Disaster Preparedness & Emergency News Updates
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Earthquake Safety For Children
How do you talk with your kids about natural disasters? Or do you avoid the topic and hope for the best? The right safety instructions can help your children live through the worst events, but too much information or, for that matter, misinformation can cause confusion and panic. Balance your information properly and help your kids protect themselves from potential disasters like earthquakes. If you live in a quake-prone environment, start today with basic lessons. An education on earthquakes and a well-designed safety plan can mean a life or death difference for kids, especially for young children.
Describe earthquakes before you start teaching safety. Even knowing the basics behind how earthquakes work can help children stay calm; they can then make smart decisions when a quake hits. Choose simple lessons based on how old, interested, and understanding each kid is. After they generally understand earthquakes, move on to safety lessons.
Earthquake Basics: How Kids Can Stay Safe
First, remember that many areas can receive advanced warning of earthquakes. In earthquake prone areas, it is common practice for schools to have regular earthquake drills. This school-wide preparation is a great point to start, and it is often a launching point for a discussion with your whole family. In earthquakes, often the most important task for any kid is to pay attention to a parent, teacher, coach or other adult and follow their instructions immediately. This makes the rest of earthquake safety far easier.
In your house, take a room by room tour with your kids. In each room, pick a spot where your kids should go in case tremors begin. Always find a spot where there is no danger of falling objects. Bookcases, cabinets, light fixtures – no matter which way they fall, the spot should be protected. Beyond structural collapse (which occurs only in the worst quakes), falling objects are the key danger inside any building. This is why taking refuge under a desk or table is sometimes suggested. Schools often adopt a Drop, Cover, and Hold guide that can clearly instruct kids on what to do in an earthquake emergency. Such a guide can also work at home.
If your child is inside when the quake occurs, make sure they stay inside until the quake has fully stopped. If outside, similar rules apply. Your kids should find as clear a spot as possible (a soccer field, for example, is the perfect location) and wait there until the shaking stops.
Of course, quakes often start in less-than-ideal circumstances. If the quake happens at night, children should stay in bed and pull their pillow over their heads for greater protection. If you are driving with your kids, stay calm for their sake. Find a clear parking lot if possible. If you happen to be inside malls and stores, instruct your kids to find you, move slowly, and avoid shelves or heavy items. The rush to exit stores can cause more bodily harm than the quake itself, so avoid panicking. If you are in a large gathering, like a theater, stadium, or church, make sure your family keeps to their seats and holds up their arms to protect their heads.
A Family Emergency Kit
If you find yourself in a bad quake, an emergency kit can help your family survive until help arrives. Build your kit together with your family so they know what is inside it and where to find it in your house. A basic kit includes at least three days of nonperishable food and one gallon of water per person, per day, for three days. Experts also suggest you include a battery-powered radio and flashlight. A whistle can help family members stay in contact, while a first aid kit can help treat minor injuries. Medications and a fire extinguisher may also be helpful.
A good kit will also include other items like maps, a cell phone with a solar charger, bleach for disinfecting, and key family documents…but these are adult additions – kids should not be encouraged to use them. As a side note, children may also want to add coloring books or toys to help with long wait times; you can even encourage your kids to create their own mini emergency kits, just in case.
Make It Simple: Points to Repeat
A Place to Go
When the quake starts, kids should immediately head to the safe area, whatever that is. All safe areas have one thing in common: They are far away from things that could fall and hit people.
A Place to Meet
At the house, pick a single meeting spot for the family after the earthquake. Kids should meet there after every quake finishes. While the quake is happening, stay put. After it is finished, go to the meeting spot.
Earthquake kits are only for after the ground has stopped shaking. Then the helpful things inside can be used by anyone in a dire situation. Kids should know where the kits are, and if they are old enough, how to use the basic items.
Lessons are easy to forget if only practiced once. Run earthquake drills several times a year if your area is prone to quakes. Rehearse past lessons each time so kids remember the basics.
*Thanks to Lisa Johnson for this post
Participate in National Preparedness Month!
National Preparedness Month is in full swing, and Joffe is celebrating by offering disaster supplies at a great price. Get a kit, make a plan, and stay informed today! Remember, full preparation includes proper response training, so be sure to use this time to take advantage of our CPR, First Aid, and BLS classes.
This month, save a life and save money. If you’ve had a CPR or BLS class with us, talk about your experience on Thumbtack and receive a $5 gift certificate! There’s no better time to get prepared than today!
Three Days, 30,000 Protected
Mud runs, marathons, fitness fairs, oh my! Joffe proudly provided EMTs for a number of events in July - from LA's own Concrete Hero run at LA Live to Red Frog's Warrior Dash in North Bend, Washington, to Santa Monica's Health and Fitness Fair. (Just to name a few!) From broken bones to twisted ankles, we ensured that all participants - over 30,000 in all - had access to high quality care. Thanks to all our great hosts!
Making a 9-1-1 Call from Your Cell Phone
Wireless phones are an important tool in our everyday lives; they also create unique challenges for emergency response personnel. Since wireless phones are mobile, they are not associated with one fixed location or address. While the location of the cell site closest to the 9-1-1 caller may provide a general indication of the caller’s location, that information is not usually specific enough for rescue personnel to deliver assistance to the caller quickly. The following are some frequently asked questions regarding cell phones and 9-1-1 calls:
Can I call 9-1-1 on my cell phone and is there a cost involved?
Yes, you can call 9-1-1 on your cell phone. However, you must be prepared to give the 9-1-1 call taker information regarding your location. It is free to call 9-1-1 on your cell phone.
Does the 9-1-1 call taker know my location?
The 9-1-1 call taker does not know your location. Even if your cell phone is able to provide location information, you will still need to provide the 9-1-1 call taker with additional location information.
Be prepared to give specific directions to your location.
What if I don’t know my location when I call 9-1-1?
Look for landmarks, large buildings, street signs or paperwork nearby that may contain address information. Think back to the main street or highway you were near when your emergency occurred.
Do not depend on your cell phone to tell 9-1-1 where you are located!
Does the 9-1-1 call taker know my phone number when I call 9-1-1 on a cell phone?
Always assume that the 9-1-1 call taker will not know your phone number and be prepared to provide he or she with that information.
Why is the 9-1-1 call taker asking me so many questions?
Seconds save lives. The more questions 9-1-1 call takers ask, the more information they can pass on to the emergency personnel responding to your 9-1-1 call. This information allows the emergency personnel to more accurately prepare. In addition, when dealing with medical calls, many 9-1-1 call takers are trained to give emergency pre-arrival instructions. These instructions start the emergency response to the situation immediately.
Why does the dispatcher transfer my call to another agency?
Your call to 9-1-1 may need to be transferred to another agency because cell phone calls are sent to a 9-1-1 answering point based on cell radio coverage. Cell coverage areas don’t always match regional boundaries, so most calls are routed to a 9-1-1 answering point that serves the majority of the area.
It’s a horrible thought, but someday your beloved pet might need first aid or CPR. Be a first responder for your pet! It is important to be first aid ready, in case an accident happens or your pet suddenly stops breathing. It could be heat exhaustion, choking, or any number of common pet emergencies – first aid before a rush to the vet could prevent the sad loss of your pet.
One moment you’re playing in the backyard and the next a pet emergency occurs. Preparedness is vital! Pet CPR isn’t all that different from CPR for humans! Your four legged friend needs the same things most of us do when he or she has stopped breathing: THE A,B,C’S or Airway, Breathing, Circulation.
Airway: check your pet’s airway by looking to see if they are breathing, placing your ear to their back to hear if they are breathing and feeling for their breath with your hands. If there is no breathing, start rescue breathing.
Breathing: if your dog or cat isn’t breathing, start mouth-to-snout resuscitation. It’s an emergency, so hopefully you ready to place your mouth over the pets nose and give them 2 short breaths depending on their size. You do not want to give them too much air, just enough to make the chest rise.
Circulation: check your pets pulse. For a dog, place your hand on the upper inside of the back leg. If there’s no pulse, start CPR – compress the chest of the animal (ask your vet or look up proper procedures for your specific pet) and deliver breaths of air. Or of course, come to one of our C-PAW-R (Pet Safety, Pet CPR, and Pet First Aid) Courses to learn more!
The end of the year brings a whole lot of parties: Firework shows on New Year’s Eve. Corporate Christmas parties on a grand scale. Holiday parades down main streets. Festivals and raves to ring in the new year all night long.
Many events are just too big to ensure guests’ safety on your own. That’s where we come in! Keeping your guests safe is our only priority whether you have a few dozen or a few thousand people attending. We provide a range of services during events, from having medical professionals on site to doing everything we can to proactively address safety concerns before they become an issue. Your guests can be hobnobbing under the mistletoe, watching fireworks or dancing and never once second-guess their safety.
End of the year events can be a boon to your social life or your company. As you hop from party to party, you usually don’t stop to think, “Am I safe here?” And with Joffe Emergency Services staffing your event, neither will your guests. They’ll know from the moment they step through the doors that they are safe, protected and free to let loose and have fun.
With our years of experience and your expert party/parade/event planning, a good time is guaranteed for all. Now all you have to do is keep that Christmas tree watered and prepare to have a great last month of 2011.
a story we’ve heard too many times: a high school athlete dies in the midst of a normal
practice or game. Someone so young could never succumb to cardiac arrest, or at
least that’s what most of the nation believes – but every year, rare teenage
heart attacks and heart disorders do happen. This recurring tragedy has led to major changes in the
way students are screened before being allowed on a sports team: doctors
evaluate the students medically and by asking whether they have any heart
trouble in their family, or if they’ve ever felt chest pains after a strenuous
work out. According to a new study, however, many doctors and coaches are
unaware of the methods to successfully screen teenagers for heart problems.
This is why it is more important than ever to equip your campus with an
automated external defibrillator (AED), and train staff how to properly use the
tool. The AED can save lives when an athlete, student or staff member,
is in danger of succumbing to cardiac arrest. Read the story on high school
athlete’s heart health screening, or lack thereof, here.
This Veteran’s Day, President Obama paid tribute to those who served by placing a wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier, giving special attention to the recent vets who have served since 9-11. Although it is a decade after the 9-11 attacks, the wounds seem fresh in the minds of not only the military, but of everyone in the nation. This Veteran’s Day weekend can serve as a reminder to you and your family: get prepared! Emergencies – not only quakes, hurricanes and fires, but also acts of terrorism – can happen at any time, and the best we can do is prepare for the worst.
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) – a common feature of local TV and alien invasion movies– is having its first nationwide test tomorrow. The FCC and FEMA have teamed up to make this across-the-board testing possible: broadcast and satellite radio, and cable and network television will all participate in the groundbreaking event. Tomorrow’s test ensures the EAS is operating normally, and will be functional in case any national emergency occurs – the EAS allows the President to address the whole nation in time of crisis. The test also serves as a reminder to make your emergency preparations now, before the EAS is used in the wake of an actual disaster.
Turns out, now's the time to check your fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and expiration dates on all of your emergency food, water, and supplies! Fall back to safety!
Interesting details have to come to light surrounding last year’s disastrous New Zealand quake. For a modern, western country with advanced building techniques – a sadly unexpected amount of damage occurred. The area’s bedrock base, and liquefaction, an earthquake phenomenon caused by loose earth acting similar to liquid when shaken by a quake, magnified the emergency in Christchurch. More than 1,000 buildings needed to be removed because of the heavy damage and 172 people perished in the quake. The really scary thing about this article is that the severely damaged area of Christchurch is similar to both LA and San Francisco’s land. It’s just another warning that we may not be as safe as we hope – and to prepare even more as Californians get ready for the “big one.”
Halloween conjures up many frightening tales! Luckily for the sponsors of Long Beach’s 4th Annual Zombie Walk, nothing aside from the normal scary stuff –hordes of the living dead roaming the promenade – happened. The Long Beach Zombie Walk went off without a hitch, and not to toot our own horn, but Joffe Emergency Services played a pretty large role in that. As the event’s medical services provider, we ensured that the attendees were safe and well taken care of and worked to address safety concerns before any real medical attention was necessary. The jury is still out on whether or not the Long Beach Zombie Walk attempt to break into the record books was successful – we just know that thousands of fun loving zombies got through the event safe and sound.
The destruction caused by Turkey's Earthquake Sunday is truly devastating - our thoughts go out to all the families impacted by this natural disaster. While we wish everyone abroad well, at home we're reminded we must stay vigilant in our earthquake preparedness - we need look no further than the flurry of earthquakes in Berkeley to know that the devastation in Turkey is possible in our own backyard.
September 29 is World Heart Day. Protect your heart and the hearts of those you love by taking some time today to sign up for a CPR and AED training. Then, further your readiness by researching the location of AEDs at your home, office, or school to ensure that you can respond within minutes if a sudden cardiac arrest strikes.
Don't know were your AEDs should be placed? If you'd like us to provide a complimentary emergency preparedness walk-through of your home, school, or business to ensure that you're prepared, don't hesitate to call us today. Together, we'll save lives!
Want to know more about Sudden Cardiac Arrest? View our Heart Factoids in order to get the facts about the causes, treatment, and prevention of this killer affliction.
September marks the beginning of National Preparedness Month. Along with making an emergency response plan, now is the time to gather supplies and get informed about what to do in case of an emergency.
While numerous resources
are available to help guide you through the process of disaster preparedness, the most common question we receive from both municipalities and individuals is:
What should go in my kit?
The essentials never change: Food, water, and first aid for three days (72 hours). Outside of these basic supplies, you will want to develop a custom kit that caters to your unique needs. Have you stored your daily medication? Thought about packing a favorite board game to ease your mind? Each kit will be different, but it’s important that you not skimp on the essentials.
Want more ideas? Check out our fully equipped disaster supplies
or contact us at 310.525.6333 to build a preparedness kit that caters to your unique wants and needs today!
Back to School Safety Sale!
Prepare your child, your child's teacher, and your child's school by giving the gift of safety during the start of the new school year. This month, all emergency kits in the "Schools
" section of our store are 10% off during the month of August! Have questions about what more you can do to protect your child in case of a disaster? Would you like us to talk with your PTA about emergency planning for your child's school? Don't hesitate to contact us today at 310.525.6333 to discuss your options.
Joffe's Event Safety Leads to a Safe and Secure Santa Monica Fair
As a trusted leader in event safety, we are guided by our commitment to excellence in customer service by providing highly specialized and culturally sensitive onsite care from the state’s top EMT’s, paramedics, and doctors.
This weekend, we were proud to fulfill that commitment by providing onsite EMTs for the city of Santa Monica during their Health and Fitness Festival. Nearly 8,000 attendees remained safe and secure on our watch during a jam-packed event that took place under clear blue skies.
What a day!
Thank you to the city of Santa Monica for trusting us to protect the health and well-being of its citizens and fair participants!
In a recent Los Angeles Times
article, Susan Hough, a seismologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, said of the San Andreas fault, "The one thing we know is that part of the fault is going to produce a big earthquake one day."
If that day were tomorrow, would you be prepared?
Protect yourself and those you know and love in case of a disaster by visiting our online store and viewing the wide range of disaster supplies available. All of our emergency kits for outdoors are 10% off this month, so stock up, save, protect and prepare yourself for the day the "big one" hits!
Questions about which survival kits are right for you? Don't hesitate to call us at 310.525.6333.
Need a refresher on the new American Heart Association CPR and CAB guidelines before your next re-certification? Look no further: New AHA Guidelines Released
If you haven't been CPR certified in the past two years, now is the time to sign up. Don't miss out on the opportunity save someone you know from cardiac arrest by using the new AHA approved best practices!