Resources for 2016 National Preparedness Month + America’s PrepareAthon

August 18, 2016

The logo for National Preparedness Month 2016.

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM) which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit.

Due to the success of last year’s theme, the Ready Campaign has decided “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today” will be returning for 2016 NPM.

Making a family emergency communication plan is a great way to prepare for disasters, but testing your plan is even better so you’ll be familiar with how to respond.

It’s also one of the 10 Ways to Participate in America’s PrepareAthon!

In addition to the overall theme, FEMA and the Ready campaign will be promoting specific topics each week of NPM:

  • Promote NPM:  Aug 28-Sep 3  –  Kickoff to National Preparedness Month (Find resources to promote NPM at www.ready.gov/september )
  • Week 4:  Sep 18-24  –  Individual Preparedness (Take steps to prepare for a disaster today like downloading the FEMA app.)
  • Week 5:  Sep 25-30  –  Lead up to National PrepareAthon Day (Be counted and register your preparedness event for National PrepareAthon Day!)

National PrepareAthon! Day culminates NPM on September 30, 2016. Individuals, families, organizations and businesses are encouraged to use America’s PrepareAthon! materials as you plan, host and support events, drills and training sessions throughout the month and on 9/30.

Learn more about National Preparedness Month and find Ready’s NPM toolkit, graphics and more at www.ready.gov/september.

disaster booksAnd consider getting some customized disaster preparedness & first aid manuals for your family, co-workers, customers & events for only $4.50 U.S. each delivered (70% off $14.99 list) on 10 copies & up ~ learn more

Stay safe out there, j & B


Data Privacy Day is 28-Jan-2016

January 10, 2016

Happy New Year everyone! Sorry it’s been so quiet on our blog lately, but we’re back in the saddle and ready for 2016.

Mark January 28, 2016 on your calendar as Data Privacy Day. DPD is an international effort held annually and organized by the National Cyber Security Alliance to create awareness about the importance of privacy and protecting personal information.

DPD is part of a greater effort, the #PrivacyAware campaign, which helps everyone understand how they can own their online presence and reminds businesses that privacy is indeed good for business.

NCSA’s #PrivacyAware campaign provides free, nonproprietary resources to help you spread the word about privacy and protecting personal information. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • At Work … Privacy is good for business: Create a culture of privacy at work by teaching all employees what privacy means to your organization and the role they have in making sure privacy is achieved and maintained. Learn more about online business safety
  • At Home … Own your online presence: Help you and your family be #PrivacyAware. Talk to your family and friends about protecting personal information and how to stay safe online. Get started with these tips.
  • In Your Community … Share your privacy knowledge: Volunteer in a local school, senior care facility or faith-based organization, send messages on community listservs and use resources from the #PrivacyAware campaign to spread the word. Find some privacy tips for businesses, older adults, teens and parents

One way you can join the 2016 effort is by becoming a Data Privacy Day Champion. DPD Champions include companies and organizations of all sizes, nonprofits, government organizations, schools and school districts, colleges and universities and individuals.

Find some tools to promote Data Privacy Day and learn how to get involved and visit www.staysafeonline.org/DPD for more information.


Challenge yourself with #30Days30Ways Game during September #NatlPrep Month

August 31, 2015

npm15-logoSeptember is National Preparedness Month (NPM or #NatlPrep) and we – along with thousands of private, public and nonprofit organizations – are encouraging Americans to take time to help your community get better prepared for disasters and emergencies of all kinds.

NPM wraps up with America’s PrepareAthon! as a national day of action (on 9/30 or anytime) when individuals, families, organizations and businesses have preparedness events, drills and training sessions to help turn “knowing into doing”.

logo-30days30waysA really fun way to get involved with NPM is to participate in the 30 Days, 30 Ways disaster preparedness game.

#30Days30Ways was started by the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) in WA with the goal of challenging people to do one basic task per day to enhance their personal readiness for emergencies.

Each September, CRESA posts one simple readiness task each day and winners are selected from among the participants. The tasks are creative, fun and educational using an interactive social media based approach to reach an audience who may not be normally reached through traditional community events.

Check out this year’s 30 Days, 30 Ways promo video and scroll down to learn how to get involved and play…

How do I play?

Anyone can participate in the 30 Days, 30 Ways Preparedness Challenge — in fact, the game has had players in over 44 states and 38 countries — and there are 2 ways to play this year…

Daily Challenges:

  • A daily task will be posted by 7am PDT to 30Days30ways website every day during September.
  • The challenge will be cross-posted on Facebook and on Twitter @30Days_30Ways
  • You can complete any task, any time as long as they are submitted by midnight on Sept 30th.
  • You may enter as often as you like.

Weekly Challenges:

  • This Year there will be 4 Weekly Challenges posted each Monday.
  • You have until the following Sunday evening at Midnight Pacific Time to submit your entry.
  • These Bonus Challenges will judged by a team of Emergency Management Coordinators at CRESA for creativity, relativity to the topic, popularity and how best it answers the overall theme of the game.

What can I win?

The number of winners and Amazon Gift Card prizes are based on the funds donated for this game. If you’d like to contribute to the #30Days30Ways crowdfunding campaign, visit their 30Days30Ways 2015 Preparedness Challenge page. (Any amount is helpful and all money donated goes directly into prizes awarded to those participating in the challenge.)

Learn more about the 30 Days, 30 Ways Preparedness Challenge at www.30days30ways.com or follow them on Facebook  or Twitter @30days_30ways  or #30days30ways.


Change your batteries and clocks + rotate preparedness stocks this weekend

October 31, 2014

Most people will gain an hour this weekend when they “fall back” early Sunday morning. While you are changing your clocks, it’s also a great time to change the batteries in detectors … and check and rotate items in disaster supplies kits since cooler weather is coming.

Use the following tips to make this a family project and include the kids so they can help choose items for kits and learn where things are, and it’s a good opportunity to discuss your Family Plan.

  • Change the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors around your home. Officials suggest you test them at least once a month and completely replace detectors every 10 years.
  • Pull out your home and vehicle kits and rotate stored water, food, medications and other items, and test and/or replace batteries if you stashed some in kits. Remember to pack items for all your pets … or better yet, make special kits for them so those are easy to grab & go during an emergency. Also include winter items in kits like warm clothes and other things described in our Winter driving tips post.
  • If you haven’t already, take some time to make an Escape Plan that includes two escape routes from every room in the house. Draw a floor plan of your home showing doors, windows and stairways. Mark locations of first aid and disaster kits, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, ladders, and utility shut-off points. Next, use a colored pen to draw a broken line or arrow charting at least 2 escape routes from each room … and walk through the routes with your entire family. Then practice, practice, practice by running drills with the family either monthly or quarterly.
  • Update your Family Emergency Plan (this 6-pg PDF checklist can help you set up meeting places [esp with your children in case you are separated during an emergency], ensure all phone numbers are current, think about things for seniors, pets, etc.)
  • Go through Important Family Documents and keep below items in a waterproof, portable safe container and update as needed. Keep copies of papers off-site in safety deposit box or with a family member — or scan all to a flash drive or CD or save to a secure cloud backup service.
    — Extra set of car keys, cash, traveler’s checks and credit card
    — Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
    — Passports, social security #s/cards, immunization records
    — Bank account numbers
    — Credit card numbers, card companies + phone numbers
    — Inventory of valuable household goods
    — Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates, photo IDs)
    — Recent pictures of all family members and pets for i.d. needs

Download a free 56-page mini portion of our IT’S A DISASTER! book to help you with the above steps and learn more about our customizable products and funding ideas at www.fedhealth.net.

Stay safe and have a great weekend, j & B


Get Ready to #ShakeOut October 16, 2014 (world’s largest earthquake drill)

October 9, 2014

ShakeOut_GetReady_2014-lgOn October 16, 2014 at 10:16 a.m. (your local time) people across North America and around the world will participate in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill.

The main goal of #ShakeOut is to get people prepared for major earthquakes and use the event as an opportunity to learn what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

You might think “I don’t have earthquakes where I live”, but did you know every continent on the planet experiences earthquakes? The U.S. Geological Service estimates there are several million earthquakes a year globally and, while a vast majority of these are very small or undetected, about 100,000 quakes per year are felt.

All 50 U.S. states and territories have earthquakes so the ShakeOut is an opportunity to practice how to protect ourselves during earthquakes. Anyone can participate and basically, wherever you are at that moment—at home, at work, at school, anywhere—you should Drop, Cover, and Hold On as if there were a major earthquake occurring at that very moment, and stay in this position for at least 60 seconds. ShakeOut also has been organized to encourage everyone to update emergency plans and supplies, and to secure your space in order to prevent damage and injuries.

Learn how to register and find games, resources and more at www.shakeout.org … and, if you’re on Twitter, join ShakeOut, America’s PrepareAthon!, and the American Red Cross at 3p (Eastern) on October 15 using #EQChat. Experts will provide safety tips and other information to get you prepared for earthquakes.

Also check out my recent interview on DestinySurvival Radio since John and I discuss the ShakeOut, earthquake preparedness, and some things to expect in the aftermath of a disaster. Let us know how you plan to ShakeOut and stay safe out there, j & B

 


Fire Prevention Week October 5 – 11, 2014

October 5, 2014

The National Fire Prevention Agency’s Fire Prevention Week runs from October 5 – 11, 2014 and this year’s official theme is “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”

Did you know that many people don’t test their smoke alarms as often as they should? When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. You need working smoke alarms to give you time to get out so test your alarms every month.

For example, did you know…

  • Almost three of five (60%) of reported home fire deaths in 2007 to 2011 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
  • In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 93% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 79% of the time.
  • When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed, to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended.

It is best to install both smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in your home, apartment and/or RV. And remember to test alarms at least once a month, replace batteries once a year, and get new units every 10 years.

And, if you haven’t already, take some time to make an Escape Plan that includes two escape routes from every room in the house. Draw a floor plan of your home showing doors, windows and stairways. Mark locations of first aid and disaster kits, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, ladders, and utility shut-off points. Next, use a colored pen to draw a broken line or arrow charting at least 2 escape routes from each room … and walk through the routes with your entire family.

Also…

  • Make sure your windows are not nailed or painted shut.
  • Make sure security bars on windows have a fire safety opening feature so they can be easily opened from the inside…and teach everyone how to open them!
  • Teach everyone how to stay LOW to floor (air is safer).
  • Pick a spot to meet after escaping fire (meeting place).
  • Practice, practice, practice! Set aside time each month or several times a year and do fire drills with your family.

Fire Prevention Week is the perfect time to reach out and share resources that empower people to have a hand in preventing home fires and protecting their families.

Learn more at www.fpw.org and please share the link and this post with others. And for the little ones, visit Sparky the Fire Dog® site at www.sparky.org to find free apps, games, videos and more.

Stay safe, j & B

 

 

 


Get involved with October 2014 National Cyber Security Awareness Month #NCSAM

October 2, 2014

ncsam-logo-2014Did you know October is cyber security month in several countries?

America’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month or NCSAM campaign – under leadership from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance – has grown exponentially, reaching consumers, small and medium-size businesses, corporations, educational institutions, and young people across the nation.

Cybersecurity begins with a simple message everyone using the Internet can adopt: STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Take security and safety precautions, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors online, and enjoy the benefits of the Internet.

The National Cyber Security Alliance has #NCSAM tools, banners and materials to help home users, K-12 Educators, Higher Education, Small Businesses and more get involved at www.staysafeonline.org. You can also follow NCSA on Facebook or on Twitter @STOPTHNKCONNECT and @StaySafeOnline and search #NCSAM to find more cyber safety tips and resources.

Canada’s national public awareness campaign Get Cyber Safe was created to educate Canadians about Internet security and the simple steps individuals can take to protect themselves online. Learn more at www.getcybersafe.gc.ca and follow them on Twitter @GetCyberSafe

And the European Union advocacy campaign European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) aims to promote cyber security among citizens, to change their perception of cyber-threats and provide up to date security information, through education and sharing good practices. Visit http://cybersecuritymonth.eu/ to learn more and follow ‪#‎cybersecawarenessmonth‬ on social media to keep up on activities in Europe.

As NCSA explains… The Internet is a shared resource and securing it is Our Shared Responsibility. Everyone has a role in securing their part of cyberspace, including the devices and networks they use. If each of us does our part—implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating young people or training employees—together we will be a digital society safer and more resistant from attacks and more resilient if an attack occurs.

Also read and share our Oct 2013 enews article called Protecting devices from cyber threats.

Stay safe out there, j & B

 

 


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