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


New minimum quantity when ordering It’s A Disaster! books

May 18, 2021

Due to rising costs, unfortunately we have to increase our minimum order from 10 copies to 30 copies (1 case) of our 266-page disaster preparedness and first aid manual at the $5.00 U.S. per book delivered* price.

Those needing smaller quantities (less than 30 copies) can still contact Fedhealth to place orders, but we’ll need to pass through actual freight costs or can direct you to one of our resellers.

The paperback can still be customized for FREE with peel & stick labels on our standard red books (30 or more copies) … or … the book title, covers and first 12+ pages can be personalized in full color in the print process in large volume to convey special messages to staff, volunteers, customers and local communities.

Our 284-page interactive PDF ebook is also $5.00 U.S. (~ 70% off list) … and we customize the ebook in bulk with pricing as low as $2.00 each.

Plus the sole source product qualifies as community education if using grant funds for purchases.

Also check out our funding ideas (including easy Referral and Affiliate programs) where volunteers, businesses, bloggers and others can earn 15% and 30% on book and ebook orders.

Download a free 67-page portion of It’s A Disaster! and learn more at fedhealth.net or call 520.907.2153 to discuss your needs.

Stay safe ~ B & j


Repurposing things for container gardens

May 16, 2021

One thing 2020 hopefully taught a lot of people is having extra food and supplies on hand can really help families during an emergency or disaster.

Also growing your own food can help supplement dietary needs, plus gardening will get you outdoors so you can soak up some vitamin D.

We are fortunate enough to live on some acreage so we have several in-ground gardens, but we also made a few raised / container gardens this year repurposing some things around the property.

Temperatures have been nice and cool this spring so the lettuce we planted in an old truck box is doing great. The box used to hold several kinds of flowers but, after the February snowpocalypse with subzero temps hit Texas, we lost those plants (and many others) and decided to use the truck box as a container garden for vegetables.

The raised garden required more work to build using some leftover metal roofing sheets and steel poles (and lots of free mulch from our local preserve), but the finished product makes it so much easier to work and harvest without having to bend over.

raised garden

The 14’ x 4’ container garden also can be tightened with turnbuckles on top in case the mulch and soil starts to settle and tries to push out the sides. And we can use poles and wire to throw some shade cloth over the sides and/or top during hot summer months, or to help insulate winter crops when temperatures drop, if needed. The goal is to can, freeze and dehydrate foods from the raised and in-ground gardens to complement our stored preps.

Even if you don’t have a yard, you can still grow vegetables and herbs in small tubs or pots on your patio or indoors by a sunny window.

And if space is limited, consider vertical gardening … or learn how to grow microgreens or sprouts.

And if you like flowers, look into edible flowers and realize some varieties also have edible shoots, leaves, and tubers.

But back to repurposing things – check out some cool repurposed garden container ideas here and here, and share pics of your gardens and/or container suggestions in the comments.

Happy gardening ~ j & B

Note: This post contains 1 affiliate link to some products and we may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you.


Want to appear in our preparedness and first aid ebook + on new Prep Products and Services page?

March 11, 2021

Would you like to promote your products and services in our preparedness and first aid PDF ebook?

Fedheath now offers affordable ad options and sizes that can appear in both our 67+ page FREE portion of IT’S A DISASTER! and each full 288-page PDF standard version sold, as well as on our new Preparedness Products and Services page on our site..

Fedhealth has been customizing our book and ebook in bulk since 1999 with well over half a million copies sold / in circulation, plus we give away a free 60+ page PDF portion of our ebook to the public.

We prefer to share products and services associated with preparedness and safety such as:

  • food (LTS items/kits, gardening, appliances, etc.);
  • water (purification, storage, etc.);
  • shelter / gear / tools / kits;
  • first aid (products, kits, training, etc.);
  • pets and livestock (supplies, services, etc.);
  • safety / security (both physical and cyber);
  • cellular, radio and communications tools;
  • home improvement / repair;
  • solar + other off-grid solutions;
  • business continuity and more!

Our cost effective ad rates to appear in our free and standard red ebook are billed quarterly and run…

Full page ad (5.5”w x 8.5”h)       $ 100 U.S. / quarter

Half page ad (5.5”w x 4.2”h)      $  50 / quarter

Third page ad (5.5” x 2”h)          $  30 / quarter

Banner ad (5/pg / 5”w x 1”h)     $  20 / quarter

Prices will be prorated for those who join between quarters, and some sample ads are…

And if you have an affiliate program, let us know which Marketing system you are part of since we can share your banners and links at no charge on our site (whether you advertise in ebook or not!)

Again, all advertisers are also included on our Preparedness Products and Services page with links at no additional charge.

Learn more about our customizable ebook, paperback, rapid test kits and more at www.fedhealth.net or call 520-907-2153 or email info@fedhealth.net to discuss your needs.


New price on It’s A Disaster! ebook means more money for affiliates

January 10, 2021

We are changing the price of our 284-page PDF version of IT’S A DISASTER! preparedness and first aid manual to $5.00 U.S. (still ~70% off list) and discounting it as low as $2.00 in bulk with free customization.

Although price increases are never fun, in this case it’s good news for volunteers, schools, groups and individuals since there is more money available for them.

Our ebook (and book) provides quick-reference instructional bullets in 2-color format with tips on what people should think about and do before, during and after most types of emergencies and disasters (e.g. floods, hurricanes, infectious diseases [like flu, COVID-19, staph, etc.], wildfires, active shooter scenarios, civil unrest and more), and has an entire section about basic first aid.

And our new Affiliate Program lets groups, bloggers and others earn 30% or $1.50 of each $5 PDF ebook order using a special web link on your site or blog.

Learn more and download a free 67-page portion of the 284-page PDF ebook at fedhealth.net


It’s A Disaster! ebook revised Nov 2020 and 284-pg PDF still only $3 or less

December 2, 2020

We recently revised our PDF version of our IT’S A DISASTER! preparedness and first aid manual, and still offer the 284-page ebook for only $3 U.S. (over 80% off list) or less on our site.

Our interactive reference manual suggests things families should think about and do before, during and after most types of emergencies and disasters (e.g. floods, hurricanes, infectious diseases [like flu, COVID-19, staph, etc.], wildfires, active shooter scenarios and more), and has bulleted instructions on how to administer basic first aid.

Fedhealth also offers unlimited customization on the ebook in bulk for as low as $1 each and they make great educational giveaways for employees, volunteers, members, students, customers and local communities. Plus the sole-source customizable ebook (and paperback) can help clear out leftover grant dollars that are time sensitive.

Learn more and download a free portion of the ebook at fedhealth.net


New bulk price on It’s A Disaster! paperback as of 1-Dec-2020

December 1, 2020

For over 2 decades Fedhealth has discounted our disaster preparedness and first aid manual over 70% off the $14.99 list in bulk to agencies, businesses, nonprofits, volunteers, schools and others, but unfortunately freight costs are causing us to adjust price a bit to help offset the losses.

As of December 1, 2020 our 266-page IT’S A DISASTER! paperback (either standard red books or custom printed ones in bulk) are $5.00 U.S. each delivered (in CONUS) on 10 or more copies.

We still provide FREE customization — either with peel & stick labels on our standard red books … or … you can personalize book covers and first 12 full color glossy pages in the print process on 1,000 or more copies.

And, if you need extra pages in front or back of custom printed books, we can add up to 288 extra glossy pages, and per book price depends on quantity of extra pages and total custom books you’re doing. (But we’ll help all we can – just ask!)

And keep in mind our 284-page PDF ebook is only $3 each and comes with unlimited customization in bulk as low as $1 each.

Books and ebooks can be given away to employees, volunteers, members, students, customers and communities, and the customizable sole source products qualify for most every grant available and provide tons of match.

Learn more at www.fedhealth.net or call Fedhealth at 520.907.2153 and let’s collaborate to help our nation get more prepared for emergencies and disasters.  


USFRA Halloween 2020 Photo Contest

October 22, 2020

Join us in the U.S. First Responders Association’s Halloween 2020 Photo Contest by sharing your family Halloween pics before October 31, 2020 for a chance to win prizes..!

On November 1, we’ll randomly draw 3 names / winners from photos posted in comments and on USFRA Facebook page and other social media ids.

Prizes eligible for U.S. residents only – click below to learn more or visit USFRA.org . Good luck! ~ j & B


Show your support for #BreastCancerAwareness Month with USFRA #ThinkPink shirts and help first responders

October 18, 2020

First Responders (esp. firefighters) face many types of health issues since they are exposed to multiple toxins throughout their careers, so #BreastCancerAwareness month is very near and dear to our hearts since our nonprofit’s CEO is a retired Fire Captain.

Although October is the official #ThinkPink month, many first responders hold awareness campaigns year-round with pink shirts, uniforms and apparatus while doing educational events and fundraisers to help spread the word.

U.S. First Responders Association now has 3 t-shirts available to support breast cancer awareness and proceeds benefit first responders.

Learn how to order USFRA shirts for yourself and/or your family, cancer survivor warriors, staff and others at www.usfra.org/listings

About USFRA

The U.S. First Responders Association(USFRA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, professional and social network of fire, EMS, law enforcement, 911/dispatch, and military personnel, as well as veterans and civilian volunteers. USFRA brings together professionals from many diverse fields to strengthen safety initiatives, share knowledge and expertise, develop training programs, and combine efforts to maximize community outreach programs. They are one of the few national nonprofits that embrace all aspects of first response.  www.usfra.org and www.myusfra.org


Fedhealth donating 15% of bulk book or ebook orders to local VFD (or charity) of your choice

July 29, 2020

This year’s outbreak has financially impacted first responders and volunteers across the country very hard – especially Volunteer Fire Departments since a chunk of their annual budgets come from community fundraisers like raffles, dinners, street fairs and other public functions.

Many Americans may not realize this but over 70% of our nation’s firefighters are volunteers. They (and volunteer ambulance corps and other first responder volunteer groups) typically don’t have consistant funding so we want to help.

Fedhealth is donating 15% of bulk book and ebook orders back to your local VFD (or charity or group) of each purchaser’s choosing. Plus proceeds also benefit the U.S. First Responders Association.

Our 266-page reference manual has tips on what people should think about and do before, during and after most types of emergencies and disasters (e.g. floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, infectious disease outbreaks, active shooter scenarios, etc.), as well as how to administer basic first aid.

And paperbacks and ebooks can be customized in bulk to include local safety information and plans, evacuation maps, and other specific preparedness and response messaging, plus any other data that agencies, businesses, schools, and organizations want added for staff, volunteers, students, customers and communities.

Paperbacks ($4.50 ea) and PDF ebooks (as low as $1 ea) come with free customization and are great educational tools to help our nation become more prepared and resilient – esp. with hurricane season ramping up and for September National Preparedness Month.

Learn more at www.fedhealth.net or call 520.907.2153 to discuss your needs since we are completely open to any ideas that benefits you, your communities and our nation’s first responders.  

P.S. Please share our funding ideas with your local volunteers and nonprofits to help fund their efforts!

Stay safe ~ j & B 520.907.2153 info@fedhealth.net


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