Emergency Management News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Choosing Fire Extinquishers #AltusOK #OKready

A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives. But when it comes to extinguishers, one type does not fit all. There are five primary types of fire extinguishers, each designed to put out different kinds of fires:

  • A:  For use with materials like cloth, wood and paper;
  • B:  For use with combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, oil and oil-based paints;
  • C:  For use with electrical equipment like appliances, tools, or other equipment that is plugged in;
  • D:  For use with flammable metals like aluminum, magnesium, and titanium; and
  • K:  For use with vegetable oils, animal oils and fats in cooking appliances.
There are also multi-purpose fire extinguishers that might be labeled “B-C” or “A-B-C”. These are best suited for home use and can be found at most home improvement stores.
Before you consider using an extinguisher there are some very important details to remember:
  • The U. S. Fire Administration recommends that only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate! Contact your local fire department for training in your area;
  • If you do not think you would be able to safely put the fire out in five seconds using an extinguisher, do not attempt to use it! Leave the area and call 911; and
  • When using an extinguisher, be sure to follow the PASS method – Pull the pin, Aim low, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep from side to side.
To learn more about fire safety and how to properly extinguish fires, check out FEMA’s preparedness activity module, Putting Out Fires.

Thanks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for this report.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Yuletide Lighting #OKready #OKfire #AltusOK

Hanging holiday lights can be a fun family activity and adds a festive touch to your home. But if you’re not careful, yuletide illuminations can also increase your risk of a home fire. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), one of every three home holiday tree fires is caused by electrical problems. As you deck the halls this season, remember to be fire smart. Here are some tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission tokeep your decorations from going up in smoke:  
  • Whether it’s indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety. Make sure your lights have a label from an independent testing laboratory;
  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or replace them before using;
  • Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord; and 
  • Turn off lights on trees and other decorations before going to bed.
Don’t let disaster ruin your festivities! Learn more ways to “Put a Freeze on Winter Holiday Fires” with USFA’s colorful infographic and give the gift of safety by sharing this important information with family and friends.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Last Call: Citizen Corps and CERT Information Deadline #AltusOK #OKready

The deadline for Citizen Corps Councils and CERT Programs to update their information is this week! We ask that all local programs log in to the registration system and make their updates by 11:59 PM ET on Friday, December 12. Citizen Corps and CERT data collected by this deadline will be included in the 2015 National Preparedness Report.
Updating your online profiles provides us with information that we can use to justify continued Federal support for the Citizen Corps and CERT programs, including:
  • The website and all of its free downloadable resources and an online searchable directory of programs;
  • Free printed materials for registered programs through the FEMA Warehouse;
  • Technical assistance and support through the Citizen Corps and CERT inboxes;
  • Recognition programs like the Individual and Community Preparedness Awards;
  • Outreach and education efforts, including regular e-briefs and webinars; and
  • The development of new content and updates to existing content, including the CERT curriculum and supporting materials.
While we encourage you to update any new information in your online profiles, we are particularly interested in updates to the following for 2014 (Please note that not all of these are applicable for both CERT and Citizen Corps):
  • Numbers of individuals trained;
  • Number of trainings conducted;
  • Number of volunteers and volunteer hours;
  • Council membership;
  • Number of exercises; and
  • Funding sources.
We hope that you will take the time to update your profiles, so that all of the great work you have done will be accounted for in the National Preparedness Report and elsewhere! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at citizencorps@fema.dhs.gov or atcert@fema.dhs.gov. Thank you!

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