Monday, December 27, 2010

Self Initiative - Winter Fire Safety

We have been adding to this blog about Winter Fire Safety since the beginning of 2009....
No waiting required to start your own winter fire safety program - you can take the initiative  by doing it yourself and placing your local department(s) on notice by sending them this form.  There is no exclusivity about safety. 

Your business, civic group, church and family/friends can participate whether asked to or not......and you shouldn't need to be told to help yourself anyways.  
Attach a picture of yourself or  group or maybe your business card.
Your Fire Department should post a wall of these for everyone to see.
Get your shovel on!
WIXT and B104.7 Advise CNY Residents to Shovel Out Hydrants 2-9-11

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Safe Holiday Season. 

Consider giving the gift of Safety by shoveling out a Fire Hydrant near you, for a friend or relative.......or even someone you don't know......

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Preparedness Supply Assessment

Time to take stock folks.....things we hear about going on in foreign countries and our own non representative government are cause for great concern and you need to assess your long term strategy for survival.  The public safety agency mantra of a few days food, water, spare clothes and some "sturdy shoes" is past history. 

Well, in any event the bottom line is while there are a number of great people out there willing to help out short term and some fine first reponders but the long term solution is always going to be up to you. 

If you have the room you need to have a years worth on hand for the number of people you "plan" on sustaining for that period of time.  Remember, an emergency could also be job loss.  We have spoken to folks who have been out of work for some time and managed to survive off their stored food.  Could you? 

Dehydrated food is your best bet.....but only if you can tolerate it.  Try the packaged food from dehydrated food makers at your local camping supply store.  Try and imagine a steady diet of this food and integrate it into your diet for a few weeks to see how well you tolerate it.  Reason being is that if this is your main source of emergency food then you will likely be mixing it up with what you have on stock on a daily basis to extend the life of the food supply.  Going fully dehydrated overnight could be unpleasant - we tried it.
There are plenty of suppliers and nitro-pak and some food only suppliers are good sources. 

You can get a years supply prepackaged but do check out the quantity and the types of meals you are getting.  Variety is key as is ability to use these foods as extenders for whatever you might have on hand or come across during your extended state of emergency.

MRE's and Prepackaged Sandwich Foods can be useful for immediate use as they are precooked and help you get yourself together, focused and thinking clearly while on the move or during the onset of the emergency or on the immediate mend after a storm or terrorist attack. 
Long term they could be used for excursions or immediate relocation but as a stored supply they would take up considerable amounts of space.  They could last up to 10 years if stored in a dry low temperature environment- but mainly rated for 5-6 years generally.  
Recommend a months supply of these for each person  Cases are 12 meals per pack. 

Canned Long Term Storage Food like Yoders Canned Meat to further extend your supply is an excellent method for sheltering in place long term as you most likely will find that moving this on a relocate difficult.  can help you with that selection.  40 Pounds per person per year is a minimum. 

Meat substitutes sound good but TSP or textured soy protein may not be your favorite.  They do offer the ability to stretch your supplies and they can be flavored with flavorings to taste like most meats and mixed with other foods. 

Other meats/fish like Tuna, Beef, Freeze dried beef, canned turkey or ham spam or chicken will round out your array of meats.  Remember variety is a key to survival as well.   

Freeze dried or canned items in large supply would include:
Butter    -   Dried, Canned,
Cheese   -  Canned, Dried
Oils        -  (Olive, Peanut, Coconut) Shortening (Crisco) 
Fruits     -   40 pounds or more dried or canned
Sweeteners   - Honey, Stevia, Sugar,
Grains - Whole      300+ pounds per person per year
Corn Meal    
White Rice  
Dairy Products Cheese & Milk
Eggs  -  Dried powdered,
Legumes/soy beans/lentils/navy beans/black beans/pintos

Some of these can be had in 6 gallon containers sealed in mylar oxygen reduced or
nitrogen filled bags.

Don't forget to mark the purchase and expiration dates on food purchased with a marker.
The code:     P12-21-10   for purchase date.       X10-15-16  for expiration date.

3 Gallons per person, per day.  Sounds like a lot and it is.  If you are going to sit still for your entire time you might be able to survive on less....if you plan on working to survive then 3 gallons is the rule of thumb.  If you practiced your preparedness drills as we mentioned in earlier blogs you 'd see for yourself how 1 gallon per day canbe a challenge.
Soldiers in combat can use up to 11 gallons a day in desert consider your local climate?  One person at that rate is 365-1095 gallons for one year. Will you have guests/family - if so you will have to creative and quickly.  Remember others will be in a more dire need if they have nothing in don't advertise your water storage.

You can do the math.  Now find the room that is out of the sunlight can be accessed to check quality.  Make sure you have material handlers that can move your water containers as well as hand/non powered and powered pumps to extract water when you need it. Some folks have wells and can draw up water using hand pumps or back up emergency power....assess your situation and provide the solution to keep your supply going.

Water Storage can take many forms, large tanks, 55/30/15 gallon drums, 5-6 gallon plastic containers, military water containers can be obtained in your local farm supply store or camping outlet.  Military water jugs can be found surplus or at Brigaide Quartermaster. Get these for your bug out water supply - hard to break them.  Smaller containers can be moved and stacked.....drums can be buried if need be. Large farm water containers are expensive but can be buried or stored disguised as something else. In an apartment of small home/condo you can use a WaterBob to quickly store 100 gallons using a temporary storage container that uses your tub as the support - simple/cheap keep ready for use anytime at home.  You need a tub of course.  
Bottled spring water can taste awful after a short term....commercial bottled water products are reverse osmosis purified tap water.  These will take up lots of room but if you have to give away some bottles to get people to leave you alone it could be helpful to have a few cases on hand for that purpose or for barter.

Doesn't Take Much to Temporarily Disrupt Water Supplies in Winter

Water Purification can be as simple as 16 drops of unscented chlorine bleach (5-6% in solution) per gallon.  Most bleach products will last about 6 months in storage so rotate your stock on hand or buy newer if this is your route. 
Ceramic filters from Katadyn are the best and they offer gravity feed, pump and various filter types for emergency use and camping.  Get spare filters as well.  Boiling water will take enormous amounts of energy to accomplish purification.
Chemical purification should also include Micropur, Liquid Oxygen, Antifloculants, Iodine Crystals.  UV Light purification like a Steri-Pen with rechargeable solar battery packs is smart.  Don't rely on just one type of water storage or purification method.  Just like you wouldn't bet you life on having all your emergency medical info in a cell or smartphone.   Redundancy is important.  

Military Water Cans Scepter Brand

We will be back with more....on tools and more food tips.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fire Safety Evacuation - Gear Bag

This idea could raise a few eyebrows at the local fire department that for years have told everyone to just get out when the smoke alarms go off.  Well we certainly aren't going to argue with "getting out" when there is a fire. Few people train to handle a fire in their own home but if you are (good for you as well)  then you may have other plans.  Make sure you have an adequate number of fire/smoke alarms and they are tested regularly. 

Given the Winter season and sub-zero temperatures, it is not hard to imagine people suffering from exposure in very short order if they were to simply evacuate their homes at the first sound of a smoke alarm.  Others may panic become confused and start to look for things they think is important to them.  We are suggesting you assemble them ahead of time and know they are there - and practice your fire drill evac using this idea. 

Given that most people do not go to sleep wearing winter thermal wear, jacket and boots  we are suggesting that you assemble an easy to carry bag of clothing and gear.  On your way out the window or before you climb down your emergency ladder - toss the bag.  We tried this and it amounts to about 1.5 seconds. 

You don't need to run out and buy a new bag or any gear....this kit can be comprised of existing supplies and those you could live without on a day to day basis.  This pack here is just one of our Military Gear Bags for demonstration purposes.....and has too many straps and clips that can hang up on something in an evacuation so use something akin to a soft sided duffle/gym bag.  Waterproof or weather resistant material would help.

If you plan on having winter guests you can assemble a bag for them as well ahead of time or suggest they can keep one near their bed in case of fire as a part of your evac plan.   

If this is starting to sound corny to you think about what you would do if there was a real fire and you jumped out the window in your lightweight sleepwear?  No keys, no light, no phone, no shoes.....and very cold.  How far away is your neighbor.....and in what direction?  How long until the fire department gets to your location?

Start with this: 
Easy on Shoes/Boots 
Easy on Socks
Spare Underwear
Easy on Sweatshirt or Heavy Shirt - No Buttons
Wool Hat / Balaclava Face Mask
Winter Mittens with Hand/Body Warmers Stuffed Inside
Loose Fitting Pants / Belt
Light Jacket - Windproof Bright (reflective) Colors (Yellow, Red, Orange)
911 Phone Charged
Mylar Rescue Blankets for entire family
Eye Glasses if Needed (in hardcase)
Keys to Home/Shed/Garage/Vehicle on a big high visability key fob
Lithium Battery Powered Flashlight or Headlamp(s)
Multitool Knife - sheathed
Spare Identification With ICE Cards / Emergency Med Info Forms/ Quarters $$
Plastic Garbage Bags - Large can use to stow gear or as a windbreaker/raingear
You can Choose Optional Gear as long as you Can Carry It and it fits out the window.

Ok,  some spare keys for new cars can cost a lot of money ($500) so you'll have to work that out in your plan somehow.  If you have a detached shed or garage you might be able to store a marked (ICE) bag/Rubbermaid container there if you can get to it easy enough and have a smaller pack with keys, lights and phone with you. 
Discuss this when you form your home evacuation plan.   There are other issues to discuss but this is one suggestion that might make a difference in your particular situation.
Get started....the storms are already here.

Did we mention we got this Maxpedition Bag from !

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Fire Safety Preparedness

Hydrant sorely in need of help here....vines too! Houses across the street.

A Cicero NY firefighter responded to our notice rescuing this fire hydrant!

Winter is no time to hibernate when it comes to preparedness and fire safety especially...while you are out shovelling, snow blowing or plowing, please take a few minutes to remove obstructions (SNOW) around your nearby fire hydrant.  If you live in a fire district with volunteers remember it may take extra time for them to respond to your fire....those 10 minutes will seem like an eternity.  Why have them waste even more time shovelling to your hydrant?

Update 12-12-10:  We've added a zipped file of posters on the main page of the website and Adopt A Hydrant Certificate files so your FD can create their own posters and let people "adopt" a hydrant for the purposes of ensuring it is clear of any obstruction (snow) in the event of a fire.....    check them out....

Confirm this by watching news on 12-9-10 from ABC WIXT here:

Having an obstructed hydrant could result in a delay in knocking down your fire and the sacrifice of 1-2 firefighters that might be better used fighting the fire or doing a think about that.  Don't wait. 

Get the latest Winter Fire Safety Kit for your organization right here:  12-27-10

We try to support those who will be responding to our calls for help and have done so for years.  This idea is certainly timely and important - especially in this retched economy where the cost of services keep going up and the level of service keeps going down.

Okay here is a hydrant in DEWITT, NEW YORK shoveled out recently(okay, we used a snow blower!) so even a Fat Santa can get around this one ....or a heavily outfitted firefighter.  10 feet of clearance all around so the snow plow won't block it in.  Don't scrimp here. Teach the kids how to do it.  

Suggestions:  Town/Village/City could place a family (or families) name on the hydrant that is charged with clearing it out (See Pics) using easily applied label tape or they can implant a locater stake with a flag with the names on it.....and keep a spreadsheet database of names.....contests or business sponsorship (they can clean out theirs as well) are all possibilities.   We have included an "Adoption Certificate" in our Fire Safety Zipped File so Fire Chiefs or sponsors can issue them to willing participants.....which should be everyone.  This goes for dry standpipes in rural communities as well. 


Snowstorm predicted for this week.....get your shovel on!

Adopt This Hydrant.

Fire Chiefs or Town/City Officials Can Issue "Adoption Papers"

NEW!.....Notify your local Fire Department yourself that you are Helping Out! 

Steve Cannerelli Photo Syracuse Post Standard 1-19-11   ISO Rated #1 Fire Department

WIXT News and B104.7 Radio Have Joined the Chorus  2-9-11

Is this as easy as it seems?  Yes it is.... 

Some People Requested a Visual Representation.  There you go.

ICE4SAFETY has expanded to Wordpress now as well.....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter Jump Starting Season

Cold winter weather often means jump starting vehicles with older batteries (5 years or older) so be prepared either by replacing your older battery if tests show it is bad or carry good cables or battery packs.


Connect Positive (+) Cable to Positive (+) Battery Terminal of Dead Battery
Connect End of Positive (+) Cable to Positive (+) Terminal of Good Battery

Connect Negative (-) Cable to Negative (-) Terminal of Good Battery
Connect Other Negative Clamp to Engine Block/Ground on Car w/ Dead Battery




Make Sure You Are Wearing ANZI Approved Goggles
Optimally, Cables should be 8 Gauge with Substantial Clamping Handles  

Using Battery Pack:
Same Sequence:
Pos to Pos - Neg to Ground on Vehicle

Sulfuric Acid in battery releases explosive Hydrogen Gas – Use No Sparks or Flames