Extreme Heat

Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.

Terms

Heat Wave– Prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity

Heat Index– A number in degrees Fahrenheit (F) that tells you how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature.

Heat Cramps– Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they often are the first signal that the body is having trouble with heat.

Heat Exhaustion– Typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim’s condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer a heat stroke.

Heat Stroke- A life threatening condition. The victims body temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.

To Prepare yourself for extreme heat:

  • Install and insulate window air conditioners
  • Check air conditioning ducts for proper insulation
  • Install temporary window reflectors( for use between windows and drapes) to reflect heat back outside
  • Weather strip doors and sills to keep cool air in
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades or awnings.  Outdoor awnings can reduce the heat that enters a home by 80 percent
  • Keep storm windows up all year.

During a Heat Emergency

  • Stay Indoors and limit sun exposure as much as possible
  • Stay on the lowest floor out of the sun if air conditioning is not available
  • Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation
  • Eat well balanced light meals, Avoid using salt tablets unless instructed by a physician
  • Drink plenty of water. Persons who have epilepsy or heat, kidney  or liver disease are on fluid restricted diets. or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing fluid intake.
  • Limit intake of alcoholic beverages
  • Dress in loose fitting lightweight and light color clothing that cover as much skin as possible
  • Protect face and head by wearing a wide brimmed hat
  • Check on family, friends or neighbors without air conditioning if they spend much time alone.
  • Never leave children or pets in closed vehicles
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use the buddy system when working in extreme heat and take frequent brakes.

First Aid

Sunburn- Shower using soap to unblock pores. Oils may prevent the body from natural cooling. Tend to and blisters  with dry sterile bandages. If extreme seek medical attention.

Heat Cramps- Move to cooler location, place bag of ice on affected muscles. give sips of cool  or sugar/ electrolyte drink every 15 minutes. discontinue if nauseated.

Heat Exhaustion- Move to cooler area and lie down. loosen or remove clothing. spray with cool water, cool cloth to neck.  Fan or move to air conditioned area. If conscious give sips of water or sugar/ electrolyte drink  slowly every 15 minutes. If Vomiting occurs seek medical attention.

Heat Stroke- Call 9-1-1. Move to cooler area immediately or to cool water up to the neck. Remove clothing. Use a wet sheet or sponge or bath to reduce body temperature. Watch for breathing problems. Use fans and air conditioners.  Be prepared for CPR. Stop Cooling if feeling better.

Remember that people in urban areas may be at greater risk or a heat emergency. Concrete and asphalt store heat longer and gradually release heat at night producing higher night time temperatures known as ” urban heat island effect

During a heat emergency be prepared to bug in and cool off. If another disaster occurs or even a power outage on a hot summer day you may find yourself in a heat emergency. Preparing for a heat emergency and taking steps to cool your home with also help with the electric bill and over running your AC unit and fans.  If venturing out on a hike or other outdoor activity prepare accordingly. Exertion and extreme heat is a dangerous combination. In Extreme dry heat your sweat may evaporate so quickly that you don’t even know you are sweating. With the sweat gone your body cant cool itself and it will take other measures and more fluids to regulate your body temperature. Frequent breaks in the shade  and wetting clothing will help your body cool down.

Over the summer I was exploring an area on foot. I was told this hike was only 5 miles out and back and packed light with only one canteen of water, a stick of beef jerkey and a cliff bar. The morning was cold, Temperatures in the 40s as i set out on this hike. Then the day started to heat up. By noon the temperature was 103 degrees  in a sandy canyon with little shade from the mid day sun.  I was already 6 miles into the canyon still not finding what I had come to see. I found an over hang and took a rest. I had already gone through most of my water thinking id have a short hike and refill back at the car. I was tired and exhausted and thirsty.  I skipped eating because of the water shortage I took small sips of water wetting my lips and mouth before swallowing. I opened my survival kit on my belt and pulled out some hard candy to give my body some sugar for energy and to keep my saliva going. then I started back. Looking for water and shade but finding none. The hike followed a creek bed but it was bone dry this time of year and digging would only exhaust me more. I was playing a game against time. Sooner or later I would run out of water and with the high temperatures my body would start shutting down. Taking it slow, Over a few hours I had only two miles left tot he car and no water. I was doing well or at least thought I was until I fell and couldn’t get up right away. I was fatigued and starting to become delusional. I needed to do something. I moved to a small over hang of rock and tucked in the small shade left and started digging to expose the cooler dirt under me and I laid there. I laid there for almost an hour until I snapped out of it. As the day grew later the shade grew too. I got up and started trying to make it back to the car stopping every 20 min in a shady spot to cool down until finally getting to the car. I had water in the car that had baked in the sun all day. I first used it to wet my lips and clothes . The area where I parked was at the opening of the canyon and strong winds passed through to help cool me. I had the car running the air conditioning on full blast trying to cool off and slowly sip water until I was feeling much better. Then I started the long drive home.

Prepare for your activities appropriately. Do your own research, I would have prepared better if I knew what I was getting into. Check the weather conditions and study the climate your in. With Flat canyon walls reflecting heat temperatures could have exceeded  110 degrees in the more narrow areas. I have learned my lesson. Be Prepared.

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Wildfires

Wildfires are usually triggered by lightning or accidents.They spread quickly, igniting brush, trees, and homes.

This past summer there was the Yarnell Hill Fire

On June 28, 2013, a lightning storm ignited the Yarnell Hill Fire in the high desert northwest of Phoenix. Two days later, the brush fire that covered a few hundred acres exploded across 13 square miles. Hundreds of people fled from Yarnell, Glen Ilah and Peeples Valley as flames destroyed 127 homes. The Granite Mountain Hotshots, who had been hand-cutting firebreaks along the blaze’s flank, descended from a mountain ridge into a bowl where they became trapped. The 19 men deployed protective shelters but all were overcome by a wall of fire so hot it fractured boulders.

Read More: http://www.azcentral.com/news/wildfires/yarnell/

Before A Wildfire

  • Mark the entrance to your property with address signs that are clearly visible from the road
  • Keep lawns trimmed, leaves raked, and the roof and rain gutters free from debris such as dead limbs and leaves.
  • Stack firewood at least 30 feet away from your residence
  • Store flammable materials, liquids, and solvents in metal containers outside your residence at least 30 feet away from structures and wooden fences
  • Thin trees and brush within 30 feet around your home. past 30 feet, remove dead wood, debris and low branches
  • Consider landscaping your property with fire resistant plants and vegetation.
  • Keep fire hydrants and other water sources (ponds, pools,wells)unobstructed for easy access for the fire department.
  • Consider fire resistant roofing materials such as stone, brick and metal to help protect your home
  • install multi-pane windows, tempered safety glass, or fireproof shutters to protect large windows
  • Use fire resistant draperies
  • Have chimmneys, wood stoves and heating systems cleaned and inspected annually
  • Insulate chimmneys and place spark arresters on top. chimmneys should be 3 feet above the roof.
  • Remove Branches that hang above and around chimmneys

Follow proper local procedures for burning debris to reduce risk of wildfire

During a wildfire

  • Shut off gas at the main ( remember only a qualified technician can turn the gas back on)
  • Seal attic and ground vents with precut plywood or comercial seals
  • Turn off propane tanks
  • Place combustible patio furniture inside
  • Connect garden hose to outside taps. Place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above ground fuel tanks.
  • Wet the roof
  • Wet of remove shrubs within 15 feet of residence
  • Gather fire tools such as a rake, axe, handsaw,or chainsaw, bucket, and shovel
  • Park your vehicle facing the escape path. Shut doors and roll up window. Leave the key in the ignition and doors unlocked. If in a garage, close doors and disconnect automatic door openers.
  • Open fireplace dampener,close screens
  • Close Windows, vents, doors, blinds, draperies. Remove flammable Drapes and curtains
  • Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from windows and doors
  • Close all interior doors and windows to prevent drafts
  • Place valuable that will not be damaged by water or in a pool

If instructed to evacuate, do so immediately.

Have a plan ahead of time and a travel route. Have a BOL in mind before leaving. Keep your BOB by the door and ready to go. If moving through and area already in flames, wet clothing and and watch for falling trees and debris.

Remember if you have a safe or strongbox, do NOT try to open it. It can hold intense heat for several hours. If the door is opened before the box has cooled the contents could burst into flames.

A few years ago I was living in a remote area in Northern Arizona, a driver threw a cigarette but out of their car window. Within hours there was a wildfire burning through the forest. It took fire crews four months to finally put the fire out. Now a sparse wasteland borders the roads instead of lush pines and aspens. The fire spread across the forest floor pretty quickly catching all the deadwood and dried brush. The fire did not spread enough for us to evacuate, but we were told it was a possibility and prepared evacuation plans. With one road in an out if the fire blocked it we would all be trapped, It would also cut off our food supplies.

Size up the risk you are in and watch it as the seasons change. Then Prepare accordingly.

Fires

Each year, more than 4,000 Americans die and more than 25,000 are injured in fires. To protect yourself, it is important to understand the characteristics of fire. Fire spreads quickly ; there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames. Heat and smoke can be more dangerous than the flames, inhaling super hot air can sear your lungs.poisonous gasses can make you disoriented and drowsy, instead of being awakened by a fire you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths.

Before a Fire

Install smoke alarms.

Place smoke alarms on every level of your home

Test them once a month, replace batteries once a year and replace the alarm once every ten years

Have an evacuation plan and an escape route for each room.

Practice your evacuation plan.

Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut.

Make sure security bars on windows can be opened easy from the inside.

Consider escape ladders for rooms on higher levels

Teach family members to stay low on the floor when escaping a fire

Keep storage areas clean, Do not let trash or old newspapers pile up.

Never us gasoline, or other flammable liquids indoors

Store flammable liquids in proper containers

Insulate chimneys and place spark arresters on top. Chimneys should be at least 3 feet higher than the roof, remove any branches near or over a chimney

keep a screen in front of a fireplace

Have heating units inspected and cleaned annually

Place heaters at least 3 feet away from flammable materials

Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs

Make sure outlets have covers

Do not overload outlets or extension cords

Sleep with your door closed

Install A_B_C type fire extinguishers and become familiar with how to use them properly.

During A Fire

If your clothes catch on fire

STOP

DROP

ROLL

until the fire is extinguished

Check Closed doors for heat before opening

This can be done by using the back of your hand to feel the door knob, top of the door, and the crack between the door and door frame.

If you can not leave through a hot door, use a window or another door. if none are available hang a white or other light color sheet out the window to alert firefighters to your location

If the door is cool, open slowly to make sure the route is clear. If the route is blocked , shut the door and look for an alternative way.

If clear leave immediately through the door and close it behind you. Smoke and heat rise so stay low near the floor.

Close doors behind you to decrease the spread of the fire.

Once out you are out call 9-1-1 and do not reenter.

If near a burn victim or are one yourself,

make sure the scene is safe

call 9-1-1

Cool burns with water and cover

Have a plan and practice it. Have a hard copy of emergency contacts and maybe even leave some copies with neighbors and friends.

Make sure you know how to use a fire extinguisher and what types of extinguisher to use for different fires. Use them for getting out safely.

http://www.fireextinguisher.com

Do not try to fight the fire.

If you have time to grab your BOB on you way out.

You should keep it in an easy to get location by the door.

Chances are you will not be able to grab it and you should not try to if it puts yourself or others in more danger

Tornados

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms,
tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds.
A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm
to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour.
Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.
Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure
others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance
warning is possible.
Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still.
A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible.
Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not
uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

Facts

They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a
cloud forms in the funnel.
The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been
known to move in any direction.
The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 MPH, but may vary from stationary
to 70 MPH.
Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto
land.
Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the
northern states, it is late spring through early summer.
Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., but can occur
at any time.

Terms

Tornado Watch
Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the
sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television
for information.
Tornado Warning
A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter
immediately.

Be alert to changing weather conditions.
• Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts
for the latest information.
• Look for approaching storms.

• Look for the following danger signs:
– Dark, often greenish sky
– Large hail
– A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
– Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter
immediately.

During a Tornado If you are under a tornado WARNING, seek shelter immediately!

If you are in: A structure (e.g. residence, small
building, school, nursing home,
hospital, factory, shopping center,
high-rise building)

Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as
a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the
lowest building level.
If there is no basement, go to the center
of an interior room on the lowest level
(closet, interior hallway) away from
corners, windows, doors, and outside
walls. Put as many walls as possible
between you and the outside. Get under a
sturdy table and use your arms to protect
your head and neck.
Do not open windows.

A vehicle, trailer, or mobile home

Get out immediately and go to the lowest
fl oor of a sturdy, nearby building or a
storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if
tied down, offer little protection from
tornadoes.

outside with no shelter

• Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression
and cover your head with your hands.
Be aware of the potential for fl ooding.
• Do not get under an overpass or
bridge. You are safer in a low, fl at
location.
• Never try to outrun a tornado in
urban or congested areas in a car
or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle
immediately for safe shelter.
• Watch out for fl ying debris. Flying
debris from tornadoes causes most
fatalities and injuries

Tornados can form quickly and without warning so its best to prepare ahead of time.
Some people will build a safe room in their home or a storm shelter and have a plan in action for when its time to use them. Remember to have your BOB ready but chances are you will be sheltering in place or cut off from your kit. This is one of the reasons it is good to have an every day carry. A kit of Nessecary supplies that you keep on you at all times. Study the risk of tornados in your area and prepare accordingly. some buildings near by or at the work place may be equiped with a storm shelter. If you live in an area that is low risk for tornados, know what to do anyway.

A few years ago I was driving across the country and heard about some severe thunderstorms where i was heading. so i changed my route to avoid them. Only the storms shifted. I found myself ont he fith floor of a hotel with a tornado warning on all the chanels. I spent a good chunck of the night in a internal stairwell on the first floor with a radio. Once the warning went away I headed back to my room to get some rest. I left the TV on mute to the weather channel anyway. An hour or two into my sleep something woek me up. It was the sound of everything turning off at the same time and a dead silence as the power went out in town. It was so dark and quiet i felt like i was burried deep under ground. Then I started to hear a roaring noise. It was hail, battering cars and breaking windshield and lights. It went on for a few minutes then stopped . The next morning the skys were grey and the parking lot was littered with glass a debris from high winds. No tornado for me, but that whole week was full of tornado outbreaks that battered the  country

Here is some information on that tornado outbreak i found on the web:

The April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak, the largest tornado outbreak ever recorded, affected the Southern, Midwestern, and Northeastern United States, leaving catastrophic destruction in its wake, especially across the states of Alabama and Mississippi.[6] It produced destructive tornadoes in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia, and affected many other areas throughout the Southern and Eastern United States. In total, 358 tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service (NWS) and Environment Canada in 21 states from Texas to New York to southern Canada. Widespread and destructive tornadoes occurred on each day of the outbreak, with April 27 being the most active day with a record of 211 tornadoes touching down that day from midnight to midnight CDT (0500 – 0500 UTC). Four of the tornadoes were destructive enough to be rated EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which is the highest ranking possible; typically these tornadoes are only recorded about once each year or less.[6]

In total, 348 people were killed as a result of the outbreak. That death toll includes 324 tornado-related deaths across six states. In addition, 24 fatalities were not caused by tornadoes, but were confirmed to be as a result of other thunderstorm-related events such as straight-line winds, hail, flash flooding or lightning.[7][8] In Alabama alone, 238 tornado-related deaths were confirmed by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the state’s Emergency Management Agency.[2][7]

Early in the morning, a squall line of severe thunderstorms packing straight-line winds and numerous embedded tornadoes affected North and Central Alabama and parts of Middle and East Tennessee. These storms knocked out power and telephone lines in a few areas; these outages would become much more widespread as the day continued. This preliminary line of storms also caused some NOAA weather radio transmitter sites to stop functioning for the remainder of the outbreak. As a result, many people had no warning of approaching tornadoes later in the day.[37]

During the afternoon, a tornado emergency was declared for Neshoba County, Mississippi as a large tornado was reported on the ground by storm spotters and a TV tower camera from ABC affiliate WTOK-TV in Meridian Mississippi. This powerful EF5 tornado caused incredible damage near Philadelphia, Mississippi where homes were swept away, vehicles were thrown, and the ground was scoured out to a depth of 2 feet (0.61 m) by the tornado. Three people died in this tornado when a mobile home was picked up, thrown into a wooded area, and destroyed.[38] The atmosphere became increasingly unstable throughout the late afternoon, causing more explosive supercell development. A widespread complex of supercell storms overspread the states of Mississippi and Alabama and violent tornadoes began rapidly touching down as the evening progressed. Four tornadoes were officially rated as EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale that day. These tornadoes affected several counties in the states of Mississippi and Alabama, especially the towns of Smithville, Mississippi; Hackleburg and Phil Campbell, Alabama; Philadelphia, Mississippi; and Rainsville, Alabama.

A dangerous and destructive tornado struck the city of Cullman, Alabama at around 3:00 p.m. CDT (2000 UTC). This large, multiple-vortex tornado was captured on several TV tower cameras from stations such as Birmingham’s Fox affiliate WBRC (channel 6) and ABC affiliate WBMA-LD/WCFT/WJSU (channels 58, 33, and 40 respectively). The tornado caused extensive destruction in downtown Cullman, a city of about 20,000 people; the tornado was ultimately rated an EF4. The final damage count was 867 residences and 94 businesses in Cullman.[40] At around 4:00 p.m. CDT (2100 UTC), a tornado struck Lawrence County, Alabama, causing severe damage and killing a couple dozen people. At around 5:10 p.m. CDT (2210 UTC), a very large and exceptionally destructive tornado struck Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and about 40 minutes later, the same tornado struck the northern suburbs of nearby Birmingham.[41] A tornado emergency was issued for both cities, along with many other cities that day. Many local television stations, including WBRC and WBMA-LD/WCFT/WJSU, as well as CBS affiliate WIAT (channel 42), captured footage of this long-track tornado in both Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. A debris ball was observed by the Birmingham NEXRAD, indicating that the tornado was causing extreme damage.

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Thunderstorms/lightning

Thunderstorms and lightning

All thunderstorms are dangerous. Every one produces lightning
In the United States, an average of 300 people are injured and 80 are killed each year by lightning. Tornadoes, strong winds, hail, and flash flooding are some other dangers associated with thunderstorms. Flash flooding claims more than 140 lives each year. Dry thunderstorms that do not produce rain that reaches the ground are most prevalent in the western United States. Falling raindrops evaporate, but lightning can still reach the ground and cause wildfires.

Thunderstorm facts

May occur singly, in clusters, or in lines
Some of the most severe occur when a single storm affects one location for an extended time
Thunderstorms typically produce heavy rain for a brief period, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Warm, humid conditions are highly favorable for thunderstorm development.
About 10 percent of thunderstorms are classified as severe – one that produces hail at least three-quarters of an inch in diameter, has winds of 58mph or higher, or produces a tornado.

Lightning facts

Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall
“Heat lightning” is actually lightning from a thunderstorm too far away for thunder to be heard.
Most lightning deaths occur outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
Your estimated chances of getting struck by lightning is 1 in 600,000
Lightning strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately.

Terms
Severe thunderstorm watch
Tells you when and where severe thunderstorms are likely to occur
Watch the sky and stay informed

Severe thunderstorm warning
Issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.
Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.

Before a thunderstorm.

Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that can fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.

Postpone outdoor activities
Get inside a home, building or hard top automobile
You may still be injured by lightning in a car but are still much safer inside it than out. Unless there is a tornado. Then you should get out of the car and lay flat in a depression or ditch.
Rubber shoes and tires provide no protection from lightning
However the steel of an automobile will provide increased protection if you are not touching metal
Secure objects that may be blown away or cause damage
Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close windows blinds, shades, or curtains
Avoid showering or bathing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity
Use a corded telephone only for emergencies. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use
Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surged can cause serious damage
Use a battery operated radio to stay informed.

Avoid
Natural lightning rods such as tall, isolated tree in an open area
Hilltops, open fields, the beach, or a boat on the water
Isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas
Anything metal, tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, and bicycles

Remember the 30/30 lightning rule
Go indoors after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors 30 min after hearing last clap of lightning

If you feel your hair stand on end immediately squat low on the balls of your feet. Place your hands over your ears and head between your knees. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground.
DO NOT lie flat on the ground.

First aid and lightning
Check for breathing, if no breathing begin mouth to mouth resuscitation
If the heart has stopped, begin CPR
If the victim has a pulse and is breathing, look for other injuries. Check for burns where lightning has entered and left the body. Be alert for nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing and eyesight.

Remember that a lightning strike victim carries no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately.

During a thunderstorm be prepared to bug in either at home or current location.
Be prepared for power loss and possible utility interruption. Along with lightning remember that a thunderstorm can also bring high winds, hail, flash flooding and tornados. Stay informed and act accordingly.

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Floods

Floods

One of the most common hazards in the United States are floods. Floods can be local,impacting a neighborhood or large affecting antiretroviral river basins and multiple states. No matter where you live you should prepare for floods. Not only are you probably at risk where you live but when traveling.

Identifying a flood hazard.

Flood watch
Flooding is possible

Flash flood watch
Flash flooding possible, be prepared to move to higher ground

Flood warning
Flooding is occurring or will occur soon, if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

Flash flood warning
A flash flood is occurring, seek higher ground on foot immediately

To prepare for a flood in your home, consider these steps
Elevate the furnace, water heater, an electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
Install “check valves” in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage

During a flood you should keep informed through radio or television
Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly.
Be aware that flash flooding can occur, if any signs of flash flooding seek higher ground immediately. Flash floods can occur without warning such as rain clouds or heavy rain.

If you must evacuate, you should do the following:

Secure your home.
Bring in outdoor furniture if time allows
Move essential items to an upper floor
Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so.
Disconnect electrical appliances
Do not touch electronic equipment if you are wet or standing in water

When leaving keep these tips in mind

Never walk through moving water
Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.

Do not drive into flooded areas
If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the vehicle and move to higher ground if you can do so safely
Six inches of water will reach the bottoms of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling
A foot of water will float many vehicles
Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles and pick-ups.

After a flood

Listen to the news reports to learn whether the community’s water is safe to drink
Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electronically charged from underground or downed power lines.
Avoid moving water
Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car
Stay away from downed power lines, report them to the power company
Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe
Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters
Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations
Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards
Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.

When monitoring a storm or flood or any natural disaster remember to keep your bug out bag ready. If you must evacuate your home you will want to have food and supplies to make it through. After the recent hurricane sandy some people lost their homes entirely along with all there possessions and even loved ones. Most people had nothing to their name. Consider things you may need most in a flood situation. Finding clean water to drink and food is important. Staying dry and warm, and first aid. Even a paper cut can become a serous risk after being contaminated in floodwaters. Stock according to your area and needs and be ready to bug out if you have to.

Surveillance Awareness

Surveillance Awareness
Knowing what is going on around you is important. Being able to spot suspicious people can help identify threats in many environments.

Adversarial surveillance is conducted to gather critical information about individuals,organizations,businesses and infrastructure in order to commit an act of terrorism or other crime.

Not including activities conducted by security , investigative, law enforcement or other personnel in the normal course of their duties.

When planning illegal activities such as terrorist attacks perpetrators may conduct surveillance to try to learn all they can about:
The location
Building access, egress, or vulnerabilities
Routine activities of employees,suppliers,customers and visitors
Security protocols or equipment
Other relevant information

Pre-attack preparation
This is when terrorist activities are most vulnerable to detection

Pre attack preparation may include
Surveillance
Security tests
Acquisition of supplies and materials
Practice or test runs

This could take place over days weeks or even years
And involve repeat visits to collect required information

Type of information collected through surveillance includes
Locations and numbers of security personnel and cameras
Facility layout, including access and egress routes
Timing of routine events
Event specific data
Security/visitor processes and procedures
Security equipment, including badges and uniforms
Information about maintenance and cleaning personnel or procedures
Crowd data such as when an area is most crowded
Access requirements for restricted or employee only areas
Parking facility access and operations

Surveillance activities include
Drawing maps or diagrams
Observing employees and facilities using vision enhancing devices such as binoculars, still and video cameras and night vision goggles
Soliciting employees of information
Taking notes about security and routines
Charting crowd patterns
Pocketing documents
Photographing security equipment, badges, or apparel
Observing security responses after attempting unauthorized access

Trained surveillance individuals may use teams and use a variety of advanced equipment and multiple forms of transportation . Teams may act as families or tourist to gain access and probe targets
However Experience has shown that individuals in planning terrorism are not always well trained or equipped. Operatives who are not highly trained are more vulnerable to detection by employees, passers- by and others. Since surveillance takes time they may need to make multiple visits over extended periods making them easier to detect.

To detect surveillance by adversaries, first you should take note of activities you observe that are typically associated with surveillance, such as watching a location or recording information about it over time. Next you should evaluate any surveillance related activities that you observe to determine if they seem unusual or noteworthy. Often you will find that surveillance activities will appear unusable and out of place.
They key to surveillance detection is knowledge of what is normal for your environment. Here are some examples of normal and unusual activities

Normal
A photographer working on an assignment will take photos openly use professional equipment , and make efficient use of time

Unusual
A person conducting surveillance may try to hide their activities,use a cell phone or low end equipment and make repeated visits

Normal
A tourist usually will take photographs or everything that is notable in the area, and will include companions in them.

Unusual
An individual conducting surveillance may focus on one location and in particular building entrances, windows, or security personnel or features, if there are companions or others included they are usually not the focus of a photo or video.

An unusual surveillance activity by itself may not necessarily be an indication of adversarial surveillance. It is important to assess and evaluate the totality of observed actions and behaviors as well as other relevant circumstances.

For example, a person may be interested in building doors or entrances for a variety of innocent reasons. However, the persons behavior is suspicious and should be reported if the person displays additional unusual behaviors, such as
Making repeat visits to the same location to record or document something about the doors or entrances
Attempting to disguise an interest in the doors or entrances
Displaying more of an interest in alarm and security features or in a restricted or employee entrances

Activities that should always be reported

Illegal activities should always be reported
In addition the following activities should be promptly reported in every instance to a manager or security personnel

Questioning employees and out security personnel, processes and equipment

Security tests, attempts to access employee only or non public areas or an increase in alarms or events that require security or law enforcement response

System access attempts

Thefts or attempted thefts of IDs, badges, or uniforms; smartphones, laptops, or other equipment or vehicles.

Other behaviors while conducting adversarial surveillance may include
Making repeat visits over time
Changing location within the area to avoid detection
Attempting to hide their faces or duct down behind something to avoid detection or running when detected.
Other common mistakes are failing to have a valid reason for being in a particular location or engaging I activities that are normally conducted in a particular location.
A person may be wearing overly casual clothing in a professional environment
Wearing business or formal attired wile claiming to be maintenance
Wearing accessories to disguise appearance.

If you see something say something
Report activity to the appropriate authorities
Remember that reporting your findings even if a single event May line up with previous reports on the same person.

When you identify a suspicious act try to get as much information about the person as you can. Include things like:
Sex
Estimated age
Estimated height and weight
Race
Hair color
Eye color
Facial hair if any
Scars or marks
Tattoos
Face/ complexion
Nose
Hat
Eyewear
Piercing
Jewelry
Shirt/ dress
Pants
Bags
Footwear

Or vehicle information
Sedan truck van or suv
Make model and color
License plate number and state

And make note of the observed activities and what was suspicious about it.

Remember to keep the big picture in mind and avoid putting yourself in danger.

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