Monday, April 14, 2014

6 Tips for Staying Safe in a Thunderstorm


All thunderstorms produce lightning and have the potential for danger. Those dangers can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, wildfires and flash flooding, which is responsible for more fatalities than any other thunderstorm-related hazard.

Lightning’s risk to individuals and property is increased because of its unpredictability, which emphasizes the importance of preparedness. It often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months in the afternoon and evening.

During a Thunderstorm: 

  • Stay inside a building or hard-top vehicle.
  • Stay clear of tall, isolated trees, hilltops, open fields, beaches, or any metal objects that may act as lightning rods.
  • Avoid showering, bathing, and using a phone that has a cord, except in an emergency. (Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.)
  • Unplug appliances, televisions, computers and air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • If outside, take cover immediately but never stand under a tall tree in an open area.
  • Don’t touch metal, electrical equipment, telephones, bathtubs, water faucets or sinks.

Monday, March 31, 2014

6 Ways to Prevent the Spread of Infectious Disease

Infectious Diseases can lead to large-scale emergencies, such as Pandemic Influenza, so it is important to know how to stay safe. With next week being Public Health Week, here some ways to prevent the spread of infectious disease from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent the spread of the illness.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands and practice good hygiene.
  • Regularly clean surfaces that are touched by multiple people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their face.

Monday, March 24, 2014

How to Make a Go Bag

In the event that you need to evacuate your home due to fire, flooding or some other emergency, it's important to have essential supplies for each member of your household ready to go in a portable kit. Many of these materials can be found around your home or even at a dollar store: 

  • Copies of your important documents, such as insurance cards, photo IDs, birth certificates, deeds, and proof of address. Keep these in a waterproof and portable container. 
  • Extra set of car and house keys.   
  • Credit and ATM cards.   
  • Cash, especially in small bills (ones, fives and tens).   
  • Bottled water and ready-to-eat foods, such as energy or granola bars.   
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.   
  • Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries (You can also buy wind-up radios that do not require batteries.)  
  • Medication. Be sure to refill medications before they expire. Fill out a Health Information Card or keep a list of the medications each member of your household takes, why they take them, and their dosages. Also keep copies of all prescriptions, and your doctors’ and pharmacist’s contact information.   
  • First-aid kit.   
  • Sturdy, comfortable shoes, lightweight rain gear, and a mylar blanket.   
  • A copy of your Household Emergency Plan with important contact and meeting place information.  
  • A small regional map (Emergency Evacuation Route Map).   
  • Personal care items: hand sanitizer, feminine products, toothbrush and toothpaste, toilet paper and wipes.  
  • Special care items, including child care supplies, items for special needs and pet supplies.