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Entries in FEMA (2)

Tuesday
Dec202011

Holidays Most Dangerous Time for House Fires

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The next two weeks are the most dangerous time of the year for house fires, according to fire safety experts. From Dec. 23 through Dec. 25, and Dec. 26 through New Year’s, the chances of a candlelit fire soar more than 300 percent.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), new homes -- built with and stuffed full of synthetic materials -- burn up six times faster than older homes built 50 years ago.

According to FEMA, fire deaths have been down two percent in the past five years, but deaths from accidental fires have gone up 18 percent. Cooking fires are up 16 percent.

While synthetic materials have made household construction and products sturdier and cheaper, they’re also more flammable. And technology has been slow to respond. Mattresses, however, once the chief killer in fires, seem to be an exception. They are now designed to burn more slowly.  Some mattresses ABC News tested at the Underwriters Labs were nearly self-extinguishing.

But the real lifesaver in a fire, Tom Chapin, vice president of corporate research for Underwriters Lab says, is awareness.  A  smoke detector with working batteries is likely the best bet.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug252011

Hurricane Preparedness Tips and Resources

Ron Garan/NASA(WASHINGTON) -- Hurricane Irene is barreling down on the U.S., a monster storm packing winds of more than 100 miles per hour as it batters the Bahamas. In the next few days, the storm could hit the Outer Banks of North Carolina, or even the Mid-Atlantic and New England states. If you find yourself in Irene's path, experts say not to wait until the last minute. Now is the time to make preparations to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Here are some tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):

  • Be aware of the latest weather forecast.
  • Make a plan for your family, business and property.
  • Get a disaster preparedness kit stocked with critical supplies, including important documents and medications.
  • Get flood insurance.

Read more of FEMA's advice for securing your family and valued possessions.

The National Weather Service suggests you have a plan for your beloved family pets, and determine safe areas inside your home, as well as escape routes if flooding turns dangerous.

Track the Storm:  Your smartphone could be your most valuable tool during or after a hurricane, with dozens of apps available to provide crucial information.

Here's a list of some of the available apps. Click on the links for download information.

  • Hurricane HD: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch. $3.99 – Hurricane HD lets you track storms, with moving radar and satellite imagery from the National Hurricane center. It provides tropical bulletins, forecasts, and advisories for the Atlantic and Pacific Basins. You can watch video updates for storms currently underway or forming, and find data on major storms of the past, such as hurricanes Andrew, Hugo and Katrina.
  • The Weather Channel: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, Android. Free – The Weather Channel has fully customizable weather maps, animated radar maps, detailed weather conditions and forecasts, severe weather alerts, and a notification bar with the current temperature and severe weather alert indicator. It allows you to get weather forecasts for your location or search by city, ZIP code, street address or landmark. The app also includes interactive maps that are fully customizable and feature the functionality of Google Maps. Customers can decide to display layers such as radar, clouds, UV index, rainfall and more.
  • Global Alert Network: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android BlackBerry. Free – The Global Alert Network delivers hands-free national traffic and weather alerts. See iTunes for Apple devices, or go to BlackBerry for a download. The Global Alert Network is a location-aware network platform that automatically broadcasts audible hands-free alerts to mobile devices. You choose to subscribe to weather or traffic alerts, which are geo-targeted to your location.


Other Resources
Click HERE for a list of useful storm preparedness resources and websites.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio