Emergency Preparedness Kit Recommendations Compare Survival Kits

With Her Car Trapped in Blizzard: It felt like I was underground, buried in a casket

Driving at night in a blizzard, a woman accidentally slid her small car into a snow bank. Then a passing snowplow totally buried her vehicle. She couldn’t open the doors. No one could see her. Trapped, she thought she would die.  Hours ticked by silently. Frantically, she rolled down a window and pushed a snow brush upward. She cleared a space to wave it.  Time and again she waved the brush, paused for a few minutes, and then waved it again hoping someone would see it. After 13 hours, someone finally did.

Every winter, hundreds of people are trapped in their cars by blizzards. Many die alone. Tens of thousands are trapped in homes, apartments or offices with no power.
New England’s blizzard of December 2015 affected 28 million people. In Boston, at least 30,000 people were trapped in homes or offices without heat or electricity for days.
What can you do? Here’s expert advice:

When Trapped in a Vehicle:

  • Always drive with a nearly full gas tank in case road travel slows or you get stranded.
  • Keep a survival kit in your vehicle: Blankets, non-perishable food, water, flashlight with spare batteries, doses of any essential medications, a first aid kit, hand-warmers, whistle, snow shovel, ice scraper and jumper cables.
  • Keep your cell phone charged to call for help, but use minimally to conserve batteries.
  • If stuck in snow, tie something brightly colored to your antenna to signal that you need help. Blow the whistle from your emergency kit.
  • Stay in the car. Although cold and claustrophobic, it’s safer than being outside.
  • Avoid deadly buildup of carbon monoxide by cracking windows to let fresh air in and prevent poisoning.
  • Run the engine for 15 minutes every hour to keep the vehicle warm and help melt ice and snow.
  • Leave on the dome light to see inside the vehicle and help people find you.
  • Avoid frostbite. Keep your circulation up by moving fingers, toes and wiggling in your seat.
  • Share body heat. If stranded with other passengers, huddle to keep warm.

When Trapped in Home or Office with No Power:

  • Turn off all light and appliances, especially anything with a heat element such as an electric range, an iron or toaster oven to prevent a fire when power is restored.
  • Keep one light on to know when power returns.
  • Don’t plug a portable generator into a wall outlet. The generator will feed electricity through the meter and out into the neighborhood, causing severe safety hazards.
  • Operate any portable generators outdoors, but before operating disconnect from the local power company system.
  • If using a portable generator, make sure appliances are plugged directly into the generator.
  • Choose a small room with few windows as your emergency living quarters. Keep windows, drapes and doors closed. Wear several layers of clothes and a hat.
  • Conserve water.
  • If you use a portable heater that burns liquid fuel, open a window for safe ventilation.
  • Keep an eye on elderly family members or children who may need assistance.

Wishing everyone a safe and warm winter season.

Posted in extreme weather, 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).

Posted in Preparedness Tips | Leave a comment

Is Your Child’s School or College Prepared for Disaster Lockdown?

SCHOOL LOCKERSIf child or loved one is heading for school this year, can you really be confident they’ll be safe in their classroom or dorm room if a deranged gunman appears or other disaster occurs?  At least 74 school shootings have occurred since December 2012, when an assault at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut left 20 children and six school staff dead, along with the shooter, Adam Lanza, and his mother.

The sad fact is that unexpected school shootings average about once a week in the U.S.  No school is totally safe. Shootings have occurred at elementary, middle and high schools, colleges, universities and trade schools in every type of neighborhood.  In many cases the schools were locked-down by authorities for the duration of the disaster, trapping students in classrooms without protection, communications, provisions or restroom access.

When a Los Angeles Unified School District officer was shot by his car near a school, authorities sealed off a seven mile radius and nearby schools locked-down, trapping 9,000 students and teachers in classrooms for hours without relief until the all-clear finally occurred.

More than 20 states today require lockdown or similar types of drills and 30 states require schools to have broader emergency plans, according to a recent New York Times article.
While many colleges and schools are prepared for unforeseen disaster, including shootings, tornadoes and earthquakes with emergency plans and disaster supplies in place, most schools are not, or not as prepared as they want to be.

Put simply: Every school should do their best to keep students as safe as possible. The American Red Cross recommends that schools be prepared for disaster with, at a minimum, the basic supplies listed below:
• 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
• 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

If your child or a loved one is heading for college or attending school this year, can you really be confident they’ll be safe in their classroom or dorm room or apartment if a deranged shooter tries to take control, or other disaster occurs?

Are you assured that emergency preparedness kits that include portable toilets, medical supplies, water and provisions will be available in every classroom and dorm room to help your loved one endure any disaster?

If not, it may be best to provide your loved one with a “back to school” emergency survival kit equipped with everything they need to help ensure their safety. It is better to be prepared than not when disaster arises .

Posted in School Safety | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in Extreme Weather, extreme weather, Hurricanes, preparedness, Preparedness Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Ten U.S. States for Tornadoes That Damage Homes, People and Property


March through August is tornado season in the United States, where some 1,000 tornadoes hit every year. Be prepared. Tornadoes are more powerful than any other storm: They can toss freight trains like toys and throw your house down the block.
If you live in one of the top ten tornado states identified in order below, be smart and prepare yourself and your family for unexpected disaster:

  1. Florida is hit by more tornadoes than any other state in the U.S. and, also, also by more severe thunderstorms than any state.
  2. Oklahoma is the heart of what meteorologists call Tornado Alley. Its weather patterns often make warm and cool air collide — ideal for creating tornadoes and damaging thunderstorms.
  3. Kansas is where a mammoth twister whisked Dorothy and her little dog Toto to Oz, but it’s also where thousands of people are caught unprepared for damaging storms every year.
  4. Iowa was clobbered by 28 tornadoes in 2013 and averages of about 50 damaging thunderstorms every year.
  5. Illinois experienced one of its deadliest years on record for tornadoes in 2013. Storms generated widespread flooding and cut power in more than 160,000 homes and businesses.
  6. Indiana ranks second in the nation for the costs of tornado damage, sixth for the number of deaths and seventh for the number of personal injuries.
  7. Mississippi averages 29 tornadoes per year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Its coastal regions are hit by devastating hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.
  8. Maryland ranks in the Tornado Top Ten because of its mid-south and Atlantic Ocean weather patterns generate many twisters and serious thunderstorms.
  9. Louisiana ranks second in the U.S. for the most thunderstorms annually and as a result, and averages 37 tornadoes per year.
  10. Texas averages 155 tornadoes per year – the most of any state — but its land mass is so large it ranks 10th in the U.S. per tornadoes every 10,000 square miles.
Posted in climate change, disaster, emergency, Emergency Preparedness, Extreme Weather, extreme weather, homes, Tornadoes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment