Earthquake Safety (Part I)

Earthquakes are unpredictable so knowing how to stay safe during one is essential. 

Unlike other sorts of natural disasters, earthquakes can occur at any time, without any warning. Being ready for an earthquake will be all the difference in being able to safeguard yourself, your family or your residence in case of an earthquake. Keep reading to find out how to prepare your home and loved ones for an earthquake, as well as what to do during and after an earthquake to be safe.

  • If an earthquake occurs, safeguard yourself right away. 
  • If you are in a car, stop it and put the car in park.
  • If you are in bed, turn face down and protect your neck and head with a pillow.
  • Do not go outside.
  • Do not be in a doorway.

Drop: Drop wherever you are onto your knees and hands. If you’re using a walker or wheelchair, be sure your wheels are locked and stay seated until the shaking stops.

Cover: Cover your neck and head with your arms. If a durable desk or table is nearby, get beneath it for shelter. If no shelter is close by, crawl next to an interior wall away from windows. Crawl only if you can get to better cover without going through a spot with more debris. Remain on your knees or bent over to safeguard vital organs.

Hold on: If you are under a desk or table, hold on with one hand and be prepared to move with it if it moves. If you can’t find a desk or table, cover your neck and head with both hands and arms. If seated and you can’t drop to the floor, bend forward, cover your head with your arms, and cover your neck with both hands.

Prepare Before an Earthquake

The best time to prepare for any disaster is before it happens.

Secure heavy things in your house such as TVs, bookcases, refrigerators, and things that hang on walls. Store breakable and heavy objects on low shelves.

 

Safest Countries for U.S. Travelers (Part III)

 

The ‘Benelux’ Countries

As with Scandinavia, you get many countries for one score: the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The good Global Peace Index ratings for the Netherlands and Belgium are because of the low rates of violent crime, homicides, high levels of political stability, and low rates of political violence and terrorism, although petty theft can be distress in major cities. 

The State Department puts Belgium and the Netherlands at level two, mainly because of social tensions due to a vaguely elevated risk of potential terrorism. Luxembourg is too little to get a level.

Where to stay: Brussels’ FunKey Hotel is as great as it sounds. With vibrant decor and board game-themed rooms, visitors won’t ever be bored.

The UK has some beautiful sights to see and has low crime rates.

The United Kingdom

Also with a good ranking, the United Kingdom has a great Global Peace Index based on high political stability, low violent crime, and low political violence. It gets dropped a copy of notches due to the high level of militarization and threats of terrorism. This is why the State Department gives it to level two.

Where to stay: At Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London, travelers get postcard-worthy views and fabulous amenities. The hotel is located just minutes from Big Ben and the London Eye.

The Bahamas

An outlier, the Bahamas has a high score for being a safe place but doesn’t have a high score when it comes to the Global Peace Index, even though the country has truly been peaceful for decades. The high ranking by Berkshire seems to be offset by level two State Department rating because of crime. Berkshire puts the Bahamas low on the list, despite the fact that its safest places rating outscores a number of other destinations.

Where to stay: Lodge at the pastel-colored villa at Nassau’s Sandyport Beach Resort. Remember to take pics of the resort’s historic Georgian Colonial architecture.

Safest Countries for U.S. Travelers (Part II)

 

Scandinavia

Scandinavia is really three countries, not just one—Denmark, Norway, and Sweden—and Berkshire Hathaway has also included neighboring Finland in this collection of safe destinations. They all have a good Global Peace Index due to low crime rates, top levels of political stability, and low levels of political violence. 

Like with Switzerland, the chief warning is the need to have lots of money. The State Department has Denmark at level two, mainly due to social tensions because of immigration and a marginally elevated risk of possible terrorism. The other three are level one. Scandinavia’s safest places score barely follows Switzerland.

Where to stay: In Denmark, Copenhagen Island has waterfront views and contemporary amenities in the busy neighborhood of Vesterbro.

Virgin Islands (U.S. and British)

Right behind Scandinavia is the Virgin Islands. Even though neither spot has a Global Peace Index, Berkshire gives both areas good marks on security and safety. But this one may make you think twice. In earlier years, the U.S. Virgin Islands had some soaring homicide rates in current years. But the State Department states the British Virgin Islands are at level one.

Where to stay: Lodge here in the British Virgin Islands right on the beach at Turtle Bay Resort.

Italy is a peaceful country.

Italy

Italy’s Global Peace Index is because of low homicide rates and political terror, even though petty crime in tourist areas is minor. The safest places score for Italy is in line with the aforementioned USVI and BVI and the State Department puts Italy at level two, mainly because of social tensions due to a slightly elevated risk of possible terrorism.

Where to stay: Boutique Hotel Campo de Fiori in Rome is created to duplicate antique structures from the Roma Baroque period. Guests enjoy lavishing amenities and historic charm for an economical price.

Safest Countries for U.S. Travelers (Part I)

In addition to its beautiful landscape, Ireland also ranks as one of the safest countries for U.S. citizens to travel.

Are you fretting about travel safety in 2019, but still wanting to visit some beautiful, spectacular countries? This list has the safest countries to visit.

Ireland

Ireland was given a good safest place score and it ranks at the top in the Global Peace Index. It’s ranked low on political violence, terrorism, and militarization. The State Department gives it the safest advisory level (level one).

Where to stay: The Clontarf Castle Hotel is ranked high for a reason: affordable pricing. Visitors get to stay in a castle just minutes from Dublin’s heart.

Australia

Australia directly follows Ireland with a high score. It has very low rates due to political instability, little violent crime, and militarization. The State Department gives Australia a level one.

Where to stay: Melbourne’s well-known Victorian hotel, The Hotel Windsor, is a graceful choice in the center of the city.

Iceland

Iceland has a top Global Peace Index Rating as a result of really high marks for social support, safety, and political stability. One of the chief problems you’ll face in Iceland is over-tourism, resulting in the fact that so many folks agree it’s a fabulous place. The State Department gives it a level one.

Where to stay: Visitors enjoy the little town feel of the Frost and Fire Hotel in Hveragerdi. Its cozy and private accommodations make you feel right at home.

Switzerland

Switzerland’s Global Peace Index shows really low terrorism, crime rates, and great political stability. The real risks you face are to your purse, wallet, and credit cards. How much you’ll have to use them, not robbery. The State Department puts it at level one and the safest places score is close to 3.

Where to stay: Hotel des Balances is one of Lucerne’s most well-liked waterfront hotels. Enjoy amazing views and a soothing ambiance for an economical price.

 

Kid Safety at the Bus Stop (Part II)

The best thing you can do as a driver is to pay attention to the bus stops. 

For Drivers (Continued)

Watch for Kids Approaching or Leaving: Children are unpredictable. They frequently jump out into traffic when they are in a hurry to catch the bus. Also, horseplay at the bus stop can be a hazard as kids can sometimes end up in the street. Be watchful of children walking on sidewalks and crossing the street close to bus stops and be really cautious when they are nearby.

Avoid Distractions: When kids are near or at a bus stop, drivers need to use their whole peripheral vision to remain focused on what is happening around them. Avoid distractions like texting and be alert. It is not worth risking a life to read an email. 

Tips for Children

Listen to the driver. Remind your children to pay attention to any directions that come from the driver and bus monitor. These two individuals are great resources for children and trained to offer the safest trip possible. Introduce your new rider to the driver and supervise so he can learn their names and will feel comfortable talking with them if questions or issues come up. 

Cross with caution. Explain to your kids that he shouldn’t walk behind the bus. If they need to cross the street, they should do so in front of it. It’s critical to make eye contact with the bus driver so the driver knows they are crossing. Be sure your child walks on the sidewalk or along the side of the street to a spot at least five big steps in front of the bus before crossing.

Watch the wheels. Safercar.gov warns that if a kid drops something after getting off the bus and it rolls beneath the wheels, he or she should tell the driver instead of trying to get it. 

 

Kid Safety at the Bus Stop (Part I)

Bus stops can be dangerous but these tips will help keep your child safe. 

Kids who are walking to the bus stop, waiting for the bus, and getting on and off the bus are in danger of different types of hazards, like slip and fall accidents, vehicles driving nearby, and numerous others. We all have to do our part to make sure that kids can get to and from school safely.

Here are some tips for drivers and parents to keep school kids safe around bus stops:

For Parents

Have your child(ren) Arrive Early: Safety begins with being sure your children get to the bus stop before the bus’s scheduled arrival. Regardless if you are walking them to the stop or they are going on their own, make sure they get there at least five minutes or so ahead of time. Hurrying to catch the bus at the last minute can create all types of hazards, so make it a habit for your kid to get to the stop ahead of time.

Exercise Caution around Buses: School your children to be careful when they are waiting for the bus. Have them remain at least seven big steps away from the curb and let them know that the bus stop is not a place to be running around and playing. Kids must never walk behind a school bus. If your kid has to cross the street at a crosswalk opposite a school bus, teach them to always make eye contact with the bus driver so they realize the driver can see them.

For Drivers

Drive Slowly: When driving in behind buses or in school zones, make sure to slow down and give yourself lots of time to react to pedestrian and bicycle traffic and quick school bus stops. Buses often need to slow down to drop off and pick up children. Also, they are obliged to come to a total stop at all railroad crossings. Always drive at a safe speed when you are behind a bus and while children are around the bus stop.

 

For Women: Staying Safe at the Gas Station

Always stay aware of your surroundings at the gas station.

It’s a probable danger zone for women traveling alone: the gas station.

When stopping for gas or getting some snacks, women can find themselves in danger if they’re alone.

Don’t read texts or play with your phone while pumping gas. It’s even okay to be rude if someone approaches you. You need to focus on the task at hand and getting back on the road all the while staying safe. Using common sense in regard to your safety when at the gas station is always imperative. Below are some ways to stay safe when at the pump.

Go to the gas station in the daytime if possible. Typically speaking, incidents are more likely to happen if you go to a gas station in the middle of the night or at dark, when there are few people around. If you’re on the road early in the morning and need gas, contact a towing service for assistance or ask a friend/family member to pick you up.

Go to a well-lit gas station in a safe neighborhood. Sometimes you might not have a choice, but you shouldn’t have to be nervous when stopping at a gas station, especially if you have other options.

Once you find a pump and leave your car, cut off the engine and lock the doors. Don’t ever leave your car running or your doors unlocked as you get gas. It only takes seconds for someone to jump in your vehicle. 

Keep your personal items by your side. Do not leave your cell, purse, wallet in the car.

Refuel and move on. After you’ve filled up the tank and paid for your gas, put the cap on and get into your car promptly. No stalling.

While not a guarantee of stopping any wrongdoing, being accompanied by another individual when at the gas station is better than going by yourself.

Be careful and use discretion if approached by an individual wanting money, to use your cell, etc. 

Staying Safe During a Tornado (Part III)

These tips help keep you safe if you find yourself in the path of a dangerous tornado.

If you’re in Your Car or Truck

Don’t attempt to outrun a tornado. It’s quicker than you and doesn’t have to stick to roads. Instead, safely go to the closest sturdy-looking building. Once there, park your vehicle outside of any traffic lanes and go inside. If you’re caught inside your vehicle: park, be sure your seat belt is on, put your head down under the windows, and cover your head and neck with a blanket, coat, seat cushion, or your hands. 

The vehicle’s airbags and frame will provide some protection. Don’t drive to an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a flat, open, low location.

If you’re Outside

If reaching shelter in time is not feasible, you have some options. If you can get close to a building, do so and squat next to a strong wall. If you’re completely out in the open, get away from cars, trees, and other possibly deadly debris. Lie face down flat in a ditch or low-lying space. Cover your neck and head.

After the Tornado

If you’re trapped by debris, FEMA suggests you don’t kick up dust, try to move, or push your way out. You might get injured and may make things worse for yourself. Instead, tap on a wall, pipe, or other material to make noise. Yell or whistle if you can so rescuers can find you.

When the storm has passed, check in with your loved ones to be sure nobody is harmed. Keep them together in the aftermath. Turn on your radio and for instructions from local officials and emergency personnel. Use great caution as you start to clean up. 

Stay away from damaged buildings, debris, and fallen power lines. Look out for broken glass and other sharp objects on the ground. Make sure to have on protective clothing while you handle debris and don’t attempt to lift heavy debris by yourself. If your power is gone out, use lamps and flashlights, not lighters, matches, or candles. 

Staying Safe During a Tornado (Part II)

One sign of a tornado is hail.

If you’re not close to your phone or in an area with bad coverage, there are other tornado signs. Listen and look for:

  • Dark thunderstorm clouds
  • Heavy rain or large hail 
  • Whirling debris or dust 
  • A thunderous rumble that sounds like a train 

Knowing these warning signs can save you plenty of time. Time is of the essence in emergency situations.

When the Tornado Strikes

Once a warning has been issued or you can see the storm coming yourself, it’s time to find shelter ASAP. Don’t wait. Bear in mind, wherever you end up, make sure to safeguard your head. Most tornado injuries entail flying debris. Also, never leave a building trying to escape a tornado. You can’t outrun it.

If You’re at Home

Go inside and move to a windowless, small interior room. If you have a basement or cellar, take cover in there. Stay away from doors, corners, windows, and outside walls. The point is to put as many walls between you and the outside as you an. 

Once you’re in a safe room, go beneath a sturdy desk or table, covering your head and neck with a heavy coat, your arms, a thick blanket, or pillows to safeguard from debris. If you live in a mobile or manufactured home, leave quickly and head to the nearest sturdy building. Mobile homes have very little to no protection. Keep pets in a carrier or crate.

If You’re at Work or School

Head to a pre-designated safe area, such as a storm cellar, a safe room, or a window-free interior room. If you live in a high-rise building, go to a small interior room on the lowest floor. If possible, avoid any buildings with long-spanning roof areas, such as arenas, gymnasiums, or shopping malls. These buildings have a great chance of collapsing from the pressure or a tornado.

Staying Safe During a Tornado (Part I)

Tornadoes are the most dangerous storms on the planet, so it’s crucial to know how to stay safe if you find yourself in their path.

Each year, around 1,300 tornadoes hit the U.S., damaging everything in their paths. They can form in any season, almost anywhere, and bring with them over 250 mph winds and funnels that can be over a mile wide. This is what you must know to stay safe and survive a tornado. 

When and Where They Occur

Most tornadoes in the U.S. happen east of the Rockies. They are particularly concentrated in the central and southern plains (“Tornado Alley”), as well as parts of Florida and the Gulf Coast. That said, tornadoes can happen practically anywhere. Therefore, it’s good to be ready for them wherever you live. 

While tornadoes can happen any time during the year, they will probably strike in the spring and summer. More often than not, they occur in the early evening and late afternoon when the pressure is quickly changing. 

Know the Warning Signs

Tornadoes can strike fast and out of nowhere, though there are typically warning signs of some type. Be sure you understand what different weather warnings mean:

Severe thunderstorm watch: Weather conditions suggest severe thunderstorms might form in your area. Severe thunderstorms are an early warning sign of a possible tornado.

Severe thunderstorm warning: A severe thunderstorm has been seen by spotters or on radar and is happening in your area. These storms can bring hail, rain, lightning, and winds of over 55 mph. These warnings last for about an hour or until the storm passes or upgrades to a more severe one.

Tornado Watch: Weather conditions suggest severe thunderstorms are possible and might develop into tornadoes in your area. If you see this warning, go over your emergency plans and begin preparing for the worst.

Tornado warning: It’s happening right now. A tornado has been seen in your area so implement your emergency plan and take cover ASAP.