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Emergency Preparedness http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness Tue, 08 Aug 2006 18:31:35 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=1.5 en Quick Tips on Preparing for an Emergency http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/quick-tips-on-preparing-for-an-emergency.html http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/quick-tips-on-preparing-for-an-emergency.html#comments Tue, 08 Aug 2006 14:30:39 +0000 American Family Safety The Tip Sheet http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/quick-tips-on-preparing-for-an-emergency.html American Family Safety is a resource designed to provide important information about emergency preparedness and safety. We have created a forum for people to obtain and comment on safety information. Our goal is to create a community of safety advocates who share information and dialog to help get people prepared for the unexpected. We are not trying to promote fear - on the contrary - we want to make sure that everyone has the tools necessary to deal with emergency situations.

The Human tendency is to believe, “it will never happen to me”, but it is our responsibility as parents, friends, and neighbours to be prepared. We encourage you to share stories, experiences, and lessons in dealing with emergencies so others can benefit from your learnings. At American Family Safety we strongly believe in the 3 main steps to getting prepared:

  1. Get a Kit
  2. Make a Plan
  3. Stay Informed

Get a Kit
Most people have a false sense of security by thinking the flashlight they have stored in the kitchen drawer and Band-Aid package in the bathroom is sufficient for dealing with emergencies. It is extremely important that every family have a comprehensive emergency safety kit that is portable, and pre-composed as opposed to scattered throughout the house. If your family needs to respond quickly to an emergency you won’t have the time to scurry through your house to collect the necessary tools to help cope with these situations. It is also impossible to think clearly when you’re in a state of panic. The only sensible option is to prepare for an emergency BEFORE it occurs. Thus make sure your family has a complete emergency kit stored in an accessible place and make sure everyone in the family knows where this kit is located.

Your family’s emergency kit is more than a first aid package and flashlight. A comprehensive kit contains the following elements:

Food and Water Rations:

  • Make sure you have enough food and water to sustain every member of your household for a minimum of 72 hours.
  • Rations should be certified by the coast guard, and should have a 5 year shelf life. This is because it’s easy to forget about your emergency kit, and if you’re stocking canned food and bottled water, they must be changed out once per year to avoid spoilage and contamination that could make your family ill at a time when medical assistance is not available.
  • Canned food is also heavy to carry, and high in sodium – this will make you thirsty and cause you to drink your water rations too quickly.

Utility Items:
The right equipment is an essential part of your kit and should include:

  • A sealed First Aid Kit (one that isn’t compromised by day-to-day use)
  • A Flashlight
  • A Transistor Radio that is energy efficient, portable, and doesn’t need to be plugged in (if the power is out for an extended period cell phone, internet, television, and eventually your home phone line will stop working – radio stations will continue to broadcast on emergency power and a battery operated radio will be your only link to updates about the situation)
  • Plenty of Extra Batteries for your Flashlight and Radio (again, assume the power will be out for a minimum of 72 hours)
  • N95 Respirator Masks – these masks will filter smoke and airborne particles that may be present during and after a major emergency. Make sure you have one for each family member, and ensure they meet N95 specifications because the cheaper dust masks do not offer adequate protection. Remember, this is one of those items that will keep your family healthy and self-sufficient
  • Emergency Whistle – if you are trapped and need to attract rescue attention, you will need a whistle. Yelling will cause you to lose your voice in mere minutes while a whistle can give you a sustained call for help.
  • Waste Bags – if there is no running water, your toilets will quickly stop working. While this is an unpleasant thought, waste bags are a necessary part of your kit!
  • Plastic Sheeting and Duct Tape – although you have heard about using Plastic Sheeting and Duct Tape to create a safe room in your home, they are most likely to be used to temporarily repair damage like a hole in the roof, or patching a broken window. These items should be in your kit.

Items of a Personal Nature:
It is important to customize your emergency kit with personal items that are specific to your family’s needs. For example:

  • An extra pair of Contact Lenses or Glasses
  • A Change of Clothing
  • Prescription Medication(s)
  • Copies of important Personal Documentation like a driver’s license, passport and social insurance number (keep these in a zip lock or other watertight bag)
  • Cash (credit and debit cards along with ATM machines won’t work if the power is out everywhere)

We have created a comprehensive 72 hour-emergency safety kit that has all the tools necessary to deal with emergency situations. Your emergency kit needs to be portable, essentially a “Grab and Go” solution. The government has been educating citizens about preparedness for the past 5 years, specifically in September during National Preparedness Month.

Make a Plan:
Having a comprehensive emergency kit is important, but in order to get the most effectiveness from your preparedness strategy you must have a Family Communication Plan. Often emergencies happen when you least expect them; you may be at work while your children are at school… it is important that the whole family has a plan to deal with emergencies, and a method for getting reunited should the family be separated. Building a plan is easy and takes just a few minutes. You can access a free online Family Communication Plan and print it out for your records here.

Stay Informed:
This last step toward Emergency Preparedness is the essence of American Family Safety – Stay Informed! Keep up to date with the latest information about emergency preparedness. We will publish articles from experts within the safety industry and through our website you will have access to the Safety Library at American Family Safety which will give you access to additional content, articles, and tips.

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Family Communications Plan Considerations http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/family-communications-plan-considerations.html http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/family-communications-plan-considerations.html#comments Tue, 08 Aug 2006 14:18:26 +0000 American Family Safety The Tip Sheet http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/family-communications-plan-considerations.html When making your family’s plan, please consider the following situations resulting from a severe disaster:

  • It will take the Federal Emergency Response Agency (FEMA) time to bring help and order to a major disaster area. This is why it is deemed essential to have AT LEAST 72 hours of self-sufficiency as a family, so you can fend for yourselves until assistance can be rendered. This responsibility lies with you, not the government! (Think about what happened with Hurricane Katrina).
  • Access to electricity, natural gas, and running water will likely not be available for anywhere from several days to over a week.
  • It will not be realistic to drive your car for several days – expect roads to be blocked by debris from damaged buildings, flood waters, abandoned cars, accidents, and areas blocked off as un-safe. Bridges will be closed until authorities can verify they are safe to cross.
  • When a disaster occurs, family members may be separated. It must be decided in advance what steps everyone in the family will take to get back together. This should be documented in an Emergency Family Communication plan, and everyone should have a small copy of this plan in their purse or wallet at all times.
  • Communications will be difficult in the aftermath of a disaster. Please consider the following about emergency communication:
    1. Cellular networks will not be able to support voice calls, but *may* be capable of sending and receiving text messages. Cell phones however should not be considered a realistic form of communication after a disaster. It is essential to have an out-of-state contact person whom everyone in the family can call to check in with. You have a much better chance of getting a connection to someone far outside the disaster area than you would of calling the house next door. Use a landline to make this call. If all else fails, use a payphone and make a collect call.
    2. Internet and television will not function without power. The only way to receive important information about what to do (and what not to do) is by radio. You should have a very small and portable radio that uses very little power and runs on small batteries. Large stereos that plug into the wall (but can also take batteries) are not very portable, and require too much power.
    3. You may require rescue attention (for example if you are trapped in a structure), or you may need to attract an emergency responder to help someone else. You will lose your voice within minutes of continuous yelling. The only way to sustain a call for help is with a whistle. Your emergency Ready Kit should contain a waterproof whistle.
  • Dust, debris, and materials like asbestos from damaged buildings; smoke from fires; and release of airborne toxins may contaminate the air in the area around you. Ensure everyone has an effective respirator mask to keep them healthy.
  • Structural damage may make it unsafe to remain in the structure you were in when the disaster occurred – you may be forced to leave your home, office, or classroom with only seconds to react. You may also need to turn off the utilities like gas and water using a special tool to prevent severe damage to the building or your home.
  • If you have products like food; water; a first aid kit; and flashlights in your home, you are to be congratulated for taking those steps toward having safety items for every-day usage. Since you clearly believe in safety, wouldn’t you like to have preparedness supplies that are kept on reserve and not used during everyday life? This way you can ensure that you will always have an adequate supply of these vital items on hand when you need them most. Please consider the following:
    1. It is humanly impossible to think carefully in an emergency. With only moments to spare, you either react according to instinct, or according to a plan you have trained to implement. Composing an impromptu emergency kit from items scattered throughout your home IS NOT REALLISTIC - you should consider having an emergency kit which allows you to “Grab-and-Go” in seconds.
    2. Bottled water expires! Typically, bottled water and canned food must be replaced every year. Failure to do so will mean relying on unsafe water and food, causing you to become sick and incapacitated when no assistance will be available.
    3. Canned food and large water containers are heavy and not portable. Canned foods also contain large amounts of sodium (salt) which will make you thirsty, and tempt you to drink your water reserves too quickly!
    4. Your emergency kit will be maintenance free, and will serve you better if you equip it with US Cost Guard approved food and water rations with a long shelf-life, and special formulation to nourish and sustain your family.
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Disasters: What If I Don’t Have Insurance? http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/disasters-no-insurance.html http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/disasters-no-insurance.html#comments Mon, 24 Apr 2006 13:36:19 +0000 American Family Safety The Tip Sheet Disaster Assistance http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/disasters-no-insurance.html Disaster assistance is available even if you don’t have homeowner’s insurance (or if you are under-insured and your coverage is insufficient). It will not provide the same level of insurance that a homeowner’s policy confers, but it can get you through the roughest times after a disaster strikes. Never assume, however, that the federal government is responsible for restoring your home after a major disaster occurs. It’s up to every homeowner or renter to carry enough insurance to protect property, furnishings and other valuables.

If you lack insurance and a disaster occurs, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may offer the following once the president has officially declared a "major disaster":

  • Temporary housing (time-limited)
  • Money for home repairs (with the goal of basic habitability)
  • Money to assist with home replacement
  • Money for, and/or direct help with, construction

Funds are also available to cover medical and dental expenses, funeral costs, personal property expenses, transportation, moving and storage, and other expenses authorized by law.

To qualify for disaster assistance, your city or town must be covered by a federal disaster declaration. You can then apply for disaster assistance by telephone, online or in person. You will need to provide the following information:

  • Social Security number
  • Home address (where the damage occurred) and address where you’re currently living
  • A telephone number where you can be contacted
  • Your insurance information.
  • Total household annual income
  • Your bank’s routing and account numbers (if you want money to be transferred directly into your bank account)
  • A complete description of your losses

Once you file for disaster assistance, FEMA will give you a unique application number. Make sure to write it down and keep it handy. You’ll need it for future reference.

FEMA will then arrange for an inspection to determine your eligibility for disaster assistance. You will need to provide the inspector with proof of ownership (a deed, tax records, mortgage payment book, copy of your homeowner’s policy or a printout demonstrating proof of ownership from your county’s property tax website). The inspector will also ask for proof of occupancy (a driver’s license, first-class government mail sent to your address within the last three months or a recent utility bill).

Once the inspection has been completed, FEMA will determine your eligibility for assistance within 10 days.

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Disasters: Working With Your Insurance Company http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/disasters-insurance-company.html http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/disasters-insurance-company.html#comments Mon, 24 Apr 2006 13:35:57 +0000 American Family Safety The Tip Sheet Disaster Assistance http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/disasters-insurance-company.html Insurance policies are designed to protect your home, its contents and your automobiles in the event of a disaster, but documenting your property is a critical step if you want to minimize your losses and make the most of your coverage.
Before a disaster strikes, follow these essential steps:

  1. Keep your insurance policy in a safe location (a bank safe deposit box is ideal). Keep the name, address and telephone number of your insurance agent in your wallet or disaster kit.
  2. Inventory all of the property in your home. Use your computer to create a spreadsheet that lists each item and its value. Go from room to room (including garages, attics and basements) to make sure you don’t leave anything out. Be sure to print out hard copies that can be kept in a home safe, as well as your bank safe deposit box.
  3. Be specific in your documentation. Don’t simply list "large television." Write down the serial number, model number, product description, price paid and date of purchase. Keep receipts in your safe deposit box, with copies in a home safe. Itemize everything: furniture, electronic equipment, computers, artwork, jewelry, home and decorative accessories, contents of drawers and cupboards, clothing and anything you would ultimately need to declare as a loss.
  4. Use your camera or video equipment to document all of your possessions. (If you don’t own a camera, pick up a disposable one to take pictures—and be sure to have the film developed.) Visual documentation will make claims processing go much more smoothly. Don’t use visual documentation as a substitute for written documentation and receipts. You should have both written and visual documentation for insurance claims.

Many people fail to realize that flood and earthquake insurance are not included in most standard homeowner’s insurance policies. If you live in a flood-prone area (and most of us do), you’ll need to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, you’ll need to purchase special earthquake coverage to protect your property and its contents.

Review your insurance policies regularly to ensure you have optimum coverage. Some policies cover only physical damage to your home, but fail to offer replacement coverage for the furnishings and property within. Check with your insurance agent before a disaster strikes to ensure that you have adequate coverage. Also ask your agent to review the claims-filing process in advance so there are no "surprises" after a disaster occurs.

Visit American Family Safety’s Flood Safety Center for additional information on flood emergencies and insurance.

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Accessing Help after Disasters http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/accessing-help-disasters.html http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/accessing-help-disasters.html#comments Mon, 24 Apr 2006 13:35:35 +0000 American Family Safety The Tip Sheet Disaster Assistance http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/accessing-help-disasters.html When a disaster strikes, help is available to you and your family at the local, state and federal levels.

Right after the disaster occurs, don’t be surprised if you receive a busy signal when you dial 911. Phone lines will be jammed with callers, so use this number only if you require immediate police, fire or emergency medical (ambulance) assistance. It is not designed to handle calls regarding minor emergencies (cuts and scrapes), housing assistance, food, water, shelter and other post-disaster needs. Tying up 911 lines may prevent those with life-threatening emergencies from receiving prompt help, so be sure to use this number appropriately.

Listen to TV and radio reports to obtain specific information on disaster relief efforts in your area. Agency phone numbers, addresses and contacts will be broadcast regularly, featuring specific information on shelters, food, water, medical and other vital assistance. If you have no electricity, use the battery-operated radio supplied in your disaster kit to monitor broadcasts.

Your city’s mayor, town council and public safety agencies will coordinate with state officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Homeland Security, and charities like the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to facilitate a prompt response. If residents are displaced from their homes or cannot receive basic services (water, food, power), the president may declare a "major disaster." At that point, FEMA will step in to assist you and your family with temporary housing, food vouchers, monetary assistance and even low-interest loans. Special programs are also available if you own a small business or farm. Use the telephone numbers and addresses provided by local media to seek assistance.

Even if you are not displaced from your home, make sure your family’s emotional needs are met. You may think everyone—including yourself—is coping well, but disasters are traumatic experiences. Family members are likely to experience a variety of symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, crying spells, mood swings, increased frustration and irritability, an inability to concentrate, headaches and stomachaches, disorientation or “disconnection” from others, fear of leaving home or being alone, sadness, depression and/or feelings of hopelessness. If children or adults are plagued by these symptoms, take advantage of counseling services provided by local government and hospitals. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. The ability to recognize that you need crisis counseling is actually a sign of strength.

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First Steps After Disaster Strikes http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/first-steps-disaster-strikes.html http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/first-steps-disaster-strikes.html#comments Mon, 24 Apr 2006 13:35:15 +0000 American Family Safety The Tip Sheet Disaster Assistance http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/first-steps-disaster-strikes.html The first few minutes after a disaster strikes are the most critical. Because many disasters occur without warning, you will feel a surge of adrenaline coursing through your veins. Your heart will be pumping faster, your breathing rate will increase, and you’ll find yourself fighting the impulse to panic. This is a natural physiological response to any emergency situation.

Preplanning for a disaster can help you regain—and maintain—a sense of calm. Take charge by following these important steps:

  1. Locate everyone in your home (including pets), and grab your disaster kit.
  2. Assess whether anyone has been injured. Provide CPR and basic first aid, as needed. If there are major injuries, call 911 to request emergency medical assistance. For minor injuries, stay off the phone to keep the lines clear and administer basic first aid. (A first aid kit is included in your disaster kit.)
  3. Keep your emergency supplies kit with you at all times so your emergency supplies are close at hand. If you need to evacuate your home, take your disaster kit with you.
  4. Use your Family Communication Plan to track down family members who are not at home.
  5. Monitor TV/radio reports and updates so you can follow rescuers’ and local authorities’ orders. If there’s a power outage, use the battery-operated radio that is included in your disaster kit.

If you are ordered to remain in your home, use your emergency supplies kit to take care of your essential needs. It contains a flashlight and batteries that will get you through a power outage, a first aid kit, a respirator, a three-day supply of drinking water and emergency food, shelter-in-place instructions, Home Guard Barrier Sheeting, duct tape and an emergency preparedness manual, among other critical disaster supplies. Remember: You need to have sufficient emergency supplies to care for every member of your family. Use American Family Safety’s Are You Ready? Family Assessment Tool to ensure every family member is protected.

If you are ordered to evacuate your home, do not procrastinate! Possessions can be replaced; family members cannot. Your No. 1 priority is your family’s safety, so do not place anyone in jeopardy by gathering pictures, scrapbooks or other mementos. Follow the orders that are designed to get you out of the house quickly. Do not return home until you receive the “all clear” from state, local or federal authorities. Your life and safety may depend on it.

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Family Disaster Preparedness http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/family-disaster-preparedness.html http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/family-disaster-preparedness.html#comments Mon, 17 Apr 2006 12:29:07 +0000 American Family Safety The Tip Sheet Disaster Assistance http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/family-disaster-preparedness.html As humans, we are creatures of habit, prone to procrastination. Most of us simply shake off the need to prepare for a disaster, figuring we’ll eventually “get around to it.” We don’t want to think about the possibility of something bad occurring. Disasters, we reason, affect “other people”—the victims we read about in the newspaper.

Unfortunately, such denial prevents us from taking even the most basic emergency preparedness steps. This leaves us vulnerable—and dangerously unprepared—when a major disaster occurs.

Emergency preparedness begins with accepting that a disaster can occur in your area. Have you done the following?

  1. Think about the types of disasters that have occurred near you within the last century. Has your area been affected by floods, hurricanes, thunderstorms, winter storms, blackouts, tornadoes, earthquakes, landslides or mudslides, house fires, wildfires, volcanoes, tsunami warnings or terrorist attacks? Is your risk level for each of these emergencies high, medium or low? Check out American Family Safety’s Disaster Preparedness Library for complete details on how to prepare for specific emergencies.
  2. Develop an Emergency Preparedness Plan. Hold regular meetings so every family member—including children—understands what to do in case a disaster strikes. This includes mapping out escape routes, developing a Family Communication Plan, teaching family members how to shut off gas/water/electricity, determining where to store insurance papers and vital records, caring for family members with special needs and having a disaster plan for your pets.
  3. Purchase a disaster kit that meets your family’s emergency preparedness needs. Start by using American Family Safety’s Are You Ready? Family Assessment Tool to identify your individual needs based on where you live, the number of people and pets in your home, workplace and school logistics, and daily commutes. Our emergency supply kit meets Department of Homeland Security guidelines for disaster kits, with add-ons available depending on family size. It takes the guesswork out of building a functional emergency kit and can be customized appropriately. You may also order disaster kits for personal protection in your office, car or your children’s school.
  4. Sign up for a basic first aid or CPR class at a community center or Red Cross office near your home. When a disaster hits, rescuers will be stretched to their limits, able to respond to only the most severe emergencies. You may be on your own for up to 72 hours, so make sure adults are trained to administer care for common injuries like cuts, bruises and sprains.
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Community Emergency Preparedness http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/community-emergency-preparedness.html http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/community-emergency-preparedness.html#comments Fri, 06 Jan 2006 12:36:17 +0000 American Family Safety Expert Advice Hot Off the Press http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/community-emergency-preparedness.html

Make your voice heard! Mississippi Congressman Gene Taylor takes questions from residents affected by Hurricane Katrina. He introduced a Katrina relief bill in Congress. (Photo: FEMA/Mark Wolfe)

Happy New Year from American Family Safety—your one-stop shopping resource for emergency preparedness supplies and disaster kits.

As we enter a new year, you need to make a critical resolution to protect your family in the event a major disaster or emergency strikes your community: Be prepared.

Just as you purchase insurance for your home and car, you need to make an investment in your family’s safety. Emergency kits and survival supplies are remarkably inexpensive, so why take chances with your loved ones’ well-being?

American Family Safety’s extremely affordable Ready Kit™ contains all of the disaster supplies you’ll need to protect your family, and it meets official Department of Homeland Security guidelines for emergency kits. Take our “Are You Ready?” survey to determine your precise preparedness needs based on the number of family members and pets living in your home, your children’s ages, your geographic area, and your commuting and travel demands.

In addition to taking the proper steps to ensure your family’s safety during a disaster or emergency, you need to make sure your community is prepared. After witnessing the federal, state and local response to a major disaster like Hurricane Katrina, it’s more important than ever to make your voice heard.

Dr. Steven Taylor, an associate professor of government at American University in Washington, DC, offers the following advice on community disaster preparedness.

1. Vote If You Want Your Emergency Preparedness Needs to Be Taken Seriously.

Use the ballot box to convey your disaster preparedness concerns.

“Many elected officials look up residents’ voting records before they decide whether or not to respond to a resident,” Dr. Taylor says. “People who vote in both primaries and general elections on the local, state and national levels are taken more seriously.

“Vote in every election!” he urges. “If you feel there are no candidates deserving of your vote, then you should simply appear at the polls, go inside the booth and then leave. This way, you are recorded as having voted.”

2. Support Candidates Who Are Dedicated to Disaster Preparedness.

As we learned from Hurricane Katrina, elected officials at the local, state and federal levels play a major role in how disaster response is managed.

If you’re concerned about your community’s emergency preparedness and response capabilities, put your support behind a candidate who echoes your views.

“Get involved in that campaign,” Dr. Taylor says. “Even if the candidate loses, volunteers are taken seriously by elected officials. A person who works on a campaign is seen as representing more than just himself or herself.”

3. Don’t Be Shy About Stating Your Emergency Preparedness Concerns

“Concerned citizens should show up at officials’ offices, get to know them and
their aides, write letters to them and hand-deliver them,” Dr. Taylor recommends. “I tell citizens to express their opinions about the issues at hand. Always express them in writing; then, they’re on file. But try to hand-deliver them so elected officials and their staff members get to know you.”

4. Attend Community Forums on Emergency Response

Community meetings allow you to express your concerns about emergency preparedness and disaster response to elected officials.

“When a citizen at a forum makes a statement and receives supportive comments from others in attendance, elected officials take pause and view this as a statement coming from a group of people—not just one individual,” Dr. Taylor says. “Community meetings are also a way for citizens to meet elected officials and high-level municipal and county appointees.”

Remember that 2006 is an election year. Take Dr. Taylor’s advice so your voice can be heard on the vital issues of disaster preparedness and emergency response. And remember to do your part: Purchase your disaster kit today to protect your family.

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California Businesses Prepare Employees for Emergencies with Purchase of American Family Safety Ready Kits http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/california-emergency-preparedness-employees.html http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/california-emergency-preparedness-employees.html#comments Thu, 15 Dec 2005 14:03:44 +0000 American Family Safety Press http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/california-emergency-preparedness-employees.html What Steps Has Your Office Taken to Protect Staff?

Toronto, Ontario (December 15, 2005) – In response to recent natural disasters, many organizations across the country are preparing their workplaces for emergencies. Most recently, two California businesses – Utility Vault of Northern Calif. and Thermage, Inc., of Hayward, Calif. near San Francisco – have emphasized the importance of employee safety through emergency kits. The companies recently purchased Ready Kits™ and Ready Tubes™ from American Family Safety to equip their employees with the items needed in case of an emergency at home and in the workplace.

The Ready Kit™ is a bright orange backpack containing all the items recommended by the Department of Homeland Security for a disaster readiness kit. The $49 kit includes a first-aid kit, flashlight, radio, three-day supply of food and water with a five-year shelf life, and other essential items. The $39 Ready Tube™ contains emergency supplies in a space-saving package that fits underneath employees’ desks. When completing checkout at www.americanfamilysafety.com, businesses also can choose from a list of charities where American Family Safety will donate a percentage of the sale.

“It was essential to make our safety a high priority by providing Ready Tubes™ for our employees as we spend a significant part of the week at the office,” said Chris Hawkins of Thermage. “If a disaster were to occur during the day, I feel that our office is now adequately prepared to handle an emergency situation.”

A record breaking number of hurricanes brought emergency preparedness into the spotlight in 2005. A national, independent survey from American Family Safety found that even after recent natural disasters, nearly half of all Americans report no change in their level of concern about how a disaster might affect them.

“It is important to realize that being prepared at home is simply not enough,” said Morley Ivers, president of American Family Safety. “With more and more time being spent at the office, it is vital for businesses to be prepared so that employees feel safe.”

Companies like Utility Vault and Thermage, Inc., realize the importance of protecting the health and wellness of their employees. American Family Safety encourages businesses to emphasize the safety of their employees by purchasing disaster readiness supplies for the entire office in case of an emergency. Visit www.americanfamilysafety.com for more information about emergency preparedness products and education.


About American Family Safety
American Family Safety is an international corporation that distributes emergency preparedness education materials and supplies. The company markets a 72-hour family emergency preparedness product called the Ready Kit™. American Family Safety was created to further the goals of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to equip Americans with the tools and knowledge needed in case of a disaster or emergency. For more information, or to order a kit, visit American Family Safety at www.americanfamilysafety.com.


For corporate or investor inquiries, contact:
Morley Ivers
President
American Family Safety, Inc.
Phone: 866-686-8400 ext. 222
Email: mivers@americanfamilysafety.com

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Prepare for an Emergency and Help a Good Cause:American Family Safety Donates Sale Portions to Charity http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/emergency-preparedness-donate-charity.html http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/emergency-preparedness-donate-charity.html#comments Thu, 08 Dec 2005 14:02:15 +0000 American Family Safety Press http://www.americanfamilysafety.com/emergency-preparedness/emergency-preparedness-donate-charity.html American Red Cross and Salvation Army are among participants for unique opportunity

Toronto, Ontario (December 8, 2005) – American Family Safety, a company that offers emergency preparedness supplies and education, launches a program to donate a percentage of every sale on their Web site to a charitable organization.

This holiday season, American Family Safety encourages people to prepare their families for an emergency by assembling or buying a disaster readiness kit such as their Ready KitTM. The bright orange backpacks include an emergency manual and family communications plan that will keep you informed, as well as protected. It also holds a three-day supply of food and water with a five-year shelf life, so families do not have to worry about spoilage.

People can feel good about taking an important step for their family’s safety and contributing to a charity with their purchase. A family can customize the Ready KitTM to meet their unique needs for $49 on the American Family Safety Web site, www.americanfamilysafety.com.

Charlotte Huddleston of Tennessee, who recently purchased two Ready Kits and donated to The Salvation Army, said, “with all of the need in the world today, it is nice to see a company that has a desire to give back to the community, as well as provide me with the Ready Kit to keep me prepared for an emergency.”

When completing checkout, an individual or business can choose from a list of charities to donate a percentage of the sale including:

  • American Red Cross;
  • Families of 9/11;
  • Breast Cancer Research Foundation;
  • Salvation Army;
  • Elton John’s AIDS Foundation;
  • Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) – a school marketing club;
  • Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) – a school healthcare club; and
  • Hadassah.

“It is an honor to support these deserving charities,” said Morley Ivers, managing director of American Family Safety. “In addition to our mission to prepare every American family for an emergency, we are also committed to helping those in need. This program helps families and the nonprofit organizations they support.”

A record breaking number of hurricanes brought emergency preparedness into the spotlight in 2005. A national, independent survey from American Family Safety in October found that even after recent natural disasters, nearly half of all Americans report no change in their level of concern about how a disaster might affect them. The survey also found that though 85 percent of Americans are concerned about family members in an emergency disaster situation, only 13 percent have an emergency kit with essential supplies.

Many American households do not meet the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) standards of emergency preparedness. The best chance of increasing survival during an emergency is to have a complete disaster readiness kit including all of the items listed by DHS, such as American Family Safety’s 72-hour Ready Kit.


About American Family Safety
American Family Safety is an international corporation that distributes Emergency Preparedness education materials and supplies. The company markets a 72-hour family emergency preparedness product called the Ready Kit™. American Family Safety was created to further the goals of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to equip Americans with the tools and knowledge needed in case of a disaster or emergency. For more information, or to order a kit, visit American Family Safety at www.americanfamilysafety.com.


For corporate or investor inquiries, contact:
Morley Ivers
President
American Family Safety, Inc.
Phone: 866-686-8400 ext. 222
Email: mivers@americanfamilysafety.com

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