Disaster Preparedness for Southeast Missouri

Living in Southeast Missouri we are faced with several types of natural disasters. Tornado, earthquake and ice storms are the top three we are prepared for in our area. With some planning and basic survival skills you can also be prepared. There are many agencies that have useful information to help you prepare your family for any disaster. The basic things you need to have on hand at all times in your house is water, food and shelter.

Water is the most important. You need to have a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. Since we live in a rural area, my family has one gallon of water per person per day and a ten day supply. I built up this supply by buying one and five-gallon jugs of water when they were on sale. I also have five cases of bottled water. This will get my family through any disaster. Other items I have are chlorine bleach and water purification pills. They are inexpensive and have a very long shelf life.

Food is a must. You need a minimum of a three-day supply of dry goods that can be eaten directly from the package or can be cooked over an open flame. Also, you can go with MRE meals, they are fantastic self-heating meals. Again, I have a ten day supply. Tuna, crackers, cereals, protein bars, canned meats, canned vegetables, boxed potatoes and a large variety of other dry goods fill my emergency closet. Including XMRE Blue Line, just in case if anything else failed. A can opener and basic cooking equipment are located with our food. I have taken a basic outdoor cooking class and can cook many things over a fire. I learned how to bake using a cardboard box as an oven. We keep a supply of charcoal available with our grill in case we need to cook using it. When they are calling for ice storms, we buy kerosene because we can cook on top of our kerosene heater. A fire extinguisher and waterproof matches are handy to have also.

XMRE Blue Line from XMRE on Vimeo.

Shelter is the third basic thing we need. We have two camping tents with our emergency supplies. We keep these in a location with sleeping bags and pillows. Also a change of clothing for each person along with a sturdy pair of shoes. We do change these out as the seasons change and the kids keep growing.

Other items in our emergency closet are flashlights, batteries, a NOAA weather radio along with a well stocked first aid kit. A whistle, dust masks, trash bags, baby wipes are in the closet. To accommodate sanitary needs, we keep a supply of plastic grocery bags and moist towelettes and toilet paper in a small tote by itself. We keep a wrench to shut off the gas and water. Everyone in my household knows how to turn off the gas, water and electric. A few other items that are not thought about are an extra pair of glasses, hygiene items, a list of phone numbers, copy of insurance policies and a cell phone charger. I keep a notebook along with a few ink pens in my supplies along with a variety of books, games, cards and other activities to occupy my children.

Our family does not have pets, young children or elderly. We do not have anyone on any types of medications. Those situations would call for more items to care for those people.

Our family goes over our disaster plan every few months. Find the plan that works for you and your family. Go over it regularly no matter how many times your kids roll their eyes at you. Should you ever find yourself in a natural disaster, your kids will thank you because they knew what to do.

How I Am Prepared for a Natural Disaster in Delaware

Delaware, which is less than 2,000 square miles in area, is packed with potential for natural disasters including tornado, hurricane, flood, nor’easter, winter storms, like a blizzard or ice storm that might make roads impassable or cause power outages, and summer droughts. A house being struck by lighting and potential of fire from other sources is also a possibility. I have the typical emergency preparedness kit with cash, flashlight, and other recommended items, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to being prepared for natural disasters if you are planning on, or are forced to, stay at home.

Loss of Power

One winter left us without electric for a couple of days following a blizzard. Our heating system would not function and outdoor temperatures never rose above 40 degrees. Fortunately, we had the foresight to install a gas fireplace. The electronic ignition can be overridden to light the fireplace by match. We closed doors to the rest of the house and remained quite cozy until electric was restored. Our kitchen stove is also gas with an electronic ignition that can be overridden to light the stove with a match, allowing us to cook and make that ever-important coffee.


We have a large supply of batteries, two flashlights, a battery-powered radio, plus a hand crank flashlight that also has a radio, alarm and jack adapters to charge a cell phone. We have three battery backups offering about one hour of power each to operate the television or notebook computer to be able to access news or get to the Red Cross online to track the location of relatives or to report our location and status for the benefit of relatives.

Maintain Constant Supply of Food and Necessities

Once I open a bag or container of food or personal care items, I immediately add that item to the grocery list. For instance, when I open a new bag of dog food, box of cereal, container of deodorant or a bulk-size package of toilet paper, I immediately add that item to the grocery list so there is an unopened backup in supply.

With the concern over loss of electric, I now focus more on canned foods and MRE meals, we like civilian types such as one from Eversafe, rather than frozen, and yes, I do recycle the empty cans. I still buy fresh vegetables and fruit, but those items in cans, in addition to canned tuna, tomatoes, soups and similar items, will carry us for a couple of weeks, maybe more.

Lots of Water

We live less than one mile from the river, so if our water supply is cut off, we can transport water in large plastic storage tubs to use to flush the toilet. For drinking and cooking, gallon containers of fresh water are in storage. I’ve also tucked away cleaned gallon milk cartons now filled with tap water for bathing or that we can boil for drinking (though it may be suitable for drinking as-is). A rain barrel will nourish the vegetable garden.

Other Emergency Preparedness

Being prepared before natural disaster strikes also means to ensure you have the proper insurance on your house, vehicle and possessions. I am also keen on not letting the car gas tank to drop below half full and I keep a five-gallon container of gas in the garage.

If my husband and I are not together when a natural disaster hits, cell phone service is not available to contact one another and the resulting damage prevents us from reaching the house, we agreed to meet at our business office. If it too is impacted, we will meet at the entrance to our town’s hospital. The hospital is a major medical facility for a large area of the state and if it too is impacted, the hospital may likely receive attention quickly from local rescue services.

Last Minute Snow Storm Preparedness

Taking the time to prepare for a winter snow storm shouldn’t happen after the weather man has already announced that the storm is on its way. But if you forgot to plan ahead for a snow storm and ice, and you have at least a few hours before it arrives, it’s not too late to prepare your home, your car and yourself.

Getting your home ready for the snow storm

To get your house ready for a winter storm, start with the basics. Do you have a snow shovel and ice melt? If not, buy them now. They will be marked up if the storm is looming on the horizon, but you might need them.

If you waited to the absolute last minute and the store is out of ice melt, consider picking up a bag of cheap clay kitty litter. The clay can help melt the ice, but more importantly, it will give you traction on top of it. Remember this for when we get to the car section.

Is your house already well-insulated against the cold? Winter snow storms are often accompanied by temperatures that are well-below zero and stay that way for extended periods of time. If you haven’t already done so, spend a couple hours winterizing your home.

Do you have exposed pipes? Pick up some heat wrap, it looks like tape, and wrap those vulnerable lines. It’s also a good idea to leave at least one sink dripping when the temperatures fall well below freezing. While at the store for ice melt, pick up a couple gallons of drinking water, just to be safe.

Check your emergency candles and flashlights. Do you have matches or extra batteries? Do the flashlights work? Buy an extra set of batteries for each flashlight and store them close to the flashlights.

Next, it’s time to look at your heat source. If the power goes out during the snow storm and stays that way, will your family be warm? Most newer gas furnaces have an electric ignition switch, so even with a gas heater, the house may get really cold if the electricity goes out. Have a plan in case it becomes too cold to stay at home.

Getting your car ready for the snow storm

In the final hours before a predicted winter storm, it seems like everyone is out getting gas. And, if your tank isn’t full, you should join the line.

While a full tank won’t automatically save you from frozen fuel lines, it can help. In the middle of the snow storm, if you have to leave your house to seek shelter elsewhere, you don’t want to have to try to get gas as well. While you’re there, top of the wiper fluid as nothing hampers visibility faster than dirty, salt-covered windows.

Consider buying a can or two of de-icer. These can be a lifesaver when the car gets iced over and you need to see out the front windshield, or if the locks are frozen. A word of caution though: De-icer doesn’t help if it’s inside the car.

Buy a 20-lb bag of cheap cat litter and put it in the trunk. Yes, you need the really big bag. First, it adds weight to the rear end of the car. Try to place it as close over the tires are you can. Second, it can provide traction when spread over ice. But if you need traction for all four wheels, you need a lot of kitty litter.

Consider the option of ammonium nitrate if you have a local feed store where you can buy it. This fertilizer creates a chemical reaction when dumped on an ice. Rock salt only works to a certain temperature, but the chemical reaction will work to temperatures well below freezing.

Buy a cheap backpack or get “go bag” and stuff it with bottled water and non-perishable foods such Blue Line from XMRE. Poptarts are always an easy option as are granola bars or energy bars. Keep this along with some extra blankets, extra gloves and a small shovel in the backseat of the car. If you keep it in the trunk, the water will likely freeze.

Getting yourself ready for the snow storm

Stop by the library and pick up a couple books to read if the cable goes out or the power goes off. If you have children at home, think about grabbing some videos or board games to keep them occupied during the storm.

Stop at the grocery store and buy the makings for sandwiches, even if it’s just peanut butter and jelly, in case you lose power and can’t cook. Of course, you do not have to if you already have some meals ready to eat.

Finally, treat yourself to a cup of hot chocolate and settle in to ride out the snow storm. After all, your prepared and ready for it. Now, you can just enjoy the silence.

Stock Up on Family Supplies for Disaster Preparedness

Often when we think of stocking up on supplies it’s food that comes to mind. There are many other things that may be needed to make uncertain times much more comfortable. These items can increase comfort, which can boost spirits more than you can imagine during stressful times.

Vitamins are something to always have on hand. Extra boosts of immunity and staying healthy may call for increased supplementation. It’s an inexpensive price to pay when they’re available, but they may not be in a crisis situation.

Hygiene supplies make a world of difference. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash and floss, nail clippers, soap and other basic supplies are often overlooked but add up. Men’s and women’s hygiene supplies are another basic comforts – skin creams, razors, aftershave, shaving cream, talc, antibacterial and waterless soaps, baby wipes and ointments are all important.

Remember there may not be items available in stores, and it may be days before someone can get to you. A county in Tennessee was cut off from communication for days, with no awareness of the devastating floods elsewhere. Travel to get to you may be interrupted, so be sure to have enough on hand.

Baby supplies if needed are often overlooked – diapers and formula are essential. Aspirin and other mild health care items can make a difference and allow prioritizing for those seriously injured when help does arrive.

Don’t forget clothes. Thermal underwear, both shirts and pants, and woolen clothing can be a lifesaver if blizzards take out electricity or other issues expose you to cold weather. Don’t forget scarves, ear muffs, hats, cotton neckerchiefs, gloves and mittens for all members of the family. Clean socks, underwear and shirts that allows for extras can mean a much more comfortable time.

Ideally, these items will be easy to transport and safely stored. Remember this is for survival. Blankets, sleeping bags and other items should be easy to grab. Also, keep on hand cots or inflatable mattress with a way to inflate it.

These are all items we often don’t think of when minutes count. All can easily be stored in “go bags” for fast evacuations. When minutes count and your life is on the line you’ll be happy to be alive, but you’ll be much more comfortable with items that ensure being able to complete basic tasks.

Several years ago in California a mudslide across the highway meant I couldn’t get home. I had a cot and sleeping bag with me, crates in the back of the truck for the dogs and basic supplies. The shelter didn’t have any more room or cots available but because I had my own I was able to be warm and dry, as were my dogs. They couldn’t come into the shelter but were much more comfortable in familiar crates in the vehicle than with strangers or abandoned. Ideal circumstances usually aren’t fitting for such situations, but the best available choices are increased if you have basics for yourself. Work towards this goal every week!

Hope you don’t ever need it, but if you do you’ll be glad to have it!

Earthquake Preparedness – Do You Know What to Do?

On July 29, 2008 a 5.4 earthquake hit Chino Hills California. It is said by various news stations, that the quake was felt from Tijuana, New Mexico to Nevada. I myself was sitting at my desk completing some work when I noticed that my computer screen was rocking back and forth. At first, I thought it was a very large person walking by, as that tends to shake my cubicle like a leaf. Being born and raised in Oklahoma, this was my very first large California quake, and I didn’t know what to do. You would think that people from the state would know what to do. Unfortunately, this is not the case. As I ran around asking people what to do, I realized that they were just as confused as I was. We ended up running down the stairs and out of the building. No one was injured, but as I was sitting on the grass outside feeling the aftershocks, I wondered to myself, “How much to people really know about earthquake safety?” It is vital to our survival to always be prepared for instances such as these. Below are a few tips, to squelch the myths that you might have, and to help understand the correct safety strategies that may very well save your life.

1. Duck, Cover, and Hold. If you are inside, do not go running out! During an earthquake, the shaking may be enough to bring down power lines, trees, and any other structures outside. Remember to duck under a sturdy piece of furniture such as a desk or a table, cover your head (put your head as close to your knees as you are able), and hold onto the legs of the furniture. Make sure that you are not close to any glass or breakable items.

2. If outside try and find an open area, such as a field or any place that is away from trees and power lines.

3. Before an earthquake, make sure to secure shelves and items. Place glasses and dishes on the bottom shelves, as close to floor as possible. This prevents the items from too much damage, as they will have less of drop.

4. Depending on your location, there may be other natural disasters that occur as a side effect from earthquakes. Be aware that if you live near the ocean, there is a possibility of a Tsunami, and if you live or very close to the mountains, there is the chance of a landslide. In each case, the action is to get out of the area to a safer location. Move your items of worth to higher locations if a Tsunami is threatening.

5. Stay calm! Do not go running down stairs after the earthquake, as the structures of the stairs may be unstable and could collapse under the weight. Do not use elevators, as you could become trapped in them due to aftershocks.

6. If you are in a car, pull over to the side of the road. Make sure that you stay in the car as this is the safest place to be. Pull over in a safe place away from falling debris. Make sure that after the quake, you drive slowly and carefully avoiding any road blocks. Also, make sure to be aware of any emergency vehicles approaching from either direction.

7. After the quake is over, only use the phone in cases of injury or immediate emergency. After the July 29th quake, many people including myself tried to call out to friends and family. So many people calling at once jammed the phone lines and towers. In a bad quake, this could result in many people not being able to reach the 911 emergency services. If you have to get a hold of someone and have a cell phone, text them.

8. Be prepared for aftershocks. Aftershocks are able to cause minimal to as much damage as the original quake. Make sure to listen to a battery powered radio for news reports and instructions on what to do next.

9. Make an emergency earthquake kit. Some supplies should include: battery powered flashlight, a couple of milk jugs full of drinking water, 3 -5 days worth of meals such as 1300XT should be fine, a can opener (non-electric), twenty to fifty dollars, rain gear, a space blanket, a small first aid kit, gloves, and a variety of other things.

10. BE PREPARED! Make sure that your family, friends, and co-workers think about and make a plan on what to do should this or any natural disaster happen. Plan a meeting place and discuss how you will get in contact with each other afterward. Discuss with your HR department about having safety drills every few months. This can also work with family.

I really wish that someone would have told me about these strategies. It would have saved me a lot of panic and confusion. We made many mistakes which I do not intend to make, and I will make sure that I inform my family and co-workers of the facts I have learned. Hopefully, these tips will save your life and make you more aware of how to keep you and your family safe.

National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. Is your family ready? Do you have a plan? There are some simple steps to follow to be prepared if a natural or manmade disaster strikes your community.

The first thing you need to do is to put together a phone list of important numbers, like 911, the local Fire Rescue Department, Police Department, Emergency Medical Services (ambulance), and your family doctors office numbers for all family members in your household. Post this in a common area, like on the refrigerator or by the telephone.

The next thing is to put together an emergency plan for your family. This should include the phone number of a local person that everyone in the family can call if they get separated and cannot reach each other by phone. It should also include the phone number of a person that lives out of town, so if there is an emergency in the local area that affects communication services, everyone can check in with someone from out of the area, preferably out of state. This person can then relay messages.

The third step is to have a reunification point. If you cannot access your home or neighborhood, have a designated place where your family can meet. It is also a good idea to have a secondary location identified as well. These locations may be homes of friends and relatives, or shelter locations.

The fourth step is to put together a Go Bag for each member of the family, including the family pet(s). The Go Bag should include a copy of all important documents such as identification, insurance information, copies of prescriptions for medications, and any other legal documents that you may need to gain entry back into your neighborhood once the emergency has ended, such as rental agreements or deeds. It is a good idea to put these documents in a Ziploc to protect them from potential water damage. In addition it is recommended to have bottled water, healthy snacks like granola bars and nuts, some MREs such as one from XMRE, a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, medications, toiletry and personal hygiene items, ATM, credit card, and also cash, first aid kit, extra set of house and car keys, and small games such as cards.

During major emergencies, there may be power outages. Gas pumps at gas stations, ATM machines, and credit card machines may not be operable. If there is advance warning, such as in a hurricane, fill up the car with gas in advance. It is also a good idea to get cash before the storm.

Each person should have a change of clothing, including comfortable, sturdy shoes that are good for walking and can hold up in all-terrain conditions, including water. Raingear and climate appropriate outerwear is also suggested.

Large dogs should be kept on a leash at all times. Small dogs and cats should be put in airline approved carriers for their own safety. The animal Go Bags should contain current vaccination papers, food, water, feeding bowls, litter pans and litter for cats, a current picture of the pet, and contact information for the veterinarian’s office. It is advisable for the pet to wear a collar with an ID tag at all times when outside the home.

Go Bags can be assembled anytime and ready to be used whenever a disaster strikes. It is good practice to always have a Go Bag in a convenient location in your home so it can be accessed if needed. Check your supplies quarterly for expiration dates. Also check the batteries in flashlights and radios. When there is an emergency, you will be ready and can grab your Go Bag and Go!

Fashion- Some Insights


Many city night clubs hold fashion shows, find out what night clubs hold fashion shows and contact them as to how you can be a part of an up and coming show. Locate fashion boutiques that cater to the fashions you design, first make a trip to the stores to look around, if you can see your clothes fitting in well with the store, find out who the owner is and ask if they would be willing to have some of your fashions offered for sale in their store. You will be amazed at how many store owners are willing to work with you. I walked around San Francisco in the Nob Hill district and had my fashions placed after visiting and discussing my product with four boutiques.

In having your fashions displayed you will receive valuable insights as to whether or not your designs are in demand and if you need to change your designs to increase sales. It will also give you free exposure to the public. When your fashions do sell you can present this to investors who are more than willing to invest in your line, when you prove the existence of a strong demand for your fashions. When the first human being, in Eden or on earth, covered his body with leaves, or later with an animal skin, the fashion industry was founded at that time. Though we are not familiar with the style and attire of that time until the ancient civilizations preserved few images in the solidity of rocks, through cave paintings and through rock-cut sculptures.

Terra Cotta figurines of the oldest Harappan Age show interesting headdresses that can be compared with any modern hairstyle with a heavy look. The Dancing Girl of Mohenjo Daro with bangles in her arms is not behind any fashion sculpt of any age.

Fashion Reviews


If you are like me you live and breathe fashion. You are constantly inspired with so many new designs racing through your mind, so many you can’t seem to get them all down quick enough at the pace they arrive. You constantly dream of the day your fashions will be on the fashion runway with the lights beaming brightly overhead, the cameras flashing everywhere and the audience being completely mesmerized by your incredible designs. You can’t stop thinking of the day you will open a magazine or watch the Oscars and see a famous celebrity in one of your breathtaking designs. Your book shelf is stocked with fashion books and magazines, and you absolutely can’t resist visiting textile stores to view all the latest fabrics, decorative beads, rhinestones and trims.

It’s this ever present dream of being a successful fashion designer that has you work day and night on your designs in most cases for many years without pay and working a job to pay the pills which is brutal torture, when all you can think about is living and working in fashion.

Famous fashion designers come from all walks of life there is no one system to follow that will have you become the next famous fashion designer. Some have graduated from elite fashion schools and some have never attended fashion school. Some have undertaken a fashion internship with a fashion house and others have made their own designs in their basement. The only elements all these fashion designers have in common is they had an intense passion for fashion, were able to design fashions highly sought after and connected with someone who gave them the opportunity to break into the fashion industry. It is essential in becoming a successful fashion designer you get you and your designs out there as much as possible, as how will anyone know about your fashions if they can’t see them?