Tag Archives: supplies


It’s the time of year that everyone is ready to get their boats back on the water and have fun fishing, skiing, or taking a relaxing ride on smooth water. Getting boats conditioned after a long winter’s rest is important to the success of the boat starting each time, and running as it should. Having owned a boat, there’s much more to it than just backing it into the water and taking off. The most important thing to have in your boat is a life jacket for each person.

This week’s reminder is sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council.  NSBC was organized in September, 1958, under the name National Safe Boating Committee. Their mission is to be the foremost coalition to advance and promote a safer recreational boating experience through education, outreach and training. The NSBC presently has a membership of over 330 U.S. and Canadian organizations, all with an interest in boating safety and education. The NSBC membership is diverse, with approximately 65% of the membership being nonprofit organizations and 35% being for-profit organizations. 

This year’s theme is “Ready, Set, Wear It,” referring to life jackets. By law, there should a life jacket for each passenger, as mentioned above. At times when you are fishing, and not moving, the jacket may be placed under the seats. But they must be ready for use at a moment’s notice. Wearing a life jacket can be slightly uncomfortable at some times, but even the strongest swimmer could have an accident, falling out of the boat, and possibly hitting their head. With no life jacket, their chances of surviving may be slim. 

When we had our boat, we made sure we had plenty of life jackets, even one for our Cairn Terrier, Willie. He had short little legs, and while we were fishing, he would go to the front of the boat and invariably slip and fall into the water. Our mode of rescue was a dip net, while his jacket kept him afloat. We didn’t want to take the chance that he might not be able to swim very far. 

On one particular outing, the local game warden pulled up to our boat to check our fishing license. He really got a kick out of seeing Willie in his life jacket; he said he hadn’t seen that very often. (This was several years ago, and jackets for dogs are much more popular now.) 

Have a fun summer on the water this year. Remember to use plenty of sunscreen, wear some great sunglasses, (the reflection off water can damage your eyes), wear a hat, keep some soft drinks and water in the ice chest, snacks, and have your cell phone handy in case you get stranded. The same law applies to drivers of boats, as to drivers of vehicles – don’t drink and drive! 

Stay safe and remember, wear that life jacket. After all, that’s what they are for – to save lives!


Byline: Alejandra Parada 

You don’t want to wait until last minute to protect your loved ones from a hurricane that can be dangerous and possibly deadly. Listening to hurricane warning messages–usually 36 hours before a storm hits–and figuring out a basic hurricane protection plan can save you a lot of time, money and worry. 

Below are five tips to keep your family, friends, pets, and belongings protected: 

Have an Evacuation Plan

First, contact the National Disaster offices for the closest shelter in your city. Make sure your pets are allowed into the emergency shelter of your choice, if not contact your local Humane Society for information on animal shelters. If the hurricane is heavier than expected, make sure to have an evacuation plan, meaning contact an out-of-state friend or family member that your family can call if separated. 

Gather Important Documentations

Have the following items at hand:

  • 1.  Driver’s license or personal ID
  • 2.  Passport
  • 3.  Social Security card
  • 4.  Proof of residence (deed, lease or utility bills)
  • 5.  Insurance policies, including home, auto, flood, and wind
  • 6.  Birth and marriage certificates
  • 7.  Stocks, bond and other business certificates
  • 8.  Personal checkbook, credit cards, overall anything important in your wallet
  • 9.  Wills, deed, and copies of recent tax returns 

Don’t make the mistake of running back in a damaged house to search for these materials. Remember personal belongings are irreplaceable, but people are not. 

Review Your Insurance Policies

Check if your home and auto insurances are up to date, in case any damages were to happen, confirm the following details: 

  •                Are you covered for additional living expenses?
  •                Do you have flood coverage?
  •                Do you have enough coverage for your valuables? 
  •                Do you have comprehensive car coverage? 

Consider Installing A Backup Generator  

When a hurricane is headed your way, electricity can be lost due to heavy winds, downed power lines and excessive rain. Your family doesn’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on disaster supplies if you invest in a standby generator. You’ll be able to keep your refrigerator on, eliminating the need to eat canned foods or dry fruits and vegetables. You’ll have the whole house working like normal, including being able to charge your cell phone, laptops, and any technological device. Also, you can feel safe knowing your alarm system is still working. Even though portable generators are cheaper, sometimes gas stations don’t have enough power to get gas out of the ground to run it during a hurricane. Standby generators, which are installed into your home permanently, don’t require gasoline.  

Stock Up On Essential Disaster Supplies

Have an emergency supply kit and stock your pantry up with at least a month worth of non-perishable items, such as:

  •               Safety kit
  •               Ropes, tarps, plastic bags as tools for repair
  •               Necessary medicine, including medicine and contacts    
  •               Personal hygiene items like toilet paper, tooth brush and tooth paste
  •               Fill up all cars, trucks, motorcycles, and any driving vehicles with enough gas just in case you are asked to evacuate. 

For more information on hurricane safety, please visit generatortogo.com/blog.


Adversaries of comprehensive warehouse safety programs argue that they pose too great of a demand on current employees, create a potential need for dedicated personnel, and leach off of resources needed for more imminent, tangible tasks. Seeing is believing; therefore, reactivity typically takes precedence over proactivity since well-defined tasks pose a sense of urgency. Nonetheless, such proactivity could prevent both tragic consequences to affected parties in an accident and crippling financial liabilities to a company that has neglected to enact and sustain safety protocols.  Formulating a checklist and routinely assessing compliance to established standards is a relatively effortless way to ensure that safety is paramount to your warehouse. 
Personal Safety
Proper training, visual graphics, first aid supplies and communication are paramount in ensuring that people—personnel or customers—are sufficiently advised of potential hazards. As Voltaire said, “common sense is not so common”: stating the obvious is the best way to protect others, as well as yourself.
• Clean all spills immediately upon their occurrence and/or use proper hazard cones to ward individuals away from the area. One of the most common causes of accidents results from unattended spills.
• Designate pedestrian walkways as well as areas that people are prohibited to walk, unless authorized. 
• Use appropriate signage to instruct people of the following: directions throughout a warehouse, hazard symbols, forklift traffic, gantry cranes, and requirements for moving heavy items. This list is not all-inclusive since it varies by warehouse to warehouse, but it targets common issues.
• Use proper methods for retrieving items high in warehouse racking (e.g. forklift) and do not allow persons to climb the racking. 
• Maintain accessible safety equipment (safety glasses, eye wash stations, respirators, etc.) in required areas.
• Use proper “Exit” signs and require that all persons use man doors, instead of walking under open garage doors.


By George Musson

No matter what environment you work in, from a construction site to an office, every first aid kit will be different. Every workplace will have a different amount of people to provide first aid provisions for and will have different risks to assess.

The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has published guidance on what might be useful or necessary, but actually it’s completely up to the responsible people in each workplace to decide based on the individual circumstances. They do offer advice on what should definitely not be in your kit though, and this includes drugs and medicines such as aspirin or paracetamol.

An office is generally a low risk place, so usually only requires a basic first aid kit. For example, a basic kit for around 10 people, in a low risk environment could include:

  • A first aid advice leaflet
  • 20 assorted sterile plasters (should be individually wrapped)
  • 2 sterile eye pads
  • 4 triangular bandages (should be individually wrapped)
  • 6 safety pins
  • 2 large sterile wound dressings
  • 6 medium sterile wound dressings
  • 4 small sterile wound dressings
  • A box of disposable gloves
  • 1 roll of micropore medical tape
  • Antiseptic wipes 

Please bear in that this is only a suggestion and that there are plenty of other items that might be appropriate in your workplace and that the more people you have, the more first aid kits you will need.  For instance, if you have a kettle or oven, some minor burns treatments might be useful, or you might be decide to include cold compression packs in case you bump your head or sprain your ankle.

 One of the most important things about a first aid kit is that you keep it in an easily accessible place that everyone knows about and in a clearly marked container. Even if you’re first aid risk assessment doesn’t say you need a first aider, you should still have an appointed person who will take charge of the first aid kit and who can respond accordingly in an emergency. It will be the responsibility of this person to keep your first aid kit properly stocked, filled, clean and up to date. 

It’s always advisable to have at least one person on your staff that can provide emergency first aid, regardless of what your risk assessment says as you never know when you, or someone you work with, could fall ill or have an accident, even in a seemingly low risk environment. 

This post was written on behalf of Health and Safety Training Ltd who are one of the leading UK experts in emergency first aid courses and first aid for the workplace. 


Shared with us by Emma Roberts

If you live in a coastal area that is prone to tropical storms and hurricanes, it’s imperative that you learn to quickly and efficiently respond when severe weather strikes. When you’re responsible for the health and safety of children, emergency preparedness becomes even more of a priority. In order to ensure that everyone in your household, including the youngest members of the family, are coached on proper hurricane preparation and are protected as much as possible, it’s wise to make sure that you’re familiar with the following concepts.
Explain What a Hurricane Is For younger children or those that have never experienced a hurricane first hand, it’s essential to help them understand what a hurricane is and why it’s important that they adhere to the safety guidelines you’ve put in place. Being under the misconception that a hurricane is just a high-powered thunderstorm could cause them to take the situation less seriously than they should, which could result in the children behaving recklessly or disregarding safety rules.

Be Honest Without Causing Alarm

To keep kids from behaving in an unsafe manner due to a fundamental misunderstanding about what a hurricane is, it’s very important that you’re honest and to the point when you discuss the matter with them. However, it’s neither wise nor necessary to phrase your explanations in a way that alarms them or causes them to become excessively afraid. Managing the natural fears that will accompany the worst part of the storm could be difficult enough for particularly sensitive children; adding to that anxiety with a needlessly frightening explanation will almost always be more harmful than helpful.

Talk About Evacuation Routes

Should your household be evacuated, it’s necessary for everyone in the family to be intimately acquainted with an agreed-upon evacuation route. This is especially important if you find yourselves separated, so that each member of the household knows where to go in order to be reunited.

Stock Up on Disaster Supplies

Living in an area that’s prone to hurricanes will require you to maintain a constant supply of survival supplies in the event of a disaster. Ideally, that kit will include enough non-perishable food and water to last the entire family for three to five days, a manual can opener, a battery-powered radio and a flashlight with an ample supply of batteries, as well as a well-stocked first aid kit.

Talk About When to Call 911

Kids should be coached long before an emergency occurs on the appropriate times to call emergency services. In the event of a catastrophic weather event, it’s important to avoid backing up the system with non-essential calls, but it’s equally as important to know when a situation is a legitimate emergency deserving of an emergency phone call. Explaining to kids when they should call 911 and how to proceed while on the phone with emergency services can mean the difference between surviving a storm as a whole family unit and a tragedy.

Work Out a Communication Plan

Cell phone towers, electricity and other modern forms of communication may be limited due to storm damage, so it’s essential that everyone in the family, including caregivers and extended family in the area, have an agreed-upon system for communication should you be separated. Designating a friend or family member who lives well outside the danger area for hurricane damage as a liaison for communicating and facilitating reunion is wise.

Teach Kids to Shut off Utilities

In some cases, you may be required to shut off utility lines that supply natural gas, water and other resources to your home. Though kids should not be forced to manage these tasks on their own when there’s a capable adult to carry them out, they should still be instructed regarding the proper procedure for doing so to prevent dangerous conditions if an adult is injured, unresponsive or separated from them. Make sure that you walk through the process of shutting these utilities off regularly, and that you educate the kids on the signs that indicate when doing so is necessary.

Explain the Importance of Resource Conservation

Preserving perishables during a storm can be difficult, especially if electricity service is suspended for an extended period of time. Knowing how to pack a refrigerator and freezer with ice to maintain a safe temperature, being aware that you should refrain from opening them unless it’s absolutely necessary, and acknowledging how important it is to conserve the resources in your survival kit are all essential things to teach even the youngest member of the family. The novelty of using flashlights, survival-kit food and battery-powered supplies can cause kids to be a bit wasteful of those resources, which could be disastrous if it takes longer to receive aid than you planned for.

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, this is excellent advice to be prepared for the next natural disaster.  We know our friends in the Northeast are still reeling from the terrible devastation Sandy caused.   Hopefully, hurricane season is over for this year, but it pays to always be prepared and explain in detail how to be prepared, especially for children. Pat


Submitted by Colin Skinner.

As a business it’s important not only to protect yourself but also your employees. It’s a good idea to implement a health and safety plan for your workplace in order to reduce accidents and provide your staff with the care they need if something happens. It doesn’t take that long, have much paperwork or cost your company millions; it makes great business sense!

Anything Can Happen

Firstly, the most important thing to do is to assess your businesses’ needs to see if you require basic first aid precautions or decide that you should have an appointed person or qualified first aider. You can then choose someone to be trained by an approved organisation where they’ll complete a course and gain a first aid qualification.

To complete this assessment there are a few steps you should go through:

  • Identify hazards in the workplace
  • Decide who could be harmed and how
  • Evaluate risks and consider precautions
  • Take note of your findings and put them in to practice
  • Make sure you review your assessment and update when necessary

These steps should really be carried out regularly in order to keep up to date with any changes in your work environment.  It is also a good idea to review any past accident and health records because these can often tell you what less obvious hazards might be.

It all depends on your circumstances, so if you work in manufacturing, engineering or agricultural industries for example then it’s probably a good idea to have a trained first aider on site. A first aid room can also be helpful for larger companies.

Would you know what to do if an accident happened at work?

Slipping or tripping is one of the most common causes of injury in the work place. At a first aid course your employees would learn all of the necessary skills in order to act in an emergency situation. Taking on this responsibility would mean taking charge if someone is injured, administering any treatment and calling an ambulance if necessary.

One of the top mistakes concerning first aid is not frequently restocking the first aid box after use so it’s a good idea to make sure that it is checked regularly and to replace those items as soon as possible. As an appointed first aider in the work place this would be their responsibility. It’s important to make sure they keep up to date with annual refresher courses.

Do you value your employees?

With first aid you can not only protect your employees but protect yourself and your company. First aid can safeguard your business from potential legal action and protect your reputation. It ensures the number of working days lost due to illness or injury are reduced and can retain staff.

Could you save a life?

Businesses need training in first aid in order to potentially save lives and prevent minor injuries worsening. Not all companies have a formal process in place for assessing their first aid needs, as an employer you are responsible for your company’s first aid arrangements. There aren’t enough first aiders in the workplace and many injuries from accidents that occur can often be prevented by sufficient first aid.

First aid training at work is a cost effective way of not only potentially saving lives but also reduces the damage to a business an accident can cause.

Paula, the author, is an expert in health & safety and first aid training for businesses and is part of the Aid Training group.


Sent to us by Joe Schembri

Road trips have become one of the favorite choices for family vacations. Hopping into a motorhome with your loved ones can save the cost of airfare and make the vacation much more affordable. An even bigger draw is the element of adventure that comes with taking to the open road. Families tend to plan out their itinerary, attractions to visit, places to eat, but most don’t plan for emergencies. It can be fun to take an unexpected detour, but make sure that any surprises that come up are pleasant ones.

Unfortunately, some surprising elements can end up ruining your road trip if you aren’t careful. If you and your family are driving at night, heading towards an RV park where you’ll camp for the night and your tire blows out, would you be ready for it? Preparation is the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major setback for your vacation. Here are some vital emergency supplies that you should be sure to gather before travelling.

Spare tire

Having a spare tire is not enough. Most people are sure not to drive without a spare tire, but not everyone checks to assure that the tire is in working order. What good is a spare tire if it is not in good condition? Before heading out on a road trip, make sure that your spare tires are in perfect condition.

Jack and Tire Iron

Having a working spare tire will do you no good without a jack and tire iron to help you change the tire. Make sure that the jack is working properly before you set out. As for the tire iron, a 4 way tire iron is the best choice. This tool can provide more leverage for difficult lug nuts, which is especially important if you are driving a rental car or RV.

Rain gear

There is nothing quite like rainstorms to make your bad luck feel even worse. If it starts raining when you are trying to change a tire, the experience will be much easier if you have the appropriate rain gear to keep you dry and improve visibility.

Fire extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is a vital safety tool for any traveler. Make sure that it is always accessible. If an emergency breaks out, you don’t want to have to dig out the extinguisher from below your luggage.

First aid kit

A first aid kit is an absolute must, no matter where you are travelling. Injuries can happen anywhere, so a well-stocked first aid kit can help treat minor wounds and even prevent an unplanned trip to the emergency room. Like the other supplies, check this kit before your departure and restock any missing supplies.

Jumper cables

A dead battery can put a damper on your travel plans and ruin your planned itineraries if you don’t have jumper cables handy. Why wait for roadside assistance when a quick battery jump can get you back to your fun plans?

Cat litter

Cat litter is a must for any cold weather road trip. If you’re driving in snow or ice this can help provide traction if you’re stuck. It can help you to get back on the road without having to call for help and wait for a tow truck.

Credit card and cash

It is important to make sure that you have access to money in case of an emergency. Have multiple forms of payment available just in case. Some places may not take credit cards, so have cash on hand as well. Your money is your last resort if your safety supplies don’t cover the scope of your emergency.

Being prepared before travelling allows you to have peace of mind. You don’t want to spend your vacation worrying about what might go wrong. Moreover, you don’t want an actual problem to occur and derail your fun. Safety supplies can assure that your trip is wonderful and full of only lovely surprises. 

This guest post was provided by Joe Schembri from Tampa, FL. Joe has traveled in everything from a small sedan to a Class C Motorhome and learned about some of these safety tips the hard way.


Sent to us by Jeralyn Nelson, of http://www.HouseSittingJobs.com

You never know when an emergency will happen, which is why you should always be ready for one if the situation does arise. To make sure you’re prepared for whatever may come, take the time to create an emergency kit for your home and make sure every member of your family and your nanny know where it is and what’s inside.  Also make sure everyone knows and understands the emergency procedures for a disaster. This kind of preparation can save you seconds or minutes in a life-threatening situation.

Stock up on supplies for a power outage. Short power outages are inconvenient, but long outages can be a danger to your family’s health and safety. Make sure you have self-powered flashlights and lanterns, an emergency radio, and plenty of batteries for book lights, portable DVD players, and handheld games.  Stock up on non-perishable food like canned meats, tuna, soups, fruits, and vegetables, plus boxed food like crackers, goldfish, and other kid-friendly snacks. Include pet foods and snacks, as well.  Make sure you have a hand-held can opener on hand too. Have plenty of water available for each person in your family. If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, stock enough wood to keep a fire going for a few days. In winter, this may be your only way to keep the chill away. 

Learn about your local emergency warning systems. Your local emergency management office, civil defense office, or Red Cross chapter can give you detailed information about your area’s early warning systems. Know where to get up-to-date information about natural disasters like tornados, hurricanes, and flooding. To make sure you don’t miss a critical announcement, purchase a self-powered weather alert radio (NOAA) that can be set to your location and warn you of a weather emergency. 

Create a fire escape plan. This can be a family project. Using graph paper create a map of each floor of your home, including all possible emergency exits, like windows and doors. Map out one, and two if possible, escape routes from each room. If you have a second story, include routes that use lower story roofs and home emergency window ladders. Choose a place far from the house to meet as a family once each person escapes the house. Make sure there’s a clear landmark like a street sign or large tree to avoid frightened or panicked family members becoming disorientated. Decide in advance who will help younger children out of the house. Practice getting out of the house and meeting at the family meeting spot with your children at least twice a year. This can be a fun family activity. Have everyone start in bed blindfolded to simulate a smoky, nighttime fire. Practice staying low to the ground or crawling, covering your mouth with a cloth, and checking doors to see if they’re cool to the touch and safe to open. Once you get outside, remove the blindfold and head to the meeting spot. Time the escape from start to finish to ensure your family can make it out in a reasonable amount of time.  (It has been said by several firefighters that persons become very disoriented because of smoke, thinking that they know every corner of their home.)

Choose an emergency meeting place in case of evacuation. Chances are your family members will be in separate locations when disaster hits. If your neighborhood is unsafe or has been evacuated, choose a place to meet. It should be accessible by every member of the family, in a safe area (e.g. out of the flood zone), and not in an area that gets congested during an evacuation. Each family member or caregiver should have a map with the designated location and alternative routes to get there clearly marked.

Know who to contact in case of an emergency. Often during an emergency, local phone lines are down and cell towers are overloaded, making it impossible to connect with family members or caregivers who are not with you. Designate a first and second contact person, that way if a family member isn’t able to make it to the meeting point they can get a message to the rest of the family through the contact person. Choose people far outside the local area who would likely be unaffected by the disaster.

Don’t forget your pets. Include your dog or cat in your emergency plan. Designate one person to be in charge of crating and carrying the animals in an emergency evacuation, and if your pet sleeps in a crate, releasing him in case of fire. 

Fires, natural disasters, and other emergencies can be scary, especially for children.  Also, keeping prescription medicines in one place,( in clear plastic bags), would make it easier to grab them when you must hurry.  Developing a smart plan of action, practicing the plan, knowing who is responsible for doing what, and having the right supplies on hand can not only give you peace of mind, it can also be the difference between handling an emergency and  experiencing family tragedy.


One never knows when an emergency will happen, and first aid is one of those things that we all hope we will never be called on to do, but should know in case of an accident.   From the business perspective, bringing a first aid trainer into the workplace can become part of a team-building exercise, as it encourages people to work together to learn for a common goal.  Staff can learn to identify dangerous situations before accidents happen.  This will have a significant impact on the bottom line – in terms of both human cost (lost time, Worker’s Comp claims, and administration time) and insurance and claims costs. 

Know-How (First Aid Precautions): 

1.      SAFETY is the first rule in first aid, (and common sense).  When assisting someone else do not become the second casualty.  Do not enter a burning building to rescue someone unless you are trained to do so, and if you do not swim, don’t enter deep water to rescue someone who is drowning.

2.      Avoid going beyond your training; make sure that you are not doing more harm than good. Leave the medical expertise to the Paramedics and Physicians.

3.      Stay away from medication unless the patient/casualty has their own medication prescribed by the doctor for the particular problem they are experiencing.

4.      Keep injuries to a minimum by knowing what to do when faced with an emergency – take a first aid or CPR course and learn how to save a life. 

It pays to keep first aid kits in your car, home, and at work.  Most workplaces have welll stocked first aid kits.  Kits should be full of supplies that are appropriate for location and planned activities.  It is a good idea for coaches of all sports for youngsters to keep a first aid kit at practice and games, and to know how to administer first aid.  Having an Automatic External Defibrillator, (AED) on site can be life-saving, from a sporting event to a church service.  One never knows when or where a heart attack can occur.  Check your first aid kit to see if it contains:

  •        Bandages
  •        Sterile gauze pads
  •        Alcohol pads
  •        Dressings
  •        Soap
  •        Saline
  •        Tweezers
  •        Disposable gloves
  •        Over the counter pain medications
  •        CPR pocket mask or face shield
  •        Aloe Vera gel
  •        Mixed sizes of safety pins.
  •        Sting relief
  •       Antibiotic ointment  

At work, be sure you know where the first aid kits are located and take a course in first aid if it is offered at your place of employment.  You never know when you may need it.  If you are going on a trip, it may be the most important thing you take with you.

Tomorrow, we will continue on this subject by discussing what to do when some of the most common accidents happen to us, either at work or home.  Please stay tuned……….











September is National Preparedness Month and this year’s theme is “A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare.”  Sunday, September 11, was a very sad day, a reminder of the tragedy caused by terrorists who cold-heartedly took the lives of thousands of hard-working people.  It certainly was an event we will always remember with compassion.  This year’s theme of National Preparedness Month not only asks us to remember, but be prepared. 

Editor’s Note: I found this article, written by John Mintz, published in the Washington Post, July 29, 2004, regarding Family Emergency Preparedness.  As you continue, bear in mind the date this was written, and see if you don’t agree that public apathy toward being prepared continues today?

Are you prepared?

If you’re not prepared, which one of the following categories – defined by the American Red Cross – fits you?

  • Head scratcher – Doesn’t know where to find preparedness advice
  • Head in the sand – Believes preparation is unimportant
  • Head in the clouds – Mistakenly believes they are ready
  • Headset crowd – Too busy and can’t find time to prepare
  • Heady unawareness – People who “simply haven’t thought about preparedness”

Planning for your basic needs

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, www.dhs.gov  or www.ready.gov  lists six general categories of readiness for disaster. Begin your planning with:

  • Water and food
  • Portable kit
  • Supply checklists
  • Special needs items
  • Safe Indoor Air

To get preparedness information locally, pick up planning guides at local fire stations or American Red Cross.

The percentage of Americans who have created an emergency plan for a terrorist attack has dropped in the last year, along with the proportion of Americans who believe terrorists may strike near their home or workplace, according to two new studies released July 20, 2004.

Civil preparedness experts said these and other numbers are going in precisely the wrong direction, with U.S. authorities warning that al-Qaeda is determined to strike the United States this fall (2004) . The information was released at a conference at George Washington University.

“We need to narrow the universe of the unprepared, of those we need to worry about in a catastrophic situation, and it is not going to be easy,” Red Cross President Marsha Evans said in a speech outlining her group’s survey on emergency preparedness. “Every one of those unprepared Americans is a potential barrier to the effectiveness of our response to any disaster.”

The Red Cross survey, conducted last month by Wirthlin Worldwide, found that the percentage of Americans who have created a family emergency plan on where to meet after a terror strike has dropped from 40 percent in August 2003 to 32 percent today (2004).

The percentage of people who expressed concern that terrorists might strike near their home or workplace has declined more dramatically, from 71 percent immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to about half today, according to a separate poll also released July 20 by the non-profit Council for Excellence in Government.

Preparedness specialists believe that the number of people readying themselves for the aftermath of a terrorist attack has dropped as time has passed since the Sept. 11 strike without another attack on the United States.

U.S. officials and counter-terrorism specialists say encouraging Americans to stockpile supplies for an attack, prepare themselves emotionally and take action to ready their families is vital to both self-protection and bouncing back from any strike that does occur.The Red Cross poll also found that the percentage of people who had assembled home emergency kits remained stable between 2003 and this year (2004), at 42 percent. But only one in 10 families have taken all three steps considered crucial for preparation: creating emergency kits and family plans for reuniting after a disaster, as well as getting training in first aid, the Red Cross study said.

Some public-relations experts said stepped-up marketing efforts for such citizen involvement could ingrain terror preparedness into the popular consciousness just as the ad campaigns to buckle seatbelts in the 1980s had children reminding their parents to secure their safety restraints. Those ads are credited with increasing seatbelt use from 10 percent in 1981 to 79 percent in 2003.

 A recent poll (2004), found that about 90% of Americans doubt that they would leave their homes during a terrorist attack, even if asked by government officials to do so.

Do you think these figures are the same, better, or worse today?  Where do you stand?