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I'm excited to have you join me on my journey of saving money, living the good life while balancing family, relationships and homemaking! Recent natural disasters have revealed the need for emergency preparedness measures, include survival gear and food as well as medical supplies.
The Midwest is the nation’s tornado hot spot, especially the corridor known as Tornado Alley. Pay attention to natural disaster advisories and bulletins; most states have a notification system in place, with storm warnings broadcast or even texted.
Extra survival gear that could come in handy are dog booties, a life vest, a cooling vest (for warmer climates), rain jacket or poncho, and winter jacket or sweater.
Some emergency shelters will not accept animals for health and safety reasons, so have a backup emergency plan for pets.
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance covers up to 90% of vet bills for your dog or cat—for a lifetime. Click to view the SA Today news show, which brings us news from around The Salvation Army world. New episodes are posted every Tuesday and Thursday. On September 29th, the 3rd annual Prairie State Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Challenge was held at the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy (NIPSTA).
This year, the CERT Challenge brought together 10 teams—each comprised of 8 to 12 individuals—from across the state to be evaluated on their ability to react in a number of situations.
Other volunteers assisted in setting up the stations, role-playing the victims and making sure the event ran smoothly.


HandsOn Suburban Chicago—whose Disaster Preparedness Program Manager, Linda Trilling, coordinated the event’s volunteers—would like to thank CERT members for their commitment to serving the community and to all Prairie State CERT Challenge volunteers for making the event a success!
Here are some important tornado safety tips that we have shared before on this emergency preparedness blog. Learn what to do and not do NOW so you will be safe should a tornado hit your neighborhood. Read All Secure Survivor StoriesPersonal stories from survivors of major emergencies or disasters (share your own story below). Bug Out Bag on A Year After the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami, Are You Any Better Prepared? George O'Toole on Over 590,000 Lives Secured with Emergency Kits and Disaster Supplies! Over 600,000 animals were killed or stranded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, according to The Atlantic. Pack a few toys and treats to distract your pet; natural disasters are stressful for animals and humans like. If you have a tornado shelter or basement, keep your bin there; if you live in a flood-prone area, store it in a high place. Have contact information on hand for local animal shelters, who will often care for pets during natural disasters. Response Teams are comprised of community members who have participated in a 20 hour basic emergency response training class preparing them to help local law enforcement and medical teams during times of disaster in their community.


The teams were sent to a series of 8 stations, including a mock triage and treatment station, a basic search and rescue drill, as well as jeopardy-style trivia, household hazards, cribbing and transport, preparedness, and a team-building activity.
During the triage simulation, each Response Team was given 30 minutes to evaluate the victims’ wounds, with the purpose of assisting a medical team in treating those most in need.
Experienced volunteers helped to coordinate the event and to evaluate the performances of each Response Team. The unfortunate reminder has come once again with massive tornado outbreaks in the midwest and elsewhere. In the wake of large natural disasters, the treatment and rescue of animals is typically low priority.
If your pup has a history of anxiety, consider bringing a Thunder Shirt, which can help nervous pets. Teams received a numerical score and narrative feedback on ways to improve their performance at each station.
Teams were given 15 minutes to find 22 victims (mannequins) in dark rooms simulating the aftermath of a natural disaster. A Buffalo Grove CERT member explained that each station at the Challenge “highlights areas where we could use improvement so we can work together on those.” The CERT member explained that their training allowed them to help with an immediate evacuation of a senior home in their community.



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