Although it has been a very long time since a hurricane has dramatically affected the Tri-state area NY/NJ/PA, it is still sound thinking to prepare for that "what if" factor.
NOW is the time to put your plans in place.
Gather those items you my need should the power fail. Get your shopping done NOW before the crowd and panic buying sets in.
Batteries, food, bottled water, gas for vehicles should be in good supply. Check for items around the home that may become missiles in high wind. Do Not park vehicles under tree limbs or power lines.
If you have elderly family or friends, neighbors, perhaps you might see to it that they are ready for the storm. Maybe invite them to spend the weekend at your house.
Be prepared for communications disruptions both land lines and cell phone and computer.
Get your laundry done and check on pet supplies.
If you require regular medications, Oxygen check your supply and visit your pharmacists NOW if low. Check your first aid supplies while at the pharmacy and restock as needed.
Gather Flashlights, lanterns and Lamps. Check their condition and remember to use them safely. Keep fire extinguishers close at hand.
Put together a selection of books, games, toys for the kids in the event of power failure.
Maintain the charge in Cell phones, Laptops and Favorite Toys NOW....and keep em charged.
Riding out an unexpected storm can be a real hardship, with enough heads up notice the storm may be nothing more then a nascence. I look forward to saying Goodnight Irene some time early next week.
Lets hope that is all it is.
I had not slept well the night before and was very tired, as the room began to sway I believed I was just a bit dizzy from lack of sleep. Not so. It was not long before others in the area were in the street seeking protection from what they thought would surly be falling debris and shattering glass. That didn't happen here in Orange County New York at least in the business district I was in at the time of the quake but the world DID shake.
I hit the closest TV and flipped on the news for the update, yup it was a quake alright. I went into alert and started assessing the situation. It was clear to me and others that we were safe for the time being but I could not help but notice that EVERYONE had their cell phones out doing double duty. Some were complaining about connectivity issues while others had text options but no voice capabilities. I checked my cell and found I was still connected and had full service so I guess my phone lucked into a clear trunk but it was obvious that luck was on my side, most were forced to wait and hit redial.
On the TV news, I saw some political conference "Live" from near the epicenter. The room full of press and suits swayed and vibrated as the group stood facing the cameras with a "what the f*&@" look on their face. One woman grabbed her female compatriot and dragged her off the stage and out via the nearest door.......BRAVO! a survivor! Clearly she had lived through something like this before, at least she reacted as if she had.
So what is today's lesson? Well obviously it is to be aware of your surroundings, expect the unexpected no matter how "unlikely" it may be and be prepared to act!
We seem to have been "programed" to believe that anything that makes a loud noise, produces smoke or makes the ground shake is a terrorist attack. That's a shame because the way we react to an "event" might make the difference between being injured or reaching safety.
In short as always, keep a small emergency kit on your person, in your car/office/home just in case. Recommendations for the assembly of such kits are on this Blog, read up and be ready.
Live in the ORANGE mode and with your emergency plans thought out well in advance.
Rule number One: Never bring a knife to a gun fight, at all other times, never be without one.
The Ka-Bar TDI (Tactical defense Institute)knife is purpose built as a weak hand last ditch defense blade. Fast on the draw and with a unique Kukri type leverage advantage, the TDI is a great self defense option. I wore the TDI in uniform for years and never knew it was there, it travels so comfortably in almost any direction or location on (or under) your duty belt. It carries just as well on jeans under a loose shirt.
Another great option is the Cold Steel "Spike" series. These thin easy to carry fixed blades can be worn as a belt, neck or boot knife. Sharp and needle pointed, they can be a surprise to an attacker and a down right nightmare to any mugger.
What else is new? It's summer and it's hot, what do you expect?
Well what you should expect is interruption of power. A hot summer Tuesday night might not give you a second thought unless the lights go out. Then, it will be the only thing on your mind.
All of a sudden the little things you take for granted become paramount. First thing we notice is of course the lights. We don't do dark as well as our ancestors did. If you are at work when the power goes out the chances are you will have some sort of generated back up power and or emergency lighting. This will not last long. Unless you are in a health care or corrections environment, you are not on the must resupply list.
Always carry a personal flashlight, even a small LED is better then nothing. This will help you reach your car, the bus stop or even a stair well.
Coolers should be available to store food and supplies, Your refrigerator is big and once power is out it is not efficient at keeping contents cool, coolers are actually better, you can fill them with ice or Frozen items from you freezer and it will keep cool for a long time.
Chemical ice packs or "Gel" packs work well but I think frozen water is much more useful, you can't drink Gel!
Store water now! Should things get worse for any reason, water may be disrupted. Any "Mart" store will sell five gallon water jugs. They are worth keeping, I suggest at least two for one person for two days.
Electric lanterns are safe, keep batteries fresh.
Oil bottles are safe and spill proof. They store well and are inexpensive.
How long will this last?
What do you say when a disaster and catastrophe of this magnitude occurs?Our hearts and prayers go out to our Brothers and Sisters in Japan. The projected losses due to this Earth quake and subsequent Tsunami are expected to be above 10.000. A conservative number to be sure, I believe it to be well above that number .
The threat of radiation exposure is constant now. Our own military may have been exposed accidentally while responding to requests for assistance. The Navy had a ship inadvertently pass through a possible contaminated zone. Although the exposure time was brief, one never knows what long term affects may come of this.
Potassium iodine is being distributed to flood the Thyroid glads of survivors and emergency teams. This provides some protection from radiation exposure. With the thyroid saturated in such a way, radio active contamination can not occupy this area of the thyroid. This level of protection is slight and only protects the thyroid itself but is critical due to the thyroids ease of contamination and what that represents to the body.
Finding suitable shelter and supplies is what is most important now. Japan is not a large land mass and no area of the island was left totally untouched.
Where does one go when there is no place to go? Who do you turn to when you need everything and have no resources?
As always we as Americans do what we do best, we help. Once again we have sent emergency services teams and support to do what must be done. But it is an unimaginable task and no contribution no matter what size will be ill spent.
Open your hearts, There but for the great grace of God we tread.
One of my new heroes.
Well done Brother, Thanks for walking the walk.
A happy and safe holiday to you and yours, many others will have one thanks to your actions.
GINGER LITTLETON.....Super lady! Another hero, more guts then Wonder Woman. I'm sure your family is proud of you. It's clear you don't take any crap do you?
Quote of the day: You wake up one morning and you make a difference. and things will never be the same.
Update from live School Board news conference...
Mike Jones' two shots that hit gunman Clay Duke saved the lives of Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt and other board members, Husfelt said moments ago at a live press conference.
"If you'll watch the video, when Mike Jones (the district's chief of safety, security and police) comes in (Duke's) still shooting and getting ready to reach over and start shooting again," Husfelt said. "Mike shoots him twice before he finally turns around and Mike, I'm telling, Mike saved our lives.
"It doesn't get any more real than that."
Husfelt said bullet holes marked both the area behind school board members and the door and hallway where Jones entered the room. He has no doubt that Duke intended to kill.
Asked about security procedures for future board meetings, Husfelt said he did not want to overreact.
"If you could've seen that gentleman's eyes, this was gonna happen," Husfelt said. "We could've had this place like Fort Knox and he would've shot us when we came out of the building.
"There was nothign we could've done to stop him. It was a tragedy and we're very thankful and blessed to be alive."
Board Member Ginger Littleton told the media she just reacted when she swung her purse at the gunman after he had ordered her out of the room.
"I don't think anything was going through my mind but these were sitting ducks, pigeons on a wire," Littleton said. "I couldn't leave them without trying to divert (Duke) ... or trying to buy some time until someone, or Mike Jones, bless his heart, could get there to help us."
"Put yourself in her shoes," Husfelt siad. "What would you do?"
Board member Ryan Neves, the second person Duke shot at, said he didn't sleep Tuesday night.
"I think all of us are probably dealing with the situation in a different way," he said. "It's surreal. Everything is stillmoving in slow motion in my head.
"When you're put in that situation where your putwith a gun direclty at you, if you haven't been in that sitaution you'd never understand."
Neves, along with everyone else at the meeting, remains almost stunned that no one was injured other than the gunman.
"I've seen the room and it is nothing short of a miracle that our superintendent is alive and well and with us today," Neves said. "It's nothing short of a miracle that God protected him and stood in front of him and took that bullet for him.
"If you don't believe in miracles, watch that tape again," he continued. "Everybody that ... was in that room, this is something that changes your life. It's going to be something you carry with you."
Husfelt said while security procedures will be reviewed, and perhaps enhanced, he believes the board will approach it reasonably.
"We don't want to overreact," he said. "We don't want to have TSA checking people when they go in. That's not what this country is about."
There were 14 bullets let loose during a wild exchange of gunfire but only three found their mark, police said this morning: two fired by Mike Jones into gunman Clay Duke and the 14th shot, fired by the Duke into his own head, ending his life.
Panama City Deputy Police Chief Robert Colbert this morning said Duke had 12 rounds in his 9 mm pistol, and most of them had been fired. It was unclear how many shots Jones, the district's chief of safety, security and police, fired after Duke started shooting. But two rounds from his 40-caliber pistol hit Duke moments after he fired point-blank at Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt and other board members.
news source: NEWSHEROLD.COM (Panama City)
Watch your six
Baby type or non alcohol medial wipes can be kept in the office or vehicle to do a self decontamination.
let's face it when it's cold outside and service has been disrupted due to storm damage, you might need to spend quality time with a wool blanket and cuddled with the family hound.
OR you could go straight to plan "B", alternative heat.
Without power (or generator) furnace functions wont work. If you are the type that has a wood stove (and I suggest you do) you are ahead of the pack. The wood stove for all it's glory is not the easiest thing to sling on your back and relocate to other parts of the house/garage/basement/Mom's house, or any place heat is urgently needed.
Here "portable" heaters are the rule.
Manufactures like Kero Sun (Toyotomi) Corona (Manning) or Dyna-Glo (Northern) Dura-Heat and others produce stand up units that generate 10,000+ BTU of warm wonderful waves of comfort. Today's heaters are far safer and more reliable then the units your Dad used years ago. They burn cleaner, and are liter and more efficient then ever before. A Kero heater kept well stored in the garage/basement can be a God send when and if the temp drops.
Kerosene itself can be stored in safe quantities for years without chemical degradation like gasoline does. I know it is common knowledge but it's worth repeating for the sake of neophytes: NEVER PUT GASOLINE IN A KEROSENE HEATER....you will only blow yourself up along with most of your house and part of the yard outside. These are oil heaters only.
Kero heaters burn fairly cleanly and only really smell of fumes while lighting and extinguishing. I find if you turn them on and off outside, you will never detect an odor. Moreover there are additives that cut the odor down considerably and help the wick burn more efficiently. By keeping the crown of the wick clean of crust and carbon (that build up after long term use) and trimmed even, the heater will work long and well. I use a small steel brush to "groom" the edge of the wick once in a while. At the end of each season, my wife takes the heater apart and cleans any parts that need it (they seldom do). Always store the heater with some kero in it to keep the wick from drying out and have spare wick on hand.
Now on to "Catalytic" heaters:
Coleman, Elston, Brinkmann, Olympian, and others manufacture small portable heaters just perfect for "area" heating. Although these small heaters are not as good as Kero at putting out high volumes of heat, they are fair at providing localized comfort. 3,000 to 5,000 BTUs are the expected output of heat. Most of these units use propane that can be stockpiled. kept on a shelf in the garage, they take up little space and are worth owning two or three.
NOTICE: these units will use allot of the oxygen in the room, so use these units only in well ventilated areas. There have been reports of these units producing headaches and in some cases death due to carbon monoxide fumes. They are illegal in some parts of Canada for this reason. Reports vary, but claims of improvements to the latest designs have reduced the hazards associated with these heaters.
Think Small: Personal Warmers (Hand warmer) these suckers get HOT!
Jon-e and Zippo as well as others are small, cheap and they work!
Units that fit in your pocket can help you get through a cold night. I have put one of these in my sleeping bag more then once and was thankful for it. Some of these units burn lighter fluid type fuel while others actually burn preformed charcoal sticks. Light em, let them come up to temp, put them in their safety bags (so you wont be burned) and enjoy the warmth. They can burn for four to eight hours depending on type and size.
This may not the answer to warming the home but for lack of anything else or while in your Car/R-V or while roughing it on the floor, these units are the ticket. The cost of personal heaters is not high and they can be found in any sporting goods store/department. Stock up on a few and the fuel you will need NOW. keep one or two in your car. Don't forget a lighter, you'll need it to get em started.
Warm your six