Sunday, September 27, 2015

How can you avoid #Wildfire? #OKfire #AltusOK

FireFree Event Inspires Community to Take Action for Wildfire Prevention

In May 2015, Project Wildfire and its partners coordinated FireFree events in Oregon as part of the second annual National Fire Protection Association Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. The events held in Deschutes County and Jefferson County gave residents the opportunity to dispose of their yard debris free of charge at collections site in the counties.
With nearly 38,000 cubic yards of debris recycled, the 2015 event broke all prior FireFree records, and homeowner participation increased 27 percent over the previous year. These events served as the community’s preparedness activities for America’s PrepareAthon! 
To learn more about FireFree, read the full article located on the “Stories” page of the America’s PrepareAthon! website. You can also download the How to Prepare for a Wildfire guide to learn how to protect your family and home against these devastating fires.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Check out #safetychat this week. #AltusOK #WRN Skywarn

Join the ‘Safety Friends Unite’ Twitter Chat

Let’s hear it for National Preparedness Month! Get in the spirit of preparedness during a special Twitter chat titled, “Safety Friends Unite on Twitter for National Preparedness Month” hosted by America’s PrepareAthon! on Tuesday, September 22 at 3 PM ET.
This chat will highlight activities everyone can do including families, youth, and schools to prepare for emergencies. Featured guests will include preparedness friends from federal agencies and organizations that serve the community: 
  • Ready Wrigley (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention);
  • Flat Stella and Stanley (the Ready Campaign);
  • Sparky the Fire Dog (National Fire Protection Association);
  • Owlie Skywarn (National Weather Service);
  • Ready Robin (Robins Air Force Base);
  • Fred the Prep Dog;
  • Lassie; and others!
Follow along using #SafetyChat.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

How will you deal with a power outage? #ARRL #hamradio #NatlPrep

September is National Preparedness Month: Week 4

The hazard-focused theme for week 4 (September 20 – 26) of National Preparedness Month is power outage. Although power outages can happen anytime, they are often associated with severe weather. Since power outages can last for several hours or several days, it’s important to plan ahead. The Ready Campaign offers the following tips to prepare.
BEFORE a power outage:
  • Charge devices that use battery power and ensure you have extra batteries for these devices;
  • Identify local sources where dry or block ice can be purchased;
  • Keep your car tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to fuel their pumps;
  • Create a disaster supply kit that includes alternative cell phone chargers, a flashlight, water & nonperishable food, a non-electric canopener, cash, and a battery or hand-crank radio.
If you require power for medical or assistive devices, get battery back-up for the devices, know how long the batteries will last, plan a location you can move to that has power, ask local Emergency Management for information about registering to be identified as someone that has power dependent medical devices, and learn what services may be available.
DURING a power outage:
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. For most standard size refrigerators and freezers, a cool temperature can be maintained for several hours. For food you need to use, plan on having a cooler with conventional or dry ice available;
  • Use flashlights for emergency lighting. Never use candles due to extreme risk of fire;
  • Only use a generator outside of your home and keep it away from windows and doors;
  • For drugs that require refrigeration, check the manufacturer’s label or contact your doctor for guidance. Most drugs can be stored on ice for several hours; and
  • Make preparations to keep refrigerated medications in a closed cooler until the power comes back on.
Learn the importance of being prepared for power outages and get more survival tips in FEMA’s “Going off Grid” resource guide.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New Wildfire Preparedness Video from America’s #PrepareAthon! #OKfire #OKready

Imagine a wildfire raging in your community and only having minutes to evacuate your home. What do you want to take out of your home? How will you communicate with loved ones? These are just some of the questions you should be able to answer before a disaster strikes.
America’s PrepareAthon! released a new video, “Cloud of Smoke,” that gives a first-hand account of what it’s like to experience a wildfire, and highlighting the importance of being prepared. Here are a few things you can do to get ready now:
If you try to prepare while an emergency is happening, it will be too late! To learn more about wildfires and how to protect your family, download theHow to Prepare for a Wildfire guide from America’s PrepareAthon!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hurricanes are the focus of #NatlPrep this week #WRN #Skywarn

September is National Preparedness Month: Week 3

The theme for Week 3 (September 13 – 19) of National Preparedness Month is hurricane. Since hurricane season is currently at its peak, this would be a great time to take action and prepare your family for these powerful storms.
Each year, many parts of the United States experience heavy rains, strong winds, floods, and coastal storm surges from hurricanes and tropical storms. Hurricanes can also affect inland communities.
Get the How to Prepare for a Hurricane guide from America’s PrepareAthon! to learn hurricane basics and how to protect yourself during these storms, including:
  • Stay away from windows and glass doors;
  • Go to a small, interior, windowless room such as a bathroom or closet, on the lowest level not likely to flood;
  • If you are in an area that is flooding, move to a location on higher ground; and
  • If the power goes out, use a flashlight, not a candle for lighting.
Also, power outages can last longer than expected, so having a disaster supply kit can help your family survive. Check out this story from a disaster survivor who understands the importance of being prepared for the unexpected.
Stay informed about hurricanes by monitoring weather reports and signing up to receive local alerts. The National Weather Service (NWS) issues hurricane watches and warnings to let you know when a storm is headed your way. You can also download the FEMA mobile application to receive NWS weather updates. Be sure to follow directions from local authorities if they issue an evacuation order.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

FREE #NatlPrep webinars for business #AltusOK #

Free National Preparedness Month Webinar Series

Do you have a plan in place to keep business operations running when a crisis hits?
Having a continuity plan is essential to establishing a successful and resilient small business. The cost of creating a disaster preparedness plan is small compared to the financial losses that may occur if there’s no plan in place.
Get help with preparedness planning through a series of free webinars hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery. The series is presented in collaboration with the Ready Campaign during National Preparedness Month.
The 30-minute webinars will be presented at 2 PM ET each Wednesday in September.
Topics include:
  • September 16: “Recover from the Most Likely Disaster: Power Outage”
  • September 23: “Protect Your Most Valuable Asset: Prepare Your Employees”
  • September 30: “If You Do Nothing Else this Year…” Simple tips to build your organization’s resilience.
Please use this link to register for the webinars.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Don't Get Hijacked After a Disaster! #OKready #NPM #OKstrong


Imagine returning from vacation and discovering that your home was ransacked while you were away. Every piece of furniture, all your clothes, the kids toys, and even the family photos are all gone. If you are like most people, you would call the police and report a theft, then you would call your insurance company and file a claim. Now, imagine your home getting damaged by a disaster like a flood or a fire. First, you file a claim with your insurance company and then hire a mover to transport and store everything in your home until the repairs are completed. A few months later, the work is finished and you are ready to move back in, but wait, there's a problem. The moving company you hired refuses to bring your belongings back. Why? They have decided to increase their bill and are holding your property hostage until you pay it! To make things worse, they threaten that your stuff will be sold or auctioned off if you don't. Steve and Susie Peeler experienced this first hand and share their heartwrenching story on the CBS Early Show at

Believe it or not, moving scams like this are common and usually considered civil matters rather than criminal, so the police may not be able to help you. However, there are a number of ways you can avoid scams like this from happening to you and here are some tips to protect yourself:

1]    Avoid telephone or internet quotes. Oftentimes low ball quotes given over the phone or online are provided by moving brokers and not the actual movers themselves. Have any prospective movers give you their estimates in person so they can accurately estimate the weight, labor, and materials needed to do the job.
2]    Ask if there will be any additional costs that are not included in the estimate and if there will be, get those costs in writing as well. Movers may charge extra for packing materials, difficult building access, moving expensive antiques or unusually heavy items, etc.
3]    Get references from family members or friends. Talk to people who have used a mover and were satisfied with their service.
4]    Do your homework and be sure the company is legitimate. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there is a complaint history and contact the Department of Transportation - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to see if they're licensed and reputable.
5]    Get everything in writing and never sign a blank contract. Read every word and make sure that all your belongings are listed in detail.
6]    Take photos and/or video of your belongings before they are packed. This will give you evidence of what you own and its condition prior to the move.
7]    Keep important paperwork like financial documents and sensitive personal information with you and don't allow high value items such as jewelry, fine artwork, firearms, coin collections, precious metals, etc. to be moved. Items of this nature can be stolen by people working for the movers.
8]    Don't pay up front. When you do pay, use a credit card that will help you fight any fraudulent charges.

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month. If you would like to know how to prepare for recovery and learn how to avoid the many pitfalls that present themselves in the aftermath of disaster events, get The Red Guide to Recovery - Resource Handbook for Disaster Survivors. To get your copy, click on the link below.

For information on how we can customize The Red Guide to Recovery for your community:
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Saturday, September 05, 2015

Are you ready for #Wildfire #NatlPrep #OKfire

National Preparedness Month: Week 2 Focuses on Wildfire

Get ready for Week 2 (September 6 – 12) of National Preparedness Month (NPM), which highlights hazard-focused themes to encourage you to prepare. Wildfire is the hazard-focused theme for Week 2 of NPM. These fires can occur anywhere and destroy homes, businesses, natural resources, and agriculture. In fact, several states in the Northwest have recently experienced devastating wildfires, sparking evacuation orders for thousands of people.
If a wildfire threatens your community, the best action to protect yourself and your property is to evacuate. Evacuation orders vary by state and may range from voluntary to mandatory. When authorities issue a mandatory evacuation notice, leave the area immediately to avoid being trapped.
There are also some things you can do to make your home or business more resistant to catching fire and burning. The How to Prepare for a Wildfire guide from America’s PrepareAthon! outlines the following steps, including:
  • Create a defensible space (free of leaves, debris, and other flammable material) of up to 200 feet from your home or business;
  • Use fire-resistant materials for landscaping and construction; and
  • Maintain sources of water such as swimming pools, wells, ponds, and hydrants to ensure they are accessible to the fire department.
Download the 2015 National Preparedness Month Social Media Toolkit from the Ready Campaign and America’s PrepareAthon! to share preparedness and safety messages with family and friends.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Locating Loved Ones #OKready

Have you ever thought about how you will communicate with and locate your loved ones in the event of a disaster?  You never know where you will be or with whom you will be when a disaster strikes. This week, the focus for National Preparedness Month is, “How to Reconnect with Family After a Disaster.” Use this time to build a family communications plan. Your priority will be to get to a safe place, contact your loved ones and reunite with them as soon as possible. The best course of action is to have a plan for each of the common locations where you spend most of your time – home, work, gym, or place of worship. 
Below are some tips on how to get in contact with your loved ones in an emergency.
  • Complete a contact card for each member of your family and have them placed in purses, wallets and book bags;
  • Have a contact that does not live in your area that each family member can notify when they are safe if unable to contact family in the affected area. An out-of-area contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members;
  • Remember you can use text messaging when calling does not work because phone lines commonly have network disruptions after disasters; and
  • In addition to text messaging, use social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, to alert family members that you are safe. You can also use the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well program.
Check out America’s PrepareAthon! to participate in other drills and exercises with your family, and practice the communications plan you just developed

Thanks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for this information.

Additionally, please consider amateur radio for your family.  The American Radio Relay League can help.

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