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Monday, January 5, 2009

Home Hazards

During a disaster, ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage. Anything that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire is a home hazard. For example, a hot water heater or a bookshelf can fall; so can books, plants, mirrors, lamps and china.

Conduct a Home Hazard Hunt

Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. Fasten shelves securely. Place large, heavy objects on lower shelves. Hang pictures and mirrors away from beds. Put braces on overhead light fixtures. Secure the water heater and gas appliances by strapping them to wall studs. Repair cracks in ceilings or foundations. Store weed killers, pesticides and flammable products away from heat sources. Place oily polishing rags or waste in covered metal cans. Clean and repair chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors and gas vents.

Inspect your home at least once a year and fix potential hazards. Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards.

Find the safe places in your home for each type of disaster.

Discuss with your family why you need to prepare for disaster and the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children and what to do in each case. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.

Home Escape Plan

Determine the best escape routes from your home. Draw a floor plan of your home. Identify two escape routes from each room.

Establish a safe place in your area for your family to meet at in an emergency. For example, designate a certain spot in the local park to gather at, and should you have to leave your area, designate a relative or a friend's home as the gathering place. Be sure to include arrangements for any pets in these plans, since pets are not permitted in shelters and some hotels will not accept them.

Pick two places to meet:

  • One place near your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.
  • One outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number.

Keep family records in a water and fire-proof container.

Discuss what to do about power outages and personal injuries.

Take a Basic Red Cross First Aid and CPR training course. For more information, contact your local Red Cross office.

Keep a disaster supplies kit in your home. Whether you are asked to evacuate your home or to seal yourself inside for a period of time, having some essential supplies on hand will make you and your family more comfortable. Aim to have a kit that will keep you and your family self-sufficient in your home for at least three days. If you have a flashlight, a battery-operated or crank radio, food, water and blankets, you already have a good start. Keep a smaller kit in your car. A blanket, extra clothing, a candle in a deep can and matches can save your life.

Fire Escape Plan

  • Plan two escape routes out of each room.
  • Teach family members to stay low to the ground when escaping from a fire.
  • Teach family members never to open doors that are hot. In a fire, feel the bottom of the door with the palm of your hand. If it is hot, do not open the door. Find another way out.
  • Install smoke detectors. Clean and test smoke detectors once a month. Change batteries at least once a year.
  • Keep a whistle in each bedroom to awaken household members in case of fire.
  • Check electrical outlets. Do not overload outlets.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher (5 lb., A-B-C type). Have a collapsible ladder on each upper floor of your house.
  • Consider installing home sprinklers.

Practice and maintain your plan:

  • Quiz your children every six months.
  • Conduct fire and emergency evacuations.
  • Replace stored water in your disaster supplies kit every six months.
  • Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.

Simple Steps to Safety

Household Emergency Plan

Create a family emergency communication plan. Communication systems in a disaster area are usually disrupted, so it is very important that you can reach someone who is in a location that is not affected to be your family contact -- someone your family or household will call or e-mail to check in with should an emergency occur. Choose someone who lives far enough away that he or she is unlikely to be affected directly by the same event, and be sure to tell that person that he or she is your designated contact. After the disaster, it is often easier to call out of the region as the local phone lines might be tied up.

Make sure everyone memorizes this person's name and telephone number and knows to call your family contact if they get separated from the family. The Red Cross recommends you make a list of your designated contact's phone numbers (home, work, cell or pager) and e-mail addresses for everyone in the family or household. Make sure everyone, including the designated contact, has a copy of this list.

provide the emergency contact numbers to your children's schoolsIf you have children, provide the emergency contact numbers to your children's schools. Provide this same information to your workplace. Your family should know that if telephones are not working, they need to be patient and try again later or they can try to e-mail a message. People flood the telephone lines when emergencies happen but e-mail can sometimes get through.

  • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.). Keep a list of key telephone numbers and addresses near the phone. If there has been a major disaster, use the phone only if it is absolutely necessary. Emergency crews will need all available lines.
  • Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local emergency medical services number for emergency help.
  • Teach children how to make long distance emergency phone calls to reach out of town family contacts.
  • Instruct household members to turn on the radio for emergency information.
  • If you live in a house, show each family member how and when to turn off the supply of water, gas, and electricity at the main switches. Make big easy-to-see signs identifying breaker panel (or main circuit breaker), gas and main water supply and post the signs at those locations.
  • If you live in an apartment building, show everyone in your family the location of the emergency exits. Show them where the fire alarm is, and explain when and how to use it. In a fire or other emergency, do not use the elevators. You will be trapped in the elevator if the power goes out. Determine what your role is in your building's emergency plan, what to do if an alarm sounds and how to safely evacuate the building.
  • Check if you have adequate insurance coverage. Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage for the range of risks in your community.
  • Get training from the fire department for each family member on using the fire extinguisher and show them where it is kept.
  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.

72 Hours...is your family prepared?

The path of destruction that Hurricane Katrina left in its wake across the southern U.S. in August 2005 provided a horrific reminder of the importance of being prepared for disasters.

The fact is, disasters do happen. And disaster preparedness is every bit as essential here in Canada as it is in other countries. In recent floods, tornadoes, severe storms, forest fires, blackouts and industrial accidents have wreaked havoc in communities across the country. Many of these emergencies were deadly. Being prepared can save lives and can help to reduce the impact of a disaster on you and your family.

When a disaster strikes, it may take emergency workers some time to reach everyone. The Canadian Red Cross encourages all Canadians to share the responsibility for their own safety by planning ahead and being prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours.

By following a few simple steps now, you and your family can be prepared for emergencies of all kinds.

  1. Know the risks in your community.
  2. Make a family emergency plan.
  3. Assemble or purchase a family emergency kit
  4. Take a Red Cross first aid course

Want to learn more?

Want to make a difference by helping others when disaster strikes?

Don’t wait until an emergency happens—knowing what to do before a disaster strikes will help you and your family to remain in control of the situation to recover more quickly.

Practice or store

By Joseph Parish

I sat in my living room chair watching the military channel on cable last evening and all of a sudden I started to think about all the ammo which is being wasted for practice. The thought occurred to me that perhaps all this practice is simply not necessary. What will these same people do in the event that ammo is extremely scarce when the big emergency occurs? The only thing I can envision them doing is sitting on the curve with their head in their hand wishing that they had not wasted such a valuable commodity.

Don’t get me wrong as there is simply no problem in checking your weapons and ensuring that they are in prime condition. The only point that I am trying to make here is that perhaps the ammo would serve better being stored for that frightful day when it just may be needed.

Let’s face it a weapon is not going to hurt itself by merely sitting in its assigned location. Its adjustment is not going to be modified if it is not bothered. Each weapon that you have you should already be proficient with and practice is merely a time to enjoy your weapon and not completely required. In the military they train you to pick up any weapon at any time and be able to use it. If you have had similar training then you too should be able to master any weapon tossed in your circle within a mere matter of minutes.

Many people are planning to add to their gun collection during the next month or so but the thing to consider is how much practice is going to be needed to master your new weapon. Ammo is quickly becoming a hard to find item. It is not usual to discover that you are purchasing the last brick or two of a particular type of ammo.

If you happen to find that this is a hard to believe fact then consider this situation. Here you have a fairly new weapons handler purchasing an AR. Imagine who surprised he will be to discover that he can not locate any ammo to purchase for his new weapon.

Often people state that only through constant practice can they stay proficient in the use of their weapon whether it is a rifle or a combat pistol. These people are firm believers that you must practice live draw and fire drills, that you require practice in moving targets and other fire related activities in order to maintain your abilities. In reality what it actually boils down to is muscle recall and repetition. Live fire and its associated practice drills merely assist your muscles in remembering and tend to make your movements instinctive. These same people contend that in an emergency situation you simply would not have time to react as quickly if you forgo your training and practice. Most of these are only excuses to “play” with your weapons and won’t really affect the outcome of a situation that much.

So, give careful though as to how much of your ammo you will be able to waste and still feel secure in your weapons accumulation.

Copyright 2009 Joseph Parish

And yet another Preparedness List

By Joseph Parish

Once again I wandered around the net and discovered more items that should be enclosed in our preparedness kit for a rapid and quick get away should we need to leave an area quickly. On our web site you can readily find list after list after list. I think the key to using these lists is to continually compare them and add those items which you deem would be beneficial for you and your family. No one person can complete a list that would serve the purposes for everyone. The final selection of items rests in your hands.

At Delmarva Survival Training we have thousands upon thousands of pages of material on survival. In fact we have so much that we can not post it all on the site. I have found that saving all this material is the easy part but now comes the more difficult assignment of categorizing it. I attempted this task last year but never completed it. Perhaps as a New Years resolution I will attempt it again this coming year.

As I stated above here is the additional preparedness listing. Keep in mind that this list reflects those items to be taken with you not to be kept in the home. That would be an entirely different list.


Canned foods

Bulk dehydrated fruits/vegetables

Powdered milk


Kool aid





Top Ramen



Peanut butter

Various Herbs/spices

Dried cheese powder

Rice and Beans




Chili powder


Cooking oil or Shortening

Baking soda



Dish/pot/pan cleaners

Laundry soap


Dutch oven

Frying pan

Cast iron cook set - all items including coffee pot

Cooking Utensils


Paper plates


Plastic Silverware


Food storage bags

A variety of Tupperware


Generator, batteries

Solar battery re-charger and batteries



Oil lamps

Kerosene lamps




Warm clothing


Make list from Family Survival handbook

Military quality survival knife





Plastic bags

Paper bags




Motor oil


Water filtration system

Silver tablets

Iodine tablets

Water jugs




Complete first aid kit

Hydrogen Peroxide

Various shelf medicines


Prescription drugs





Cleaning/care items


The key to successfully departing an area is to keep your vehicles gassed up and ready to leave at a moments notice. You should make all the necessary contingency plan that would get you away from the center of disturbances as quickly as possible. All your necessary camping gear should be checked before time and properly packed. You will more then likely need a small utility trailer to tote much of your supplies in. In this trailer you should have several large gas cans or if you have another person going along with you have the second vehicle pull a gas trailer which could contain 150 and up to 300 gallons of fuel. It goes without saying that you should have your bags already packed and ready for departure. Have several large totes packed and sitting in a coat closet waiting to be loaded. Have your primary and secondary routes completely planned. Include the following items in your plans.



Get trailer and connection


Feminine pads






Shaving Cream

After Shaves/Cologne/Perfume

Personal packs


Power inverter for the car

Tape recorder to tape monitoring

Baygen radio/solar cell/light

Frequency lists/books

Roof antenna for CB

Handheld AM/FM


Wash boards


Toilet paper





Taxes and major financial events boxes

Family member/Assets/Warranties/Insurance file box

Social security cards

Birth certificates

Vaccination records

Medical records


Survival library on CD’s or portable hard drive

Survival handbook



Water storage

Food storage

Family preparedness handbook


You should have a tool kit packed and ready to go.


As some of your very last items that you may need to accomplish you should consider withdrawing all you cash from the bank and having it in your hands. Close out any savings accounts that you may have. Keep a supply of checks, credit cards and prepaid cards of various kinds on hand.


Rope, Bungee cords, Tarps, Tents, Sleeping bags, Stoves, Lanterns, Complete tent stake bag fully loaded up, Ax and a Hatchet.

Well that about wraps it up but let’s face it if anything can go wrong it will. Therefore these unexpected occurrences will also have to be taken into consideration. Car chips can develop problems or go bad so you may wish to carry an extra one with you. Chaos is sure to develop in the cities and your goal will be to get out ASAP!

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Paris

Link of the Day

Are you Ready?

An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness

Cover of Are You Ready publication

Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness (IS-22) is FEMA’s most comprehensive source on individual, family, and community preparedness. The guide has been revised, updated, and enhanced in August 2004 to provide the public with the most current and up-to-date disaster preparedness information available.


Protect your Property

Learn how to protect your home or business

In this section:


Assess your risk

Reduce your risk

Insure your risk

See what FEMA is doing to help


Assess your risk

Reduce your risk

See what FEMA is doing to help

Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and High Winds

Assess your risk

Reduce your risk

See what FEMA is doing to help

Manmade Disasters

Find construction guidance which can help reduce the damage caused to buildings from bomb attacks, as well as chemical, biological, and radiological agents. See our Risk Management Series.

Best Practices and Case Studies

Learn what others are doing to protect their property by reading Mitigation Best Practices and Case Studies.

Protect Your Business

Learn how to protect your business records, create a business inventory, and install a generator. To learn more, see: Protect your business.

Plan for Emergencies

You can begin this process by gathering family members and making sure each person is well-informed on potential hazards and community plans (Getting Informed ). Discuss with them what you would do if family members are not home when a warning is issued. Additionally, your family plan should address the following:

Determine your Risk

Identify possible hazards and emergencies

Possible Hazards and Emergencies Worksheet - Use this worksheet to identify potential hazards and create a plan to reduce your family's risk.

Review maps of your area

FEMA Maps - Search for flood maps, hurricane maps, and more.

Calculate your risk with assessment tools

HAZUS - Use this powerful risk assessment tool to analyze potential losses from:

Learn about FEMA’s mitigation activities

Mitigation Planning - Learn how FEMA works to reduce or eliminate risks to life and property from hazards.

Ham Radio can save you in an emergency

Earlier this year Amateur radio operator Bob Williams, N7ODM, of Bozeman, Montana, heard a faint Morse code signal. The transmission was coming from Glenn Russell Ruby Jr, W7AU, who had just broken his leg in the wilderness. Glen was using a portable radio and Morse code to send out a call for help. Although the signal was very week, Bob was able to pick up Glen’s call for help.

Injured with a broken leg, Glen was able to get out his exact GPS coordinates, and detailed information on his physical condition. He was able to tell Bob who to contact for emergency assistance.

The whole thing started when Glen slipped on a wet rock and broke his leg while hiking in the high Cascades of Western Washington. Once injured Glen’s instincts to survive took over, before even calling for help, he set up his tent, got into some warm clothes, had a snack, and strung up a wire antenna.

Glen then fired up his Ham Radio and put out his call for help. Thanks to his radio, rescue crews were able to locate and rescue Glen.

Original: http://offgridsurvival.com/hamradio/