Posted in BE SAFE, Building Evacuation, dehydration, Disaster Preparedness, Earthquakes, Emergency Evacuations, Fire Life Safety Training, Fire Safety, Fires, Floods, Health & Welfare, High-Rise Buildings, Hurricanes, Insurance, Tornadoes, Tsunamis, Uncategorized, Version 2.5

2011 Marks Banner Year for U.S. Disasters: 5 Tips for Dealing with Weather-Related Disasters

RJW Shares 5 Tips for Dealing with Natural Disasters

President Barack Obama recently named New Jersey a federal disaster area as a result of floods that came before Hurricane Irene. In so doing, he cemented 2011 as the United States’ most disaster-prone year ever. The U.S. is not alone in boasting a banner year. At the Firedog household, JR ate more pig ears than any other puppy on the planet.

As of the third week of September, Obama had issued 84 federal disaster declarations at the request of governors. That is more declarations than in any year since the score was first kept 60 years ago. And there are still three months left in 2011! Since many of the recent emergencies resulted from extreme weather, we want to use this week’s blog post to discuss the ways that you can prepare for weather-related disasters. By the way, these tips might also apply to canine territory-marking accidents, as well.

While weather has always been a contributing factor to damage to hearth, office and home, natural disaster-related damage affects more people than it used to because of urban sprawl. When tornados strike open, undeveloped areas, dollar amount damage is relatively low. Centered in a densely populated area, the same storm will wreak considerably more havoc. I know a few dogs of a different breed who can wreak quite a bit of havoc no matter their location.

So how should urban residents and professionals who work in major metropolitan locations prepare for natural disasters? Here are some tips, prepared for you by the fire life safety training professionals at RJWestmore, Inc:

  1. Take cover. This is important regardless of temperature. If you’re outside in the heat, make sure you have a hat, sunglasses and lip balm as well as sunscreen in case you get caught in any situation that leaves you stranded for an extended period of time.

Likewise, in snow, rain or hail, you should make sure you have plenty of protection against the elements. Invest in protective, waterproof outerwear and make sure your emergency supply kit includes plenty of blankets and waterproof matches.

Also, one of the best ways to protect from loss is to purchase insurance to cover repairs to infrastructure. We are not experts in insurance. But it is likely that a standard policy will not cover flood damage. The only way to protect against flood losses is to purchase flood insurance directly from the National Flood Insurance Program. Policies must be in place for 30 days before coverage takes effect. For information, contact your insurance professional.

  1. Drink Up. One of the risks of any type of disaster is dehydration. Consider miners who are stranded for hours underground or motorists whose cars get stuck on snowy roadways in blizzard conditions. Dehydration is not relegated to desert environments.  A good rule of thumb is to make sure you include plenty of water in each of your emergency preparedness kits. You should have one in your car, one at work and a third at home, all in easily-accessible locations. This is one of my favorite tips. My wife and I make sure all of the bowls in our doghouse are full 24/7.
  2. Tune In. Another suggestion for your disaster preparedness kit is to include a portable, hand-crank radio to make sure you can stay connected even in power outage. Storms of any kind can knock out phone lines, electricity, gas, water and even wireless cell phones. So don’t make the mistake of relying on high-tech forms of communication to stay abreast of news in emergencies. Tuning in will alert you to the threat level relative to the storm, be it Winter Storm Watch, Winter Storm Warning or Winter Weather Advisory. There is also always the Twilight Bark, which works in any emergency.
  3. Stay Put. In many cases, you will be safer if you shelter in place than if you venture out in hazardous conditions. Of course, you must use common sense when deciding whether you should stay or go. For example, in the event of a tornado, seek shelter in a steel-framed or concrete building. However, in case of a flood, you might be putting yourself in danger by staying in an area that will likely be consumed by fast-flowing water. For detailed instructions about what to do in every possible weather scenario, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Weather Service website. All RJWestmore Safety Trainees have immediate access to NOAA information from inside our fully-integrated training system.
  4. Remain Calm. Whatever the disaster, you will make better choices if you avoid the temptation to panic. How can you remain cool, calm and collected when surrounded by turmoil? One surefire way is to prepare well in advance of emergency. Another is a shock collar. But I prefer the former.

If you own or manage a building, or know someone who does, do them a favor. Let them know about the RJWestmore Training System. Choosing our service cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves users over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES! BE SAFE.

Posted in BE SAFE, Health & Welfare, Insurance, Safety at Home, Uncategorized, Version 2.0

Want to be healthy? Put your heart into it.

Cartoon heart jogging and carrying a water bottle
Stay active to take care of your heart.

February is designated as American Heart Month. And while stores are filled with heart-shaped chocolates and red and pink floral arrangements, the hearts we are referring to aren’t metaphorical. Also, I’m not talking about heartworm.

Don’t even get me started on that subject. American Heart Month is all about the organ that keeps all of us alive! Heart disease affects men and women alike. So take care of heart matters in February and all year long.
Shockingly, according to the CDC, one American dies from a coronary event every minute in this country. Not so surprisingly, the best defense against heart disease and Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack) is to following a daily regimen that includes a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.

Here are the common signs of an impending heart attack (If these signs appear, do not hesitate to call 911.):

  • Uncomfortable chest pressure or a squeezing sensation
  • Discomfort in the arm, neck, or jaw
  • Shortness of breath, cold sweats, or a general feeling of lightheadedness (That’s what I feel when someone pulls on my leash too hard. Take it easy, Pal!)
  • Overwhelming, unusual, extreme fatigue.

What can you do to stay heart-healthy?

Get moving!

  • Use the stairs instead of elevators. (First, check stair railings and make sure non-slip surfaces are present on each step.)
  • Instead of jockeying for premium parking places, purposely park your vehicle away from the front door. I always laugh when I go to big-box retail warehouses. We park far away, and see silly people waiting in their car for five minutes while folks unload their carts, just to save a few steps.
  • Track your physical activity by wearing a pedometer. Health experts suggest walking a minimum of 10,000 steps per day. If you’re bringing Fido along, remember that some of us have short legs! Fortunately, we also love to exercise them.
  • Take advantage of free or discounted gym memberships offered by some insurance companies and/or employers.

Eat right!

  • Eat plenty of fiber. The best way to do this is to include plenty of fruits and vegetables at every meal. It’s also important to get excited about your food. Dried dog food again!! Yay! That’s 845 days in a row!
  • Stop eating and drinking foods that contains refined sugar. Soda intake has been linked to increased risk of heart disease.
  • Cut diet soda from your diet, as well. Some studies indicate that diet carbonated beverages also increase the risk of heart disease. Personally, I prefer clear, clean water in my bowl.
  • Buy fresh ingredients at your local farmer’s market.

Additional tips and safety:

  • Stock aspirin in your Go-Bag. Studies show that people who experience symptoms of a heart attack can chew an aspirin to reduce the severity of the episode.
  • Try not to stress out. Most medical professionals agree that people who are under a lot of stress have an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Take advantage of programs such as The Heart Truth, which provides tools for preventing and treating heart-related health problems.

While disaster planning for earthquakes, fires, and mudslides is a no-brainer, it is equally critical to prepare for smaller-scale but no less serious disasters such as heart disease, which claims millions of lives. So Go Red not just in February, but all year long.

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 RJ Westmore, 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.