National Preparedness Month with Bonnie Schneider
Last year, we saw enormous storms like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria tear paths of death and destruction across the Caribbean and the U.S. Every day there is news coverage of record floods, earthquakes, crippling blizzards and tornadoes hitting unusual parts of the nation. September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency, and it comes at a time when the incidence of extreme weather events seems to be growing. As a network television meteorologist, Bonnie Schneider has been predicting storms and following weather patterns for many years. Her knowledge of the weather and her concerns for safety inspired her to write the informative and fascinating book, EXTREME WEATHER: A Guide to Surviving Flash Floods, Hurricanes, Heat Waves, Snowstorms, Tsunamis and Other Natural Disasters.
ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS WE SHOULD DO TO BE PREPARED FOR EMERGENCIES
During severe weather, power outages can be prevalent, so many people will be using portable generators. The Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association has some timely tips to ensure safe, proper use of portable generators. First, to avoid the dangers of invisible, odorless carbon monoxide buildup, always “Take It Outside” which means never running generators indoors, or in garages, basements, crawl spaces, breezeways, sheds or other partially enclosed spaces. Always take your portable generator outside to keep your family safe from carbon monoxide and prepare for hurricane season with important safety information available at takeyourgeneratoroutside.com.
SOMETHING WE CAN DO TO BE READY FOR EXTREME WEATHER
One of the most important things you can do to be prepared is to preserve important documents and those priceless pictures you can’t replace. One helpful device I love is the NEW Epson FastFoto FF-680W Wireless High-Speed Photo and Document Scanning System. It preserves priceless memories. This Second-Generation FastFoto the world’s, fastest personal photo scanner can preserve your valuable photos and documents that could be destroyed in a storm. Using the intuitive software users can easily store all your priceless pictures and important documents. In addition, easily edit documents and save time with automatic file naming, plus powerful productivity tools. With built-in Nuance® OmniPage Optical Character Recognition (OCR), users can create searchable PDFs, plus editable Word and Excel® files. For more information, visit epson.com
ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES TO KEEP ON HAND IN PREPARATION FOR SEVERE WEATHER
One of the most important supplies to have on hand is household liquid bleach like Clorox® Regular Bleach₂ with CLOROMAX®. Clorox is a vital tool to have in your disaster preparedness kit because bleach has many uses in the aftermath of water-based natural disasters. Even the American Red Cross recommends bleach in their “Survival Kit Supplies.” It can help treat drinking water that may be contaminated, kill bacteria such as E. Coli in places where floodwater was present, clean up mold and mildew inside and outside your home and prevent mosquito breeding areas. From our homes to our community spaces, Clorox® Regular Bleach₂ with CLOROMAX safeguards our health and is a great tool to protect your family as you rebuild after a disaster strikes. For more information, visit clorox.com
FINAL EXTREME WEATHER SAFETY TIP
Extreme weather events also have a huge impact on small businesses. According to FEMA, nearly 40% of small businesses in disaster-affected areas never reopen. That’s why Visa has launched The Visa Back to Business Project to help consumers connects consumers with small businesses impacted by natural disasters, to support them getting back on their feet again. They are identified by Small Business Association guidelines. Visit visa.com/backtobusiness to find small businesses you can help. This campaign was inspired by the stories like that of the Three Brothers Bakery in Houston, Texas, which shut down when Hurricane Harvey struck – due to devastating property losses. Despite reopening quickly following Harvey, the decline in revenue was felt among many small business owners in the impacted community. The Visa Back to Business Project uses Visa transaction data to help identify small businesses that have recently processed a Visa transaction following a natural disaster, so that consumers can help support such small businesses.
The goal is to drive commerce and ultimately helping to rebuild impacted communities. The Visa Back to Business Project was designed to help small businesses, like Three Brothers Bakery and their communities, that may find themselves similarly impacted in the future. To find small businesses impacted by a natural disaster, visit visa.com/backtobusiness, so that you can help support following local small business after a natural disaster.