September National Preparedness Month theme and resources

August 1, 2020

National Preparedness Month (NPM) was created to encourage and promote family and community disaster planning throughout the month of September, and provides tools for families and others to continue preparedness habits year round.

The 2020 NPM theme is: “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today” and below are the weekly topics being encouraged by Ready.gov…

Week 1: Sept 1-5  — Make A Plan (Designate meetup places in case you’re separated, know how to communicate with family and friends during disasters, review insurance papers, etc.)

Week 2: Sept 6-12 — 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 13-19 — 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 damage from floods, high winds, earthquakes, wildfires and more)

Week 4: Sept 20-26 — Teach Youth About Preparedness (Talk to your 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 and encouraging.)

Learn more about NPM and find resources for each week at Ready.gov and download our free 59-page ebook to help your loved ones and community get more prepared for emergencies and disasters.

Also consider getting some of our customizable 266-page “IT’S A DISASTER!” preparedness and first aid manuals (or PDF ebooks) for your staff, volunteers, students, customers or local communities, and we will donate 15% of bulk orders back to your local volunteer fire department or group of your choosing (plus proceeds also benefit the U.S. First Responders Association.)

Learn more and download a free portion of our book in PDF at www.fedhealth.net


FEMA releases $100 million in EMPG-S funding for ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (and our customizable preparedness book qualifies under this grant and many others)

April 16, 2020

As we wrote on NPSIB, on 14-Apr-2020 DHS and FEMA announced a funding notice for an additional $100 million in supplemental Emergency Management Performance Grant Program funds.

The EMPG-S money is available to all 50 states and 6 territories as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and FEMA will award funding to support COVID-19 preparedness and response; development of tools and strategies for prevention, preparedness, and response; and ongoing communication and coordination among federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial partners throughout the response.

A customizable tool that qualifies under EMPG (and other grants) is our 266-page preparedness and first aid manual (and PDF ebook) that can be customized with extra pages to include local plans, COVID-19 specific data and messaging or any other information agencies, businesses, schools and others want included for recipients.

For over 20 years many local, state and federal agencies and nonprofits have used our customizable book for communities since it qualifies as public education under most grants and provides tremendous in-kind and community match. Plus proceeds benefit the U.S. First Responders Association.

Fedhealth is a sole source, small business registered on GSA’s SAM database, the Ariba Supplier Network and many state and local procurement systems, and we can provide sole source or other documentation needed for work plans, to commit funds, straddle budgets, etc.

Learn more about our customizable preparedness and first aid book or ebook, and download a free 59-page PDF portion of it (that includes some data about coronaviruses and other infectious diseases, family plans, kits, disaster topics and more) at www.fedhealth.net.

And call Fedhealth at 520.907.2153 or email info@fedhealth.net if we can assist with your preparedness and communications needs for your employees, students, customers and communities.

(We’ve extended our hours and working 7 days a week during this outbreak.)


Educational and fun preparedness links and resources for families & kids

March 15, 2020

With scenes of empty store shelves, fights over toilet paper and most Americans being told to stay home due to the COVID-19 outbreaks, many of us will have a lot of time on our hands in the coming days and weeks.

And, since internet access is not a problem for most (as it often is whenever there is a weather-related disaster or emergency), there are things people can do to learn more about getting themselves and their loved ones prepared for the unexpected (including a zombie apocalypse!)

The U.S. has approximately 800,000 active Law Enforcement Officials (including Police & Sheriff), 1.1 million Firefighters (over 70% are volunteers), and 210,000 EMT / paramedics meaning there are about 2.1 million first responders supporting over 327 million Americans.

And with some quarantines impacting health and public safety personnel in communities around the country (and world), you, your family and neighbors could be the “first” first responders if an emergency or disaster strikes.

Knowledge is power and can help reduce fear and anxiety. Consider taking the below online CERT course and visit some of the kid-friendly sites near the bottom to educate your family and have some fun while doing it.

Community Emergency Response Team

In the U.S. and Canada, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program helps train volunteers to assist first responders in emergency situations in their communities.

CERT members give critical support to first responders during emergencies, provide immediate assistance to victims, organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site, and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.

Normally the CERT course is taught in the community by a trained team of first responders who have completed a CERT Train-the-Trainer course, and includes disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations, and light search and rescue operations and is usually delivered in 2-1/2 hour sessions, one evening a week over a 7 week period.

FEMA also provides an online study course called “Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams“, IS 317, for those wanting to complete training or as a refresher for current team members.

The online course takes between 6 and 8 hours to complete and includes 6 modules…

  • CERT Basics,
  • Fire Safety,
  • Hazardous Material and Terrorist Incidents,
  • Disaster Medical Operations,
  • Search and Rescue,
  • and Course Summary.

While IS-317 is useful as a primer or refresher for CERT training, it is not equivalent to, and cannot be used in place of, the classroom delivery of the CERT Basic Training.

But it is educational and easy to do from your home or office and is a great teaching tool for your entire family. Learn more at FEMA.gov

Also, if you have high school and/or college kids in your family, Teen CERT can give them the above mentioned skills to protect themselves, their family, and friends in case of disaster or emergency. Learn more at www.ready.gov/teen-cert and share above FEMA course link with them too.

Educational and fun preparedness resources for families & kids:

Free ebook (59-pg portion of our preparedness & first aid manual with tips + resources about floods, hurricanes, infectious diseases (e.g. flu, COVID-19, staph, etc.), wildfires, family plans, kits + more) www.fedhealth.net/look-inside-book.html

Ready Kids www.ready.gov/kids

Ready.gov (resources for families, kids, businesses + pets) www.ready.gov

CDC’s Ready Wrigley www.cdc.gov/cpr/readywrigley

CDC (tips for families, college students & kids) www.cdc.gov/family/healthypeople/  

CDC’s Zombie preparedness www.cdc.gov/cpr/zombie/

Sesame Street (Let’s Get Ready) www.sesamestreet.org/toolkits/ready


Medical Reserve Corps volunteers strengthen America’s public health

March 2, 2020

Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities.

The MRC network currently comprises over 180,000 volunteers in 830+ units located throughout the United States and its territories.

MRC units are community-based and function as a way to locally organize and utilize medical and non-medical volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year. MRC volunteers supplement existing emergency and public health resources.

About the Medical Reserve Corps

After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, many Americans asked, “What can I do to help?” Public health professionals were among those who wanted to volunteer their services, but many were not able to find a way to do so. While these professionals had applicable skills sets, they could not be deployed. This was because they were not identified, credentialed or trained in advance. So, the Medical Reserve Corps was created to build a group of people who can assist existing local public health in the event of a true public health emergency or disaster.

MRC was originally a partner program with Citizen Corps and resided under HHS’ Office of the Surgeon General. In 2015 the MRC was welcomed into HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Office of Emergency Management family. MRC also works closely with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to enhance MRC units’ ability to meet local, state, and national needs through collaboration, coordination, and capacity-building activities.

MRC units engage volunteers to strengthen public health, improve emergency response capabilities, and build community resiliency. They prepare for and respond to natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, and floods, as well as other emergencies affecting public health, such as disease outbreaks. They frequently contribute to community health activities that promote healthy habits.

Volunteers include medical and public health professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, and epidemiologists. Many community members with non-medical backgrounds—interpreters, chaplains, office workers, legal advisors, and others—can fill other key support positions.

Credit: MDRMRC

Some examples of activities that MRC volunteers participate in and support include:

  • Emergency Preparedness and Response Trainings
  • Mass Dispensing Efforts
  • Emergency Sheltering
  • Vaccination Clinics
  • Responder Rehab
  • Health Education and Promotion
  • Disaster Medical Support
  • Outreach to Underserved Community Members
  • Medical Facility Surge Capacity
  • First Aid During Large Public Gatherings
  • Engaging Youth in Public Health Activities
  • Planning, Logistical & Administrative Support
  • Health Screenings
  • Veterinary Support and Pet Preparedness
  • and more!

To volunteer or partner with your local Medical Reserve Corps, visit their Find MRC Units page to locate the unit nearest you and reach out to the unit coordinator and visit https://mrc.hhs.gov to learn more about this great organization.

MRC Network Well Check Webinars

MRC Network Well Check interactive webinars provide MRC unit leaders and State Coordinators with information on a wide variety of topics, largely determined by members’ interests and needs. Through these ongoing wellness check-ups of the MRC network, members will be provided a platform to connect, share, and learn with your peers and leadership, plus some members will also be asked to serve as presenters.

Webinars are typically held on the first Tuesday of each month at 2p ET and run about 60 minutes long primarily focusing on a specified topic. Many include a Q & A period and highlights from the field, as well. Visit https://mrc.hhs.gov/pageviewfldr/WellCheckCalls to find upcoming and archived webinars.

Many MRC units use customized It’s A Disaster books

Since Medical Reserve Corps’ creation in 2002 many Health Departments and MRCs (+ EMs, CERTs, etc.) have purchased our 266-page preparedness and first aid manuals customized both in the print process and using standard red books with stickers for volunteers, events and local communities.

Our IT’S A DISASTER! bulk price is only $4.50 U.S. each delivered (70% off list on 10 or more copies) … and we can customize them for free to include data about your MRC unit, how to become a volunteer, public health information and more. And our book qualifies as community education on most grants providing about a $4-to-$1 return that can be used on matching grant programs.

Download a free 59-page portion of our book in PDF and learn how to order paperbacks (or ebooks) at www.fedhealth.net or call 520.907.2153.


Doing another custom preparedness and first aid book print soon in case your agency, business or group has any needs

November 3, 2019

2019 custom books covers 3x1We are doing another bundled custom preparedness book print in Jan 2020 in case any agencies, nonprofits or businesses have budgets or grants that need to be used or committed before year end.

Our 266page preparedness and first aid manual bulk price is only $4.50 U.S. each delivered (70% off list) in CONUS and we customize them for free.

Orders of 1,000 copies or more can change the entire book cover including the title, and the first 12 pages can be personalized with local data, maps, photos and more in full color on glossy paper. And if more custom pages are needed — just ask!

Smaller orders (10 copies or more) can get our standard red books and customize them with 1 to 4 labels per book. Red books can be shipped within 24 hours anytime from our Oregon warehouse and labels will ship from Texas.

Learn how to order paperbacks (or our ebook in PDF) or call Fedhealth at 520-907-2153 especially if you’d like to jump in on this print and get custom books for your staff, customers and local communities.

Also learn about a custom book project Fedhealth and FSC are doing for the U.S. First Responders Association and the Dallas-Fort Worth area for spring 2020.

Color ads on glossy paper in 20,000+ books start as low as 1.25 cents per book (or $250 total) and all advertisers get free books + lots of other benefits ~ learn more.

FSC USFRA preparedness book project for DFW

National Preparedness Month 2019 (Get #PreparedNotScared)

August 27, 2019

Although we encourage preparedness year-round, September is National Preparedness Month (NPM) when Americans can take action to prepare for various types of emergencies that could affect people where they live, work, and visit.

 

The Ready Campaign’s 2019 theme is “Prepared, Not Scared” and their social media toolkit provides graphics, hashtags, and content that can be customized to your needs.

Please use and share the weekly suggestions below to focus on your preparedness efforts and encourage others to get prepared too:

  • September 1-7:  Save Early for Disaster Costs
  • September 8-14:  Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters
  • September 15-21:  Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters
  • September 22-30:  Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness

Learn more about NPM and find resources for each week at www.ready.gov/september to help your loved ones and community get #PreparedNotScared.

Also learn how to order our customizable 266-page “IT’S A DISASTER!” preparedness and first aid manuals (and download a free 56-page portion of it in PDF) or get our ebook for only $3 U.S. at www.fedhealth.net/how-to-order.html.

Stay safe ~ j & B


Doing bundled custom preparedness book print late May (need to spend or commit FY 2019 dollars before June 30?)

May 5, 2019

Does your agency, business or nonprofit (or any you know) want a customized version of our 266page disaster preparedness and first aid manual?

We are doing another rush bundled custom print late May 2019 for late June delivery and can add custom book requests in ~ esp. any agencies that have fiscal year 2019 budget money that needs to be spent or committed before June 30!

Fedhealth is a sole source registered on SAM, Ariba and many purchasing systems and our customizable books qualify as public education on grants. Plus purchases provide $3 or $4+ return on match that can be used towards other grant funding.

Our IT’S A DISASTER! bulk price is only $4.50 U.S. each delivered (70% off list) in CONUS and we customize them for free.

Orders of 1,000 copies or more can change the entire book cover including the title, and the first 12 pages can be personalized with local data, maps, photos and more in full color on glossy paper. And if more custom pages are needed we can do that.

Smaller orders (10 copies or more) can get our standard red books and free peel & stick labels, and red books can be shipped within 24 hours anytime from our Oregon warehouse.

Learn how to order paperbacks (or our ebook in PDF) or call Fedhealth at 520-907-2153 especially if you’d like to jump in on this print and get custom books delivered by late-June or have FY2019 budgets that need to be used.


Tornadoes 101 (tornado basics, videos and safety resources)

March 9, 2019

Most of us have seen a tornado on the news and the Internet, but a vast majority of people have never personally witnessed the power and destruction of a twister.

The U.S. averages about 1,300 tornadoes a year and Canada is ranked #2 in volume of tornadoes (averaging about 80 per year) with several high risk areas mostly in central provinces. Nearly 3/4 of the world’s tornadoes occur in the U.S. annually with a majority of them touching down in “tornado alley” across the central U. S.

But keep in mind tornadoes can occur anywhere in the U.S. — with sightings in all 50 states — and across every continent except Antarctica.

Did you know…

  • even though the National Weather Service (formerly called the Weather Bureau) has been tracking storms since 1870 … they were not allowed to use the word tornado in its forecasts for fear of panic until 1950..?!
  • According to NOAA, 2004 had a record 1,817 tornado reports in the U.S.
  • In 1974, during a 21-hour period, 148 tornadoes ripped through 13 states and 1 province between Alabama and Ontario, Canada killing 315 people.
  • Tornadoes can last for several seconds or more than an hour, but most last less than 10 minutes.
  • Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer, but tornadoes can happen at any time of the year. Also, tornadoes can also happen at any time of day or night, but most tornadoes occur between 4–9 p.m.
  • The 1925 Tri-State Tornado rode a straight-line path for 3.5 hours across 219 miles of Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, making it the longest single tornado track anywhere in the world. With a mile-wide diameter it looked wider than it was tall and caused 695 deaths — a U.S. record for a single tornado — and injured thousands.
  • A waterspout is a tornado over water but isn’t recorded until it hits land.
  • The force of a tornado can strip asphalt chunks off roads, rip clothes off people and pluck feathers off chickens.

 

Tornado basics

tornado photo by noaaAccording to the National Severe Storms Laboratory tornadoes are rare and unpredictable, but NSSL admits experts don’t fully understand how tornadoes form.

Basically a tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Because wind is invisible, it is hard to see a tornado unless it forms a condensation funnel made up of water droplets, dust and debris. Tornadoes are the most violent of all atmospheric storms.

The most destructive and deadly tornadoes occur from supercells, which are rotating thunderstorms with a well-defined radar circulation called a mesocyclone. (Supercells can also produce damaging hail, severe non-tornadic winds, unusually frequent lightning, and flash floods.) Tornado formation is believed to be dictated mainly by things which happen on the storm scale, in and around the mesocyclone.

Learn more in below 2 educational videos and scroll down to find some free safety information about tornadoes and other severe weather topics from our IT’S A DISASTER! book and other resources.

Anatomy of a Tornado by TWC’s Jim Cantore from 2015…

 

This 2018 video by Cantore and TWC is longer but takes you inside a storm like you’ve never seen before with amazing graphics…


Safety Information

Download and share some free topics from our IT’S A DISASTER book with tips about things to do before, during and after a storm:

 

Additional Resources:

National Severe Storms Laboratory Severe Weather 101

Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (Tornado page)

National Geographic Tornado 101 (video)

How Tornadoes Work

Storm Prediction Center Tornado FAQ


AR Sandbox makes topographic maps fun and interactive while teaching earth sciences

January 14, 2019

The Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox allows students and the public to interact with a miniature landscape, sculpting mountains, valleys, rivers and even volcanoes, with off the shelf readily available parts.

Users can create topography models by shaping real sand, which is then augmented in real time by an elevation color map, topographic contour lines, and simulated water.

The system teaches geographic, geologic, and hydrologic concepts such as how to read a topo map, the meaning of contour lines, watersheds, catchment areas, levees and more. Topographic maps are crucial tools used by geologists, geographers, land and floodplain managers, planners and adventurous hikers.

The AR Sandbox prototype was developed at the Keck Center for Active Visualization in Earth Science (KeckCAVES) at the University of California (UC), Davis), and was initially launched in museum settings in 2012.

According to EOS.org, the AR Sandbox prototype became an interactive public exhibit for science education as part of a National Science Foundation (NSF)–funded project called LakeViz3D. This collaboration of scientists, science educators, evaluators, museum professionals, and media developers created 3-D visualizations to help improve public understanding and stewardship of freshwater ecosystems.

Also, land management and planning agencies can test environmental change scenarios in an AR Sandbox to inform decisions related to natural disaster planning. And it’s a cool, fun way to educate kids and the public about earth sciences as shown in below video…

The 3-D software used to create the AR Sandbox is open source and freely available online, together with the sandbox blueprints, a facilitator’s guide (support and ideas for teaching with the sandbox), and a public forum for help troubleshooting sandbox issues or to post questions and suggestions.

An AR Sandbox requires the following hardware components:

  • A computer with a high-end graphics card running Linux.
  • A Microsoft Kinect 3D camera.  
  • A digital video projector with a digital video interface, such as HDMI, DVI, or DisplayPort.
  • A sandbox with a way to mount the Kinect camera and projector above sandbox.
  • Sand.

UC Davis provides detailed information, videos and forum support on what schools, organizations and others need to build your own AR Sandbox:

Currently there are over 150 exhibits around the world so use this interactive map to see if there is an AR Sandbox near you, and learn more at https://arsandbox.ucdavis.edu/.


Get Ready for September 2018 National Preparedness Month

August 23, 2018

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM) when Americans are encouraged to take action to prepare ~ now and throughout the year ~ for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and visit.

The Ready Campaign’s 2018 #NatlPrep theme is “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.”

Use the month to focus on your preparedness efforts for various disasters and emergencies, and encourage others to get prepared too.

Ready‘s 2018 NPM social media toolkit provides graphics, hashtags, and content that can be customized to your needs. In addition to the theme for the month, each weekly theme highlights different preparedness actions.

Help promote preparedness using these #NatlPrep tools and themes:

  • September 1-8: Make and Practice Your Plan
  • September 9-15: Learn Life Saving Skills
  • September 15: National Day of Action
  • September 16-22: Check Your Insurance Coverage
  • September 23-29: Save For an Emergency

Learn more at www.ready.gov/september.

Also consider getting our disaster preparedness and first aid manuals for your family, co-workers, customers, neighbors, events and training sessions for only $4.50 U.S. each delivered (70% off $14.99 list) on 10 copies & up and we can customize them for free!

The 266-page paperback provides quick-reference instructional bullets in 2-color format with tips on what people should think about and do before, during and after specific types of emergencies and disasters (e.g. hurricanes, hazardous material spills, nuclear incidents, active shooter scenarios, etc.), as well as how to administer basic first aid.

Fedhealth can ship red books within 24 hours of your order … plus we donate a portion of bulk book orders to the U.S. First Responders Association in support of our nation’s first responders and veterans.

Learn how to order “IT’S A DISASTER!” books (and download a free 56-page portion of it in PDF) or get our 280-page ebook in PDF for $3 U.S. at www.fedhealth.net/how-to-order.html … or call Fedhealth at 520-907-2153.

Please share these tools with others and stay safe out there, j & B


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