Families Prepared for Whatever Comes Our Way

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

10 Ways Your Smart Phone Can Save Your Life in a Disaster

1. Turn your Smart Phone into a flashlight or signal light

I remember being abruptly awakened in the middle of a dark night by the thunderous roar and shaking of an earthquake. I instinctively covered my head with a pillow and waited out the next 60 seconds of terrifying tremors. When I dared to sit up and look out the window, the city was dark. The electricity had been knocked out.

What can you do if you are in this kind of situation?

Grab your smart phone and switch on your flashlight app, of course! Your trusty cell will give you amazing light to find your shoes, see if there is broken glass to avoid and to make your way down the hall to your children’s rooms.

Even if the disaster occurs during daylight, a flashlight can help you in a variety of situations such as looking under beds to find your whimpering dog or freaked out cat, peer into your Go Bag to find needed supplies, and if you have the right app, signaling for help if you are stuck inside (or outside) your house.

How to Prepare

Turn your smart phone into a vital survival tool by downloading a good app. I recommend two apps:

1.  Tiny Flashlight®. It is free. Here’s what you get!

FOR MORE INFO: Go to Tiny Flashlight link
  • Flashlight from camera flash
  • Adjustable strobe light from camera flash
  • SOS light signal using Morse Code to let others know you are in trouble
  • Bright screen light for a broader light source
  • Two flashing yellow warning lights from the screen
  • Light bulb (picture) on your screen that can be adjusted for brilliance and color
  • Full screen colored light that can be adjusted for brilliance and color
  • Flashing screen of blue and red police lights

2. Brightest Flashlight Free that is extremely bright through both the screen and the camera flash.

FOR MORE INFO: Go to Brightest Flashlight link

Please help me out: If you have an iPhone, please post some apps that can be used to turn your cell phone into a light or signal device. 

Check back here for my continuing series: 10 Ways Your Cell Phone Can Save Your Life in a Disaster!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Family Information Summary Sheet

I just put together a Family Information Summary Sheet that you can fill out and include in all of your preparation kits---at home, in the car, at work and other places your family members might be during a disaster. Just click the picture of the sheet above and you can download and print out copies.

I am working on more helpful tools and tips to keep you and your family safe. Please tell other people about my site and blog so we that, together, we can help more families get prepared. Thanks!

Monday, January 28, 2013

4 Reasons We Don't Prepare for a Disaster

Even though natural and man-made disasters occur daily all over the globe, most of us are not as prepared as we need to be. We've probably all heard the warning that, in a huge disaster, we'll be on our own for at least three days. If you look at what the folks who got his by the hurricane Sandy, it might be months before the bare necessities for survival are restored--electricity, gas, cleared roads, access to food. It's too easy to assume someone else will take care of us, when in an emergency, we will need to take care of ourselves and those we love.

I've identified 4 reasons why we aren't prepared as we should be. They're simple reasons, but they're important enough to keep us from getting prepared. Falling prey to these reasons may wind up being a life or death situation.

1. We're afraid to think about it.

Who wants to think about all of the horrible things that could happen? Unless a person is an obsessive worrier and goes in for this kind of perpetual anxiety, it's not something most of us want to ponder, let alone prepare for. We parents are especially horrified by the idea that one of our children could be injured or killed. As a consequence, most of us don't let ourselves focus long enough of the possible dangers that might befall us and prepare for our survival.

2. We are too busy.

  • "Oh, I'm going to get my disaster plan together as soon as I finish this big work assignment..."
  • "I know I need to get supplies together, but I'm just so busy right now."
  • "Look, I'm barely keeping up with all my kids' homework and music lessons! When do I have time to figure all of this out?
I honestly believe we are all too busy to get prepared. I don't know any parent who's sitting around with nothing to do, do you? It doesn't matter, however, if we've got time or not. It's critical to our families' safety to make the time to get prepared.

3. We don't know what we actually need

I've gone from one website to another website, getting so overwhelmed by the many options. Do I need to get a backpack for each person? Or should I get a group pack? Do I need to prepare for overnight? Three days? A week? A month? Even longer?

Will our house be so damaged that we can't stay inside? Will we need to camp outside? What size tent should I get? What if the disaster is in the winter? Will I need a heater? A generator? Where will I keep the gas so it doesn't blow up? How will we keep dry if it rains. What will we do if...or when...or how...?
The questions are overwhelming and I end up doing nothing at all.

4. We can't afford to buy the supplies

Suppose you worked out a plan and identified exactly what you needed. Getting prepared can be very expensive! When I look at the list of things to carry me, my daughter and housemate through a major disaster, I have to admit that it is quite pricey! With the current economy, many are struggling with financial stress that does not leave a great deal of money left over for items you may use only once, or may never need at all.

We prepare for a disaster we hope never comes. I've lived my whole life waiting for the Big One--the Earthquake of all earthquakes. We've been told it will definitely occur. It's simply a matter of when. I have lived through many earthquakes and wonder if the Big One will actually happen. It's difficult for me to spend the money necessary to prepare for an event that might not occur in the immediate future.

But then again...it could happen while I'm here typing, so I'd better stay focused on the reality at hand. Getting prepared!

Action Plan:

1. What stands in the way between you getting prepared?

2. How will you get past these obstacles?

3. What is one step you can take today?

Please post your answers, questions and comments!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I need your help in deciding what's the best way to get us prepared. Today's question is WHAT KEEPS YOU FROM BEING AS PREPARED AS YOU KNOW YOU SHOULD BE? What gets in your way? Lack of time? Not knowing exactly what to do? Feeling like it's too expensive? Too scary to think about? Please give me your answers so I can address these issues. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I am starting this blog and will also start a website for myself and for other families who aren't as prepared for a disaster or emergency as we should be. It seems like one natural disaster follows on the heals of the next from hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, forest fires--you name it and these awful events seem to be increasing in number and size.

I live in California where I've been waiting for the Big One all of my life. You know, the earthquake that will cause California to fall off into the sea? I grew up with anxiety about earthquakes and have survived them all so far. But I'm not as prepared as I should be. Few, if any, geographical areas are free of some force of nature--so we really all should have our backpacks ready and our family plan sin place as soon as possible. After doing what we can, we can rest in the knowledge that we've done all we can to prepare.

As a mother, I am especially concerned about my daughter, who is eight as I write this first blog. It's a delicate balance between making sure she is physically, emotionally and spiritually prepared for a disaster, and yet not scare her unnecessarily. She has different needs than I do, so in preparing for her survival after a crisis will require I gather different items for her.

I'm going to focus on earthquake preparedness as my first project and will write an easy-to-read, family-focused handbook for families who live in earthquake prone areas. You might think this is primarily a west coast problem, but there's a huge fault like through the middle of the country. And with the way the world is changing these days, an earthquake can happen anywhere. So my handbook can be helpful to any family no matter where they live.

I hope you gain a lot from my blogs and I'll let you know when the manual is ready for purchase!