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emergency preparedness

  • Is That Safe to Eat?

    We've talked about Power Outages in the past ( What is the most common emergency? ) But have you considered how  Power outages can jeopardize the safety of the food stored in your home refrigerator or freezer. If you lose electricity, do you know how to determine if your food is safe to eat? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers tips to follow before and after a power outage to minimize loss of food and lower the risk of foodborne illness:

    • Gather an emergency food supply of shelf-stable food, boxed or canned milk, bottled water, and canned goods;
    • Have coolers and frozen gel packs on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power goes out longer than four hours;
    • Buy an appliance thermometer for the refrigerator and freezer and a food thermometer to help you know if the food has stayed at a safe temperature during an outage;
    • Throw out any perishable food items such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers that have been exposed to temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours;
    • Use a food thermometer to test the temperature of food – never taste it!  You can’t rely on appearance and odor to determine whether food is safe; and
    • Discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.

    Keep in mind that your refrigerator will keep food cold safely for about four hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.

    food-safety-power-outageDid you know that a flood or fire can also impact the safety of food in your home? Be sure to check out the FAQs on the USDA website about keeping food safe after these emergencies.

  • Escape?

    A Plan of Escape if there is a Fire in Your Home...

    We've talked about evacuation before, as well as Emergency Planning and Evacuation Procedures for businesses, but what is the plan at home?

    evacuation - 2-ways-outIf a fire starts in your home, you may have only one to two minutes to escape. Your ability to get out safely depends on having working smoke alarms and planning ahead.

    The U.S. Fire Administration has tips for creating a fire escape plan:

    • Walk through your home, and identify two ways out of each room. Make sure everyone in your home can escape from both ways. This will help them prepare in case one way is blocked by fire.
    • Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they’ve escaped and where firefighters can see you and know you are out.
    • Sound the smoke alarm, and practice your escape drill with everyone in your home.

    Get more information about fire escape planning on the U.S. Fire Administration website. You’ll find videos, flyers, and other resources to share with family and friends. Many of the resources are available in English and Spanish.

    When dealing with a fire, you want to deal with two parts. Try to extinguish it and/or evacuate and get the heck out of Dodge. We all have supplies you need to not only prepare for a fire, like extinguishers, fire ladders and even document bags but also evacuate from the danger, like using a fire axe, fire retardant blanket or our Xcaper fire masks for dealing with the smoke thick and toxic smoke. We are your one-stop shop for emergency fire and evacuation supplies!

    An emergency action plan is a written document required by particular OSHA standards (29 CFR 1910.38). The purpose of an EAP is to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies. Well-developed emergency plans and proper employee training (such that employees understand their roles and responsibilities within the plan) will result in fewer and less severe employee injuries and less structural damage to the facility during emergencies and evacuations A poorly prepared plan likely will lead to a disorganized evacuation or emergency response, resulting in confusion, injury, and property damage.

  • Benefits of Adding an Emergency Safe Room

    Safe rooms have been around since the ancient Egyptians but became popularized in modern society after the movie "Panic Room", starring Jodie Foster, was released in 2002.

    Basically, a safe room is fortified space within a home or other structure that is used to secure people in the event of an emergency. There are a variety of benefits that are related to adding a safe room to your home or residence and we will go over a few.bunker


    Many people opt to have a safe room as a place to hide securely from intruders with criminal intent. Burglary is a common crime and is often associated with assault or the loss of life if the criminal happens to be interrupted or if they find people in the home. Sometimes, injury occurs purely out of panic.

    Having a safe and secure place where family can hide from intruders protects them against harm. Safe rooms are also effective in preventing the following crimes:

    - Kidnapping or abduction
    - Intent to commit murder
    - Assault

    Secure Belongings

    Safe rooms are generally larger than ordinary safes for securing valuable belongings and this makes them an ideal location for storing and protecting larger items of value from theft.

    Natural Disasters

    Tornadoes can have devastating effects and a safe room can be designed to weather this natural disaster to prevent harm and loss of life. The secure room can also be helpful in the case of some other natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, fire and flood but only when it has been specifically designed to withstand these events. You must be careful if your safe room is not built to withstand a flood. Hurricanes often produce flooding so be sure that your safe room will protect you if one should occur.

    A Fallout Shelter

    In the event of nuclear, biological or chemical attack, a safe room can be the first place of refuge. If contained underground and equipped with a ventilation system, it can be a long term means of survival after these types of attack. However, water and air filtration systems are essential for safe rooms that are designed to function as fallout shelters.

    Features To Consider Adding To A Safe Room

    A basic safe room is similar to a steel safe to keep your belongings and is designed to hold a limited amount of people for a short period of time. Adding features and enlarging the space can provide greater security for longer periods of time, as well as, enhance the versatility of the structure. Additional features include:

    - Storage for food and water, as well as items such as blankets, first aid kit and any other necessary supplies
    - Communication devices such as a cellphone, land line or radio to make distress calls
    - A power outlet
    - Air and water filtration systems
    - Ablution equipment or facilities
    - Cooking equipment
    - Mattresses, cots or bunk-beds
    - Any other items that may be determined as essential

    In the event of a crisis, disaster or emergency, you need a safe place to go. You may want to seriously consider the addition of a safe house in your home, especially if your home has no basement and you live in an area that has frequent tornadoes.

    Ross Germano is a self-defense and security enthusiast. You can check out his site, RevereSecurity.com for great information about self-defense and security, as well as the best in security products.

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