Preparedness

 

Preparing Children for a Disaster: A Primer

Preparing Children for a Disaster: A Primer

Growing up in a prepared household these are a few of the tips I learned from my parents about preparing children for a disaster.  I have started to teach my daughter these as well, even though she is 18 months. #1 – Start teaching them now. It is never too early to start teaching kids how to be prepared and survive.  My father worked in several types of emergency services and my mother worked with emergency support services as a volunteer.  One of their favorite stories is that by the time I was three, I knew how to use a two-way radio.  When I was five, I could tie a sling to a wounded arm, better than most of the adult students in their first aid classes.  By eight, I could build a snow shelter and make a shelter in the forest.  There are many cases where a small child saved an adult’s life because they were taught what to do at a very early age. #2 – Practice with your family. Kids need to have things repeated, and repeated, and repeated, and repeated.  Think about how many times they hear the ABCs.  The reason I could do first aid at such a young age was because my parents had to take me with them when they taught classes.  In school, we practice fire drills each month.  The reason is that with practice, it becomes automatic.  Do the same at home when preparing children for a disaster.  Yes, my family had home fire drills, including when friends stayed over.  I even had pop quizzes on emergency information.  Give rewards,...
Tornado Preparedness: The Essentials

Tornado Preparedness: The Essentials

The tornado, also known as twisters and cyclones, is the most violent storm in nature, and tornado preparedness in regions prone to them is essential.  It is a rotating column of air that is in contact with the ground and a cumulonimbus cloud.  The majority of tornadoes have wind speeds of under 110 miles per hour, but some can reach 300 miles per hour.  Very extreme tornadoes can stretch to more than two miles wide, though most are smaller.  Tornadoes may accompany hurricanes and other tropical storms as they move inland.  Most tornadoes move Southwest to Northeast, but they can move in any direction.  Tornadoes can develop quickly so they may strike with little or no warning.  Most twisters occur east of the Rocky Mountains, though every state has some risk.  Every year, on average, twisters kill around 60 people and cause $400 million dollars in damage.  The risk to life, limb, and property can be mitigated against with proper tornado readiness though.  The following guide offers some tips for doing just that. Tornado Preparedness – Know the Signs of an Impending Tornado Tornadoes may gather and strike with little or no advanced warning which highlights the need for advance tornado preparedness.  However, before a tornado hits: An unusual black or green color to the sky may indicate a tornado is coming. The wind may quiet down and the air may become very still.  The calm may be preceded by hail or heavy rainfall. A loud roaring sound may be heard.  Tornadoes have been described as sounding like a jet engine, a locomotive, or a strong waterfall. A debris cloud...
An Introduction to the Family Radio Service (FRS) for Preparedness

An Introduction to the Family Radio Service (FRS) for Preparedness

Imagine for a moment your family is caught in the middle of a major disaster.  The phone lines are dead.  The cellular service is jammed.  The power is out and even with a generator there is no connection to the Internet.  Satellite phones are not available for use.  You need a way to communicate with all the members of the family as you coordinate bugging out or working to recover from the disaster.  How do you communicate in the local area with unlicensed family members?  There are a few options, but one available since 1996, is the Family Radio Service (FRS).  The following is an introductory guide to the service brought to you by Disaster.com. The Family Radio Service is a two-way, voice and digital radio service that is designed for families and other groups to communicate over short distances.  No license is needed to operate on this service.  FRS radios have fourteen (14) channels.  The first seven are shared with the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), while the next seven are exclusive to FRS.  GMRS transmissions may not be conducted on channels eight through fourteen.*  Unlike amateur radio, FRS radios may also be used by business entities and related organizations.  It may be used by any person of any age in the United States, except for official representatives of foreign governments.  Very similar services exist in Canada and Mexico. Benefits of Family Radio Service for Disaster Preparation: Transceivers are available nearly everywhere.  The cost of the units are, generally, the lowest of two-way radios. Some units recharge from recharging stations, while others are powered via standard battery sizes.  Many may...
The Fallout Shelter and Expedient Protection

The Fallout Shelter and Expedient Protection

The Fallout Shelter and Expedient Protection Dirty bombs, nuclear weapons in suitcases, ISIS, al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Shari’a, Boko Haram. Missiles in North Korea and Iran. The fight between Russia and the Ukraine, while nuclear weapons are unaccounted for in both countries. The real risk of nuclear fallout somewhere in the world has grown over the past few years, yet there is little discussion on how to deal with the threat. A little education on the subject of the fallout shelter is probably due. The following is a short guide to protecting oneself and family from nuclear fallout and related particulate, why it is important, and how to build proper shelters. Atomic weapons are, easily, the most fearsome devices ever devised by mankind, and the fallout produced from said is an incredibly dangerous form of radioactive contamination.  A hostile nation-state or a terrorist organization could potentially target civilian population centers with such devices.  Also, some very large nuclear energy disasters can and have produced significant radiological danger (e.g., Chernobyl).  There are measures that can be taken to reduce or eliminate the hazard presented by said. This guide is an overview of preparing your home or place of business before such a disaster occurs.  There are also a guides to expedient protection should you be away from your shelter at the time of the emergency.  ​ Introduction What is fallout? Fallout is the radioactive debris produced during the detonation of an atomic weapon. The amount of fallout produced from said is greatly impacted by how close the detonation is to the surface of the earth. Fallout will begin to show up in a location...
Citizen Band Radio for Emergency Communications

Citizen Band Radio for Emergency Communications

Communicating effectively over a relatively large distance is of paramount importance during an emergency.  Unfortunately, many of the communication technologies we rely upon everyday may be unavailable or unreliable in the wake of a disaster.  Cellular service can be down, Internet access may be intermittent or completely unavailable, and the landlines can be jammed with traffic.  Two-way transceivers, on various frequency plans and radio services, are available to the average citizen for emergency communications.  Some, such as amateur radio, require a test be passed and a license maintained.  Others, like General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), require a license, but no testing is required.  There are some services, such as Citizen Band (CB) and Family Radio Service (FRS), that require no licensing to operate.  This article will focus on the Citizen Band (CB) radio service in the United States.  Many other societies, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, have similar radio services. Citizen Band is a short-distance (expect between 5 and 20 miles for higher power base units – which is still great for “in-town” communication), two-way, voice-only communications service for US citizens.  Unlike amateur radio, business activities may also be conducted on CB frequencies.  Amplitude modulation (AM) and single-sideband modulation (SSB) voice modes are permitted.  The CB service has an authorized 40 channels between 26.965 MHz and 27.405 MHz.  The maximum power output level is 4-watts for AM or 12-watts output  for single-sideband (SSB).  Since 1969, channel 9 (27.065 MHz) is the official channel for emergency and roadside assistance communication.   If you’re interested in buying a CB Radio, please consider using this affiliate link for Amazon.com. A small portion of...
The Essentials of Hurricane Preparedness

The Essentials of Hurricane Preparedness

“Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy.” — Max Mayfield, Director National Hurricane Center Hurricane is a generic term for a type of tropical cyclone.  Such a cyclone is characterized by very strong wind, a low-pressure center, and a counterclockwise circulation in the Northern Hemisphere.  Wind speeds exceeding 155 miles per hour have been recorded in Category 5 hurricanes.  Tropical cyclones in the North Pacific are generally called Typhoons, while similar storms in the North Atlantic are called Hurricanes.  The most intense Atlantic hurricane was Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 with sustained winds of over 180 mph.  The largest recorded hurricane was the 1979 Supertyphoon Tip with a radius of 683 miles. In modern history, hurricanes have caused the death of thousands of people and resulted in billions of dollars of damage.  The States of Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, as well as the island territories of Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands, have all sustained direct hits from hurricanes. If one lives or visits an area prone to hurricanes, it pays to be prepared for this eventually.  While a fearsome force of nature, practical steps taken ahead of time can lessen the risk to one’s life, limb, and property.  Also by being prepared, one strengthens his or her community’s resilience.  The following guide is presented by Disaster.com to help one get organized and ready for a hurricane. Hurricane Preparedness for Your Home and Business “Oh, a storm is threat’ning, My very life today, If I don’t get some...
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