September, 2012 browsing by month


Helpful ER Products

Friday, September 28th, 2012

While you are building your emergency kit, these are several products I think are essential. My husband, Jeff, especially likes the electronic doo-dads.


Hand Crank Flashlight and Phone Charger- If you can turn a crank twice per second, you can power either the flashlight or use your car phone charger to power your cell phone. This device is $11.95 plus shipping and you provide the muscle power. Universal USB cable included.




Eton/American Red Cross NOAA Weather Radio- This device has radio, flashlight, cell phone charger all in one with both hand crank or solar charging capability. Cost $30.00, comes in red, green or blue colors. The USB cable for phone charger may have to be ordered separately.

Fire and Waterproof Safe - Fire proofing alone is not enough because water is often used to put out the flames. I like the SentrySafe H4300SG Fire-Safe Waterproof Security File. With capacity of 0.7 cubic feet, hanging file utility, and recessed lid for storing CD’s and USB storage, is very versatile. Price: $59.38 with free shipping from Amazon NOTE: The safety features give this safe a hefty weight – 41 lbs. empty. You will not want to haul this around. That’s why fire and waterproofing come in handy! Not intended to safeguard valuables like jewelry.



ABC-type Home Fire Extinguisher

The Kidde 466142 Full Disposable Fire Extinguisher Class (ABC) provides compact fire protection at an affordable price – $26.99 with free shipping at Amazon. These seamless aluminum cylinders have no welds so they won’t leak. These dry chemical models are not subject to costly 6-year recharge maintenance fees and have a life of 12-years.

Also, don’t forget your manual can opener, wrench (for shutting off water and gas), signal flares and duct tape! Are we there yet?

Be Smart During an Emergency

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Were you inspired to take action by the recent destructiveness of Hurricane Isaac? What if you suddenly find yourself in a drawn out emergency situation? Will you have what you need to survive for 72 hours without electricity or water? We usually say, “I should…” and then put off taking action as life happens. We are human after all.

Thankfully, September’s National Preparedness Month emphasis is a reminder of the small steps we can take to be more prepared. In our last newsletter, I outlined the three steps suggested on the FEMA website #1 Be Informed, #2 Make a Plan, and #3 Build a Kit.

If you have put off taking action, at least go to the interactive page and click on your state to identify the hazards you might expect for your area. While there, read about specific preparation for your top three disasters and how to get instructions when they happen. Ta Da! You have completed Step #1.

Today I want to explore best practices during and after a disaster. If disaster strikes, your best chance to escape harm is to:

  1. Remain calm and patient
  2. Put your disaster plan into action (assumes you have one – Step #2)
  3. Provide assistance to those with special needs in accordance with your plan
  4. Check for injuries
  5. Listen to local news for information and instruction.

Sounds like common sense, right? Harder to do in a life threatening situation, I’m sure!

These are more specific hints on how to deal with the most common hazards when they occur.



  • Only fight fires not in danger of blocking exit!
  • Use back of hand to check if doors are hot (more sensitive than palm).
  • Crawl under smoke.
  • If trapped, close door, hang a sheet from the window.
  • Once out of your home, meet at your designated spot.
  • Never re-enter a burning building.
  • Call 911 from a neighbor’s house.


  • During a watch, be attentive to weather conditions.
  • Take immediate shelter if a warning is issued.
  • Go to basement or internal hallway.
  • Avoid windows, glass or potential flying objects.
  • Leave windows closed.
  • Monitor media and follow directions from local officials.




  • During a watch, prepare to evacuate.
  • Fill empty containers and bathtub with water in case of contamination.
  • When a flash flood warning is issued, evacuate immediately using primary or alternate evacuation route.
  • Avoid flood waters and areas prone to flooding.
  • Never drive onto flooded roads.
  • Shut off liquefied petroleum tanks at source.
  • Monitor media and follow directions from local officials.

We have all seen the news with stunned survivors. The emotions following a disaster can be devastating. Some things to try toremember in the aftermath:

  1. Assess the condition of your house using a flashlight, not an open flame.
  2. Do not enter an unsafe structure.
  3. Smell for gas leaks, starting with water heater.
  4. Shut off any damaged utilities.
  5. Clean up any hazardous or flammable spills.
  6. Treat injuries.
  7. Notify local and out-of-town contacts, then only use the phone to report life-threatening emergencies
  8. Document damage for insurance claims.

I hope you and I never have to put these emergency preparations to the test. Still, ’tis better to be ready even if the worst never comes!

Let me know when you complete Steps 1-3 so we can dance a jig together. If you read this newsletter and looked at the FEMA sight about the risks for your area, you can check off #1. Yes! Now print the list for your Emergency Kit and begin gathering those items for #3 – Build a Kit – when you next go grocery shopping.

Congratulations! You are taking the necessary steps to keep your family safe in an emergency. Way to go!

Resource: 100 Days to Christmas 2012

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Speaking of making preparations… on September 16th, we have exactly 100 days until Christmas!

Several years ago, I offered an eight week class on how to have a stress-free holiday. Then I found the List Plan It 100 Day Countdown to Christmas and thought “Why should I continue to reinvent the wheel?”



The 100 Days to Christmas 2012 eBook is designed to be used each day from September 16 through December 25. Each page lists the date and a motivational task, activity, or event. I love this approach – start early, do a little each day, and enjoy the wonder!

Jennifer Tankersly is a list lady like me. We may be geeks, but we try to think ahead. Jennifer’s eBook with the total countdown for 2012 is now for sale online for $5.00!! When you pay by credit card or via Pay Pal, you immediately receive the file to download to your computer.

With your purchase, you will also gain access to lists for holiday planning, dinner preparation, and gift purchases that are only available to yearly ListPlanIt subscribers.

If you would rather get the complete file in hardcopy along with the lists needed to complete the daily tasks, you can order that version for $20.

I already downloaded my copy and highly recommend thisresource not only to those who love the holidays, but to those of us who would rather crawl under a rock to avoid the madness!


Be Ready! September is National Preparedness Month

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Recently here in Central Ohio quite a few folks had to survive without electricity for over a week due to a violent electrical storm with high winds. It is amazing how many little things (lights, refrigeration, air conditioning) we take for granted that simply were not there that week.


September 2012 marks the ninth annual National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the US Department of Homeland Security. Sept/Oct is a good time for a new start in preparing for the unexpected.

There is a boatload of useful information and checklists on the FEMA website:

My purpose with this article is to summarize the three steps you should take now to be prepared for the next emergency.


Be Informed
  • Identify what types of disasters could happen to you. In Ohio, flooding is most frequent.
  • Know what your local community warning signals are and what they mean.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local news for information and instruction.


Make a Plan
  • Develop a list of ER phone numbers, including someone out-of-town to contact following a disaster.
    • Teach children when and how to use these numbers.
  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home.
  • Learn when and how to shut off water, gas, and electricity.
  • Know two ways out of every room.
  • Establish a meeting place
    1. immediately outside your home and
    2. an out-of-area destination in case you cannot return home.
  • Incorporate special needs for elderly, disabled and for pets.


Build a Kit

  • Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit – food and water for 72 hours, medicines, clothing, sanitation, tools.
    • Print the FEMA list for a detailed checklist to shop from.
  • Keep a vehicle ER kit in your car for accidents and emergencies while you are on the road.

These three steps are doable, aren’t they? Choose one to start with and work your way down the list. Let’s make a commitment to keep our families as safe as we possibly can.

In an upcoming blog post, we’ll look at specifics to keep in mind during and after a disaster.