Wednesday, March 6, 2019

good better best products

Good, Better & Best Emergency Preparedness & Survival Essentials

Our customers often ask us for recommendations, particularly when it comes to the basics of emergency preparation. We believe that everyone can and should be adequately equipped to handle the unexpected, and that proper preparation can start with just a few essential items.
We offer a wide range of emergency supplies at various price points. Here's what should be on your list:

Drinking Water Preparation


Good:
Datrex Drinking Water Foil Pouches

Water is essential for life. When preparing for the worst, stock water first and foremost. Datrex drinking pouches contain just over four ounces of water per serving. Each portioned package of water has a five-year shelf life and is Coast Guard approved for safety. Keep these affordable water pouches in your home, car or cabin in the event that other sources of water are not available.

Better:
Water Purification Tablets

If water is available but isn't safe to drink, these affordable tablets are a must. Packaged drinking water will eventually run out in a large-scale disaster, and if you're preparing for the worst, make sure you stock these tablets to treat water when water treatment plants aren't.
These tablets are also pragmatic in camping and hiking scenarios where clean drinking water may become scarce. 
Treat up to 25 quarts of water against giardia and most other microorganisms.


Best:
Rain Collection Barrel

In an emergency, water may be difficult to come by. A true survivalist knows that using the resources that are naturally available are a best bet for long-term sustainability. If a disaster turns into a nationwide or a global crisis, running water will likely be an uncertain commodity. Collecting runoff in a barrel during a rainfall will allow you peace of mind during a crisis.
During a heavy rainfall, you'll be able to collect up to 600 gallons of water with the proper equipment. A functioning gutter or downspout will funnel water to your storage containers, while a filter on top keeps out leaves and debris. Keeping wildlife including birds and lizards out of your water will prevent collected water from becoming contaminated.

Fire Protection


Good:
ABC Fire Extinguisher

Every home should have one ABC fire extinguisher in every major room of the house, including the bedrooms and the kitchen. An ABC extinguisher can tackle all three classes of the most common household fires, which is important since only one class of fire can be tackled using water. Fires fueled by grease, gasoline or electrical equipment cannot and should not be quenched with water, making an ABC extinguisher the only safe solution.


An ABC extinguisher uses monoammonium phosphate, which won’t conduct electricity or scatter grease fires further. These fire extinguishers meet nationally recognized standards for safety and come with a 10-year warranty.



Better:
10-Year Ionization Smoke Alarm

In addition to a fire extinguisher, every home should have a functioning alarm system to help you and your family detect and escape fires before they burn out of control. An ionization smoke alarm is the most affordable smoke detector option on the market, and should be installed in every major room of the house.
First Alert's 10-year alarm contains a lithium battery that's designed to last 10 years without maintenance. Test your alarm once every six months to ensure it's functioning properly.


Best:
10-Year Photoelectric Smoke & Co2 Combination Alarm

Since most deaths from fires occur due to smoke inhalation, installing the right kind of smoke detector is of the utmost importance. A photoelectric fire alarm such as this First Alert alarm detects smoke using a light sensor. This means that when smoke particles scatter the light inside its chamber, an alarm immediately goes off.
Most homes contain ionization detectors, which are cheaper to install and therefore more popular. These types of detectors respond to smoke when particles disrupt the flow of ions in its chamber.
Both types of smoke alarms work well in high-heat, fast-flame fires, however, when it comes to the more common smouldering fires that produce the kind of smoke that kills, an ionization detector falls behind.
Keep your family safe day and night with a combination alert that sounds as soon as a danger is present.



Emergency Communication


Good:
NOAA Emergency Crank Radio with Flashlight

When other modes of communication fail, Midland’s hand-crank radio will allow you to stay up to date on important weather and emergency information in real time. This radio receives alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and can additionally be used to receive AM and FM radio signals.
To send messages, this radio offers a built in Morse Code beacon, which can be activated to flash a continuous SOS signal.


Better:
Midland Two-Way Radios - 22 Channel

These short-range walkie talkies can connect with other FRS or GMRS two-way radios via 22 channels. Use the channel scan to check for activity during an emergency, or communicate freely with your family or response team.
Each walkie talkie includes a rechargeable power pack. Four AAA batteries can be used to back up power for longer usage when traditional power sources aren't available.
Connect easily and effectively during all types of events. These walkie talkies remove background noise, offer call alerts and use a roger beep to maximize communication.

Best:
Midland GMRS 50 Channel Radios

Get even more out of your walkie talkie with these radios.
A clear battery indicator lets you know when you can talk freely and when it's time to conserve power. Each radio comes with one rechargeable battery pack, which can be backed up with four AA batteries. Each battery pack is designed to provide up to 12 hours of life.
With a clear communication range of up to 36 miles, these radios offer a safe and affordable solution for a wide range of applications. Each radio features 50 GMRS channels and 28 channels with pre-programmed privacy codes.
Keep up with weather alerts and important emergency news with the built in Weather Scan feature, which finds and broadcasts your nearest NOAA station.


Emergency Kits


Good:
1-Person Fanny Pack Kit

Stocking an emergency kit is a quick, easy and affordable way to take charge of your preparedness and planning. A fanny pack kit contains several convenient items that everyone should keep on hand.
This kit is designed to sustain one person for three days in the event of a sudden emergency. In addition to a 2,400-calorie food bar and 25 ounces of water, the kit also contains one emergency blanket and a range of first aid essentials such as alcohol wipes and non-aspirin pain killers.
Supplement this kit with additional water pouches to ensure you can stay adequately hydrated longer.


Better:
Individual Auto/Emergency Survival Kit

A more robust version of the fanny pack, this auto emergency kit contains everything that's already included in our basic pack, plus a few other extras. In addition, you'll get important essentials such as a flashlight and emergency radio. Everything is contained in a convenient nylon over-the-shoulder bag. Keep it in the trunk of your car in the event you'll become trapped or stranded. Supplement this kit with additional items such as jumper cables to complete your safety kit for the road.
Check out our road trip blog for a complete list of traveling tips.



Best:
1-Person Deluxe Emergency Survival Kit

This affordable pack contains everything you'll need for the first 72 hours of survival. Each Deluxe kit contains 3,600 calories and 76 ounces of clean drinking water. In addition to a variety of first aid products such as alcohol wipes, antibiotic ointments and bandages, this kit also contains waste bags, light sticks, rain gear, gloves, a utility knife and more. We've thought of everything when preparing this emergency kit for you.
The Deluxe kit includes everything you'll need to sustain one person for three days, from hydration to items for proper warmth and visibility. Stow it in your car, at home or at your desk at work.







Red Cross Month

Emergency Preparedness with the Red Cross


March is Red Cross month. It’s a time to remember heroes and disaster survivors, and to generate awareness for just how easy it is to make a difference in your community.
The Red Cross functions globally with a mission to provide free emergency assistance without discrimination, whether during natural or man-made disasters, in times of war or in areas affected by chronic poverty.
The organization was founded more than 130 years ago and has offered training and certifications to the average citizen since the early 1900s.



You might associate Red Cross with nurses, and that’s because nurses have been at the root of the Red Cross since before the turn of the century, and continue to make up a large portion of the volunteer force. On average, about 15,000 nurses are involved with the American Red Cross to provide disaster relief services and develop teaching courses for volunteers and citizens. But you don't need to be a nurse to find your volunteer position with the Red Cross. The Red Cross offers a broad range of services and accepts volunteers with many different skill sets.




Volunteering at the Red Cross

Spending your time volunteering for any organization, local or worldwide, is a commendable and
worthwhile endeavor. With the Red Cross, your time commitment will help families and individuals of all ages find care and comfort during difficult times and emergency situations.

Donating time goes a long way, so don't let the amount you're capable of giving deter you. Consider if just a small percentage of the population gave one hour of their time each month: Millions of man hours could be used toward setting better volunteer efforts into motion.


Donating

We don't all have the extra time to make volunteering a part of our lives. If time is short, offering a donation to your favorite charitable organization goes a long way. Contributions to the American Red Cross are tax-deductible, as are any donations made to registered 501(c) non-profit organizations.

How and how much you donate is up to you. The Red Cross encourages donating online, by mail, by phone or via text.  Recurring monthly donations are how organizations like the Red Cross survive. The Red Cross is not a government agency. It depends entirely on volunteers and donations. Unlike some other charitable organizations, the Red Cross can pride themselves on using $.91 of every donated dollar toward humanitarian services, not toward things like administrative fees and salaries.


They Want Your Blood

The Red Cross offers a wide range of services but is probably best known for its blood donations. And that's with good reason: Its blood drive program has been an integral part of the Red Cross since the Second World War, and today the Red Cross still distributes more than a third of lifesaving blood products in the United States.

Giving blood is quick and easy, and there are only a few restrictions to doing so. Because blood transfusions can pass on certain kinds of illnesses, it's important that the donor doesn't have any acute infections or blood-transmissible diseases. This includes a bloodborne illness that likely did not affect you, but may live in you undetected: mad cow disease. If you lived in certain parts of Europe in the 1980s or 90s, check out this eligibility criteria document for more information on whether or not you can donate.


Take a Class

One of the best ways to empower yourself and others is through knowledge. Having life-saving skills in an emergency situation makes you a valuable asset both to your friends and family as well as your community.
SOS Survival Products and the Red Cross offer a range of comprehensive training courses with and without certification. Prepare yourself for a minor event as well as major natural or man-made catastrophes including earthquakes, fires, floods and active shooters with our local classes year-round. Learn CPR and First Aid, outdoor and wilderness survival skills, pet safety and more. Our classes are affordable and many are free. Check out our calendar now.

Emergency preparedness works best when everyone’s on board. Organizations like the Red Cross can mobilize a wide range of rescue efforts during a disaster, and by contributing to the cause you’re part of a solution. Taking just a few hours this month to volunteer in your community adds up. Your time and money will benefit your local and global community.








Friday, December 21, 2018

Holiday Safety Tips



It's that time of year again, and that means cozy evenings by the fire, family visits and plenty of eggnog. But for every moment of holiday cheer, it's important to recognize the potential for a disaster. Emergencies are preventable to prepare to enjoy another healthy new year with just a few simple safety basics.

Warmth, Ambiance & Delicious Holiday Meals

The three basics of any good holiday gathering, and with just a little bit of extra planning and preparation, you can ensure everyone is safe at home this holiday season.


  • Get a professional to ensure your heating system is serviced properly; replace filters at scheduled times to minimize dust and other flammable particles.
  • Install a smoke detector and test it at least twice a year.
    • A combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector such as this one provides long-term protection against fires and CO leaks.
      • Carbon monoxide is created by appliances like dryers, water heaters, furnaces and stoves. CO is an odorless gas that cannot be detected through smell or sight. Oftentimes, CO poisoning is also referred to as "the silent killer", because people tend to ignore their initial symptoms before losing consciousness.
  • Don't use space heaters in unoccupied rooms or at night while you are sleeping.
  • Keep electric blankets uncovered and flat to avoid trapping excess heat.
  • Get your chimney cleaned professionally to avoid creosote buildup.
    • Never use accelerants to start a fireplace
    • Keep flammable objects a safe distance from the fireplace opening
  • Keep candles in cleared areas away from drapes, decor or tablecloths, and burn candles only in appropriate heat- and fire-resistant containers.
  • Never leave food cooking unattended in the kitchen.
    • Set timers to help you remember when to remove foods from the oven or stove.
    • Keep crock pots on even surfaces and away from items that can melt or ignite.
    • Don't use outdated appliances with faulty chords


In the Company of Kids & Pets

There's nothing better than a home filled with children's laughter and furry friends. Take extra precaution to keep all members of your family safe.


  • Keep breakable ornaments at the top of the tree.
    • Avoid tinsel, which may be too tempting to ingest.
    • Hide wires from grabby hands and curious mouths.
  • Keep alcohol and inappropriate foods where they can't be reached.
  • Pass up the Peace Lilies, Caladium (Heart of Jesus), Pothos and Philodendron.
    • Although Poinsettias tend to be known as poisonous plants among pet owners, the toxicity they produce is actually relatively mild in comparison to these other plants.
  • Alert visitors that you have pets and/or children to avoid an accidental jailbreak,
  • Keep kids & pets comfortable with hugs and praise during fireworks.
    • Treats, cuddles and hugs will not reinforce your dog's fear. The principle of operant conditioning is based on finding desired behaviors and rewarding them. Fear is an emotion, not a behavior.
  • Teach children about the dangers of playing with fireworks early on.
  • Don't feed pets holiday foods, particularly grapes and raisins, onions, garlic, chocolate and dairy.
  • Never give pets or kids alcohol, even in small amounts, as these can cause cardiovascular disturbances.



Outdoor Fun & Travel

There's nothing like waking up to a batch of fresh snow. If you find yourself struck by that winter Wanderlust, keep this things in mind before heading out.


  • Service your car.
    • Maintain proper antifreeze levels
    • Keep tire pressure at the recommended PSI
    • Consider snow or all-weather tires
  • Always wear appropriate clothing.
    • Water- and wind-resistant shoes, coats and gloves are essential when traveling, hiking or skiing.
    • Keeping an affordable yet durable poncho such as this one in your car or bag can provide a valuable layer or protection in emergencies.
    • A one-time use emergency blanket like this one easily fits in coat pockets, fanny packs or glove boxes.
  • Prepare a car emergency kit.
  • Treat icy driveways and sidewalks.
    • Remember to research your options carefully to choose eco-friendly and non-toxic products.
    • Sand helps to add traction to ice and snow.
  • Avoid traveling altogether if poor conditions are predicted.
    • Remember that weather conditions can change very rapidly at high altitudes.
    • If you become stranded:
      • Make yourself visible.
      • Stay with your car unless you are within 100 yards of help.
      • Run your car until it's warm, then turn it off.
      • Ensure your exhaust is well ventilated to avoid CO poisoning.
      • Stay awake.
        • Don't stop moving to avoid unconsciousness or death from exposure.
  • Check out these additional tips from the U.S. Forest Service on how to deal with getting lost.
  • Don't explore frozen streams, rivers or lakes.
    • If you fall into ice:
      • Resist the impulse to hyperventilate.
      • Don't panic.
      • Orient yourself toward the direction from which you came, this is where the ice was strong enough to support your weight.
      • Staying as horizontal as possible, pull yourself up while simultaneously kicking your legs hard.
      • To distribute your weight more evenly, roll away from the broken ice; do not stand up immediately.
      • Remove wet clothes as soon as possible and get help.



Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Survivalist Gift Guide

6 Affordable Gifts for Survivalists

Paracord Bracelets

Paracord is the utility string with endless possibilities. This cord can be used to secure cargo, tie items together, fix broken straps or replace missing cordage. It’s great for assisting with rescues, securing animals, keeping shoes tied and so much more.
Each cord is made up of multiple interior strings which are surrounded by a tightly woven nylon sheath. In addition to using the entire utility cord, the strings inside can be removed and used when camping, fishing or in any situation where finer yarn-like string is required.
Paracord is extremely useful and versatile, making it a great gift for practically anyone, particularly hikers, campers and general outdoor enthusiasts.

The paracord bracelet is woven into a compact piece of safety gear that can be worn every day. When unraveled, the user is left with seven feet of 550 cord.
550 cord has a minimum breaking strength of 550 pounds. This strength cord consists of seven to nine core yarns.
Try it together with the paracord dog collar for the perfect outdoor adventure stocking stuffer.


Streamlight Flashlights

Anyone can benefit from a good flashlight. Streamlight flashlights are known for offering superior
illumination and durability, which is why they're frequently used by emergency crews, police officers and firefighters. These flashlights are incredibly reliable, making them not only great for tactical purposes but also for everyday needs. A good flashlight is both a functional and thoughtful gift that will last for years.
Streamlight flashlights come in a range of sizes and offer multiple settings to help the user adjust the brightness quickly and easily. These versatile flashlights are great for campers and roadtrippers, as well as friends and family members who venture out for evening walks with the dog. Add a reflective safety vest for under $10 to complete this safety set.


Emergency Preparedness Kits

A good emergency kit is an irreplaceable piece of safety equipment. Whether you have kids in
college or you and your significant other enjoy extended road or camping trips, a well-thought-out safety kit is simply a must-have.
We carry a range of kits for various purposes. Our basic kits offer security of mind for everyday occurrences such as cuts and scrapes, while our larger kits are designed to support you in an emergency situation where you may be left without food or water for up to three days.

If you're feeling creative, we offer plenty of products to help you create your own emergency pack to give away. A simple Everest backpack provides an easy and affordable starting point to help you put a customized kit together.
Stock a camper's kit with glow sticks, an emergency blanket and a useful weather radio, or customize our road trip emergency kit with items like the ResQMe seatbelt cutter or an auto extinguisher.
Check out this blog post to get started finding the right ready-to-go pack today or for ideas to help you create your own.


Pocket Guides

These affordable pocket-sized guides are available for a wide range of scenarios, and everyone loves how easy they are to follow and digest. They’re great stocking stuffers for prospective first responders, individuals, parents and pet owners.
Each guide offers lots of valuable information in a small package that’s easy to follow and understand. Get instant access to all sorts of emergency procedures, from steps for treating minor scrapes and bruises to taking part in a safe evacuation. These guides are a wonderful idea for trained workers to keep on hand, or for anyone who loves equipping themselves with additional knowledge about preparedness.






Training Classes

There's nothing like a hands-on approach to learning. A training class provides a complete experienceeducational, and bestows upon the recipient the sort of confidence that's needed in an emergency scenario.
that's both fun and
Practice makes perfect. Just as it's important to review your home escape plan or your course for evacuation routinely, practicing CPR or First Aid skills regularly helps to cement ideas that make a behavior more automatic.

We regularly offer classes for first-timers or those wishing to refresh their First Aid and CPR knowledge, and frequently provide other hands-on courses to help build your survival and preparedness skills.


Gift Cards

Some people are harder to shop for than others. If you're not sure which products your recipient needs, wants or would enjoy the most, give a gift card. We carry a wide range of emergency products for civilians, emergency responders and more. Your recipient will thank you for your thoughtfulness.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Fire Safety and Prevention

House Fire Safety, Prevention & Preparation


Although house fires have generally seen a decrease over the last decade, deaths from such fires have not slowed significantly during this period. Each year, thousands of people still perish in house fires across the nation, and negligent cooking practices remains the number one spot on the list of culprits.
Year after year, poor cooking practices and misinformation about kitchen fires is the leading causes of house fires in the United States. This year alone, news media outlets have covered 1871 house fire fatalities between January and October. Last year, official reports from the National Fire Protection Agency disclosed 1,319,500 fires in the U.S., with 3,400 civilian deaths and 14,670 civilian injuries.



The 5 Most Common Causes of Fire Injury & Death in the United States

1. Cooking
2. Candles
3. Heating
4. Smoking
5. Electrical

A fire can consume your home quickly and mercilessly. As a fire burns, it quickly turns from a bright inferno to a dark and consuming cloud of black smoke filled with toxic gasses. Fires that are burning out of control are disorienting and can quickly lead to asphyxiation.
Preparing for any disaster begins with prevention. Let's discuss how to prevent the five most common causes of a house fire now.


Cooking Safety

1. Don't cook late when you're tired or have been drinking.
2. Set multiple timers: one in the home and one on your phone.
3. Don't leave the cooking area at all when you're frying, grilling or broiling.
4. Don't assume that simmering dishes can be left unattended.
5. Keep items such as dish towels and oven mitts away from the stove top at all times.

In the Event of a Kitchen Fire:

1. Turn the heat off.
2. If a fire starts in your oven, turn the oven off and keep the door closed!

DO NOT blow on a flame

Your initial instinct will probably be to blow on a fire. But as long as the fire has a source of fuel, particularly if this is grease, you won't be able to extinguish even a small flame with your breath. Blowing on flames can cause hot liquids to spatter back toward you, causing serious second- and third-degree burns.

DO NOT pour water on a kitchen fire

Water can extinguish some types of flames, but if your fire originated in the kitchen, it's likely that it involves some type of oil or grease. Since oil and water don't mix, when you pour water on a grease fire, the grease stays on top while the water sinks to the bottom. Because the water will quickly evaporate, this process causes a kind of explosion, leading to flaming oil being spread everywhere.

DO use an ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher

House fires can be classified in one of three ways: Class A, B or C. Class A fires are the only class of
fires that can be extinguished with water. Class A fires are fueled by ordinary solid materials including trash and paper, wood and textiles.

Class B fires involve flammable liquids such as grease or gasoline. Water will spread these types of fires by scattering them, and you'll require a fire extinguisher that inhibits chemical chain reactions.

Class C fires are fueled by electricity from burning wires or energized electrical equipment, so it's important to use an extinguishing agent that isn't conductive.

An extinguisher that contains monoammonium phosphate and ammonium sulfate can be used on all three fire classes. It contains a chemical powder that breaks up the chain reaction of liquid and gas fires, and can also be used on electrical fires because it is non-conductive.

Keeping an ABC extinguisher in every major room of your home as well as in your car will prepare you properly for an emergency.


DO remove oxygen from the flame

Your home should always be equipped with a working fire extinguisher, but in case you find yourself in a situation without one, it's important to try and get your flame under control as quickly as possible using other resources.
Dump salt on a flame to smother it. If you do not have salt, cover the pan or pot with a lid to remove oxygen.

If the fire is spreading and you feel like you're not in control of the flame, leave your home immediately and call 9-1-1. Alert another nearby residents, particularly in apartment buildings, that a fire is burning.




Candle Safety


  • Use Candleholders or candle containers
  • Never leave candles unattended even for a moment
  • Keep candles clear of other items such as drapes, clothing or decor
  • Trim the wick to about 1/8th inch to ensure the candle doesn't smoke or burn too high





Heating Safety


  • Don't use space heaters while you sleep
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from materials that may burn



  • Never use accelerants to start a fireplace
  • Get your chimney cleaned regularly to avoid creosote buildup
  • Only burn dry wood, never cardboard, wrapping paper or scraps of fabric



  • Don't store flammable materials near the furnace
  • Get a professional to inspect HVAC ducts regularly



Smoking Safety


  • Don't smoke around medical oxygen
  • Don't smoke inside, and never smoke in bed or under the influence
  • Dispose of cigarettes in proper receptacles; fill ashtrays with sand




Electrical Safety


  • Clean the dryer vent once a year
  • Reduce the use of extension cords
  • Replace outdated switches and plugs
  • Hire a professional for wiring jobs
  • Don't use appliances with frayed chords
  • Check the proper wattage for light bulbs and appliances
  • Avoid running cords where they are susceptible to wear and tear



Doing your best to prevent a fire is a key element of fire safety, but it's just as important to be prepared. In the event of a fire, proper preparation will allow you to save valuable seconds where they count, giving you the best chances of escaping a life-threatening situation.



Smoke Detectors


  • Never remove batteries or disable your smoke alarm while cooking
  • Test your smoke alarm regularly, at least once every three months
  • Replace batteries when empty to stay alert during power outages
  • Get alarms that can detect both flaming fires and smoldering fires
  • Get monitored smoke alarms through a home security company



Other Recommended Fire Safety Gear


  • Get an ABC extinguisher
  • Review the Fire Safety Guide twice a year
  • A foldable emergency ladder will make escape from a second- or third-story window possible
  • Sprinklers reduce the risk of fire death by about 80 percent and significantly lower insurance premiums
  • A fire safety cabinet will keep your valuables safe, so you can focus on getting yourself and your family to safety first



Your Fire Escape Plan

Seconds count in the event of an emergency. It's crucial that you not only practice preventative measures, but plan for all possible scenarios.


  • Important items
  • Your route
  • Child safety
  • Pet safety





Important Items


  • In the event of a sudden fire, there's no time to waste. Home fires occur without warning, and you'll need to be prepared to leave all material possessions behind.
  • We recommend you store any irreplaceable valuables, including important identifying documents such as your birth certificate and passport, in a fireproof safe.
  • Remember that most things can be replaced! Don’t let the fear of losing a photograph or an important document cost you your life.


Your Route


  • As you're planning how you'll leave your home, start to consider how you will approach this scenario if your main points of access are blocked. Find and make note of two ways to get out of each room (the door and the window).
  • Ensure you can open the windows of your home and that you're able to remove or cut through any window screens
  • Practice leaving your home on hands and knees, as you would in a fire
  • Practice your escape closed eyes to simulated skewed visibility from smoke
  • If your windows are located on the second or third floor, equip your home with collapsible escape ladders to avoid becoming trapped.


  • Don't use elevators
  • If the doorknob or door are hot, find another exit
  • If your clothes catch fire, STOP DROP AND ROLL
  • Smother flames on someone else with a blanket or towel
  • To avoid smoke and gas inhalation, crawl low under the smoke to your exit with your mouth covered
  • If you're unable to escape, cover vents and door cracks with towels or tape to keep smoke out




Child Safety


  • Involve your children in your planning
  • Be real with your children and teach them proper techniques for evacuating
  • Teach children how to dial 9-1-1 and where they should go in the event of an emergency
  • Help assign positive roles to firefighters through books or movies
  • Teach children that fire is not a toy, and keep matches and lighters out of reach
  • Practice, Practice, Practice!


Pet Safety


  • Install sprinklers or monitored smoke detectors to give your pet the advantage when they're home alone
  • Test your smoke alarm with your pet in the home while providing plenty of rewards
  • Always reward your pet for coming to you
  • Ensure your pet is properly tagged or microchipped in the event they escape
  • Practice your escape plan together with your pet
  • Learn your pet's most preferred hiding places to make escape quicker
  • Affix a pet alert sticker to windows and doors to let firefighters know there's a pet inside
  • Don't light candles in homes with mischievous pets


Fire prevention and safety awareness is a valuable tool. Pass it on. Share this post with your friends and family or comment below to add your own prevention tools, tips and stories for others to hear.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Disaster Preparation for Everyone


September is National Preparedness Month, which makes this the perfect time to review your emergency plans. Even if you live in an area that is not commonly struck by natural disasters, it's still crucial that you always take a proactive approach to protecting yourself and your family. After all, the number of worldwide natural disasters has risen from less than 100 annually to approximately 400 per year during the past four decades. This means that everyone has an increased risk, regardless of where you live.
Fortunately, there are many steps you can take that will greatly reduce your odds of suffering from a personal tragedy during a natural disaster.

The Importance of Making a Plan and What To Include

According to FEMA, 80 percent of U.S. residents live within a county that was hit by a natural disaster within the past decade. Despite this, fewer than 40 percent of these households have put together an emergency plan.

Emergency Plan Steps:

1. Gather Necessary Supplies

Pack a change of clothes for everyone, spare medication, flashlights and batteries, nonperishable
food, fresh water, some cash and copies of your identification, insurance policy and any other relevant documentation. If you have a pet, be sure to pack food and water for them, along with leashes and bowls. These supplies should be packed and ready to go in easy to grab backpacks.

Be sure to rotate the food and water so that it will still be fresh when needed. A satellite phone and radio will also be useful, along with paper maps of your area. You may want to download emergency weather apps.

2. Plan Your Evacuation Route

Many areas have designated evacuation routes. Familiarize yourself with them, and also make sure to scout out alternative options. Whenever possible, leave immediately so that you can get ahead of the inevitable traffic jam.

3. Assign a Meeting Place

It's important to assign a family meeting place in case you get separated. Make sure everyone knows how to get there, and select a backup spot in case the first one isn't accessible.

4. Take First Aid and CPR Classes

You cannot rely on medical assistance to reach you quickly during an emergency. Taking a first aid and CPR class will give you a better chance of survival.

5. Practice for an Emergency

The American Red Cross recommends practicing all practical aspects of your emergency plan. This includes driving the emergency route, meeting family at the assigned gathering spot and getting out of the house in a quick, orderly manner. Every family should do this at least once per year, but you may want to start doing it quarterly if your children are too young to retain a lot of details.



How to Deal with Common Natural Disasters

Now that you understand the basics of putting together an emergency plan, let's take a closer look at a few common natural disaster scenarios.

Fire

More than 3,500 Americans perished in a fire in 2016. To cut your risk dramatically, be sure to practice what to do if the smoke detectors go off. You can also take important preventative steps, including:



  • Never leave candles unattended.
  • Always use a timer when cooking.
  • Unplug hot curling irons and other similar items.
  • Keep your chimney clean at all times.
  • Only use your fireplace if you understand exactly how it works and can monitor the fire.
  • Install smoke detectors and sprinklers; make sure to test these systems annually.
  • Keep all flammables away from the stove.


You should also make sure every family member knows how to use a fire extinguisher, call 911 and escape the home. If you have upper levels, place a window ladder in each applicable room. Include your pets in your escape plan, and consider placing a 'pet inside' sticker on your windows to help firefighters.


Flooding

In 2015, 176 Americans died in a flood. There's not a lot you can do to prevent a flood, but you can implement a property protection plan.



  • Waterproof your basement and elevate all essential utility components.
  • Keep your downspouts and gutters clear of debris.
  • Obtain a backup battery-powered sump pump.
  • Purchase sand bags.
  • Get flood insurance.


It's best to evacuate when a serious flood is imminent instead of waiting to see what happens. Go to higher ground or a designated shelter. Take your emergency supplies with you and be prepared for at least 72 hours away from your home. If you get stuck in a flood, never drive on a water-covered road; turn around, don’t drown. Go to the highest area in your home until the water recedes.


Earthquake

Experts estimate that 40 California residents die annually in an earthquake. The best way to prepare is to make your home as safe as possible.



  • Keep beds away from windows.
  • Tether appliances and bookshelves to the wall.
  • Use latches on all cabinets.
  • Buy emergency plug-in lights.
  • Never place glass objects where they could easily fall.
  • Get your home and chimney inspected for earthquake-readiness.



When an earthquake strikes, remember to do three key things: Drop, cover and hold on. Run preparedness drills with your family to ensure you're all aware how to quickly drop to your knees, cover up your head and neck and then move underneath a sturdy table. Waiting out the earthquake in that position will give you the best odds of survival. If you have to drive after the earthquake, be alert for aftershocks and damaged roads.





Power Outages

Severe weather can cause power outages, which may lead to issues with heat stroke, hypothermia, spoiled food and unsafe drinking water. To make your home safer during a power outage, you can do a few simple things:



  • Keep enough fresh water and non-perishable food on hand for 72 hours.
  • Invest in a generator.
  • Use your grill to cook.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to reduce the risk of heat stroke.
  • Wear several layers and wrap up in blankets to avoid hypothermia.
  • Have lots of batteries and flashlights available.


If possible, go to an area that has power until electricity is restored to your home. Remember to never touch any downed power lines, and don't drive through any roads that are covered with water. Most power outages are caused by severe weather, so it's also critical to keep an eye on weakened trees and other debris that could fall or get in your way while you evacuate.

With a bit of planning and regular emergency drills, you and your family can be prepared for any type of natural disaster. Don't wait; put your emergency kit and other plan specifics in place today!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

School Emergency Preparation

In any emergency, the key to your survival success is preparedness. By preparing for a range of potential emergency events and equipping yourself or your home with proper emergency essentials, you'll be able to maximize your success whether you need to evacuate your home, stay while an emergency passes, or you become trapped. You don't have to purchase thousands of dollars with of survival products to maximize success in an emergency. The foundation of preparedness is simply a plan.



You and your family may already have a plan in the event a disaster should occur and you're all at home or on the road together, however, it's just as important to have a plan should you not be in the same area. While you might initially find it difficult to begin the conversation about emergencies with our children, having these conversations early and regularly will equip them with essential knowledge for survival when you're not around.

The end of summer brings a range of changes, and one of these is the start of a new school year. Your child might be starting school for the first time or returning for his or her second, third, or fourth year already. Regardless of age, now is a good time to help your kids prepare for emergencies. Power begins with knowledge, so to start it's important to simply teach your children about disasters that could occur in your area.
Your family should already have a fire emergency evacuation plan in place at home and practice drills at school, however, many drills neglect to prepare children fully for a range of emergencies in ways that help them to think critically about their own safety or the safety of others when an event occurs.
Teach your children about natural hazards that can occur while they're at school in ways they can understand, then make a plan they can follow and practice its steps regularly. It's important not to overwhelm or frighten your children with information; break your lessons about emergencies up into small increments to help them first learn about the disaster and then how to appropriately respond to it.
There is a wide range of literature and other media available for parents and their children, including this fun game powered by ready.gov, which lets children test their natural disaster knowledge online.


Involving your children in every step of the process will allow them to feel a sense of pride and responsibility. By giving your children digestible and age-appropriate information, and allowing them to help in each step of the planning process, you will help them to act safely and responsibly should an emergency occur.
Together with your child, create an official communications plan, identify what should go into an
emergency kit and practice and revise your plans and kits to improve them along the way. Help your child create proper responses for a range of emergency cases such as fires, earthquakes or extreme weather, including how to find alternate routes for escape or what it takes to staying in place if escape isn’t possible.
A simple emergency kit such as this one provides 43 oz. of water, an emergency blanket, one glow stick, nine wet wipes and a 2,400-calorie food bar. This affordable kit can easily be stowed in a locker or desk and made accessible should an emergency occur.

Talking to your child about an active shooting scenario is an unfortunate but necessary part of today's student life. While this type of emergency situation is doubtlessly not comparable to a natural disaster and may be much more difficult to talk about, preparing for it is not dissimilar to preparing for an earthquake or a tornado. Learning about natural disasters has significant applications for managing an attack caused by humans. The key for both is to be prepared.

This situation in which your child may be locked down with other students for extended periods of time can be unsettling for children and parents. Listen to your child’s fears and validate his or her responses. Teddy is Ready provides information for parents regarding how to prepare children for active shooters.
Talk to your school about providing lockdown kits to each classroom in order to minimize additional trauma case of classroom confinement. These affordable all-in-one kits provide bathroom essentials when regular facilities are unavailable.
For any disaster, it's important to create a plan that takes various possible obstacles into account and practices a safe evacuation for each. Your plan should look at alternate routes for escape as well as safe meeting places to reunite with teachers or family. A good communications system will keep everyone updated and away from danger. Finally, discuss the possibility of sheltering in place, if evacuation isn't possible or too risky.