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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tips For Surviving A Flood

Pin It Tips for surviving a flood from the residents of North Dakota. 

Red Cross Ready as Hurricane Alex Makes Landfall

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Safe Water

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1. Protazoa--like cryptosporidia and giardia are the largest of the organisms and easiest to remove with simple filtration.
2. Bacteria--like salmonella and cholera are smaller and harder to remove.
3. Viruses--like hepatitis are the smallest and hardest to remove. They are not removed by filters alone.

Methods of Purification
1. Boiling:
Most water can be purified for drinking purposes by boiling it for 5 to 10 minutes, this will destroy the germs. If desired, to improve the taste of the water after boiling, simply pour the boiled water, after
it has been cooled, from one container to another several times.

2. Chlorination:
It may not be possible to boil your drinking water because of gas or electric power failure or damage
to your stove. Open flames should be avoided in the first few hours after an enemy attack or natural
disaster (such as an earthquake), because of the danger from gas or fuel-oil leaks in your home or
neighborhood. Under these conditions, it would be better to chlorinate your drinking water instead of
boiling it. Household bleach solution available in grocery stores that contains hypochlorite, a chlorine
compound, may be used for this purpose. 

8 drops bleach per gallon of water, 1/2 tsp. per 5 gallons of water, 2 TBSP per 50 gallons of water.
(Double the quantity if the water is cloudy). Mix or shake thoroughly. This is easily done by adding the
bleach when the container is only about half full.  The taste or smell of chlorine (after treated water stands for 30 minutes) is a sign of safety. Let the chlorinated water sit for 24 hours before drinking.

3. Purification tablets:
Use tablets in accordance with instructions on the package. Usually one tablet is sufficient for 1 quart
of water; the dosage is doubled with cloudy water.

4. Iodine:
Ordinary household iodine may be used to purify small quantities of water. Add 2 or 3 drops of tincture of iodine or iodine solution to each quart of clear water and 8 to 10 drops of iodine to each quart of cloudy water. Mix and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

5. Sterilized water:
Sterilized water may also be stored. To sterilize, boil water one to three minutes and pour into hot, sterilized jars with sterilized lids, or process bottles of water in a water bath (like you were canning fruit)-twenty minutes for a quart jar and twenty-five minutes for a two-quart jar.

Care and Use of Water Supplies
In addition to water stored in containers, there is usually other water available in most homes that is
drinkable, such as: Water and other liquids normally found in the kitchen, including ice cubes, milk, soft drinks, and fruit and vegetable juices.

Water in the hot water heater. (20 to 60 gallons).  Water heaters should be drained periodically to
release any accumulated sediment so that the full capacity of the container is readily usable. Water in the flush tanks (not the bowls) of home

In the home, occupants should drink first the water they know is uncontaminated, such as that mentioned above. If necessary, “suspicious” water, such as cloudy water from regular faucets or perhaps some muddy water from a nearby stream or pond can be used after it has been purified. This is how to purify it:

1. Strain the water through a paper towel or several thicknesses of a clean cloth, to remove dirt, if any. Or else let the water settle in a container for 24 hours by which time any solid particles would have sunk to the bottom. A handful of clay soil in each gallon water would help this settling process.

2. Next, boil the water for 10 minutes or add chlorine
according to the previous directions.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What To Do During An Earthquake

Pin It One of the most important things to remember when you find yourself in an earthquake is to remain calm.  In most cases the best thing to do is to take cover and wait until the quake stops.  Lets see what FEMA has to say about what we should do during an earthquake.  The following information is found in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website

If Indoors...
  • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
  • DO NOT use the elevators.
If Outdoors...
  • Stay there.
  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
If in a moving vehicle...
  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.
If trapped under debris
  • Do not light a match.
  • Do not move about or kick up dust.
  • Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
It is recommended that you take some time to teach your family and practice what to do, so that it will be automatic when an earthquake does strike.  Make plans so that everyone in your family knows where to find their family.  Prepare your family now to have a peace of mind that comes from being prepared.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Preparation before an earthquake strikes

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Have you ever been in an earthquake?  If the answer is yes, then you have a pretty good idea of the truthfulness of a Japanese proverb.  "A disaster comes when it is forgotten."  It means that disasters strike when you least expect them.  Earthquakes are notorious for its uninvited, unexpected, and destructive visits.  There are no warnings beforehand.  No phone calls, no e-mails, no text message to tell you it is coming.  What can you do to prepare for this "uninvited guest"?

Before an earthquake
Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that you take the following 6 steps for earthquake preparation well before an earthquake strikes.
  1. Check for hazards in the home
  2. Identify safe places indoors and outdoors
  3. Educate yourself and family members
  4. Have disaster supplies on hand
  5. Develop an emergency communication plan
  6. Help your community get ready
Check for hazards in the home
The key is to take a good look around your house and think about what would happen if an earthquake strikes.  Are there tall bookcases or shelves?  You can increase your chance of earthquake survival by simply fastening the shelves to the wall and storing heavy items on the bottom of the shelf and lighter items towards the top.  Dishes and other glass items should be stored in cabinets with doors that would not pop open in an earthquake.  Remember to check for loose electrical wires and gas lines.  One of the most common secondary disaster in an earthquake is fire caused by broken gas lines and loose electrical wires.

Identify safe places indoors and outdoors
Sturdy tables and desks are great places to take cover while the quake continues.  It is good to stay away from windows and other glass items that could break.  When you are outdoors, stay outdoors.  Keep away from buildings, telephone poles, highway overpass, and any other things that may come down at you.

Educate yourself and your family members
Learn about earthquakes.  Take time to teach your family when and how to shut the gas, electricity, and water off.  Much damage could be prevented by simply shutting off the gas.

Have disaster supplies on hand

Tools to help you shut off gas and water is an important item that must be included in your earthquake preparedness kit.

In an environment where gas may be leaking, it is important to have a safe source of light.  Lighting a match in an earthquake could cause more damage than the benefit intended to provide.  A simple light stick is an inexpensive, safe way to provide light in an earthquake.  Flashlights are also acceptable combined with extra batteries and bulbs.  It is even better to have self-charging flashlights to prevent battery power outage. 

Develop an emergency communication plan
It is highly likely for family members to become separated in an earthquake if it occurs during the day. FEMA recommends that you make a plan as a family to get reunited.  It is also a good idea to have an emergency contact out of state.  Ask a friend or a relative to be your contact for emergencies.

Help your community get ready
Surviving a disaster is a community effort.  Get in touch with local emergency services as well as representatives from your local gas companies and learn about what you should do in an emergency.

The important thing to remember when preparing for earthquakes is to prepare for secondary disasters.  Fire is a very common problem that occurs after an earthquake due to broken gas lines and loose electrical connections.  Stay tuned for more on earthquake preparedness.  Next time, we will discuss about what we should do during an earthquake.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hurricane season begins on June 1

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Tuesday, June 1 marked the start of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. It will continue until the end of November to help the people be prepared for hurricanes.  According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, officials spent a day on Tuesday urging the citizens to prepare for hurricanes as well as other disasters.

According to, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate discussed the importance for all to be prepared.  "June 1 should serve as an important reminder about the need for individuals to be prepared for any emergency," said Administrator Fugate. "This may be the start of the hurricane season, but emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere, and everyone needs to be prepared - not just those folks in hurricane prone states."

 As for the hurricane season this year, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting the year 2010 to be a very active hurricane season.  The following information is found on NOAA's 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook .  

The conditions expected this year have historically produced some very active Atlantic hurricane seasons. The 2010 hurricane season could see activity comparable to a number of extremely active seasons since 1995. If the 2010 activity reaches the upper end of our predicted ranges, it will be one of the most active seasons on record.

We estimate a 70% probability for each of the following ranges of activity this season:

  • 14-23 Named Storms,
  • 8-14 Hurricanes
  • 3-7 Major Hurricanes
  • An ACE range of 155%-270% of the median.

The seasonal activity is expected to fall within these ranges in 7 out of 10 seasons with similar climate conditions and uncertainties to those expected this year. They do not represent the total possible ranges of activity seen in past similar years.
 Whether you live in a hurricane prone area or not, it is important to keep emergency preparedness in mind to protect yourself and your loved ones from the unexpected.  For more hurricane information, you can check out the NOAA website.  For 72 hour kits and emergency preparedness items check out our helpful resources at

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How to assemble a 72 hour kit

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In an emergency, whether it be natural disaster or man made, it is more than a good idea to have a 72 hour kit.  You and your family's lives may depend on your level of preparedness.  Here are some areas you should consider while assembling your 72 hour kit. 

Container - Everything should be stored in one place in a container that is easy for you to grab.   Consider using items like a backpack, a bucket, a carry-on luggage, or a plastic tote.

Light - Include some kind of source of light such as flashlights, candles, lanterns, and light sticks.  It is a good idea to get a self-charging flashlight to eliminate the risk of running out of power.

Food and Water - Include food and water with long shelf life.  It is also good to have items that will help you obtain drinkable water (water purification tablets, portable stove, stainless cups, etc.)  Be sure to check the expiration dates periodically to keep them up to date. 

Weather Protection - Whether the climate is hot or cold, you must have items that will help you protect yourself from the elements.  Include items like portable tents, emergency blankets, ponchos, a change of clothes, shoes, waterproof matches, kindling, etc.     
Communication  - A simple radio can help you obtain information necessary to protect you and your family from potential harm.  If the radio requires batteries keep in mind to include extra batteries.  There are also radios that are rechargeable that would eliminate the risk of running out of power. 

First Aid and Medical Needs - A first aid kit is a must-have for all 72 hour kits, however, it is also important to include your personal prescription medication if you have any.  If you require glasses, don't forget to include a pair of glasses as well.

Cash in small bills - When the power goes out, it may be impossible to buy things using credit cards.  Keep some cash in your 72 hour kit in small bills as well as some change.  

Sanitation and Personal Hygiene - Being able to meet your sanitation and hygiene needs in an emergency is not only a good idea, but it also helps you relieve the stress that always come with an emergency.  Tooth brush, tooth paste, hand sanitizer, deodorant and other items are some of the items to be included in your 72 hour kit.  

Other tools - It is also good to include some tools to help you survive an emergency.  Among them are items like ropes, multi-function knife, duct tape, pry bar, and cell-phone chargers.