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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
As of yesterday, there were 11 confirmed cases of swine flu in California. One of the cases was in our own backyard, in Sacramento County. Fortunately, there have been no deaths yet in the US due to the flu. State officials are monitoring the spread of the flu, and are urging citizens to practice good hygiene and contact their doctor if they experience flu like symptoms. People should not go to work or school if they have flu like symptoms, so as not to expose others. Because you may be confined to your home for a period of time, you should have at least 2 weeks of emergency supplies, including food, water, first aid kits, pet supplies and sanitary supplies.

Of course, as we have always said - take the time now to prepare. This is not a time to be afraid - simply take this energy and apply it towards taking steps to be prepared.


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Monday, April 27, 2009
There are a lot of stories about pandemic flu because of the concern about the swine flu and bird (avian)

The Cleveland Leader has a nice article called, "Pandemic Flu: What You Need to Know to be Prepared." In it, they share some background on flus (a little history, along with some definitions) and they provide a simple Pandemic Flu Planning checklist. Here are some of their practical tips:

Stay Healthy

These steps may help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses such as the flu:
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze—throw thetissue away immediately after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you are not near water, use an alcoholbased (60-95%) hand cleaner.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • If you get the flu, stay home from work, school, and social gatherings. In this wayyou will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often spread this way.


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Sunday, April 26, 2009

I just came across a very interesting article on the Silicon Alley Insider called, A Cyber-Attack on an American City. The article instantly grabbed my attention:

"Just after midnight on Thursday, April 9, unidentified attackers climbed down four manholes serving the Northern California city of Morgan Hill and cut eight fiber cables in what appears to have been an organized attack on the electronic infrastructure of an American city. Its implications, though startling, have gone almost un-reported."

The article goes on to discuss the effects of this attack on the City and its emergency response operations. It is a great review of areas that are at risk during situations like these:

"The first lesson is what stayed up: stand-alone radio systems and not much else. Cell phones failed. Cellular towers can not, in general, connect phone calls on their own, even if both phones are near the same tower. They communicate with a central switching computer to operate, and when that system doesn't respond, they're useless."

Read the full article here: http://www.businessinsider.com/a-cyber-attack-on-an-american-city-2009-4

Maintaining communications is key to survival in an emergency. Here is some information on RACES (The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service), which is an organization sponsored by City of San Jose's Office of Emergency Services, and FEMA. RACES provides additional communications channels to the City organization in times of declared emergency. Communications support for public services events of a non-emergency nature are also provided by our amateur radio operators.

RACES is a public service provided by a reserve (volunteer) communications group within government agencies in times of extraordinary need. During periods of RACES activation, certified unpaid personnel are called upon to perform many tasks for the government agencies they serve. Although the exact nature of each activation will be different, the common thread is communications.

Check it out!


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Emergency Preparedness is all about anticipating the types of emergency situations that may impact you. While you can't know every type of emergency that may happen, some types of disasters may be more likely to impact you simply because of where you live. For example, if you live on the gulf coast, you are more likely to encounter hurricanes. If you live in California (like I do) you are more likely to encounter an earthquake. Once you assess the types of disasters that are likely to impact you, you should take the proper steps to prepare yourself.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has a great article on how to prepare for a hurricane before the season starts. The article includes a lot of helpful hints and tips on easy things you can do to prepare. A couple of tips:
  • Tell at least two family members who live outside the area about your hurricane plan and where you plan to stay. If you change plans, tell them. Have a designated meeting place and a backup site if your family is separated for some reason.
  • Keep emergency cash on hand. Automated teller machines and credit cards may not work without power.

Here is the rest of the story:
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-beforethestorm-hurricane-guide-pnmay31,0,4181803.story

Read more about Disaster Plans here!



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Friday, April 24, 2009
I guess you never know what type of emergency situation we will need to deal with. County health officials in the United States are on alert now that the swine flu has crossed into the US from Mexico. In addition, Yahoo reports that additional new flu virus strains are on the rise in the US, causing some to fear an epidemic. These are reminders of how important it is to be prepared. Whether it is the flu, swine flu, an earthquake, fire, or other natural disaster, the same principles apply: 1) Prepare a family disaster plan; and 2) Obtain emergency provisions, including food, water and other emergency supplies. You can start by getting a basic 72 hour kit.

Today the Daily Sentinel in Colorado reported on the swine flu, stating, "State officials also urged Coloradans to be prepared in the event of an epidemic, stockpiling at home a two-week supply of food, water and other emergency supplies." For more information, see the following articles.

http://www.gjsentinel.com/hp/content/news/stories/2009/04/24/042508_1a__flu.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090426/ts_nm/us_flu_28


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