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Emergency Services

Why did the shark cross the street? Because this video is fake.

Let’s address this shark swimming across the street in Maryland citing the most recent inland flooding.

This TikTok video was posted by multiple people and also has gathered the interest from various viewers on various social media platforms (Facebbok….I mean Meta, Instagram, Snap, etc…).

It seems that the video depicts a shark swimming on land across a residential street/roadway right in front of a motorist in Ocean City, Maryland.

While the posted comments are more of a tongue and cheek moment (#SharkWeek) – it does cause some alarm as the State of Maryland has seen some vicious flooding this past week.

Now I know what you are thinking….sharks in the subway or sharks on the highway or maybe even some humor with shark week. But in reality, there are some clues that anyone could apply and see that this video has been staged.

First off, the dorsal fin is propped upright…indicative of a shark type. But without a full picture, it’s hard to tell what kind of shark it is.

Second, while we do not need to know what kind of shark, we do know that sharks use their caudal fin aka tail fin in a side-to-side motion to propel them through the water. In concert with their side-to-side body motions, sharks are efficient swimmers and are very smooth.

Here’s just one article from Harvard on sharks and their propulsion. https://hmsc.harvard.edu/sharks

Not enough? Here’s an article from HowStuffWorks on sharks and how they swim. https://animals.howstuffworks.com/fish/sharks/shark2.htm – Take special note of the “tail is like the shark’s propeller.”

But wait, sharks have two sets of fins at the bottom. Could those be propelling them along? Nope. Those are for guidance, not propulsion. Additionally, some sharks have an anal fin on their underside. That is also used for guidance not as propulsion.

Third, the shark’s movement in the video is inconsistent with typical shark movements in the water. Esp with the tail fin drooping. Obv it’s hard to propel yourself with a droopy tail right?

In fact, if you watch closely, the shark’s movement is more associated with a human who is hand-pulling the shark’s carcass or what appears to be a shark’s body across the front of the vehicle. Like hand-over-hand, arms length movements, pulled from outside of camera view.

It is most apparent with the last 8 seconds of the video where the shark has a forward and backwards motion.

So by simple deduction, the video is fake with a human (off camera) pulling what appears to be a dead shark or replica of a shark.

More importantly, this kind of staged video is meant to gander likes/views on social media and serves no purpose on platforms as it incites fear and spreads mis-information.

If you are a seasoned PIO or community leader, investigate further and consider flagging this as inappropriate content that could add to fear, mis-information, and of course social media BS.

Consider sharing with your colleagues because we as professionals don’t have time for this kind of staged mis-information…esp during an emergency or crisis.


Wildlife dangers CHOMP CHOMP

While many of our outdoor activities are fun and exciting, let’s not forget that we are in the great outdoors and that we must be cognizant of dangers that may lurk out of sight.

Heed the warnings in the area as hidden wildlife that might be more than one can handle.

But seriously, you don’t want to get injured esp in a place that may not have immediate medical care. I don’t play with snakes but I definitely know anti-venom stuff is really hard to find.

Also worth noting that if your pet cannot handle the stresses of other animals and people (aka cannot act accordingly), consider leaving them home. No one likes a pet that thrashes up the place.

Vinz Clortho

It is also understood that you teach your kids about the safety and dangers of wildlife.

Do NOT become the news story yourself. Educate the youth of tomorrow with good information.

More stuff tomorrow!


Pay attention to safety briefings

As much of the US starts to return back into he normal flow of work, that means lots of travel for many of our friends and family.

Airplanes are just one way we can all be better prepared.

First off, look at the flight attendants as they give the briefing. I am sure they don’t like sharing life-saving info to someone not paying attention…esp since it could be their life.

Second, pay attention to your seating. I recently observed a gal on the plane verbally agree to “assisting during an emergency.” This was requested by the flight crew on a commercial flight. After the flight attendant walked away, said passenger said out loud to her seated partner “I ain’t doing anything so you better help out!”

Lastly, and most easiest, you can open the safety card. No reading involved, just pictures to jog your memory.

Just another way you can be better prepared for any kind of in-flight emergency.

Besides, your actions are contagious. When I opened my safety card, the guy next to me stared at me….and then without prompting, he reached and opened his card to review the materials. I thanked him for his conscious effort in safety for himself and others around him.

Better safe than sorry.

More stuff coming up!


Did someone say public alert sirens?

Did someone say public alert sirens?

While not as powerful as typical pole mounted tornado sirens, this is a perfect example of being creative in teaching children about the dangers of bad weather and what are some early warning signs and then what actions they need to take to keep them safe.

So often, we observe people running outside after hearing a #tornado siren…basically looking for the tornado. That is not good because once a tornado siren is going off, it’s means a tornado has been spotted. Seek shelter immediately!

Don’t let your kids build bad habits, teach them safety – the right way.
Teach them about weather, tornado sirens activation, and weather radios.
Consider using the hand-held siren to help kickstart lively discussions on tornado safety.

Besides, who doesn’t love to make some noise?!?!?
Related note: I’m putting in the requisition to the boss that I NEED this resource….

More fun tips to help teach kids about #disasters / #emergencies tomorrow.


Pet preparedness WITH kids help

Helping all family members including our pets! Kids can help get your family pets better prepared with their disaster readiness kits too. Giving your kids a sense of purpose and task to help your family pets get their preparedness items ready is a perfect way to spend a rainy night in!

Goes without saying, but we want to remind everyone that when told to evacuate, you should bring your pets with you.

Make sure you know which shelters can accommodate pets and animals.

Keep in mind that our family pets provide a moment of peace/normalcy for children who can easily be upset by the current emergencies or disasters.

Keep it together for #2021 #National #Preparedness Month!