April, 2010

FEMA’s 5 Essentials for Water in a Disaster


  1. Allow people to drink according to their needs. Many people need even more than the average of one-half gallon, per day. The individual amount needed depends on age, physical activity, physical condition, and time of year.
  2. Never ration water unless ordered to do so by authorities. Drink the amount you need today and try to find more for tomorrow. Under no circumstances should a person drink less than one quart (four cups) of water each day. You can minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.
  3. Drink water that you know is not contaminated first. If necessary, suspicious water, such as cloudy water from regular faucets or water from streams or ponds, can be used after it has been treated. If water treatment is not possible, put off drinking suspicious water as long as possible, but do not become dehydrated.
  4. Do not drink carbonated beverages instead of drinking water. Carbonated beverages do not meet drinking-water requirements. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol dehydrate the body, which increases the need for drinking water.
  5. Turn off the main water valves. You will need to protect the water sources already in your home from contamination if you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines, or if local officials advise you of a problem. To close the incoming water source, locate the incoming valve and turn it to the closed position. Be sure you and other family members know how to perform this important procedure.

◦                                  To use the water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your home at the highest level. A small amount of water will trickle out. Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the home.

◦                                  To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, and open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve at the tank and turning on the hot water faucet. Refill the tank before turning the gas or electricity back on. If the gas is turned off, a professional will be needed to turn it back on.

Source: www.FEMA.gov

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The “Big One”

Welcome to Earthquake Preparedness Week! (Really, it does exist. It is sandwiched between the basketball playoffs and Administrative Assistant Appreciation Week.) Recently Scott Graviet, the Salt Lake County Emergency Services Coordinator spoke about emergency preparedness and the potential catastrophes for Salt Lake. The potential for an earthquake topping 7.0 on the Richter scale poses more danger than any other natural disaster and ranks it as his number one priority.

It is estimated that nearly 100,000 homes would be left without shelter in the valley and that tens of thousands would be injured.  According to earthquake program manager for the Utah Division of Homeland Security, Bob Carey, we are in a time frame where a catastrophic earthquake is “probably more likely than less likely.” It would most likely strike along the East benches, adjacent to the Wasatch fault.  According to Carey, “There are not too many places where you can hide from significant ground shaking.”

Emergency preparedness tips for earthquakes are available online at http://bereadyutah.gov. A massive earthquake would overwhelm government services, rupture pipelines cutting off water, electricity, natural gas and telephone service for days, potentially weeks. Gaviet said people should be prepared to dig themselves out. “As you start to prepare yourself,” he said, “the anxiety goes away.” He suggested to seek training through a program such as CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) and to create a family plan that includes where to go and what to do should such an emergency occur. Gaviet urged people to “Prepare a 72 hour kit with food and medical supplies.”  The Red Cross recommends having an earthquake preparedness pack for your home, office, and vehicle. You can find a pack at your local Red Cross for about $70. Most items (backpack, LED flashlight, first aid kit, toiletries, granola, water, duct tape, feminine napkins, and snack food such as raisins, granola, and other non-perishables, a thin blanket to stay warm with) can be put together for less.

This is a time for preparedness and not panic. Earthquakes happen, just ask our friends in Mexico, California, Chili and Haiti as they have rocked the globe in recent months. The good news: scientists say it has been roughly 1,300 years since an earthquake topping 7.0 has struck the valley.  The potential bad news: We are due for another quake toping 7.0 about every 1,300 years.

Be sure to stay tuned into our website for the latest in food and water storage articles and videos.

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FOOD STORAGE in the LAND OF MORMON: FACT AND FICTION

There are a number of misconceptions by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and non-members alike around food storage. Rumors of LDS leaders putting the “fear of God” in their membership for certain end times which are just around the corner, insisting the LDS flock have a semi-load of dry goods and a swimming pool worth of water are out of context. Another story, just as ridiculous has the Mormons seceding from the union and hunkering down for a long hard fight with impending doomsday consequences. Nothing could be further from the truth.

LDS members, often referred as Mormons due to their belief in what their faith holds is an ancient sacred text named after a prophet who compiled the writings of his predecessors, follow doctrinal principles taught in their church which use a combination Book of Mormon and Bible. Many recall the story of Jacob’s son Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers only to become Pharaoh’s number two man in Egypt. The Pharaoh is troubled by a dream about feast and famine, which Joseph interprets as a call to save food for seven years to prepare for an upcoming seven years of famine. The First Presidency encourages members world-wide to “prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.” Their practical advice is more about celebrating the abundance of a Heavenly Father by modeling Christian values of caring for one another in adverse situations. One way to do this is by prudently preparing for every needful thing over a period of time so as to be ready should a situation present itself.

Emergency circles ask for a minimum of 72 hours of supply of food and water. Practical circles suggest a three month supply of food and water. A year’s supply of food, water, and other necessities falls in line with principles taught in their church. Historically, the LDS faith have been at the forefront of many major disasters providing relief to those impacted by natural and man-made disasters. Relief in the form of money, food, water, clothes, blankets, first aid, and ready hands, arms, and legs are woven in the fabric of this Church.

As 2012 gets ever closer and yet another earthquake, fire, or hurricane impacts another community, understand LDS leaders do not over-emphasize building up food, water, and money supplies. One day at a time, step by step, members are encouraged NOT to take drastic measures in obtaining their food, water, and emergency preparedness supplies. Food storage containers filled with dry goods. Water barrels filled with water and standing ready. Blankets, warm clothes, and a first aid kit tucked away in case of an emergency. AND should one occur, perhaps you might pray that you live next to a prepared Mormon who is ready and willing to share their stash. Amen?

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5 Things I Can do to be Prepared

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS 101 or 5 THINGS I CAN DO TO BE PREPARED

“DO IT NOW!” Those three little words create a sense of urgency within us. Each and every family should be prepared for a natural or man-made disaster. The time to get educated, planned, and prepared is now, not while you are in a disaster. The saying, “Better safe than sorry” comes to mind.

  1. First things first – What to get? Have enough water, food products, medications, first aid kit, and sanitary items for THREE DAYS.  Most regular services can be restored within a three day period, that is why it is vitally important to have enough materials for a 72 hours period.
  2. Emergencies can be longer than three days. So your next step is to have a three month supply of food you normally eat. This way you can rotate canned goods, grains, and other food products easily without wasting any money due to food spoilage.
  3. What is important? Survival! Creature comforts come down the line, however, storing warm blankets, a cordless radio, a flash light, and a few sets of batteries is great for emergency situations.
  4. Many ask what kinds of foods to pick when putting together an inventory. Start with the basics, such as highly nutrient wheat, white and brown rice, beans, pastas, flour, etc. Powdered milk, powdered eggs, bullion, salt and spices are a well rounded foundation.  Fill in with ready to eat meals, freeze dried foods, dehydrated foods which all have an extremely long shelf life and do not require special storage conditions.
  5. Consider your local climate conditions when getting ready for possible emergencies. Warm clothes and blankets, jackets, rain gear, gloves, hats, and a pair of sturdy shoes are things to have ready for emergency purposes.

These five basics will get you off to a great start.  Do not under estimate the value of a good education. There are many outstanding videos available on YouTube, www.MarksBarrelCompany.com, and other resources.

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