Be Prepared!

    The Destructive Force of Nature

    The destructive force that is nature!

    For many of us around the world, the devastating power of mother nature is not something that we really like. This is, of course, assuming that you have not witnessed firsthand in the form of a natural disaster. Yes, of course we’ve all seen movies in the news of a flood that occurred a few thousand miles away from us, but until we got to see first hand the destruction, it is difficult to fully understand how dangerous Mother Nature it can be when you decide to attack. At least it was for me that is, until F-2 tornado leveled a city no more than 5 minutes down the road from my house.


    Close-up on a Tornado!

    I had to deal with the mold cleaning houses and commercial structures for a lot ‘of time, and I was able to see how bad these structures may be in poor condition by simple force of nature like mold. At this point, the mold damage was the worst I’ve seen in a home is concrete. Of course, the mold is a destructive force enough in itself, but needless to say, I was not prepared for what could be the deadly nature.

    On this particular day, he passed me to be at work, which is about an hour away from where I live. Fortunately my parents are still in the same area, and unlike me, actually pay attention to what the weather is doing around them, otherwise my night, probably would have ended much worse than it actually did. When my father called to inform that I should not go home for the time being due to a tornado warning, I was more than a bit annoying ‘. It had been a long day of work, and I just wanted to jump in the shower and relax. Luckily I listened to the advice of my father, but another woman was not so lucky. After receiving a phone call from her daughter, who has issued a notice to evacuate, proceeded to re-watch their soap operas, are not fully aware of the strength that was about to go against. Unfortunately, his house was one of those hit by the strength of the storm.

    A couple of days later, I decided to ride in the area to see how bad it was. News stories do not do much in the way of conveying the true harmful effects of these storms. When I arrived, I was totally speechless. I saw families huddled together after losing all their possessions owned cars, I also witnessed what had become of their roofs. Even whole sections of the forest had become only toothpicks. The strangest thing I noticed, however, was the selective nature of the storm. Where you can see a house that had been leveled to the foundation, by the house that has not been touched.
    The destruction was immense, but it was nice to see how the community came together to help the less fortunate. Well, most of the community in any way. It’s a shame, but with all natural disasters are inevitable looters. In any case, however, there were at least 50 volunteers who were out there helping clean up the mess and donate some of your personal information to people who have to start again after the storm belongings.

    As sad as it was to see, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to witness to me. Now, the next time you are in charge dodge a storm, it aggravates less secure! Natural disasters like this are nothing to play, and the trouble is that this was at the lower end of the scale compared to the storm damage as Katrina. The next time a natural disaster threatens your area, do not think of anything else that you and your loved ones to get to a safer area. It may not have anything to go back to when the storm clears, but at least we still have each other!

    Emergency Generators

    Portable Energy Generators

    In this article we’ll explore some options for Emergency Generators.

    But before we get started, it’s important to ask:

    What’s a home generator?

    A standby home generator keeps your power on during an outage. It’s installed outside your house (like an AC unit) and comes on automatically — whether you’re home or away. All within seconds of a power outage.

    Plus home generators run on propane or natural gas, so there’s no refueling.

    To learn more about this useful device, we’ll share with you an informative article from the US Department of Energy.


     Power outages are commonplace during disasters, and they may last for several days. You can reduce losses and speed the recovery process by installing an emergency generator. Portable generators made for household use can provide temporary power to a small number of selected appliances or lights, and commercial generators can help prevent the interruption of operations at businesses and critical infrastructure facilities like hospitals, water treatment facilities, telecommunications networks, and emergency response agencies. Federal, State, and local regulations may require you to obtain a permit before using a generator. Make sure you follow these regulations when you operate and maintain your generator.


    • Incorrect generator use can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Even if you can’t smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get fresh air right away. If you experience serious symptoms, get medical attention immediately. Consider installing battery-operated CO alarms. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and take proper precautions. Use a portable generator only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment.
    • Position generators outdoors and well away from any structure—Running a generator inside any enclosed or partially enclosed structure will lead to dangerous and often fatal levels of CO. Keep generators positioned outside at least 15 feet away from open windows so exhaust does not enter your home/business or a neighboring home/business.
    • Keep the generator dry—Operate it on a dry surface under an open, canopy-like structure, and make sure your hands are dry before touching the generator. Do not use the generator in rainy or wet conditions.
    • Disconnect the power coming into your home/business—Before you operate your generator, disconnect your normal source of power. Otherwise, power from your generator could be sent back onto the utility company lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.
    • Make sure your generator is properly grounded.
    • Plug equipment directly into the generator—Use heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cords, in good working condition, with a wire gauge that can handle the electric load of any appliances connected to them.
    • NEVER try to power the house/business wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, or into the main electrical panel. Only a licensed electrician should connect a generator to a main electrical panel by installing appropriate equipment in accordance with local electrical codes. Make sure the electrician has installed an approved automatic transfer switch to disconnect your home’s wiring from the utility system before you start using the generator.
    • Maintain an adequate supply of fuel—Know your generator’s rate of fuel consumption at various power output levels. Take care in considering how much fuel you can safely store, and for how long. Gasoline and diesel fuel stored for long periods may need added chemicals to keep them safe for use. Check with your supplier for recommendations. Store all fuels in specifically designed containers in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place, away from all potential heat sources. Check aboveground storage tanks, pipes, and valves regularly for cracks and leaks, and replace damaged materials immediately. Tanks may also require a permit or have to meet other regulatory requirements.
    • Turn the generator off and let it cool before refueling. Use the type of fuel recommended in the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Inspect and maintain your generator regularly—Arrange a maintenance contract and schedule at least one maintenance service per year, such as at the beginning of every hurricane season. Keep fresh fuel in the tank, and run the generator for a while periodically to help ensure it will be ready when you need it.

    Disclaimer: Because every emergency is different, it is important for your safety that you follow the directives of your state and local emergency management authorities and local utilities. The information provided on DOE’s website is intended for general informational purposes only and is not an endorsement of any particular material or service. Before engaging in any activities that could impact utility services such as electricity or natural gas, contact your local utility to ensure that the activities are done safely.


    Emergency Portable Generator

    For additional emergency-planning resources, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website, State and local emergency management authorities and local utilities may also provide helpful guidance. And of course, you can always find similar articles to be ready for natural emergencies in our home page.


    Disaster Response Contingency Planning

    Natural Catastrophe

    Disaster Response Contingency Planning

    Inherent within natural disaster preparation checklist is developing the response, and an essential element of response is contingency planning. Generally, contingency planning is defined as an anticipatory emergency preparation to be followed in an anticipated or eventual disaster, based on risk assessment, availability of human and material resources, community preparedness, local and international response capability, etc. That definition sets the framework as we put on our thinking hats on. As we brace ourselves for the oncoming monsoon rains and the potential for floods again, the question at the back of our minds will be – how do we set up for the worst? Jointly and severally, all the stakeholders involved with disaster management need to come up with a contingency plan on how to deal with and minimize the risks of these natural disasters to lives and properties.

    Natural disaster preparation checklist could construct mitigating measures to control damage on development through such natural calamities. Lessons learned in preceding disaster response operations could provide the basic guidelines in ensuring present contingency plans are on the desirable track. Following completion of the contingency plan, as soon as disaster strikes, the event triggers operationalisation of the contingency plan itself which has been formulated with agreed upon common strategy. (i) Over the years, there has been a paradigm shift in disaster management from disaster response to disaster risk reduction, reflected in the proactive action prior to the arrival of the calamity. In developing contingency plans, worst case scenarios are worked on to meet needs for planning ahead for calamity risk reduction.

    Red Cross and Red Crescent societies through their mandate and humanitarian assistance principles are periodically drawn into managing severe emergencies including natural disasters. In ensuring organizational readiness and that adequate arrangement are made in anticipation of an emergency, the common management tool comprises response and contingency planning. Well, thought out planning could greatly assist in ensuring rapid and effective delivery of resource needs of whatever disasters wherever that may be.

    In order to realize a satisfactory level of preparedness for timely and effective response to a natural disaster, disaster response plan entails identifying disaster risks, vulnerabilities, impact, organizational resources, and capacities. It further involves determining roles and responsibilities, and formulating policies and procedures and planning activities. This is at the broader perspective and it allows identifying gaps and needs. Contingency planning focuses more on addressing the responses and actions geared for specific disaster scenarios. (ii)

    Since contingency planning deals with individual specific events which are known risks at the local, national or regional levels, formulation necessitates the involvement of stakeholders at the associated levels. Contingency plans mesh well with operations management in terms of handling anticipated resource requirements, available resources, and shortfalls or gaps.

    With extreme weather disasters becoming the emerging feature this decade, and the horrific experience of Typhoon Morakot (Philippines, Taiwan) and the Istanbul flash floods still fresh in our minds, any flood risks alert should not be taken with a pinch of salt. Preparedness warrants that expecting the worst i.E. Flood prone areas expected to have higher than normal risk of flooding in different places and at the greater magnitude than previous experience. Scenarios developed for the possible natural disaster will indicate the potential impact of such event. Flooding, for instance, often destroys houses and other properties resulting in the displacement of the flood affected population. Hence contingency planning could anticipate both food and non-food relief provision to alleviate human suffering resulting from the displacements. Those displaced suffer the loss of household belongings and assets to the floods. Contingency plans look into emergency shelter requirements with the objective of protecting those affected by avoidable risks and vulnerabilities from the elements.

    Meet Disaster and Preparedness


    Planning for Natural Disasters: One Step Beyond Survival

    Are you ready for a Natural Disaster?

    Are We Ready For Natural Disaster?

    We see it on TV all the time: hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods and earthquakes. You see people looking at where their house used to be; only rubble is there now. All their stuff is either gone or destroyed. I wonder how many of us think, would I be ready if this happened to me? Probably not many, we look at the disaster on TV, shake our heads, then go about our business. The thing is ALL of us live in an area where a natural disaster can occur_ Are you ready?

    The first thing to protect is your family and yourself, needless to say, human life is not replaceable. So if you’re told to evacuate do it. Know what to do in case of a fire. If you have a basement, go there right away if you see a tornado coming. Do not stop to take a video or snap a cell phone photo it may be your last. Once you have plans for personal safety it’s time to think about your stuff.

    Make sure that you have insurance coverage in sufficient amounts to rebuild your home and be sure to have enough coverage for the stuff inside. You might need additional insurance for items such as art, jewelry, and other collectables.Take videos of the items in your house, things like TV, stereo systems, etc. If you have to have flood insurance get it, your regular homeowners insurance usually does not cover floods. Make regular backups of all your important files and put that backup on an external hard drive or use a cloud backup service. Have some emergency cash that you keep in some type of waterproof bag.

    Make copies of your insurance papers and back that up to a cloud service.
    Make copies of your passport, driver license, credit and debit cards. These copies along with your insurance papers should be kept in a waterproof bag. Make a list of important phone numbers such as insurance agents, contractors, and family members. In an emergency, you might lose your cell phone.Without the phone numbers in our cell phones available at the touch of a button, I wonder how many of us would actually be able to get a hold of people we need to in the event of a natural disaster.

    In a natural disaster the voice part of your cell phone might be out of service; however, texting might still work due to less bandwidth usage.

    This article is meant to get us to start thinking about natural disaster readiness. Each of us will go about this differently. Now is the time to make a plan, don’t wait until it’s too late.


    Preparing for Natural Disasters


    Natural Disaster Preparation

    Natural Disaster Preparation TIps

    Facts That You Must Know About Natural Disaster Preparation

    For the last few years, we have been plagued by natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tropical storms, forest fires, and earthquakes. We all hope that there won’t be anymore but the chance of natural disasters disappearing from our world is little or none. Expect them. Prepare for them. Knowing how to protect yourself and your family after a disaster is essential. All services will most likely be cut off after a disaster. There will be no electricity. There will be no gas. Possibly there will be no shelter. And most important of all– there will be no clean water! It may take days before disaster relief and first responders can come to your aid. You need to know how to protect yourself and your household for survival during those critical hours or days. We offer here a few suggestions for natural disaster preparation.


    1) Prepare a household disaster plan

    On a floor plan of your home draw escape routes from each room and make sure that every member of the household is familiar with them. Plan two meeting places in the event that you are separated from each other. One meeting place should be near your home and the second a distance away in case the area near your home is dangerous. Important phone numbers should be posted by the telephone.

    Make sure your children know how to dial 911. Know where and how to shut off your gas, water, and electricity at the main source. Select a friend or relative in a distant community whom you all agree to call to let them know you are okay or to leave messages.


    2) Make arrangements for pets

    Make sure your animal companions are micro chipped and have sturdy collars and ID tags Add your pets food to the family emergency supplies. Make a special disaster kit for your pet that includes a strong lead, first aid kit, pet’s latest photo, vet’s name, medications, copy of medical records, and bottled water.

    You will need your pet’s cage, crate or carrier. It will help calm your pet if you have a favorite toy, bedding, or bowl. If your pet is used to being in a crate he will be less apt to panic. Keep your pet’s emergency gear right next to your own or even include them with the family’s disaster kit.


    3) Have at least basic supplies in your home, your workplace and in your car

    Water is the most important and stocking it is a top priority. At least 2 quarts of water per person is needed for drinking. Store water in thoroughly clean plastic containers, label them with the date and keep them in a cool dark place. Change stored water every 6 months. Add canned foods, dried food, cans or boxes of juice, cans of ready-to-eat meats, vegetables, fruits, soup, instant coffee and powdered milk.

    You may want to add peanut butter, jelly, low-sodium crackers, trail mix, granola bars and the like. Mark the date on each item and keep the oldest products at the front. Use them and replace them so that the supply is refreshed every 6 months. Don’t forget to include a hand-held can opener in your kit. As you may have to leave your home you should have your supplies in a carrier such as a duffel bag or backpack or several if you want to share the load.


    Some More Facts About Natural Disaster PreparationU

    Useful link: The American Red Cross

    Top 10 Disaster Preparedness Tips (Part 2)

    Red Cross Volunteer

    This is the second part of Top 10 Disaster Preparedness Tips. Click here for part 1.


    6. Have a kit and know how to use it

    A kit must include some basic necessities such as food, water, basic first aid supplies and other emergency equipment that you may possibly already have like flashlights and duct tape. Have this assembled and ready to use.


    7. Keep in mind people who may need special preparation

    Plan for those with special needs such as kids, infants, people with disabilities , seniors and family members in need of medication or special equipment.


    8. Prepare for your pets

    Never leave your pet behind. If possible, try to evacuate to a friend or family member’s house, as pets may not be allowed inside public shelters. Keep a pet emergency kit on hand with food and other important items. Microchipping pets helps to identify them in the event that they get lost.


    9. Learn emergency skills that can always come in handy

    Learning emergency skills can take very little time but still save lives. Some of these skills include how to use a fire extinguisher, how to perform basic first aid, how to perform CPR and even how to shut off utilities in case of a disaster involving gas, water or electrical lines.


    10. Find out how to help your community during a disaster minions

    Try to find volunteer positions with local emergency response organizations or nonprofits that are available in a huge selection of capacities.


    Let’s learn how to make a Catastrophe Survival Kit

    Top 10 Disaster Preparedness Tips (Part 1)

    Be Ready for a Catastrophe

    1. Be aware of what you’ll deal with

    Part of planning is being familiar with specifically what kind of disasters you might encounter and knowing what to do in each scenario. The challenges for someone living in California are totally different than those of living in Luisiana.


    2. Learn the evacuation routes and shelter locations of the area where you live

    This needs to be known well in advance, not when a natural catastrophe is bearing down on your home, or after a tsunami warning has been issued. Evacuation planning is pretty much commonplace, so it will be very important to know this information well ahead of time.

    3. Plan for how you’ll reconnect with people who matter to you

    It’s crucial to consider how you will get hold of your family in the event of an evacuation. Figuring this out in advance will make it easier in the event that a difficult situation arises.


    4. Sign up for emergency alerts and know how officials will communicate with you during a disaster

    It’s easy to get these on your cell phone, unless you have disabled them. This is by far the absolute best way to learn about emergencies, that is, if you are one of those individuals who are always glued to their phones. The emergency alert system also broadcasts over the radio and television, Also checking the weather channel or a weather radio can tell you the conditions of the weather ahead, 24/7. Social media can be a terrific source of information as well, but do not rely exclusively on it. Chances are that your Internet connection mey be one of the first things to drop in the event of a serious emergency.


    5. Learn what to do if you’re away from your house.

    In the scenario of a sudden unexpected emergency, you must be ready to respond from alternative areas, such as your place of work or motor vehicle.


    Disaster Preparedness Tips


    In Part 2 we’ll learn about 5 more practical tips to be ready if disaster strikes.

    Home Checks After A Natural Disaster

    Home Checks To Do Following A Natural Disaster

    When a disaster strikes, there are so many emotions and different concerns running through homeowners’ heads that it can be difficult to prioritize and figure out essential safety measures to take first. Natural disasters are currently in the limelight as a result of the instantaneous news cycle and transmission of weather disaster reports. If reports of flooding, wind storms, and other extreme conditions have made you anxious about your home’s and family’s preparedness, this article will give you pointers on what to do after a disaster so you can formulate a custom plan in the event that something happens in the area where you live. Tips on when you need electrical repair in Greenville, SC, or other professional services after a flood or hurricane can save you from panicking in the long run.

    Example of a checklist for a natural disaster


    Only Enter Your Home When Given the Okay

    If you’ve been evacuated in the event of a natural disaster, you’ll want to get back to access the damage to your property as soon as possible. However, it’s important to make sure that you only go back to your home when officials tell you that it’s safe. If there’s still a chance that the storm damage poses a significant threat or that there could be more damage done by aftershocks of the natural disaster, you want to be in a safe place. Even though it’s tempting to rush back, make sure that this decision is made with a clear head and solid advice from the experts.

    Make Sure Your Utilities Are Turned Off

    One of the first things you’ll want to double check is that your gas, electricity, and water are turned off when you get home. All of these lines can pose a significant risk to your health and safety. If your gas is on, it can easily ignite with any sort of spark and then start fires. If you’ve been in a flood, you might think this impossible. However, if gasoline or other flammable materials have been picked up by the waters and carried onto your property, they can serve as fuel for a fire that could cause additional damage.

    Do Water-Removal Tasks

    Many natural disasters involve water. Whether you’re dealing with a mudslide, hurricane, or intense thunderstorm, water causes millions of dollars of damage each storm and disaster season. This is partially a result of its destructive force when it gets moving quickly, but also because water helps breed mold and fungus. Mold needs darkness, water, and heat to start growing rampantly. If you don’t dry out your furniture, carpet, and walls, your home could become a breeding ground for fungi that can aggravate allergies and trigger attacks in asthmatics.

    After a natural disaster, check your home for any wetness. Make sure that you soak up as much as possible, open windows, set up fans, and expose these areas to light. Then, think about calling a professional to shampoo the affected area and disinfect your home.

    Fix Your Electrical

    Electrical lines are one of the necessities that are often damaged by storms. Without electricity, cooking and keeping warm—essential for human survival—are more difficult and may even be impossible. When the power goes down, most cities are on high alert to fix the problem as soon as possible. After you return to your home following a disaster, you will want to check through your electricity and appliances in your home. Make sure that your home is safe to turn the breakers back on. If you’re uncomfortable with completing the checks yourself, you can find a professional to help you with electrical repair in Greenville, SC, and making sure that your home’s electricity is safe to use.