Tag: mini-series

Mini-Series Uncovers New Needs

Man holding bullhorn, announcing emergency
“Emergency Alert! Emergency Alert!”

Being stuck at home due to Covid-19 has given us the chance to finish our Mini-Series of booklets on emergency preparedness. As of this week, there are 14 booklets lined up and ready to go! Today I want to give you some insight into what we discovered along the way as we completed this project.

Why a Mini-Series?

We’re always trying to make it easier for people to get started on preparedness. The Mini-Series booklets cover just one topic each. Pick the topic you feel is most urgent or that you want more details on. (Here’s the link to a page that describes the “why” behind the series.)

Now, if you’re a writer, you know that writing even a short booklet takes a lot of time. And although we were comfortable with each of these topics, we wanted to be sure to add solid background so readers could make useful decisions. So we did research on every topic to see what more we should include.

The bonus from the Mini-Series research?

We learned a lot! And while we got great ideas for people just starting we also uncovered needs for those of us who have been working on preparedness for a while.  

Here are a few of my favorite discoveries from some of the booklets.

They may be just in time for Black Friday or whenever you start thinking seriously about holiday gifts! The links below take you to Amazon; if you buy through these links we may earn a small commission.  

Need #1 — Ever more clean water

Mini-Series from Emergency Plan Guide

About 10 years ago my son somehow caught a bug from water in a high mountain stream. (He wasn’t even drinking the water, just crossing the stream.) It put him into the hospital for 5 days! Since then I’m particular about clean water.

And as I was reviewing how we will fare in an emergency, with no municipal water, I read more and more about FAMILY SIZED water purification systems. Yes, individual water purifiers like the LifeStraw are handy and effective, but in a longer term situation you’ll need more capacity. Check out this Berkey. (Berkey is hands down the favorite of so many of our preparedness colleagues.) As you might expect, there are several models and sizes. This travel version is gravity-fed, filters enough for 1-3 people a day. (Note it comes with two types of filters.)

Travel Berkey Water Filter with 2 Black Berkey Filters and 2 PF2 Fluoride Filters

Need #2 — More medical competence

Mini-Series from Emergency Plan Guide

I learned more writing this booklet than any other in the series! It’s clear that relying on common sense only goes so far when it comes to medical emergencies. We have to get training! So in addition to the trainings recommending the booklet,  I have two recommendations you can start with right now.

I bought and devoured The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide by Joseph Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP. And then I discovered there is a newer version, out now, and I recommend it highly! (There’s a deal whereby you can actually get 3 copies for the price of 2.) The Altons’ books are totally readable and make you fee a WHOLE lot better about addressing wounds, sickness, etc. I cannot recommend them more highly.

The Survival Medicine Handbook: THE essential guide for when medical help is NOT on the way

Along with the first aid Guide we all need a better quality first aid kit. I’ve complained consistently about cheap first aid kits. And I still will. It’s time to step up to a more complete collection of first aid tools and supplies.

The kit shown below comes from SurviveWare. At Amazon you’ll see several kit options: bigger, smaller, for home, for truck, etc. You may not be ready for the most comprehensive (and most expensive) kit, but you can certainly feel more confident with the basic pack shown here.

Surviveware Large First Aid Kit & Added Mini Kit for Trucks, Car, Camping and Outdoor Preparedness

Need #3 — Better emergency communications

Emergency Preparedness Mini-Series: Evacuate!

As I described a couple of weeks ago (seems like ages, so much has happened since!) we came close to a mandatory evacuation in the face of a wind-blown wildfire. At 7 that morning we were wakened by the property managers looking for the bullhorn owned by our team.

Joe got it out (see photo above!) and used it to wake up neighbors in our immediate vicinity. Later we used an automated emergency telephone message to alert everyone. If power had been out, that bullhorn would have had a more important role to play!  

If you work with a group, you may want to take another look at having a bullhorn available. But first off, a cautionary note. While we consider this to be an important addition to your emergency equipment, many people report quality control issues on even the reasonably priced units. More professional products such as used by police and First Responders cost more but are likely to be more reliable. We like to recommend products with a high reliability — this is one area where we may be challenged to do that.

(Our own budget doesn’t allow for multiple high-end products. We have had good experience with the moderately priced one Joe is holding, but if our budget allowed we’d look at more expensive models.)

In any case, here are some features to compare: how is the bullhorn powered? Rechargeable or C batteries or either? Voice, siren and ability to record a message that can be repeated automatically? Built-in or handheld microphone? If there’s a question, remember that Amazon offers returns for items only within 30 days of receipt of shipment.

Pyle Megaphone 50-Watt Siren Bullhorn – Bullhorn Speaker w/ Detachable Microphone, Portable Lightweight Strap & Rechargeable Battery – Professional Outdoor Voice for Police & Cheerleading – PMP57LIA

 Need #4 — More emergency lighting

Emergency Preparedness Mini-Series

It should be pretty clear what one item is important in each of these two emergency situations! So I really don’t need to write much more. We have stocked up and we continue to find the VONT lanterns simply the best!

We have one in every single room in the house and one in the shed. We use them as night lights and when we work on the plumbing under the sink. We give them away as prizes and as Christmas presents. Other people seem to like them too, because they are the top seller of everything we write about! Lightweight, bright (adjustable), not expensive. And now, VONT has packaged the lamps with companion headlamps. When there’s no power, you’ll want both.

Vont 2-Pack Spark Headlamp + 4-Pack Lantern Bundle – Must-Have for Biking, Camping, Hiking, Hunting, Other Outdoor and Night Activities – Ideal for Emergencies and Outages During Storms, Hurricanes

The Mini-Series started it all.

We’ve highlighted a few volumes of the Mini-Series here. Just this week we came out with Protect Your Pet — a whole new adventure in emergency preparedness! You can see more about each book here on our site, or even jump directly to Amazon where the whole series is featured!

As I’ve mentioned, the next and final step with the series is to turn it into a course meant to help a group build community and skills at the same time. Watch for more!

In the meanwhile, take a closer look at some of the resources and equipment mentioned in this Advisory. I think they are all important.

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

Staying Active Despite COVID-19

“Where is everybody?”

With COVID-19, we are stuck at home. We can’t hold our monthly neighborhood group meetings . . . so how to keep our group together? Here’s some of what we’re doing to stay active . . .

Local Activities Keep Us Busy

  • Regular email messages about pertinent topics. Last week, for example, we sent out information about “Managing Extreme Heat.” (I turned that into an Advisory, as you may have noticed.) By the way, that warning was extended to a second week. We had to send a couple of follow up messages explaining how the state grid operator manages “rotating outages” (1 or 2 hrs only) and how they differ from individual utility-managed Public Safety Power Shut-offs, which could last for days. Outages are rare – this is the first time we’ve had any in 19 years. We haven’t experienced any PSPSs so far this year, but they will be coming!
  • Remote training via webinar. Last month was the first time I’ve been the featured speaker for a newly-forming group in the Bay Area of California. That wide-spread group is actively recruiting even during the pandemic! Topic for the training: “Building a Neighborhood Group.” I stressed knowing the audience/target rather than following a strict top-down procedure.
  • Conference calls with neighbors. I’ve mentioned our volunteer team members who are sewing colorful, multi-layered masks. They’ve distributed 842 as of last week! (Some masks go to neighbors while others have been distributed to various non-profit groups that serve our community.) The reason we use a conference call instead of webinar is that this is our Low Vision Support Group! No need for a digital screen if you can’t see it!  (Obviously, not all members sew. But all get involved in other aspects of the project.)

So these are the very local neighborhood happenings – and there will be more info to come because we have a couple more projects in the works.

Publishing Activities Spread Valuable Info

More exciting, perhaps, is the fact that Joe and I added a 12th book to our Emergency Preparedness Q&A Mini-Series just yesterday! The title: Crisis First Aid.

This is a topic that generates a lot of emotion! Every time we bring it up at local meetings we get questions like these:

  • Oh, dear! How would I know what to do?
  • Who should I try to help first?
  • What if I try to help someone who is injured and I screw up?

Of course, Joe and I are not medical experts. And this 60-page booklet doesn’t make us one or make you one, either. But as we researched the writing we realized that we all have important experience to share in an emergency . . . not the least of which is a determination to approach the emergency with a plan, a collection of good medical supplies, and a basic understanding of what common sense actions we can take.

If these are questions that you have heard, or have asked yourself, consider getting this booklet. Give it a read. You may be surprised at how well positioned you already are to be of real help in a disaster. (Plus, there are other resources mentioned that you can follow up with.)

Almost Ready — Training for Other Community Groups

I know many of you share a desire to get more people involved in being more prepared. And of course, like us, you find it a challenge to make that happen!

I write weekly Advisories as one way to spread what I hope is good information. Joe and I reach out to our neighbors and plan regular meetings and training as a second level of sharing. Our books reach an even wider audience – but we still know that . . .

People don’t want to just READ about something, they want to EXPERIENCE A CHANGE!

While the Mini-Books were written to help people make that change one step at a time, the books also lend themselves to group training session.

Coming Soon — Preparedness as a Group Course

So our next goal is to turn the Mini-Series into an actual course that could become an activity for any kind of group: a neighborhood group, a youth group, a church group. The leader of the course will be one of the group members.

We’ll be calling on our years of formal educational training (I still have my Lifetime High School Teaching Certificate!) plus the many, many meetings and programs we’ve led for business clients and colleagues. We are developing simple tools to help course participants realize:

  • WHY getting more prepared makes sense
  • HOW to get past procrastination (with the help of your friends!)
  • WHAT a change the course will make in your daily life – including new trust and confidence.

We have just a couple more booklets to write to finish the collection, and then we’ll be pulling together the course. Maybe you’ll even want to be a course leader???

We’ll be letting you know as the program develops. If you have suggestions for groups, ideas you would have liked to have experienced in your own training, tips for engaging adults – don’t hesitate to drop us a note. If you’re reading this, you’re out there doing much of what we are doing, I am sure!

Prices On Books Going Up

As I may have mentioned some weeks ago, we set the introductory price low to encourage people to get started sooner. Since then Amazon has repeatedly urged us to raise the price and we’ve agreed to do so on the 1st of September.

So while the mini-series booklets are still very inexpensive – only $2.99 for an ebook and $4.99 for the paperback version – if you have thought about getting any of our books you can save some money if you do it now.

Crisis First Aid is the latest in the Mini-Series

As I said, the latest mini-series topic is “Crisis First Aid.” Click here to see the whole collection. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re proud of these books and think they fit a real niche by being so affordable and easy to get through.

Your Emergency Plan Guide Team