When you are planning a trip in your auto, take time to check your vehicle. In addition to cleaning out the trash, check the windshield washer fluid, oil, water/anti-freeze level in the radiator, and tire inflation. Remember to double check your emergency car kit, updating food and water and adding extra clothing based on the type of weather you expect to travel through. If you have a cell phone, pack it and the charger. Check your wallet for cash and any roadside emergency membership card you may have. Always maintain a half-full tank of gas. Before you leave, contact someone at your destination to let them know your estimated time of arrival.
Once you are on the road, pay attention to your vehicle’s performance, listening for any odd sounds and look for any odd emissions. Once I was traveling home late. I noticed white smoke coming from my exhaust and looked down at the dash to see the temperature needle pegged to overheating. The radiator hose had burst.
If you have a breakdown, use the car’s momentum to get it off the road safely. Try to get over as far as possible to remove your vehicle from on-coming traffic. Put on the emergency flashers. Exit the car from the passenger side door. If you can’t get off the road, set up any warning signals you have, like flares or hazard triangle, as far behind as practical to give other motorists notice to get around you.
Raise your vehicle hood and leave it up, Get out your HELP sign or white cloth. Place it in the window. Use your cell phone, if you have one with service, to contact law enforcement. Calling 911 will put you in contact with help. Your cell phone may or may not have a GPS tracking device installed, so you will need to be able to tell the 911 operator where you are. A mile marker or landmark is helpful.
Stay with your vehicle, if possible, especially at night or in bad weather. Wait for a uniformed law enforcement officer to arrive. Rely on the items in your road-side emergency kit to keep you hydrated, warm and entertained while you wait for assistance to arrive.
Keep doors and windows locked. If someone stops to assist you, crack the window and ask them to contact law enforcement. Use your best judgment accepting help from strangers.
When help arrives, if you are out of your vehicle discussing details, be sure to stand away from the vehicles, not in between them. Many people have been injured or worse when another driver has hit the back vehicle, driving the two together, crushing or amputating legs.
If you must walk, write down your name, date, time you left the vehicle and the direction you were going. Leave it on the dash. Walk facing traffic, if there are no sidewalks. If you accept a ride from a stranger, write down the plate number of the vehicle, a description of the driver and vehicle, in addition. Leave this information on the dash. As soon as possible notify law enforcement of the location and condition of your vehicle.
Everyone should know what to in an Emergency. Whenever there is an emergency, use the following tips to help decide if you should call 9-1-1 (or local emergency number) for an ambulance.
911 should be called IMMEDIATELY for any emergency which is threatening to life, health, safety, or property. This includes crimes in progress, medical problems, suspicious persons or activities. Fire emergencies, criminal offenses, drug activity, and domestic problems should also be promptly reported to 9-1-1.
Non-emergency requests for service should be directed to an administrative number. Add your local number to your emergency contacts. Listen to the recorded options and select the line # for non emergency. Stay on the line until a dispatcher answers.
Call if victim…
… is trapped
… is not responding or is passed out
… is bleeding badly or bleeding cannot be stopped
… has a cut or wound so bad and deep that you can see bone or muscles
… has a body part missing or is torn away
… has pain below the rib cage that does not go away
… is peeing, pooping or puking blood (called passing blood)
… is breathing weird or having trouble breathing
… seems to have hurt their head, neck or back
… is jerking uncontrollably (called having a seizure)
… has broken bones and cannot be moved carefully
… acts like they had a heart attack (chest pain or pressure)
… If you call 9-1-1 there may be a recording or delay while your call is being processed. DO NOT HANG UP — wait for a 9-1-1 dispatcher.
When you talk to 9-1-1 or the emergency number…
… try to stay CALM and describe what happened and what is wrong with the victim
… give the location of the emergency, your name and the phone number you are calling from
… follow their instructions in case they tell you what to do for the victim
… do NOT hang up until the 9-1-1 operator tells you to.
Since you are calling from a cell phone, your call may be disconnected if the signal is lost. Be sure to call back if you are cut off.
… When calling 9-1-1 on a cellular phone, be sure to stop if you are in a moving vehicle. It is difficult to obtain all of the information needed if you are getting further from the emergency.
… Your call may need to be transferred to another agency because cell phone calls are sent to a 9-1-1 answering point based on cell radio coverage. Cell coverage areas don’t always match political boundaries, so most calls are routed to a 9-1-1 answering point that serves the majority of the area.
Reproduced with Permission:
http://www.ItsaDisaster.net from “It’s a Disaster …and what are YOU gonna do about it?”, by Bill and Janet Liebsch
Morgan County, TN ”911 Tips” version of above
TIPS ON GOOD SAMARITAN LAWS
The definition of a “Samaritan” is a charitable or helpful person. Most states have Good Samaritan laws that were designed to protect citizens who try to help injured victims with emergency care. If a citizen uses “logical” or “rational” actions while making wise or careful decisions during an emergency situation then they can be protected from being sued.
To learn more about your state’s Good Samaritan laws, check with your local library, search the web or contact an attorney.
Whenever you perform first aid on anyone, there is always a chance of spreading germs or diseases between yourself and the victim. These steps should be followed no matter what kind of first aid is being done — from very minor scrapes to major emergencies — to reduce the risk of infection.
BE AWARE…this is an emergency situation – you could be putting yourself in danger!
… Try to avoid body fluids like blood or urine (pee).
… Cover any open cuts or wounds you have on your body since they are doorways for germs!
BE PREPARED…Stay calm and Think before you act
… Wash your hands with soap and water before and after giving first aid. If using hand sanitizer, rub hands for at least 15 seconds.
… Have a first aid kit handy, if possible.
… Put something between yourself and victim’s body fluids, if possible
… Blood or urine – wear disposable gloves or use a clean dry cloth
… Saliva or spittle – use a disposable Face Shield during Rescue Breathing
… Clean up area with household bleach to kill germs.
… and… HAVE A PLAN! Check the ABC’s, call 9-1-1 and help victim
Airway. Open the airway by tilting the head back, gently lifting the jaw up, and leaving mouth open.
Breathing. Place your ear over victim’s mouth and nose. Look at chest, listen, and feel for breathing for 3-5 seconds.
Circulation. Check for a pulse using fingertips (not your thumb) in the soft spot between throat and the muscle on the side of the neck for 5-10 seconds.
Before giving first aid, you must have the victim’s permission. Tell them who you are, how much training you’ve had, and how you plan to help. Do not give care to someone who refuses it – unless they are unable to respond. Reproduced with Permission: http://www.ItsaDisaster.net “It’s a Disaster …and what are YOU gonna do about it?”
Did you know that most deaths due to winter storms are indirectly related to the storm? People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. They also die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
You may be familiar with the terms frostbite and hypothermia, but it’s important to be familiar with the warning signs of each.
Frostbite is damaging to body tissue caused by that tissue being frozen. Frostbite causes loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately. If you must wait for help, slowly rewarm affected areas. However, if the person is also showing signs of hypothermia, warm the body core before the extremities.
The warning signs include:
• Uncontrollable shivering
• Memory loss
• Slurred speech
• Apparent exhaustion
If you notice any of the warning signs, start by taking the person’s temperature. If it’s below 95 F (35 C), immediately seek medical care. If medical care is not available, begin warming the person slowly. Warm the body core first. If needed, use your own body heat to help.
Get the person into dry clothing, wrap them in a warm blanket, covering the head and neck. Do not give the person any hot beverage or food; warm broth is best. Do not warm extremities first, as it can drive cold blood toward the heart and lead to heart failure.
TIPS TO STAYING WARM
Wear a hat or wool stocking cap, because more than 50% of the body’s heat is lost through the head or neck area.
Keep your feet dry by wearing a thin pair of polypropylene socks underneath heavy wool socks. The wool socks will wick moisture away from your feet.
Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Also, mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.
THE C.O.L.D. RULE
When dealing with winter survival, the C.O.L.D. acronym can help you stay safe and warm.
• Keep your body and clothes Clean
• Avoid Overheating
• Dress in loose Layers of clothing that will trap body heat
• Keep clothes Dry
November, 2011 Every Needful Thing Jason M. Carlton
Have you checked the prices on various emergency preparedness items and been discouraged by the price tag? If so, you wouldn’t be alone.
Rather than giving up on your efforts to be prepared, you can usually gather a couple of neighbors together and organize a group buy on various items – water barrels, 72-hour kits, and even Sun Ovens.
By organizing a larger buy, the company often provides a volume discount, which saves the buyer anywhere from $10 to $50, depending
on the item and quantity. The best way to know how many items you would need to buy in order to make it worth the effort is to do a little research.
The Internet provides valuable information on organizations, and something as simple as a phone call can be very helpful.
With the holiday season quickly approaching, group buys may be an excellent way to gather various presents for extended family members, and that may also allow you to take advantage of seasonal sales and promotions, too.
Thinking about doing a Sun Oven group buy? Click here.
October 2011, Every Needful Thing Jason M. Carlton
In my role as an emergency preparedness coordinator for my neighborhood, I have had the opportunity to plan and execute a few neighborhood communication drills. The lead article is the first in a series of articles related to organizing a neighborhood in such a way that a full-scale emergency drill can be executed.
In each of the neighborhood exercises I have been a part of, I have learned something that helps me to refine my own neighborhood’s communication plan.
Here is a list of the articles that you will read in upcoming issues:
1. Organizing blocks & captains
2. Color-codes of emergencies
3. FRS radio protocol
4. Executing the drill
By the end of 2011, we hope to provide you with the information necessary to better organize your neighborhoods so you can test this organization through a communication drill and customize it to better prepare your neighbors and friends for anything that may come your way.
Jason M. Carlton
How often do you see a news story about a disaster that occurred and sent the city into panic and disorganization? Having a practiced and refined emergency preparedness plan in place can help reduce the panic in your own neighborhood.
It would be naive to say that in an actual emergency, your plan will go exactly as planned and practiced – every disaster may warrant different circumstances. But if the residents feel confident that a plan is in place, and has been practiced before, the level of panic will remain much lower.
If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Don’t let this be your neighborhood.
STEP 1: Identify a block captain
Block captains are volunteers assigned to a designated collection of houses and who help gather the information necessary to identify and address the needs of that given neighborhood.
Ideally, the block captain should be able to stand in front of their house and see the houses to which they have been assigned. In the corresponding graphic, a few examples of block organizations have been identified, with the block captain’s home identified in white.
STEP 2: Provide basic training
When asking a neighbor to “volunteer” to be a block captain, it is important to be able to provide them with an understanding of what their role is in an emergency.
Layton City (Utah) prepared a PowerPoint presentation for block captain training and has made it available on their Website. You can access the PDF file with this link:
Organization will be key. It may take some time to organize the block captains, and they may change as time goes by, but this is the first step in preparing your neighborhood for an emergency.
Our nation had a big wake up call on September 11, 2001, when terrorists flew hijacked airplanes into the two largest office buildings in New York City. Another one came in August 2005 in the form of Hurricane Katrina.We learned that we are not as “safe” as we assumed and that government organizations as well as individuals had a big knowledge gap on how to handle disasters. Many organizations were commended for their performance during both of these as well as other subsequent disasters. People found, however, that their survival hinged upon their own abilities and level of preparation. Super heroes were not available to fly in to save the day, at least not for everyone.
National Preparedness month, begun in 2004, is a part of a governmental effort to encourage Americans to prepare to take care of themselves during emergencies in whatever form or place they might occur. September was chosen for Preparedness Month, as a reminder of the September 11th tragedy.
As of 2009, the Citizen Corps National Survey revealed that only 57% of Americans indicated that they had emergency supplies set aside in their home in case of a disaster. Only 44% have a household emergency plan.
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is responsible for the distribution of emergency preparation information through their website Ready.gov. This year everyone is encouraged to visit the site and download a list of items to add to your emergency kit. There’s even a section on the site for kids: www.ready.gov/kids filled with games and easy to understand facts and tips helping families know that everyone needs to be involved in preparing for a disaster.
Design your family’s emergency plan. If we expect the government to provide everything for everyone, we may be waiting for a long time. You
will be your own fire department, doctor, and security department. Let the unit commander inside you come to life. Your family is worth it.
September 2013, Every Needful Thing Billie A. Nicholson