Real Estate Blog
Friday, June 15 2012
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks and change
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) (PDF - 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this web site. (See Publications)
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Friday, September 30 2011
Posted by: Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency & Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
Ask anyone who has lived through a significant disaster what that experience was like and – without a doubt – one of the things some people are likely to recall is how difficult it was to communicate from their mobile phones with friends, family and emergency services like 911 in the immediate aftermath.
Many of us were reminded of this last month, when both a 5.8 magnitude earthquake and Hurricane Irene struck parts of the East Coast. People immediately reached for their phones to call loved ones or 911. Unfortunately, in some cases, loss of power made communication difficult.
The FCC and FEMA are doing everything we can to empower the public to be prepared for all emergencies (you can visit www.Ready.gov
to learn more). But one of the lessons learned from that August earthquake was that we can do more to educate the public about the most effective ways to communicate before, during and after a disaster.
Today, we are pleased to release a set of new, easy-to-follow tips to help all Americans prepare their homes and mobile phones for a disaster. These tips are practical things everyone can do to better preserve the ability to communicate effectively during – and immediately after – a disaster.
While we don’t have control over when or where the next disaster will strike, we do have control over what we do to prepare. Check out these tips and please, take one more step and share it with your networks. Use Twitter, Facebook, email or a good old-fashioned phone call to help us spread the word – and help more Americans get ready before the next disaster strikes.
And remember, if you have a question about your particular mobile phone device, contact your wireless provider or equipment manufacturer.
Before a Disaster: How to Prepare Your Home and Mobile Device
During and After a Disaster: How to Reach Friends, Loved Ones & Emergency Services
- Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers in your cell phone and in or near your home phone.
- Keep charged batteries and car-phone chargers available for back-up power for your cell phone.
- If you have a traditional landline (non-broadband or VOIP) phone, keep at least one non-cordless phone in your home because if it will work even if you lose power.
- Prepare a family contact sheet. This should include at least one out-of-town contact that may be better able to reach family members in an emergency.
- Program “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you if you are unable to use your phone. Let your ICE contacts know that they are programmed into your phone and inform them of any medical issues or other special needs you may have.
- If you are evacuated and have call-forwarding on your home phone, forward your home phone number to your cell phone number.
- If you do not have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card to use if needed during or after a disaster.
- Have a battery-powered radio or television available (with spare batteries).
- Subscribe to text alert services from local or state governments to receive alerts in the event of a disaster. Parents should sign up for their school district emergency alert system.
- If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. Remember that you cannot currently text 9-1-1. If you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1. If your area offers 3-1-1 service or another information system, call that number for non-emergencies.
- For non-emergency communications, use text messaging, e-mail, or social media instead of making voice calls on your cell phone to avoid tying up voice networks. Data-based services like texts and emails are less likely to experience network congestion. You can also use social media to post your status to let family and friends know you are okay. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you can use resources such as the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well program (www.redcross.org/safeandwell).
- Keep all phone calls brief. If you need to use a phone, try to convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family.
- If you are unsuccessful in completing a call using your cell phone, wait ten seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion.
- Conserve your cell phone battery by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using that draw power, unless you need to use the phone.
- If you lose power, you can charge your cell phone in your car. Just be sure your car is in a well-ventilated place (remove it from the garage) and do not go to your car until any danger has passed. You can also listen to your car radio for important news alerts.
- Tune into broadcast television and radio for important news alerts. If applicable, be sure that you know how to activate the closed captioning or video description on your television.
- If you do not have a hands-free device in your car, stop driving or pull over to the side of the road before making a call. Do not text on a cell phone, talk, or “tweet” without a hands free device while driving.
- Immediately following a disaster, resist using your mobile device to watch streaming videos, download music or videos, or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion. Limiting use of these services can help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 9-1-1.
Check http://paper.li/WilberforceDMR/disaster-emergency-management regularly to find other helpful tips for preparing for disasters and other emergencies.
Friday, September 02 2011
Tropical storm season officially started this month, so it’s a great time to double-check the disaster plan for your family — including your pets. If you leave them behind when you evacuate, they’ll most likely end up lost, injured, or killed, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
“Many public shelters that are set up for disaster victims don’t accept pets, so you need to find out in advance which shelters or hotels along your evacuation route will accept pets,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for III. “It is tragic, but people have actually died because they were ordered to evacuate and did not want to leave their pets behind.”
Try these four tips to protect you, your loved ones, and your pets in the event of a disaster:
1. Have a disaster plan that includes these elements:
- Make a plan for where you will go and how you will get there.
- Map out your primary route and a backup route in case roads are blocked or impassable. Make sure you have a map of the area available.
- Put together a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians along the evacuation route and outside your area that might be able to shelter your pets in an emergency. Include emergency phone numbers.
- Talk to your vet, the humane society, or the local emergency management agency for information regarding community evacuation plans that include pets.
- Make advance arrangements to have a friend or neighbor pick up your pets in the event you are not at home when a disaster strikes. Plan where you will meet or how you will reach each other.
2. Make a grab-and-go disaster kit for your pets with these items:
- Medication and medical records (including proof of rabies vaccination) in a waterproof container
- Leashes, harnesses, crates, and carriers for transporting pets
- A muzzle, if your pet requires one
- Food and water for at least three days; a manual can opener
- Cat litter and litter box
- Recent photo of you and your pet in case you become separated
- Name and phone number of your veterinarian
- If you have pet insurance, the insurance company contact information and policy number
3. If you must evacuate with your pets, be prepared to leave early. If you wait for an official evacuation order, you might be told to leave your pets behind. As you evacuate, follow these guidelines:
- Make sure your pet is wearing up-to-date identification. Include the phone number of a friend or relative outside your area in case your pet gets lost and you cannot be reached. Mark the crate or carrier with similar information.
- Transport birds in a secure travel cage or carrier. During warm weather, carry a plant mister to mist the bird’s feathers periodically. Do not put water inside the carrier during transport; instead provide a few slices of fresh fruit or vegetables with high water content.
4. After the disaster, do not allow your pets to roam after you arrive back home because familiar landmarks and smells might be gone, and your pet may become disoriented. Pets can easily get lost in such situations, so give them some time to get used to their “new” surroundings.
Be patient. Try to get your pets back into their normal routines as soon as possible, and be on the lookout for stress-related behavioral problems; if these persist, talk to your veterinarian.
Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/news/articles/put-pets-your-home-disaster-plan/#ixzz1VIM1xf6p
Tuesday, August 30 2011
Having an evacuation and communication plan, and making sure everyone knows where to go in case of an emergency, can be the key to protecting your home and family.
Let’s face it — contemplating catastrophe can be stressful. Some people even feel like they’re courting a disaster by planning for one. That’s a natural response, but it’s not in your best interest as a homeowner.
“Denial is a pretty strong emotional mechanism for trying to put yourself at ease,” says Rick Bissell, Ph.D., a professor of emergency health services at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. But, he cautions, “if you deny that a crisis will ever occur, you won’t invest the time or energy in preparing to respond and protect yourself, and you’ll likely be out of luck.” Part of that preparation should include an evacuation and communication plan.
Think about escape routes in advance
It’s hard to think clearly when the floodwaters are rising. That’s why you need to plan how to safely exit your house now, not when you’re panicking during an actual emergency. The particulars of your plan will vary depending on what kind of house you have and whether you live in Tornado Alley or quake-prone Los Angeles, but here are some general guidelines:
- Have two ways to escape every room. Buy escape ladders for upstairs windows, then practice using them.
- Check with local and state officials for regional evacuation routes. Learn the safest way out of town, and keep maps handy.
- Designate a meeting place if family members are scattered. If the rendezvous point is your house, also pick a second location, such as an office or relative’s house, in case home is off-limits.
- Figure out how you’ll transport Fido; a house that’s unsafe for you is also hazardous for your pet. Some communities designate a Pet Protector, a person responsible for retrieving and/or caring for animals if owners can’t. The Humane Society is a good source of information on disaster planning for your pet.
- Obtain a copy of your office or school’s emergency plan. If one doesn’t exist, you could volunteer to create it, helping safeguard your family and your community.
Designate a “communication commander”
An emergency can knock out telephone and cell service, so it’s important to have a “communication commander” who can receive and relay messages between family members. Choose someone out of your area whose phone service is less likely to be disrupted, and give that person cell phone, office numbers, and email addresses for everyone in the family. Each family member should carry the communication commander’s contact info, too. Program it into your cell phone address book and label it “ICE”—in case of emergency. If you’re disabled, an emergency responder will search your phone for ICE contacts.
Use technology to stay in touch
Even when some communications methods don’t work, others might. For instance, text messages can often be sent when other cell service is down; the government and private companies are currently working on a nationwide text-based Emergency Notification System. Here are some other technology workarounds that could help in an emergency or power outage:
- Hook your Internet router to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to keep online service running long enough to send out emergency notifications. You can buy one for under $100 that will keep the computer running for about 15 minutes after the power goes out.
- Keep a corded phone at home. In a power outage, cordless handsets are useless. You can also buy a hand-crank or solar cell-phone charger, such as the Sidewinder crank from Gaiam or the Brunton Solaris portable solar panel.
- If you get separated from your family but have Internet access, you can let others know where you are with the Red Cross’s Safe and Well program. On the homepage of redcross.org, click the “List Yourself Here” button. “One of the staples at shelters now is providing computers so people can get online and let people know they’re okay,” says David Riedman, a public affairs officer with FEMA.
Having a disaster plan does more than just keep your own family safe. It also serves your community. “When an individual is prepared to handle an emergency themselves, that alleviates a lot of the pressure on emergency response teams,” says FEMA’s Riedman, freeing up emergency workers to deliver help to those who need it most.
Wendy Paris is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared in This Old House magazine and other publications. She keeps chocolate chips on hand in case of emergency.
Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/home-evacuation-plan/#ixzz1VlrqzQEc