Family Preparedness Friday

Love is Like a Heat Wave

I don’t know how much Martha and the Vandellas really loved the guy in the 1963 hit song, Heat Wave, but I am almost certain they would not love these temps that we are seeing so far this summer.

So far, Summer 2012 has brought extreme and record breaking temps across the US. Take a look at this map from yesterday! Can you believe those temps? And all before July 1.


Graphic courtesy of The Weather Channel website.

Did you know that on average there are more heat related deaths than deaths related to any other natural disaster per year. In 2011, 206 individuals died as a result of extreme heat. So what are you doing to prepare your family for the heat?


– Listen to local forecasts. Being aware is being prepared.
– Discuss heat safety with your family. Make a plan for possible power outages.
– Revamp your emergency preparedness kit.Make sure your kit is fully stocked.
– Know those in your neighborhood that are more likely to be victims of extreme heat; like elderly, young, sick, or those without air conditioning.
– Verify that your pets’ needs for shelter and water are met.


– Listen to your NOAA Weather Radio for updates.
– Never leave children or pets in vehicles.
– Stay hydrated.
– Avoid extreme temperature changes.
– Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
– Stay indoors and avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day.
– Take frequent breaks if working outside.
– Check on family, friends, neighbors, and pets.


Courtesy of American Red Cross

Stay safe, and have a great holiday next week!


Family Preparedness Friday

Plan now, reduce stress later

Are you a planner? Are you an “organized” (that is such a relative word) person? I like to think that I am both.

For example, this is my office.

Pardon the dark picture, in my area we choose to work without the overhead lights turned on.


I would say that my desk looks organized. Remember how I said that was a relative term? Here is what I compare my office against; the boss-man, Steve’s desk.

Please note those bookshelves! Oh my!!


Now, I am not saying Steve isn’t organized or a planner, because he really is. I’m just saying we work in the disaster realm; therefore, our offices tend to look like disasters. And maybe after two years of working in our new offices and publishing this on a very public forum Steve might be motivated to fix those bookshelves.

Now we may have two very different ways of organizing our offices, but we do agree on one thing and that is how to organize a family disaster plan.

A family disaster plan tells everyone in the household what they will do during an emergency. It helps everyone get organized. Having a plan reduces the stress of coping with a disaster in the aftermath.

EDEN delegates from the University of Missouri Extension system have created a disaster plan template to guide you and your family through the process of developing your family’s disaster plan. Creating this plan should be a whole family collaboration, that way everyone knows their role and responsibility in times of emergency.

Click here to go to the University of Missouri’s Family Disaster Plan electronic template. The template allots for two adult family members, two child family members, and six pet family members. If you need templates for additional family members don’t worry; click here for adults, here for children, and here for pets.

While we know this is an electronic document, remember to have a hard copy of this document as well.

Organize your family disaster plan now, to help reduce the effects of disasters later. Now I’m off to see if I can get Steve motivated to organize his office.