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5 Earthquake Preparedness Tips for Business Owners
Earthquakes are generally as a result of an instant release of energy into the earth ending in seismic waves. Earthquakes can not only happen anywhere but also anytime leading to injuries and losses. Have you ever asked yourself whether your business or employees will be safe if an earthquake occurs today? Are you ready for an emergency? If not then it’s time to get prepared. But how? Read through to learn the top 5 earthquake preparedness tips for business owners.
Identify potential problems
Do earthquakes usually occur in your area? Are they a threat that you have to deal with? You need to determine whether earthquakes are common and confirm whether they are a risk to your business. Start by preparing for the things that are likely to affect your business and organize yourself from there.
Prepare an earthquake survival kit
If a strong earthquake occurs today, you are likely to miss electricity, water, internet, sewage services and gas among other things. When you don’t have enough time, an emergency survival kit can provide you fast with important emergency supplies. A disaster survival kit may contain things such as water, food, flashlight, batteries, medications, multipurpose tools, and a map of the area.
Come up with a response plan
Work together with your workers so that you know what to do during and after an earthquake. You need to know who will be responsible for what and when. Regularly check the plan and ensure that you practice the safety actions. Check with those who are disabled and see whether there are plans in place for them. Also know what you will do if damages have affected your store, building or factory. Make sure you have an evacuation plan, emergency exits, and office earthquake kits. Do not forget about establishing a telephone line that workers can call in case of an emergency.
Protect your financial data
What would happen to your business financial data if your store or office were damaged by an earthquake? What about other sensitive business information and customers’ data. If you want to protect your company’s records, you need to have an internal and external data backup site. Instead of storing your data in a computer hard drive use a company’s server and let your employees know. In addition to this, get a data compromise coverage from your company’s insurance. This will significantly help you with the legal and financial burden in case any information is stolen, lost or accidentally released.
Create a business continuity plan
How long will your business continue to run in case an earthquake occurs? For instance, if you are dealing with goods and services you may still continue to get orders even if your main store is closed. A business continuity plan involves knowing how to communicate with your suppliers and customers, how to take care of orders, and how to retrieve your company’s lost data.
Leona is part of the content and community team at Specialty Fuel Services – providers of emergency fuel continuation services, in locations affected by catastrophic events.
These 5 Items Should Be On Your Survival Kit List
The average human can live up to three weeks sans food, but only three days without water. That said, the items that you include in your emergency survival kit, whether for venturing into the wilderness or for urban readiness, can spell life and death. Fortunately, you don’t have to be in a situation where you are left with no choice. You can increase your chances of surviving in almost any situation, provided that you have the right tools.
Ideally, the more items you have in your tactical survival gear, the easier it will be for you to survive. However, it also means that you add weight or bulk to your pack. While you obviously cannot carry your entire arsenal with you at all times (you’re not The Terminator), you can certainly select specific sets for different scenarios. There are also core tools that should also be present no matter the situation. Here are five of these essentials.
In a true survival situation, the chances of you needing to cut something are very high. Thus, you need a reliable knife that’s easy to handle, strong, and razor sharp. You will likely be using it for various purposes, so in place of getting a singular unit, you might want to have a multi-tool that also includes a knife feature.
Fire in the wilderness or in the evenings is essential to maintaining your core body temperature (or to cook). Remember that it takes only 3 hours for the body to survive outside of its base temp. Having a trusty gadget takes the effort out of rubbing sticks together. Your kit should have three ways to start a fire. One is an automatic Firestarter, two is a regular box of matches, and three is a striker. Don’t forget to pack them in waterproof packs and separately.
First aid kit
This is a critical kit that should be with you at all times. There are plenty of generic first aid kits at supermarkets, but you can expand them with pressure dressings and probably a compass, too. Study the pocket manual that came with the kit before you even head out, so you know what to do instantly and will not fumble when an actual emergency happens.
Water or water filtration
No person can survive without water for more than 72 hours. Under non-threatening circumstances, an average human should also be drinking at least 1 gallon of water daily. Having a water bottle or a water filtration system ready ensures that you have access to safe drinking water at all times. It is especially helpful if you’re going on an adventure with a group because water in this setup can easily run out, and you might need to take some from an organic source.
Flashlight or torch
Let there be light! Whether for venturing into an unfamiliar territory or walking at night, you will need light to navigate. Fortunately, there are many models that offer powerful illumination even with very small and lightweight bodies.
Of course, the most important tool you should have no matter where you are going is knowledge. Without knowing how to use any of these items, your chances of surviving are slim. Equip yourself with the ability to read weather signs, where to go and what to do in case of a natural disaster, what areas to avoid to secure your safety, and more.
There are plenty of online resources and books that will teach you different tactics on how to protect yourself, whether in the wild, when out in the city, or even when you’re just at home. The monthly gear from TacPack also offers the latest gadgets and innovations that can help make you feel safer everywhere you go, without being heavy on the back and on the budget.
Staying Safe in an Earthquake – How to Be Prepared
Nobody wants to confront a major natural disaster. Yet some disasters – hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes, to name a few – come with warning signs, allowing for minor preparation and escape.
Earthquakes, on the other hand, happen immediately and with no warning. They are so all-consuming and widespread that you cannot jump in the car and escape them.
If you are in the impact zone, you will be affected. But the degree to which you are affected can be minimized. It all depends on how prepared you are for the quake. Preparation does take some time, but you will reap the benefits many times over in the event of a major earthquake.
What Is a Quake Like?
Ordinary life immediately precedes an earthquake. You are washing the dishes, watching TV, doing homework, or putting on a helmet for a bike ride. Then you feel that initial jolt.
You may not realize it at first, thinking that it is something else – that someone dropped something heavy. Then you become aware of the noises, of chandeliers rattling, the house frame squeaking, glasses dropping and breaking, car alarms going off.
If you are indoors, items that are not secured – books, TVs, glassware, and lamps – will topple and fall. Hanging items will begin to swing. As these things are falling, you become aware that you might just become the victim of one of these falling things.
If you are outdoors, trees sway and water sloshes out of swimming pools.
The first jerk is followed by several more back-and-forth jerks. You may find it hard to stand.
Even though most earthquakes last only seconds – rarely more than thirty seconds – it will feel like forever.
Right after the shaking stops, the noise continues: dogs barking, people shouting, alarms ringing. Milder aftershocks continue for minutes or hours. Your electricity has probably gone out. Water may not be safe to drink, or water mains may be broken. Gas lines may erupt.
You have just experienced an earthquake measuring 7.0 or greater on the Richter scale.1
Unfortunately, no one can predict earthquakes. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake, nor are any scientists expected to be able to do so in the foreseeable future.
The best that scientists can do is produce tables that calculate the probability that an earthquake may occur. The milder the earthquake, the greater the probability that it will occur within the next 30 years. More severe quakes measuring 7.0 or higher on the Richter scale – those truly life-altering, disastrous quakes – are less probable to happen.
For example, because Southern California already experiences quakes between 5 and 6 on the Richter scale about four times per year, there is a 100 percent chance of another quake of similar strength happening within the next 30 years. However, because major magnitude-7.5 quakes have happened about once every 87 years, Southern California has only a 36 percent chance of another one happening in the next 30 years.2
Be Ready: Making an Earthquake Preparedness Kit
To help make your recovery from an earthquake safer and more comfortable, you should stock up your home with a set of essential preparedness items. Keep these items stored in a clean, dry place.3
Water: One gallon per person for every day. Provide for a two-week supply of water.
Food: Non-perishable items such as canned food or dry camping food that can be reconstituted with water. Be sure to have a can opener as well.
Gas/Water Shutoff Tool: This specialized wrench fits gas and water shutoff valves and can be purchased at your local home improvement or hardware store.
Flashlight: Have both battery-powered and crank flashlights. Keep a full set of fresh batteries on hand, too.
Radio: Purchase a hand-crank radio.
Medications: These are essential daily prescription items that are needed to maintain regular health.
First-Aid Kit: Basic kit that has gauze, adhesive bandages, antiseptic, aspirin or ibuprofen, and heat packs.
Tool Kit: Small tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, and a hammer. If you wish, you may substitute a multipurpose tool.
Eyewear: Extra glasses, contact lenses, and solution.
Personal Documents: Assemble a fireproof lockbox with prescription slips, home and car titles, birth certificates, passports, and all insurance policies, including homeowner’s insurance policy.
Contact List: Written spreadsheet or other type of list of phone numbers and addresses of relatives, close associates, local hospitals, and police and fire stations.
Cash: Several hundred dollars in small bills.
Paper Maps: Detailed maps of your local area.
Extra or Optional Items
Baby Supplies: Bottles, formula, diapers, food.
Pet Supplies: Food, ID, collar, carrier.
Entertainment: Books, cards, board games.
Signal Devices: Whistle, air horn, flares.
Feminine Sanitary Items
Camping Stove: Stove with extra propane canisters and waterproof matches.
Knife and Scissors
Water Purification: Tablets or bleach.
How to Make Your Home Safer in Case the Big One Strikes
Chances are good that your home is not prepared for an earthquake. While your house may seem solid and safe, it is likely not ready for the rigors of a magnitude-7.0 earthquake. Undertake these projects now for a safer home:4
Secure Water Heaters
Secure heaters to walls with metal straps. These bands can be purchased as part of a kit, available at home improvement stores.
Attach Bookcases, Filing Cabinets, and Tall Cabinets to Wall
Affix any kind of furniture that can tip over to a wall stud, using a metal L-brace or a nylon strap.
Create Barriers on Shelves
Attach ledge barriers along the edges of shelves to prevent items from sliding off and falling.
Secure Gas Appliances
Attach flexible connections to allow appliances to shift without breaking their lines. As with the water heater, attach large gas appliances to the nearest wall.
Minimize Shattered Glass on Windows
Install clear or shaded safety film on windows. This will prevent glass from scattering across the floor.
Secure House to Foundation
Consult a contractor to install anchor bolts between the house framing and the foundation.
Strap Down Chimney
Attach reinforcing bars or metal straps to the chimney to prevent it from snapping and breaking off in the event of an earthquake.
During and After an Earthquake: Keeping Yourself and Your Family Safe
During The Quake5
Drop to the ground and take cover under the nearest strong piece of furniture, like a table or desk.
Stay indoors. Even though open outdoor spaces are safer than being indoors, falling objects can injure you as you try to move outside.
If you are driving, stop at the nearest clear, open area, away from buildings. Remain in the car.
Stand under a door frame. Once standard advice, this is now outdated, as modern door frames are rarely stronger than other parts of the house.
Stand next to buildings, trees, or power lines, which could collapse and injure you.
Go to a window, as glass may break and hurt you.
Stand next to book cases, high pantry cabinets, refrigerators, or other top-heavy items that may fall.
After The Quake
Even though the earthquake may last only seconds, the aftermath may go on for days or weeks to come. Follow these fifteen steps, in this order:
Wait for the aftershocks to end.
Check yourself for injuries first before assisting others.
Put on shoes to protect yourself against broken glass.
Check for fires and extinguish them immediately.
Shut off natural gas and water lines.
Move yourself and your family to the nearest open area.
Open windows to ventilate your home.
Check your house for structural damage.
Begin gathering water from the water heater release valve, ice cube trays, and toilet tanks.
Check sewer lines for damage before flushing the toilet.
Inspect the chimney for cracks that may indicate potential collapse.
Keep the freezer closed for as long as possible to retain the cold.
Set up charcoal grill outside for cooking.
Stay at home if at all possible. Roads will be impassable.
Check your emergency radio for information.
Earthquakes are devastating events. Fortunately, you and your family can remain safe by following basic safety plans.
Here’s A Checklist To Check Against Your Emergency Plan
Just how prepared are you when it comes to disaster management? You may never experience a disaster, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. If not well equipped, disasters may strike, and you will be left without a contingency plan to curb them. It is highly essential that you come up with an emergency plan for your family.
One of the deadliest hurricanes in history is Hurricane Katrina which left over 1,200 people dead in August 2005. Such occurrences are quite scary. However, as rare and horrific as they might be to ponder, you need to be prepared when they occur. What you need is a disaster preparedness plan to help you get through such periods.
Before coming up with a plan, have a sit-down with your family and discuss some of the ways you can become prepare for this type of situation. Take a critical look at the possible threats to devise a comprehensive plan. Preplanning helps to bring to light some of the resources you may not have on hand. This ensures that you purchase them before anything happens.
Why should people take emergency plans seriously? They prevent possible injuries, damages and help in increasing the chances of survival after an occurrence. Some of the things that should be in your family emergency plan are as follows.
Create a Communication Plan
Contacts are an essential requirement. Analyze all of your relatives and decide on one your family can all share as a common emergency contact. As you choose, ensure that the relative is not likely to be affected by some of the occurrences in your area. Once completed, confirm that each of your family members has the relative’s contact information.
Ensure that your kids have the contact information as well and if possible, leave the contacts with school management. Also, ensure that there is an email attached to the contacts, so they have alternative ways to get ahold of the family member. Also, keep your documents safe for disaster times.
Have a Common Meeting Point
As a family, being in one place after disaster strikes will reduce stress levels and ensure that everyone is out of harm’s way. Determine a drill where you identify one common location scheduled as a meeting point when any disaster happens. Practice emergency situations and have a defined route available, especially for children.
A meeting point will help in reconnecting so that you can plan the next action as a family without the disorientation of looking for other members. A useful tip would be for every family to note down the specific location for easier tracing.
Have an Emergency Supply Kit
When disasters happen, it’s normal to have accidents. It could be just a regular power outage that if not well prepared for, could cause significant hiccups. In such a case, have rechargeable batteries that will provide a temporary lighting solution. Create an emergency kit that contains a series of first aid supplies as well as other preventive measures. The FAST-ACT Chemical Decontamination products can keep you safe and prepared in the event that a chemical attack was to occur.
There should be a substantial amount of water and food in your kit for survival. Have food supplies that can last you for about a week or even more. The kit should also have enough necessary medical supplies for every member of your family.
Include Photos of Your Family Members
Sometimes, during floods or occurrences of seismic forces, a family member may not have reached home and may be in danger. What comes to mind first? Calling them is the first option but what happens when their phone has been turned off? Have a photo of them so that you can ask nearby civilians or emergency crew for increased chances of tracing them.
A Power Bank as a Lifesaver
In this modern age, everybody deserves to have a power bank. It does not matter if you have a 10,000 mAh; it will still go off at some point. To make sure that does not happen, always ensure that you have a power bank on hand; it will definitely come in handy to recharge a dead phone. It will even help in contacting 911 or an emergency response team.
As much as emergencies are rapid, some events can never be predicted. Research more on the possible hazards around your region so that you have a contingency plan when they occur. This does not necessarily mean you prepare for the specific risk alone. If preferred, consult engineering experts or fire departments for a more precise picture of potential environmental hazards.
A vulnerability assessment will help you feel a level of certainty in preparation. With such an evaluation, your plan is complete as you will have tackled significant possibilities.
Communication with Neighbors
It’s possible that due to work and family obligations, you may not often talk with your neighbors. However, it’s important to keep in touch because when a disaster strikes, you will need their help. You may introduce walkie-talkies so that you can communicate in case your phone goes off. Neighbors are an asset in the emergency plan as they are close by and if you get stranded, they may just be the most immediate help available. Contacting neighbors comes in handy when you desperately need help that can’t wait.
Communication is one of the critical essentials of an emergency plan. Keeping everyone informed is necessary so that you all are on the same page. The program devised may involve planning for evacuation in extreme situations. Put that in mind as you come up with the plan. It’s important to keep your verification documents in a waterproof safety box and if possible, make copies too.
Why It’s Important To Add A First Aid Kit To Your Survival Preps
You would think that everyone would understand the obvious, adding a first aid kit to your survival planning and preps. But like many things this is one survival item often overlooked.
Special bandages, such as conforming, trauma and field dressings
Rubbing alcohol for sterilization
Sterile sutures, in several sizes
Instant hot pack
Instant cold pack
In-depth first aid/surgical guide
If you need access to prescription medicines, you should consider stocking up on them now and adding these:
Broad spectrum antibiotic
Antibiotics for sinus infections, strep throat and other common “flu” ailments
Super Glue – a way to deal with lacerations (a fairly common injury) other than just “band-aids.”
Tampons and maxi pads as a way to apply pressure and control bleeding from a more serious injury.
Also, adding a medical encyclopedia with detail and instructions for basic surgical and other medical procedures would be good to have on hand. You might even invest in taking a First Aid training course at your local Junior College or continuing education center.
Year Zero Survival has a great selection of survival first aid kits for the home, car, and workplace. Now is the time to act, be prepared.
12 Best Vehicles For Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse
Since the episode last night of Doomsday Preppers had a guy modifying an old school bus to be his battle wagon after the destruction caused by of an F5 tornado, I thought I would share this article showing other options you might consider. While I will admit, part of me wants to build my own gassifier engine and go to town on an old bus with a cutting torch, these options below come with considerably less work, risk of fire and could run much better than that old yellow tank. If nothing else, you won’t need to make your own employees work on this for you. For the rest of us that don’t have our own companies that might be a non-starter.
If you are going to purchase a vehicle that you can use to bug out, one of these beauties below might be the ticket. The good folks at the HiConsumption site pulled this great list together.
With The Walking Dead season premiere set to kick off in just over a week, we once again got to thinking about the zombie apocalypse. We got you covered last year with a list of zombie proof gear to help fend off the undead, but the reality is you aren’t going to be able to take on those flesh eating zombies on foot. You need wheels, and your current vehicle just isn’t going to cut it. Now imagine for a second that you had perfect circumstances – imagine you can get your hands on nearly anything you could think of (within reason of course). That’s the approach we took when creating this list of the best vehicles for the zombie apocalypse. You need something reliable, capable, and let’s be honest, you need something badass. You’ve been prepping for this zombie outbreak for years now, and you want to let everyone know that you are the baddest S.O.B. on the planet. Check out some of our favorite options for the end of the world in the 12 best vehicles for surviving the zombie apocalypse below.
1. Chevrolet Silverado Black Ops
Let’s start things off with a practical choice. Chevy makes a solid truck, there’s no doubt about it, and this one was built specifically for unforeseen emergencies. Although we can’t say that the zombie outbreak was “unforeseen,” we can certainly classify it as an emergency. The fully capable 4×4 features a 5.3 liter EcoTec3 V8 engine with plenty of power (355 ponies to be exact) along with lower body armor, raised suspension, solar power pack, generator, military First Aid Kit, gas masks, a crate of food with Top Ramen and Twinkies (your new favorite food groups in this post apocalyptic world), and a whole lot more. [Details]
2. Motoped Motorized Bicycle
You’re going to need something that is nimble and quick. Sure the big bulky trucks have their place, but a solid 2 wheeled companion is an essential. Motoped created a simple conversion kit that lets you outfit your mountain bike with Honda 50-190cc motor for about $1,000. [Details]
3. Hyundai Zombie Survival Car
If Hyundai is good enough for Rick and his crew on The Walking Dead, we’d suffice to say that it’s good enough for us. Thankfully the folks at Hyundai take their zombie response research very seriously, and have outfitted one of their Elantra coupes with a ton of security features from a zombie plow with massive spikes to armored windows and spiked all terrain tires for going where no other vehicle can go. [Details]
4. Knight XV Fully Armored SUV
Who says you can’t stay drenched in luxury in this new post-apocalyptic world? The Knight XV is luxury and ruggedness, fused into one completely bad-ass SUV. The vehicle is packed with a 6.8 liter V10 engine, seating for 6, night vision cameras and bulletproof armor. [Details]
5. Gibbs Quadski Amphibious 4 Wheel Drive Quad
It’s been debated for years whether or not zombies will be able to swim. From our extensive research (hundreds of hours watching zombie movies and shows), we’re going to go with no, they can’t swim. The 4WD Gibbs Quadski is perfect for tackling tough terrain, and within 5 seconds, the vehicle can tuck its tires to hit the water. Thanks to the 175 horsepower engine, you can hit speeds of up 45 miles per hour on land, which is plenty fast to leave those undead bastards in the rear view. [Details]
6. Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6
Not only will MB’s 6 wheeled off road monster provide you with a fully capable means of transportation, but it will also bring about some nice entertainment. For such a massive vehicle (8,400 pound curb weight), the 5.5 liter AMG V8 powered 6×6 is actually quite agile. Although it’s based on the military version, this thing handles more like a truck than a tank. [Details]
7. Sportsmobile Ultimate Adventure Vehicle
The folks at Sportsmobile design rugged Mercedes-Benz and Ford E-350 vans that are capable of tackling any off road terrain, while also providing a mobile home living experience. The cargo van has been equipped with everything one needs to survive in the wild, with plenty of room for bikes and water vessels. [Details]
8. KTM 990 Adventure Baja Edition
Again, enclosed cars and trucks are great, but 2 wheelers serve a vital role in your survival. There are few motorcycles that perform quite like this bad boy from KTM. Crowned the most off road capable travel enduro in the world, the 990 Adventure Baja has been outfitted with everything you need from suspension to power plant to ensure that you can transition from the asphalt to the dirt roads. There’s a slim chance anyone will be keeping up with road maintenance after the virus spreads, and this V-Twin powered machine will be able to tackle any beaten road you can throw at it. [Details]
9. WaterCar Panther Amphibious Jeep
It goes without saying that a Jeep Wrangler will always be a solid choice when it comes to the inevitable apocalypse. You can’t go wrong when it comes to Jeep, but a Jeep that can quickly convert to a boat? Now that’s a real winner. Assuming that zombies can’t swim, this thing is great for escaping those sticky situations. Packed with a 3.7 liter V6 motor built by the Japanese auto makers at Honda, this Jeep is capable of speeds exceeding 40 miles per hour on water, and 80 mph on land. The best part is the transition from land vehicle to boat takes only 15 seconds. [Details]
10. Pal V One Personal Air and Land Vehicle
Technically the results are still inconclusive when it comes to zombie’s ability to swim (although we think not), but there is one thing we’d put money on – zombies will not be able to fly. With that being said taking to the air can be risky business during this zombie infested time era (imagine crashing into a horde of zombies), but bear with us on this vehicle. The Pal V One acts like a sports car on the ground, accelerating from zero to sixty miles per hour in just 8 seconds, while reaching a top speed of 112 mph. In just minutes, the vehicle can be transformed into a Gyro-Copter, flying at altitudes of about 4,000 feet (well below commercial flight routes, although we can’t imagine there will be many commercial flights during the zombie apocalypse). The vehicle’s fuel tank can store enough fuel for over 300 miles of flight time. Now this vehicle is currently still in the “development” process, but the concept, if executed well, could make a nice addition to your stable of vehicles rather than your sole choice of transportation. [Details]
11. Mercedes-Benz Unimog
The folks at Benz said it best when they said the monster of a vehicle known as the Unimog offers “absolute off-road supremacy.” You can take Mercedes’ word for it, or you can research the 10 different models that were designed for disaster emergencies in the harshest conditions. This could be a bit impractical as your only means of transportation, but it could be a huge asset in your stash of vehicles. [Details]
12. Paramount Group Marauder
Hands down the baddest vehicle on the planet, the Marauder will withstand any test you throw at it. The armored vehicle destroys everything in its path. Features include long range fuel tanks, the ability to survive TNT explosions, ultra modern climate control system, run flat tire that can be pierced by 12.7mm bullets, anti blast seats, and so much more. The vehicle has a fording depth of half the vehicle, meaning it can swim too. Reaching speeds of 120 kilometers per hour, this thing is far from a slouch. If you can get your hands on one of these, do it. [Details]
OmegaMan Tested: EDC Survival Keychain by Survivalhax
EDC Survival Keychain
Field tested by our guest blogger, OmegaMan quoted: “A great little paracord keychain with a ear piercing whistle attached to a durable aluminum case filled with survival essentials!”
“This is a great addition to any preppers’ everyday carry (EDC) or bugout bag. Here’s what you will be shocked to find inside the survival case: Fire striker bar & tinder, fishing swivels, fishing float & weights, fishing line & hook, 2 safety pins, a wire saw, and a knife!”
It’s a key chain, a survival kit, and a waterproof pill container all in 1.
The 10 in 1 Paracord EDC Keychain is a waterproof aluminum EDC (everyday carry) pill bottle.
A durable carabiner and 550 paracord are used so you can take this mini survival kit anywhere.
Can you find a branch in the woods? Great you’ve got a fishing pole.
Open your EDC bottle and pull out the fishing line.
Tie the line to one end of your branch or stick.
Attach your hooks to your fishing line.
Add your sinkers and floaters.
Find a bug or worm for bait.
You are now fishing, bushcraft style.
No survival kit would be complete without a way to start a fire. And in order to start a fire, you need wood. The finger chainsaw can slice through branches with enough elbow grease. Slide two sticks in the finger holes for extra torque.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) delivers oxygen to the brain and other major organs until medical professionals arrive and can better administer care. It can save the life of someone whose heart or breathing has stopped by nearly drowning or heart attack.
This is serious stuff. If you know CPR, you can save a life and keep a person from brain damage. It is, quite literally, a life and death matter. Plus, you could end up in one of those dramatic recreations like they used to feature on Rescue 911! which could be your 15 minutes of fame.
The Red Cross tells the story of a young boy who fell into a pool and was pulled out after going unconscious. After being saved by CPR, admitted to, and then released from the hospital, his father had this to say:
Myles was dismissed from the hospital the next morning and, despite everything that happened, was adamant about going to Worlds of Fun. This was the best Father’s Day gift I could have ever received, watching my wife, son and daughter reunited and healthy, playing together again! No days are taken for granted any longer!
For this reason, the American Heart Association recommends CPR be administered by bystanders and those formally trained alike. When death is on the line, it’s better to do something to try to help than nothing.
Here are some guidelines. If you’ve never been formally trained in CPR, perform hands on CPR only. This is 100-120 compressions per minute with no more than a 10 second break between cycles.
If you’re well-trained, perform CPR and rescue breaths. If you’re rusty, stick to compressions.
In 2010 the American Heart Association made a startling change to the recommended CPR steps, stating that compressions alone can be as successful as compressions and breaths together.
Let’s be honest and admit that’s kind of a relief. Basically kissing a complete stranger isn’t always the most pleasant experience.
Let’s take a look at these steps to CPR.
Check The Vitals Of The Person
Perform the following steps:
Check the scene for immediate danger. Make sure you are not putting yourself into harm’s way by going to the person. Is there a fire? Is there traffic? Live wires? If you are able to prevent danger, do so. If not, carefully pull the person to safety. Ideally you will place a blanket under the person to drag them.
Check for consciousness. Tap the person on the shoulder and say loudly, “Are you OK?”. If they respond, CPR is not needed. In fact, it would be really odd, and possibly illegal if you began performing CPR on them.
You can apply first aid care or call 911 if you think it is still necessary.
Call for help. If they do not respond and you are alone call for help. You want to get medical professionals on the scene as soon as possible. If someone is nearby, have them call and you can begin to perform CPR.
Check for breathing. Unless you’re a trained professional do not take time to check for a pulse. Instead check for signs of breathing. See if the chest is rising and falling. Feel if there is air coming in and out of his or her mouth. If there is no signs of breathing follow these steps.
Begin Performing CPR
Remember the acronym CAB. While administering CPR, use CAB to remember the correct order of the steps to CPR. The letters stand for compressions, airway, and breaths.
Do compressions to restore blood circulation. Place the victim on his or her back. He or she must be lying as flat as is possible during compressions for safety. Slightly tilt their head back.
Put the heel of one hand on the breastbone 2 finger-widths above where the lower ribs meet. This will be right between the nipples. Put your other hand on top of the first, palm down. Interlock the fingers of your second hand with the fingers of your first hand. Position yourself directly over your hands. Keep your arms straight and rigid.
Perform 30 chest compressions pushing the chest down no more than two inches. Do this at the rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.
The rate of compressions would keep the beat to a song such as “Stayin’ Alive”. Sing that in your head to get the right rhythm if it helps. Or you could sing it out loud, which may either have a positive or negative effect on the person in question, depending on their preference for disco.
Clear the airway. Place one palm on the victim’s forehead and lift his or her chin with your other hand. Gently pull back the head to look inside the mouth and see if there is any obstruction. If you see something obvious in the airway, such as a large football, remove that first.
Take no more than 10 seconds to look for signs of breathing. Is the chest moving up and down? Can you feel breath coming out of the mouth?
Give rescue breaths. With the airway open, give 2 rescue breaths if you are trained in CPR. Give a one-second long rescue breath. If you see the chest rise, give a second breath. If it does not rise, tilt the head and lift the chin again. Then proceed to try your second breath.
If there is no sign of your breath entering the lungs, perform the Heimlich Maneuver. Straddle him or her with your face facing theirs. Place one fist just above the belly button and the other on top of the first hand. Thrust a few times. You are doing this to dislodge anything that may be blocking the trachea. If this is unsuccessful resume CPR.
Begin again with CAB. Thirty compressions and 2 breaths are considered one cycle. After giving two breaths, resume compressions. Continue CPR until there is movement or help arrives. If you are taking turns performing CPR with another person, minimize breaks between switches.
Using an Automated External Defibrillator
If you are too exhausted to continue, use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) if one is available. This is used to jumpstart a person’s heart. Before you turn it on make sure there are no puddles or standing water near by.
Seriously. Using an AED in or around water can be a shocking experience. Yes, that was a terrible joke. No, we won’t take it back.
Turn on the AED and follow the prompts.
Fully expose the chest. Make sure the chest is dry. If he has thick chest hair and you are able, shave spots where the AED pads go. Shave kits are included in most AED kits. Be sure not to cut the victim when you shave him, as this can interfere with rhythm analysis.
Remove any metal the person has on his or her body. Take off earrings, necklaces, piercings, and underwire bras. Also look for evidence of a pacemaker. This should be indicated by a medical bracelet. If you believe the person has a pacemaker you need to keep the AED pads at least 1 inch from the location of the pacemaker.
Attach the sticky pads that are connected to electrodes to the victim’s chest. Follow the directions in the kit when determining pad placement.
Analyze and apply shock. First be sure that no one is touching the body. Press analyze on the AED, and it will tell you if shock needs to be administered.
Leave sticky pads on the victim and resume CPR for another 5 cycles.
Put the Patient in Recovery Position
Once the victim is stabilized and breathing normally, place him or her in the recovery position.
If any funny jokes came to mind while you were performing CPR, you can finally tell them. Although, come to think of it, most people probably won’t find them funny at this point, so maybe save them for later.
This is a lateral recumbent or three-quarters prone position. Gently turn him or her to their side. Bend top knee and use it to keep the body from rolling onto its stomach. Bend both elbows and use them to prop up the body. This position allows victim to breathe more easily. The mouth is facing downward which prevents choking and suffocation.
This in-depth step-by step guide should instill confidence so that when a person is in danger and needing CPR, you will be able to administer it.
Ideally we would all take an accredited course that includes first aid, CPR, and AED. But remember that it is always better to try and help than to stand by and do nothing.
And if you do CPR on someone, you could also end up marrying them, just as happened to this couple:
Turns out learning CPR can saves lives and improve your love life.