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Beat the Heat

Even though it has been relatively quiet as far as developing hurricanes are concerned, it is important to remember that the traditional peak of the season occurs in late August to early September. Storms can develop quickly so prepare before the storm hits. Go to http://www.quakekare.com/emergency-preparedness/hurricane-preparedness.html for information about getting prepared for the effects of a hurricane, so check it out today.

                    U.S. Hazards Outlook, courtesy of the National Weather Service. Image posted July 13, 2012.

The National Weather Service has issued warnings of severe heat for the next several days. And, as you can see in the predominant brown portions of the map above, drought conditions will continue across much of the U.S. Now is a good time to prepare for the severe heat. When the temperature rises too much, it creates problems for everyone, especially the elderly, the infirmed and the young. In fact, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, extreme heat is the number one weather-related cause of death in the United States.

Consider the following steps when preparing for the heat.

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio  for weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
Ensure that air conditioning systems and windows work properly and are properly insulated.
Heat proof the house by installing window shades, awnings and weather-strip around doors and
Water rationing can occur swiftly, so store an adequate supply of water.  ER Emergency Ration drinking water is the ideal product to keep with your emergency supplies. It stores safely in extreme weather conditions and is immediately available for use.
Maintain basic first aid supplies to deal with the effects of heat exhaustion and sunstroke and learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.


When the heat arrives
Reduce exposure to the sun by limiting the amount of time spent outdoors during the hottest parts of the day and refraining from strenuous activity.
If you must venture outside, dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your head and face.
Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid drinks containing alcohol, caffeine or large amounts of sugar and salt.
Use air conditioning if available, but set the thermostat no lower than 78 degrees to avoid electrical brownouts.
If air conditioning is unavailable, keep windows open or use fans and stay on the lowest floor possible.
Consider relocating to a more comfortable location, such as a shopping mall or a movie theater.
Do not leave children or pets in cars, even for short periods of time. Temperatures can soar very quickly in enclosed vehicles.

Follow these guidelines and have a safe and wonderful summer!



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Disaster Preparedness Means Planning Ahead

Checking out the top stories on television, radio and the internet, we see many natural disasters occurring in many parts of the country. Fires are burning in Colorado and South Dakota. A record heat wave is sweeping the eastern seaboard from North Carolina to New Jersey. Throw in a few earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and tsunamis and we have very good reasons to prepare ourselves for the worst.
Kiplinger.com recently published a list if the 10 States most at risk of disaster. In it, they ranked the states that had suffered the biggest property losses from disasters over the past decade (2002-2011). Topping the list were Louisiana ($32.2 billion), Florida ($31.4 billion) and Texas ($24.9 billion). Mississippi was in 4th place with $15 billion in estimated insured property damage. Rounding out the top 10 were Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio and Illinois, all with between $5-8 billion dollars. It should come as no surprise that most of these states are located in Tornado Alley and that most of the damage was caused by tornadoes or hurricanes.

Hurricane season usually runs from the beginning of June to the end of November. At the beginning of this season, NOAA issued the following statement. “Conditions in the atmosphere and the ocean favor a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this season, NOAA announced today from Miami at its Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and home to the Hurricane Research Division.” But, don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. “NOAA’s outlook predicts a less active season compared to recent years,” said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D. “But regardless of the outlook, it’s vital for anyone living or vacationing in hurricane-prone locations to be prepared. We have a stark reminder this year with the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew.” Hurricane Andrew was a Category 5 hurricane that devastated South Florida on August 24, 1992 and was the first storm in a late-starting season that produced only six named storms.

Preparedness is the key to survival, so do everything you can to prepare for any type of emergency before it happens. Make sure your emergency survival kit is complete and up to date. Augment your emergency supplies with a hurricane kit and and follow the steps in your hurricane preparedness guide and you will have prepared for the worst.

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