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Featured Tips for Summer:
Preparedness for People
Dee Smith, Salvation Army
The American Red Cross complied some points on preparedness and safety tips that come in handy when your power goes out.
The National Weather Service's StormReady program helps communities to prepare for extreme weather and water emergencies. In the Kansas City region, 6 of our 9 counties have been designated as StormReady counties. The following counties in Kansas are StormReady: Leavenworth, Johnson and Wyandotte. The StormReady counties in Missouri are Clay, Jackson and Platte.
Summer is a great time for picnics in the park, golf outings, hiking and swimming, but the summer months also bring thunderstorms. While storms are fascinating to watch, they are extremely deadly when lightning is present. Thunderstorms also produce hail, flash floods, strong winds, and tornadoes.
The National Weather Service (NWS) says don’t be fooled by blue skies and no rain. If you can see it and hear it, you are already in danger. “When Thunder Roars, Stay Indoors” is the best advice, because no place outside is safe. Violent summer storms can stretch for miles and lightning can strike from 10 miles away. The NWS suggests all outdoor activities be postponed and everyone get to the safest place possible to avoid being struck by lightning. According to the NWS, a typical lightning strike carries 100 million volts of electricity and an air temperature that is hotter than the surface of the sun! More than 400 people are struck by lightning in the U.S. every year. While a small percentage of people are actually killed, many survivors are left with serious lifelong injuries. Most of those injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evenings.
To avoid being struck by lightning, the NWS recommends:
Unlike outdoor sirens, all-hazards radios save lives by alerting people who are indoors when severe weather approaches. They can also alert people in homes, schools and businesses to other types of emergencies. These radios provide constant, useful and up-to-date weather information. They are equipped with a special alarm tone that will sound an alert and give immediate information in a life-threatening situation.
Project Community Alert (PCA) is a community-wide effort to distribute weather alert radios. The Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee (MEMC) has partnered with Price Chopper grocery stores to sell the radios at a special price, $29.95. To locate a store near you, visit www.mypricechopper.com and click on "Store Locator."
The Metropolitan Emergency Manager's Committee presented the Pillar of Preparedness award on April 9, 2015 to Ms. Pat Cundiff. The Pillar of Preparedness program was developed by the MEMC's Citizen Education Subcommittee to give public recognition to individuals and organizations that contribute in significant ways to the whole of community preparedness of the Kansas City region. Cundiff volunteers as the KC Regional Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) Chair and retired as vice-president of Direct Services for the United Way 2-1-1. "Pat's kind-hearted willingness to freely share her knowledge and expertise is appreciated; her knowledge and skills were highly valuable during actual disasters such as organizing Hurricane Katrina evacuees and assisting with local flooding and tornado events," said Eric Ramsey, Clay County Emergency Management director, and MEMC vice-chair.
Erin Lynch, MARC's Emergency Services and Homeland Security Program director, spoke of Pat's enduring contributions to preparedness, response and recovery in the Kansas city area, noting her service as the American Red Cross Voluntary Liaison coordinator during the 1998 midwest floods, a large disaster that covered a geographic area from mid-state Missouri to Hayes, Kansas. In that role Pat recruited individual and group volunteers and matched them with the work needing to be done. That operation lasted from early July through the fall. Most recently Pat worked to assist those individuals affected by the Orrick tornado. Pat also was a founder of the states VOAD/ COAD program and helped to design and implement the spontaneous volunteer processing center after the events of September 11th. More>>
The biggest disaster threat to families isn't floods or tornadoes; it's fire. Seven times a day, someone in this country dies in a home fire. The Cause for Alarm! program is designed to help reduce injury, death and property loss caused by home fires by offering free smoke alarms to those in need. The program targets homeowners who cannot afford to purchase or install the alarms. Families who do not have a working smoke alarm --or are unsure if their smoke alarm works – can call the American Red Cross to make an appointment to have a free one installed. Trained Red Cross volunteers can install the alarms or replace batteries for residents and discuss fire safety with members of a household.
To get smoke alarms installed or batteries replaced, please call the Smoke Alarm Hotline at (816) 841-5242.
Carbon monoxide is commonly known as “the silent killer.” Because it is colorless, odorless and tasteless, none of your senses can detect it. CO claims the lives of almost 300 people in their homes each year according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). CO is a potentially deadly gas that is produced by fuel-burning heating equipment, such as furnaces, wood stoves, fireplaces and kerosene heaters. Follow these guidelines to help keep your family safe:
Are you and your family prepared for an emergency? If phone lines were down, if cell phones didn't work, if you couldn't get to the grocery store for a few days -- what would you do? If you had to evacuate -- where would you go?
Disasters can happen anytime and anywhere. When disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. The time to plan for a disaster is now, before it happens.
A CERT Rodeo is an opportunity to bring a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members or multiple CERT Teams together for additional training or hands-on practice of new or existing skills. It is also an important opportunity for CERT members to network, test equipment and remain active during non-disaster times. Rodeos give CERT Teams the chance to have fun and enjoy the camaraderie and friendship that comes from working alongside individuals who share a common interest and goal.
A CERT Rodeo can be as small and simple or as large and complex as you care to make it. You can offer advanced classes, work on the skills learned in the basic CERT course, meet for some friendly competition or do a combination of all of the above. Learn more, watch the training videos and download a guide to planning and hosting your own CERT Rodeo>
Emergency management officials know that in weather emersgencies, such as tornados, warnings can save lives. But they can’t always rely on traditional warning methods — television, radio and outdoor sirens — to reach everyone. Through a partnership with FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, officials are now able to send warnings directly to cell phones. Using the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, the National Weather Service will send warnings for tornados, flash floods, blizzards and ice storms in the Kansas City area to cell towers that serve affected counties. The warnings will go automatically to any newer-model cell phones within range of the towers. Learn more>
After the recent shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., the city of Houston's Mayor's Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security Department prepared this video outlining what you should do if you find yourself in an active shooter situation: run, hide or fight.
The video is a Department of Homeland Security Grant Funded Project, produced by the City of Houston's Mayor's Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security. The City grants permission to use the video in the format provided for its intended purpose only, information and awareness training for the general population.
In part two of the "Disaster Place Theater" video series, our characters focus on what to do — and what not to do — during a fire. This video is part of a series that focuses on the different types of responses necessary for different emergencies. The series, produced by the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee, is designed to share important information in a fun, memorable way.