Cold Wave – beyond Cold Weather Action to Personal Preparedness

Have you seen some of the lovely snow and ice pictures floating around on social media since yesterday? This blog about Cold Weather Preparedness is the exact opposite from my earlier post on Heatwave – beyond Heat Health Watch to Personal Preparedness back in June. Since we are pretty firmly on a path where we need to Prepare for a world that’s more than 2°C warmer  which translates into more frequent and severe weather events, personal preparedness really does make a lot of sense. You can take pro-active steps to be better prepared and stay well and healthy also with regards to being #WinterReady.  So….

What is personal preparedness for a cold wave?

First, it’s about being informed which then means you can get better prepared. Let’s break this down and a good example here is this post from the Northamptonshire Emergency Planning Team. Take a closer look at the graphic:

The UK’s MetOffice issues Cold Weather Action alerts as part of ‘Cold Weather Health Watch’.  This system operates in England from the 1 November to 31 March every year and runs in association with Public Health England.

Currently there is a level three AMBER warning in place which for the authorities means that social and healthcare services must execute specific actions with regards to high-risk population groups such as the very young, the elderly or those with certain chronic health conditions. What exactly happens on the government side, you can find out on the Cold Weather Plan for England. Importantly, you can take personal steps to be better prepared.

Cold weather can mean snow and ice which, if you’re out may look like this

Naturally, it makes a lot of sense to prepare yourself and your vehicle properly before setting out. Stay updated on the weather and road conditions and allow for plenty of time. This blog, naturally, recommends proper winter driving preparedness, for example:

 

… and listen to Dave, he has excellent advice for the enthusiastic:

In addition, preparing properly for a Cold Wave also concerns your home; for example see our info page on severe winter preparedness.  Keep in mind that freezing temperatures, snow and ice have other consequences, such as power cuts  which may also impact your home food safety .  Therefore, you may want to consider some basic shelter-in-place measures and stocking the right emergency food which you can prepare and enjoy even when utilities become disrupted.
Keeping warm is key during a cold weather alert. There are easy and simple steps you can take to stay safe at home and when going out:

  •  keep your main rooms heated, use extra blankets
  •  take extra care with electrical items and be #FireSafety aware
  • dress in layers and keep active
  • take extra care when out and about to avoid accidents
  • stay #weatheraware, have the right kit and supplies

Finally, a super

TOP TIP for Cold Weather preparedness

… and you will laugh for it’s a very small thing. Carry an emergency foil blanket in your backpack or handbag. It’s cheap, hardly takes up space nor adds weight and is a potential is a life saver. And that, by the way, applies for small business too which should always stock emergency blankets as part of their business preparedness.

And so I leave you with a couple of lovely winter images and wish you a warm and prepared rest of the week and a cosy and safe weekend #StaySafe #bePrepared.

Monika

 

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Emergency Preparedness: #WinterReady 2017, how to be better informed (and get the right kit but that’s just an aside)

Pull up and get cosy :-) Let’s take a look at #WinterReady

Today the Met Office re-launched their ‘get ready for winter’ campaign which includes ‘thinking about a winter kit for your car’. Naturally, those of you who are familiar with this blog and website will already know our section on Winter Driving . If you are new, then a warm welcome and please do check out the links given as well as the navigation both on the right and top. Obviously (but then I’m biased) I strongly advise to go beyond just thinking but to act and get better prepared, especially when it concerns #roadsafety: driving and being #winterready is more than just a thought experiment 😉

What does it actually mean to be #WinterReady?

Well, that depends on who you ask of course. What the Met Office’s 12 point list nicely shows, however, is that being #WinterReady covers quite a bit of ground. According to them, this ranges from health, to securing your property, to staying safe on the road and expecting severe weather. Another way of looking at preparedness is via consequences, something I’ve touched upon in what you must plan and prepared for.

What you must keep in mind above all in this is that …

Being informed is key to being #WinterReady and better preparedness

Today, rather than going on about the particulars of emergency kits, I want to focus on what personal preparedness and #WinterReady looks like from the point of view of being informed.

“But we are all informed all the time” I hear you say and you are right, we are indeed connected like never before. However, the really astonishing fact is that while so many of us are plugged in and networked up we have rarely done so with regards to emergency preparedness. Only relatively few people actually know and use quality apps or follow crucial social media accounts.

There is a lot of awareness raising going on this time of the year by outreach programmes such as last Sunday during #HamptonshireDay by their inspiring and engaging Local Resilience Forum team …

 

… or like today by Local Councils and NGO’s such as The FloodAdvisory in Bolton during half term

Events such as these are brilliant yet only reach a limited number of people. Studies have shown that following leaflet distribution, approximately 10% of people changed their behaviour and engaged in one or more preparedness activities1. This is promising. Now imagine the reach and impact if this is done on social media where people can subscribe for free and receive relevant information and reminders.

How and where to sign up for crucial preparedness information was one of the key topics during #prep2017day23 of this years ‘September is Preparedness’ campaign @30days30waysUK. And so here are the

top social media accounts to be better #prepared  and #winterready

Twitter alerts shares critical information in times of crisis via key accounts, make sure you follow and sign up to alerts from:

In addition, it is recommended you follow twitter accounts such as your service providers (water, gas, electricity), local council and local resilience forum. Find out through them if your local area has an active #FloodAction group and then connect with them; for example

Facebook has a function called safety check which automatically activates during an emergency, for example, during the recent attacks in Manchester and London.

Flood warnings by email: you can also sign up to receive flood warnings via email

In addition there are many FREE APPS that are highly recommended for better preparedness. All of them are free and excellent quality which is why it is puzzling that not more people are using them:

 

Top picks for FREE UK emergency preparedness apps

30days30waysUK.org.uk is not an app but a brilliant hub and FREE campaign for all things preparedness. You can jump in anytime to do your own 30days30ways for better preparedness all year round and don’t miss ‘September is Preparedness Month 2018’. Follow them @30days30waysUK. They spring into action again next August..

For more tips check out #prep2017day23 and look through the posts and replies. You can also find a fun collection on pinterest by heading to preparedAPP.

So, what are you waiting for?

Take your pick and sign-up, download those free apps and get to test-driving them. It’s not only fun but actually hugely useful and gets you better #PREPARED and #WinterReady.

Have a nice rest of the week.

Monika

 

Reference

1  Marshall, R.J., Petrone, L., Takach, M.J., Sansonetti, S., Wah-Fitta, M., Bagnall-Degos, A. and Novais, A., 2007. Make a kit, make a plan, stay informed: Using social marketing to change the population’s emergency preparedness behavior. Social Marketing Quarterly13(4), pp.47-64.

More studies and resources available via 30days30waysUK.org.UK/partners page, see practitioners resources via google docs.

 

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UK Emergency Preparedness: hygiene and emergency sanitation

So, you have hygiene covered in your emergency grab bag and your shelter-in-place kit.  You know about water purification and can tick all those boxes in your personal emergency preparedness plan. That’s great …. but actually not quite good enough aka not quite right, a familiar ‘Goldilocks’ reference for those that are regular visitors to this blog.

Let’s take a closer look. Hygiene and sanitation during emergencies or disasters have been in the news (again!) lately. Abigail Brown asks the right question:

.. and here is why this is important: flood waters carry and then deposit dangerous bacteria and toxic chemicals

tragically, for some, these problem can seem never ending and, unbelievably, it’s not just a developing world problem

https://twitter.com/ALT_uscis/status/907807813476515842

Contamination raises very serious concerns:

Now you may think these things don’t happen ‘at home’ here in the UK. Cholera (and typhoid, dysentery, diarrhea…illnesses from molds)  is a threat of the past in the UK you may say. In that case I recommend you take a closer look at Cholera and the Thames so brilliantly put together by Westminster Archives with the help of interns and volunteers.  Back when and I quote “Bazalgette’s foresight provided a sewage system that has served London well up to now. Today, however, the system is struggling to cope with the demands of 21st century London.” And that’s in good times, not during an emergency or disaster such as security threats, serious storms and flooding.

Listen to Mary Dhonau, she has been there, she knows:

Now, while the best sanitation system does not exist (do explore that link!) it does not mean that household preparedness is powerless. On the contrary. It is crucial that households are better prepared precisely so that there is less of an overall impact when an emergency or disaster occurs.

Household preparedness for emergency sanitation is easy

US Homeland Security News has some of the best advice online while the CDC compares immediate term sanitation solutions. In summary:

  • water flush toilets cannot be used when water service is interrupted
  • do not flush toilets or dig holes; untreated raw sewage is a serious health hazard
  • store a large supply of different size heavy-duty plastic bags (min 1 bag per person per day), disinfectant, toilet paper
  • consider portable camp toilets, small trashcans or sturdy buckets with tight fitting lids lined with heavy duty plastic bags are an alternative
  • safe disposal; wait for collections and/or instructions of the authorities

All the above applies during emergencies and disasters but also in their aftermath. Recovery can take (a lot of!) time depending on the severity. Cleaning up safely is hugely important and will be covered in another blog. For now I wanted to share this tweet from the NYtimes which has a useful summary so check out their article and further resources links:

Why am I writing about all this? Well, because from where I stand I see UK households woefully unprepared and that’s why the topic ‘hygiene’ in this year’s 30days30waysUK campaign #prep2017day20 has been expanded to include emergency sanitation for household preparedness.

September is Preparedness Month is now in full swing. 30days30waysUK is a brilliant FREE campaign on twitter and facebook you can join anytime. Check it out!

Be #prepared – not scared:  #WinterReady

Have a great week!

Be prepared, not scared.

Monika
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Emergency Preparedness and Food Safety in the UK

The last thing you need after an emergency such as severe weather and flooding which has knocked out your power supply is food poisoning.  Knowing what to do before, during and after a powercut, brownout or blackout is important to avoid potentially serious health problems.

Food Safety in an Emergency: it’s all about time and temperature control

Know your numbers for safe food:

  • +5C fridge setting or less to keep food cool (40F)
  • -18C freezer setting or less to keep food frozen (0F)
  • 2 days  = max time food stays frozen in a well-stocked , unopened freezer
  • 4 hours = max time food stays cold in a well-stocked, unopened fridge

Importantly, not all spoiled food will look or smell bad. So, after 4 hours of power outage, transfer foods that spoil faster into a cooler with ice and keep under 5C: meat, dairy, cheese.

source USDA | https://i.pinimg.com/736x/7f/9a/40/7f9a404591149d829b7e282b65690b14--power-outage-food-safety.jpg

Food Safety in an Emergency: what to keep and what to throw out

Thankfully, power cuts are usually quickly resolved but when they’re not, your fridge is your week point. Remember to transfer your fridge food after 4 hours of power outage to an ice cooler and keep it under 5C . Your food safety rule of thumb: when in doubt, throw it out.  Food poisoning, while usually not life threatening, is nevertheless seriously unpleasant.

You can keep frozen food that are still icy and uncooked fruit and vegetable. After more than 2 hours at room temperature throw out: meat, soft cheese, opened sauces, leftovers, sliced fruit and vegetables, cooked fruit and vegetables. Remember, not all spoiled food looks or smells bad. When in doubt – throw it out!

WATCH  FDA’s video Food Safety during Power Outages

 

Another good video is from Canada, with Chef Geremy Capone from  ELLICSR Kitchen

 

Preparedness, including food safety, are big topics in the US as these two tweets leading up to and during Hurricane Irma show

 

 

In the UK, food safety information is somewhat more thin on the ground especially with regards to preparedness. However, the good news is that Food Safety guidance aimed at catering business is easily adaptable to household preparedness. For example, check out the Food Standard Agencys’ page How chilled is your food, safer food better business and their food alerts.

In the US, there is a dedicated number to call in emergencies.

As far as I’m aware, that kind of service is not yet available in the UK. Like with so much about preparedness, there is much that yet needs to be done all around. And this leads me to ask: do you know about #30days30waysUK? It’s a month long campaign each September to boost personal preparedness and resilience. Day 19 (#prep2017day19) is about food safety. Follow @30days30waysUK and take part. And finally, check out our info pages on UK Food Security and Emergency and Survival Food.

Be prepared, not scared.

Monika
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Emergency preparedness for individuals: what you must plan and prepare for

source http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/images/sdsgypsytweet.jpg

No-one can predict the future accurately.
But we all can plan and prepare for it.

Getting better prepared and creating networks of support that build community resilience are crucial so that it does NOT end up as a case of aid versus preparedness as I wrote earlier.

So, what is it then that you must plan and prepare for?

Different emergencies or disasters call for different responses. Some of these are tackled in our scenarios at the preparedness hub. However, what sometimes gets overlooked this way is that there are common threads running through all of these. It has to do with consequences rather than with causes of emergencies and disasters and that is a good way to talk about preparedness, especially to people that are new to the topic. So, what it all boils down to is that you must …

be prepared for:  delays in getting help

It’s not that the emergency services don’t want to get to you in a disaster but the same things that stop you also affect them: road closures, lack of communication, severe weather conditions … not to mention the many people that will want assistance all at the same time.

The emergency services and local authorities are mandated by law to serve, survey and respond over an entire area and provide the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Naturally, they cannot get to everyone right away so there will be a delay in help. That is why you need to be able to take care of yourself at least for some time.

There is a lot you can do for self-reliance and to get better prepared. The general recommendation is to stock a minimum of three days, or in other words 72 hours’ worth of supplies,  essentially non-perishable food, clean water and medications to shelter-in-place as well as an emergency grab bag for safe evacuation. What that looks like, check out our blog series on safe evacuation; especially ‘mass’ evacuation and why ‘self’ evacuation preparedness makes a lot of sense.

With this, you’re off to a great start but keep in mind that the more you prepare and get equipped the better off you will be in a real disaster or emergency. Find out more about how to build your own emergency kit and check out the survival kit list.

 

be prepared for: road closures

Flooding, landslides etc. can collapse roads and bridges and affect how you can move around with public transport and your own vehicle. Always keep a half tank of fuel in your car and spare road maps as part of your car safety kit in case GPS is disrupted and you are forced into unfamiliar areas.

In the event of a mass evacuation, be prepared for a long journey. It may well end up looking like this

 

be prepared for: power outages

Power outages mean no ATMs or cash dispensers, no petrol pumps at your gas station, your fridge/freezer stops working and food goes off (Emergency Preparedness and FoodSafety), the batteries in your phone and gadgets don’t get charged, no TV or internet …  Following on from the earlier example of the recent flash flooding in Coverack, it appears the community there knows that scenario well …

Read more about preparedness for power cuts, brown outs and black outs and also check out food security especially for communities.  

 

be prepared for: lack of clean water

Water mains bursts and flooding can mean outages and contamination of your water supply. In an emergency, shut off your supply to keep your clean water in and dirty, unsafe water out. Read more about utilities shut off safety. Your home may already have ’emergency stores’ i.e. top reservoirs of toilets, boilers, garden reservoirs etc. but keep in mind that  water purification is essential for health.

Minimum clean water supplies are usually given as 1 gallon (approx. 4.5 lt) per person per day for basic needs such as drinking, food preparation and hygiene. If you have pets, count each one as you would a person for extra reserves.

source: http://learn.eartheasy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/flood-drinking-water1.jpg

 

be prepared for: limited or no communication

Communication systems may get knocked out which means you may be unable to call for help or get information the usual way. It also means you may lose touch with loved ones. Having a communications plan and preparedness measures in place is vital. Check out our free template on the preparedness hub to get you started so that it does not come to this …

source: http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/new-orleans-united-states-a-plea-for-help-appears-on-the-roof-of-a-picture-id71757327

be prepared for: property damage

If you’re lucky, property damage is minimal which means you can shelter-in-place and ride it out. However, property damage may be extensive which means you can no longer safely stay and must evacuate and shelter elsewhere.

The most common damage to property is from fire. There is a lot you can do for better fire safety and fire preparedness. Other common property damage may result from flooding or wind. Take a look at his short video showing the impact of different wind speeds. It may be set in the tropics with palm trees but applies to other settings too.

be prepared for: living in a shelter

Living in a shelter is not like living at home. The better prepared you are the more comfortable you will be. Living in a shelter can look very different depending on circumstances and duration. You may choose to provide your own shelter by staying with loved ones, moving into a hotel or even camp outdoors. Alternatively, you may be given shelter provided by the authorities and volunteers. Often, this will look similar to this example in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower Disaster

be prepared for: a new ‘normal’ Depending on the severity of the emergency or disaster, clean-up and recovery can take a long time. In many instances lives are disrupted for extended periods of time and never get quite back to how things were before. A ‘new normal’ eventually settles in as people piece their lives back together. What that may look like for you is something you can help determine. Start planning and preparing today so that you can be better prepared tomorrow. Events like flooding are sadly the new reality as we all face and must prepare for a world that’s more than 2° C warmer.  

Be prepared, not scared. Start today for a safer and more secure tomorrow.

Monika  

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Preparedness: it’s all about capabilities and capacities

What? That sounds like a slogan and you’re right, it is. Actually, it’s a good one because it elegantly sums up what preparedness is all about. But what exactly does ‘capabilities and capacities’ actually mean, why should you care and what does it have to do with preparedness? These are excellent questions. Here is a quick explainer.

In a nutshell: capability is your ability or skill to do something and your capacity is about whether you actually have the means and tools to do so.

So, how does ‘capabilities and capacities’ apply to preparedness and why should I care?

It’s all about you and what exactly happens when you are affected by an emergency or disaster. Fact is: in a real emergency or disaster, the emergency services will respond but cannot get to everyone right away. It pays to be ready and better prepared so that you are not left entirely helpless and can respond.

Preparedness capabilities and capacities are about what YOU can do – YOUR skill set – and how well you can apply your skill set because of the tools and equipment you can access.

So, as you can see, the two concepts build on each another and come together. Thus the slogan ‘Preparedness is all about capabilities and capacities’ works pretty well. And there is more…

Preparedness is about being pro-active rather than just re-active. Another way of saying this is

Preparedness is  (the capacity and capability of) bouncing forward so that you can bounce back faster

after an emergency or disaster. It goes beyond being re-active, as for example in the RUN, TELL, HIDE advice. Sometimes you simply can’t or don’t want to do that and besides, there are many emergencies other than a weapons attack; for more along those lines see Security & Safety Update then also head to what are invacuation, lockdown and shelter-in-place and what exactly does safe self-evacuation look like? If you are involved with NGOs see Rethinking Resilience: Capacities of relief staff and volunteers in disaster zones.

But back to ‘capabilities and capacities’ and some more detail. Naturally you need real life skills such as first aid training and emergency planning for which we give you a lot of free resources at our preparedness hub.

That’s a good start but it’s actually not enough. Just imagine for a moment that you are the best trained doctor or nurse in the world but your first aid kit /emergency grab bag / crisis response kit is empty….Right, you immediately get where this is going: you need the right tools to be better prepared. Luckily you already are in the best place for just exactly that – it’s easy:

Take a look at How to build your own emergency kit and also  the Survival Kit List. If you own a business or know someone who does, explore and share Business Preparedness. Check out the many standard Emergency Kit Grab Bags listed or perhaps you are after a custom-made Emergency Kit tailored specifically to you.

Get better prepared – bounce back faster: upgrade your capabilities and capacities. Start today!

Monika

 

For more Resilience Blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For more on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness head over to our FREE resources at the Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.

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For real-life insight into professional capabilities and capacities, take a look at the BBC’s ‘Hospital’ episode 1 season 2 | London Bridge attack victims being treated at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington.

Forgotten disasters: the 1935 London fire that sparked the world’s first 999 emergency phone line

HAPPY BIRTHDAY – the world’s first 999 emergency phone service celebrates its 80th birthday!

Something has just gone badly wrong and you pick up the phone and dial 999 in a real emergency. How simple and brilliant is that! Take a moment to actually just think about this. When you are in real need, the emergency services will respond. They save the lives of countless people every day. It’s just become ‘normal’ and so it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t always so: turn back to clock to a …

Forgotten Disaster: 1935 Wimpole Street London

A fire breaks out on the ground floor at a doctor’s house in 27 Wimpole Street, Marylebone – incidentally the same address (27A) made famous in George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion (1913, characters Professor Higgins, Eliza Doolittle).

source CC: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/5c/42/43/5c424310be25d195293c5dd9a541d0aa--fire-dept-fire-department.jpgHowever, on that fateful early morning on November 10th, drama turned to tragedy when help arrived too late for those trapped in the upper rooms.  A milkman on his rounds noticed dense smoke and ran to the nearest street fire alarm, smashing the glass and pulling the alarm.  Running back he stood by helplessly as an elderly woman leaned out from the window shouting “for God’s sake get the fire brigade” before disappearing amid smoke and flames.

A neighbour attempted to dial through to the local telephone exchange and was unable to reach an operator. Eventually the fire service did arrive but sadly too late for the victims Mrs Franklin, wife of the doctor, Miss Brook her nice and a cook, a housemaid and a kitchen maid. Also remembered must be the hero of the tragedy, a fireman by the name of Leonard Tobias who carried on searching the smoke-filled building ‘long after his men had collapsed’. He was later killed in the line of duty.

Take a look at how the incident was reported in widely different ways, for example in The Spectator and on the other side of the globe in The Courier-Mail, Brisbane:

999 history SPECTATOR

999 history courier brisbane

 

But the story does not end there, thankfully.

The caller, Norman Macdonald, a dentist living in the house opposite who had been held in a queue by the Welbeck telephone exchange was so outraged that he wrote a letter to the editor of The Times1. In response to the letter and public outcry, the Government set up a committee to establish a dedicated emergency service. At the time when there were only 3 million home telephones and most people would use coin-operated red telephone boxes, the number 999 was chosen because it was easy to dial.

For a real look into what actually happens today when you dial 999, take a look at this video from Northants Emergencies

And please THINK before you dial 999

 

THANK YOU emergency services and HAPPY 8oth BIRTHDAY 999.

Monika

 

 

1. “It all started with us” The Times (archive)

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Crowded Places Guidance: Crisis Response Kit what you need to know

The latest National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) guidance recommends a CRISIS RESPONSE KIT containing the right tools to safely manage a major incident for ‘crowded places’. This includes different sectors1 as well as business such as high street shops, shopping centres, bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels, event venues, cinemas, theatres and tourist attractions.

NaCTSO writes  (emphasis added)

“The threat we face from terrorism is significant. As we have seen in the UK and across Europe attacks can happen at any time and any place without warning. Understanding the threat we all face and of the ways we can mitigate it can help keep us safer. Everyone can play a role in this effort by taking steps to help boost their protective security.”

There are legal as well as commercial reason why business should plan and prepare because of the potential of criminal prosecution and penalties under health and safety legislation2. Efforts to raise awareness for business preparedness and drive the protective security/crisis response message are well under way across the UK:

For business, or any sector listed in the NaCTSO crowded places guidance, crisis response planning means you also need a CRISIS RESPONSE KIT grab bag and a basic checklist appears on their page 156. Naturally, each sector or business is different so a ‘one size fits all’ approach is actually not really fit for purpose. That’s why we have put together a comparison list to help you make the right choices for your Business Preparedness.

Right-click on the image to open a larger version and use CTRL+ on your keyboard to magnify; a PDF is available and the list is also appears at Emergency Grab Bag: what and why.
NaCTSO Crisis Response Kit - EVAQ8 emergency grab bag comparison

 

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Heatwave – beyond Heat Health Watch to Personal Preparedness

What an amazingly beautiful HOT weekend we’ve just enjoyed and are promised much more to come the rest of this summer! Yet a heatwave can have quite serious consequences some of which are perhaps well less known. Mostly people talk about health effects and there is a so called Heat Health Watch, for example

 

 

With regards to national preparedness, the Heatwave plan for England kicks in every year on the 1st June and runs to mid September. But what about personal preparedness?

Heatwaves affect anyone says the British Red Cross, especially older people, children and babies and people suffering from certain chronic conditions. Yet heatwaves not only affect health.  Our Preparedness for Heatwave page explains like this tweet:

So in addition to health, you need to be better prepared for power cuts such as brownouts and blackouts. Thankfully, power is usually restored pretty quickly. However, if you suffer an extended  power cut the numbers to remember for food safety are 2 hours and 5°C. Fresh food left at above 5°C for 2 hours may spoil and in the most severe cases may lead to food poisoning. Also see guidance on refrigerated food and power outages and frozen food and power outages and check out our blog on Modern Emergency Food Storage which is ideal as preparedness measures. But enough about food! In this heat you’ll probably focus less on food but simply on how to cope in hot weather (and hopefully won’t get stuck in elevators or worse!). Dehydration symptoms can quickly sneak up on you so be aware and drink plenty of cool water even if you’re not feeling thirsty. Drinking plenty of water keeps your system going but you may still find you’re feeling uncomfortably hot, especially if like all of us you want to or have to keep active. So here is a quick cheeky fix, a bit of personal preparedness on the fly on how to stay cool

Be cool – stay cool! #prepared  :-)

Monika     .. and heatwave preparedness is for pets too:

 

 

For more Resilience Blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For more on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness head over to our FREE resources at the Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. 

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The Guardian 21June2017 UK heatwave brings hottest June day for 40 years

Emergency Preparedness UK: security and safety update June 2017

Wow! Two really good things happened this week for emergency preparedness, addressing both safety and security. First, the @EPCollege published @HasisD ‘s  report on what the UN Disaster Risk Reduction Sendai Framework means for (local!!) UK practitioners which really opens up the debate (PDF)

… and today, just four days after the London Bridge attack, the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) issued new official safety guidance for crowded places which includes a substantial section on personal safety.

 

In their guidance, NaCTSO writes

“No-one has more responsibility for your personal security than you.”

Naturally, security and safety go hand in hand and so in my view this statement applies across the board to include all risks, not just terrorism. Actually, the risk from terrorism, viewed objectively and rationally, plays just a very small role. Consider:

“On an average day, terrorists kill 21 people worldwide. On that same average day, natural or technological disasters kill 2,200 people – or more than 100 times as many.”

The more ‘clear and present danger’ lies elsewhere. As my earlier post Prepare for a world that’s more than 2° C warmer discusses, there is a different elephant in the room. A new study that assessed potential future climate damage to major European coastal cities projects that annual economic losses may range up to 40 billion $ by 2100 (based on worst emission scenario, which we’re heading into rather fast).   For the UK, sadly, this will continue to look more and more like this:  

So, what is to be done? Well, actually there is a lot that anyone can do. In this blog, we specifically talk about personal and community preparedness, capabilities which means skills and training and capacities which means practical tools and equipment. Key posts here to look at are:

Disaster Preparedness – what disaster, why preparedness?

Resilience and Preparedness Roadblocks: what stops us?

Community Resilience Building Blocks – it all starts with prepared individuals

Be prepared – not scared!

Monika

edit to add: also just out now is the JRF’s report: “Present and future flood vulnerability, risk and disadvantage: A UK scale assessment” This report is of particular interest to community resilience. It highlights how flood risks interact with social vulnerability across the UK to create flood disadvantage, an issue which will be exacerbated by climate change. Today some 6.4 million people live in flood prone areas, with around 1.5 million of these people living in vulnerable neighbourhoods (which include people on low incomes, with poor health and other factors that means floods are likely to have more negative impacts…

 

For more Resilience Blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For more on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness head over to our FREE resources at the Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. 

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