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Posts Tagged ‘emergency preparedness’

How to Prepare for a Flood

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Flood waters have rushed through Boulder, as well as 16 additional counties throughout Colorado, stretching about 200 miles from north to south, damaging nearly 18,000 homes, destroying more than 1,500 houses and contributing to the death of at least seven people. To date, emergency management officials give a rough estimate that 658 people remain unaccounted for and 11,750 people have been evacuated as a result of the storms on the Front Range.

The Colorado situation sheds light on an emergency that is somewhat difficult to imagine. In affected areas, people routinely plan for severe weather such as tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards. But, despite the fact it is one of the most common hazards in the U.S., flooding is somewhat difficult to picture without a ready visual reference. Videos and still photographs of the recent flooding in Colorado are effectively demonstrating that flooding can wreak unimaginable horrors on large populations.

Consider the Boulder area flooding-related mayhem, from reports by NBC News, ABC News and NPR:

  • A visually impaired man walking in Denver with his service dog was swept into a drainage ditch and pulled out four blocks later by a police officer and paramedic.
  • Emergency workers used a zipline to bring a woman to safety at Big Thompson Canyon.
  • A father of four spent two hours in a submerged car. He became trapped when a bridge collapsed, sending his car into a creek, flipping it on its roof.
  • Because the waters obliterated many roads, authorities haven’t been able to ascertain exactly how many people might be stranded or missing.
  • The roadways aren’t simply blocked by mudslides or rock slides or debris. The roads are in many, many cases—simply gone.
  • Small towns in the western mountains are completely isolated without road access, telephone information, power, water or sewer.
  • People are being taken to safety in inflatable rafts, as entire houses were submerged by rising floodwater.

To Prepare for a Flood

  1. Copy your most important documents (mortgage papers, deed, passport, bank information). Keep copies in your home and store originals in a secure place outside the home, such as a bank safe deposit box.
  2. Take photos and an itemized list of your most valuable possessions. Store copies with other documents.
  3. Save and store receipts for any expensive household items (appliances, electronic equipment, etc.)
  4. When the National Weather Service issues a flood watch, monitor potential flood hazards on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards or on the Internet.
  5. Create an emergency preparedness kit. Include a battery-operated or hand-crank radio.
  6. Keep a three-day supply of nonperishable food and bottled water on hand.

During a Flood

  1. When a flood warning is issued, heed official instructions.
  2. Don’t walk through a flooded area. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down.
  3. Don’t drive through a flooded area. Just two feet of water can lift and move a car, even an SUV. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else during a flood.
  4. Keep away from downed power lines and any other electrical wires—electrocution is often a major cause of death in floods.
  5. Watch out for wandering animals. They may seek shelter in your home and aggressively defend themselves.
  6. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  7. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
  8. Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  9. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  10. Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
  11. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
  12. Because standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more flood safety tips and information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.

If you have recently sustained loss or damage due to the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides, you may be eligible for disaster aid. Contact FEMA to register for assistance. If you would like to donate to relief efforts, contact the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army or Help Colorado Now.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. The Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services is a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES.

How to Winterize Your Commercial Property

Monday, December 20th, 2010
Snowy road with snowflake hazard sign

Prepare your commercial or residential property for winter hazards.

For businesses located in northern climes, the chill of winter brings snow, ice and sleet. The winter storm season got off to an early start with an enormous Midwest blizzard. The popular video of the Metrodome collapsing in Minneapolis is a vivid reminder of the potential hazards of winter weather.

You likely know some tips about winterizing your home. Many of those same ideas apply to business. But commercial properties present some unique winterization challenges of their own.

Heating and ventilation winterizing tips

  • Schedule an annual cleaning of your HVAC system. Neglecting regular maintenance can wear out the equipment and lead to high fuel bills.
  • Check the caulking around your windows and doors, to make sure warm air is not escaping.
  • Use a door blower to judge whether or not your building is airtight. A blower door uses a calibrated fan with a pressure-sensitive device to measure air pressure and identify leaks.
  • Hire a HVAC professional to check for duct leakage. This is commonly done with a duct-blaster and blower-door together.

Avoid the winter “slip and slide”

  • Install a programmable thermostat. Keeping the temperature at 64 degrees at night instead of turning it completely off does not save energy. Modern HVAC systems work quickly and can quickly bring room temperature to comfortable levels.
  • Make sure sidewalks and building entryways are free of ice. While salt is the most commonly used method for melting ice, there are new environmentally-friendly alternatives including sugar beet formulas. Remember that traction is the key. So be sure to use traction mats or even sand to cover slippery spots.
  • Is snow blocking the fire lane? Consider safety first. And clear snow to allow emergency access to hydrants and emergency exits.
  • Watch out for falling icicles. Although it might look like a scene from a cartoon or movie, a 20-pound block of ice from 30 stories up can be dangerous. Consider heating the building’s exterior or using glycol-based de-icing agents.

Preventing “popsicle pipes”

  • Frozen pipes are best prevented by proper insulation of pipes and fittings.
  • In cases of extreme cold, consider letting faucets drip slightly since moving water takes longer to freeze than standing water.
  • Pay attention to wet pipe sprinkler systems for freezing. Review codes which often mandate dry pipe sprinkler systems (water is not in the pipes until system operation) for temperatures under 40F.
  • Do not use a blowtorch or other open flame on frozen pipes. This causes rapid expansion which can easily crack your pipes.

Stop the thermostat wars

  • Squabbles among office workers about the temperature can cause tensions and lead to decreased productivity.
  • Consider setting a standard office temperature and name one person whose job it is to adjust the thermostat. Be sure to communicate this standard with your employees. To make your case, relay studies on temperature’s effect on worker efficiency!
  • Set policies on usage of space heaters. If they are allowed, make sure employees follow strict safety rules including proper storage of paper. (Don’t store near space heaters.) Make sure employees and tenants unplug space heaters before they leave their home or office.

In addition to protecting the physical systems in your building, take a look at your emergency supplies. Can your building accommodate every tenant overnight or for multiple days in case of a blizzard? Make sure you have plenty of warm blankets, portable heat sources and extra food in case you get snowed in.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

Getting Involved With Fire Prevention Week

Monday, October 4th, 2010
This Year For Fire Prevention Week, Thank a Firefighter!

This Year For Fire Prevention Week, Thank a Firefighter!

Fire is a frequent topic of safety discussions because it is a primal force that strikes fear in the heart of man and beast. It is also a relatively common occurrence compared to other disasters, and can cause severe damage to people as well as structures.

Raising awareness about fire safety is a priority of fire departments. October 3-9 is the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) official Fire Prevention Week. The NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for nearly 90 years, and has made great strides in the area of fire safety for the public.

It took a great tragedy to encourage the development of a week dedicated to fire safety. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire roared through Chicago, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless and 17,000 structures destroyed. While most people believe a cow started the fire, many historians note other possible culprits. Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the fire, and marked the start of fire departments’ role in education and prevention, in addition to the physical acts of fighting fires.

Fire Prevention Week reinforces the basics of fire safety to the public. The theme of this years’ Fire Prevention Week is Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With! The NFPA is making a big push for smoke alarms to be installed, properly upgraded and maintained in residential and commercial buildings.

The NFPA has several initiatives for this years’ Fire Prevention Week which are offered to fire departments and other similar agencies for fire education initiatives:

Video Tutorials and Audio PSAs:

  • A video about smoke alarm safety includes information about the benefits of interconnecting alarms, testing alarms, checking for expiration dates and regularly replacing batteries.
  • Downloadable MP3 audio files that discuss fire alarm safety.

How can building owners participate in Fire Prevention Week?

  • Distribute free safety materials from the NFPA, FEMA and other agencies
  • Review your overall fire safety plan including evacuation routes, location of extinguishers, rules on stairwell and elevator usage, etc.
  • Invite your local fire department to fire safety activities. Firefighters are sometimes willing to conduct special events such as parades. Organize an interactive event where employees and facility management can speak directly to firefighters.

Fire Prevention Week is an opportunity for building owners to engage staff and employees in preventing the threat of fire. To learn more about fire safety, review the many fire-related topics that we have covered in previous posts, including: fire evacuation procedures, flammable materials, extinguishers and sprinkler systems, and fire hazards.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

Hurricane Communications

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
Prepare for Hurricanes by Following Forecasts

Prepare for Hurricanes by Following Forecasts

Final Post in a Series about Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricanes are unique emergencies in that they are predictable. So there is no excuse for failing to prepare to respond. Although you can’t control when a hurricane or other emergency may happen, it’s imperative that you take personal responsibility to make sure you are ready. This week, in our final post in a series about preparing and recovering from tropical storms and hurricanes, we’ll examine where to turn to stay on top of forecasts and local emergency plans.

Since the best way to deal with a hurricane is to prepare for one, you should acquaint yourself with websites and notification centers as well as the terminology used to distinguish between different storm warnings. This is crucial for all those who live and/or work in a high-risk area. Monitor weather patterns and warnings so you will know when to take evasive action. Here are a few helpful resources, offering easily-accessible weather-related information in real time:

AccuWeather.com

American Red Cross

The Disaster Center

FEMA Storm Watch

FindLocalWeather

Intellicast.com

Local Weather Forecast Center

National Hurricane Center

National Weather Service

NOAA

NOLA

Weather Bug

The Weather Channel

WeatherForYou.com

Many of the above sites offer RSS feeds and desktop notifications and email alerts. Another free weather notification system is available via the Emergency Email and Wireless Network, which provides breaking weather alerts and an information-packed National Weather Situation Page.

Once you are set up to receive weather updates, the next step in hurricane preparedness is to be able to distinguish between the terminologies used to describe various storm systems. Where hurricanes and tropical storms are concerned, the following definitions are critical.

WATCH vs. WARNING: THE DIFFERENCE

TROPICAL STORM WATCH

Tropical storm conditions (defined by sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within a specified coastal area within 48 hours.

TROPICAL STORM WARNING

Tropical storm conditions (defined by sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within a specified coastal area within 36 hours.

HURRICANE WATCH

Hurricane conditions (defined by sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within a specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

HURRICANE WARNING

An announcement that hurricane conditions (defined by sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within a specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Once you determine that a hurricane or tropical storm watch or warning is in effect, take the following steps:

  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for hurricane progress reports.
  • Check emergency supplies.
  • Fuel car.
  • Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
  • Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows. Remove outside antennas.
  • Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly.
  • Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils.
  • Review your evacuation plan.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Check back next week, when we will continue our series about hurricane safety and preparation. In the meantime, BE SAFE.

Hurricane Communications

Monday, August 23rd, 2010
Communication is Key in Any Emergency

Communication is Key in Any Emergency

Second in a Series about Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery

Hurricanes are unique emergencies in that they are predictable. So there is no excuse for failing to prepare to respond with decisive action. Although you can’t control when a hurricane or other emergency may happen, it’s imperative that you take personal responsibility to make sure you are ready.  This week, in our continuing series about hurricanes, we’ll look at one of the best ways to prepare for and recover after tropical storms and hurricanes—developing a comprehensive Communications Plan.

Although there is no easy answer—or “silver bullet”—to solve every problem that can hamper the efforts of law enforcement, firefighting, rescue and emergency medical personnel before, during and after natural disasters, the surest way to reduce confusion and quickly restore order is to establish a Communications Plan before you need one.

But what exactly is a Communications Plan?

An Emergency Communications’ Plan outlines formal decision-making structures and clearly defined leadership roles necessary for coordinating emergency communications’ capabilities. In other words, make sure you plan in advance to manage any and every emergency situation. Assess the situation and use common sense and available resources to take care of yourself and your co-workers or family members and to manage the recovery of your family or organization.

To help you with the process, FEMA has put together free resources including a Family Emergency Plan as well as a Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Plan, which is posted online for easy-access to clients of the Allied Universal, Inc. Training System. The business plan is designed to encourage you to gather emergency information and formalize plans for staying in business following a disaster, and includes information critical for coordinating with neighboring businesses, cooperating with emergency personnel and considering critical operations, staff and procedures.

Other organizations also provide free emergency resources. For example, The American Red Cross has a Safe and Well Website to help families keep in touch after a disaster. If you have been affected by a disaster, this website provides a way for you to register yourself as “safe and well.” From a list of standard messages, you can select those that you want to communicate to your family members, letting them know of your well-being. Other communication services available on the Safe and Well website:

  • USPS, which provides continuing mail service for those displaced by disasters through change of address forms.
  • National Next of Kin Registry, an organization where the public can archive emergency point of contact information. Emergency agencies access the system when there is a need to locate next of kin in urgent situations.
  • Community Voice Mail, which offers free personalized phone numbers with voicemail to people in crisis and transition for job search, housing, healthcare and family contact.
  • Contact Loved Ones, which is a free voice message service, accessible from any phone, to reestablish contact between those affected by a disaster and their loved ones and friends.

Also, at the state and local level, you should be able to access additional information specific to your geographical location. One such resource is put out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And weather advisories are put out by the National Hurricane Center.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Check back next week, when we will continue our series about hurricane safety and preparation. In the meantime, BE SAFE.

Time to Review Your Property Insurance Coverage

Monday, February 22nd, 2010
Make sure your insurance is sufficient to cover your commercial property.

Make sure your insurance is sufficient to cover your commercial property.

With the recent earthquake in Haiti and hurricane in New Orleans, people are keenly aware that disasters can and will happen. And when they hit, they can wreak havoc on residential and commercial property. But never fear. The best way to deal with an emergency is to prepare for it in advance.

So, in light of the Haitian earthquake and Hurricane Katrina, take time to review your disaster-related evacuation planning and tenant safety issues. And then, review and evaluate your insurance policy to make sure you have adequate coverage. Although people often groan about paying high insurance premiums, covering them beats the alternative of facing an uninsured disaster that could literally ruin your business as well as your reputation.

The primary type of insurance for commercial property owners is commercial property insurance which covers the physical structure from various types of natural or manmade disasters.  Here are some tips for choosing or renewing property insurance coverage:

  • Make sure your building is current with regard to all safety codes before you apply for new coverage or try to renew an existing policy. If the insurance agent who reviews your property finds evidence of safety violations, he or she might fail to recommend the property to underwriters.
  • Remember that insurance companies are not code enforcers. Their concern is for the building and the potential loss of value. Ensuring the safety of tenants is a shared responsibility between the building owner/manager, the tenant/employers and every individual person in the building. There is a proven correlation between individual training and preparedness and life safety.
  • Find out if the policy provides reimbursement for alternative work accommodations. If your building is severely damaged, would you be able to offer temporary facilities for displaced workers?  Remember that securing building permits for repairs can take weeks or months. So make sure that your insurance is sufficient to cover construction and code-approval time.
  • Carefully review whether the policy allows for “actual cash value” or “replacement value?” Actual cash value factors in depreciation of the insured object, while replacement value reimburses policy-holders for the current cost of replacing the lost or damaged item.
  • Watch out for “Exclusions,” which are big in the world of insurance. Check the policy carefully for anything that might not be covered. Are you in a flood plain? If so, make sure flood-related disasters are covered. Vandalism coverage should also be considered since manmade damage can lead to costly repairs. Some policies cover every type of disaster. In other cases, you might find it necessary to add a la carte coverage.
  • Look at what the policy covers beyond the building. Are furniture, equipment and electronics included? All of these items can be costly to replace.
  • Make sure you take time to read the “fine print” in your property insurance coverage. Proper coverage today can save your business tomorrow.
  • Consider other types of insurance such worker’s compensation, liability, and vehicle coverage.  Insurance is such a comprehensive subject that we’ll cover more about it in future blog posts. So be sure to check back in the weeks ahead.

For the latest emergency management training for property owners and facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our e-based system offers the best emergency training available, with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

Emergency Preparedness Gifts for the Holidays

Monday, December 21st, 2009
Give the gift of emergency preparedness.

Give the gift of emergency preparedness.

With the holiday season, some people experience anxiety about finding that one “perfect” gift for everyone on their list. Have you considered giving a gift that is both practical and potentially life-saving? An emergency preparedness gift will fill the bill.

If you give the gift of emergency preparedness, you will be encouraging the recipient to carefully consider whether he or she is prepared for emergencies. Maybe your gift will encourage them to develop a comprehensive emergency plan with exit routes, meeting locations, and an inventory of supplies and equipment. If the recipient owns a business and/or a building, your gift might encourage them to consider tenant’s safety equipment and procedures. You never know. Your generosity at Christmastime might just save a life.

“Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. And the holiday season provides a great opportunity to ensure that you and your loved ones are taking simple steps to be prepared,” said FEMA administrator, Craig Fugate.” Our friends at FEMA have put together a list of great gifts for the holidays, and, in this blog, we took a closer look at a few of them.

For all of these gifts, consider buying a high-quality item that will last a long time. No one wants a defective piece of equipment during an actual emergency. So be sure your gifts are made by reputable companies.

Flashlights and lamps:

  • Essential for all emergencies, battery-powered flashlights and lamps allow you navigate nighttime emergencies, safely
  • Great for signaling rescuers and navigating buildings that have stairwells

Disaster kit:

  • Every complete disaster kit requires a first aid kit that comes with an injury manual that shows you how to use the supplies
  • Other important items include thermal blankets and specially-packaged water and food

Fire extinguishers:

  • A quality fire extinguisher can save lives and homes
  • Even if your gift recipients have extinguishers, they might be very old or expired (Extinguishers won’t do you any good if they don’t work when you need them!)
  • Read about the different types of extinguishers before purchasing, especially if you’re purchasing them for building occupants that store toxic chemicals or other substances.

Other gifts mentioned on FEMA’s list include NOAA weather radios, foldable ladders, enrollment in a CPR class, smoke detectors, and car emergency kits.

If you are a building owner or manager who is thinking about your building’s safety procedures, contact us to discuss our safety training services. BE SAFE.

Emergency Family Plan

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
Will you and your family be ready if disaster strikes?

Will you and your family be ready if disaster strikes?

Planning for an emergency is a project for the entire family. Get your children involved in preparedness to help them understand how important it is to be prepared and encourage them to remain calm under duress. Emergencies could, potentially, happen when you are away and the kids are home. So be sure the babysitter knows the emergency plans, as well.

Earthquakes. Floods. Fire. If one of these strikes, will your family be prepared?

The first step is to identify and focus on the types of events that might occur. Fire happens no matter where you live. Earthquakes are more regional, but remember; some places you wouldn’t think about have had earthquakes. Floods are more common in some areas than others. So, if your home is located in a floodplain, be sure you establish emergency plans to share with your relatives and neighbors.

So how exactly can you get your kids involved?

  • Do a home hazard scavenger hunt to identify dangerous objects. Check every chest of drawers and other large furniture to make sure everything is well-secured to a wall. What about paintings and other loose items? Imagine an earthquake. What could, potentially happen to your possessions?
  • Make an emergency kit! FEMA has a great online matching game that allows children to visualize the key components of an emergency kit. Don’t forget the flashlights and canned goods!
  • After you have squared away your kit, it is time to make a plan! Again, we recommend that you get your children involved. The plan should be written out. But you can also include some simple graphic designs, clip art or photos into the plan to make it easy for younger kids to understand. Here are some key points to cover.
  • Identifying information about each family member
  • Phone contact information. Provide multiple numbers including the addresses of relatives who live far away in case the emergency has knocked out local communications. Put copies of photos in the plan so they can be easily distributed if someone is missing.
  • Make sure everyone understands escape routes from the home and the group meeting area.
  • Large families can enlist older kids as “watchers” over the younger ones
  • Ready.gov has a good emergency plan template

After a disaster, you will need to make sure all of your family members are accounted for and healthy. Then, it’s time to contact agencies such as your local Red Cross and to keep watch on alerts from FEMA.

With proper planning, you can help ensure your family’s safety in case of real emergency. Involvement of all family members is crucial. So Allied Universal, Inc. recommends that you make your plan today. BE SAFE.

Halloween Safety Tips

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
BE SAFE

BE SAFE

Trick-or-treating is a traditional childhood holiday favorite. But while fun may be a child’s main priority, safety is the top concern for parents. Horror stories about ghosts and goblins, and even scarier real-life tales of kidnappers and poisonend treats, are legitimate causes for fear on October 31.

Several organizations provide Halloween safety tips, including Allied Universal, Inc. We have compiled the following simple instructions to give kids a, safe, fun, exciting holiday experience, while providing parents with peace of mind.

Allied Universal Top 20 Tips for a safe and sane Halloween:

  1. If possible, send a responsible teenager or adult to escort your kids.
  2. Prepare the route in advance.
  3. Tell people where you plan to go.
  4. Make sure costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or potential contact with flames.
  5. Dress in light-colored or reflective-type clothing so you are visible. (Also, remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards and brooms, too!)
  6. Use non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup and small decorative hats as safe alternatives to toxic materials and large caps that could block vision.
  7. Before they head out, casually remind your children to “Stop-Drop-Roll” in the unlikely event that their clothes catch fire. Try not to alarm them. You want them to be prepared instead of scared.
  8. To prevent possible fire, use only battery-powered lanterns or chemical lightsticks in place of candles in decorations and costumes.
  9. Look both ways before crossing the street, checking carefully for cars, trucks and low-flying brooms.
  10. Cross the street only at corners.
  11. Never hide or dart between parked cars.
  12. Walk, slither and sneak on sidewalks instead of the street.
  13. Carry a flashlight and extra batteries, to light the way.
  14. Only visit homes that have illuminated porch lights.
  15. Keep costumes away from open fires and candles. (Bear in mind that many are flammable.)
  16. Accept treats at the door instead of entering strangers’ homes.
  17. Be cautious of strangers and animals.
  18. Inspect treats before enjoying.
  19. Don’t eat candy if the package is already open. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.
  20. To keep neighborhood children safe, eliminate potential tripping hazards on your porch and walkway.

Another good resource, called the “Lucky 13,” was prepared by the American Red Cross. Also helpful are tips assembled by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Sharing simple safety rules with your child is just another great way Allied Universal encourages folks to BE SAFE!

The Great California ShakeOut

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Shake, Rattle and Roll

We’ve got a full calendar at Allied Universal, Inc. One event we’re looking forward to is the Great California ShakeOut at 10:15 a.m. on October 15, 2009, when we’ll join millions of Californians to participate in the largest earthquake drill ever!

Drop, Cover and Hold On!

Now an annual event, the ShakeOut will incorporate numerous exercises and drills designed to prepare adults and children to react quickly in the rather likely event of a California quake. In much the same way kids across America have been taught to Stop, Drop and Roll in case of fire, this exercise will give us all the opportunity to practice how to Drop, Cover and Hold On.

Drop Cover Hold on Art

Practice Makes Perfect

At Allied Universal, Inc., we specialize in fire life safety and disaster preparedness training and education, so we can testify to the fact that behavior has to be learned and then drilled often in order to become automatic. If an earthquake hits, you may only have seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down, or causes something to fall onto you. So, don’t wait until an earthquake hits to figure out how you’re going to react.

How to Deal

We are proud to join thousands of emergency organizations, emergency responders, and Search and Rescue organizations in support of Drop, Cover, and Hold On education. If you wonder whether you are adequately prepared to deal with an earthquake, take this free interactive quiz, which was prepared by the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management.

Now is the perfect time to make sure you’re prepared, as September is National Preparedness Month. So check back often to learn about how to update your disaster plans and restock your disaster supplies kits.

And, in the meantime, BE SAFE.