Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Something's up in Yellowstone

The headline, "Scientists eye unusual swarm of Yellowstone quakes" pretty much sums it up--apparently there is an eyebrow-raising amount of seismic activity taking place in certain areas of Yellowstone. Depending on where you live in Idaho, and which way the wind blows if/when something serious happens, such activity could affect you and yours. Are you prepared?

Awhile ago, I received notification through family e-mail about a group buying gloves and masks to improve their emergency preparation supplies, a portion of which is reproduced here:

"Why do we need masks? After an earthquake there is a lot of dust raised and it will have a lot of nasty things in it. The N95 rating means about 95% of stuff will not go thru the mask. You may want to get the standard masks for working when things are settled down but the respirators with a valve will let you work comfortably for a long time and should be considered an essential part of every CERT kit and probably for each person's 72-144 hour kit as well. "

I did not participate in the group order, but I have obtained the information about the website with the products they were interested in , some of which can be found here. I provide this site not for advertising purposes, but to give you a starting point for researching such items, if you are interested--everyone needs to figure out what will work the best for their own situations. This link will provide a list on the same site for gloves. In the above mentioned e-mail, note was made that those who are allergic to latex would need to order vinyl gloves, and this information was given:

"Gloves are an obvious need. I have both of these types so you can have for in the house needs and then the very difficult to puncture, 16 mil ones for really dirty work inside or outside.

As you make out your order carefully consider who in your family will need these and for how long. After a disaster or during an epidemic or pandemic even pre-teens will be doing work cleaning you wouldn't expect them to do now, so they too will need protection."

It is worthy of noting that in the news article linked above, there is this quotation:

"There doesn't seem to be anything to be alarmed about," Vallie said."

So why am I bringing this up? Well, the thing about emergencies is that they aren't always expected, and while in this article, there is also this to consider,

"Could it develop into a bigger fault or something related to hydrothermal activity? We don't know. That's what we're there to do, to monitor it for public safety."

note that the experts on this sort of thing are there for public safety. We, however, are responsible for our own personal safety, as well as the safety of those for whom we are responsible. If something along the lines of an earthquake/volcano eruption occurs that affects the safety of our air, maybe someone who's concerned with public safety will be there to hand out masks/gloves/name your emergency need to help you. But if you can't breathe, how long can you stand in line?

What if nothing happens, and you don't need masks and/or gloves for this particular scenario? Store them away, hope you never have to use them, and be glad when you don't. However, these sorts of emergency items would be helpful at the very least when you have sickness that you want to avoid contracting, when you need to care for someone who is ill, or when you need to clean up after another sort of emergency. I don't have masks or gloves yet, but they're on my list now... hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst... :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Post 1--Finding information is good preparation

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in Idaho .

--From an e-mail I received, where this and other humorous statements were attributed to Jeff Foxworthy. If I quote this e-mail again, (and I probably will) I will likely only list them from Jeff Foxworthy. Wheww... glad that's done. It was a pretty funny e-mail.

Ok, so the title isn't so exciting, but at least it's accurate. I thought I would share for the blog's debut post a little info that my husband shared with me about learning about road conditions in the state of Idaho. If you go to the Idaho Transportation Department website, you can get immediate information on road conditions around the entire state. As I write this, there are a lot of "alert" symbols dotting our fair roadways, which is not surprising considering the time of year. What is surprising is that apparently some fairly optimistic individuals still have roadwork signs up... Whatever the case is in your area, don't get caught in a situation where you run into a closed road that you could have avoided if you had prepared with the proper information. Of course, weather can change quickly, so it's good to have preparedness items in your car in case of an emergency, which would be good information for another post. Find out what the road conditions are for where you are and where you are going--you know what they say about prevention...

For those not in Idaho, I would not be surprised that information like the above is available in your state as well. On the original list that I saw, I saw some other states' information listed, so it would be worth checking out for your area.

I am hoping that I will be able to link to websites of other people in Idaho who are interested in sharing emergency preparation information. Let me know that you are out there, and we'll try to get everyone better prepared--many times information that begins as being specific to Idaho will also be helpful to others around the country and world as well.

Check out the road report before you drive--drive safely, and drive prepared. The e-mail quoted above also says:

If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Idaho . ---Jeff Foxworthy

But who wants to if you don't have to? There's information out there that can make life easier, if you take the time to find it.