Detailed warning information on upcoming weather threats and other hazards

Welcome to the third week of 2020 National Preparedness Month! This week, we will be addressing how to prepare for specific disasters.

Compared to other weeks where we talk about general topics, plans, and maybe some things in your kit, we will be talking about how you can get stuff ready for each type of emergency or disaster.

So to start out, let’s talk about information about upcoming disasters.

A solid tool that is almost indispensable is…..your cell phone!

That’s right, that little computer/smart phone in your pocket is a GREAT way that you can discern information and better respond to the emergency.

One easy way is to download the FEMA app.

See the source image

https://www.fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/app

The FEMA app has a ton of features that could be beneficial to your specific area. Specifically in the notification for five of your identified cities/county.

This feature provides the ability to see what’s going on in a certain area of the country. And since I travel, I always have the first slot in my list for home. This allows me to get any notification on stuff that could be happening at home.

The second, third, and fourth slot are for my family in Los Angles, Honolulu, and San Francisco. Gotta keep an eye on the family no matter where they are. Plus an extra set of eyes from another part of the country is beneficial esp if they are sleeping at 0300 and it’s 0800 here.

Since I travel a fair amount, I usually reserve slot #5 (the last slot) for my work travel. Even though I may not be from Central City, I will always know the latest in dangers in my travel city.

See the source image

From critical tornado warnings or immediate evacuation tsunami warnings – I know I’ll be prepared for my location(s) specific disaster or emergency.

All of the information provided to you….FREE. That’s right-all the details are available to you for free. App is free. No charge from FEMA to download the app. No monthly fee. No recurring administrative charges.

See the source image

Ahhhh, safety for free.

I got your back.

More free tips tomorrow addressing specific hazards.

Reporting live from the third week!

@rusnivek

My well labeled mugs for coffee and hydration

Last and final day of 2020 National Preparedness Month. All the best time to talk about your kits and stuff you gotta have in case of an emergency/disaster.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I am a staunch supporter of good travel mugs. My oldest mug is a Nissan Stainless mug from Japan that is about 25 years old and yes, it still keeps the coffee hot. However, I needed something that is spill proof as I usually keep things in my bellows pockets.

And the last thing I needed was to spill coffee in/on my pants.

See the source image

 

Stanley mugs that have been traveling and deploying out with me for the past 5 years. I usually carry two – one for my black coffee and the other for my water (also backup for coffee).

Best part? They have a lifetime warranty. LIFETIME BABY!  I can attest that if something breaks, Stanley has committed to replacing things for free. I’ve had several tops of the travel mugs mechanically fail from normal use. Stanley has replaced each of them immediately and for free. No question from me that they definitely stand behind their product.

It is worth noting that you should consider labeling all of your stuff. ALL of your stuff. Something that is easy to spot in a large area and unique.

Stuff gets lost or acquired or stolen….so make sure your stuff is labeled and easily identified.

I can spot my things from across a large room…even in the dark.

Hope this week’s tips helped you plan out a better kit and equipment.

Reporting live with my favorite preparedness kit…

@rusnivek

Enhance your kit with these individually wrapped things

Almost done with the 2nd week of 2020 National Preparedness week – so let’s enhance your preparedness kit a little more.

As you know, this week has been dedicated to your prep kits and diving into several avenues of that works and of course ways you can enhance your kit to make you more agile/nimble…give you a better chance.

Want an easy one for today?

Utensils.

In this day of trying to find better ways to be a bit more clean (thanks COVID), we need to be more aware of our hands and the things we touch. Therefore we should act like an advanced society and really use our utensils to max capacity.

Why You Should Let Your Baby Get Messy While Eating

Since all of us are doing our part and eating out a bit more (hopefully more local), take a moment and utilize those plastic utensil sets for your kits. Don’t decline or throw them away, USE THEM!

Most of them come individually wrapped and often are filled with a knife, fork, spoon, napkin, salt, and pepper. In fact, the fancier ones come with a wet-nap of some sort to help clean you up a bit.

(hint wing joints usually send their to-go orders with wet naps.

Now, let’s step up to the big leagues. Check this out from my friends at Mount Prospect Emergency Management (Illinois).

Handy dandy AND reusable. Legit sturdy utensil set that all packs up nicely in a ready to go pouch.

Look closely, you can see Mount Prospect EM subscribes to the Built a Kit – Make a Plan mantra.

Look, however you want to do it, having an extra set(s) of utensils could be a lifesaver for your preparedness kit. (FYI-the Mount Prospect EM utensil set legit lives in my preparedness kit)

Heck, if you use chopsticks, that’s totes fine with me too.

IntereSTING...: Goodbye, Mr. Miyagi

So get those extra utensils in play and enhance your kit!

Reporting live from the Village of Spork…HA!

@rusnivek

What does HumpDay have to do with your kit?

As we are in the middle of the second week of 2020 National Preparedness month, we should continue to talk about your preparedness kits. While yesterday’s kit was part of my deployment loadout, there are similarities between personal preparedness kit and professional deployment kits.

How timely of a topic since today is HUMP DAY!

One such item that is replicated in all of my kits is cash.

That’s right, dolla holla yo!

And quite literally, it’s specifically dollar bills y’all. All dollar bills! Look, before you start asking about the singles that are ready to mingle, think about it like this:

During the first outsets of a disaster where infrastructure is non-existent, power is not working, and cell service is out…all your precious credit cards, debit cards, and touchless pay methods will not work. Period.

So tried and true, cash talks. I deploy out with at least $200 in cash to supplement our operations.

Additionally, businesses may not have the capability to provide change so dollar bills will allow you to provide close monetary values for most products.

My esteemed colleague MaryJo Flynn is right, $2 bills would be good because it reduces your weight by 50%…aka 6 ounces. But regardless (or irregardless-eek), small bills/denominations are critical when prepping your kit.

Most definitely, don’t carry two $100 bill and expect change.

Some parts of the country still prefer cash so take that into consideration as you plan on the safety of your family and being able to provide for them during the first 72 hours of a disaster.

Now would be an excellent time to go to the bank and get your singles.

More easy tips tomorrow on your prep kit.

Reporting live and making it rain…..

@rusnivek

Without a doubt, you want to add this to your prep kit

Don’t bother looking, it’s still 2020 National Preparedness Month. As we start this work week, I realize many of you already have kits ready to go that include food for at least 72 hours.

GREAT!!!!! So proud of you.

Previous years, we’ve stressed the importance of having shelf-stable food per person for at least 3-days. And these MREs or Meals-Ready-To-Eat is a great example.

However, let’s be honest, MREs are NOT that delicious.

Well, maybe this one might be my new favorite.

(Special shout out to my Brothers from FEMA USAR Ohio Task Force-1 (OH-TF-1) on my new first out MRE)

But we also need to think about how you are going to augment that. An easy way to help support the lackluster food options in any disaster? Hot sauce.

And only one hot sauce supports weird 24-hour dietary needs with questionable shelf-stable requirements…Sriracha!

Sriracha has been supporting the palate needs of collegiate students for decades.

Here’s a quick video history on the Sriracha brand.

So this stuff is kinda magic on disasters and deployments. Basically anytime/anywhere.

How do I do it? If I am off to a stable deployment with more structure, I just take a simple bottle and throw it in my large duffel bag. Off we go!

However, if we are going into a contentious location where things may not be…the best, I will likely pack these guys.

Awwww yeah – single serving packets that help any meal anytime of the day. They can be carried on my person and discretely added to any meal. Additionally, the single serving can be helpful since carrying an entire bottle around might not be so….cool.

I see srircha as a necessity with the same importance of a can opener.

During our 2005 deployment to Hurricane Katrina/Rita, I remember food being quite terrible as our Task Force worked Louisiana’s Lower 9th Ward – St. Bernard Parish. Food was quite terrible and good hot sauce to mask bad tasting food was hard to find esp since everything was demolished there.

So get your self some hot sauce to augment your preparedness kits with your 3-days worth of shelf stable foods.

Keep it spicy folks!

Reporting live with my bag of deployment Srircha

@rusnivek

Chayne in the ATL! #SMEM

Trust me when I say the world of Social Media Emergency Management is small…because today, I got a chance to chat w/ Shayne Sparagowski in Atlanta.

Look who I found. Great to meet @chayne_s & have breakfast this morning. #EmergencyManagement is truly a small world. #smem #hsem

Shayne is an Emergency Manager out of the Atlanta-Fulton EMA in Georgia and like me, loves to talk about social media.

Hilariously, we talked more about Emergency Management specifically mass care/sheltering and a whole bunch about weather decision for large planned events. You know, typical Emergency Management talk huh?

Sounds like the spirit of Emergency Management is alive and well in Georgia as it was great to chat w/ Chayne!

Reporting live from the ATL…..

@rusnivek