30 June 2013

5th Ward Emergency Preparedness Activity

     Saturday night was the 5th Ward Emergency Preparedness Activity. It was a fantastic evening and we learned a lot. Let's go over the topics as a reminder to those who were there and a summary for those who couldn't be.

     This was a great presentation and I think everyone learned something new. Nathan Openshaw, our local car expert, went over some of the important things to remember to avoid emergencies and how to deal with them. One of the most important things to have in your car is the owner's manual. It's like the "car's bible." Everything you need to know about your car is there, and, since cars are made so differently, the manual is a great reference to know how to do everything he showed us.

 He went over the important things under the hood, such as checking the fluids and making sure they are all topped of. He recommends that we all have spare rags in our cars to help us out and to not make a mess of things. Consult your owner's manual for details on checking fluids.
     Next, he showed us how to deal with one of the most common vehicle emergencies; a flat tire. Asking for a volunteer, he gave us some pointers and had her try them out.
      After setting the parking brake or emergency brake and making sure your car is in park, but before jacking it up, break loose the lug nuts, that way you won't have to fight the wheel's movement. Next, you jack the tire up, remove the lug nuts and tire, replace it with a spare, and tighten the lug nuts until they are snug. Lower the jack and tighten the lug nuts all the way in a star pattern, not in a circle. This keeps the hub of the tire from warping.
      He had some great information for us to take home and asked us all to make sure we had everything we would need to change a tire in our car. Most cars come with it stocked, but you should check and make sure you have it and know how to use it. Remember to have in your car: an owner's manual, a jack, a spare tire, a lug wrench, jumper cables, food and water, a flashlight, a blanket, and a first aid kit.

     Next was Nathan's wife, Amy, who is studying horticulture.
 She talked to us about gardening, especially in limited space, like most if us have. Gardening provides us with fresh foods, which can also be canned and stored, which can be used to supplement our groceries or sustain us when the store's supplies are low or cut off, such as a zombie apocalypse...or a bad storm.
      Important things to remember are to know what grows well in your area and plant accordingly. Start with a few simple things and work from there. A herb garden is easy and is best for limited space. Learn to use the herbs in your cooking. In cold areas, such as ours, start plants indoors. When you plant them outside, plant in soil that is 10 inches deep and use fertilizer. Potting mixes are good, too.
     She gave us all copies of this handy seed starter chart so we know at what temperature we can plant.

First Aid

     Next is first aid, which I presented.

     I talked about controlling major bleeding; by applying pressure, elevating, using pressure points, if necessary, and using a tourniquet as a last resort. I talked about Airway, Breathing, and Circulation, and showed some first aid supplies that I keep in my school backpack or in my car.
The Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits for a family of four include the following:
  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 blanket (space blanket)
  • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
  • Scissors
  • 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers
  • First aid instruction booklet
     I recommended the Red Cross First Aid app for smartphones, which you can read about from the Red Cross site here.

72-Hour Kits
     Scott Lenk gave a great presentation on 72-hour kits. He showed us some of the tools he has in his, including a fire starting striker he made himself in a machining class. He talked about different categories, like food, water, first aid, and baby stuff, identifying things you would need for each.

     He showed us items from his kit and explained why they are important to have and that it is important to know how to use them.
     He emphasized that we should make sure we have everything we need and to keep it handy. He shared a 72-hour kit list he found online and gave us all a copy. You can see the PDF version
by clicking here. He talked about some things he felt he could improve and asked us what items we would want that he didn't have or were not listed. We talked about doing a 5-minute challenge, where you pretend you only have five minutes to grab what you would want if you had to leave your house, that way we would know what we felt was most important to us and we could start from there.

Spiritual Preparedness
     Ian Lindsey spoke on Spiritual Preparedness. He asked us the questions, "What does it mean to be spiritually prepared?" and "What do we do to become spiritually prepared?"
     We discussed those questions for a few minutes and Ian Shared with us a quote from Elder Eyring about spiritual preparedness;
     “That preparation must be started far in advance because it takes time. What we will need then can’t be bought. It can’t be borrowed. It doesn’t store well. And it has to have been used regularly and recently.”
     He explained that by being obedient we are becoming spiritually prepared and he relayed four settings in which Elder Eyring suggested we could practice quick and steady obedience:
  1. Feast upon the word of God.
  2. Pray always
  3. Be a full-tithe payer
  4. Escape from sin and its terrible effects.
The full talk by Elder Eyring can be read or watched here: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2005/10/spiritual-preparedness-start-early-and-be-steady?lang=eng

...and that was our activity. We had a drawing at the end and the winners chose from among a selection of MREs, emergency hypothermia blankets, splinting supplies, and a first aid kit.

Any of you who were there can leave comments below about what you thought, and any who missed it can ask us anything you want to know. Thanks to all who helped or participated.

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