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 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.


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 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: