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preparedness

  • Helping Children Cope With a Disaster

    National Preparedness Month Series - Kids in Emergency Situations

    group of teenagers sitting outdoors and using cellphoneIt is difficult to deal with something that you don’t understand. Children often become distressed after a disaster, especially if it has directly impacted them or someone they care about. They may also feel sad or sorry for others and want very much to help them.

    Children often become distressed after a disaster, especially if it has directly impacted them or someone they care about.  They may also feel sad or sorry for others and want very much to help them.  Worries that something similar will happen to them or their family may lead them to ask a lot of questions so that they can better understand what has happened and therefore what they can do to protect themselves and their family.  Parents and other adults who care for children can do a lot to help them understand and cope.

    kidsInform children and start the conversation.  It is difficult to deal with something that you don’t understand.  Even very young children will sense when something is wrong or upsetting the adults in their lives, even if they have been told nothing.  Children should be notified about a disaster as soon as possible after it occurs, otherwise they will likely find out by overhearing others or through the media (including social media).  Start by asking them what they may have already heard about the event; correct any misinformation or misunderstanding they may have.  Provide information to them in simple and direct terms, without unnecessary detail.  Television, radio, and social media often provide graphic information that may cause more distress, so limit the amount of viewing of television and other media sources immediately after the event (this is true for both children and adults).  Ask children about what questions or concerns they might have and provide honest answers.  When adults don’t talk with children about disasters, it suggests to them that adults either are not capable of dealing with difficult situations or don’t feel that the children are able to cope.  Neither message is helpful.

    After a disaster, children may show a change in their mood or behavior.  They may become sad, anxious, or scared.  They may be more resistant to separating from their caregivers to go to child care programs or school, or even to go to bed or play in another room. Sleep problems, headaches and stomachaches are common.  After a disaster, children often find it difficult to concentrate on their school work.  They may, for a period of time, become more self-centered or immature and appear more clingy, less cooperative, more demanding, and irritable.  Older children and adolescents may turn to smoking, alcohol, or other drugs to deal with their feelings.

    Children often show no obvious signs of distress.  After a disaster, children may hide their emotions because they are ashamed of their reactions or because they want to protect their parents who are also visibly upset.  They may try to take care of their parents, not because they are coping well themselves, but rather because they worry that their parents are having trouble adjusting.

    Children may show post-traumatic reactions – but that’s not all.  If a death has occurred as a result of the disaster, children’s reactions may be due to grief.  Children need to cope not only with the disaster – but everything that follows.  Disasters lead to a number of losses and changes, such as the need to relocate, change schools, or deal with reduced family income.  These other stressors may be what bothers children the most after a disaster.

    Children's Survival Kit Children's Survival Kit

    Help children cope with their distress.  Adults don’t like to see children feeling upset and often try to reassure them there is no reason to be worried or sad.  But let children own their feelings – if they feel sad or worried, then they are sad or worried.  Instead of trying to tell children that they shouldn’t feel that way after a disaster, help them learn how to cope with troubling feelings.  Share with them some of your reactions and feelings and how you coped with them (such as talking with others, writing about your feelings, or doing something positive to help others).  We can’t expect children to learn how to cope if we don’t share with them that we also have felt distress and then model how to cope effectively.

    Teaching children how to cope with distress every day is a good way to prepare for disasters.  Just as you should prepare to respond to a disaster, you should prepare children to be able to cope with disasters.  Helping them learn coping skills to deal with daily stressors or other challenging events in their lives and establishing yourself as someone that is there that can understand them and help them adjust makes it more likely they will cope effectively after a disaster. Let children know that their family, school and community have plans in place to deal with many kinds of emergencies, and that there are people specially trained to help with these situations.

    There is help.  Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics for resources and advice on how to support children after a disaster, and download the Pediatric Preparedness Resource Kit.  Your child’s pediatrician can also provide specific advice for your children and/or recommend someone else that you can talk to you about your concerns.

    David J. Schonfeld, MD, FAAP, is member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council and the Pediatrician-in-Chief at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, PA.  Dr. Schonfeld is also the Chair for the Department of Pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine and the Director for the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement.

  • The NEW 10 Steps to Preparedness - Lessons from the Past

    National Preparedness Month Series

    Hear the Top 10 ways to prepare any organization for interruptions based on recent disasters like the Moore Tornado, the Boston Marathon Bombing and SuperStorm Sandy.

    national_preparedness_month_September_2013_6In observance of National Preparedness Month, Agility Recovery, provider of business continuity and disaster recovery solutions to organizations of all types, together with the U.S. Small Business Administration, have launched a webinar series to help educate businesses on the importance of business preparedness.

    You can Be a Hero! Become a National Preparedness Community Member You can Be a Hero! Become a National Preparedness Community Member

    National Preparedness Month is held each September and is designed to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities. This year marks the ninth consecutive year that Agility Recovery and the U.S. Small Business Administration have worked together to bring awareness and insights to business leaders, with this year's theme being "Be The Hero," as determined by the Department of Homeland Security's Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps.

    "Being prepared for a business disruption is the single most critical step you can take to protect yourself and your business," said Bob Boyd, President and CEO of Agility Recovery. "We're pleased to continue our efforts with the U.S. Small Business Administration and shine a spotlight on the importance of business preparedness during National Preparedness Month."

    The Red Cross estimates that 60% of Americans are wholly unprepared for a disaster of any kind, with 54% of Americans not becoming prepared because they believe a disaster will not affect them. Yet, 51% of Americans have experienced at least one emergency situation in their lifetime.

    "Disaster preparedness should be included in every business owner's success strategy," said James Rivera, associate administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Disaster Assistance and the webinar series' guest speaker. "The webinars we're co-hosting with Agility Recovery during National Preparedness Month will provide a blueprint for a solid business continuity plan. And the investment is minimal-just one hour of your time."

    Throughout National Preparedness Month, business professionals are encouraged to attend these free, online, interactive webinars to get the information they need to secure their businesses

    Each year small businesses nationwide are forced to close their doors in the aftermath of severe storms, flooding, tornadoes, wildfires and hurricanes. Business interruptions, even if it lasts just a few hours, are costly in terms of lost productivity and profits. You can get help with your own business preparedness planning through a series of free webinars in September hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery. The September series is presented in collaboration with FEMA's Ready Campaign, as part of National Preparedness Month. The SBA wants to help business owners take charge of the well-being of their own companies, the safety of their employees, and the sustenance of their local economies by being prepared to rebound quickly from any kind of disaster. The hour-long webinar will be presented at 2 p.m. EDT each Wednesday in September.

     

    Wednesday September 18th 2013 1:00pm to 2:00pm

    Register for the Webinar

  • Disaster Preparedness is NOT the Same for Everyone

    National Preparedness Month Series - Consider Special Needs

    Survival Gear for Businesses and Preparedness Products for Home & Auto
    Survival Gear for Businesses and Preparedness Products for Home & Auto

    Individual Needs May Vary

    When making emergency plans, remember that each person’s needs and abilities are unique.  If you or someone you know has access or functional needs, additional steps should be taken to stay safe, healthy, mobile and independent during a disaster. Individuals with access and functional needs include:

    Those who are hard of hearing, of limited sight or with limited English proficiency;

    • Single parents;
    • People without vehicles; and
    • People with special dietary needs.

    Find out about assistance programs that may be available in your community and register in advance with your local office of emergency services, non-profits groups and health departments.

    Stay mobile and independent by including items in your disaster kit that meet your needs such as:

    • Medical prescriptions;
    • Extra eyeglasses and hearing aids;
    • Written descriptions of service needs; and
    • Batteries and chargers for assistance devices.

    More ways to plan for those with access and functional needs is available in the “Prepare For Emergencies Now, Information For People With Disabilities” guide.

    Dates for Your Calendar!
    Preppers know to be ready, but we all need our "Go Gear" - be ready when emergencies occur!
    Preppers know to be ready, but we all need our "Go Gear" - be ready when emergencies occur!
  • Join the National Preparedness Community

    National Preparedness Month Series - the Prequel

    National Preparedness Month is about getting ready to be ready. A great step to know what you can do and what is going on in your community is to join the National Preparedness Community online.

    The National Preparedness Community. By joining, you can connect, collaborate, and empower yourself and others to fulfill our shared responsibility to prepare.

    NPM-CommunityThere is no cost or obligation to do so. As a community member, you will have access to exclusive resources and be able to collaborate in the communities of practice, regional groups, national forms, and get updates from FEMA and emergency management personnel.

    NPM-CheckJoin now by completing the registration online

  • Preparedness

    National Preparedness Month 2013 - the Prequel

    We've told you what Preparedness means to us...here's what it means to others:

    PREPAREDNESS

    pre·pared·ness Listen to audio/pr??per?dn?s/ noun
    [noncount] formal : the fact of being ready for something : the state of being prepared
    ? The police have been criticized for their lack of preparedness. [=for not being prepared] ? emergency preparedness [=being ready for an emergency] ? The military is in a state of preparedness.

    pre·pared·ness

    noun pri-?per-?d-n?s also -?perd-n?s

    Definition of PREPAREDNESS
    : the quality or state of being prepared

    prepared

    adjective

    Definition of PREPARED

    : subjected to a special process or treatment
    — pre·pared·ly adverb

    Related to PREPARED

    Synonyms
    fit, go, ready, set
    Antonyms
    flat-footed, half-baked, half-cocked, underprepared, unprepared, unready

    First Known Use of PREPAREDNESS

    1590

    prep·a·ra·tion

    noun ?pre-p?-?r?-sh?n

    Definition of PREPARATION
    : the action or process of making something ready for use or service or of getting ready for some occasion, test, or duty
    : a state of being prepared
    : a preparatory act or measure
    : something that is prepared; specifically : a medicinal substance made ready for use

    Examples of PREPARATION

    1. The festival involves a lot of preparation.
    2. To complete this recipe, plan on about 30 minutes of preparation and 40 minutes of baking.

    Origin of PREPARATION

    Middle English preparacion, from Middle French preparation, from Latin praeparation-, praeparatio, from praeparare to prepare

    First Known Use: 14th century
    Special thanks to Merriam-Webster
  • Are You Prepared For A Disaster? Is Your Business?

    National Preparedness Month - the Prequel
    Emergency Prepareness for Businesses

    Provided by SBA.gov in Partnership with BusinessUSA, these

    resources below can help you develop a plan to protect your employees, lessen the financial impact of disasters, and re-open your business quickly to support economic recovery in your community.

    Alert - If you need disaster assistance immediately, visit the Disaster Assistance page.

    Are You Prepared For a Disaster?

    Start your disaster recovery plan today with free tools from SBA.

    Get your Gear on - Prepare for Disaster! Get your Gear on - Prepare for Disaster!
  • National Preparedness Guidelines

    National Preparedness Month Series – The Prequel

    As you probably know by now if you are one of our 60,000 plus readers following the National Preparedness Month Blog, we are dedication the Month of August to Preparing to Prepare, getting Ready to be Ready, and part of our Pledge to Take the Pledge. We are doing what we can to help you be prepared at home, work, school, in the car - wherever you may be when disaster strikes. If you are ready before September, you can help us spread the information you've learned and make a difference in making your community prepared. While we are sharing a lot of information from our own files, corporate resources and government agencies, you may wonder :What is our Government doing to Prepare??? Here's a bit on that:

    DHS National Preparedness Guidelines

    DHSHomeland Security Presidential Directive-8 (HSPD-8) of December 17, 2003 ("National Preparedness") directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a national domestic all-hazards preparedness goal. The National Preparedness Guidelines (Guidelines) finalize development of the national preparedness goal and its related preparedness tools.

    The purposes of the Guidelines are to:

    • Organize and synchronize national (including federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial) efforts to strengthen national preparedness;
    • Guide national investments in national preparedness;
    • Incorporate lessons learned from past disasters into national preparedness priorities;
    • Facilitate a capability-based and risk-based investment planning process; and
    • Establish readiness metrics to measure progress and a system for assessing the nation's overall preparedness capability to respond to major events, especially those involving acts of terrorism.

    Critical Elements

    The Guidelines defines what it means for the nation to be prepared. There are four critical elements of the Guidelines:

    1. The National Preparedness Vision, which provides a concise statement of the core preparedness goal for the Nation.
    2. The National Planning Scenarios, which depict a diverse set of high-consequence threat scenarios of both potential terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Collectively, the 15 scenarios are designed to focus contingency planning for homeland security preparedness work at all levels of government and with the private sector. The scenarios form the basis for coordinated federal planning, training, exercises, and grant investments needed to prepare for emergencies of all types.
    3. The Universal Task List (UTL), which is a menu of some 1,600 unique tasks that can facilitate efforts to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from the major events that are represented by the National Planning Scenarios. It presents a common vocabulary and identifies key tasks that support development of essential capabilities among organizations at all levels. Of course, no entity will perform every task.
    4. The Target Capabilities List (TCL), which defines 37 specific capabilities that communities, the private sector, and all levels of government should collectively possess in order to respond effectively to disasters.

    National Preparedness System

    The National Preparedness System provides a way to organize preparedness activities and programs pursuant to the National Preparedness Guidelines. The desired end-state of our National Preparedness System is to achieve and sustain coordinated capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from all hazards in a way that balances risk with resources.

    The National Preparedness System provides opportunities for all levels of government, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and individual citizens to work together to achieve priorities and capabilities outlined in the Guidelines. Many actions will be concurrent. They are described below in order of sequence:

    • Policy and Doctrine involves ongoing management and maintenance of national policy and doctrine for operations and preparedness, such as the National Incident Management System, National Response Plan, National Infrastructure Protection Plan, and the Guidelines.
    • Planning and Resource Allocation involves application of common planning processes and tools by government officials, working with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and individual citizens to identify requirements, allocate resources, and build and maintain coordinated capabilities that are prioritized based upon risk.
    • Training, Exercises, and Lessons Learned involves delivery of training and exercises and performance evaluation to identify lessons learned and share effective practices.
    • Assessment and Reporting involves assessments based on established readiness metrics and reporting on progress and effectiveness of efforts to achieve the vision of the Guidelines.
    Preppers know to be ready, but we all need our "Go Gear" - be ready when emergencies occur! Preppers know to be ready, but we all need our "Go Gear" - be ready when emergencies occur!

    OK - so that's what they are doing - Now are you ready to do your part?

  • What is National Preparedness Month?

    National Preparedness Month Series – The Prequel

    We've made the pledge and are committed to including our 60,000+ readers in our National Preparedness Month Gear up & Knowledge base by providing daily National Preparedness posts - not just During September 2012 (The 10th anniversary for National Preparedness Month) - but every day in August as well. Why? So that you each can prepare yourselves, your families and your workplaces now, and then join in with us in September to create a culture of emergency preparedness.

    Here's a great contribution to the National Preparedness movement by Intermedix:

    Most of you readers, like me, work in businesses dealing with emergencies both large and small every day. So I come to you, a little over a month away from September, to challenge you to take the opportunity of National Preparedness Month to be better prepared at home and at the workplace.

    I recently had a friend tell me he heard something about “National Preparedness Month,” that left him with many questions: What is National Preparedness Month? Does it mean people like me are supposed to be doing something to get prepared?

    I set out to answer his questions as best I could, telling him that National Preparedness Month is about getting our communities better prepared by encouraging each citizen to learn about preparedness and take personal responsibility to act. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention preparedness is the ability communities have to prepare for, withstand and recover, in both short and long terms, from incidents. Following the 9/11 tragedies, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has designated the month of September as National Preparedness Month for the past five years to remind and encourage each of us to prepare for emergencies.

    So I ask each reader, are you better prepared than you were on Sept. 11, 2001? Are your family, friends and community prepared? From Hurricane Katrina to Superstorm Sandy to the Oklahoma City tornadoes, we have seen enough disasters in the past few years to know that they can hit anywhere at any time.

    How can I prepare?

    The Be Red Cross Ready website created by the American Red Cross is a great resource, which outlines three ways we should prepare: Get a kit. Make a plan. Be informed. I personally ask myself the five questions below:

    1. What disasters are most likely to strike my hometown?
    2. Does my family have an emergency plan?
    3. Do I have a "Go Kit?"
    4. Does someone in my household have first aid training?
    5. Have I helped my community get better prepared?

    Join the Movement

    What can you do to join the National Preparedness Month movement? Last year, 1,800 National Preparedness Month coalition members worked to create a culture of emergency preparedness in the United States by hosting at least 1,000 events and initiatives during and around September. You can join the coalition or learn about activities by visiting FEMA’s National Preparedness Community page. Organizations in your community are already getting ready and all you need to do is to get involved.

    If you already are an active participant of National Preparedness Month, please share your experience with our community. Tell us about your National Preparedness Month activities from previous years and the ones you are busy planning this year. There is really only one appropriate way to celebrate National Preparedness Month—by doing all we can to be just a little better prepared!

    Check out the newest American Red Cross line of Emergency Preparedness and First Aid Products. From American Red Cross First Aid Kits and Emergency Bags to the Red Cross Emergency Response and Personal Protection Kits, CPR products, Student, School, Work and Business Preparedness. Be Red Cross Ready. Check out the newest American Red Cross line of Emergency Preparedness and First Aid Products. From American Red Cross First Aid Kits and Emergency Bags to the Red Cross Emergency Response and Personal Protection Kits, CPR products, Student, School, Work and Business Preparedness. Be Red Cross Ready.

    Dennis L. Jones, RN, is a Vice President of Business Development at Intermedix. Intermedix Corporation provides technology-enabled solutions for America's health and safety net. Our solutions support and connect healthcare providers, public health agencies, and emergency management personnel. We take pride in serving our clients with extensive industry expertise and exceptional technology to back it up.

  • You have your Emergency Flashlight and Radio - Will they work when you need them?

    National Preparedness Month Series - The Prequel

    Are you ready to see you way to Safety? Will you be ready to participate in National Preparedness Month? Will you be ready for Disaster? We're providing Disaster Preparedness updates, Trivia, Information, Tips and more all through August to get you ready...National Preparedness Month 2013 begins on September 1st.

    TIP:

    Change your flashlight and emergency radio batteries every time you adjust your clocks.

    Glow Sticks, LED Flashlights, warmers & more... Flashlights & Glow Sticks, Batteries, Hand Warmers, Waterproof Matches, Slow Burn Candles & Portable Generators. Glow Sticks, LED Flashlights, warmers & more... Flashlights & Glow Sticks, Batteries, Hand Warmers, Waterproof Matches, Slow Burn Candles & Portable Generators.

    Why? This is an easy way to remember to keep your emergency supplies ready to use. Each time you adjust your clocks forward or back, change the batteries in your emergency supplies and while you are at it, check the condition and expiration dates of everything in our supply packs... it may be time for replacements or to augment what you have gathered with additional supplies.

    While we sell batteries, this is only for the convenience of our customers. We actually recommend you do not buy them from us - unless you are purchasing other items. Shipping for batteries alone is ridiculous - they are heavy. We prefer to hear our customers are stocking up at their local discount or "Big Box" stores whenever they see batteries on sale.

    Set reminders now for every time you change your clocks! Be prepared and ready!

    Shop Emergency Batteries & Lighting Now

  • Will You Starve in an Emergency? Are your Disaster Preparedness Stores Ready?

    National Preparedness Month Series - The Prequel

    We're providing Disaster Preparedness updates, Trivia, Information, Tips and more all through August to get you ready...National Preparedness Month 2013 begins on September 1st. Will you be ready to participate in National Preparedness Month? Will you be ready for Disaster?

    TIP:

    Eat the food in your Freezer AFTER the food in your Refrigerator.

    Disaster Preparedness Survival Food rations, from our 1200, 2400 and 3600 Calorie Mayday Food Bars, Survival Seeds and Long-Shelf-Life Energy Bars. We offer Heater Meals and MREs - everything you need for nourishment in extreme circumstances. Disaster Preparedness Survival Food rations, from our 1200, 2400 and 3600 Calorie Mayday Food Bars, Survival Seeds and Long-Shelf-Life Energy Bars. We offer Heater Meals and MREs - everything you need for nourishment in extreme circumstances.

    Do not open your freezer, if the power goes out, tape your freezer shut. After depleting the perishables in your fridge, move on to freezer items, quickly. If you have items still frozen in there (towards the middle of the freezer) pull the thawed items to your fridge for another cold storage location, work through that, and allow the still-frozen food to remain in the freezer until it thaws. Repeat until all perishable food is consumed and only then move on to your canned and dry goods.

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