Tag Archives: public info

Emergency Preparedness Kit

Every Home Should Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit

There is nothing that brings the shock of reality than when a natural disaster hits. Sometimes it
can be as simple as a power outage that brings you to the forefront, while others are much
more serious. Almost every day we see news broadcasts about one part of the country or the
world experiencing a disaster, and yet most people aren’t prepared for even the smallest
situation.

Today’s existence relies on being ‘connected’ via internet and cell phone. When the power goes
out, so does the connectivity with the rest of the world, along with the needed heat, cooling and
refrigeration of our food. We are usually lucky enough to have power returned rather quickly,
but this is not always the case if a natural disaster happens. Every home and family should have
some kind of emergency preparedness ‘kit’.

The size of your kit will depend on the amount of room that you to store it in. Those that
live in apartments have less space, but an upper closet shelf can do for the basics. If you have
an attic, basement or garage, then you have a bit more room. If you are a camper, then you
may have your camping gear spread out, and the first is to get all of the gear in a single
location that would be easy to access.

All of the smaller items can be easily stored in a brand new ‘trash container’ or any other
container that seals tightly. Choose your kit contents carefully, placing things that have to be replaced every year (such as batteries) on top, as the last items. It’s best to have a ‘check list’
on the lid of the container.

A basic kit typically includes: flashlight (no batteries), hunting or fishing knives, duct tape,
plastic bags (multiple sizes), a complete emergency health kit, candles, matches, lighters a
camping lantern, small cooking stove, AM or weather radio, rubber boots, paper towels, toilet
paper, and blankets. It’s suggested that you look into a hand crank or solar powered radio
and/or cell phone generator, water purification systems. If the power is out everywhere, the
cell towers won’t work either, and the radio may be your best method of being aware of what
is going on.

For those that are more serious, you may want to have additional containers that hold extra
clothes, shoes and freeze dried food. The biggest need will be water, so if have the space,
bottled water is a must. A gas generator is another added plus, but you will need to have the
gasoline and that need to be changed out every year.

May you never have to use it.

Op-Ed: Don’t Advertise in Parks, Invest in Them

We should all be working to preserve the parks as we know them

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Our National Parks represent natural beauty, history, and the opportunity to get away from the clamor of the maddening world.    Photo: Ian Shive/Tandemstock

I love the national parks like I love my life. When my husband Frank and I stumbled upon them on a road trip around the country in 1995, I could hardly believe that places so beautiful and perfect remain on the face of the Earth—right in our backyard, no less.

In each of the 178 units of the National Park System that I’ve visited from Alaska to the U.S. Virgin Islands, I’ve found some persistent item of inspiration. I revel among thousands of other visitors in the natural beauty and history that our parks represent and the opportunity to get away from the clamor of the maddening world.

But I suspect that few people who enjoy the parks have any idea of the threats to their continued survival as we know them, or the role we should be playing to help them continue, as the 1916 Congressional act establishing the National Park Service goes, “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

“What would you think if you knew there’s a move to increase the corporate presence in national parks?” I recently asked a young couple walking around Bear Lake in Rocky Mountains National Park.
“What!?” they exclaimed in unison. “I’d say that’s a dumb idea. We come out here to get away from all that.”

On my flight home, I got into a conversation with my seatmate about how much he loved the parks in California where he grew up. He was stunned when I mentioned the Director’s Order 21 that proposes to open the door to an increased corporate presence in national parks and require park service employees to raise funds to manage the parks. I told him that in the 100 years since the Park Service was established to manage and protect our park this was strictly verboten.

“So why are they doing this?” he asked.

“Money,” I said.

I told him about the tremendous backlog in funds that the Park Service is reporting ($11.5 billion) and explained that Congress had failed repeatedly throughout this century to allocate sufficient amounts of our tax dollars to maintain the parks. For example, over the eight years of President Obama’s tenure, Congress appropriated nearly $700 million, or 3 percent less than the amount the president proposed. Obama also requested hundreds of millions of dollars in mandatory funding to address maintenance and other needs, but Congress failed to enact legislation to support these requests. I told him about the efforts of some leaders to gut our public lands entirely, and how, according to the League of Conservation Voters, the leader of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and her counterpart in the House have a pro-environmental voting record of four percent and zero percent, respectively.

Like millions of Americans that love and enjoy our national parks, the people I talked with took it for granted that they are protected into perpetuity and that they’ll always be there for us.  They were horrified by how much they don’t know about the precarious position these places are in. Each considered it a breach of the public trust that such dramatic changes could conceivable be enacted under our noses, without our knowing. I encouraged them to research the issues online and join the organizations resisting it.

I hope your interest is sufficiently piqued that you will address it, too.

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Photo: Courtesy of Audrey Peterman

Audrey Peterman is president and co-founder of Earthwise Productions, Inc., an environmental consulting and publishing firm focused on connecting the public lands system and the American public.

Filed To: National Park
Shared from Outsideonline.com