disaster

Oh Deer……………. it’s that time of year

The explosion in the deer population has lead to a continuing increase in deer-car collisions. This trend will only increase as the deer population grows and urban habitats continue to encroach upon rural environments.
According to the National Safety Council, there were 530,000 animal-related accidents in 2003 and these collisions resulted in 100 deaths and 10,000 injuries.
The average cost per insurance claim for collision damage is $2,800, with costs varying depending on the type of vehicle and severity of damage. When you factor in auto claims involving bodily injury, the average rises to $10,000.

Most deer-vehicle collisions occur in the months of October, November, and December. Peak times for collisions are the last week of October and the first two weeks of November. Highest-risk periods are from sunset to midnight and the hours shortly before and after sunrise.

Defensive driving tips to avoid hitting a deer:

  • Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
  • Drive with caution when moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland. Deer seldom run alone. If you see one deer, others may be nearby.
  • When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
  • Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away.
  • Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
  • Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in car/deer crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
  • Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.

October is Fire Safety Month- Smoke Alarms and Fire Escape Plans SAVE LIVES

 In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared.

 

Smoke alarms are required by your insurance. Since most fires start between midnight and 4 a.m., the key to survival is being awake and alert.

Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent. They are a critical first step for staying safe, but in order to be effective, they have to be working properly.

For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area.

  • Install at least one smoke detector on each floor and one near each bedroom area.
  • Check detectors regularly to make sure they are working.
  • Change the batteries twice each year. An easy way to remember is to put in fresh batteries when you change the clocks in the spring and fall.
  • You can increase your chances of survival by creating a home escape plan and rehearsing it regularly. An escape plan should include multiple routes for leaving the home quickly with a designated spot for family members to meet.

This segment from NBC’s TODAY Show may surprise some parents, as it shows how kids can sleep right through the sound of a smoke alarm.

 

Carbon Monoxide

Fuel-powered devices can provide wonderful benefits to families when used properly. But they also underscore an important necessity in the home: the need for a carbon monoxide alarm.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or cars left running in garages. At its worst, carbon monoxide can cause severe side effects or even death.

Young children are especially vulnerable to the effects of carbon monoxide because of their smaller bodies. Children process carbon monoxide differently than adults, may be more severely affected by it, and may show signs of poisoning sooner.  Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, nausea and drowsiness.

Fire Escape Plan

Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames.

  • Create and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of your house in case of a fire.
  • Get a stopwatch and time how fast your family can escape. The kids will love it.
  • As part of your plan, designate one person to get infants and small children out safely.
  • Have a back-up plan for young children just in case the primary person is overcome by smoke.
  • Smoke is toxic. Teach children to “get low and go” if there is smoke when they are leaving the home.
  • Practice feeling the door, doorknob and cracks around the door with the back of your hand to see if they are too hot. Help your children practice this step.
  • Choose a place to meet outside that is a safe distance away from your home.

More Fire Safety Tips

September is Disaster Prepareness Month

If you only had 10 minutes to evacuate your home, would you be ready? What would you take with you? See how two families deal with an evacuation order, and what a difference having a plan can make. http://ow.ly/o5QSs

Ready your Family Emergency Plan…. http://ow.ly/o5TeB

In the event of a sudden emergency such as a hurricane, you may have just minutes to gather your family and important papers, and get out of your house, possibly for good. Are you prepared? Where would you go? What would you take with you? http://ow.ly/o5RQr

Sesame Workshop, along with its project partners has created Let’s Get Ready! Planning Together for Emergencies with tips, activities, and other easy tools to help the whole family prepare for emergencies – together! http://ow.ly/o5Siv

Build a kit for disasters and emergencies! (and don’t forget to update/refresh it) http://ow.ly/o5SFf

A Disaster Supply Kit should contain the following:

  • Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
  • Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days- Non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices, foods for infants or the elderly, snack foods, non-electric can opener, cooking utensils / fuel, paper plates, plastic utensils
  • Blankets / Pillows, etc.
  • Clothing – seasonal, rain gear, sturdy shoes
  • Medical supplies – first aid kit, medicines, prescription drugs
  • Special Items – for infants and the elderly
  • Toiletries – hygiene items
  • Moisture wipes
  • Flashlight – extra batteries
  • Radio – battery-operated and NOAA weather radio
  • Cash – (Banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods.)
  • Important documents – in a waterproof container- Insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, social security card, etc
  • Keys
  • Toys, books and games
  • Tools -  keep a set with you during the storm
  • Vehicle fuel tanks filled
  • Pet care items- Proper identification, immunization records, ample supply of food and water, a carrier or cage, medications, muzzle and leash.

Visit www.Ready.gov, and www.fema.gov/what-mitigation/plan-prepare for  a thorough look into disaster preparedness  and a more detailed list of emergency supplies. Also, www.Ready.gov/kids is an excellent  resource for information on how to involve children in the process of  assembling the family’s Disaster Supply Kit.