA.gov

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Emergency Tip: July's Do1Thing.com Prep Task - Family Communication Plan

GOAL FOR JULY: Have the ability to communicate with
family members during a disaster.

It's time to think about Your Family's Communication Plan

Read my post from 9/11/14 about Family Communication Plans - Do 1 Thing amplifies my advice with some excellent tips below.

July's Do 1 Thing task is Family Communication Plans -  know how to keep in touch with family and friends during an emergency.

Today we have more ways to speak with one another than ever before. We are used to staying in touch with cell phones, internet, and email, but disasters can change things. These devices may not be available. Cell phone towers quickly become overloaded with people trying to reach friends and family. If the power is out at your home, cordless phones, internet, and email will not work either.

Below is a list of things that you can do to achieve your goal this month.
Choose at least one, and complete it!

Learn more: The “Family Communication Plan” fact sheet has more information about being aware of and preparing for your family’s unique needs. (This fact sheet is available in additional languages and formats here.)





Visit this month’s Do 1 Thing topic page for fact sheets, videos and additional resources on family preparation.

Background

Do 1 Thing is a web-based, twelve-month preparedness program that focuses on a different area of emergency preparedness each month. Remember: emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

It’s as easy as:
  1. Click on this month’s topic
  2. Select one of the easy “Tasks”
  3. Do that one thing!
So visit http://do1thing.com/ today and get started preparing yourself, your family, and your community right now!

Please see my January 2015 post about the entire Do 1 Thing program for additional information.

Image credit: http://do1thing.com/

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sharing Info from MEMA's 2015 Hurricane Preparedness Conference

Welcoming Remarks by Kurt N. Schwartz,
 Director, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

MEMA's 2015 Hurricane Preparedness Conference

Late last month - Thursday, May 28th - I had the privilege to attend the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency's 2015 Hurricane Preparedness Conference in Norwood, MA.

I'm still digesting all the information and files I received from this conference, but I wanted to share the agenda plus presentation links with you today.

This information is not just for the professionals. Each of us in the North East should have a thorough understanding of hurricane preparation practices.

Important: If you are interested in future MEMA training courses, seminars, and conferences - visit the MEMA site and log into their Training Registration System. You will receive email alerts for training opportunities plus view calendars of upcoming courses offered across Massachusetts.




2015 Hurricane Preparedness Conference Agenda

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Welcoming Remarks by MEMA Director Kurt N. Schwartz

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Bob Thompson, Meteorologist-in-Charge, National Weather Service, Taunton, MA

9:45 AM - 10:35 AM
Dr. Earl J. “Jay” Baker, Associate Professor, Florida State University

10:35 AM - 11:05 AM
Debris Overview  pdf format of Debris Overview
 file size1MB
Scott MacLeod, Mitigation & Disaster Recovery Section Chief, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

11:05 AM - 11:50 AM
Matt Noyes, Chief Meteorologist, New England Cable News

12:15 PM - 1:00 PM
Amy Grzybowski, Town Manager, Town of Westerly, Rhode Island

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Lisa Crowner, Statewide Health Educator/Trainer, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM
Mike McCallan, Director of Emergency Planning, National Grid
Tom Cacciola, Vice President of Facilities Support, The Cumberland Gulf Group

3:00 PM - 3:20 PM
HURREVAC Overview  pdf format of HURREVAC Overview
 file size1MB
Paul Morey, Hurricane Program Manager, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region I

3:20 PM - 3:45 PM
Know Your Zone  pdf format of Know Your Zone
 file size1MB
Kurt N. Schwartz, Undersecretary for Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Executive Office of Public Safety and Security; Director, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

For additional hurricane preparation info plus general emergency planning resources, visit the MEMA site at http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/mema/.

Image credit: Patrick O'Connor

Friday, June 5, 2015

Emergency Tip: June's Do1Thing.com Prep Task - Unique Family Needs

GOAL FOR JUNE: Be aware of and prepare for your
 family’s unique needs.

It's time to think about Your Family's Unique Needs

June's Do 1 Thing task is Unique Family Needs -  know how to ensure you plan for your family's unique needs during an emergency.

Every household is different. Is there an infant or young child in your home? Does someone in your family have a medical condition that requires medication? Do you have a pet? Before disaster strikes, talk to your family about your household’s unique needs. Make a list of special items you may need in a disaster.

Below is a list of things that you can do to achieve your goal this month.
Choose at least one, and complete it!


Learn more: The “Unique Family Needs” fact sheet has more information about being aware of and preparing for your family’s unique needs. (This fact sheet is available in additional languages and formats here.)

Visit this month’s Do 1 Thing topic page for fact sheets, videos and additional resources on family preparation.

Background

Do 1 Thing is a web-based, twelve-month preparedness program that focuses on a different area of emergency preparedness each month. Remember: emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

It’s as easy as:
  1. Click on this month’s topic
  2. Select one of the easy “Tasks”
  3. Do that one thing!
So visit http://do1thing.com/ today and get started preparing yourself, your family, and your community right now!

Please see my January 2015 post about the entire Do 1 Thing program for additional information.

Image credit: http://do1thing.com/

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Emergency Tip: Time to Brush Up on Water Safety

Always swim with a buddy & wear a PFD when boating!

It's time to think about Water Safety

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! As this weekend is the unofficial kick-off to our summer season, and National Safe Boating Week just wrapped up (May 16-22), it's time to really think about water and boat safety.

Here's some excellent points and facts to focus on - not to scare you, but to better prepare you for making Summer 2015 as fun and safe as possible for you and your family.

Water Safety

 - Highlights
  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well.
  • Actively supervise kids whenever around the water—even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach—designate a responsible adult to supervise.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.

 - Pools
  • Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
  • Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
  • If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.
  • Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment.
  • Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.

 - Emergencies
  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • If you own a home pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  • Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.

Boating Safety

 - Safety Stats
  • In 2014, the Coast Guard was notified of 4,064 boating accidents that resulted in 610 people killed, 2,678 injuries and approximately $39 million of damage to property.
  • 78% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. 
  • 84% percent were not wearing a life jacket, the single most important piece of safety equipment you can have on.
  • Eight out of every 10 people who drowned in 2014 were reported using boats less than 21-feet in length.

 - Staying Safe

Additional Resources


Image credit: The National Guard

Monday, May 11, 2015

Emergency Tip: May's Do1Thing.com Prep Task - Work, School and Community

GOAL FOR MAY: Make sure the people who count on you
 are prepared for a disaster.

It's time to think about Your Community

May's Do 1 Thing task is Work, School and Community Planning -  know how to make sure you and your loved ones are safe in a disaster, no matter where you are.

Below is a list of things that you can do to achieve your goal this month.
Choose at least one, and complete it!


Learn more: The “Emergency Supplies” fact sheet has more information about making emergency kits for work and school.

Visit this month’s Do 1 Thing topic page for fact sheets and additional resources on sheltering.

Background

Do 1 Thing is a web-based, twelve-month preparedness program that focuses on a different area of emergency preparedness each month. Remember: emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

It’s as easy as:
  1. Click on this month’s topic
  2. Select one of the easy “Tasks”
  3. Do that one thing!
So visit http://do1thing.com/ today and get started preparing yourself, your family, and your community right now!

Please see my January 2015 post about the entire Do 1 Thing program for additional information.

Image credit: http://do1thing.com/

Friday, April 3, 2015

Emergency Tip: April's Do1Thing.com Prep Task - Food

GOAL FOR APRIL: Have an emergency food supply that will meet the needs
 of your household for three days without outside help.

It's time to think about Food

April's Do 1 Thing task is Food -  have an emergency food supply that will meet the needs of your household for three days without outside help.

Below is a list of things that you can do to achieve your goal this month.
Choose at least one, and complete it.

Visit this month’s Do 1 Thing topic page for fact sheets and additional resources on sheltering.

Background

Do 1 Thing is a web-based, twelve-month preparedness program that focuses on a different area of emergency preparedness each month. Remember: emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

It’s as easy as:
  1. Click on this month’s topic
  2. Select one of the easy “Tasks”
  3. Do that one thing!
So visit http://do1thing.com/ today and get started preparing yourself, your family, and your community right now!

Please see my January 2015 post about the entire Do 1 Thing program for additional information.

Image credit: http://do1thing.com/

Friday, March 13, 2015

Emergency Tip: March's Do1Thing.com Prep Task - Sheltering

GOAL: Know how to respond safely when instructions are given to evacuate or take shelter.

It's time to think about Shelter

March's Do 1 Thing task is sheltering -  how to respond safely when instructions are given to evacuate or take shelter.

Below is a list of things that you can do to achieve your goal this month.
Choose at least one, and complete it.


Visit this month’s Do 1 Thing topic page for fact sheets and additional resources on sheltering.



Background

Do 1 Thing is a web-based, twelve-month preparedness program that focuses on a different area of emergency preparedness each month. Remember: emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

It’s as easy as:
  1. Click on this month’s topic
  2. Select one of the easy “Things to do”
  3. Do that one thing!
So visit http://do1thing.com/ today and get started preparing yourself, your family, and your community right now!

Please see my January 2015 post about the entire Do 1 Thing program for additional information.

Image credit: http://do1thing.com/

Friday, February 27, 2015

Emergency Tip: Keep Your Social Plan Simple

With all the social channels out there today,
which ones should you follow for emergency info? 

Always maintain your awareness

With so many ways to get updates and news these days, it's easy to get confused and overwhelmed. 

When it comes to preparing your family, keep it simple with these few methods:

1. Local TV/Radio News: This sounds common-sense, but make sure you catch the morning and evening local news - especially the weather forecast.

2. Weather Apps: A quick way to monitor your weather forecasts is using an app such as WeatherBug or AccuWeather - you'll be able to monitor current conditions for numerous locations, plus get detailed forecasts and weather alerts right on your mobile device.

3. For social, focus on these two channels:
  • FACEBOOK*: Search FB for your town's site, your local fire and police department's sites plus 1 or 2 local news sites. Like and follow these sites plus your state's emergency management site.
  • TWITTER*: Search Twitter for your town's and state's accounts plus a local news outlet. Follow your local fire department's and police department's feeds along with your state emergency management agency's feed.
  • Note #1: Your state emergency management and local town websites will have links to their social channels right on their homepage.
  • Note #2: With all the traffic that occurs in most user's news feed, important messages may be missed. Make sure you visit your state's and town's actual social sites regularly during an event.
  • Note #3: Install both the Facebook and Twitter app on your mobile device and practice viewing your town's and state's feeds. The mobile apps will have a different user experience compared to the laptop version of each social channel. Practice with each app now, before an event occurs. 
* Yes, there are emergency management agencies with additional social channels, but most focus on Facebook and Twitter for their emergency messaging. If they have a blog or other channel, they'll always link to that channel's posts from Facebook and Twitter.

4. State or City Apps: Many states and large cities have their own apps - for general info sharing plus emergency communications. Install these apps on your smart devices and get to know their features now, before an event occurs.


The time to start is now!

Even though winter is winding down here in the NorthEast, we still can have a Spring storms plus hurricane season is right around the corner. So take a look at the channels above and set up your apps and feeds now so that you're familiar with everything before you really need them!


Image: Patrick W. O'Connor.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Emergency Tip: February's Do1Thing.com Prep Task - Water for Your Family

THE GOAL: Have enough water on-hand for your family to last 3 days.

It's time to think about Water

February's Do 1 Thing task is water - having a 3 day supply for everyone in your home - including pets. That comes out to 3 gallons for each family member and 1 gallon for each average pet.

There are a few ways to accomplish this:


Visit this month’s Do 1 Thing topic page for fact sheets and additional resources on water preparation.

Portable Water Filters: Another method for those families living near bodies of fresh water such as lakes and ponds is to purchase a camping water filter (see Amazon for examples). These filters come in all forms: personal straws, hand-held pumps, and family-size models. These filters will produce hundreds of gallons of drinkable water before needing to be serviced.

Background

Do 1 Thing is a web-based, twelve-month preparedness program that focuses on a different area of emergency preparedness each month. Remember: emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

It’s as easy as:
  1. Click on this month’s topic
  2. Select one of the easy “Things to do”
  3. Do that one thing!
So visit http://do1thing.com/ today and get started preparing yourself, your family, and your community right now!

Please see my January post about the Do 1 Thing program for additional information.

Image credit: http://do1thing.com/

Friday, January 9, 2015

Emergency Tip: Minimizing Winter Multi-Car Accidents

Winter driving can get very exciting. Be extra vigilant and get home safely.

Massive 35 Car Pileup Woke Me Up

Last Friday, our family narrowly missing being part of a 35 car accident on Rt. 93 in New Hampshire.

It got me thinking: "How do you prevent being part of such an accident?" and "What would you do if this happened to you?"

Before a Winter Accident

As most of us know, driving in winter is not the same as driving during a sunny summer day.

Don't be like this video's drivers who believed extra speed was the right winter driving choice. (Warning: Some of these crashes are painful to watch.) 

Basic Winter Driving Tips
  • Prep your vehicle for winter: Check your tires - do they still have enough tread? Consider changing over to snow tires if you regularly drive in snowy conditions. The big point is to keep up on your car's maintenance so that everything works when you need to avoid an accident. (http://www.ready.gov/car has some excellent car safety tips.) 
  • Prep yourself for winter: Make sure you have warm clothes and blankets in your vehicle. If you get into an serious accident, you and your family may have to stand outside of your vehicle for an extended period of time waiting for police and fire to arrive. Also, keep your cell phone charged - you can't call for help if it's dead. (http://www.ready.gov/car has an excellent car safety kit list.) 
  • SLOW DOWN & drive carefully: Every accident in the this video could have been prevented if the drivers adjusted their speeds to their driving conditions. It's absolutely stupid to speed during bad winter conditions, trying to shave off a few seconds of your trip. 
  • Leave space: Tailgating during the summer commute is now standard practice, but during the winter, leave at least 3 seconds of space between you and the car in front of you when the weather gets bad. Additionally, if the car behind you is following too closely, move over if you can and let them pass. This way you'll be able to call for help when they go off the road instead rear-ending you.
  • Turn your lights on: When the visibility decreases - in any season - turn your on your low beams. Most cars have automatic driving lights, but by turning on your low beams, you also turn on your rear and side marker lights. I've lost track of how many times I've almost hit a white or grey car in bad weather because they didn't have their lights on. Yes, it's daytime and yes, you can see the road just fine. BUT THE REST OF THE WORLD CAN'T SEE YOU! In bad weather especially, you need to drive defensively - that means letting the other drivers know you are there.

After a Winter Accident

If you are unfortunately involved in an accident during a winter storm, remain calm, follow these safety tips, and call for help.
  • Try to get to the right side of the road as far away from traffic as possible.
  • Stay in your car with your seatbelt on. Put the hazard lights on so others on the road can see you. Get out of your car only if it's unsafe to stay inside (your car is on fire, etc.). If you must get out of your car, be extra cautious during the winter. Limited visibility and slippery conditions can get you run over by other drivers behind you. Get as far to the right as possible, away from traffic. If you can, get on the other side of the guard rail to protect you and your family.
     - This is where having warm clothes and blankets in your vehicle is important - you and your family will now be outside in the cold waiting for police and fire services to arrive.
  • If a flare or strobe light is available, use that to call attention to your vehicle. Tying a bright piece of cloth to the antenna works as well.
  • If you get stuck in snow, straighten the wheels and accelerate slowly. Avoid spinning the tires and digging yourself in deeper. Rock the vehicle back and forth, using its weight and momentum to get unstuck.
  • If you can't get going, run the engine only a few minutes at a time to stay warm. Periodically crack a window to get fresh air. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow so harmful carbon monoxide fumes don't drift back through the car's interior.

Agencies like AAA and FEMA recommend staying off the roads if the weather is too hazardous in your area. Not knowing how to maneuver your vehicle ­through a winter storm jeopardizes you, your passengers, and other drivers sharing the road with you. Getting your car ready for winter and anticipating and avoiding dangerous circumstances will help keep you safely on the road and in control.

Please stay safe out there - Spring's only 70 days away!

Sources: Various auto safety sites plus 30 years of personal winter driving experience.
Image credit: Copyright http://www.wmur.com/