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Be Prepared For A Disaster.

I can understand if your tired of hearing the questions

"Are you prepared for a disaster?"
"Are You Ready?"

It seems as if in my life a disaster is when I want to go out and I can't find the color of lipstick that will make me look absolutely kissable. Or, when my hair won't hold a curl no matter what kind of paste, glue or cement extra hold I use. However, natural disasters are a fact of life and one can happen at any moment in any month throughout the year. It's completely unavoidable and yet we avoid preparing for it. Why? Well when I consider myself, I just think
"I'll do it later"

But what happens when "later" is too late? My favorite Seattle story is when my friends use to tease me about stockpiling food. I always had enough food to feed a small army... which is sort of funny considering I lived not too far from Fort Lewis Army base right outside Tacoma, WA. So I really did have enough to food to feed a unit in an army. Every December, Jack Frost blows upon the Seattle area for a month and freezes the air, roads and trees. One especially chilly December, snow fell in king size blankets and kids delighted in using their snow toboggans right outside they're homes. On the other hand, adults were trying to make they're way to grocery markets and literally running into snow banks and making several desperate calls tow trucks to pull them out of ditches.

Several offices and residences were snowed in; people couldn't get home, grocery markets were quickly running out of fresh meat, vegetables and meals in a can items. At one point a friend of mine called me and without even a hello said...

"You have food at your place don't you?"

You could hear my smile when I responded by saying "I sure do."

neener neener

Take the next step towards a rewarding career.»»

After that December, I was rarely teased again in regards to having too much food.

Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. Every city of any size is exposed to a wide variety of hazards, both natural and man-made.

Note: Most cities can experience these occurrences, this is just an example.

  • Earthquakes: California
  • Fires: Mountain home communities
  • Severe Storms: Mid-West
  • Power outages: Washington State
  • Floods: Louisiana
  • Hazardous Materials: Alaska
  • Heat Waves: Illinois
  • Hurricanes: Florida
  • Thunderstorms & Lightning: Texas
And there will always be the possibility of terrorism.

A disaster can force you to evacuate your home and neighborhood or confine you to your home. Imagine that you have no electricity, no gas, no water and no telephone service and gawd forbid, no television or internet service? I shudder at the thought.

Seriously though, what would you do if basic services were cut off?

"I have my cell phone."

I live in Los Angels and I still get bad reception for who knows why? Local officials and relief workers will be available, but there are only so many and they cannot reach everyone right away. Sometimes, they can't reach the people who need them the most.For that reason, be prepared before a disaster happens. Make sure you are ready to handle pets and service animals during an emergency. You shouldn't live your life in fear of "what if?" But you should be prepared so that what if doesn't turn into "why didn't I?" A Disaster Preparedness Plan may not prevent a disaster, but it will certainly help you during a disaster and in recovering from one should one strike you.

Be prepared with a medical career.»»

A disaster preparedness plan doesn't have to be tedious and time-consuming. You may even need only a day or two at most to prepare a plan and set it up. Consider how much time you will spend on recovering from a disaster if you're unprepared? I could write a dozen articles on how to prepare, but I don't want a disaster preparedness plan to be overwhelming. I want it to be simple and straight forward and as easy as possible. The following information are the highlights and basics and what I consider for myself to be the most important. Each subject will have a link to a different site that contain much more details on how to prepare and what to do during and after a disaster.
Don't be caught off guard in your career.»»

All disaster kits must have first aid supplies. Assemble a first aid kit for your home, office and for each vehicle.

Your first aid kit should include:

  • First aid manual
  • 2inch and 3inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls each)
  • 2inch and 4inch sterile gauze pads (46 each size)
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic
  • Assorted sizes of safety pins
  • Cleansing agents (isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide)/soap/germicide
  • Cotton balls
  • Latex gloves (2 to 3 pairs)
  • Moistened towelettes
  • Needle
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Scissors
  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • Sunscreen
  • Thermometer
  • Tongue depressor blades (2)
  • Triangular bandages (3)
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Tweezers

  • Emergency Medical Technology Training»»



    A truely frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake. I grew up with them so Earthquakes are not as scary. Than again, I haven't been through an earthquake that has been scaled past a 4. An earthquake is a sudden movement of the earth that does not provide warnings to the occurrence, they just happen. Sometimes, the movement is slow and subtle. Other times, the plates are locked together, unable to release the collected energy. When the build up grows strong enough, the plates break free causing a major Earthquake.

    Prepare for an Earthquake»»

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    Install smoke alarms. Every single room, house and rental (by law) must have a smoke alarm. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half. For the kitchen, FEMA suggests not to place one in the kitchen. Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.

    Escaping the Fire»»


    Flood Facts

    • As little as one foot of moving water can carry most cars off the road.
    • Just six inches of fast-moving flood water can sweep a person off his or her feet.
    • Most flood-related deaths occur at night and are vehicular.
    • Urban and small stream flash floods often occur in less than one hour
    • Tropical cyclones pose significant risk well inland due to fresh water flooding.
    • A flood Watch means a flood is possible in your area.
    • A flood Warning means flooding is already occurring or will occur very soon in your area.

    Preparation For A Flood»»

    Hazardous Materials

    If you are told to stay where you are

    • Go inside.
    • If outdoors, go inside until told to do otherwise.
    • Listen to radio and TV for further information.
    • Close all doors and windows.
    • Turn off all heating, cooling, and ventilation systems.

    What Are the Actions You Might Need to Take?»»

    Heat Wave

    Check air quality where you live - hot weather can worsen ozone levels and other types air quality.

    If the power goes out.

    • Be aware of yours and others' risk for heat stroke or other heat-related health illness. Drink plenty of fluids, wear light clothing.
    • Move to a lower floor or basement if possible.
    • If the power is out for over 2 hours, be aware of the safety of food in your refrigerator and freezer. Never test food by tasting it!
    • Driving - Don't top off. When you fill up remember not to top off your gas tank. Topping off can spill gasoline which quickly evaporates. Gasoline vapors can harm your family's health and make ozone pollution and smog worse. In hot weather, buy gas in the early morning or at night.

    Stay healthy during a heat wave. »»


    If you're new to an area that has hurricanes, it's easy to fall victim to the "How bad can a storm be?" syndrome. If you are asked to evacuate, you should do so without delay or complaining. Your being asked to evacuate to save your life.

    Be prepared for a hurricane.»»

    Power Outages

    Residents should have the following items on hand to prepare for a possible power outage:

    • Flashlights and batteries and extra batteries
    • Battery-powered radios and clocks
    • Containers of water or bottled water
    • Canned, dehydrated or freeze-dried food
    • Manual can opener
    • Preparing alternative sources of heat (home generator, stocking wood for a fireplace, battery or gas powered heater.)
    • Learning how to manually open an electric garage door;
    • List of important phone numbers to contact in emergencies

    Personal Opinion / Suggestion: To keep your mental sanity, keep some board games around to entertain you and your family or friends.

    Severe Storms, Thunderstorms & Lightning

    During a severe storm

    If you are indoors, stay away from windows, doors and fireplaces. During thunderstorms, you should also stay away from items that conduct electricity, such as telephones, appliances, sinks, bathtubs, radiators and metal pipes. Do not go out to rescue the laundry on the clothesline because it may conduct electricity.

    In a car

    Always keep a cell phone in the car and always have a car powered charger to ensure your cell phone will be fully charged.

    If you must travel during a winter storm, do so during the day and always let someone know your route, departure and expected arrival time. Do not change your travel route unless absolutely unavoidable. If possible, call someone to let them know you have changed your route.

    When freezing rain is forecast, avoid driving. Even a small amount of freezing rain can make roads extremely slippery. Wait several hours after freezing rain ends so that road maintenance crews have enough time to spread sand or salt on icy roads.

    If your car gets stuck in a blizzard or snowstorm, remain calm and stay in your car. Allow fresh air in your car by opening the window slightly on the sheltered side, away from the wind. You can run the car engine about 10 minutes every half-hour if the exhaust system is working well. Beware of exhaust fumes and check the exhaust pipe periodically to make sure it is not blocked with snow. Remember: you can't smell potentially fatal carbon monoxide fumes.

    Sever Weather Awareness »»


    Create an Emergency Communications Plan

    Choose an out-of-town contact your family or household will call or email to check on each other should a disaster occur. Your contact should live far enough away that they would be unlikely to be directly affected by the same event, and they should know they are the chosen contact and be prepared to accept any and all collect calls.

    Make sure everyone has that contact's (and each other's) email addresses and home, work, pager and cell phone numbers.

    Have a second contact as a back up and follow the same procedures as above.

    If you have children. leave these contact numbers at your children's schools, daycare and with the babysitter as well as a neighbor.

    National Security Emergencies»»

    Pets and Disaster: Be Prepared»»

    Homeless Shelters for Animals»»

    Information for people with a disability and medical concerns.»»

    Prepare Financially»»

    Look over different disaster supply kits.»»

    Disaster Center »»

    Disaster Insurance

    Do you really need disaster insurance?»»

    Find a school in 2 easy steps»»


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