Getting Inked? A few safety precautions

Woman-tattoos-back-animal-cat-tattoo-clipart

20% of us have tattoos and the number is growing. While it used to be primarily sailors and gangsters who were inked, the stigma of tattoos as “the mark of the bad boy” or girl, has changed dramatically in the past couple decades. Even the most respectable person may be sporting ink (70% of people with tattoos say that their tats are hidden by clothing).

If you’re thinking of joining the ranks of the tattooed, here are a few safety precautions you need to take.

  1. Make sure that you get the tattoo from a reputable, well established artist.
  2. Check out the studio before you make the appointment to get the tattoo. Make sure it’s clean, well-organized and sanitary. While this may not be a medical procedure, it does involve needles, the piercing of skin and blood.
  3. Make sure that all the single use, disposable equipment that’s going be used on you is sterile and that the packages are opened in front of you. Reused needles can infect you with any number of blood borne diseases like HIV or  Hepatitis.
  4. Educate yourself about the ink that’s going to be used to make sure that it isn’t part of a recalled batch. Infected ink can cause painful skin infections that require surgery. Unfortunately, at this time, tattoo ink is classified as a “cosmetic” so there aren’t any FDA standards in place. A batch of infected ink was the cause of as many as “27 possible cases of contamination-related infections in New York, Washington, Iowa and Colorado.” (source: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-22/lifestyle/sns-rt-us-tattoo-infectionsbre87l11p-20120822_1_tattoo-infections-tattoo-ink-tattoo-parlors)
  5. Make sure the artist is wearing gloves and that he changes them any time he touches something that might be infected (which is pretty much anything except the tool he’s using).
  6. Once you’ve gotten the tattoo, make sure to keep the area clean for a few days. Treat it like a cut or scrape and keep it covered with a sterile, non-stick bandage.

One final piece of advice… Make sure that the tattoo you are getting is something you really can’t live without because you will, in fact be living with it the rest of your life. You may think that the person you’re with now will be your soul mate for life but all of us do and yet half of marriages end in divorce and relationships before marriage have an even higher failure rate. Breakups and divorces are painful enough, don’t add the physical pain of a tattoo removal procedure to the emotional one.


Through a Rapists Eyes

It seems that a lot of attackers use some tactic to get away with violence. Not many people know how to take care of themselves when faced with such a situation. Everyone should read this especially each n every girl in this world.

A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:

  1. The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle.They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun! , braid, or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.
  2. The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women who’s clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.
  3. They also look for women using their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.
  4. The number one place women are abducted from and attacked at is grocery store parking lots.
  5. Number two is office parking lots/garages.
  6. Number three is public restrooms.
  7. The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.
  8. If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.
  9. These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas,or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.
  10. Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it.

POINTS THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER:

  1. If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk:  “I can’t believe it is so cold out here, we’re in for a bad winter”. Now that you’ve seen their faces and could identify them in a line-up, you lose appeal as a target.
  2. If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell Stop or Stay back! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they’d leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.
  3. If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,) yelling I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.
  4. If someone grabs you, you can’t beat them with strength but you can do it by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh – HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it really hurts.
  5. After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause him a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble, and he’s out of there.
  6. When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.
  7. Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don’t dismiss it, go with your instincts. You may feel little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.

FINALLY, PLEASE REMEMBER THESE AS WELL ….

    1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do it.
    2. Learned this from a tourist guide to New Orleans : if a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you…. chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!
    3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.
    4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping,eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON’T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side,put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU CLOSE the DOORS , LEAVE.
    5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
      • Be aware: look around your car as someone may be hiding at the passenger side , peek into your car, inside the passenger side floor, and in the back seat. ( DO THIS TOO BEFORE RIDING A TAXI CAB) .
      • If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
      • Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!

8. women usually trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked “for help” into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.


Health and Safety Alert- Hantavirus Awareness and Tips

Summer brings increased exposure risk to Hantavirus

With warmer weather comes more animal activity as the animal kingdom shakes off its winter coat for springtime activity. And with this activity comes the increased possibility of humans becoming exposed to Hantavirus. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in the virus. The deer mouse is the main culprit that carries the virus.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a severe respiratory illness that can be deadly. It is caused by the Sin Nombre virus, one of a family of viruses that is found worldwide. It can be transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva.

Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States. Although rare, HPS is potentially deadly. Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary strategy for preventing Hantavirus infection.

What Are The Symptoms of HPS?

Early symptoms

Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in the large muscle groups-thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. These symptoms are universal.

There may also be headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. About half of all HPS patients experience these symptoms.

Late symptoms

Four to 10 days after the initial phase of illness, the late symptoms of HPS appear. These include coughing and shortness of breath, with the sensation of, as one survivor put it, a “…tight band around my chest and a pillow over my face” as the lungs fill with fluid.

Uncommon symptoms

Earache, sore throat, runny nose, and rash are very uncommon symptoms of HPS.

How long after contracting the virus do symptoms appear?

Due to the small number of HPS cases, the “incubation time” is not positively known. However, on the basis of limited information, it appears that symptoms may develop between 1 and 5 weeks after exposure to urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents. Although there is no specific treatment for Hantavirus, chances for recovery are better if medical attention is sought early.

To protect yourself, avoid contact with mice and other rodents. Other important steps are:

Because the virus is spread when virus-containing particles are stirred up into the air, an essential HPS prevention tactic in areas showing signs of rodents is to avoid actions that raise dust and to carefully wet the area down with disinfectant (Lysol or 10% bleach mixture). The less chance the virus has to get into the air, the less chance it will be breathed in.

To protect yourself, avoid contact with mice and other rodents. Other important steps are:
· Air out closed up buildings before entering. Seal up homes so mice can’t enter and trap mice until they are all gone.
· Clean up nests and droppings using a disinfectant, and rubber gloves. Use a protective mask to minimize inhalation.

While Camping or Hiking
Travel to wilderness locations need not be restricted but it is advisable to follow certain precautions.

  1. Try to avoid coming into contact with rodents and rodent burrows or disturbing nests.
  2. Be aware of cabins or other enclosures unless they have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
  3. Keep food and water in rodent proof containers
  4. Use only bottled water or water that has been disinfected by boiling, chlorination or iodination for drinking, washing dishes and brushing teeth. Filtration is not adequate for the decontamination of water that may contain this virus.Use one of the following methods to decontaminate water:
    • Chlorination: 1-2 drops of fresh household bleach (5%) per liter of water (if water is clear). If water is cloudy use 2-4 drops of bleach. Thoroughly mix the bleach and water in a clean container and allow to stand for not less than 20 minutes. If water is very cold, double the standing time.
    • Boiling: 5 minutes should be sufficient. This is the easiest and most effective method as it kills all known pathogens.
    • Iodination: 5 drops of iodine (2% tincture) per liter of water (if water is clear). If water is cloudy use 10 drops of iodine. Thoroughly mix in a clean container and let stand for at least 30 minutes. If water is very cold, the effectiveness of this method will decrease so let stand for an hour or more.
      Do not drink water treated with iodine for more than a few days at a time

Seal it, Trap it, Clean it! They are the best countermeasures for Hantavirus prevention.

Total Cases: 587 (Cumulative case count per state valid as of March 9 2012)
State Cases
Arizona 64
California 48
Colorado 76
Florida 1
Idaho 25
Illinois 2
Indiana 2
Iowa 7
Kansas 16
Louisiana 1
Maine 1
Minnesota 2
Montana 31
Nebraska 7
Nevada 20
New Mexico 90
New York 4
North Carolina 1
North Dakota 10
Oklahoma 2
Oregon 14
Pennsylvania 4
South Dakota 14
Texas 37
Utah 24
Vermont 1
Virginia 1
Washington 42
West Virginia 3
Wisconsin 1
Wyoming 13
Unknown 27
For more information about Hantavirus, call 800-879-3421(National), 505-827-0006(NM) or 800-252-8239(TX) or checkout websites www.nmhealth.org or www.cdc.gov

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

keno@plateautel.com


Tornado Awareness Safety Tips

March is the fifth year anniversary (March 23) of the Clovis and Logan tornados. With the recent deadly tornado outbreak this week in the Midwest, we can officially say Tornado and Severe Weather season is here, it may not seem like it in Eastern NM and West Texas because of the warm temperatures and drought, but it is that time of year. Storms have devastated parts of Branson Missouri, Illinois, and other parts of the United States already this year. Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard.

Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible.

With severe weather season here, New Mexico and Texas Local Emergency Management, Local TV Weather Stations and the National Weather Service want you to be prepared for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Take some time to make a tornado plan for your family, friends and co-workers. (See the Safety Matters Website for your Designated Tornado Location)  Planning ahead will lower the chance of injury or even death in the event a tornado strikes. Again, Tornadoes can occur with little or no warning. You may have only a minute’s time to make life-or-death decisions. It is important to know the basics of tornado safety so that you can survive should one strike. (Clovis, Logan, Plainview, Roswell, Clayton and Tucumcari all have had tornados in the past years)

Listen to the local radio, local television, The Weather Channel, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio for information or our Alert Siren at Clovis HQ.

A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for the formation of a Tornado.

A Tornado Warning means a Tornado/Funnel Cloud has been spotted or is indicated on Doppler radar by the National Weather Service.

If you are under a Tornado WARNING, seek shelter immediately!

 THERE IS NO GUARANTEED SAFE PLACE
DURING A TORNADO.
DO NOT WATCH
THE TORNADO.

WHEN THE SIRENS GO OFF, DO NOT RUN
OUTSIDE TO SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING.

THE SIREN MEANS YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE
DANGER. SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY.

YOUR LIFE AND THE LIVES OF THOSE AROUND
YOU MAY DEPEND ON YOUR ACTIONS.

 Don’t wait until a warning is issued to begin planning how you will respond. Take responsibility for your safety.

  • Have a plan.
  • Meet with household members and co workers to discuss how to respond to an approaching tornado.
  • Learn how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches.
  • The safest place to be during a tornado is underground in a basement or storm cellar.
  • If you have no basement, go to an interior hallway or smaller interior room without windows, such as a bathroom or closet.
  • Go to the center of the room.
  • Get under something sturdy such as a table.
  • Curl up in a ball using your hands and arms to protect your head and neck.

Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable to damage from high winds. Residents, even those who live in mobile homes with tie-downs, should seek safe shelter when a tornado threatens. Go to a prearranged shelter when the weather turns bad. If you live in a mobile home park, talk to management about the availability of a nearby shelter. If no shelter is available, go outside and lie on the ground, if possible in a ditch or depression. Use your arms to protect your head and neck and wait for the storm to pass. While waiting, be alert for the flash floods that sometimes accompany tornadoes.

Never try to outrun a tornado in a car. A tornado can toss cars and trucks around like toys. If you see a funnel cloud or hear a tornado warning issued, get out of your vehicle and find safe shelter. If no shelter is available, lie down in a low area using your arms to cover the back of your head and neck. Be sure to stay alert for flooding.

Hail indicators and Tornados. A lot of tornado storms have hail as a good indicator as to likelihood of a tornado in a hail storm here are a few indicators to look for:

Dime size hail                            5-10 % chance of a tornado forming in this storm

Quarter size hail             20-25% chance of a tornado forming in this storm

Golf ball size hail                       40-50% chance of a tornado forming in this storm (RED FLAG You should start watching for any rotation with these storms)

Baseball or larger size hail       80-90% chance of a tornado forming in this storm (EXTREME CAUTION tornados are VERY PROBABLE with these storms)

How Do Tornadoes Form?

 Before thunderstorms develop, a change in wind direction and an increase in wind speed with increasing height create an invisible, horizontal spinning effect in the lower atmosphere.  Rising air within the thunderstorm updraft tilts the rotating air from horizontal to vertical.  An area of rotation, 2-6 miles wide, now extends through much of the storm. Most strong and violent tornadoes form within this area of strong rotation.

Woodward OKA lower cloud base in the center of the photograph identifies an area of rotation known as a rotating wall cloud. This area is often nearly rain-free. Note rain in the background.

Woodward OKMoments later a strong tornado develops in this area. Softball-size hail and damaging “straight-line” winds also occurred with this storm.

Tornadoes Cause Damage in Three Ways.

Strong Winds

The strong winds of a tornado can rip just about anything off of the ground including trees, vehicles, and even houses. The winds inside of tornadoes travel at over 310 miles per hour. Even weak tornadoes can pull shingles and siding off houses.

Debris

The second damaging effect of tornadoes is actually from the debris that the storm picks up. People have been buried alive by houses or mud picked up and then dropped by a tornado. Smaller objects become damaging projectiles when thrown by tornadoes. One tornado took a broom handle and penetrated through an oak tree!

Hail and Lightning

It is not only the wind that causes damage in a tornado, but also the hail and lightning that the storm produces. Large hailstones can damage cars or property and injure people and lighting can cause fires and electrical problems.

Be alert to what is happening outside. Here are some tornado danger signs:

  • If there is a watch or warning posted, falling hail should be considered as a danger sign.
  • An approaching cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado, even if a funnel is not visible.
  • Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still.
  • Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

Here is a quick reference chart to use to take shelter before or during a tornado:

If you are in:

Then:

A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building) Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.DO NOT open your windows! You won’t save the house, as once thought, and you may actually make things worse by giving wind and rain a chance to get inside.
A vehicle, trailer, or mobile home Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes. Cars are no match for these powerful winds. For tornadoes, get out of your car immediately and seek shelter. Don’t try to race it. Tornadoes are fast and very erratic. If you can’t find shelter, find a low-lying area, lie flat and cover your head. You’re safer out of your car than in it. Over half the people killed in previous years tried to seek shelter in cars!!!
The outside with no shelter Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.

Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.

Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

Tornado Facts

Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air extending from severe thunderstorms to the ground.

Tornadoes usually are preceded by very heavy rain and possibly hail. If hail falls from a thunderstorm, it is an indication that the storm has large amounts of energy and may be severe. In general, the larger the hailstones, the more potential for damaging thunderstorm winds and/or tornadoes.

The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction, with wind speeds of 250 M.P.H. or more.

An average tornado damage path is one to two miles long, but can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.

Widths vary considerably during a single tornado, from less than ten yards to more than a mile, but typically are about 50 yards wide.

The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, though tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.

The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 m.p.h. but may vary from nearly stationary to 70 m.p.h.

Tornadoes can occur throughout the year; however, the peak season in New Mexico and Texas is March through June.

Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., but have been known to occur at all hours of the day or night.

The NWS is now using Doppler weather radar to sense the air movement within thunderstorms. Early detection of increasing rotation aloft within a thunderstorm can allow time for lifesaving warnings before the tornado forms.

The Great Plains of the Central United States are uniquely suited to bring all of these ingredients together, and so have become known as “Tornado Alley.” The main factors are the Rocky Mountains to the west, the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and a terrain that slopes downward from west to east.

During the spring and summer month’s southerly winds prevail across the plains. At the origin of those south winds lie the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, which provide plenty of warm, humid air needed to fuel severe thunderstorm development. Hot dry air forms over the higher elevations to the west, and becomes the cap as it spreads eastward over the moist Gulf air. Where the dry air and the Gulf air meet near the ground, a boundary known as a dry line forms to the west of Oklahoma. A storm system moving out of the southern Rockies may push the dry line eastward, with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes forming along the dry line or in the moist air just ahead of it.

Below are two maps of average tornado wind speeds and recent (2011) tornado activity:

Photo: Clovis NM Tornado Damage March 2007

Tornado StatisticsDr. T. Theodore Fujita first introduced The Fujita Scale in the SMRP Research Paper, Number 91, published in February 1971 and titled, “Proposed Characterization of Tornadoes and Hurricanes by Area and Intensity“. Fujita revealed in the abstract his dreams and intentions of the F-Scale. He wanted something that categorized each tornado by intensity and area. The scale was divided into categories:

A modification of the original Fujita Scale developed by “Dr. Tornado”, T. Theodore Fujita of the University of Chicago.

New EF Scale:

Old F-Scale:

Typical Damage:

EF0 (65-85 mph)

F0 (65-73 mph)

Light damage. Peels surface off some roofs; some damage to gutters or siding; branches broken off trees; shallow-rooted trees pushed over.

EF1 (86-110 mph)

F1 (73-112 mph)

Moderate damage. Roofs severely stripped; mobile homes overturned or badly damaged; loss of exterior doors; windows and other glass broken.

EF2(111-135 mph)

F2 (113-157 mph)

Considerable damage. Roofs torn off well-constructed houses; foundations of frame homes shifted; mobile homes completely destroyed; large trees snapped or uprooted; light-object missiles generated; cars lifted off ground.

EF3 (136-165 mph)

F3 (158-206 mph)

Severe damage. Entire stories of well-constructed houses destroyed; severe damage to large buildings such as shopping malls; trains overturned; trees debarked; heavy cars lifted off the ground and thrown; structures with weak foundations blown away some distance.

EF4 (166-200 mph)

F4 (207-260 mph)

Devastating damage. Whole frame houses Well-constructed houses and whole frame houses completely leveled; cars thrown and small missiles generated.

EF5 (>200 mph)

F5 (261-318 mph)

Incredible damage. Strong frame houses leveled off foundations and swept away; automobile-sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 m (109 yd); high-rise buildings have significant structural deformation; incredible phenomena will occur.

EF No rating

F6-F12 (319 mph to speed of sound)

Inconceivable damage. Should a tornado with the maximum wind speed in excess of F5 occur, the extent and types of damage may not be conceived. A number of missiles such as iceboxes, water heaters, storage tanks, automobiles, etc.will create serious secondary damage on structures.


Photo: Clovis NM Tornado Damage March 2007

Severe Weather Preparations

Everyone should consider the following tornado/high wind tips:

Stock disaster supplies: portable phones, batteries, radio, flashlight, first aid kit, essential medicines, food, water, cash, camera, film, generator, fuel, chainsaw, sand bags, tarps.

Learn how and when to call 911, police, or the fire department and which radio station to tune for emergency information. Teach responsible parties how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.

Protect property:

Trim dead and weak branches from trees.

Bring in trash cans, lawn furniture, etc.

Clean gutters and drains.

Check roof flashing to ensure the entire roof perimeter is securely fastened.

Review your insurance policy to verify that all buildings are listed.

Establish agreements with contractors for supplies and repairs.

Photograph both building and content damage for insurance claims.


Photo: Clovis NM Tornado Damage March 2007

The aftermath

By listening to your portable radio, you’ll know when the windstorm is over (if you don’t have a radio, wait at least one half-hour after all is quiet to make sure that the storm is over). There is much to do in the aftermath of a tornado. Knowing what to do, and when, will save you time and money and help ensure your family’s safety.

Watch for potential hazards. A major storm creates a number of dangers of which you should be aware.
Weakened roads or bridges.
Broken or damaged power lines (electric, gas, etc.)
Broken glass, splintered wood and other sharp, dangerous objects.
Be smart and safe with food. Refrigerated foods will spoil quickly when electricity is out. Eat perishable foods before they get a chance to spoil. Save dry and canned foods (which have long shelf lives) for later. Also, if you keep the freezer closed, “frozen” foods will keep for several days.
Be safe about water. There is a chance that your water may be contaminated. Listen to the radio for reports and carefully inspect your water. Your best bet is to have several gallons of bottled water on hand. On the average, keep three gallons of water per family member. This will hold you for at least three days. That should be more than enough.Suggestions for a Family Disaster Supplies Kit

Essentials:

  • Battery-operated radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Water
  • High calorie, non-perishable food
  • First Aid kit (one for your home and one for each car)
  • Prescription and non-prescription drugs
  • Tools and supplies (paper cups, utility knife, hammer, matches, etc.)
  • Supplies to maintain sanitation (toilet paper, paper towels, household chlorine bleach)
  • Clothing and bedding
  • Necessities for babies or small children
  • Necessities for pet
  • Important family documents
  • Entertainment (games and books)

Non-perishable contents should be changed or replaced every six months.

Other Safety issues

  • Be aware of new safety issues created by the disaster. Watch for washed out roads, contaminated buildings, contaminated water, gas leaks, broken glass, damaged electrical wiring, and slippery floors.
  • Inform local authorities about health and safety issues, including chemical spills, downed power lines, washed out roads, smoldering insulation, and dead animals
  • Open cabinets. Be alert for objects that may fall.
  • Clean up household chemical spills. Disinfect items that may have been contaminated by raw sewage, bacteria, or chemicals. Also clean salvageable items.
  • Appliances. If appliances are wet, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Then, unplug appliances and let them dry out. Have appliances checked by a professional before using them again. Also, have the electrical system checked by an electrician before turning the power back on.
  • Use battery­ powered flashlights when examining buildings—do NOT use candles.
  • Keep all of your animals under your direct control
  • Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance claims.

Recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. Safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being. Knowing what to do in case of one of these weather related events is the first step to survival during a weather disaster. Remember Safety ABC’s this Spring Severe Weather Season. Always, Be Careful. Safety First, Safety Always

Want to learn more come attend Spring Severe Weather Hazards Presentation by Amarillo KVII Chief Meteorologist Steve Kersh in Clovis on March 28st either at 9:00-10:00 am or 10:00-11:00 am at our Fishbowl.

Additionally, there will be a free storm spotter’s course March 20th in Clovis and Portales. If you are interested please contact me I will get you the information.

 

 Photo: Clovis NM Tornado Damage March 2007

SAFETY FIRST, SAFETY ALWAYS!

 

Information provided by Albq National Weather Service (Kerry Jones), NOAA and KVII Channel 7 Amarillo Chief Meteorologist Steve Kersh

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

koswald@plateautel.com