SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH PART 1
Did you know you can get the FEMA app for free on the App Store and Google Play.
Part A: Potential Disasters in NE Wisconsin
FEMA has a list of 28 disasters to plan for, 23 that can reasonably anticipated in NE Wisconsin: Active Shooter, Bioterrorism, Chemical Emergencies, Cybersecurity, Drought, Emergency Alerts, Explosions, Extreme Heat, Floods, Hazardous Materials Incidents, Home Fires, Household Chemical Emergencies, Nuclear Explosion, Nuclear Power Plants, Pandemic, Power Outages, Radiological Dispersion Device, Severe Weather, Snowstorms & Extreme Cold, Space Weather, Thunderstorms & Lightning, Tornadoes, and Wildfires.
This list left me with some questions, like What is Space Weather? The term “space weather” refers to the variable conditions on the sun and in space that can influence the performance of technology we use on Earth. Personally, no internet or TV is ok, and I have a land line . . . but then, my land line depends on all sorts of technology. Without technology, so many different things might fail: cellphone communication, generation and distribution of electricity, safe drinking water supply.
And what is the difference between a Chemical Emergency, a Hazardous Materials Event, and a Household Chemical Emergency? FEMA tells us that chemical agents are poisonous vapors, aerosols, liquids and solids that have toxic effects on people, animals or plants. While potentially lethal, chemical agents are difficult to deliver in lethal concentrations because they dissipate rapidly outdoors and are difficult to produce. Hazardous materials come in the form of explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons and radioactive materials. Hazards can occur during production, storage, transportation, use or disposal. You and your community are at risk if a chemical is used unsafely or released in harmful amounts into the environment where you live, work or play. So Chemical Emergencies focus on weapons of mass destruction and Hazardous Materials Incidents are unintended releases, such as: an accident at the manufacturing facility, a pipe line break, train derailments, and semi-truck accidents. So, what is a Household Chemical Emergency? Simply, accidents and unintended exposure to household chemicals – hair spray, nail polish remover, window washing solutions, pesticides, and toilet bowl cleaners are just a few.
Some of the disasters listed are more likely than others, and many have the similar preparation. Upcoming blogs will have information on planning and preparation.