Emergency Preparedness Kit Recommendations Compare Survival Kits

Historically School Shootings Surge in April

Empty Classroom

 

 

 

 

 

Historically, records show an influx of school shootings occur in the month of April prompting authorities and educators nationwide to   re-evaluate their disaster preparedness plans.  Experts tracking school shooting incidents theorize that many such disasters occur in April because some armed intruders want to copy or venerate what other shooters have previously done, or memorialize a date in history.  Tragic school shootings that have occurred in April include:

  • Parker Middle School shootings – April 24, 1998
  • Columbine shootings – April 20, 1999
  • Virginia Tech shootings – April 16, 2007
  • Oikos University shootings – April 2, 2012

Many schools take this time to conduct preparedness/lockdown drills so students and faculty are prepared for an active shooter situation.  Schools are also communicating with parents about their disaster plans in the event of an emergency.  It is heartbreaking to contemplate kids in elementary school practicing how to hide from an armed gunman, but unfortunately today’s society dictates the importance of preparing for the unexpected.  Tragically, the rate of mass shootings in the U.S. has tripled since 2011 and seemingly occur almost every week.  It is not a matter of if, but when the next shooting will happen at a school, a church or office building.

The below basic disaster preparedness guidelines can be adapted for any organization:

The days between April 14th and 20th are filled with historic tragedies that prompt people and organizations to be wary of potential disasters.  These include the fatal shooting of Abraham Lincoln, the San Francisco earthquake that killed 3,000 people and the sinking of the Titanic.  Other disasters that have occurred in April include the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings and the Oklahoma City bombings.  It is believed that the birthday of Adolph Hitler on April 20 sometimes prompts extremists to consider violent action or terrorist acts.  We must all work together to make sure that our families, workplaces and classrooms are sufficiently prepared so that when the worst does happen, we will be “prepared, not scared.”

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Oklahoma is Now the Nation’s Earthquake Leader

Residents on Shaky Ground Worry About Safety and Survival
The record number of earthquakes in Oklahoma this year is alarming residents, schools and businesses across the state as more quakes occur daily and their frequency shows no sign of stopping. So far this year more than 70 quakes have rattled the state including in rural Fairview whose magnitude measured 4.8 at the epicenter 100 miles from Oklahoma City.
The situation is generating comments such as “People are scared about what can happen…” “If you don’t feel safe in your home, what do you do…?” “What happens if a high-rise apartment house or a student dormitory collapses?”

No wonder people are alarmed: In 2014 Oklahoma experienced more than 5,415 earthquakes, including 585 quakes of magnitude-3 or more, according to the Oklahoma Geologic Survey. By comparison, in 2013 the state had only 109 magnitude-3 quakes. Oklahoma seismologists warn that substantial numbers of small quakes indicate that larger, more devastating earthquakes could erupt unexpectedly in the state where oil and gas production is the biggest industry.

Hundreds of people jammed Oklahoma’s statehouse chamber on January 15 to voice their concerns and press legislators into action. “I’m afraid my house is going to fall down while you’re considering what to do,” said Melinda Olbert, an Edmond resident whose house was rattled by a 4.3 magnitude quake in December. Many complained about the legislature’s lack of action since earthquake frequency began to escalate a few years ago. The New Yorker magazine reported that until 2008, Oklahoma experienced an average of only one to two earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude or greater each year. In 2009, there were 20. The next year, there were 42. In 2014, Oklahoma’s 585 quakes were nearly triple the rate in California. Oklahoma residents believe the earthquake problem will get even worse, and are worried about safety in their homes and infrastructures such as roads, bridges and public buildings.

“It’s scary when they happen in the middle of the night,” Oklahoma City resident Mike Kahn told National Geographic magazine. “It’s a weird feeling to feel your house shaking. Your heart is racing, you are running down the hall to check on your kids, and then you run back and check on your wife. They make your heart skip.”
What can Oklahoma residents do? Quake Kare recommends residents start to prepare, plan and practice.

How do you prepare for an earthquake?
Residents who live in earthquake prone areas should, at the very least, have a three day supply of emergency supplies stored in a secure and easily accessible location such as a garage or shed. Emergency supplies should include non-perishable food and water for all occupants of the home including pets, as well as first aid supplies, emergency shelter such as a pop-up tent and blankets, sanitation supplies, tools for search and rescue, lighting and a hand-crank or solar powered radio. Feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of creating an emergency kit? That is where Quake Kare comes in. Quake Kare’s Ultimate Deluxe Four Person 72-Hour Survival Kit is designed to prepare a family of four at home for any disaster. These kits contain emergency supplies including food, water, lighting, first-aid supplies, portable toilet/sanitation supplies, tent shelter, a solar hand-crank powered flashlight, and a weather band radio with a USB device charger that never needs batteries and is designed to charge smart phones and other USB devices.

Heavy items in the home that can topple over such as bookcases and televisions should be strapped to the wall to prevent further injury.  Breakables can be secured to tables and shelves using museum putty.  The Quake Kare’s ER™ Earthquake Kit contains supplies to help “quake-proof” homes and protect against damage or injury that may occur during an earthquake.

What to do during and earthquake?
When the earth starts shaking, taking proper actions, such as ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On’ can save lives and reduce risk of death or injury. If you are inside during an earthquake, drop to the floor. Take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on to it firmly. Stay away from windows, bookcases, cabinets, mirrors and heavy objects. Beware of falling plaster and ceiling tiles. Stay undercover until the shaking stops. If you’re outdoors, move away from trees, signs, buildings, electrical wires and poles, streetlights and utility wires. If you’re driving, pull over and stop. Avoid overpasses, power lines or any hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking stops. Proceed cautiously once the earthquake is over. Avoid roads or bridges that may have been damaged. Remember that one or more damaging aftershocks can occur.

Last year, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported that many Oklahoma earthquakes over seven years were triggered by drilling for oil and gas. Dumping toxic wastewater from the drilling process deep into the earth destabilizes faults in the bedrock, according to the report.
Many other scientists and researchers have reached the same conclusion. As a result Oklahoma legislators are discussing the issue with business leaders, consumers, civic authorities and energy industry officials. But the legislature itself won’t re-convene until February.

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Experts Predict Extreme Winter for Much of U.S. – “Prepare for the Worst”

Snow covered neighborhood

Snow covered neighborhood

Forecasters predict that ice and snow in winter 2015-16 will hit hard across much of the United States dumping blizzards down upon major U.S. cities, including areas normally not impacted by icy cold. Weather experts are advising people to prepare for the worst that nature can deliver this winter season. These predictions are surely sending shivers through those who survived one of the worst winters to ever hit the East Coast last year.

Few people can forget winter’s icy bombshell totaling 100 inches of snow in Boston in early 2015, or the seven feet of snow that crippled Buffalo, New York in December 2014. Thousands of homeowners and motorists feared for their lives when they were stranded, and hundreds of thousands were without power for days. For those of us last year who only experienced the snow and extreme cold via our television sets, we might not be so lucky this year. Forecasters are predicting ice and snow will impact much of the United States this winter.

What signs are pointing towards this being one of the worst recorded winters in history? The Old Farmer’s Almanac, a venerable publication founded in 1792 and North America’s oldest continuously published periodical, has traditionally been used by farmers and forecasters to determine a baseline for the year’s weather. This winter’s predictions call for above-normal snow and below-normal temperatures for New England, icy conditions in parts of the South and frigid weather in the Midwest. Snowiest periods in the Pacific Northwest will begin as early as mid-December.

The presence of El Niño is also causing forecasters to prompt warnings of a colder than usual winter season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that this year’s El Niño is among the strongest on record. El Niño will influence this winter’s weather and climate patterns by impacting the position of the Pacific jet stream. “While temperature and precipitation impacts associated with El Niño are favored, El Niño is not the only player,” NOAA reports. “Snow forecasts are dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.” Unpredictability until a few days before a really bad blizzard hits is one reason why experts are advising people to prepare for the worst and the potential of being stranded in their homes or vehicles.

How do you plan for the worst?

The American Red Cross and Quake Kare recommend that preparing for severe winter weather (snow, ice and extreme cold), at a minimum, should include having at hand the basic supplies below. These should be kept both in your home and your vehicle.

Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation)
Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation)
• Flashlights
• Battery-powered or hand-crank radios
• Extra batteries
• First aid kits
• Baby supplies, including food and diapers
• Pet supplies, including food and water
• Basic medications and medical items
Multi-purpose tool
• Sanitation and personal hygiene items
• Cell phone with chargers
• Family and emergency contact information
• Emergency blanket
• Maps of the area

Remember, the best way to stay safe in severe winter weather is to monitor your local forecast, stock your home with emergency supplies and stay home when the roads are slick. Only go out if absolutely necessary and make sure you have a basic car survival kit with you. Stay safe and warm this winter season!

For expert advice, contact Quake Kare toll-free at 1 800 2Prepare (1-800-277-3727).

Posted in Emergency Preparedness, extreme weather, Preparedness Tips, Winter Weather Preparedness | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Blizzard Alert: Can You Survive Being Trapped In Your Car or Home This Winter?

 

Snow covered neighborhood

Snow covered neighborhood

 

Being trapped at home or stranded in a car without food, water or heat during a blizzard affects thousands of people every winter. It is a frightening, life-threatening experience.

The blizzard that dumped seven feet of snow in 24 hours on Buffalo, New York, in November 2014, causing at least 13 deaths, including people trapped in homes and cars, is a reminder that it is time to prepare for winter’s cruelty. Frigid temperatures and severe snowstorms are forecasted for many parts of the U.S.

The Buffalo storm caused thousands of power outages and trapped people inside homes as heavy snow buildup overwhelmed houses and wiped out utility services. It also stranded more than150 cars and trucks for nearly two days in frigid conditions. Hundreds more drivers were stranded on local streets as snowfall rates of 3-5 inches per hour made roads impassable, media reported.

The death toll of people who died in cars included a man trapped in his car more than 24 hours under a 15-foot snowdrift. He was driving home from work but pulled over in “white-out” driving conditions. When he called 911, dispatchers told him authorities couldn’t help.

Above-Normal Snowfalls Expected
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a traditionally 80 percent accurate winter forecast record and predicts that the winter of 2014-2015 will feature another arctic blast with above-normal snowfall across much of the U.S. and that extreme weather will continue into summer, 2015.  “Colder is just almost too familiar a term,” said Editor Janice Stillman. “Think of it as refriger-nation.”  Other forecasters predict that the South will see ice again this winter, including Atlanta, Birmingham and Memphis. An active jet stream is expected to create severe weather events in January and February.

WSI, a unit of The Weather Company that owns The Weather Channel, predicts that winter’s chill will be more focused on the East Coast and Gulf Coast. The forecast through February, 2015, is based on an analysis of large-scale factors in the land-ocean-atmosphere system.

One factor is the presence or absence of El Nino — an area of warmer-than-average water in the eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator. WSI expects a weak to moderate El Nino to emerge over the winter months and potentially persist into the spring. This means that extreme weather and storm conditions will prevail.

Prepare to Survive the Worst
Authorities advise citizens, motorists, schools, businesses, churches and shelters to prepare for potential winter emergencies including entrapment by a blizzard or power outages.
The American Red Cross recommends that preparing for a blizzard, at minimum, should include having these basic supplies at hand. These should be kept at home, in a car, or both:
• Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation)
• Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation)
• Flashlights
• Battery-powered or hand-crank radios
• Extra batteries
• First aid kits
• Baby supplies, including food and diapers
• Pet supplies, including food and water
• Basic medications and medical items
• Multi-purpose tool
• Sanitation and personal hygiene items
• Cell phone with chargers
• Family and emergency contact information
• Emergency blanket
• Maps of the area

Quake Kare offers custom-packed and pre-packed emergency survival kits for cars, homes, offices, schools and other applications including choices of hundreds of supplies shipped in self-contained portable containers for easy access.  These include non-perishable food, water, first aid kits, hand-crank power radios, light sticks, candles, waterproof matches, ponchos, multi-purpose knives, portable toilets, blankets, tissue packs and emergency tents and other items to help people survive virtually any disaster.  http://www.quakekare.com/car-survival-kits-c-1_3.html 

For expert advice, contact Quake Kare toll-free at 1 800 2Prepare (1-800-277-3727).

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National Weather Service Already Has Chosen Names for 2014 Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Hurricane-photo-forwebFirst responders in coastal regions will help people prepare for the worst during National Hurricane Preparedness Week May 25 through June 3.

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season runs June 1st through November 30. The Eastern Pacific season is May 15th through November 30. The National Weather Service has already compiled a list of names for hurricanes and tropical storms anticipated for this season.

Based on records dating to 1950, a typical season has 12 tropical storms; about seven of those become raging hurricanes. Tropical storms have sustained winds of 39 mph or higher, becoming hurricanes when those winds reach 74 mph, producing enough power to wreck houses and flood neighborhoods.
USA Today reports that even the best forecasts can be wrong. In 2012, more than twice as many hurricanes formed than were predicted. The results were devastating for many U.S. homes and businesses.

The National Weather Service says prepare early for hurricane season,and prepare well:
“Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected. Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children or parents are safe? You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water, gas, electricity or phone services are shut off?”
The best advice includes acquiring an emergency preparedness kit containing items to help you and your family during a hurricane or tropical storm. Consider having more than one kit and storing those in different locations at your home or office. In addition, the National Weather Service advises:

Emergency Plans
• Protect yourself and family with a Family Emergency Plan for your residence
• Consider an Emergency Plan if you are away from home, such as at work
• Business owners should create a Workplace Emergency Plan
• Make sure that schools and daycare centers your children attend have School Emergency Plans
• Pet owners should plan to care for their animals with a special pet survival kit
• If you own a boat, prepare it for a coming storm or move it away from the coastal area

Be alert for evacuation guidelines from local authorities. It’s smart to keep a contact list of local resources including emergency management agencies, law enforcement, local hospitals and the American Red Cross.

The first ten names that the National Weather Service has chosen for 2014 hurricanes and tropical storms are: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias and Josephine.

Be prepared for any of them!

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