Tag Archives: Safety

Free Flood Readiness and Response Exercise

Received from NMDHSEM….

Posted on the National Preparedness Community website

Free Flood Readiness and Response Exercise
Eric Nankervis (Mar 12th 2014 8:30 am)
In conjunction with National Flood Awareness Week, Points of Light is offering a free online flood readiness and response exercise on March 21, 2014 from 6 pm – 12 midnight ET

Resilient Response is intended for group interaction and lasts between two (2) and five (5) hours, depending on participant interaction.  The exercise walks the group though different scenarios related to flooding and challenges the group to explore how they would respond to the situations presented.   Participants may include:


  • Neighborhood Associations/Civic Associations
  • Homeowner Associations/Board of Governors
  • Church/Faith-based Communities
  • Neighborhood Watch Volunteers
  • Volunteers in Policing (VIPs)
  • Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
  • Disaster Volunteers/Volunteer Emergency Support Teams (VEST)


For more information and to register for this and other Resilient Response exercises, please visit: www.ResilientResponseExercise.org

Here is the direct link to the Information:


Staying safe in thunderstorms

In my oft occurring indoor moods, I exclaim “Outside is dangerous!”, when I see news stories about folks getting struck by lightning or getting lost in the mountains. OK, I really do love the outdoors but I also believe that some amount of caution should be used.

Frankly, especially when you’re in a first responder role or other emergency function, you just may not have the choice to come in out of the rain. Or it may just be that a storm brewed up unexpectedly, despite the predictions of our brilliant meteorological friends. It happens.

Do you know what to do to stay safe if you get caught out there? Fortunately, the National Weather Service has some guidelines you can follow:


Remember these tips when working or playing because we all want you to stay safe!

Home Economics for rainy days, floods and natural disasters

To be honest, I really don’t know what a modern home ec person does nowadays, as opposed to when I was in school (and our school didn’t have a home ec program). I do know that I wish I knew every time something goes past its expiration or I have to dispose of something safely. I look those sorts of things up, of course, and I have this wonderful book about keeping house, called
Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, by Cheryl Mendelsohn. This blog post, though, is the first I’ve seen that links Home Economics to community preparedness. That should be a no-brainer but I see now that I have a whole new area to explore 🙂

Dr Jay Deagon's HomeEcConnect


Words written and photographs taken by Jay Deagon @HomeEcConnect

For those of you who do not know me personally, I live in South-East Queensland, Australia. For the past few days we have had extensive flooding down majority of the east coast of Australia. Thankfully, me and my family are all safe and no damage has been done (except for our washing line which was bent by a very large tree branch). I am truly grateful; however, many other families and communities have not been so lucky. At this point, I would like to extend a big thank you to all of the emergency workers, electricity workers and our police departments for their efforts in rescues and clean up.

DSC_0167I believe that this natural disaster, and all natural disasters around the world in the past few years, are a timely reminder about the importance of Home Economics knowledge and education. For example:

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FEMA Tips (plus one more) for dealing with blackouts

Yes, it’s a rough winter but a blackout can happen any time of the year, as some of us found out about 10 years ago in the big Northeast summer blackout. It was no fun. Here are some tips from ready.gov to remember *before* it happens to you:

1. Follow energy conservation measures to keep the use of electricity as low as possible, which can help power companies avoid imposing rolling blackouts.

2. Fill plastic containers with water and place them in the refrigerator and freezer if there’s room. Leave about an inch of space inside each one, because water expands as it freezes. This chilled or frozen water will help keep food cold during a temporary power outage, by displacing air that can warm up quickly with water or ice that keeps cold for several hours without additional refrigeration.

3. Be aware that most medication that requires refrigeration can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist.

4. Keep your car tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.

5. Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it. Garage doors can be heavy, so know that you may need help to lift it.

6. Keep a key to your house with you if you regularly use the garage as the primary means of entering your home, in case the garage door will not open.

I will add one more here. During the northeast blackout, landline phones still worked – until their batteries ran out. We were fortunate enough to have held on to an old rotary phone and I was able to call in to work for information on closures. Those old phones don’t take up much room in a cabinet, so if you have one, don’t toss it! ^MARH

Preparing others financially for a major disaster

OK, I’ll admit that if the zombie apocalypse happens, we may not be able to get to our bank accounts, anyway (and, no, we won’t go there about money in the freezer). Most disasters, however, are well-addressed by normal preparedness plans. If you help others with financial preparedness, this University of Minnesota offering may be just the ticket:

via Ready.gov….

Natural disasters wreak havoc on families in more ways than one. It takes time for survivors to recover emotionally and financially. This webinar series will help professionals assist individuals and families with disaster financial recovery including:

  • Becoming familiar with the “Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit”;
  • Identifying key strategies and resources to help with financial recovery;
  • Determining family financial picture; and
  • Guiding families as they make financial decisions.

The hour-long webinars are held once a month November 26 – March 18 at 2pm CDT.

Readiness for Indian Country

From FEMA:


November is National Native American Heritage Month! Make sure to join our State/Local/Tribal/Territorial community of practice and check out the introductions  and relevant discussions.

Also visit Ready Indian Country for emergency preparedness resources. You’ll find tips on readiness planning, special considerations, local plans, and regional materials.

Take Smokey Bear’s Fire Prevention Pledge


I just took Smokey’s pledge to:


  • To use caution and common sense before lighting any fire.
  • To understand that any fire I or my friends create could become a wildfire.
  • To understand and practice proper guidelines whenever I or my friends create a fire outdoors.
  • To never, ever leave any fire unattended.
  • To make sure any fire that I or my friends create is properly and completely extinguished before moving on.
  • To properly extinguish and discard of smoking materials.
  • To be aware of my surroundings and be careful when operating equipment during periods of dry or hot weather.
  • To speak up and step in when I see someone in danger of starting a wildfire.

…and I got a downloadable mask (see pic, above). If you don’t want to, I’ll bet you know some little ones who would love to do that!

Train ’em while they’re young.

FEMA Twitter Chat on Campus Preparedness

September is National Preparedness Month and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is hosting a live Twitter chat on campus readiness to discuss how colleges and universities throughout the nation can prepare for disasters, alert students and faculty during emergencies and share best practices.

FEMA, in partnership with DePaul University in Chicago, Boston College, Florida State University, and Virginia Tech, will facilitate the discussion, highlighting innovative ways that campuses can prepare for disasters.

Experts from these schools will answer questions regarding their emergency preparedness methods, best practices and lessons learned. Colleges, universities, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in the online chat, and all are welcomed to follow the conversation and contribute using the #EDUprepChat hashtag on Twitter.

What: Live Twitter Chat on Emergency Preparedness for Colleges and Universities
Date: Wednesday, September 18th
Time: 1-2pm EDT
FEMA Twitter Handle: @FEMAlive
Conversation Hashtag: #EDUprepchat
Panel Institutions Handles: @BC_OEM, @FSUalerts, @DePaulU @behokieready

Tragic Tally: More Than 200 Reported Child Drownings In Pools and Spas This Summer

EHS Safety News America

From Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013, at least 202 children between the ages of 1 and 14 drowned in a swimming pool or spa in the United States, according to media reports compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation. Of those, 143 of the victims were children younger than age 5.

The latest media-reported figures are consistent with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) annual Submersion Report, and show that young children and toddlers are especially vulnerable to drowning. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children 1 to 4 years of age and it is the second leading cause of death for children from 5 to 14 years old.

“The time is now to turn the tide on child drownings,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “In warm weather states and indoor swim parks, pools are still open. Let’s work together to…

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Emergency Planning for Those With Specific Functional Needs

From FEMA:

When making emergency plans, remember that each person’s needs and abilities are unique.  If you or someone you know has access or functional needs, additional steps should be taken to stay safe, healthy, mobile and independent during a disaster. Individuals with access and functional needs include:

Those who are hard of hearing, of limited sight or with limited English proficiency;

  • Single parents;
  • People without vehicles; and
  • People with special dietary needs.

Find out about assistance programs that may be available in your community and register in advance with your local office of emergency services, non-profits groups and health departments.

Stay mobile and independent by including items in your disaster kit that meet your needs such as:

  • Medical prescriptions;
  • Extra eyeglasses and hearing aids;
  • Written descriptions of service needs; and
  • Batteries and chargers for assistance devices.

More ways to plan for those with access and functional needs is available in the “Prepare For Emergencies Now, Information For People With Disabilities” guide.