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

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ABCs of School Emergency Planning (resources for schools, educators + parents)

September 6, 2014

The following appeared in FEMA and Citizen Corps’ 4-Sep-2014 Individual and Community Preparedness e-Brief:

It’s September once again and that means children across the country are heading back to school.

Do you know the emergency plan at your child’s school? What about the steps the school will take to share pertinent information with you?

As a parent, it’s important to understand what will happen after a natural disaster or emergency at your child’s school.

Here are the ABC’s of what you should know about a school’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP):

  1. Always ensure your school has up-to-date evacuation plans, emergency kits and contact sheets. Ensure your school’s nurse has your child’s medical information and medications on hand. Ask your child’s teacher to walk you through their evacuation plan and show you their emergency kits.
  2. Be Prepared. Provide your school with your cell phone number, work phone number, and contact information for your relatives. If your child is old enough to carry a cell phone, make sure they know how to text you or a designated contact in case of an emergency. Also, be prepared to have a conversation with your child about emergencies and hazards.
  3. Coordinate with your child’s teachers and school officials to set a plan in place if there is not one. Guide them to Ready.gov for more resources and encourage the school to perform school wide drills and exercises as part of America’s PrepareAthon!

These ABCs, tools and resources are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your child’s at-school safety. For more information on how to get started visit www.ready.gov/school-emergency-plans


Change your batteries and clocks + check your preparedness stocks this weekend

March 7, 2014

This Sunday is the start of Daylight Savings Time meaning most people will lose an hour when they “spring forward”.

Did you know…

  • Arizona (with the exception of Navajo Nation) and Hawaii and the US Territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Virgin Islands) do not observe DST.
  • All of Canada (with the exception of most of Saskatchewan, which observes Central Standard Time year-round even though it is in the Mountain Zone) observes DST.
  • Most areas of North America and Europe observe daylight saving time, while most areas of Africa and Asia do not.
  • In South America most countries in the north of the continent near the equator do not observe DST, while Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay and southern parts of Brazil do.
  • Oceania is also mixed, with New Zealand and parts of southern Australia observing DST, while most other areas do not.

Confusing … yep, but wherever you are this weekend, set aside some time to change your batteries and clocks … and check your preparedness stocks!

Some things to consider doing include…

  • Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors around your home. And remember to test them at least once a month and replace your detectors every 10 years.
  • Also test and rotate batteries in your Weather Radios so you are ready for spring storms and severe weather.
  • Check and rotate out water, food, medications and other items in your home, vehicles, office and locker preparedness kits. And don’t forget to include items for your pets!
  • If you don’t already run monthly or quarterly drills, prepare and practice escape plans so you and your loved ones can get out of your home safely in case of fire. Tips: 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 charting at least 2 escape routes from each room. Then practice, practice, practice!
  • Update your Family Emergency Plan (e.g. confirm meeting places [esp with your children in case you are separated during an emergency], ensure all phone #s are current, etc.)
  • Go through your Important Family Documents to ensure everything is current (e.g. wills, insurance policies, immunization and medical data, credit card #s, recent photos of family and pets, etc.) And if you gave copies of this data to any other family members, make sure they get updates too.

For more information about how to make a Family Emergency Plan and tips on developing kits, visit www.itsadisaster.net/usfra.html and download a free 56-page mini ebook compliments of FedHealth and the U.S. First Responders Association.

Stay safe and have a great weekend everyone! j & B


It’s that time of year again … change your batteries and clocks + check your preparedness stocks

November 1, 2013

This Sunday (3-Nov-2013) marks the end of Daylight Savings Time meaning most people will gain an hour when they “fall back”.

While you are changing your clocks, it’s also a great time to change the batteries in detectors, and check and rotate items in your disaster kits, bug out bags and other preparedness supply stashes.

Some things to consider doing this weekend include…

  • Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors around your home. And remember to test them at least once a month and replace your detectors every 10 years.
  • Also test and rotate batteries in your Weather Radios so you’re ready for old man winter.
  • Check and rotate out water, food, medications and other items in your home, vehicle, office and locker preparedness kits. And remember to include items for your pets!
  • If you don’t already run monthly or quarterly drills, prepare and practice escape plans so you and your loved ones can get out of your home safely in case of fire. Tips: 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 charting at least 2 escape routes from each room. Then practice, practice, practice!
  • Update your Family Emergency Plan (e.g. confirm meeting places [esp with your children in case you are separated during an emergency], ensure all phone numbers are current, etc.)
  • Go through your Important Family Documents to make sure everything is current (e.g. wills, insurance policies, immunization and medical data, credit card #s, recent photos of family and pets, etc.) And if you gave copies of this data to any other family members, make sure they get the updates too.

Download a Family Plan checklist and some free safety tips from our book and learn more about our customizable products and fundraising programs at www.fedhealth.net/look-inside-book.html .

Stay safe, j & B


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