Monday, August 19, 2013



Has the water run dry in your emergency supply kit?  If so, it’s time to fill ‘er up!  One of the most essential components of a disaster-ready kit is water.  A well maintained kit prepares you before disaster strikes. 

After an emergency, clean drinking water may not be available if your usual water source is cut off or contaminated.  When replenishing your supply remember that individual needs may vary depending on health, age, diet and climate. As a general rule, store one gallon of water per person per day to last for at least three days.

There are several options for building your water supply. The safest and most reliable choice is to buy commercially bottled water and open it only when you need to use it. Store the containers in a cool, dark place and note the expiration date. 

If you choose to prepare your own containers of water, purchase food grade water storage containers from a surplus or camping supply store or two-liter plastic soda bottles – not bottles that contained milk or fruit juice.  Keep in mind these containers must first be properly cleaned!

To learn more about maintaining your kit, click here.  Information about water treatment is also available at

Monday, July 22, 2013

Preparedness, Fires and YOU!

This is a complete copy-n-paste from FEMA, but it is great information on how to reduce your chances of your house going up in flames!  And this is not just for wild-fire prone areas.  Any house should take these measures, as you never know where a fire will occur next!


Protecting your Home during a Wildfire

Wildfires can spread rapidly, with little-to-no warning, often going unnoticed until it is too late. These wildfires, commonly started by human error, quickly ignite and burn through tinder-dry bushes and trees, and unfortunately spread to nearby homes as well.
If you live in a fire-prone area there are various ways that you can help reduce the chance for severe damage to your home and property, by designing and landscaping your home with wildfire safety in mind; selecting materials and plants that can help contain a fire rather than fuel it.
For home design and construction:
·        Use fire-resistant or noncombustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling.
·        Treat wood or combustible material used in roofs, siding, decking, or trim with fire-retardant chemicals evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory.
·        Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees around your property such as hardwoods, and avoid more flammable pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.
For home maintenance and safety:
·        Regularly clean your roof and gutters to remove any debris;
·        Install a fire alarm on every floor in your home and test monthly;
·        Have a garden hose long enough to reach your home and any other structures on the property;
·        Ask the power company to remove any branches that are near or on the power lines; and
·        Mow your grass regularly.
A great resource for proper home and property fire prevention planning is The site contains a variety of fire safety and prevention  information designed for residents, property owners, fire departments, community planners, builders, public policy officials, water authorities and architects. To learn about Firewise’s upcoming Wildfire Education conference click here.
Should you be directed to evacuate your home due to a wildfire, follow the instructions of local officials, and be sure to take your battery operated radio, disaster preparedness kit and lock the door behind you when evacuating. If you have time to prepare the home before leaving, visit the U.S. Fire Administration website for additional tips.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gone With The Wind

Gee, I bet many were wondering where I went!  Yes, I have been away from my blog for several months.  Honestly, I have missed my blog and tossing out my observations regularly for those willing to spare a couple minutes to hear what has popped out of my head and into electronic bits and bytes.  But there has just been so much going on that I feel that I just want to start making a comment or two, in hopes that it helps someone, somewhere.

Tornadoes are very rare occurrences in Southern California.  Typically, any funnel shaped objects are water spouts out on the water that, in their short life, rarely come to the shore.  Tornadoes, or twisters as many call them, hit with voracity in the southern central part of the United States.  While I would contend, as many do, that this is the consequence of human influence on our climate, it nevertheless is a seemingly frequent bunch of havoc sent to those states.

If you have never been around these storm cells, you cannot really understand the dread and yet tremendous sense of excitement associated with these storms.  The air is electrified with ions and the sky often turns a particular shade of green.  It was extremely sad to hear that three highly qualified meteorologists (and storm chasers) perished in a recent tornado, but these natural phenomena are so unbelievable that you can see why they chose such a dangerous career.

Southern Californians probably don’t have “be ready for tornados” on their preparedness list, but tornados do remind us all that Mother Nature is quite powerful and unpredictable and being prepared should really be something that is as regular as getting a hair cut.

So, we are not in Kansas, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t aware that things can literally be gone with the wind – unless we prepare and make sure it doesn’t.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Need to Know

Let’s face it.  While we may protest to some degree or another, we are news junkies.  We may think that this is a new phenomenon – with news feeds, Facebook, Twitter, texts and emails literally with us in every waking moment – it is perhaps what we have always done.  From gatherings at hangings to checking out car wrecks, we just want to know what is happening when things go wrong.

I like to think that sometimes I watch because something is so sad or so horrible that I think I must watch to remind myself of how lucky I am.  It is also a time to connect with others, feel their pain and send them our sympathy and passion.  Perhaps it is a little of the voyeur in us, but then again it is our curiosity that has pushed us to the top of the food chain and able to manipulate much of the world around us.

It is for this reason that it is important to get information out as quickly, as accurately and as often as possible.  Maybe it is the mom in me, but my empathy genes shift into high expression when crises hit and my mind conjures up all types of images of how others must be feeling.  It is that, therefore, that makes me want to tell others what I know that might ease their anxiety, if only a little.

Being prepared for disasters is not only a good idea, but a potentially life saving one.  It is not, though, like going through the “real thing.”  That is the point, though, of the whole being prepared part is accepting that things will happen that are beyond your expectations.

That, I believe, is where information comes in.  Say there has been a fire, earthquake or shooting – while the shock of reality will certainly be there, the whats-where-how-whys of it will help us understand, figure out ways to cope then find a way to deal with it all.

For now, I think I better figure out that Twitter thing.  I think I am missing out on something important!  Now about that “hash tag” thing…