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Emergency and Disaster Preparedness?

Both the American Red Cross and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) recommend that you have an Emergency Supply Kit for general emergencies and major disasters. The more complete kits are designed to sustain you, for the 72 hours or more following a major disaster. They should include food and water rations. Homefront Emergency food and water products are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and have a 5-year shelf life also thermal space blankets, snap light-sticks, body warmers, whistle, hygiene supplies, first aid supplies, solar powered radios and flash lights are available in quick response carry bags ready when you need it. Also light search and rescue hand tools may be needed. We offer complete kits and customized kits for home, business and auto. We are here to help you prepare and have peace of mind. At Homefront Emergency we specialize in emergency preparedness with over 20 years experience in disaster and emergency response we can help. For a recommendation or custom order you can e-mail us our professional sales staff will assist you.

Emergency Preparedness:
The routine of our daily lives can easily be disrupted by emergencies and/or disasters and each event can have immediate and lasting effects. People can be seriously injured, or sometimes killed, and property damage can run into millions of dollars.

As the need arises, government and other assisting agencies such as local Emergency Management, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Salvation Army, and the American Red Cross. Along with these service agencies there are dedicated volunteers who extend themselves to assist when called upon.

When emergencies occur, emergency management departments (Police, Fire, EMS, Public Works, and Health) are trained to respond to the areas affected by the event. It is the responsibility of all of us to be personally prepared to respond to and manage the effects of a disaster. However depending on the severity of the disaster they can be overwhelmed with emergency calls. It may be hours to days before these agencies can get to you. Power may be out, food in short supply, water cut-off or contaminated, injured neighbors, co-workers or family members, people trapped in debris, medical emergencies, pets displaced or injured, structural and environmental hazards etc.

For preparing your business, schools, day cares etc. Homefront Emergency offers "Workshops" at your site. Remember, knowing what to do in emergencies is your responsibility. More importantly, knowing what to do is the best protection for you and your family... LEARN about potential hazards in your community and how to deal with them DEVELOP an Emergency Plan PRACTICE and maintain your emergency plan.

Emergency Preparedness Checklist:
FIND OUT WHAT KIND OF DISASTERS COULD AFFECT YOU:
Contact Your local Red Cross or Office of Emergency Management Ask about the types of natural or technological (hazardous materials, major transportation accidents, etc.) disasters most likely to occur in your community. Request information on how to prepare for each occurrence. Ask about the Emergency Alert System (EAS). EAS broadcasts are activated by local authorities when there is an emergency.
Pay close attention to these messages.
Ask about animal care after a disaster. Animals may not be allowed inside emergency shelters. Only service animals accompanying the disabled will be allowed.
Ask about special assistance for the elderly and disabled, if needed. Ask about evacuation and safe inland traffic routes.
Find out about the disaster plan at your place of employment, your children's school, day care center and other places where your family spends time.

Develop a Family Emergency Plan:
Discuss what your family should do for each type of disaster:
Find the safe areas in your home to take shelter. Determine the best escape routes from your home and find two ways out of each room. Pick places to meet. Choose a location outside your house in case of household emergency, such as a fire, and one outside your neighborhood in case you can not return to your house. Pick local and out-of-town family check-in points for everyone to call if your family gets separated. Make sure everyone knows the phone numbers.
Discuss what to do in an emergency.
Stock emergency supplies.
You should assemble enough supplies to support your needs for three days.
Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit in case of evacuation.
Include water, packaged or canned food, can opener,change of clothes/footwear, blankets / sleeping bags, first aid kit, prescription medications, an extra pair of glasses, a battery powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, an extra set of car keys, cash/credit cards, and a battery operated tone-alert weather radio.
Prepare an Emergency Car Kit :
Include a battery powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, booster cable, tire repair kit/pump, fire extinguisher, blanket, first aid kit, bottled water non-perishable high-energy foods, and maps.
Install safety features such as:
smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home. Learn basic safety measures such as CPR, first aid and use of fire extinguishers, how, where and when to turn off water, gas, and electricity at the main switches.
Post emergency phone numbers by the telephone. Teach children how and when to call 911, Fire/Police/ EMS.

Earthquake:
An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the earth caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the earth's surface. For hundreds of millions of years, the forces of plate tectonics have shaped the earth as the huge plates that form the surface move slowly over, under, past, and away from each other. Sometimes the movement is gradual. At other times, the plates are locked together, unable to release the accumulating energy as they bend or stretch. When the forces grow strong enough, the plates suddenly break free causing the ground to shake. Most earthquakes occur at the boundaries where two plates meet; however, some earthquakes occur in the middle of plates.
Aftershocks are smaller earthquakes that follow the main shock and can cause further damage to weakened buildings. Aftershocks can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake. Some earthquakes are actually fore shocks that precede a larger earthquake.

Ground shaking from earthquakes can collapse buildings and bridges; disrupt gas, electric, and telephone service; and sometimes trigger landslides, avalanches, flash floods, fires, and huge, destructive, seismic sea waves called tsunamis. Buildings with foundations resting on unconsolidated landfill and other unstable soils are at increased risk of damage. Also, mobile homes and homes not attached to their foundations are at particular risk because they can be shaken off their foundations during an earthquake. When an earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause deaths and injuries and extensive property damage.

Volcano:
A volcano is a vent through which molten rock escapes to the earth’s surface. Unlike other mountains, which are pushed up from below, volcanoes are built by surface accumulation of their eruptive products—layers of lava flows, ash flows, and ash. When pressure from gases within the molten rock becomes too great, gases drive the molten rock to the surface and an eruption occurs.
Volcanoes produce a wide variety of hazards that can kill people and destroy property. Volcanic eruptions fall into two broad types: (1) explosive and (2) quiet. Hazards from large explosive eruptions include widespread ashfall (fine glass particles), pyroclastic flows (mixtures of hot gases and pumice blocks), and massive lahars (volcanic mud or debris flows) that can endanger people and property nearby as well as tens to hundreds of miles away. Eruptions can even affect global climate. Hazards from quiet lava flows include igniting fires and producing chlorine-rich gas clouds where lava pours into the sea. Since 1980, as many as five volcanoes have erupted each year in the United States. Eruptions are most likely to occur in Hawaii and Alaska. In the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington, Oregon, and northern California, volcanoes erupt on the average of one to two or more each century.
Volcanic ash can affect people and equipment hundreds of miles from the volcano. Inhaling volcanic ash can cause serious respiratory problems for people with heart and lung ailments. Develop an evacuation plan. Everyone in your family should know where to go if they have to leave. Trying to make plans at the last minute can be upsetting and create confusion.
Discuss volcanoes with your family. Everyone should know what to do in case all family members are not together. Discussing volcanic eruptions ahead of time will help reduce fear and anxiety, and lets everyone know how to respond. Review landslide and mudflow safety and preparedness measures with your family.

Tsunami:
What is a tsunami?
A tsunami is a series of pressure waves caused by a sudden shift in the ocean floor. Such shifts are usually caused by earthquakes, but they can also be caused by undersea landslides or slumps, volcanoes, or even meteor impacts. In deep ocean waters, the waves can travel hundreds of miles an hour with little surface indication. However, as the waves approach land, the shallow waters cause them to slow down and build up, sometimes to very significant heights. The recent tsunami from the earthquake in Sumatra had reports of tsunami wave heights as high as 60 feet, and wave heights of 100 feet have been recorded in Japan in prior tsunami events. The waves can radiate out in all directions from the epicenter, and can travel great distances. The term tsunami is Japanese for “harbor wave,” although they are also mistakenly called tidal waves.
Question:
Why was the recent earthquake in Sumatra and the resulting tsunami so destructive? The reason is actually a combination of factors, including the following: it was generated by an extremely large earthquake; it occurred within the Indian Ocean, which is essentially a basin surrounded by very heavily populated areas; there was no warning system in place in the Indian Ocean basin; and the event occurred on a Sunday morning of what was, for some, a holiday weekend when many were at the beach.
Does every earthquake cause a tsunami?
No, only earthquakes that cause a sudden shift in the undersea floor can generally cause a tsunami. Such earthquakes, like the recent one off the coast of Sumatra, are the result of subduction faults, where one of the Earth’s plates is diving or “subducting” beneath another. This type of fault has produced the largest earthquakes ever recorded. Other types of earthquake faults, such as strike-slip faults (where the Earth’s plates slide past each other), generally do not result in the surface displacement necessary to cause a tsunami. However, even these earthquakes can generate subsequent landslides that can cause a tsunami, such as the one that struck Papau, New Guinea on July 17, 1998, and killed as many as 3,000 people.
Could the tsunami disaster that has occurred in Indonesia and the Indian Ocean region happen here in the United States?
Yes, although the probability of tsunami is significantly less than other coastal hazards such as hurricanes and storms. However, even though they are rare, as shown in the recent event, the consequences are large enough that they can pose a significant risk. Tsunami can occur along any coastline, although they occur mostly along the Pacific coastline because of the more frequent seismic hazard. Since they occur so infrequently, the probability is considered too remote to address this hazard in normal building code requirements.
One significant difference between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean is that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a tsunami warning system in place and partner agencies such as FEMA are working with States and local communities to help establish local warning systems and evacuation plans and to raise tsunami awareness among residents and visitors.
What is the greatest tsunami risk to the United States?
Probably the greatest risk to the U.S. is believed to be a tsunami that would be generated by an earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone off the coast of Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Similar to the northern coast of Sumatra, a Cascadia earthquake would be very large, would result in a tsunami, and would only give a few minutes of warning time to the residents along the Pacific Northwest coastline, in many cases not enough time to allow for evacuation, especially during vacation season. This fault last generated an estimated magnitude 9.0 – 9.5 earthquake and tsunami on January 26, 1700. While there is Native American folklore and geologic evidence, such as sand deposits, to prove the impact of the tsunami, the actual date has been confirmed from Japanese tsunami records. While an Atlantic coast tsunami would certainly cause tremendous amounts of damage, the probability of such an event is smaller than a Pacific event.
Has there been a tsunami that has caused fatalities in the United States?
Yes, several.
On April 1, 1946, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake near Uminak Island in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands destroyed a steel reinforced concrete U.S. Coast Guard lighthouse on Uminak Island, killing all five occupants. The tsunami hit Hawaii 5 hours later, destroying the Hilo waterfront and killing a total of 165 people, including children at a school on Laupahoehoe Point. It was because of this event that the U.S. established the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, now part of NOAA.
On May 22, 1960, a magnitude 9.5 subduction zone earthquake off the coast of Chile resulted in a tsunami that affected the entire Pacific Rim, including Hilo, Hawaii, where it killed 61 people.
On March 28, 1964, the magnitude 9.2 Anchorage earthquake generated a tsunami that caused damage in southeast Alaska, Vancouver Island, Washington, California, and Hawaii. Hardest hit by the tsunami was Crescent City, California, where the tsunami reached 30 feet and destroyed the half the waterfront district. A total of 120 people were killed by the tsunami. Is a tsunami possible in the Atlantic Ocean? Yes. In 1755, an earthquake off the coast of Lisbon, Portugal reportedly killed thousands along the coast of Portugal, Spain, and North Africa. More recently, a moderate tsunami struck the northwest coast of Puerto Rico in 1918 as a result of an offshore earthquake along the North Atlantic and Caribbean Plate boundary. Also, an earthquake on November 18, 1929, in the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, generated a tsunami that caused considerable damage and loss of life at Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, and resulted in waves were observed down much of the east coast of the U.S.
While there is the potential for seismic activity in the Caribbean, the Atlantic Ocean generally does not have the type or number of earthquake faults capable of generating a tsunami with the frequency and severity of those in the Pacific. However, there are other potential hazards that could also trigger a tsunami, including volcanic activity along the mid-Atlantic ridge and slumping from pockets of methane hydrate recently found off the coast of South Carolina. While the probability of such an Atlantic Ocean tsunami is considered rare, a tsunami striking the east coast of the United States or almost anywhere else along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline would result in significant damage and loss of life.
Can planning for a large disaster event such as a tsunami make a difference?
While a tsunami can generate forces that can overwhelm the best-constructed buildings, planning for such an event can make a difference. A comparison between the 1993 tsunami of Aonae, Japan, and the 1998 tsunami of Warapu, Papua New Guinea demonstrates how planning can make a difference. While both events were triggered by earthquakes of similar magnitudes and impacted areas of roughly similar population, the first event killed 15 percent of the population, the second event killed 40 percent of the population. The primary difference was that Japan has a strong program for tsunami public education, awareness, and a warning system that allowed people to get to high ground, whereas Warapu did not.
Is there anything individuals can do to reduce their vulnerability to the tsunami hazard?
Residents and visitors to coastal communities should take the time to learn the local evacuation routes and safe areas (visitors’ centers often have tsunami evacuation maps and information), and be prepared with emergency supplies that will help them deal with any emergency. Strong ground shaking near the ocean may be the only clue to the arrival of a tsunami within minutes. If shaking is felt, or if you see the ocean suddenly begin to recede, you should go to high ground immediately and wait for further instructions from local officials about when it is safe to return. Tsunami waves can last for hours. Also, subsequent sets of waves are usually the most dangerous, as they can often be higher and contain debris generated from the initial waves.