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Spring Safety

  • Winter will end - Floods will begin

    While this Winter has brought a lot of rain and flooding in the West, Spring Floods will impact the entire country as weather begins to warm...

    Prepare for Spring Flooding

    Prepare for possible spring flooding now before it sneaks up on you.

    Follow these tips from to make sure you, your family and your home are ready for flooding:

    • Know your flood risk.
    • Make a flood emergency plan.
    • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
    • Consider buying flood insurance.
    • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate.
    • Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.


    Reading the the subject:

    What’s Your Plan? - Flood Safety Update - Spring is approaching are you flood ready? - Preparing for Floods: What You Should Know - Flooding happens: Everywhere - Flood Safety - Floods ?

    For more flood safety information, download the America’s PrepareAthon!  How to Prepare for a Flood  guide.


  • This Spring feels like Summer

    This Spring blew in hot and heavy, and people are treating it like Summer already... with that in mind, here's an early article from the New York Times...

    This Summer, Safety First

    Heeding some basic safety tips this summer could help to keep you and your companions in the game and out of the emergency room.

    As an emergency room physician in Southern California, Dr. Brady Pregerson has seen or heard it all. He incorporates many of the resulting insights in a helpful little book, “Think Twice: More Lessons from the ER,” a sequel to “Don’t Try This at Home: Lessons From the Emergency Department.”

    SummerSafetyI’ve selected those lessons that are especially relevant for the coming months. But many of the tips can help at other times of the year, especially for those living in the warmer states.

    Want some fresh air? Don’t push on the glass when opening windows. “I’ve seen many terrible hand and forearm lacerations from this mistake,” Dr. Pregerson writes. To which I will add: If there are children under age 10 in the house, install window guards. It takes but a moment for a young child to fall out of an open window.

    If you work or play in the dirt, be sure your tetanus immunization is up to date. The deadly bacterium Clostridium tetani lives in soil, and it can enter the body through even a small cut or splinter, Dr. Pregerson said in an interview. Children require a vaccine series called DTaP, and adults need a booster every 10 years.

    When you mow the lawn, first clear it of sticks and stones that can become flying missiles; wear goggles, and work crosswise on sloped terrain.

    insectrepellents-animatedProtect yourself and your family from tiny critters that are disease vectors, like mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Encephalitis andticks that spread Lyme disease. A repellent with DEET is effective against both. Suppress the mosquito population around the house by getting rid of standing water, especially after a rain.

    Hiking, a summer favorite, is no fun if you get lost in the woods. Try to stick to blazed trails. Dr. Pregerson suggests turning around every so often to identify landmarks that may help guide you back. Let people know where you are going and when you’re likely to return. If you do get lost or caught in a storm, it may be best to stay put in a place where you might be found.

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    Try to hike with someone, and take plenty of water, sunscreen, an extra layer of clothing, a compass, knife and some nonperishable food. In wild-animal country, the doctor suggests wearing a “bear bell” on a wrist, ankle, belt or backpack to scare off four-legged hazards.

    Avoid vigorous exercise in very hot weather. “I’ve had patients who died of heatstroke from walking four hours in the desert,” Dr. Pregerson said.

    But you don’t need to be in a desert to get heatstroke. It can happen to anyone who overworks on a hot day. The elderly, who are especially vulnerable, should stay out of the sun and drink plenty of plain cool liquids.

    Although it’s tempting to go barefoot when temperatures rise, that’s a good way to injure a foot, even indoors. Dr. Pregerson has treated several broken toes suffered during a barefoot trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

    Wear swim shoes around pools and in public showers to reduce the risk of athlete’s foot; on a beach, they can prevent injuries from hidden sharp objects and keep feet comfortable on hot sand.

    When camping, remember to shake out your shoes every morning in case a nasty spider or scorpion took refuge in them. Never go to sleep with a campfire still burning. Douse it. Do not keep food inside the tent or hang it in a tree; put it in a car away from sleeping campers.

    Some of the most serious summer injuries result from incorrect use of fire starter. Never sprinkle or spray it on embers, as flames can shoot up and burn you badly.

    On road trips, Dr. Pregerson suggests keeping your medical insurance card, a list of medications, and key health and allergy information with your driver’s license. He also warns against tailgating, excessive lane changing, and leading other cars on a two-lane highway. You could be the first to hit a deer, for instance, or an oncoming vehicle in the wrong lane.

    If you travel with a dog, secure it in a crate or with a harness that attaches to the seatbelt. Pets, like people, can fly around the car if you stop short or are in an accident. I was nearly run down when the driver of a car, with a dog in her lap and its head in her face, turned the corner as I was crossing with the light.

    Of course, the driver and all passengers should also be buckled in, and young children secured in age-appropriate car or booster seats. Dr. Pregerson said a child under age 12 should not be in a seat with an air bag, which can break the child’s neck if it inflates. And no child should be left alone in a car in the hot sun, even with a window down.

    Do-it-yourselfers should heed basic safety measures, like wearing protective gear when shearing hedges, cutting wood, scraping or spraying paint, or installing insulation.

    “Think twice before carrying so much that you cannot see where you’re going,” the doctor warned. “Don’t do a two-person job alone.” One of his patients broke his leg trying to carry a large TV down stairs.

    If you’re planning a picnic, don’t keep perishable food at room temperature longer than four hours. Chill foods ahead of time and keep them cold until it’s time to eat or grill them.

    No summer safety column would be complete without cautionary words about swimming.

    “Don’t swim alone,” Dr. Pregerson said. “Use the buddy system.” Children should be watched closely at all times in and around water. Pools should be protected by a fence and safety gate that a young child cannot open.

    Never dive into unknown waters or swim in areas designated off limits. Teenage boys are especially vulnerable to risk-taking and ignoring warning signs. More than one has been crippled or killed by diving headfirst into a hidden obstacle.

    Dr. Pregerson offers more tips on staying out of the emergency room this summer at


  • Spring Safety, Weather and more...

    Ah.. Spring! Beautiful and enticing us to get out-of-doors.. but there area weather, allergy, drought and safety concerns as well! Know your Zone, know your risks - from flooding o hurricanes, to drought to earthquakes and more - there are many unexpected events that can change your outlook on Spring - unless you prepare

    According to NOAA’s Spring Outlook released today, rivers in half of the continental United States are at minor or moderate risk of exceeding flood levels this spring with the highest threat in the southern Great Lakes region due to above-average snowpack and a deep layer of frozen ground. Additionally, drought is expected to continue in California and the Southwest.

    U.S. Spring Flood Risk Map for 2014.U.S. Spring Flood Risk Map for 2014.

    The continuation of winter weather, above-average snowpack, frozen ground and thick ice coverage on streams and rivers will delay spring flooding into April in the upper Midwest eastward to New England. The intensity of the flooding will depend on the rate of snow and ice melt, and future rainfall.

    Continued well-below average temperatures this winter resulted in significant river ice formation and ice jams in locations further south than customary, flooding homes and businesses, and impacting river commerce. There is also an elevated risk of more ice jams this spring in the northern tier of the U.S. from Montana eastward to northern New England.

    "This year’s spring flood potential is widespread and includes rivers in highly populated areas putting millions of Americans at risk," said Louis Uccellini, Ph.D., director, NOAA’s National Weather Service. "Although widespread major river flooding is not expected, an abrupt warming or heavy rainfall event could lead to isolated major flooding."

    Spring Flood Risk
    National Weather Service hydrologists predict moderate flooding in parts of southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan and portions of Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa as a result of the current snowpack and the deep layer of frozen ground coupled with expected seasonal temperatures and rainfall. At risk are the Mississippi River and the Illinois River as well as many smaller rivers in these regions. Small streams and rivers in the lower Missouri basin in Missouri and eastern Kansas have already experienced minor flooding this year and the threat of moderate flooding will persist through the spring.

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

    There is a risk of moderate flooding along the Red River of the North between eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, and along the Souris River below Minot, N.D. River ice, snowpack and significant frozen ground are factors in the flood risk for this area.
    Additionally, there is a risk of moderate flooding for western South Dakota because of current saturated soils.

    Minor flooding is likely in the northern Rockies, parts of the Midwest, and the Great Lakes region.  Minor flooding is also possible in the Northeast, the lower Mississippi River basin, and across the entire Southeast up to Virginia, including east Texas, and parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and the Florida panhandle. In these areas, spring flood risk is highly dependent on rainfall.

    Drought Outlook

    Electrolytes Electrolytes

    Significant and widespread drought conditions continue in California which experienced its warmest and third driest winter on record. Drought is expected to persist or intensify in California, Nevada, most of interior Oregon and Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, southeast Colorado, western Oklahoma, and most of west Texas because of below-average rain or snow this winter and the onset of the dry season in April.  If the drought persists as predicted in the West and Southwest, it will likely result in an active wildfire season, continued stress on crops and livestock due to low water levels, and an expansion of water conservation measures.  Drought removal expected for the Big Island of Hawaii.

    Drought improvement is likely in Washington, southeast Idaho, extreme northern and coastal Oregon, western and central sections of Nebraska and Kansas, central Oklahoma, and the Midwest. Drought is not expected east of the Mississippi River during the next three months.

    More information about drought can be found at, a clearinghouse of drought-related materials managed by NOAA including maps, tools, and information to help prepare for and mitigate the effects of drought.

    Temperature and Precipitation Outlook
    Below-normal temperatures this spring are favored for an area from Montana eastward across the northern Plains to the Great Lakes region, while warmer-than-normal temperatures are most likely for western sections of Washington and Oregon, California, the desert Southwest, the southern Plains, the Southeast and all of Alaska.

    For precipitation, odds favor drier-than-normal conditions for the Alaska panhandle, western Washington and Oregon, California and parts of Nevada and Arizona. Hawaii is favored to be both warmer and wetter than normal this spring.

    1164587_high_voltageNOAA’s Spring Outlook identifies areas at risk of spring flooding and expectations for temperature, precipitation and drought from April through June.  March 16-22 was National Flood Safety Awareness Week, NOAA encourages individuals to become weather-ready by ensuring you have real-time access to flood warnings via mobile devices, weather radio and local media, and avoiding areas that are under these warnings. Empowering people with the information they need to take action to protect life and property is key to NOAA’s effort to build a Weather-Ready Nation.

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