Archive for November, 2010

November 29, 2010

No.: HQ-10-223

FEMA Public Affairs: 202-646-3272

News Release

Statement from FEMA Administrator Fugate on the end of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season

WASHINGTON – The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Craig Fugate, issued the following statement today on the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which officially ends tomorrow. The season began on June 1 and was the most active hurricane season since 2005, with 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes.

“Tomorrow marks the official end of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane season – the most active in five years. While this hurricane season may be over, disasters are not limited to hurricanes or a specific time of year.  The bottom line is that emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere.  They range from natural disasters such as flooding, tornadoes and hurricanes, to events such as power outages. 

“The more prepared we all are now, the more successfully we can protect our homes, families, businesses and communities from the potentially devastating effects of a disaster.  If you haven’t taken the steps yet to be prepared for emergencies, you can visit www.ready.gov or www.listo.gov to learn more, including how to put together an emergency supply kit, develop a family communications plan, and stay informed of the hazards that exist in your area.

“We were lucky that we were spared from any direct landfalls this year, even from the most threatening storms, hurricanes Earl and Alex. But this season reminded us that flooding can be just as dangerous as high winds, and we saw major flooding events from Texas to Tennessee to North Carolina and Puerto Rico to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where communities will be dealing with the aftermath for some time to come. This season also serves as an important reminder of just how critical it is for all of us – federal agencies, state and local governments, the private sector and individuals – to be prepared.

“But federal, state and local government can’t do it alone – we are just part of our nation’s emergency management team. We can only be as prepared as the public, because the reality is, when disaster strikes, individuals must be ready so that food, water and the critical resources of our first responders can be deployed in support of our most vulnerable citizens.

“If you haven’t already, visit www.ready.gov to learn more.” 

Days in advance of Earl and Alex, FEMA deployed food, water and personnel to work with the states in the storms’ tracks, to ensure they had what they needed to effectively respond.  For more information about disaster declarations this hurricane season, click here.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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Over the last several decades we have seen a general decline in all aspects of these United States of America. We are losing our unity, our wealth, our power, and our standing as the foremost leader in the cause of freedom in the world. And lately, we have seen that decline occur at an exponential rate, for one reason, and that reason is our rejection of the God of our fathers. The current administration has wrongly stated to the world that we are not a Christian nation, and that claim is patently false.

The entire founding concept of these United States we call America is profoundly rooted in the concept and ideology of the Christian religions and faith. For a man to claim we are not a Christian nation is a man proving himself to be a fool.

Unfortunately, as the years have progressed over this last century, our educational system has slowly and deliberately removed all reference of historical fact concerning the birth and growth of this nation, leaving our children with disconnected quips suitable to be shared on no more than happy meal box. Quotes to fill an empty space in a newspaper and no more.

Since today is Thanksgiving Day, I thought I would join the many conservatives across this country who are sharing this following Presidential Proclamation regarding this day in history, and regarding our duty to give thanks to our God as a nation.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and thanks for sharing this moment!

A General Thanksgiving Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and

Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness”:

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our national government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York,
the 3d day of October, AD 1789

George Washington

The SaWaFo Pyramid:

I’ve mentioned the SaWaFo pyramid many times in my discourses on preparedness and survival ideology and to my mind this little tool should be considered central to all of your planning for the future, as well as immediate needs. Why? Simply for this one reason; if you lose any one of the three legs of this triangle, you can lose everything. The SaWaFo pyramid is based upon three basic needs, safety, water, and food. In the short term you can survive without all three, but in the long term you need all three of these things to survive.

And for long term planning, everything you do depends upon these three legs of the triangle. The following graphic demonstrates the relationship of these three items or needs as they relate to your own survival. Look at it this way; for two days you can survive without water, but not much longer. You can survive for several more days without food, but not much longer. You can survive without safety for a period of time as well, but eventually the odds catch up to you and you’re done, one way or the other.

All three of these needs are requirements for your total survival needs. You need water, but without safety or food you face failure from other areas. The same thing goes for safety and food. Without all three needs in place, you face assured failure in the long term survival plan.

 

 


 

Keeping in mind through the SaWaFo pyramid one of the primary considerations when searching for your survival homestead is the availability of water, and whether that water can be considered clean or not. There are many sources of water no matter where you go, but some of them may not be worth the effort, and others may appear to be safe now, but would they remain safe after a disaster?

Water from deep in the ground is almost always the best bet, but it may not be available, or you may not be able to pay for the well that can give you access to it. Drilled wells can be pretty expensive, but when compared to hand dug wells, they’re well worth the cost. For what it’s worth, I put no trust in dug wells for safe water, even on a good day.

Surface runoff and pollution can too easily turn what looks like clean potable water into a drink from hell in many ways. If you do need to utilize a hand dug well, make sure you have another source of water available for drinking and cooking, or a high quality filtration system in place to purify this water.

What are some of the sources of water you may be forced to utilize? The most common source of water today is the public water supply, available in nearly every built up community with a full time government on hand to screw things up for you. There are some problems inherit with a shared system that automatically eliminate this source of water as a long term survival solution.

Keep an old adage in the back of your mind as you develop your long term plans for surviving the coming times; if it can be made, it can be broken, and if it can be broken it can be fixed. The problem here is not the breaking down of the system, as we all know that a water supply system starts to deteriorate as soon as it’s installed. The problem here is who will fix it? Will you spend your own time and resources repairing a water line that may well deliver tainted water to your home in the aftermath of a disaster?

I think probably not. After all, we pay taxes in order to have that water delivered to your tap, and we expect it to be clean and never-ending, don’t we? It would be nice to live in that kind of fantasy, but it isn’t necessarily a true dream. Public water supplies can be pretty involved with all of the machinations required to move and purify it for your use.

This water comes from a source, and in a community wide situation, that source must be huge by necessity to satisfy all of the customers it is to serve. A reservoir is utilized for that purpose.

That reservoir can be natural, such as a lake or pond, or it can be a man made reservoir kept filled via well pumps. These pumps can be sized in hundreds of horsepower and require three phase power to run. This is your first point of concern.

These pumps are run by electric motors, normally, which are as such subjected to the whims of the power grid. Larger water districts will have backup generators to provide power in the event of a grid failure, but in turn are then held captive to the availability of fuel. Added to the problem is the fact that the filtration and purification systems also run on electricity.

If the grid goes down, and stays down, how will your community cope with the fact that it can no longer deliver this much needed commodity? Do you really think that everyone will be patient and understanding of the fact that they can no longer get water by simply opening the tap and letting it freely flow? What would your thoughts be if you could no longer flush the toilet at will? You see, by eliminating this one leg of the SaWaFo pyramid you have also eliminated the other two, eliminating your ability to survive.

By not having water, you have shortened your lifespan to a couple of days, not to mention the fact that you have seriously disrupted your ability to provide security for your safety, as well as water to use in cooking food. And don’t forget about hygiene and water for the family pet as well.

To have a reliable source of water, you need a level of safety or security to make sure that water stays available. Lose the safety leg of the triangle and you have lost your ability to provide clean potable water. The safety lies in the ability to provide uninterrupted electrical power to the pumps and filtration equipment that keep that water safe and free-flowing.

A second leg of that pyramid calls for food. We generally run down to the supermarket or a convenience store when we run out of milk or need something in a pinch. Studies have shown that on average, communities can only find about a three day’s supply of food on the shelves at best on any given day. In an emergency, or curtailment of shipping that supply of food will cease, and the food supply will not be replenished unless the emergency is resolved.

That being the case, what do you feel the result will be in your community should an extended emergency or disaster occur, locking your town away from the rest of the world for several weeks or longer? What about a permanent situation whereby normal life ceases to exist altogether and there will be no more shipments of food from away?

Simple foodstuffs such as bread, milk, butter, meat and other foods will become much sought after and when that happens, anything goes. People that know you have food will demand it for themselves. And if you don’t willingly give it up it will be taken. And don’t forget that the local governing body may drive around with an armed escort taking what you have as well.

If you don’t have a security/safety plan in place you could still end up on the losing end of the stick, even if you do have plenty of food and water. So you see, you need to have all three segments of the pyramid in place to support your survival plans.

That’s one of the biggest problems I have seen when discussing preparedness planning with those who intend to tough it out in an urban setting should the you know what hit the fan. Survival in the city can in fact be done, but it is beyond the resources of all but the very wealthy, and to tell you the truth, I don’t believe there are many wealthy people that will actually stick around when the time comes to batten down the hatches.

Take another look at the SaWaFo pyramid and you’ll see that I have presented it in a sort of manner depicting it as triangular building blocks. Each of these blocks supports one another, and should one of them be removed, the others topple over.

 


You can turn the pyramid over onto any one of the sides, but you still need all three to support that center building block called survival. And without that center building block called a survival plan, all you have to support is an empty hole. And nobody likes to deal with an empty hole.

All of your plans for survival can be connected together through one of these three basic building blocks. Your food storage plans, water supply, safety and security, housing, transportation, communications and more all rely upon this triangle as a supporting structure. Add whatever you wish to your plans, but they will always lead back to square one, which is safety, water and food, your SaWaFo pyramid.

November 23, 2010 No: HQ-10-221 
Contact: FEMA News Desk  Phone: 202-646-3272 
News Release

 
 

FEMA: PREVENT FIRES THIS THANKSGIVING

WASHINGTON- As our nation comes together to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its United States Fire Administration (USFA) would like to remind all residents to Put a Freeze on all Fires.  

According to data from the USFA, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of five deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property loss each year.  The leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings is cooking.  In addition, these fires occur most frequently in the afternoon hours from noon to 4 p.m.  And unfortunately, smoke alarms were not present in 20 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires that occurred in occupied residential buildings.

“Disasters can happen any time, any where, but some emergencies at home can be avoided by taking a few simple steps for safety,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.  “And don’t forget this holiday season, while gathered around the table with family and friends, is a great time to talk about your family emergency plan, and what you would do in the case of a disaster.”

FEMA and USFA have issued a special report examining the characteristics of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings.  The report, Thanksgiving Day Fires in Residential Buildings, was developed by USFA’s National Fire Data Center and is further evidence of FEMA’s commitment to sharing information with fire departments and first responders around the country to help them keep their communities safe during this holiday.  Read the report for more information.

The USFA also suggests these safety cooking tips: 

  • Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom.  Test smoke alarms monthly and replace them if they are 10 years old or older.
  • Keep a close watch on your cooking.  You should never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Keep oven food packaging and other combustibles away from burners and heat sources.
  • Heat cooking oil slowly and watch it closely; it can ignite quickly.
  • Don’t wear loose sleeves while working over hot stove burners – they can melt, ignite or catch on handles of pots and pans spilling hot oil and other liquids.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three-feet around the stove and areas where hot foods or drinks are prepared or carried.
  • Keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires.  Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop.  Leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.

“Thanksgiving marks the start of a very busy time for all firefighters,” said Acting Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines.  “Holiday decorations, heating, and increased indoor cooking all present just some of the causes of residential fires. Your place of residence should be the safest place of all. Protect it with working smoke alarms and know what to do if a fire should occur.”

Deep-fried turkey has quickly grown in popularity but safety experts are concerned that backyard chefs may be sacrificing fire safety for good taste.  If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, please use the following tips: 

  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
  •  Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
  • Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended.  Most units do not have thermostat controls.  If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use.  The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
  • To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles.  If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
  • The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby.  Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.  If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher.  If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.

Read more fire safety tips for cooking this holiday season. 

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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As the world continues to tailspin into whatever kind of crash is coming, you may find that you’ll have to make a run for it, in spite of all your preparedness planning. For instance, suppose the crash has come, but you’re not worried because you are safely ensconced in a carefully planned twenty acre homestead environment. Your drilled deepwater well is powered by a solar panel, you have five years of long term storage food on hand, a garden in the soil and plenty of seeds for the coming years. You don’t need a generator because you have a small wind turbine as well as the solar panel, and you heat with wood which you carefully harvest from your sustainable woodlot.

But as careful as you were with your planning, you didn’t pay enough attention to the risk of a nuclear warhead being dropped in a distant city a couple of hundred miles away from you. But drop it did, killing hundreds of thousands of people, and now there is a highly radioactive cloud coming your way, making every inch of soil it floats over uninhabitable for a long time. The warnings have been issued and you have to bug, and bug out fast, or risk being contaminated by the fallout. You didn’t think you’d need a bug out bag, did you? Well you do, and because you didn’t prepare one you have to throw everything together in ten minutes time, and you know what happens when we pull that kind of stunt.

You may forget to include sufficient cooking utensils, but as long as you have cans and tin foil, you really don’t require any solid cooking vessels to survive. They do make life a lot easier, but they aren’t 100% necessary for a successful meal. And remember, when it comes to survival, a successful meal doesn’t mean a five course extravaganza to impress the neighborhood. It means putting needed calories and nourishment where it belongs, and nothing more.

Canned food can be cooked right in the can, and you can wash out the can and use it for cooking other meals as well. You can boil water for coffee and tea, as well in a can. Vegetables can be boiled in the water already in the can by simply removing the label before opening. Don’t remove the lid entirely, but leave a bit attached so you can hinge the lid for use as a cover. One problem here is that vegetables should be placed into boiling water, which you cannot do if you have no vessel in which to boil water, so save those cans for later meals.

Meats, fresh or otherwise, can be wrapped in aluminum foil and placed on a bed of coals for cooking. Remember to wrap whatever you are cooking with the dull side of the foil touching the food. That dull coating is a protective layer that keeps the aluminum from leaching into the food and possibly contributing to some health problems.

To make things easy, and to help a bug out situation along, I suggest you do the following:

Obtain a two burner camp stove and at least six bottles of fuel to have on hand. Measure the dimensions of the stove and then buy a plastic tote with a snug fitting cover large enough to hold the stove and some extra gear. Get an extra set of camp cooking utensils that can fit into the tote as well. Many stores such as Wal-Mart and other department stores sell a kit with at least a fry pan, covered stock pot, coffee boiler, a saucepan and four sets of plates, bowls, cups, and utensils such as forks, knives spoons and cooking tools as well. You can pack that right into the tote with the stove and fuel for convenience. Throw in a few packs of strike anywhere matches and you’ll be good to go in a rush at any time.

Of course, for best results nothing beats a good set of cast iron cookware, but in a pinch tin cans and foil will still get the family fed.

As an added measure, get one of those collapsible water jugs as well. They fold flat and will be handy for lugging water for washing or cooking, provided you can get some clean water for those purposes. If you have questionable water, don’t use that jug for drinking until you have thoroughly disinfected it.

Here are a few hints from Belle DeGraf on camp cooking you may find helpful for your planning:

Coffee:

The simplest food is the most appetizing and also the best to eat and prepare. Good coffee will cover a multitude of shortcomings, and put everyone in good humor. To make really good coffee in camp is an art. One of the first essentials is to have the coffee pot thoroughly washed each time it is used. Let it stand open in a sunny place when not in use. This is most important; otherwise the coffee will be bitter. Allow 1 rounding tablespoon ground coffee for each cup of water used, then allow extra tablespoonful in the pot for good measure. Use cold water and set the pot in a hot place and allow reach boiling point and boil three minutes, no longer; in a warm place, but not over the fire, add ½ cupful cold water and let stand 5 or 10 minutes before use. The pot should be tightly covered, even taking care stop up the spout so that none of the aroma will be lost. The ½ cup of cold water is added last to clear the coffee. Egg may be added instead, and if used should be mixed with the ground coffee before adding any of the cold water. A clear, golden coffee will reward your efforts, which with canned cream and sugar will be hailed with joy. No matter how weary and tired from a day’s tramp, a good cup of coffee will stimulate and rest everyone.

Baked Beans:

Baked beans, well cooked, make a good dinner. Dig a hole large enough to hold several stones; heat them very hot, also have a bed of coals. The beans should be soaked overnight in sufficient cold water to cover. In the morning drain off all water cover with fresh cold water and bring to the boiling point and cook about ½ hour. Drain again. Put a piece of salt pork or bacon in the bottom the bean pot or iron kettle, add beans, another piece salt pork or bacon. Mix seasoning of mustard (may be omitted) salt, pepper, and either sugar or molasses, the latter giving the best flavor; add a pint of hot water and pour over beans; then cover beans entirely with hot water, cover closely and set on top of hot coals; put the heated stones on top, pack with dirt and make as nearly air-tight as possible. Let cook all day—about 8 or 10 hours. Be sure and have a kettle or pot large enough to hold sufficient water to completely cook the beans; otherwise they will taste scorched. If brown beans are preferred, they should be soaked overnight also, but they will not require so long a time cook, and the seasonings should be tomato sauce and onions. A small fireless cooker is a great help on a long camping trip.

Flat Cakes and Breads:

Self-rising pancake flour is easy to carry and is most convenient for outing trips. These flours only require an equal quantity of cold water and they are ready to bake. With a small bed of coals, a griddle or heavy frying pan can be kept at a uniform heat, and if different persons take a turn at frying them, this type of pancake will make an easily prepared meal.

Perhaps the hardest task of all is to make the camp bread, and to be able to make it well is one of the tests of a good outdoor cook. The best utensil for baking in camp is a shallow iron kettle with an iron cover, commonly known as a “Dutch oven.” Have a bed of coals, but rake them to one side and set the kettle in the center; put in the bread, cover and heap the coals on top and let bread cook about ½ hour. One of the commonest faults with camp cooking is having too much heat; the inexperienced camper builds a big fire which creates a quantity of smoke and makes cooking impossible. Hot coals are needed and a well-built campfire will soon produce them. Avoid having leftovers, for it is not easy to utilize them in camp cookery. Have simple meals, but aim to have food well prepared. Variety at each meal is not essential, but variety is desirable each day. Beans served for several meals in succession are certainly not appetizing.

Miscellany:

Potatoes and fish may be wrapped in clean wet paper and cooked in hot ashes. If canned milk is used allow 1/3rd milk to 1/3rd water for cooking purposes. When milk is mentioned in a recipe it means fresh milk or canned milk diluted in this proportion. Any food which is cooked in a frying-pan or kettle can easily be managed over a campfire. If each person will do their share of the cooking and the inevitable dish washing, a camping trip will work no hardship on any one individual.

Recipes:

Camp Bread

4 cups flour (1 quart). 2 rounding tablespoons shortening

2 level tablespoons baking powder

I &3/4ths (about) cups milk or half milk and half water

2 teaspoons salt

Mix all dry ingredients; rub in shortening with the finger tips, and gradually add liquid, using a knife for mixing. Knead a little in the bowl, pat into shape, and place in a greased iron kettle or heavy frying-pan; cover closely, set over hot ashes or heated rocks, cover with hot coals or rocks and bake about 30 minutes.

Corn Bread

4 cups corn meal.

2 cups of milk or half milk and half water.

4 cups boiling water.

2 teaspoons salt.

3 tablespoons melted shortening

3 tablespoons sugar

2 level tablespoons baking powder

2 eggs, well beaten

Pour boiling water over corn meal and let stand until cool; then add remaining ingredients. Beat well and pour into a heated iron kettle or frying-pan. Set over hot ashes or heated coals until done. If baking powder and eggs are not used you will have corn pone.

Camp Pot Pie

Any kind of meat may be used. Cut in medium-sized pieces and dip in flour. Heat drippings or shortening in a heavy kettle or frying-pan, add meat and brown on all sides. If there is a quantity of meat, fry only a portion at one time so all will be brown, then cover with boiling water; cover tightly and set over hot ashes or a low bed of coals for 2 or 3 hours. The meat should cook under the boiling point, otherwise it will be tough. About an hour before serving add seasonings and vegetables.

Camp Dumplings

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon (level) baking powder

1 cup milk,

Mix in order named and drop by spoonfuls on top of boiling stew. Cover closely and cook about IS minutes. These dumplings are very acceptable at the camp dinner. Success depends upon having the liquid constantly boiling and keeping kettle closely covered.

Camp Shortcake

Prepare one-half the camp bread mixture. Bake as directed for bread. When cooked, split open, butter and spread with sweetened fruit. A very easy dish to prepare.