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Lincoln Park CERT to Offer Three Day Disaster Preparedness Course

LINCOLN PARK, MI — Wayne County residents are invited to register for the free CERT Disaster Preparedness Course. Students enrolled in this course learn disaster preparedness, fire safety, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, terrorism, and more. The three-day course is designed to provide the basic skills needed in major disaster, which increases the ability people to survive until first responders or other assistance arrives.

The course begins on Friday, June 23, 2017 and runs through Sunday, June 25, 2017. The training will be held at the Community Policing Building, 1394 Cleophus Ave, Lincoln Park (Map). “In the early minutes, hours and possibly days of these disasters, professional emergency responders may not be able to reach all citizens due to the number of emergency situations or road conditions,” said Michael Parr, Coordinator for Lincoln Park CERT.  “Our mission is to train people to respond during disaster situations when professional responders may be overwhelmed by a large number of calls.”

Anyone interested in this course need to be over 18 years old, residents of Wayne County, pass a background check, and apply online by June 15th.  The course registration form is located online at Students whom complete the course receive a Certificate of Completion and may join either Lincoln Park CERT or another city’s CERT program. Additional training on First-Aid, CPR, AED operation will be scheduled following the completion of the training.

Are You Prepared For Winter Mayhem?

By William Tonkin  |   Submitted On November 22, 2015

Severe storms are making it more and more relevant for survival kits and emergency preparedness plans. Texas and several other states have seen more than their share of disasters this month. These storms rushed across five states and left two others on the lookout.

November, 2015 tornadoes hit Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana and brought blizzards to Colorado and Kansas. Anyone in those states that didn’t have an emergency kit or at least a preparedness plan, were caught unprepared. The tornadoes that hit the Texas area brought 99 mph winds and heavy rain. Storms this severe aren’t normally seen until the spring months. This massive storm pulled moisture up from the Gulf of Mexico and poured a downfall of heavy rain on the areas below. This amount of water caused flash flooding, downed trees and power lines, and washed out roads, leaving 44,000 people without power. In this situation a survival kit with a flashlight and some extra batteries could mean the difference between life and death. To make things even worse, of the 42 tornadoes reported at least two were a mile in width and swept across vast areas of land causing a lot of damage. Fifteen to twenty trailer homes were damaged and three trailers were flipped in an RV park. These tornadoes also destroyed a bank and left one high school with severe damage. In the midst of all the damage rescuers had their work cut out for them as well, as they responded to over 90 water rescues. Having food, potable water and a plan would have prevented many from dehydration, and provided a better chance at surviving until rescuers could arrive. After the tornadoes blew through and everything settled down six people were found dead and at least two were missing. Advanced preparation of an emergency plan and obtaining a survival kit with the proper items, can be instrumental in preventing fatalities.

The same storm that hit Texas also brought a humongous blizzard to Colorado and Kansas. Forty-five mile per hour winds and nine foot snow drifts swept across the states and brought horrible driving conditions with it. Semis and cars were lined up along the interstate and several landed in ditches. Having a roadside emergency kit or an automobile emergency kit would be a great thing to have to keep people safe and warm along the road. I-70 was closed from Colorado into parts of NW Kansas and flying was nearly impossible as over 200 flights were cancelled. These two states saw at least five feet of snow in under a week. Although these disasters are out of our control, it is in our control to keep ourselves and our families safe; to do that we must be prepared.

Having an emergency preparedness plan and a survival kit are great ways to stay prepared and keep yourself and others safe this winter. Don’t get caught without a plan. Be prepared.

Article Source:

CDC Emergency Preparedness and You | Make a Plan

Protect yourself and your loved ones by making an emergency plan. You should make a plan for:

  • How you will contact one another, and
  • What special steps you will take in different types of emergency situations.

Make a Family Communication Plan

	Hand pressing screen on a smart phonePhone lines in the emergency area may be busy. It may be easier to make phone calls into a different town than to connect by phone with someone in the same town.

Text messages may still go through, even when phone lines are very busy.

You and your loved ones may not be together when a disaster hits. Make a plan for how you will connect to each other. Start by taking the following steps:

  • Complete a contact card for each family member. Everyone should keep these cards with them at all times.
  • Choose an emergency contact. Memorize the phone number if you can. A friend or relative who lives out of town might be easier to reach in an emergency. During an emergency, family members can text or call this person to let them know that they are safe.
  • Make sure all your family members know how to text. Make sure everyone knows how to turn on a cell phone, find the text messaging app, type a message, and send it to a contact.
  • Know emergency telephone numbers. Keep them in your cell phone and post them near your home phones. Some good numbers to have are your emergency contact, the fire department, police station, and hospital near you

Make a Family Disaster Plan

Before making your disaster plan, its important to know what types of emergencies are likely in your area and the best way to respond. For example, if tornadoes are common in your area, you will need to know what the warning signs are and where to take shelter. Check with your Local Red Cross chapter or Emergency Management Agency for more information.

  • Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster. For example, during an earthquake you will need to “drop, cover, and hold on” under a sturdy desk or table. However, during a tornado, you would need to seek shelter in a lower level room without windows. Learn more about different types of disasters.
  • Choose multiple meeting places. Different disasters may require you to go to different places. Make sure you choose a meeting place in your neighborhood, a meeting place just outside your neighborhood, and a meeting place out of town.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways to get out of each room.
  • PRACTICE.Review these plans with all members of your family. Practice your disaster plans by running drills with the whole family.
  • Don’t Forget Pets! Think about what you would do with your pets, because they may not be allowed in emergency shelters. For more information, check out Preparing Your Pet for Emergencies.

Get your kids ready

  • Teach children how and when to call 911 for help.
  • Quiz your kids on the plan to make sure they remember what to do.
  • Include your kids in planning and drills.

Ready Wrigley can help your kids be ready for many kinds of emergencies!

Take these additional steps to be prepared

	Large plastic bin filled with emergency supplies, like bottled water, food that won’t spoil, a first aid kit, and a flashlight.

Check and replace your supplies throughout the year, as needed.

  • Make an emergency kit, and be sure to check and replace your supplies throughout the year, as needed.
  • Stay informed; find the best ways to get disaster information from local authorities.
  • Make sure that you have enough insurance coverage for your property. Specifically, think about the types of disasters that are common in your area.
  • Learn how and when to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at the main shut-off locations.
  • Show each family member how to use the fire extinguisher, and show them where it’s kept.

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NOAA launches unprecedented effort to discover how El Niño affects weather

NOAA scientists and partners have embarked on a land, sea, and air campaign in the tropical Pacific to study the current El Niño and gather data in an effort to improve weather forecasts thousands of miles away.

The El Niño Rapid Response Field Campaign will deploy NOAA’s Gulfstream IV research plane and NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown, NASA’s Global Hawk unmanned aircraft equipped with specialized sensors, and researchers stationed on Kiritimati (Christmas) Island in the Republic of Kiribati, approximately 1,340 miles south of Honolulu. Together, scientists will collect atmospheric data from this vast and remote expanse of the tropical Pacific where El Niño-driven weather systems are spawned.

“The rapid response field campaign will give us an unprecedented look at how the warm ocean is influencing the atmosphere at the heart of this very strong El Niño,” said Craig McLean, assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA Research. “This research will help us understand the first link in the chain that produces, among many other weather impacts, extreme precipitation events on the West Coast.”

Scientists on NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown will launch weather balloons up to eight times a day in the eastern tropical Pacific to help study the current El Niño. (Credit: NOAA)

Scientists on NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown will launch weather balloons up to eight times a day in the eastern tropical Pacific to help study the current El Niño. (Credit: NOAA)

Scientists on NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown will launch weather balloons up to eight times a day in the eastern tropical Pacific to help study the current El Niño. (Credit: NOAA)

El Niño is a recurring climate phenomenon, characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, that increases the odds for warm and dry winters across the northern United States and cool, wet winters across the south. El Niño is the warm phase of the ocean cycle known as El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO for short. La Niña is the cool phase. The pattern can shift back and forth every two to seven years, disrupting weather patterns across the globe.

During the two strongest El Niños before this, California has been soaked by intense rainstorms causing flooding, landslides and other property damage. NOAA scientists say this event is among the strongest El Niños on record, comparable to the last major event in 1997-98. How much precipitation this El Niño will deliver to California is a subject of intense interest to a region struggling to manage the effects of an historic drought.

NOAA researchers anticipate that the data gathered by weather balloons and instruments dropped from aircraft will help improve the models that are used to support weather forecasts. The data will also provide insights that researchers hope will improve year-to-year ENSO forecasts, as well as the accuracy of models predicting longer-term effects of climate change.

NASA's Global Hawk unmanned aircraft is equipped with sensors to gather weather information over the Pacific as part of the NOAA and partner campaign. (Credit: Gijs de Boer, CIRES)

NASA’s Global Hawk unmanned aircraft is equipped with sensors to gather weather information over the Pacific as part of the NOAA and partner campaign. (Credit: Gijs de Boer, CIRES)

NASA’s Global Hawk unmanned aircraft is equipped with sensors to gather weather information over the Pacific as part of the NOAA and partner campaign. (Credit: Gijs de Boer, CIRES)

“This has never been done with a major El Niño,” said Randall Dole, a senior scientist with NOAA’s Earth System Research Lab in Boulder, Colorado. “A field campaign ordinarily takes years to plan and execute. But we recognized what an important opportunity we had and everyone worked hard to pull this mission together.”

Here is a list of NOAA and partner assets deployed to support the El Niño Rapid Response Field Campaign:

  • NOAA’s Gulfstream IV (G-IV) aircraft is flying out of Honolulu International Airport carrying a suite of meteorological sensors on an estimated 20 research flights in the central Pacific from late January to early March. The G-IV will be dropping weather instrumentation and using Doppler radar located in the aircraft’s tail to gather weather data.

  • NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown will launch weather balloons up to eight times a day during the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) survey cruise in the eastern tropical Pacific. The ship will depart Honolulu on Feb. 16 and arrive in port in San Diego on March 18.

  • NASA’s Global Hawk unmanned aircraft will carry a suite of meteorological sensors and drop parachuted weather instruments during four research flights in February in the eastern Pacific, near the U.S. West Coast. The Global Hawk is a key asset for the Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT) project led by the NOAA Unmanned Aircraft System Program. The aircraft is based at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base.

  • Twice-a-day weather balloons are being launched from Kiritimati through March.

  • Scanning X-Band Radar has been temporarily installed in the south San Francisco Bay to fill coverage gaps in the existing radar array and provide more accurate rainfall estimates for the region to better manage potential heavy precipitation and associated negative impacts from El Niño storms.

To learn more about El Niño and its impacts, visit:

To learn more about NOAA’s El Niño Rapid Response Field Campaign visit:

Follow along with researchers in the field here:

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and our other social media channels.

Appliance of science key to disaster risk reduction

The science of disaster risk reduction in action: the interactive Tangible Earth dynamically maps risk-relevant aspects of the planet, such as real-time weather, earthquakes and tsunami, climate variations and global warming progression (Photo: UNISDR)

The science of disaster risk reduction in action: the interactive Tangible Earth dynamically maps risk-relevant aspects of the planet, such as real-time weather, earthquakes and tsunami, climate variations and global warming progression (Photo: UNISDR)

By Jonathan Fowler
GENEVA, 30 December 2015 – Hundreds of science and technology specialists from around the globe will come together next month to harness their expertise to help reduce disaster risk.

The 27-29 January UNISDR Science and Technology Conference, in Geneva, will draw around 800 delegates from disciplines spanning the natural and social sciences, medicine and engineering, among other fields, together with policymakers and disaster risk reduction practitioners. Together, they are set to issue a roadmap for implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Participants will showcase successes such as earthquake early warning systems capable of stopping rail traffic within seconds, hazard-resistant construction technology, community-based flood prevention systems, and eco-systems protection, in a healthy mix of hi- and lo-tech.

“The science and technology sector is a critical component of the implementation of the Sendai Framework,” said Ms. Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.

“We need to make sure that risk-informed decision-making is founded on the best science and evidence available, and that there is a commitment to concerted efforts to build science capacity and to countries needing such support,” she added.

Adopted by the international community in March, the Sendai Framework seeks to reduce substantially by 2030 the number of people killed or affected by disasters, as well as economic losses. It also sets an interim target of 2020 for countries to have disaster risk reduction strategies in place.

Knowledge is essential to the process. The Sendai Framework calls for enhanced scientific and technical work on disaster risk reduction and its mobilization through the coordination of existing networks and scientific research institutions at all levels and all regions. It also seeks a strengthened evidence-base to support implementation, with the promotion and dissemination of research into disaster risk patterns, causes and effects, and its application in decision-making.

Recognizing the importance of research, scientific and technical information for disaster risk reduction, UNISDR established a special advisory body in 2001.

Its current incarnation, the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group (STAG), is a 12-member panel of experts from around the world. Its role is to provide technical advice and support in the formulation and implementation of activities carried out by the disaster risk reduction community, and its work encompasses all aspects of the scientific and technical dimensions of risk reduction, with particular emphasis on the needs of developing countries.

“The Sendai Framework changes the game. It finally recognises that science and technology has a staggeringly important role in not only the synthesis, the analysis and the scientific advice, but also in the review and monitoring of how we deliver,” said Professor Virginia Murray, chair of the conference organizing committee, Vice-chair of the STAG and Consultant in Global Disaster Risk Reduction for Public Health England.

“Disaster risk reduction involves all of the sciences. This science is not blue sky science. It is the pragmatic science of what people need,” she added.

Having successfully helped to craft the Sendai Framework, the STAG is due to be expanded at the January conference into the UNISDR Science and Technology Partnership.

“Huge numbers of people in the science domain are already delivering, at all levels, on all the different types of science. In our role supporting the implementation of the Sendai Framework, we must ensure we use an evidence base; we promote scientific research on disaster risk patterns, causes and effects; we disseminate risk information; make the best use of geospatial information; and look at providing guidance on methods and standards for risk assessment, disaster risk modelling, and the use of data,” said Professor Murray.

“We have a real task to look at where the gaps are in the research areas and to help to set priorities. But one of our main tasks is to make sure that we can share this information with the people who need it: policy makers at the local, national, regional and even the global level. Our job is to share what we know in a way that’s really useful and can be used, to make it accessible, to make it transparent, make it effective, make it the best we possibly can.”


Video of the Week- Hurricane Katrina interview and audio


“When all else fails, this is the system that doesn’t.” That’s what the WRAL-TV reporter says in this interview with ham operator KN4AQ as Hurricane Katrina crosses New Orleans. THEN, a recording of actual Amateur Radio communications bringing an emergency message into New Orleans.

Communities in Texas and Oklahoma Respond to Severe Springtime Flooding


Bixby CERT volunteers prepare to set up barricades in the Southtown South neighborhood.

In May 2015, Texas and Oklahoma experienced significant rainfall that resulted in severe flooding in many communities across the southern plains. Two of those communities, Denton County, Texas and Bixby, Oklahoma, shared their stories about how their CERT programs responded to local flooding.

Many communities in Denton County, which is in northeastern Texas, are located near bodies of water that have a tendency to flood after heavy rainfall. “We have people who love to live in the rural areas because the creeks are beautiful, but when they flood, it’s not so pretty,” said Denton County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordinator Brenda Gormley.

On May 10, 2015, Denton County CERT deployed 52 volunteers in response to what Gormley describes as “one of the worst floodings I’ve ever seen.” That morning, severe weather struck the community, bringing with it heavy rain and flooding that continued throughout the month. Denton County CERT volunteers were on call for nearly two months until the rain stopped. A combination of twelve inches of rain locally and runoff from surrounding counties caused flooding in Denton County that resulted in more than 40 road closures and 16 flooded homes.

“Lakes and creeks overran. The Trinity River started backing up and homes, farmland, and businesses got flooded. It was quite a mess! Everyone had a lot of damage,” said Gormley. “Prior to this we were under a severe drought. We went from extremely dry to extremely wet. Drought conditions exacerbated the flooding.”

During the response, volunteers conducted damage assessments in the Krum and Sanger neighborhoods, two of the county’s hardest hit areas. Partnering with the local fire departments to canvas the neighborhoods, CERT volunteers checked homes for damage and determined if residents had running water. “Volunteers were given mapping grids, drove the streets, filled out assessment paperwork, reported back to the office, and repeated the process,” explained Gormley. CERT also connected with members from the Denton County Office Of Emergency Management who specialize in geographic information mapping systems (GIS) to mark the location of damaged homes on a map so volunteers can quickly find flood-prone areas during future flooding incidents.

In some areas of Denton County, residents living in mobile homes evacuated and moved to shelters. Using the skills they learned during shelter management training they completed before the incident, CERT volunteers partnered with the American Red Cross to open a shelter in the Lewisville community. The CERT program’s Animals in Disaster team provided a separate shelter where residents could drop off their pets. “We called in the team to take care of animals so people didn’t feel the need to stay at home. They could come to the shelters knowing their pets were being taken care of,” said Gormley. “Denton County CERT members are a caring group of people… I have a great team.”

From Texas to Oklahoma, severe weather continued across the plains last May. Much of Bixby, which is a suburb of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is in a floodplain zone (the Arkansas River runs right through the middle of the community) and the city has experienced many floods in recent years. On May 23, 2015, Bixby CERT sprang into action for its very first disaster activation after flooding forced road closures in several parts of the city. One neighborhood, Southtown South, was hit so hard by flooding that utility companies shut off service to the area for several hours, leading some residents to evacuate. The Watch Commander at the Bixby Police Department contacted Bixby CERT Program Manager, Corporal Michael Konshak, also of the Bixby Police Department, and asked if CERT would be available to assist with Southtown. The CERT program sent out a mass text to the volunteers to request their availability to help.

The Southtown South neighborhood in Bixby, Oklahoma experienced severe flooding.

The Southtown South neighborhood in Bixby, Oklahoma experienced severe flooding.

Three teams of four CERT volunteers each responded within 90 minutes of being mobilized. Two teams helped the local police department set up barricades in the neighborhood and assisted evacuating residents by supporting police-led traffic and crowd management. CERT volunteers remained stationed at barricades throughout the night until relieved by day shift police officers. The volunteers returned the following night for a second overnight shift. The third team assisted with filling sandbags.

“The Bixby CERT response to the flood callout was excellent. I could not ask for a better response. Those that participated were truly committed and eager to assist in any way they could,” said Bixby CERT Program Manager Corporal Michael Konshak. In fact, Bixby volunteers are so committed that one volunteer delayed his honeymoon to participate. While Bixby CERT volunteers did not have flood-specific training, Corporal Konshak says volunteers are already prepared through life experience.was their only flood training up to that point.”

Experience also taught Bixby CERT volunteers some valuable lessons during the callout that Corporal Konshak plans to address before the next activation, including having more reliable two-way radios so that they are not dependent on cell towers for communications, and obtaining vehicles to transport volunteers between various callout locations. Konshak also realized that despite the fact that Bixby is prone to flooding, very few volunteers had rain gear. Fortunately, one of the volunteers, a local business owner, has offered to purchase rain gear for the program.

Both CERT programs proved to be a valuable resource in their communities, providing critical support in their time of need. Each program also received recognition from the community for their efforts. “Our CERT callout garnered a great deal of positive attention,” said Corporal Konshak. “All of the city department managers had nothing but positive feedback for the callout, and residents were grateful for the assistance.” In Denton County, “A day does not go by that the emergency management team does not say ‘thank you’ and that they appreciate what CERT does because this is our home and theirs,” said Gormley.

For CERT programs who may respond to a flood incident, Gormley advises programs to be proactive in learning more about their communities and to connect with community leaders. “Watch the weather report and learn everything you can ahead of time. Know your area…and ask emergency managers what type of help they would need in a disaster. Don’t wait until the disaster to be prepared – it’s too late then.” Even though National Preparedness Month has come and gone, Gormley stresses that preparedness should be a year-round priority, and that it’s important for individuals and families to have a kit, make a plan, and learn about local hazards.



Video of the Week: Immediate Basic Preparedness

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to hold three days of training in November

For Immediate Release
Contact: Bryan King, Lincoln Park CERT, Acting CERT Commander,

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to hold three days of training in November

LINCOLN PARK, MICHIGAN — Lincoln Park’s Community Emergency Response Team is planning three days of training in November for potential new members. Lincoln Park’s CERT group comprises area residents trained to assist professional responders during both emergency and non-emergency situations.

Evening training will start on November 13, 2015 and the two all-day sessions will be November 14, 2015 and November 15, 2015. All sessions will be at the Community Policing Building, 1427 Cleophus, Lincoln Park, Michigan.

“We want to train another group of people who are able to respond in a disaster situation,” said Michael Parr, Coordinator for Lincoln Park CERT. “… In a disaster, professional responders may not be able to respond to basic issues in a timely manner.” This training is free of charge.

Day one will go over disaster preparedness and fire safety, day two will be light search and rescue and the final day will cover setting up for medical operations during a major disaster.

Parr said the third day will be a hands-on exam for volunteers. “This is their one chance to put everything together to see what they can do,” Parr said.

Those interested in joining need not be from Lincoln Park. Parr said the only requirements to become a member of Lincoln Park CERT is that anyone need to be over 18 years old, complete the CERT Basic training, be residents of Wayne County, and pass a background check. There also are CERT groups in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Allen Park – Melvindale, Huron Township, Taylor and many other downriver communities.

Anyone who wants to participate is asked to apply by November 1, 2015. More information on the group and how to apply can be found at or, or by emailing



Get Your Business Ready For Any Kind of Disaster at Free National Preparedness Month Webinar Series

Is your organization prepared to communicate quickly and effectively with each other when a crisis hits?   Did you know that nearly 70 percent of all U.S. businesses will lose power at one point in the next 12 months? Do you have a plan in place to keep your operations running? How will you rebuild your business if your employees are unable to report to work after a major disaster?

Having a business continuity plan is essential to establishing a successful and resilient small business. The cost of creating a disaster preparedness plan is small compared to the financial losses that may occur if there’s no plan in place.

You can get help with your own preparedness planning through a series of free webinars in September hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery. The series is presented in collaboration with FEMA’s Ready Campaign, during National Preparedness Month (NPM). The 2015 NPM theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan Today.”

The 30-minute webinars will be presented at 2 p.m. EDT each Wednesday in September.

These are the topics:

  • September 9: “The Keystone to Disaster Recovery: Communications”
  • September 16: “Recover from the Most Likely Disaster: Power Outage”
  • September 23: “Protect Your Most Valuable Asset: Prepare Your Employees”
  • September 30: “If You Do Nothing Else this Year…” Simple tips to build your organization’s resilience.

To register for any of the webinars, go to this link:

SBA has partnered with Agility Recovery to offer business continuity strategies through their “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit to access past webinars and additional disaster preparedness tools.

2015 National Preparedness Month (NPM)

Theme: Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.

September is National Preparedness Month.  This year we are asking you to take action now – make a plan with your community, your family, and for your pets.  Plan how to stay safe and communicate during the disasters that can affect your community. We ask everyone to participate in America’s PrepareAthon! and the national day of action, National PrepareAthon! Day, which culminates National Preparedness Month on September 30.Watch Jarhead 3 : The Siege (2016) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Weekly focused themes

  • Week 1:  September 1-5th             Flood
  • Week 2:  September 6-12th          Wildfire
  • Week 3:  September 13-19th        Hurricane
  • Week 4:  September 20-26th       Power Outage
  • Week 5:  September 27-30th       Lead up to National PrepareAthon! Day (September 30th )

Public Service Announcement and Videos


Social Media

  • NPM Official Hashtag:  #NatlPrep
  • America’s PreapreAthon! hashtag:  #PrepareAthon
  • Social media accounts to follow:

Congressional Co-Chairs

Presidential Proclamation

Why You Need to Begin You Disaster Planning

This article is from
June 10, 2015

When do you start thinking about disaster planning?

Plan-Ahead-Photoshop-300x200Although we don’t need to dwell on thoughts of disaster every moment of every day (what kind of life would that be, anyway?), we should still keep them in mind throughout the year. I know, I know, but you don’t even want to be thinking about major snowstorms in the middle of the summer, tornadoes in January, job loss working at your sweet job, or earthquakes in…wherever and whenever! And why not? Probably because it’s not snow storm season in the summer (unless you’re in Canada…) and tornado season starts in the spring, not January, so you’re just not thinking about it. But here, come in a little closer to your monitor and I’ll let you in on a little secret: that’s what they want you to think. The longer you put it off, the easier it is for those disasters to come at you without warning.

Diabolical, if you ask me.

But, believe it or not, there is a way to counter these evil schemes. It’s called planning. It’s what you do before road trips, mapping out your college career, and yes, even before a crisis or disaster happens. There’s no sense in waiting until you see the twister on approach or you get that pink slip from your boss, because by then, it’s too late.


There are a number of different areas in which you should keep in mind for disaster planning. Food, water, and shelter have been discussed ad nauseam on this blog, however those are still some of the most crucial areas in preparation. I think we all understand the need to prepare for disasters. If an earthquake or tornado or flood comes strolling through town, it can not only ruin your home, but local grocery stores, farms, and other places that provide you with food. You might not have running water, so you’d need some sort of backup. And if your house gets washed away or crumbles to the ground (or is just far too unstable to trust during the night), you’re going to want some sort of shelter for you and your family.

Losing a job can be just as devastating. Although your home is still intact and your faucets work, you no longer have an income and still have four mouths to feed (or five, or six…). Having an emergency food storage will not only help you financially (because investing in food is a real thing), but will help bring you at least some peace of mind knowing your family is still being fed during the interim of finding a new job.

But of course, you know why you should plan. But now the question is what should you plan. Although each individual and family is different and has their own individual needs, there are still some basics for planning that you should keep in mind. has, as usual, some great ideas for how and what to plan.

You may want to start with a family emergency communications plan. This should include things such as everyone knowing where to meet following a disaster if your home is evacuated, out-of-town emergency contacts, school and work contacts, and medical contacts. Make sure your kids have your phone numbers memorized, and remember: if it’s not an emergency, text; don’t call. Text messages may have an easier time getting through and won’t tie up phone lines that emergency workers will need.

Use technology to help communicate with loved ones that you’re OK. The internet is the third most popular way for Americans to get their information regarding a disaster and let their friends and loved ones know they’re safe.


A personal example of this comes from the Nepal Earthquake. The morning it happened, I woke up with an alert on my phone that a huge quake had hit Nepal. It sounded bad, and I hoped it just sounded worse than it was. Then, I remembered one of my good friends was over in Nepal doing humanitarian work. I immediately went to Facebook to see if there was any news from him. Well, there was. Facebook was on it, and the Facebook Safety Check alert popped up on my screen right after I logged in. It said I had one friend in the affected area, and he was marked as safe. Then I found a status update of his. As it turns out, he was in the airport, just about to leave Nepal when the earthquake struck. He and his group were fine – just temporarily delayed. I learned all that from Facebook, and then I stopped worrying about him.

So you see, Facebook can be a great way of making sure your friends and family know you’re alright. Of course, Facebook is just one way to go about it. Find a way to make the Internet work for you.

Next on the list is knowing where your utility shut-offs are. According to, “natural gas leaks and explosions are responsible for a significant number of fires following disasters.” Shutting off your utilities after a disaster can really save your home – and your lives. Find the shut-off valves for your natural gas, water, and electricity, so if there is a concern, you’ll know where to go.Dolla-billz-150x150

Financial preparedness is something we don’t always think about, but should still plan for. Have some extra cash stashed somewhere in your house (preferably in bills no larger than $20), because there’s always the possibility that credit and debit machines won’t work. Also plan to have adequate insurance for your home, car, and belongings. Along with this, have your important documents and records in an easily accessible location. Doing all this will help you recover faster from disaster.

Lastly, plan ahead to be prepared with safety skills. First aid and CPR classes can provide the knowledge and skills you need to help save and protect those close to you. By receiving official certification from the American Red Cross, you’ll even be protected when you give aid to others. Without that protection (as sad as it is to say), you could face lawsuit, so make sure you plan ahead so when the time comes to help, you won’t be afraid to.

Well, I hope this gives you a good starting place for planning ahead for disaster. Of course, there are many other areas to plan for, such as shelter, heat, and sanitation. But this should get you started. Check out our other blog posts to learn more about preparing for disasters.


Additional Reading:


Ham in a Day Class

My next one-day Tech Class will take place on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum in downtown Ann Arbor. The class will start at 9 am and run until 3:30 pm, at which time the license exam will be given.

There is a $10 fee for the class, except for students under the age of 18, who can attend free. I use this money to pay for expenses at our station, WA2HOM, at the museum. Also, I ask that you register beforehand. I like to limit the number of students to about 20, so that each student gets enough attention, and so that the volunteer examiners can administer the test expeditiously.

To register for the Saturday, January 25 class, send $10 to via PayPal or send a check for $10 to:

Dan Romanchik
1325 Orkney Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

When I get your registration, I will put you on another e-mail list and send you more details a week or two before the class. After you register, download my study guide from The PDF version is free.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness

The main reason to use this guide is to help protect yourself and your family in the
event of an emergency. Through applying what you have learned in this guide, you
are taking the necessary steps to be ready when an event occurs.

Every citizen in this country is part of a national emergency management system
that is all about protection–protecting people and property from all types of hazards.
Think of the national emergency management system as a pyramid with you,
the citizen, forming the base of the structure. At this level, you have a responsibility
to protect yourself and your family by knowing what to do before, during, and
after an event. Some examples of what you can do follow:

Before                          • Know the risks and danger signs.                       
  • Purchase insurance, including flood insurance, which is not
part of your homeowner’s policy.
  • Develop plans for what to do.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit.
  • Volunteer to help others.
During • Put your plan into action.
  • Help others.
  • Follow the advice and guidance of officials in charge of the
After • Repair damaged property.
  • Take steps to prevent or reduce future loss.

You will learn more about these and other actions you should take as you progress
through this guide.

Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness

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