Monday, January 11, 2010

Shake, Rattle and Break!

[Haiti Update Below]
A fitting way to start out the new year -- learning just how inhospitable this place we call home, our Earth, can be sometimes. A necessary evil to shake us out of our complacency, I'd guess.

After the initial experience of standing flatfooted and feeling exactly what a 6.5 magnitude felt like, and checking to make sure the fireplace was still in one peace, no pipes broken and that the neighbor lady made sure she didn't have any gas leaks, I turned on the radio to see how serious the damage was. My regular FM station was off air so I started looking. I finally found a station, don't know which one, I don't spend much time listening to the radio, FM or AM and began to get some call-in information. Unfortunately that didn't produce much so I turned on the TV. Found out the local stations were all off line and ended up leaving CNN on. Wasn't too long and they began to present some information, but then went on with normal programming.

The website Ready America says, "Prepare, Plan and Stay Informed."
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
  1. Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  2. Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  3. Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  4. Flashlight and extra batteries
  5. First aid kit
  6. Whistle to signal for help
  7. Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  8. Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  9. Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  10. Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  11. Local maps
  12. Cell phone with chargers
Notice the suggestion, "Battery-powered radio"!
You need pertinent, up to the minute, applicable information that can help a person deal with the emergency. If the highway is closed, power lines are down, a bridge is out, etc. people need to know about that at the time. In short, there needs to be some sort of designated emergency information clearing house people know about (attached to the radio) so they can find out what they need to know. We know all these government agencies that take all our tax dollars don't actually work together, even when they say they since 9/11. This might be a good place to start.

Some of the local blogs are blowing their horns about how well they helped. Who knew?

When I couldn't find out anything, I staid put. That didn't stop me from thinking about if my wife was stranded somewhere and couldn't get home.  I'm just glad the quake happened when it did, not at night or during a work day.

It shook me out of my complacency -- for a little while anyway.

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit: (from Ready Gov site)

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Update - Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We should count our blessing when you think this is what could be our experience. Personally, I really believed that shock was a 7. Emergency kits are fine, but I don't think many of these people were able to find theirs. You can read more on the quake from Reuters here. Heres another link for live coverage: The latest updates from Haiti.

[Source From Millan.Net]


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