Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What's in Your Preparedness Pantry?

As I was surfing the web I came across this awesome article that’s all about preparing food for a disaster:
Food Storage 101:
Why store food?
Like water, food is essential to survival. In a natural disaster, the food supply we rely on every day can be disrupted or cut off. In this situation, having an emergency supply at home ensures you and your loved ones are provided for. Food storage allows you to feed your family when you’re unable to obtain food from third-party sources for whatever reason.

Planning your food storage
Some of the basic ideas behind food storage planning include:
1. Keep a record of the foods your family eats regularly (and likes).
            2. Make a regular menu of your family’s favorite recipes.
            3. Incorporate food storage items into your grocery list.
            4. Have fun and try new things.

      What food to store
     Steps to Building a Three-Month Supply:
1. Make a menu for 1-12 weeks of meals that only use non-perishable items.
2. Buy extra non-perishable items on your menu a few at a time until you have at least      three months’ worth of food.
3. Rotate your storage items into your daily meals, using the oldest products first and replacing as needed to maintain your supply. 

      How much food to store
       In an emergency situation, calories are the top priority. Each member of the family, depending on gender and age, will have different caloric needs. Knowing this can help you determine how many calories you need to store per person per day. The following chart is based on USDA recommendations:
Age and Gender
Daily Calorie Needs*
Children 2-3 years
1,000-1,400 cals
Children 4-8  years
1,200-2,000 cals
Girls 9-13 years
1,400-2,200 cals
Boys 9-13 years
1,600-2,600 cals
Girls 14-18 years
1,800-2,400 cals
Boys 14-18 years
2,000-3,200 cals
Females 19-30 years
1,800-2,400 cals
Males 19-30 years
2,400-3,000 cals
Females 31-50 years
2,400-3,000 cals
Males 31-50 years
2,200-3,000 cals
Females 51+ years
1,600-2,200 cals
Males 51+ years
2,000-2,800 cals

Remember, take it one step at a time!
For more info, or to read this entire article, visit this site: http://beprepared.com/media/wysiwyg/PDF/Prep-School-Food-Storage-101.pdf

Samantha Minks
AmeriCorps NPRC Member 2013-2014
Preparedness Coordinator, Community Preparedness and Resilience Services

American Red Cross – Kern Chapter

Prepare-aphernalia: The Survival Grenade

A grenade that can keep you warm, provide you food, and can even signal for help. Crazy, right? Maybe just a little, but not only is this invention a reality, it works! I present to you the Survival Grenade, made by extreme gear company Rocky SV2. This nifty little device has a whole bunch of stuff to help you survive in an emergency, most of which serve multiple purposes: a needle, 10’ military grade 550 cord, fire starter and tinder, knife blade, two fishing hooks, two swivels, two weights, tin foil, and wire. And if you’re a high-altitude mountaineering fanatic like myself, then this is definitely a must-have. Okay, so maybe I’m more like a 3-star hotel kind of guy, but this would be a great device to have in my disaster preparedness kit!

Amitai "Tai" S. Zuckerman
AmeriCorps NPRC Member 2013-2014
Preparedness Coordinator
American Red Cross – Tulare and Kings Counties

Community Preparedness and Resilience Services

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Got Oxygen?

Fresno firefighters received 42 small oxygen masks to bolster their rescue efforts aimed at saving cats, dogs and other household pets at the scene of fires.
The department previously had two pet oxygen masks that were donated by community members. Susan Disney, a volunteer with the department’s Community Emergency Response Team, donated the additional 42 masks — which cost more than $3,000 — after she saw a video that went viral of Fresno firefighter Cory Kalanick rescuing a kitten on June 8, said Koby Johns, spokesman for the Fresno Fire Department.
The new masks were showcased Tuesday at Station 9 in central Fresno.

“We’re just excited to have another tool that can provide an enhanced level of service to the community,” Johns said. “People care a lot about their animals and we care a lot about people. So, if we can do a little something else to make someone’s day a little better, then we are really excited to do that.”
The oxygen masks will be on emergency response vehicles from all of the department’s 24 stations — including all fire engines and trucks, and all reserve engines and trucks, Johns said. The masks were purchased through the Emma Zen Foundation, a nonprofit that specializes in equipping fire departments with pet oxygen kits.

Veronica Lases
AmeriCorps NPRC Member 2013-2014
Preparedness Coordinator, Community Preparedness and Resilience Services

American Red Cross – Central Valley Region

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

American Red Cross and Disney Partner for Preparedness!

You all know very well by now, it’s National Preparedness Month. As an AmeriCorps NPRC member/Preparedness Coordinator here at the Kern Chapter of the American Red Cross, I think about preparedness everyday. I mean every single day. I get to go out into the community to teach preparedness to all ranges of people, and go to events where we push preparedness even more by handing out giveaways and playing games. In my time here so far, I’ve noticed adults take preparedness much more seriously than their children. It’s clear why; adults put into perspective the reality of disasters happening, while children just fear them, have nightmares about them, and then go on about their day playing and going to school. It’s of the utmost importance that children are just as prepared and informed about disasters as their parents. A disaster or emergency will be much more traumatic for a child if they don’t know what to do or where to go.

Please refer to this link to learn about how children respond to disasters: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/children

The good news is, the American Red Cross has teamed up with Disney to help kids and their parents prepare for disasters in a fun way. Kids learn what to do before, during, and after a particular type of disaster by playing games or completing puzzles with their favorite Disney characters.

Disney and the American Red Cross are committed to preparing the youth in our communities, and making sure that families are ready for the unexpected.

Click here to learn more about the efforts of Disney and the American Red Cross, and start utilizing the Mickey and Friends Disaster Preparedness Activity Book: http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Red-Cross-and-Disney-Team-Up-to-Prepare-Kids-for-Disasters

Samantha Minks
AmeriCorps NPRC Member 2013-2014
Preparedness Coordinator, Community Preparedness and Resilience Services
American Red Cross – Kern Chapter

National Day of Service and Remembrance

Thank you so much to everyone who came out for the National Day of Service and Remembrance. I hope you all had a great experience doing fire safety canvassing and meeting with the fire fighters. With your help the our communities will be better prepared to prevent fires from happening. Here in the Central Valley fires are the number one disaster that the American Red Cross responds to and most of the time these are preventable.

A big thank you to our brand new high school Red Cross clubs at Buchanan, Bakersfield, Centennial, Golden Valley, Highland, Frontier, Clovis North, Clovis West and Sanger. You all did a wonderful job of leading the project and recruiting volunteers. I am so excited to continue to work with you all on projects throughout the year that support the Red Cross and our mission to serve and help people in our communities.

Another equally big thank you to HOPE World Wide for providing the grant funding for the event and the local chapters for providing numerous volunteers! I was thrilled by how well this partnership went and look forward to the possibility of doing more in the future.

To break down your efforts in numbers:

Number of volunteers: 125
Number of door hangers distributed and households visited: 1895
Number of conversations held: 122
Total hours served by volunteers: 405

Thanks again!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Shedding Light on a Power Outage

Not long ago, right here in Tulare and Kings Counties, we had a power outage.  That’s not surprising considering that they do happen from time to time.  What I did find surprising was how many people asked me afterward “What was I supposed to do?” or “How am I supposed to prepare for a blackout?”  One person told me they were so unprepared for it, they were struggling to find fresh batteries for a flashlight during the blackout.  If you’re trying to prepare for a disaster when it strikes, you’re probably too late to start.

Here are some tips to prepare yourself, your family, and your home for a power outage.

In addition to having an emergency preparedness kit ready, you should also prepare by:
-Keeping ice chests on hand to store perishable food.
-Having a corded phone on hand as they will likely work even when there is no power.
-A backup generator, especially if a resident is dependent upon life-sustaining equipment.

During a blackout:
-Turn off appliances and electronics but leave one light on to know when power has been restored.
-When using a portable generator, connect the equipment directly to the generator; do not connect the generator to the home’s electrical system.

After a blackout:
-Throw out any unsafe food, including food that was exposed to temperatures of 40° F and higher for two hours or longer.
-Carbon monoxide is a very serious danger, so don’t use generators, grills, and the like in a partially-closed space.  If your carbon monoxide detector alarm sounds, quickly move to an area with fresh air and call for help.

Here are some helpful numbers and links:
Downed power lines: call 911
Information on underground power lines: call 811
To report an outage, Southern California Edison customers should call 800.611.1911 and Pacific Gas and Electric Company customers should call 800.743.5002.

American Red Cross Power Outage Safety Information: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/power-outage

American Red Cross Power Outage Checklist: http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340180_PowerOutage.pdf

Amitai "Tai" S. Zuckerman
AmeriCorps NPRC Member 2013-2014
Preparedness Coordinator, Community Preparedness and Resilience Services
American Red Cross – Tulare and Kings Counties

Friday, September 13, 2013

Prepare-aperhnalia: The 14-in-1 Multi-Tool!

The importance of being prepared for a disaster cannot be stressed enough from us here at the American Red Cross. During National Preparedness Month especially, we want you to think about how prepared you really are for an earthquake, a fire, or any other type of disaster. When you think about what to put in your emergency kit, start with the essentials; water, non-perishable foods, a flashlight and a radio with extra batteries, a first aid kit, medications, important documents, and cash. You’ll also want to include some sort of multipurpose tool. So, instead of throwing in a wrench, knives, and a can opener into your kit separately, consider this:

I am proud to present to you, the 14-in-1 Multifunction Emergency Tool. I’m sure all of you Prepare-aphernaliacs are waiting for me to tell you what is included in this amazing tool, so here it is: needle nose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutter, file/cutter, flat file, pointed screwdriver, mini–screwdriver, small screwdriver, screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, can opener, bottle opener, punch, and a knife blade. Wow! All of these tools fit into one handy little pouch that you can attach to a keychain or toss into your emergency kit. You never know where you’ll be when a disaster strikes, but if you keep these tools with you, you’ll have piece of mind that wherever you are, you’re that much more prepared.

For more information regarding your emergency preparedness kits, click here: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/get-kit

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Is your babysitter prepared?

So, as I was driving the other day a question popped in my head; some of us adults know how what to do when an emergency happens, but what about our children, teens, and babysitters?

Here’s a little story about something that happened me.  When my niece was a baby I use to babysitter her. Well, one morning she was crawling around, eating Cheerios and then she started to choke. I panicked for a second, grabbed her flipped her over and padded that Cheerio right out her throat. I was a little shakey afterwards, but was glad I knew what to do in that situation. The weekend before, I had received my First Aid/CPR Certification from the Red Cross, and I was prepared. Now my niece is 10 years old, I give her self-defense pointers, but I think now I’m going to start giving her and her older sister preparedness pointers.

This Saturday, is our Taste of Riverpark event (which I hope many of you will be attending), and you may be leaving your teens taking care of your younger children or have a babysitter. Have you gone over with them what to do in case of an emergency? Being prepared is simple. Get a Kit, Make a plan, and Be informed. Have an emergency/disaster kit that includes: food, water, and a first aid kit (find a full list for a disaster kit on our website), make an escape plan in case of a home fire, give them all contact numbers (local and out-of-area), teach them who they can call in case of an emergency, show them where the emergency/disaster kit is located, how they can be prepared, and know some First Aid/CPR.
Another way you, your family can be prepared is by consider taking First Aid/CPR classes, make it a family bonding opportunity. If you have a babysitter, ask if they have taken a babysitting class? If they haven’t, make sure they do; your children’s safety is not only in your hands but in the person you trust with them.  For more information on these classes and on how to be prepared, go to www.redcross.org.

Veronica Lases  AmeriCorps NPRC Member
Preparedness Coordinator
Community Preparedness and Resilience Services
American Red Cross
of the Central Valley Region1300 W. Shaw Ave Suite 4B
Fresno, CA 93711
559-455-1000 ext 108 (P)
559-458-7338 (F)



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What is 9/11 Day of Service?

My generation, the “Millennials,” experienced one of the most traumatic events in human history – the live coverage of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Many of us were severely impacted from that historic day and it helped shape the course of our lives, myself included.

And yet, through all of the devastation and chaos arose an untold number of stories of man helping fellow man. Those people serve as permanent models and pure definitions of a Good Samaritan. Though those rescuers often went above and beyond what anyone asked of them, there is a lot that we can learn about service in our own communities.

In 2009, Congress designated September 11th as National Day of Service and Remembrance. The goal is to encourage Americans to participate in their communities to benefit our way of life. This can include food drives, events to support the military, their families, and veterans, and volunteering at a local school. Here in Tulare County, we have our own event: the Tulare 9/11 Rotary Memorial Blood Drive. The event will take place from 6:00am – 7:00pm at the Tulare Veterans Memorial Building. It is a fantastic way to give back to the community by donating blood and saving a life. If you're worried about donating blood, don't worry – many people donate for the very first time at this event.

This year, the event will also emphasize disaster preparedness and the American Red Cross will be there to answer your preparedness questions.

For more information, be sure to check out the following sites:

Tulare 9/11 Rotary Memorial Blood Drive: http://www.tulare911mbd.com/#
September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance: http://www.serve.gov/?q=site-page/september-11th-national-day-service-and-remembrance

Amitai "Tai" S. Zuckerman
AmeriCorps NPRC Member 2013-2014
Preparedness Coordinator
Community Preparedness and Resilience Services
American Red Cross – Tulare and Kings Counties


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Win A FREE Apple iPad During National Preparedness Month!

Would you like to be included in a drawing for a free Apple iPad? If so, you’re in luck. As part of National Preparedness Month 2013, we are holding a Family Disaster Plan Drawing. Households that have completed or updated their family disaster plan may enter the prize drawing for a new Apple iPad, where you can download free American Red Cross preparedness apps, play games, and surf the web all with the touch of your finger!

Have you and your loved ones discussed a plan for an emergency? More specifically, does your family have a game plan for what to do if there is a fire or an earthquake, or some other type of emergency?

The best way to stay as calm and collected as possible in an emergency situation is to know what to do and where to go. As I’ve already mentioned in previous blogs, the three most important aspects of being prepared are Build a Kit, Make a Plan, and Be Informed. This drawing is focused on the Making a Plan aspect. So, when making your Family Game Plan, we recommend the following:

First things first, sit down with your family members and talk. You can also discuss with your coworkers and neighbors. Do you live/work in a high-rise building? Is someone in your family disabled? What kinds of disasters are the most prevalent in your community?

It helps if you assign each person a role in the plan. For example, Mom is in charge of grabbing the kit, Dad is in charge of getting the kids and the dog, and Tommy is in charge of grabbing the emergency kit. Choose a “safety captain” to be responsible for preparedness! Do what works best for your family.

Choose a relative or close friend who lives out of the state, or somewhere that wouldn’t be affected by the same disaster as you at the same time. This would be your out of state contact. If you and your family are separated, you may not be able to reach others, but you should be able to call “Aunt Sally in Indiana” and say “I’m here, and I’m okay.”

Come up with at least two escape routes from your home, office, or school. If your main route is blocked you will need alternatives.

Choose two places to meet. One should be near your house, perhaps on the nearest street corner. The second place should be outside of your neighborhood, in case a larger disaster affects the whole area.

Include pets in your plan!

Once you have your disaster game plan, practice it!

All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on November 1st, 2013. For more information on the official contest rules, click https://www.signup4.net/public/ap.aspx?EID=NATI436E&OID=50

To register for the drawing, click https://www.signup4.net/public/ap.aspx?EID=NATI436E&OID=130
Remember folks, making your family’s disaster plan should be stress-free and fun. So, get started today!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Getting Competitive with your Preparedness Kit

Fresno State Bulldogs Black Domestic Backpack
I’m a big college football fan and since the “most wonderful time of the year” has recently started, I have come up with a simple solution that makes disaster preparedness more entertaining and relevant to college sports fans.  Customize your preparedness kit to reflect your favorite sports team!  For example, if you put some items in a backpack as part of your preparedness kit, have it represent good ol’ State!  Better yet, make it a contest!  Challenge a friend to create a better preparedness kit with an even cooler bag!  This should get you started to a great September, which is National Preparedness Month.

For suggestions on what should go inside your preparedness kit, be sure to check out this link:

Amitai "Tai" S. Zuckerman
AmeriCorps NPRC Member 2013-2014
Preparedness Coordinator

Community Preparedness and Resilience Services American Red Cross – Tulare and Kings Counties

Monday, September 2, 2013

American Red Cross Urges Households To Prepare During National Preparedness Month 2013

Disasters can strike quickly and often without warning. During National Preparedness Month, the American Red Cross Central Valley Region, encourages all households to get ready for the next emergency or disaster.

“Having a game plan in place is essential for all households so everyone knows what they should do when an emergency occurs,” said Alex Villa, Regional Manager, Community Preparedness & Resilience Services. “National Preparedness Month is a perfect time for Central Valley residents to create or update their plan.”

Taste of River Park 2013
Join us on September 14, 2013 in River Park Shopping Center in Fresno, CA for the fourth annual "A Taste of River Park - The California Lifestyle"! True to the event's theme, The California Lifestyle, guests are given the opportunity to taste food from all of River Park's finest restaurants, sample wines from the Central Valley's most prestigious wineries, along with enjoying a fashion show, featuring the hottest fashion trends from retail locations within River Park Shopping Center. Also, attendees will have the opportunity to learn how they can prepare for all types of disaster from the American Red Cross.

MAKE A PLAN It is important that everyone in the household helps put the emergency plan together and knows what they should do if something occurs. Household members may not be together when a disaster happens – during the day many people are at work and school. The plan should include ways to contact one another and two predetermined places to meet – one near the home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire, and one outside the neighborhood in case circumstances prevent people from returning home. People should also identify an emergency contact person from outside the area in case local telephone lines are overloaded or out of service.

Any emergency plan should also include decisions about where family members will go if ordered to evacuate and what route they will take to get there. It’s a good idea to include alternate routes in case roads are closed. If pets are part of the household, make sure to include plans for them such as pet-friendly hotels and animal shelters along the evacuation route.

RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross has free mobile apps that provide information on what to do before, during and after emergencies including developing an emergency plan. “People can use the ‘Make a Plan’ feature in the apps to create their plan and then share it with their loved ones,” Villa said. “The preloaded content in the apps gives people access to vital information to use during emergencies, even if they can’t connect to the internet.” The apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

OTHER WAYS TO GET READY Another step to get one’s household ready is to build an emergency kit in a container that is easy to carry so the family can use it at home or take it with them if asked to evacuate. It should contain a three-day supply of water (one gallon, per person, per day), nonperishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, a 7-day supply of medications, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items and copies of important personal documents. The Red Cross also recommends having at least two weeks worth of emergency supplies at home.

Everyone also needs to stay informed about what types of disasters are most likely to occur where they live or where they plan to visit. It is also important to take a First Aid and CPR/AED course—a vital component of disaster preparedness in case emergency help is delayed.

For more information on how to prepare for emergencies, people can visit redcross.org or contact Alex Villa at (559) 455-1000 or alex.villa@redcross.org