It’s that time of year again. And just saying ‘Conference Time’ in Utah doesn’t count, because there is more that one event matching that description next month. The one in question for this post is this years “Utah Prepare Conference & Expo“.
Last year this event was a great success, an informative chance to meet with many of the best preparedness resources in Utah in one place, with a wide selection of classes to attend. This year the event will be held at the South Towne Expo center making it a bit easier for everybody from the southern area to attend.
This event is put on by the USU Extension office and will be on Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Hope to see folks there (look for the people wearing Utah Preppers shirts!)
As an added bonus, use the promo code “prepper” when registering for $2 off each ticket!
We are now into Day 3 of the Dump Fire at Saratoga Springs in Utah. Our own Jayce and Neybar live near the fire, and while their homes do not seem to be in any danger, they still left work early yesterday to volunteer to help. Their experience and knowledge has undoubtedly been invaluable to the volunteer effort. They have been keeping us posted on Twitter (@JayceHall and @neybar), and I have seen several of their tweets mentioned and retweeted by others needing information. For those who haven’t been following along, you can keep an eye on the #dumpfire hashtag on Twitter. For any ham radio folks who want to monitor, they’re on 145.23 repeater (131.8 tone). NetOps is at station 2.
Cause of the Fire
It is believed that the fire was caused by people target shooting near the landfill. They were shooting in an area where it was legal to do so, and when the fire started, they called 911 and attempted to put the fire out. They have been cooperative with authorities, and have been helping the effort to put the fire out. Because they were shooting legally and did everything right after the fire started, they are unlikely to be charged criminally.
Being Prepared for Evacuation
In following news reports, I have noticed some things. When crews knocked on doors on Day 2 of the blaze to tell people they had 15 minutes to evacuate, a lot of people scrambled to pack up what they considered necessary. Family photos, pets, medications and a change of clothes. Less prominently featured in the stories were people who decided that they were going to have to evacuate, and started packing their cars long before evacuation orders came in. While I’m sure there were plenty of preppers who already had 72-hour kits ready to take at a moment’s notice, they were apparently not as newsworthy as the less-prepared. Though my family lives in Magna, far away from the fire, we still had one evacuee knock on our door asking to buy a small bottle of shampoo from my wife’s basement salon.
This incident underscores not only the importance of fire safety, but also the importance of being prepared and keeping a current 72-hour kit or Bug Out Bag. Fortunately, several local businesses pitched in to provide food and water at the local evacuation centers, but this is not always the case. Be sure to check expiration dates on the food in your kits and in your food storage in general.
Our hearts go out to those affected by the fire, and we hope that it will be out soon.
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has long supported CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) in locales large and small by providing training material, grants and other support. This week they released a new set of FEMA guidelines and instructions for CERT drills and exercises. These exercises cover the gamut and include tabletop exercises, functional exercises, full scale exercises, and competitive events.
Interested in a day of workshops focused on preparedness? Who wouldn’t? Utah State University, BYU, and BeReady Utah have combined to host a day of classes and booths called the Utah Prepare Conference and Expo. Now, the title is rather similar to our name, but hey, it involves many groups that we rely on for well-researched information.
I’m really excited about this conference, in that it is *not* a sales machine. BeReady is the state organization charged with getting citizens ready for known disasters in the state, and it has teamed up with some of the best resources for preparedness around. Anybody who has done real research into local agriculture, animal husbandry, or food preservation has come upon materials published by the USU extension. They are the standard for food preservation testing in the country, and we love having them locally.
Of course, there are vendors there as well, so don’t fret about missing out on the “toys” and fun there as well, but the conference itself is not “consumer-first”, and that should mean a lot to real preppers.
There have been a few articles lately in the news regarding honey, mainly in response to a Food Safety News study that was published this week. To sum it up, the report found that most honey purchased in stores had been highly processed to the point that all the pollen had been removed. Aside from no longer supplying healthy benefits by containing pollen, removing all traces of pollen also makes it impossible to track the location of origin for honey if it turns out to be contaminated or otherwise harmful. Continue reading “Honey in the News”
If you are like me, you grew up occasionally hearing your TV issue a loud beep followed by “This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test.” Followed by another loud beep.
Today, Wednesday November 9th, 2011 at noon (MST) Utah time the National Emergency Alert System will be conducting a nationwide test for the first time. The Emergency Alert system system is meant to allow governments at every level to alert their citizens to events that may affect them. The hope is that the system will be usable by local cities, counties and states as well as by the federal government to issue alerts at the national level. These alerts may cover child abuduction/Amber alert notices, sever storm warnings, tornado warnings, terrorist attacks, or pretty much any conceivable notice that a government may want to advise the public of.
As interesting and useful as this system will hopefully prove to be, I think it provides another, far more important purpose. It serves as a great reminder to check on your emergency plans and gear. Take few minutes today to check your car kit and your 72 hour kits. Are they still complete? We often “borrow” gear from our readiness kits and then forget to put them back or replace consumables. Use today as a reminder that as preppers we need to stay on top of our preps. Preps are not a one-time purchase but a commitment.
For the past several months, I have been serving as the emergency preparedness specialist in my ward (for the non-Mormons: a volunteer position in my local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). A few weeks ago, I was asked to serve in the same position at a stake level (for the non-Mormons: this means I’m overseeing the preparedness activities of 15 different congregations).
I have a lot to work on! One of the things I’m doing right out the gate is to update our stake’s emergency preparedness plan. Our stake was formed only five years ago, so when it was organized, they got the preparedness plans of a nearby stake, and basically copied and pasted the name of the new stake over the other stake’s name in the plan. Reading over that plan now, I curiously wonder how long it had been since that other stake had updated it.
Why, you may ask? Get a load of this… In a section dealing with what to do after an emergency, it says:
Local first-aid company Shield-Safety is hosting two community preparedness fairs and wanted to spread the word to different preparedness groups and companies that might be interested. If you are looking to attend, the dates and locations are as follows:
Sept. 16th 5 pm to 9 pm
Sept. 17th 9 am to 7 p
Sept. 30th 5 pm to 9 pm
Oct. 1st 9 am to 7 pm
Both events are free for attendees, and will feature first-aid training classes, and other opportunities to learn preparedness skills.
If you are interested in hosting a booth (vendor or community) we have a copy of the information you need here for download. The hosts have stressed to me they are very eager to work with all community resources such as CERT, safety officials, and other local companies.
When the Utah County Sheriff got the call about him falling in, I happened to be very close to the canyon just finishing up a picnic with my family. I immediately headed towards the canyon and was almost there when we (Utah County Search and Rescue) were paged. I was the third person on scene and was working with the Lone Peak Fire Department and several other local police and fire departments. We set up right across from Timp Cave and started watching the river for a body. Over the next hour, well over 100 members of the SAR Team and local PD/FD arrived and spread out over about 10 miles working our way up and down the river. He was finally found after I had been there almost 2 hours. Continue reading “Parents – Keep your kids AWAY from the rivers!”
Looking for a chance to get the family out into our delayed summer? Provo has a great event this weekend at their pioneer village (map). It’s a great chance to get demonstrations on some old skills such as spinning, blacksmithing and more. Bring the family even if only just to get a feel for the local history, but even better, hang around and talk shop with people experienced in their crafts. This is probably one of the better local opportunities to get together with people that can teach these crafts.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
And a nice video explaining things via the local newspaper, the Daily Herald