Raise more funds for you while helping fans and communities get prepared for emergencies and disasters

May 9, 2022

We are excited to announce we are giving MORE MONEY BACK to affiliates!

Volunteer groups, nonprofits, social media influencers and others can now earn 40% on every 282-page digital preparedness and first aid ebook that your fans and visitors order from your sites, newsletters and social media ids using a special web link. (We can also do this with a custom ebook for you – see below!)

For over 20 years Fedhealth has been helping families and communities learn what to do before, during and after most types of emergencies and disasters with our customizable preparedness and first aid book and ebook.

We discount the PDF ebook down to $5.00 U.S. (70% off list) and now give 40% or $2.00 back to affiliates or a charity of your choosing.

There is no charge to join and SendOwl will assign a unique link for our It’s A Disaster! PDF ebook that you can program on a text phrase or banner on your sites, blog, social media, newsletters and apps.

Join Fedhealth’s ebook program on SendOwl or learn more at fedhealth.net.

Want a custom ebook for your fans and others?

If you have a large fan, member or customer base and would like to offer a custom ebook with your own custom cover + e-pages in front to promote your products, services, videos and links plus earn $$$ for you or charity, please visit fedhealth.net or call 520.907.2153.

We also pay $$$ on referred bulk ebook and bulk paperback orders too.

Please share these ideas with volunteers, youth groups, bloggers and others looking for ways to help raise funds and help educate fans and communities.

As FYI, proceeds of everything we do always benefits the U.S. First Responders Association.


Nuclear power plant emergency (dealing with possible radiation exposure)

February 25, 2022

As of 2022, the World Nuclear Association says there are 430+ operable commercial nuclear reactors with over 90 of them in the United States, and 19 power stations in Canada so millions of Americans and Canadians live within 10 miles (16 km) of an operating power plant.

Also WNA reports there are 220 research reactors (50 in the U.S.) mainly on university campuses.

Even though governments and associations monitor and regulate construction and operation of plants, accidents are possible and do happen. An accident could result in dangerous levels of radiation that could affect the health and safety of the public living near a nuclear power plant, as well as people many miles away depending on winds and weather – so tens of millions of North Americans could potentially be affected.

Some other incidents involving possible radiation exposure may be a nuclear missile or suitcase nuke or a dirty bomb.

How is radiation detected?
You cannot see, feel, taste or smell radiation, but special instruments can detect even the smallest levels of it. If radiation is released, authorities will monitor levels of radioactivity to determine the potential danger so they can alert and protect the public. (Consider getting dosimeters [pen units, RADTriage, etc], KFM kits or NukAlerts for your personal kits to detect radiation levels.)

What is best way to reduce radiation exposure?

Limit the amount of radiation you are exposed to by doing 3 things …

Distance – The more distance between you and the source of radiation, the less you’ll receive. During a serious accident you may be told to evacuate.

Shielding – Heavy, dense materials between you and radiation is best – this is why you want to stay indoors since the walls in your home should be good enough to protect you in some cases… but listen to radio and TV to learn if you need to evacuate.

Time – Most radioactivity loses its strength rather quickly. Limiting your time near the source of radiation reduces the amount you receive.

What is the most dangerous part of a nuclear accident?

Radioactive iodine – nuclear reactors contain many different radioactive products, but a dangerous one is radioactive iodine, which once absorbed, can damage cells of the thyroid gland. The greatest population that suffers in a nuclear accident is children (including unborn babies) since their thyroid is so active, but all people are at risk of absorbing radioactive iodine.

How can I be protected from radioactive iodine?

Potassium iodide (KI) – can be purchased over-the-counter now and is known to be an effective thyroid-blocking agent. In other words, it fills up the thyroid with good iodine that keeps radioactive iodine from being absorbed into our bodies.

What if I am allergic to iodine?

According to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, the FDA suggests that risks of allergic reaction to potassium iodide are minimal compared to subjecting yourself to cancer from radioactive iodine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist what you should keep on hand in the event of an allergic reaction.

Many countries stockpile potassium iodide (KI), especially since the Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi incidents. Several U.S. states also stockpile KI in case of an accident or incident, but people would have to wait for it to be disseminated so consider acquiring some for your various kits.

The FDA has approved 4 KI products – Iosat, ThyroSafe, ThyroShield and Potassium Iodide Oral Solution USP per www.cdc.gov. In an emergency, other options may be taking KIO3, applying iodine solution to your skin, or taking kelp pills.


Community Planning for Emergencies

Local, state and provincial governments, Federal agencies and utilities have developed emergency response plans in the event of a nuclear power plant accident. United States’ plans define 2 “emergency planning zones” (EPZs)

Plume Exposure EPZ – a 10-mile radius from nuclear plant where people may be harmed by radiation exposure  NOTE: People within a 10-mile radius are given emergency information about radiation, evacuation routes, special arrangements for handicapped, etc. via brochures, phone books, and utility bills.

Ingestion Exposure EPZ – about a 50-mile radius from plant where accidentally released radioactive materials could contaminate water supplies, food crops and livestock


BEFORE A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT EMERGENCY:

Learn the buzzwords – Know terms used to describe a nuclear emergency at a plant: U.S. / (Canada)

  • Notification of Unusual Event / (Reportable Event) – a small problem has occurred. No radiation leak is expected. Federal, state/provincial and county/municipal officials will be told right away. No action on your part will be necessary.
  • Alert / (Abnormal Incident) – a small problem has occurred, and small amounts of radiation could leak inside plant. This will not affect you and you shouldn’t have to do anything.
  • Site Area Emergency / (Onsite Emergency) – a more serious problem… small amounts of radiation could leak from the plant. If necessary, officials will act to ensure public safety. Area sirens may be sounded and listen to your radio or TV for information.
  • General Emergency / (General Emergency) – the MOST serious problem… radiation could leak outside the plant and off the plant site. In most cases sirens will sound so listen to local radio or TV for reports and updates. State/Provincial and county/municipal officials will act to assure public safety and be prepared to follow their instructions!


Learn signals – Ask about your community’s warning system and pay attention to “test” dates to learn if you can HEAR it. Nuclear power plants are required to install sirens and other warning devices to cover a 10-mile area around the plant in the U.S. (If you live outside the 10-mile area you will probably learn of the event through local TV and radio, but just be aware winds and weather can impact areas as far as 200 miles [320 km] away!!)

Learn risks – Ask the company operating the plant for brochures and data.

Make a plan – Develop a Family Emergency Plan and Disaster Supplies Kit. Double check on emergency plans for schools, day cares or places family may be and where they’ll go if evacuated.


DURING A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT EMERGENCY:

Stay calm – Not all accidents release radiation – may be contained in plant.

Listen – Turn on radio or TV. Authorities will give specific instructions and information for each specific incident.

Stay or go..? – Evacuate if told to do so by local authorities … and …

  • Grab your Disaster Supplies Kit.
  • Close doors, windows and fireplace damper.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with face mask or cloth.
  • Close car windows and vents and use “re-circulating” air.
  • Keep listening to radio for evacuation routes & updates.


As long as you are NOT told to evacuate, do the following…

IF INDOORS – Stay inside and prepare to “shelter-in-place”…

  • Close doors and windows and your fireplace damper.
  • Turn off air conditioner, ventilation fans, furnace and other intakes (they pull in air from outside).
  • Go to a basement or underground area (if possible).
  • Keep a battery-operated radio with you to hear updates.
  • Stay inside until authorities tell you it is safe to go out!


IF OUTDOORS – Get indoors as soon as possible!

  • Cover mouth and nose with a cloth or napkins and find shelter.
  • Once inside, remove clothing, shower & wash hair and put on fresh clothing and different shoes. Put clothes and shoes you were wearing in plastic bags, seal and store. Local authorities can tell you what to do with bags.


IF IN A VEHICLE – Keep windows up, close vents, use “recirculating” air and keep listening to radio for updates. If possible, drive away from site.

Pets & livestock – Get them in shelters with clean food and water that has not been exposed to air-borne radiation, especially milk-producing animals.

Food – Put food in covered containers or in refrigerator — any food that was not in a covered container should be washed first.

Take potassium iodide..? – IF radioactive iodine has been released into the air from a power plant accident, some states may decide to provide KI pills mentioned at beginning of this topic to people in a 10-mile radius.


NOTE: Take KI pills ONLY as directed by local public health authorities and follow instructions on the package exactly!


AFTER A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT EMERGENCY:

Listen – Keep radio and TV tuned in — stay in until authorities say all clear.

Clean up – If you were possibly exposed to radiation…

  • store clothes & shoes – put clothing and shoes in tightly sealed containers or plastic bags and ask health officials what to do with them
  • shower – wash your body and hair to remove radioactive particles
  • land and property – ask authorities how to clean up area

Weird symptoms – Seek medical attention if you have symptoms like upset stomach or feel queasy after a reported incident since it could be related to radiation exposure.

Gardens & crops – Authorities will provide information concerning safety of farm and homegrown products — or check with agricultural extension agent. Unharvested crops are hard to protect but crops that are already harvested should be stored inside, if possible.

Milk – Local officials should inspect cows’ and goats’ milk before using.

Some other incidents involving possible radiation exposure may be a nuclear missile or suitcase nuke or a dirty bomb.


Above extracted from It’s A Disaster! — learn how to order our 266-page preparedness and first aid book or ebook

Proceeds benefit the U.S. First Responders Association


New look, new paperback price and new affiliate program for ebook

January 27, 2022

It’s a new year and we’ve got some good news and a little bad news.

First some good news … we recently redesigned our Fedhealth.net site and have a new shopping cart and affiliate program provider for our PDF ebook with some cool new features.

The bad news is due to increased paper and freight costs, our 266-page IT’S A DISASTER! paperback cost for standard red books (by the case) and custom book orders (1k & up) bundled into large bulk prints is now $6.00 U.S. each (60% off list) plus freight.

We will continue to provide free customization, and the freight cost will be whatever our printer and warehouse charges us so we’ll provide estimates before any bulk orders ship.

Some more good news is … a NEW option for anyone wanting custom printed books in small quantities and on rush orders is short-run pricing that will totally depend on the quantity needed. The per book price will be less than our $14.99 list, but more than $6 each price mentioned above due to the smaller print.

Our 282-page PDF ebook is still only $5 each and you can now “gift” ebook purchases to your family and friends. And custom ebooks in bulk are still discounted as low as $2 each.

Fedhealth’s Affiliate Program associated with our preparedness and first aid ebook is now through a provider with more features so consider joining for free to earn 30% (or $1.50) on each $5 ebook ordered using a special link on your site, blog or social media.

Also, if you have a large fan, member or customer base, we can design a custom ebook for free so you can raise funds with it for yourself and/or a charity – learn more.

Check out our new look at fedhealth.net and download a free ebook, learn about our customizable tools, funding ideas and more. Stay safe ~ j & B


New paperback pricing + short run options in 2022 (ebooks still 70% or more off)

December 9, 2021

Unfortunately with the price of everything going up it is impacting book publishers with increased paper and freight costs, meaning it is going to affect our clients, as well.

For many years our $5 bulk book price (70% off list) included freight in the U.S., but shipping costs have been brutal on us the past 2 years, so we had to make a tough decision that hopefully we can reverse someday if the economy turns around.

As of January 2022, our 266-page IT’S A DISASTER! paperback (both standard red books [by the case] and custom book orders [1k & up] bundled into large bulk prints) will be $6.00 U.S. each (60% off list) plus freight.

We will continue to provide FREE customization and we always pass through whatever freight discounts are given to us (i.e. we charge whatever our printer charges us.)

Also a NEW option for anyone wanting custom printed books in small quantities and on rush orders is short-run pricing that will totally depend on the quantity needed. It will be less than our $14.99 list price, but again, depends on how many custom books you want. We will have some stepped pricing online soon, and we can always provide estimates in the meantime.

Prices will remain the same on our 284-page interactive PDF ebook that starts at only $5 each (~70% off list) and goes as low as $2 each (or less) in large bulk with unlimited customization.

Please call 520.907.2153 or email sales@fedhealth.net anytime for quotes esp. if you want to lock in the 2021 $5 / book bulk price with free freight for now, and learn more at fedhealth.net

Fedhealth is a sole source, small business registered on many local, state and federal procurement systems in case that helps when using grants.


Give the gift of preparedness (holiday gift ideas from some of our partners and affiliates)

November 24, 2021

Do you sometimes struggle to find a holiday gift for some people … or maybe you’d like to show family and friends how much you care about their safety? Consider giving the gift of preparedness!

The past two years have reinforced the need for people to always have some basic supplies on hand in case of an emergency or empty shelves. And there various things available that could help your loved ones when there is no power or water for a short or extended period of time.  

Preparedness is a mindset so the more you can introduce these types of tools and thought processes into conversations with family and friends, hopefully the more they will think about the “what if” scenarios that may happen where they live.

Below are some prep tools we use / like and we’d love to hear your suggestions or feedback on preferred items via email or on our Facebook page.

Please note, some links are with affiliates meaning Fedhealth may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you, but proceeds benefit the U.S. First Responders Association.

The U. S. First Responders Association’s custom Family Preparedness and First Aid ebook can help you get prepared for, respond to, and recover from most types of emergencies and disasters including floods, infectious diseases, wildfires, winter storms, active shooter scenarios and more. The 286-pg PDF ebook is only $5.00 (~ 70% off) and proceeds benefit USFRA and their programs supporting Fire/EMS, Law Enforcement, 911/Dispatch, K9s and veterans. Learn more on USFRA.org

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A low cost and fun option is to fill little baskets, stockings, gift boxes, tubs or small backpacks with some practical items from a dollar store with items like flashlights, batteries, pocket sized ponchos or emergency blankets, hand warmers, light sticks, mini first aid kits, keychain with light or tool, mittens or gloves, socks, snacks, candy, stuffed toy, games or playing cards, first aid items and more. It’s a great way to get the conversation about preparedness started and hopefully encourages people to make full kits.

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4Patriots carries a very cool Patriot Power Cell that can keep your devices ON when your lights go out. This pocket-sized “power plant” can be used every day or while camping or even during a blackout. It has a built-in solar panel, 2 USB ports so you can charge two devices at once and the ruggedized design repels water and protects against drops. Built-in flashlight to help you see your way at night and more for under $30 – or get 4 for $99 and free freight! Learn more about Patriot Power cell here … and find other power and solar products here plus RV and camping stuff, water purification, Survival Food, tools, seeds and more on 4patriots.com

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If you or a loved one has sleep apnea, you understand the importance of using a CPAP. But CPAP machines require electricity which can be a problem if you lose power during a storm or you like to camp outdoors. One option is a portable battery to power your machine, and they can run about $300 to $700+. Another CPAP backup solution is a portable battery power station that is quiet and safe enough to use indoors for under $200. MAXOAK has several clean power solutions including power stations, solar panels and more at maxoak.net

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Poo-Pourri – We love the crap outta this stuff! RVers (and others) swear by this deodorizing toilet spray and once we tried it, we were totally hooked – esp. in our 300+ sf motorhome. Poo-Pourri has really expanded their products and scent options since we first started using it many years ago, and we have only used the Original Citrus since it works fine for us and is the most popular.

All Poo~Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray products are comprised of essential oils and other natural compounds that are scientifically formulated to trap bathroom odors before they ever begin. Spritz the Bowl Before You Go and No One Else Will Ever Know! Check out their line of festive holiday scents like Apple Cider, Pumpkin Spice, Seasons Seatings, Berry Bum Bum, Oh Spritzmas Tree and all their other toilet sprays, new home sprays, gift sets and more at Poopourri.com

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VetCare’s QuickDERM, a product that has been on the market and widely available to veterinarians for over 11 years, provides a moisture-retaining protective barrier that impacts inflammation and promotes rapid healing for ALL animals that have slight to severe wounds and skin conditions. The technology behind QuickDerm was first introduced for human health applications for hard-to-heal wounds, including burns, skin irritations, abrasions and cuts. (We personally used it after I got bit twice on my face by a black widow while sleeping 2 years ago.) Learn more about QuickDERM for your pets and livestock at https://vetcare.us/

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The Survival Mom’s 2022 Prepping Calendar is now available and chock-full of over 180 prepping tips and To Do tasks so you’ll know what to stock up on and how to save money on preps. TSM’s Book of the Month includes some titles that teach a survival mindset in entertaining, fictional formats. Lisa’s 2022 Prepping Calendar is available in print and/or digital format on thesurvivalmom.com. Also visit The Survival Mom’s Thrive Life store to find tasty, healthy, convenient freeze dried food that doesn’t go bad long term at www.thrivelife.com/survivalmom

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Some other great companies that provide a wide variety of preparedness kits, water purification, food, tools, gear and more include…

American Family Safety offers Preparedness and Survival Kits, Safety and Sanitation kits and more at AmericanFamilySafety.com

Gluten Free Mall offers hundreds of brands and items to choose from including baking mixes, frozen meals, snacks, cereals – they even carry select vitamins, personal care items, and household cleaners. Best of all, it’s all guaranteed gluten free! Visit Glutenfreemall.com

Legacy Food Storage provides families and individuals with high quality, freeze-dried foods that have up a 25 year- long shelf life, along with various types of survival gear at Legacyfoodstorage.com

Practical Preppers carries many preparedness and off-grid items including Big Berkey and other water purification options , long term storage foods, sanitation, medical, cooking and other products at PracticalPreppers.com 

Survival Frog has the handy Lifestraw and other water purification tools , Backup power and radios, food, gear and much more at SurvivalFrog.com

Consider giving the gift of preparedness this holiday season and year round with our preparedness and basic first aid book or ebook – learn more at www.fedhealth.net


Subconjunctival hemorrhage (it looks worse than it is … plus first aid tips for other eye injuries)

November 14, 2021

Last Tuesday when I woke up I lightly rubbed my eye a bit since it felt like there was something in it, then when I looked in mirror I saw this red blob in the corner of my eye.

Needless to say we were a tiny bit freaked but, after Bill and I did a quick search, we learned it’s called a subconjunctival hemorrhage (sub-kun-JUNK-tih-vul HEM-uh-ruj).

According to the Mayo Clinic, a subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs when a tiny blood vessel breaks just underneath the clear surface of your eye (conjunctiva). It’s like having a bruise on your skin, but the conjunctiva can’t absorb blood very quickly, so the blood gets trapped.

Mayo goes on to say… despite its appearance, the eye bleed looks worse than it is and should cause no change in your vision, discharge or pain. The only discomfort may be a scratchy feeling on the surface of the eye.

I didn’t have any pain or swelling and the blood was only in the white part of my eye that first morning. Since then blood has spread across most of my eye. We also noticed a tiny bump by my outer eye a few days later so it’s possible it was a bug bite, but no issues or pain.

But I sure look weird – esp. with makeup on one eye and the other looks … just gross. Too bad it didn’t happen a few weeks ago since it would’ve been cool for Halloween.

Cedars-sinai.org says most people will not need any treatment and the subconjunctival hemorrhage will go away in a few weeks. It will turn from red to brown then to yellow.  

(Adding below photo on Day 14 since initial bleed – mine went from red to yellow.)

Now … since we’re on the topic of eyes, we also wanted to share some first aid tips about Eye Injuries in general from our preparedness and first aid manual.

Things to watch for…

Severe or constant pain or burning

Object stuck in the eye (like a piece of metal or glass)

Redness and swelling

Blurry vision, trouble keeping eye open, light sensitive

Vapors or fumes in the air

What to do…

• Avoid rubbing eye since this can cause more damage.

• Have victim sit down with their head tilted backwards.

• Wash hands before touching eye area.

• If injury is from a chemical, make a note of the name for Poison Control if possible.

If the injury is a loose foreign object:

• Gently separate eyelids to see if you can locate a foreign object – can try removing it by wiping gently with damp tissue.

• Ask victim if he/she wears contact lenses, and if so, ask him or her to remove them.

• Have victim lean over sink or lie on back, hold eye open, and gently flush eye with lukewarm water or a saline solution.

• Get medical help if you are not successful.

If there is an object sticking out of the eye:

• Put thick soft pads around the object that is sticking out.

• DO NOT try to remove or press on the object!

• Carefully wrap with a roller bandage to hold thick pads around the object.

• Get medical attention immediately!

If injury is from a blow to the eye:

• Apply an icepack to reduce pain and swelling.

• Seek medical attention if damage to eye or blurred vision.

If the injury is from a chemical:

• Call your local Poison Control Center (or 1-800-222-1222 in the U.S.) and have name of chemical handy, if possible.

• If victim is wearing contact lenses, ask Poison Control if they should be removed and whether to keep or dispose of them! If okay and able to take out, ask victim to remove lenses.

• Have victim lean over sink, lie down, or get in shower – hold eye(s) open, and gently flush with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes. (If only one eye has chemical in it, make sure head is turned so it doesn’t pour into the other eye.)

• Tell victim to roll eyeball(s) around while flushing to wash entire eye.

• DO NOT press or rub the eyes!

• May want to cover eyes with clean dressing & bandages but ask Poison Control or check label on bottle. For example, if chemical is mustard gas (sulfur mustard) you should not cover eyes … but wear shades to protect them.

• Get medical attention immediately!

Things you should NOT do…

• DO NOT try to remove an object that is stuck into the eye!

• DO NOT try to remove their contacts (if any)… let the victim do it!

• DO NOT try to move the eyeball if it comes out of the socket!

Things you SHOULD do…

• Protect your eyes with safety glasses or goggles when playing sports or working with tools or chemicals … and wear shades during the day (to help reduce UV exposure).

• When an eye injury occurs, have an ophthalmologist (an eye physician and surgeon) examine it as soon as possible. You may not be realize how serious an injury is at first.

Find more first aid and preparedness tips in USFRA’s Family Preparedness and First Aid ebook (288-page PDF only $5) and download a free 68-pg portion of it at www.usfra.org/fedhealth (Proceeds benefit the U.S. First Responders Association and our nation’s heroes.)

Stay safe ~ j & B


Get a custom ebook to help people get prepared + raise funds for you or charity

September 21, 2021

We shared a similar post about this free option last month but tweaked things so groups and businesses can now share their custom ebook with members, staff and fans on their sites — rather than using a landing page on our site!

For over 2 decades Fedhealth has sold hundreds of thousands of our preparedness and first aid paperbacks and PDF ebooks personalized in bulk for clients’ staff, volunteers, members, customers and communities.

We also have many groups, schools and others use our funding ideas to help support their efforts while educating the public.

Now organizations, businesses, social media influencers, and others with a large member, volunteer, customer and fan base can request a custom ebook designed for free to raise funds for themselves (or charity) and help people get prepared for many types of emergencies and disasters.

We can…

  • help design a customized ebook for free with your own custom cover (and title) + e-pages in front with any information, special messages, links, videos, AR/QR codes and more you’d like included for your members, fans and others.
  • provide you a special shopping cart link you can program on your site(s) to offer your custom 280+ page PDF ebook for $5 each (~70% off $14.99 list), and we’ll donate 30% back to you or a charity of your choice (or can adjust price to give up to 30% discount to your people, or split the 30% as a discount to them and a donation to you or a charity/foundation, etc.)
  • insert ads or sponsorship data from your partners — and you keep ad/sponsor $$$ for yourself or your foundation/charity since we’ll include that data for free.
  • design and give you a 60+ page PDF portion of your custom ebook so you can offer it as a preview or teaser, and can do a custom landing page for free (if needed) with your logos, marketing data, links to your sites and more.
  • Learn more and see some samples on fedhealth.net.

We also pay 15% and 30% referrals on any bulk paperback and bulk ebook orders since we always ask how people heard about us.

And proceeds of everything we do benefits the U.S. First Responders Association. (Also, if your company or group is interested in co-branding your custom ebook and campaign with USFRA, please let us know!)

See some samples and more on fedhealth.net or call 520.907.2153 to discuss any ideas that help you, your base and North America.


A 9/11 story about Delta Flight 15 and Gander Newfoundland

September 9, 2021

Here is an amazing story from a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15, written following the 9-11-2001 attack on America:

“On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic. All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that “All Business” look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta’s main office in Atlanta and simply read, “All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination.

No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, Newfoundland. He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately–no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.

We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander, Newfoundland to have it checked out.

We promised to give more information after landing in Gander. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that’s nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM … that’s 11:00 AM EST.

There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the U.S.  After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason.” Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the U.S. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.

The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the air crafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane. In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with dozens of airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were U.S. commercial jets.

Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC. People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada. Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.

Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm. We had only to look out the window at the other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.

We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning. Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing. And they were true to their word. Fortunately we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.

After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander! We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the U.S. airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.

We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the “plane people.” We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.

Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days. What we found out was incredible.

Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.

ALL the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the “guests.” Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes.

Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.

Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered “Excursion” trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests. Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests. Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft. In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.

Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully. It was absolutely incredible.

When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling. Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.

And then a very unusual thing happened. One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said “of course” and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers. He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.

He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte. He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!

The gentleman, a MD from Virginia, promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.  As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.

I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a far away place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them. It reminds me how much good there is in the world.”

In spite of all the negative things we see going on in today’s world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good people on this planet and when things get bad, they will come forward … and sometimes even Pay It Forward.

#NeverForget ~ j & B

p.s. There is a Broadway musical show and a movie about this story called Come From Away … learn more at comefromaway.com


September 2021 National Preparedness Month theme and resources

August 18, 2021

National Preparedness Month encourages and promotes family and community disaster planning throughout the month of September, and provides many tools to help Americans continue preparedness habits year round.

The 2021 NPM theme is: “Prepare To Protect” since preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.

Use the following weekly topics suggested by FEMA’s Ready campaign to help your family, friends, co-workers and fans get more prepared for emergencies and disasters:

Week 1: Sept 1-4  — Make A Plan (Discuss how you would communicate with family and friends before, during and after disasters or emergencies, designate meetup places in case you are separated, review insurance papers, etc.)

Week 2: Sept 5-11 — Build A Kit (make various kits for family members for your home, office or school locker, and vehicles, plus a grab & go kit (B.O.B.) in case you have to evacuate quickly to a safer location. Do this with all family members – from kids to seniors and pets)

Week 3: Sept 12-18 — Prepare for Disasters (Find out the best way to limit the impacts an emergency or disaster may have like having the right insurance coverage, and take some steps to strengthen or improve home, garage and landscape to mitigate or lessen damage from floods, high winds, earthquakes, wildfires and more)

Week 4: Sept 19-25 — Teach Youth About Preparedness (Talk to kids about the types of disasters that happen where you live and travel. Teach them lessons on preparedness so they can be prepared, not scared by practicing fire, earthquake and tornado drills often and making kits together then updating kits twice a year on daylight savings weekend. Find kid-friendly educational resources and activities here and here, and make family preparedness fun, positive and encouraging throughout the year.)

With knowledge comes power so, if more people would learn what to do before, during and after certain types of scenarios, it could alleviate a lot of problems, anxiety, fear and loss, as well as lessen the burden on local emergency services during and after emergencies and disasters.

Learn more about NPM at Ready.gov and download our free 67-page ebook to help your loved ones and communities do the above steps and get more prepared and resilient.

Also consider getting some customizable 266-page “IT’S A DISASTER!” preparedness and first aid books (or PDF ebooks) for your staff, volunteers, students, customers or communities … or, if you have a large reach, request a custom ebook for your volunteers, members and fans and help a charity of your choosing!

Learn more and download a free portion of our preparedness and first aid book in PDF at fedhealth.net . Stay safe ~ j & B


New “Destructive” Severe Thunderstorm Warning category to trigger Wireless Emergency Alerts on mobile phones

August 2, 2021

Severe thunderstorms can be life-threatening, but not all severe storms are the same. Hazardous conditions range from tornadoes, large hail storms, and widespread straight-line winds called derechoes, to cloud-to-ground lightning and flash flooding. 

Starting 2-Aug-2021, the National Weather Service will better convey the severity and potential impacts from thunderstorm winds and hail by adding a “damage threat” tag to Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, similar to their Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings.

“Destructive” and “Considerable” Damage Threat Categories

NWS developed 3 categories of damage threat for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. The categories, in order of highest to lowest damage threat, are destructive, considerable, and base. These tags and additional messaging are designed to promote immediate action, based on the threats.

  • The criteria for a destructive damage threat is at least 2.75 inch diameter (baseball-sized) hail and/or 80 mph thunderstorm winds. Warnings with this tag will automatically activate a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on smartphones within the warned area.
     
  • The criteria for a considerable damage threat is at least 1.75 inch diameter (golf ball-sized) hail and/or 70 mph thunderstorm winds. This will not activate a WEA.
     
  • The criteria for a baseline or “base” severe thunderstorm warning remains unchanged, 1.00 inch (quarter-sized) hail and/or 58 mph thunderstorm winds. This will not activate a WEA. When no damage threat tag is present, damage is expected to be at the base level.

On average, only 10% of all severe thunderstorms reach the destructive category each year, nationwide. Most of these storms are damaging wind events such as derechoes and some of the larger, more intense thunderstorms, called “Supercell” storms that can typically produce very large hail in their path.

The new destructive thunderstorm category conveys to the public urgent action is needed, a life-threatening event is occurring and may cause substantial damage to property. Storms categorized as destructive will trigger a WEA to your cell phone.

Find some severe weather safety tips on weather.gov and download our free 60-page preparedness ebook plus some other safety tips at fedhealth.net

Source: Weather.gov


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