Posted by: Green Knight | August 30, 2012

National Preparedness Month

September is almost upon us. Are you prepared? I ran across some stuff on the FEMA site that caused me to reflect on some things I left out on the last post. How do people with disabilities evacuate a building or a museum or an amusement park (or a carnival cruise) in an emergency? In the late 1980s, there was a nighttime electrical fire below street level in downtown St. Louis. Manhole-covers were shot 20 feet into the air. PCB oil was sprayed around the neighborhood. The nearest building with round-the-clock occupants was a hotel-style old folks’ home. Firefighters were carrying people in wheelchairs down the stairwells. Luckily no one was killed or seriously injured. My point is that people write emergency plans without really realizing what’s involved in a WORST-case scenario.

I live in a beautiful 1929 Spanish-Renaissance apartment building with 72 units, 3 stories, and no elevator. Way too expensive to retrofit it with one. Many tenants are elderly or disabled. If (when) we ever take a major hit from a tornado or earthquake, it’ll be tough going to evacuate the place. As I like to say, “all you can do is all you can do.” However, all previous jokes about fish-tanks aside — and I like the fishies — you must plan on getting out those who can’t get out themselves.

September is also National Food Safety Month, so chat up any nutritionists you may know about salmonella, aflatoxin, or whatever. Here are a couple of items from FEMA’s website that may be of interest:

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September is National Preparedness Month and as National Preparedness Coalition members, you have already “Pledged to Prepare” to learn about and participate in emergency preparedness activities during the month and beyond, and to help get your community involved.

Another way for people with disabilities (and others with access and functional needs) and their families to be prepared is to visit Disability.gov’s Emergency Preparedness section, which offers a variety of information about preparing for emergency situations and disasters, as well as responding to and recovering from them.

Disability.gov’s Emergency Preparedness section includes resources from the site’s 22 federal agency partners, such as FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, Ready.gov, Citizen Corps, DisasterAssitance.gov and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Emergency Preparedness and You” Web page, as well as state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Check it out at: http://community.fema.gov/connect.ti/readynpm/view?objectid=54297

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FREE BOOK: (ok, not as sexy as free beer, but for the literate among us, a draw)

Book giveaway: Authors Janet and Laura Greenwald have pledged to give a free, downloadable copy of their latest book “Get Your Stuff Together” to One Million Families in America. Their goal is to help raise awareness in light of recent disasters like the Colorado Wildfires, Flooding, Tornadoes and now Hurricane Isaac. The downloadable version of “Get Your Stuff Together”, in the back of the PDF book, readers will find the Grab It And Go Forms and Action Plans every family needs to deal with emergencies. The book will be available at the following link: http://www.getyourstufftogether.com/giveaway.htm now through the end of September. Please pass the word along to all of your organizations and followers help us make One Million Families safer.

http://community.fema.gov/connect.ti/readynpm/view?objectid=1165734

 

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