Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a host of others keep us connected. They are valuable tools to stay in touch. I love my Facebook account! With schools back in session I cherish the photos of all the children embarking on their new adventures for another school year. Family and friends alike enjoy the progressive photos from one year to another. So by all means shutterbug away. There are more photos taken today than at any point in our history. The only Question is what do with them?
As parents, you take extraordinary measures to insure their safety. In today’s world that can be quite a challenge. it seems like the news is full of traumatic events and a significant portion of these stories showcase children both the good and the bad. More bad than good I’m sorry to say. Abuse, neglect, cruelty, mistakes, as well as kidnapping, murder and a variety of others make headlines around the country both here and abroad. As these feature on even our local evening news and our media feeds I thought this would be a good time to review the tips to keep your precious ones off the news and out of the statistics.
Never give personal information.
It’s the first day of school and we like to proudly show off our accomplishments. Never post your child’s name, school, teacher, or classroom. The same goes for bus information. Give to trusted family or friends directly. What you post to a family member, friend or frustrated adult can be seen on social media by people you defiantly do not want around your children.
Turn off Geotags in phones, tablets and devices.
Funny name, big consequences. Did you know that funny tag is your exact GPS location? Nefarious individuals can use this information to find your home, and even your child’s window. Every photo uploaded with these tags will create a trail of bread crumbs accessible through social media outlets of every place you go. Some also give a location history of where you have been with your phone.
Use a special password.
A special password between children and parents can alert a child to seek help. Imagine an adult approaches your child near their school. They say you parent was in an accident and sent them to pick them up. Scary right? Your child should ask for the special password. If the adult does not know it your child should immediately notify a teacher, administrator, or law enforcement officer. It’s better to have a small delay while it’s checked out, than a missing poster.
Remember to have fun while making sure both you and your child stay safe.
Do you have a safety tip? Share them in the comment section below.
Okay thought this would be a good time to review the basics as we once again face possible storms. Most items gathered here are for almost all natural disasters Mother Nature throws our way. All household members should know what to do in case of any kind of emergency, Get a plan for Hurricanes, Tornado, Fire, Flooding, some even recommend for home invasion and terror attacks. We also have a nuclear power facility and chemical plant near by so keeping current on local news is a must.
For Hurricanes we use both our local news tv and radio, as well as alerts from our counties Emergency Management. The Alerts for sevalerts like severe storms, flash flooding, Amber, and security, Active shooters, Police chase or fatal crashes on roadways. They come direct to our phones so at home or on the gowe get the information to keep our family safe.
Click the link to see both an explanation of why and when we worry as well as a great list of items to include in your kit. We rotate the food items out to the pantry throughout the year and always have stock of what we might need. We are adding new things like solar chargers for cell phones and tablets, new flood blocking water dams, new medical devices and recently added the new super bright led flash lights that are super tough and the batteries last much longer than the old incandesenct style.
Keeping this ready the whole year through for us means if there is any major storm headed our way our only preperations include filling our water tanks, gasoline in vehicles and for generator, and get medication refills if needed. Get cash and a quick easy trip to buy any last minute needs, wash any dirty laundry, and make sure the house is clean so Mother Nature can bring it on!
Most media forget to tell people that you have to be prepared to take care of yourself and family without government help for at least three days after a major hurricane. I grew up in Florida so we are very accustomed to hurricanes every summer. First off the media likes to fuel hystaria! Most category 1 and 2 should only concern low lunging areas and people who live in manufactured homes. Unless you are hit by spinoff tornado, our regular storms are worse than these storms. At 3, 4, and 5 long term locals start paying attention to local weather stations. National new services are not able to give details and help to locals especially our smaller towns. A great resource is a place called crownweather.com oddly enough they hail from Maine. With a little preparation they are easy to deal with and you can reduce stress with hurricane party. I’ve prepared an emergency list that you can print for easy planning to keep your family safe. Three to five days is the minimum you should be able to survive on your own.
It will take agencies like FEMA, or Red Cross to get into the area to help provide things like ice, water, and MRE’s, or medical help. You may choose as we have after touring a medically needy shelter to take advantage of the electricity guarantee, or with adequate preparation we stayin home. Our home generator and ample supplies made taking care of our selves the better choice. My hubby is diabetic and cannot wait 3 hours for a bologna sandwich. We weathered Ivan at home quite comfortably. The shelter had several difficulties procuring supplies.
Remember these must be multiplied for all family members sheltering with you. Pets, children and the elderly have more specialized needs. For children make it a camping trip. Add fun camping supplies to keep children occupied. Camp songs and games keep little ones happy and on fun adventure until normalcy returns.
Poncho with hood for rain
Emergency survival sleeping bag
Swiss Army knife (with can opener)
FM radio w/Batteries
Pen and paper for notes
60 feet Nylon Rope
Pliers~ to turn off utilities
Duck tape to shelter in place
Dust mask (N95)
Leather palm working gloves
Rolls of toiletpaper paper in Ziploc bag
Hygiene kit-tooth brush paste, wet wipes & femine items
Mini hand sanitizer
Garbage bags and ties for sanitation
Complete First Aid kit with Prescription medication for all. You need emergency supply to last 1 week without refill.
Shovel – to dig sanitation holes
Several flashlights with extra batteries I also add several lanterns both battery and oil to illuminate lager areas. Candles, lighters and matches serve well in dinning room and living room to provide light for meals after dark or old fashion board games.
24 hour light stick
Food hard-working high in calories and don’t need to be cooked
Backpacks if needed to move or carry supplies
Solar charger for electronics
Generator with reserve fuel
Manual charger bank for cell phone
Car charger plugin for phones
Car converter to plug in laptops or other small appliances
1 gallon water per person per day
Clothing for 3 – 5 days per person both hot and cold
I. Important documents (I keep ours in 3 ring binder) contains birth certificates, marriage license, copies of driver licenses, and social security cards on all. Insurance documents both policy and deeds. Bank account information, Usernames and passwords, list of credit cards, and numbers. Account numbers for all utilities and services. Tax returns, and anything else I would find important if starting over again. Don’t go crazy but, I keep all in one binder so if fire or flood I can grab it and go. I try to update several times throughout the year. Irreplaceable family photo’s should have a book of their own…consider making scans stored on non destructible DVD Rom disks.
Florida in particular the gulf coast has 1 more essential hurricane party must have…
Plan early, be prepared and stay safe friends and enjoy your summer!