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National PrepareAthon Day

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Be prepared text on speech bubble and businessman hand holding megaphonePresident Obama officially proclaimed September National Preparedness Month, establishing September 30, 2016 as a “national day of action,” aka “America’s PrepareAthon.” Managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the campaign is designed to spark awareness and preparedness among the general public.

The emphasis on awareness and active participation in safety-related exercises is especially timely in light of the recent terrorist attacks in New York and New Jersey. Also, in a separate and apparently unrelated incident in Minnesota, a terrorist attack was thwarted by a trained firearms expert, whose quick thinking and ready action saved the lives of innocent people.

In each of these incidents, well-prepared Americans, first-responders and members of the general public worked together to lessen the severity of incidents relative to attacks and/or helped the injured while simultaneously staying alert to additional threats.

America’s PrepareAthon encourages alertness in several types of incidents:eas-test-092816_national

  • FEMA provides free materials such as badges and posters to promote preparedness for floods, earthquakes, winter storms, etc.
  • A compelling video showcases the way bystanders helped victims.
  • Disaster preparedness-related news is announced through the #PrepareAthon Twitter feed.
  • Concerned members of the public can conduct drills, test communication plans, safeguard documents, and make plans with neighbors for post-disaster actions.
  • Common steps to follow after a disaster such as tornadoes, hurricanes, active shooter incidents, winter storms, wildfires, and earthquakes alert the public.

How America’s PrepareAthon could potentially save lives:

Active Shooter Scenarios

America’s PrepareAthon offers useful advice for active shooter incidents. Here is what you can learn:

  • Find active shooter training classes, which are held at various locations throughout the country.
  • Discern the importance of quickly running, hiding, or fighting (if necessary).
  • Take first aid classes which instruct students in emergency procedures, such as how to tie a tourniquet.
  • Determine when to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.

Winter Storms

Graphic: PlanSevere winter storms bring ice, freezing rain, and potentially crippling quantities of snow, posing risks to first responders as well as the general public.

How to properly manage a major winter storm:

  • Prepare by stocking up on valuable supplies, such as food and water.
  • Create a backup heat source in case electrical or gas power are compromised.
  • Understand the potential dangers of fallen power lines, which can be pulled down by ice accumulating on trees.
  • Prepare your car by keeping the tank full to prevent the gas line from freezing. Also, pack extra blankets and water in your car as well as chains.
  • Set outside faucets to trickle to keep the pipes from freezing.
  • Create a travel bag containing several layers of clothing, a first aid kit, and signaling devices.
  • Prepare a “Go Bag.”

Remember that safety is a daily priority, not just on September 30th during America’s PrepareAthon. Take advantage of the resources offered through FEMA and other agencies, which can provide you and building occupants with lifesaving tips. A convenient and affordable way to make sure you are prepared for disasters and emergencies of virtually every kind is to subscribe to the Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, which has been designed to help improve and save lives. For more information about the best system out there, or to subscribe, click here.

How to Prepare for Falling Meteorites

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Injuries resulting from falling meteorites sounds like scene out of a science fiction movie. But as we all learned on February 19, 2013, truth can be stranger than fiction. According to Reuters, “Residents of Chelyabinsk, an industrial city 1,500 km (950 miles) east of Moscow, heard an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt a shockwave that blew out windows and damaged the walls and roof of a zinc plant.” At least 1,200 were injured. NASA estimates the meteor was 55 feet across before entering Earth’s atmosphere and weighed about 10,000 tons.

How much of a threat do meteorites pose? When an asteroid the size of the White House made a record close pass by earth on the same day that the meteor exploded over Russia, scientists labeled the dual event “Freaky Friday,” citing 100 million-to-1 odds. “We would expect an event of this magnitude to occur once every 100 years on average,” said Paul Chodas of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

As with any other type of emergency, the best way to respond during and recover following any asteroid-related event is to prepare. Since falling meteorites are possible, if not inevitable, we thought it worthwhile to provide you with tips to help you prepare. After all, planning for a falling asteroids isn’t much different from planning for a disaster of any kind. Just remember to Get a Kit, Make a Plan, and Be Informed:

Get a Kit

As with any emergency, the first step in preparation is to put together an emergency preparedness kit or “go bag.” Although you might want to add a hard hat to protect yourself from falling debris, most disaster kits include the same basic items, each of which should be placed into an easy-to-carry kit for use at home or to take with you if you need to evacuate:

  • Water—one gallon per person, per day (3­-day supply for evacuation, 2­-week supply for use at home.)
  • Food—non­perishable items (3-­day supply for evacuation, 2-­week supply for use at home)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery­-powered or hand-­crank radio (A NOAA-Weather Radio is recommended.)
  • First aid kit and medications (including OTC and prescriptions)
  • Multi­purpose tool
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Copies of personal documents (medication requirements, pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies, family and emergency contact information)
  • Cell phone with chargers so you can text your friends when you find meteorite particles you want to post on ebay.
  • Map(s) of the immediate area so you know where the largest chunks of debris fell.
  • Medical supplies
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Can opener
  • Whistle to alert others if you or any of your family members or coworkers are injured
  • N95 or surgical masks in case of environmental pathogens
  • Matches
  • Rain gear and plastic sheeting to keep dry
  • Towels, which can be used for bedding, to wipe up messes and as bandages or tourniquets
  • Work gloves
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors Household bleach
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

Make a Plan

  • Make sure you have a plan for contacting family and friends if any emergency strikes.
  • Develop an evacuation plan and practice it so you will be able to move quickly.
  • Decide how you and loved ones will connect in case communication and transportation are compromised.

Be Informed

To make sure you are updated about disasters, tune to emergency radio stations and sign up for mobile-phone updates. If your television is working, watch the news.

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 helps commercial buildings with compliance to fire life safety codes. Our interactive, building-specific e-learning training system motivates and rewards tenants instantly! It’s 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!

Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse!

Monday, July 16th, 2012

(This is a light-hearted take on a fictional event. There is actually no such thing as a Zombie Apocalypse. (Yet!)

The threat of a zombie apocalypse could be closer than you think. If zombies attack, would you be ready? As the CDC explains, if you are ready for a zombie apocalypse, you are ready for anything.

First, consider how easily a zombie apocalypse could begin:

  1. A genetically altered, infected flea from a mad scientist’s flea circus lab hyper-jumps out of its jar onto a mad scientist’s pet vampire werewolf.
  2. Doing his best coyote imitation, the werewolf comes into your neighborhood in search of food, stray cats, etc. 
  3. Your cat narrowly escapes the life or death encounter but picks up the now fast multiplying mutant vampire fleas.
  4. Scared to death, your cat screams into your house, over the kitchen counter, across the couch, up the stairs into your bedroom and under your covers–leaving a trail of hungry mutant vampire fleas everywhere.
  5. While you’re sleeping, the hungry mutant fleas spread out and find you and your family and dig in.
  6. By morning, your whole family is infected but don’t notice in your excited rush to get to the airport to go to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
  7. What you don’t realize is that these mutant fleas don’t just bite. They eat their way under your skin and infect your bloodstream with mind-eating parasites that turn you and your whole family into Zombies while simultaneously germinating the geometrically growing millions of new mutant vampire Zombie fleas that are hungry for new hosts.
  8. To save money, you have booked connecting flights from Hawaii to California to Atlanta, to New York to London with layovers at each stop. So you are spreading fleas everywhere you go and infecting hundreds and hundreds of people in every airport who are now taking the mutant vampire Zombie flea parasites all over the world.
  9. By the time to get to London, you realize that something is not right when you can’t stop yourself from dancing like you’re an extra in the Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video or listening to Warren Zevon’s song “Werewolves of London.” But it’s too late now– ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!!!!!!

Since a zombie apocalypse is obviously inevitable, we thought it worthwhile to take this week’s Allied Universal Training System blog post help you prepare. After all, planning for a zombie apocalypse isn’t much different from planning for a disaster of any kind. Just remember to Get a Kit, Make a Plan, and Be Informed:

Get a Kit

As with any emergency, the first step in preparation is to put together an emergency preparedness kit or “go bag.” Although you might want to include a few extra items to ward off zombies, most disaster kits include the same basic items, each of which should be placed into an easy-to-carry kit for use at home or to take with you if you need to evacuate:

  • Water—one gallon per person, per day (3­-day supply for evacuation, 2­-week supply for use at home.) If you are bitten by a zombie, you will probably become very thirsty and be glad you have plenty of water on hand.
  • Food—non­perishable items (3-­day supply for evacuation, 2-­week supply for use at home)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery­-powered or hand-­crank radio (The best choice would be a NOAA Weather Radio.)
  • First aid kit and medications (including OTC and prescriptions)
  • Multi­purpose tool which you could use to cut off any zombie-bite infected limbs
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Hand sanitizer in case the zombie gets blood on you when he attacks
  • Copies of personal documents (medication requirements, pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies, family and emergency contact information)
  • Cell phone with chargers so you can text your friends about zombie movement
  • Map(s) of the immediate area so you know where to flee from zombies
  • Medical supplies to help in the treatment of zombie bites
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Can opener so you can try to bribe the zombie with food
  • Whistle to alert others in your area about zombie threats
  • N95 or surgical masks in case of environmental pathogens
  • Matches so you can light zombies on fire or start a fire to keep yourself warm
  • Rain gear and plastic sheeting to keep dry and hide from wandering zombies
  • Towels, which can be used for bedding, to wipe up messes and as bandages or tourniquets which will be needed if zombies bite
  • Work gloves so you can remove dead zombies from the area
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Duct tape (which you can try to use to bind the zombies’ hands, feet and mouth).
  • Scissors (which will double as a helpful tool and anti-zombie weapon)
  • Household bleach (possibly good for pouring onto zombies so they melt, if they behave like the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz)
  • Blankets or sleeping bags to hide from the zombies
  • Extra cash to pay off the head zombie, so he and his cohorts will leave you alone

Make a Plan

  • Make sure you have a plan for contacting family and friends in the event of a zombie attack.
  • Develop an evacuation plan and practice it so you will be able to move quickly in the event of an actual zombie attack.
  • Decide before an actual zombie attack how you and loved ones will connect in case communication and transportation is compromised.

Be Informed

Zombie-related emergencies could range from severe headaches, dry eye, the heartbreak of psoriasis. Not to mention major clothing malfunctions and dirty mouth health issues. And remember Zombies can’t get affordable medical and dental care so you will be on your own. Even Obamacare won’t be able to help you.

To make sure you are updated about disasters, tune into radio stations, and sign up for mobile-phone updates. If your television is working, watch the news as well as reruns of The Walking Dead, where you will undoubtedly learn more about zombie activity than you ever cared to ask.

So what exactly is the point of the CDC’s “Zombie Apocalypse” campaign? For any type of disaster, preparation is the key. If you over-prepare for the worst case scenario (And, let’s face it; it doesn’t get worse than flesh-eating zombies), then you will be able to handle an emergency of any kind. The good news is that the CDC assures us that there is actually no basis for a real zombie apocalypse. We have provided these tips as a light-hearted way to remind you to prepare for disasters of any kind.

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 3.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system.

Are You Good to Go?

Monday, August 30th, 2010
Do you have a Go-Bag?

Do you have a Go-Bag?

Part 3 in a Series about Hurricanes

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, as well as other emergencies—putting together a Go-Bag.

A “Go Bag” is a bag you pack today and hope you will never need. You pack it in case there is a situation which necessitates an extremely hasty evacuation which makes it impossible to get to your complete emergency supply kit, or in circumstances that prevent you from carrying your emergency supply kit with you. There are a number of reasons why you would need to move in such a hurry including the one we’ll focus on today…preparing for a tropical storm or hurricane.

A component of your disaster kit, a Go-Bag should be prepared for each member of your family. Also, make sure each bag has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes. So keep additional supplies in the trunk of your car and at work.

1.)    Purchase a sturdy backpack or messenger bag.

2.)    Add the following (as your geographic, financial and physical situation allow):

  • First Aid Kit—a small but efficient kit, which should include a 2-week supply of prescription medications as well as pharmaceutical grade crazy (skin) glue.
  • Sewing Kit—non-waxed floss and u-shaped leather needle, which can be used to stitch up skin in an emergency
  • Feminine Napkins—since they absorb blood and can be used as a bandage in a pinch.
  • Cash—as much as you can spare. Remember that credit cards may not be useful for necessary supplies immediately following a natural or man-made disaster. Try to include small denominations and rolls of quarters which will be useful for phone calls.
  • Clothing—cotton is useless once it gets wet. So try to include thermal underwear and a warm hat.
  • Blankets—Mylar emergency blankets are lightweight and easy to stow.
  • Crank-style Flashlight and Snap Lights such as Glow-Sticks
  • Whistle—on a lanyard, so you can wear it around your neck. This is good for locating people in a crowd, at night, or in low visibility conditions.
  • Crank-style NOAA weather/AM-FM Radio. This is a good choice so you won’t have to search for batteries in an emergency situation.
  • Batteries—in case you have to power a battery-operated appliance such as a radio or flashlight.
  • Food—including protein bars and other non-perishable items such as K-rations, for three days per person. And don’t forget to include rations for your pet.  Please remember any food allergies and daily calorie/protein in the food you choose.
  • Drinking Water—most emergency agencies suggest storage of at least three days worth of water per person.  It’s also advisable to have a backpacking type water purifier, water purification tablets and know how to purify water with regular Clorox Bleach (8 drops of Regular Clorox Bleach per gallon of water).  Bringing water to a rolling boil for several minutes is also a reliable method of killing most microbes and parasites.  Here is a link that explains the process.
  • Goggles—protect your eyes! Buy heavy-duty “soft side” vinyl glasses with ventilation, fogless lenses and adjustable strap.
  • Lighter—don’t rely on matches, which can get wet. (Or, find waterproof matches, which are sold at camping stores.)
  • Other Fire-Starting Aids, such as a magnifying glass and magnesium “fire starters.”
  • Hand and feet warmers—if possible, purchase the type of warmers that are carbon-activated
  • Rope—has endless uses. Include various sizes.
  • Crow Bar—in case emergency pathways are blocked.
  • Big Trash Bags or Plastic Sheeting— use these to stow garbage, haul materials, fashion a poncho or cut open to build a makeshift tent.
  • Multi-Use Knife—such as a Leatherman, Gerber, Swiss Army knife, preferably with a saw blade.
  • Dust masks (2 per person)—with built-in respirator systems.  Use at least an N95-rated mask.
  • Duct tape—uses too numerous to list
  • Copies of your passport, driver’s license, insurance and any other important documents
  • A sticky pad, marker and a pen in case you need to leave a note for family or friends
  • A wallet-size photo of every member of your immediate family including children and pets. This is crucial in case you get separated and need to enlist others to help locate loved ones.
  • Antibacterial Hand Wash (non rinse), available at most pharmacies, supermarkets and convenience stores. These can be used to clean hands and sanitize wounds.
  • Comfortable, sturdy shoes and warm, thick socks.
  • Thick leather work gloves.
  • Local map
  • List of emergency contact numbers
  • List of known allergies including medications and food
  • Extra prescription glasses, hearing aids or other vital personal items
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Extra keys to your home, vehicle and office
  • Special items required for children, seniors or people with disabilities

Your Go-Bag will be as individual as you are. Only you know the items you can’t live without. Whatever they are, make sure you include them so you are prepared for hurricanes, tropical storms and more.

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.

ACTIVE HURRICANE SEASON PREDICTED

Monday, August 16th, 2010
Hurricanes can be devastating. Be sure to prepare!

First in a Series about Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery

In their latest forecast, the National Weather Service reaffirmed their May forecast of a heavy Atlantic hurricane season. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encouraged Americans living in coastal states to take steps to ensure their families are prepared for hurricanes. And the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center recently announced that all the factors are coming together for a stormy season.

What does all of this mean? If you live on the coast, get ready for a rough ride.

Since before hurricane season started, FEMA personnel have been actively engaged with state and local officials in coastal states to ensure they have the support and resources necessary to prepare for and respond to a tropical storm or hurricane. This season has been particularly taxing for emergency management professionals who have to weigh the potential effects of the BP oil spill on response capabilities and recovery scenarios.

“FEMA continues to work across the administration and with our state and local partners to ensure they’re ready should a hurricane make landfall,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “But we can only be as prepared as the public, so it’s important that families and businesses take steps now to be ready.”

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.  In the coming weeks, we’ll look at the various ways you can prepare for and recover after tropical storms and hurricanes, including:

But first, let’s examine the nature and history of hurricanes so we know what to prepare for. A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, which is a generic term for a low pressure system that generally forms in the tropics. According to the National Hurricane Center, the ingredients for a hurricane include:

  1. A pre-existing weather disturbance
  2. Warm tropical oceans
  3. Moisture
  4. Relatively light winds aloft

If the right conditions persist long enough, they can combine to produce the violent winds, incredible waves, torrential rains, and floods we associate with this phenomenon. Each year, approximately 11 tropical storms develop over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. Many of these remain over the ocean and never impact the U.S. coastline. An average six of these storms become hurricanes each year.

Hurricane Hit Parade (Hurricane Trivia)

The deadliest hurricane on record (prior to the practice of naming tropical storms in 1953) is reported to have slammed into Galveston, Texas in 1900, killing 8,000 people. A Category 4 hurricane, it struck the island with sustained winds of 140 miles per hour.

The costliest hurricane on record, as most of Florida will remember, was Hurricane Andrew, which struck in 1992 and cost an estimated $26.5 billion.

The most intense hurricane to strike the U.S. hit the Florida Keys on Labor Day weekend in 1935. The Labor Day Hurricane sustained winds are estimated to have reached almost 200 miles per hour. Although it hit a tiny, low-populated area, 390 died in the event.

The busiest month in the U.S. for major hurricane hits is September, with an average 36 of 64 annual such storms. August is the second busiest month, with an average of 15 out of 64 annual strikes.

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.