Monday, July 25, 2011

The 3 C's of my Weekend: Contagion, Captain America, and Containment

As many of you dedicated readers can recall, (and by dedicated I mean Mrs. Witter, my biggest fan) last October I blogged about the 3 C's, Cholera, Choking, and Citizen's CPR. Well it turns out, I have been bit by the alliteration bug again. So today, I bring you another set of C's which stands for Contagion, Captain America, and Containment.

Why? You ask. Well let me ex

As I do every Sunday, I went to the movies with my mother (yes, I am a mama's boy) to watch Captain America (and yes, I am twenty-four years old, and obsessed with comic book movies, don't judge). While waiting for the movie to begin they showed a trailer for an upcoming filled called Contagion. As a fellow germaphobe who fears that every speck of dirt is out for my demise, I was completely terrified at the very thought of this movie. Watch the trailer here to know what I mean. But it gave me a slight sense of relief when I saw that in the trailer the American Red Cross was featured as a shelter for those who have not been affected by the disease. I began to think about it, if an epidemic was to break out, we do have procedures for that, and in fact we would be able to establish a shelter again those pesky germs. So should Hollywood become real life, rest assured clean freaks, the Red Cross would be there!

The second C in today's lesson, is Captain America. First of all, in my opinion, the Captain could totally take G.I. Joe any day, no contest! But really, who is more of an American than Captain America himself? Throughout the movie I was reminded of those countless volunteers who dedicated their time throughout the 1940's to provide aid and emergency communication messages to families of wounded soliders. It really inspired me and made me especially proud to be part of this amazing organization. However, the real awesome part came in the film (spoiler alert) when Captain America addressed an Asian man who was imprisoned by the evil Hydra, by saying "I guess we are taking all of them," to which the man replied, "I'm from Fresno, Ace!" 

I am never more surprised than when our little big city gets a shout out in a hollywood blockbuster, especially when everyone in the theater was laughing and cheering. I had to refrain from shouting, "Volunteer at your local American Red Cross right here in Fresno!" Maybe one should call me Captain American Red Cross... catchy right?

The final C stands for containment. Right after the movie, I received a call that a wildfire had begun in the Yosemite Lakes Park region and that the Red Cross would be opening up a shelter to the affected families. I immediately grabbed by Red Cross Shield and reported for duty. This being my first shelter I was very excited to see all of the action. Fortunately, only seven people had to evacuate the area and were given the okay to return home after four hours because the fire had been contained. But in those few hours, I saw what the Red Cross was all about. It was the compassion and dedication those volunteers had. Dropping whatever it was they were doing, and coming to assist those in need. It was truly incredible to see how all of the disaster planning paid off and how quickly our shelter operations were assembled, but more importantly the hard work of our volunteers. 

So there you have it, the 3 C' what have you learned from all this? Well, when pandemics occur, we'll be there; when service members need our aid, we'll be there; and when natural disasters get the picture. So what are you waiting for? Volunteer already!

Alex Villa

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How One Woman Survived an F4 Tornado

I flew a football field length in a bath tub,” said Cindy. 

It’s one of those amazing stories of survival that you find yourself telling again and again. Cindy survived an F4 tornado that lifted her house and splintered it across her rural South Carolina neighborhood.

“People have found documents with our names on it 70 miles away,” said Cindy. “When I landed, I thought I was in a different town. I was in the air for what seemed like forever and with my stuff flying 70 miles away, I would have imagined I’d be with them,” she said.

Cindy credits her survival to her preparedness training that taught her to get in the bathtub in the innermost room of her house. With severe storms still threatening – some states bracing for hurricane season – and the everyday risks of unexpected emergencies, how prepared are you?

Emergency preparedness is vital to yours and loved ones’ everyday safety. Learn how by creating a preparedness plan now:

It was a deadly U.S. storm season these past months, including the tornado Cindy survived. Many of the storm survivors could not have foreseen the destruction. We know we can’t prevent disasters like these from happening, but a few steps in preparedness can lessen the effects when they do. I hope you’ll take the next step! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up!

Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of bite-sized links for you. It's a non-comprehensive sampling of the larger and/or more intriguing aspects of our global work...

SOUTH SUDAN: Volunteers for the newly formed South Sudan Red Cross went out ontheir very first operation - monitoring and assisting people attending the celebrations to mark the birth of the Republic of Southern Sudan.
PAKISTAN: Volunteers are helping families prepare to face the oncoming monsoon season.
YEMEN: Since mid-June, the ICRC and the Yemen Red Crescent Society have provided aid for more than 17,500 people who have escaped the fighting in Abyan and settled in Lahj.
ZIMBABWE: Medical equipment donated by the ICRC is helping bring newborn babies back to life.


A New Natural Disaster? Say It Isn't So!

Um, what??...
Korean scientists think they have determined what caused a 39-story Seoul skyscraper to shake violently for 10 minutes, causing the building to be evacuated for two days.
Earthquake? Nope.
Gale-force winds? Sorry.
Volcanic activity? Unh-uh.
No, the culprit, they say, was 17-middle-aged gym rats working off the midriff bulge in a Tae Bo class.
Apparently, while dancing and boxing to "The Power" by Snap on July 5, the exercisers not only shook their booties, they shook the building.
Read why. (via SFGate)
Just goes to show you really do have to be prepared for anything. Whether it's a real earthquake or just your coworkers groovin' to Tae Bo, you better know how to drop, cover, hold-on.
You've got the power (sorry, I couldn't resist) to be prepared.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Test Your Grilling IQ!

Summer Grilling: True or False!

It’s that time of the year! I’m sure many of you readers have already started grilling but there are many precautions to take into consideration. As fun as grilling may be, it is important to ensure both you and your family’s safety. Here is a quick true/false quiz to test your current knowledge on outdoor grilling:

1.) True or False: K
eep children away from the grill. 

2.) True or False: Have a bucket of water handy at all times in case you must extinguish the fire.

3.) True or False: Dispose of used charcoal in a container, such as a plastic container, when you are done.

4.) True or False: With a gas or butane grill, remember to turn of the gas valve and the supply valve at the tank.

5.) True or False: Light charcoal with approved lighting methods, such as using gasoline.

6.) True or False: Spraying lighter fluid or gasoline on a smoldering charcoal fire can cause it to explode.

7.) True or False: Always store gas or propane in a house, balcony, or garage.

8.) True or False: The best way to light a gas or butane grill is to light a match or lighter over the grill for a quick ignition.

9.) True or False: Keep tools with gasoline engines away from the grill.

Hopefully, you did well! If you’ve just realized that you need to brush up on how to safely grill don’t feel disappointed; rather, check this site out and be prepared before grilling with family and friends.

1.) True, always make sure to keep children at a safe distance.
2.) False, using water to extinguish the fire can spread the grease and make the fire even worse; instead, use a bucket of sand or dirt.
3.) False, never dispose used charcoal in a plastic trash because it will melt the plastic. Metal trashcans are more reasonable for this purpose.
4.) True, to reduce the chance of a fire always make sure to close all valves.
5.) False, NEVER use gasoline to light charcoal. Using a starter stick is an approved lighting method.
6.) True, explosion is likely to happen if lighter fluid or gasoline is sprayed on smoldering charcoal fire.
7.) False, never store gas or propane in a house, balcony, or garage. In fact, the best place to store it would be outside in a cool location.
8.) False, you should light a match or lighter over the grill. It is best to light a match/lighter away from the grill.
9.) True, keeping tools with gasoline engines away from the grill reduces the chance of a fire or explosion.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

A few weeks ago, a major bill was passed regarding Carbon Monoxide poisoning prevention. It required houses to have Carbon Monoxide detectors installed by July 1, 2011. Most of us are aware of this deadly gas, yet many forget of its stealthy characteristics that make it even more dangerous. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be produced by any appliance fueled with natural gas, liquefied petroleum, oil, kerosene, coal, or wood. However, with these safety tips, you can protect yourself and others from the dangers of Carbon Monoxide:

1.)   Be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning. Even though CO detectors are designed to keep you safe from the harmful gas, knowing the symptoms will always keep you aware of any dangers. The symptoms are quite similar to those of the flu but without the fever. This means that you may experience dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, and/or headache. Since it’s impossible to know if CO is present, knowing its effects is essential.

2.)   Make Sure Appliances are installed correctly.  As I’m sure most of you know from your own experiences, appliances installed incorrectly can definitely cause major problems. This also applies to all appliances that may produce CO. To reduce any change of a malfunction, it is advised to have these appliances installed by trained professionals. Additionally, it’s also a good idea to have these appliances inspected and tuned annually.

3.)   Make sure fuel-burning appliances are vented to the outdoors. Having a fuel-burning appliance sealed in a room without vents can cause serious poisoning if the appliance begins producing toxic gases. This is why it’s always safe to have ventilation in areas with these appliances.

4.)   Always be ready.  If you are experiencing any symptoms, the first thing is to get fresh air as soon as possible. You should also open windows and doors to get the most ventilation before leaving your home.  After doing all of this, you should contact the fire department and report your symptoms.

Following these simple precautions will help to protect you and others from CO poisoning. To learn more about carbon monoxide and its effects visit this great site. Always remember to stay prepared and keep up the summer fun!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dr. Mayank Sharma - Serving From Across The World.

Life is a beautiful gift bestowed upon us. Most of the people realize its true value and purpose too late. It’s not just about having a big house or a bigger bank balance, nor is it just about having the fanciest car or visiting new places. Life is about visiting and touching hearts. It’s about extending a helping hand to the people who are in need and working towards making a difference in their lives. I always wanted to do that and through the Red Cross I found a medium to play my part.

I am Dr. Mayank Sharma. A Dentist from India and a member of the Indian Red Cross Society (Haryana division). I have been a member of a team providing health and community care to the people in a few villages around our area. Though still very new to the Red Cross, I have realized that I am going to be a part of it for the rest of my life and I will make a contribution in whatever way possible.

I came to Fresno, CA in April for business. The most wonderful thing about Red Cross is that you get the opportunity to provide a helping hand to the people throughout the world and that’s why I contacted the Central Valley Chapter to offer my services. I worked with the Disaster Action Team here and I quote,”These are some of the best people I have ever worked with.”

They are coordinated, efficient and dedicated towards their cause. I would specially like to mention the Emergency Services Program Manager - Katrina Poitras. She is a compassionate and an extremely helpful woman who just LOVES her job!!! I tried to make use of the little time I had with the team and it has been an outstanding experience for me to volunteer here.

The Holy Bible states- "If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother."

What a wonderful place this world would be if each and every one of us would start following this teaching.

Mayank served in our Disaster Services Department since April 2011 and will be returning to India next week. His time and dedication are truly an inspiration to us all.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

10 Household Items That Could Save Your Life!

Necessity is the mother of invention, and MacGyver definitely had the right idea. Joe Mulligan, head of first aid at the British Red Cross, says: “People tend to think they need all sorts of special equipment when someone hurts themselves but there are life-savers hiding in everyone’s home.” When emergencies strike, a little innovation and quick thinking could save the life of a loved one. Check out this list of 10 household items and the unconventional ways they can be used:
1. Chip Bag– An empty chip bag can serve as an excellent breathing barrier in a pinch. Cut a hole in the middle and place over the mouth of the victim.
2. Plastic Wrap– Burns that have been rinsed under clean, cold water can be loosely wrapped in plastic wrap when first aid materials are not available. The plastic wrap will only cling to itself  and will provide a barrier from infection until the wound can be addressed by a medical professional.
3. Phone Book– A person who has been electrocuted will themselves become a conductor. To disconnect them from the source of the current (a downed power line, split wire, etc.) you can stand atop of a phone book and use a non-conducting material (wooden broomstick, rolled newspaper) to move the electrical source away or turn off the switch. Once the power source is removed, it should be safe to perform CPR on the victim.
4.Plastic Cup– When an object becomes lodged in the skin i.e. a pen, knife, or piece of glass, it should only be removed by a medical professional. To stabilize the object and prevent it from getting pushed further in, you can cover it with a plastic cup and hold the cup in place with a clean towel. Then go straight to the Emergency Room.
5. Credit Card– After an insect stings, they usually leave their stinger behind in the wound. What few people realize is that they often leave a sack of poison at the end of the stinger as well. To remove the stinger without smashing the sack and releasing the poison, use a credit card. The card can be used to scrape the stinger out cleanly– pushing firmly in the opposite direction of entry.
6. Clear glass cup– Meningitis can start with flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting and muscle pain. Other signs can include cold hands and feet, stiff neck, pale blotchy skin, dislike of bright lights and seizures. Another sign of Meningitis is a rash that does not fade under pressure. Press a clear glass cup against the skin where the rash is, and if it does not fade under the pressure, seek medical attention quickly.
7. Clean Linens– Your freshly washed basket of sheets and towels can easily double as blood stopping devices in the case of a heavily bleeding wound. To reduce bleeding, cover the area with clean cloth and apply pressure. Don’t do this if there is an object lodged in the skin in that case, refer to #4!
8. Frozen Peas– When no ice pack is available, a bag of frozen peas (or any chopped vegetables for that matter) can serve as a cold compress for a sprained ankle or knee. The peas mould nicely around the area and provide cooling to reduce redness and inflammation.
9. Fruit Juice– Fast action can mean the difference between life and death for a diabetic with plunging sugar levels. Hypoglycemic attacks often display warning signs like sweating, feeling shaky and tingling in the lips. If these symptoms occur, it is important to stop the victim from losing consciousness, this can be accomplished by giving them a fast-acting carbohydrate, like fruit juice, honey, or jelly.
10. Aspirin– Most people have heard about the heart benefits of aspirin. Aspirin can help prevent clotting during a heart attack. If a person is displaying heart attack symptoms, chest pains, shortness of breath, tingling down the left arm and blue lips, get them to sit down and chew an aspirin– while you call 911.
While these are great tips for tight spots, there is no replacement for proper training. First Aid can help until someone loses consciousness or has a breathing emergency, after that only CPR training will help you help them. Get trained today!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up!

Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of bite-sized links for you. It's a non-comprehensive sampling of the larger and/or more intriguing aspects of our global work...

SOMALIA: Levels of malnutrition have reached a new peak and are currently the highest in the world. The ICRC and the Somali Red Crescent plan to open ten new feeding centers while mobile teams made up of nurses and nutritional specialists will visit people in the areas worst affected.

 Since fighting first erupted in Kadugli in early June, the ICRC has been providing support for the humanitarian activities of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society - delivering clothes, shelter materials, hygiene items and household essentials for 18,000 people.

SOUTH SUDAN: A new national Red Cross society for a new nation - The South Sudan Red Cross is formed of staff and volunteers who have until recently worked for the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, which continues to operate in Sudan.
TURKEY: More than 10,000 Syrians, fleeing domestic unrest, have been living in six ‘tent cities’ near the border for over a month. The camps are run by the Turkish government, while relief supplies and personnel are being supplied by the Turkish Red Crescent Society.
CYPRUS: More than 100 Cyprus Red Cross volunteers were mobilized in the wake of a massive explosion that ripped through a naval base in the south of the country.
VIETNAM: A Vietnam Red Cross team has provided relief and financial assistance to more than 400 families affected by flash flooding in Nghe An Province.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Make A Safe Splash This Summer!

Many people own a home pool and will most likely spend this, and many more summer weekends splashing in it. So for those of you who are home pool owners or have kids visiting home pools, try to spot the dangers in the photo above.
If you were unable to spot the dangers, here they are:
1. No automatic self-closing, self-latching gate: This kind of gate could eliminate nearly all pool drownings of toddlers. The home should never open into a pool area as children can wander out of the house into the pool before being noticed.
 2. Toys in the pool: Remove all toys from the pool after playtime is over; they can tempt children to the edge of the pool or into the water when there is no supervision.
3. Diving board: Many, perhaps most, in-ground home pools are unsafe for diving, even pools fitted with a diving board. The deep end is often too short making head-first entries risky. The best safety practice is to avoid diving in home pools.
4. The alcoholic beverages: Alcohol is involved in about half of swimming drownings. Avoid alcohol when swimming or diving, since even small amounts can increase the risk of injury.
5. Ummm… where are the adults? Whether at home or on vacation, adult supervision is the best protection for children – even those who can swim. This means keeping children in your line of sight at all times, watching them, and staying close to them.
I know from personal experience just how dangerous being an inexperienced swimmer can be. As much fun as pools are, there are many dangers associated with swimming that must be taken into consideration, especially when young swimmers are near pools. It’s important that all young swimmers, experienced and inexperienced, receive ample rest during swim time. 
Also, keep a close eye on children even if they appear to be safe. I can recall several instances from my childhood, where I was rescued from a fun and seemingly harmless swimming pool, by family members who were alert, attentive and ready to come to my aid once I started to go south! So let’s make sure that all children have memorable summers at our local pools by keeping them safe, healthy and happy.
Take a look at our Home Pool Essentials online course and make a splash in safety this Summer!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up!

Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of bite-sized links for you. It's a non-comprehensive sampling of the larger and/or more intriguing aspects of our global work...
SUDAN: The recent violence in the Sudanese state of South Kordofan has left almost 58,000 people displaced. 600 Sudanese Red Crescent volunteers are working long shifts to provide first aid, psychosocial support, and distribution of food and shelter items.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: 18 detainees who had been detained after recent clashes in the Kaga-Bandoro area were released under ICRC auspices.

KUWAIT: The remains of 32 Iraqi soldiers killed during the 1990-1991 Gulf War were repatriated under the auspices of the ICRC.

IRAQ: Three decades of conflict have left hundreds of thousands of families struggling to find out what happened to their missing loved ones. Since 1980, the ICRC has spared no effort to put an end to their anguish.

BRAZIL: Together with the Brazilian Red Cross, the ICRC teaches a course in basic first aid to community members in an effort to mitigate the humanitarian consequences of armed violence. The skills they acquire enable residents to respond to emergencies.
NIGERIA: The IFRC and Nigerian Red Cross Society are using cell phones to combat malaria.

GEORGIA: Following floods and mudslides, volunteers from the Red Cross have joined the local population in the region of Mtskheta-Mtianeti to help clean the main roads and support the most vulnerable people.

VIETNAM: The Red Cross helping to prevent the spread of waterborne illnesses with a new hygiene education program that uses puppets, games, exercises and role-playing to encourage primary school children to understand the importance of personal cleanliness and hygiene, and discuss it with their friends and family.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Clara Barton: The Beginnings of the American Red Cross

Happy (Monday) Tuesday Bloggers!

I'm hoping that all of you had a safe holiday weekend, and aren't as sunburned as many of us in the office are. However, because of my year-round tan, many of my co-workers don't believe that I actually went to a barbecue yesterday since I seem to be the same shade I was on Friday afternoon. It definitely didn't help my case that I had automatically scheduled a blog posting from yesterday. (I did, I swear!)

Yesterday, I mentioned how Clara Barton began the American Red Cross over 120 years ago, but for those of you who are still in the patriotic mood should check out this awesome video on how Clara's need for socks became the organization that it is today!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July From The American Red Cross!

This Fourth of July has a lot in store for us, but along with the picnics, fireworks, and fun, the holiday can also be a time to remember those who serve and protect our country.

We at the American Red Cross offer thanks to those in the military who are serving at home and abroad this Fourth of July, and those who have died or were injured.

Many don't know this, but our commitment to the military is how the American Red Cross received its start. In April 1861, Clara Barton established an agency to obtain and distribute supplies to wounded soldiers. In July 1862, she obtained permission to travel behind the lines, eventually reaching some of the grimmest battlefields of the war and serving during the sieges of Petersburg and Richmond. Barton delivered aid to soldiers of both the North and South. Referred to as the "Angel of the Battlefield," Barton went on to found the American Red Cross, and always placed an emphasis on serving our members of the Armed Forces.

Today, her legacy continu
es as the American Red Cross provides Services to the Armed Forces. 
Both active duty and community-based military can count on the Red Cross to provide emergency communications that link them with their families back home, access to financial assistance in partnership with the military aid societies, information and referral and assistance to veterans.  Red Cross personnel form a global network in 700 U.S. chapters, military installations worldwide and in forward deployed locations in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Become a Serv
ice to Armed Forces 
Volunteer today, and help serve those who have served our country. From all of us at the American Red Cross Central Valley, we wish you and yours a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Carbon Monoxide Detectors...It's The Law!

We at the Red Cross are constantly stressing the importance of checking your smoke detectors regularly, as well as practicing family fire drills. But many are unaware of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide, often known as the silent killer. New California State Law is taking an active approach to reducing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
California Senate Bill 183 was signed into law to regulate the installation of Carbon Monoxide detectors. The law is a two-part law that requires an update to the Transfer Disclosure Statements used in a real estate transaction, and puts into law the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010.
The first part of the new law requires that as of July 1, 2011, Transfer Disclosure Statements (TD forms) include a line item regarding the presence or absence of a Carbon Monoxide detector in the same manner as Smoke Detectors, for all residential units that are sold. This applies to just about all types of occupancies from single family owner-occupied and rentals, to multi-family housing. If the property is being sold, it must now include a CO Detector if the dwelling has gas appliances, fireplaces, and/or attached garages.
The second part of the law enacts the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 which requires that all residential properties, not just those being sold, be equipped with a Carbon Monoxide detector when the property has a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, and/or an attached garage.  All single-family homes in structures with 1-4 units (owner or tenant occupied) must be equipped with a detector on or before July 1, 2011. 
All other multi-family residential units must be equipped with a detector on or before January 1, 2013, not just those being sold.
For rentals, the Carbon Monoxide detector must be operable at the time the tenant takes possession. A tenant is responsible for notifying the owner or owner’s agent if the tenant becomes aware of an inoperable or deficient carbon monoxide detector within his or her unit. The owner or owner’s agent must correct any reported deficiencies in the carbon monoxide detector and will not be in violation of this section for a deficient or inoperable carbon monoxide detector when he or she has not received notice of the deficiency or inoperability.
The bottom line is that ALL SINGLE FAMILY residential dwelling units as of July 1, 2011 must have a CO detector, even those that are not being sold. All other dewlling units (multi-family, dormatories, hotels, motels, etc) must have CO detectors installed by January 1, 2013.
Expect to see this new inspection item in your home inspection report. Home inspectors will be required to report on the presence or absence of a working Carbon Monoxide detector just like they report on Smoke Detectors, and water heater strapping.
Most carbon monoxide detectors run for around $35.00 to $50.00 dollars and can be found at Home Depot, Lowes, or even Walmart. It is a small price to pay for the safety of you and your family. 

Safety Comes First This Fourth Of July!

Your Fourth of July holiday plans may include taking to the highway, setting up a small fireworks display, or firing up the grill to cook something delicious. The American Red Cross provides useful tips that will help you and your loved ones have a safe weekend:

How to stay safe as you travel over the holiday weekend:

  • Buckle up, slow down, and don’t drive impaired.
  • Be well rested and alert; give your full attention to the road.
  • Use caution in work zones.
  • Observe speed limits.
  • Make frequent stops.
  • Be respectful of other motorists and follow the rules of the road.
  • If you plan on drinking, designate a driver who won’t drink.
  • Clean your vehicle’s lights and windows to help you see, especially at night.
  • Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.
  • Don’t overdrive your headlights.
  • Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low.
  • If you have car trouble, pull as far as possible off the highway.
  • Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk.
  • Find out what disasters may occur where you are traveling, especially if they are disasters you have never experienced before. Find out how you would get information in the event of a disaster (local radio systems, emergency alert systems).
  • Pay attention to the weather forecast for your destination. Travel and weather web sites can help you avoid storms and other regional challenges that could impact your safety.
  • Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
If you are travelling with your pet, our web site offers special things you should know to make your trip more enjoyable. 
Use caution around fireworks:
  • Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
  • Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
  • Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
To find out more about how to enjoy your holiday, visit