FEMA opens State Disaster Recovery Center in Lenoir County, NC
In order to assist the victims of hurricane Matthew and the subsequent flooding in North Carolina, we are providing emergency informational links by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the SBA (Small Business Administration).
The management of Just Us Enterprises – Emergency Disaster Preparednessobserved the extensive damage to homes, businesses, farms and workplaces. Tons of sloppy wet carpets, insulation, wallboard, lumber, furniture and personal belongings, recently removed from buildings in Kinston, NC revealed the extent of the destruction. Farms inundated with flood water are destroyed. Businesses and workplaces are uninhabitable. Just because you do not hear about it in the news does not mean that the problem is resolved. Heaps and piles of debris strewn across roads, lawns, parking lots and sidewalks remain scattered where the flood or the clean-up crew left them. The floods destroyed entire blocks of businesses of which many are still closed and cannot reopen. Some are able to rebuild but many more were not covered by insurance.
Hundreds, if not thousands of people lost everything. Some structures had flood water above the door-frames and up to the roofs of homes. These people, through no fault of their own, are suffering due to the flood that not only took their homes and work places, but their jobs and income as well. Many, about two hundred or more in North Carolina alone, still cannot return to their flood ravaged homes. Some streets, for example Queen Street and other roads are still not accessible because the roads are washed out or still under water.For some, there is some assistance through the state and federal government.
Help is available
A FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Center opened in Lenoir County, NC on October 24, 2016. North Carolina residents, who suffered losses and damage as a result of Hurricane Matthew, can get information about state and federal assistance at:
Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Lenoir County opening Monday, Oct. 24.
Location: NOVA Building
105 W. Caswell St.
Kinston, NC 28501
Regular hours: Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Additionally, The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA information can also be accessed by following the link below.
For more information and assistance, follow this link direct to the FEMA website:
It is hurricane season,so it is prudent to have a disaster plan, disaster preparations, emergency supplies that are ready to grab and go, and a prearranged inland location to meet family and group members if an evacuation become inevitable.
Disaster Plan – Decide where to meet, include written contacts, phone numbers, and other information in your ready to go kit. This information must in writing, because the hurricane’s damage, combined with the personal shock of the disaster, could cause a temporary memory loss. Cell phones may be lost, stolen, damaged, or unable to acquire a signal. There is much to consider when making a disaster plan. You can get more information at FEMA.govFamily Emergency Communication Plan
Disaster Preparations– Have an emergency survival kit that includes food, water and emergency supplies pre-packed and ready to go at short notice. Pack what is necessary to sustain each person for a minimum of three days and up to two weeks. Each member of your family also should have their own emergency survival kit. Keep the emergency kits or grab and go bags manageable in weight. For more information click onPlanning, Preparing, Procurement and Providing.When there, scroll down to the Table of Contents for more specific topics.
How Hurricanes are Named
The National Hurricane Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration use a rotating list of 21 names per year, for six years, to identify hurricanes. Each year has its own set of names and is reused again in six years. The only time that there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity (Tropical Cyclone Names, National Hurricane Center). For example, Hurricane Sandy’s name is retired.
2016 Storm Names
When there are more than 21 named storms, the Greek alphabet is used.
Fiona and Gaston are currently making their way across the Atlantic. This makes seven named storms this year. Hurricanes have strong winds, storm surges, hail, torrential rains, and lightning. They can produce tornados, flooding and wide spread damage. They create dangerous conditions after they pass too, such as injuries, spreading of diseases, mold, destruction of personal and business property, and the contamination of drinking water and food supplies.
Shock, confusion and chaos are common after a major catastrophic event such as a hurricane or a tornado. Becoming separated people worry anxiously about their absent loved ones. FEMA, the Red Cross, the CDC and the Emergency Disaster Preparedness industry all recommend having an emergency preparedness plan and supplies and provisions of food and water.
Before a Storm Approaches
PLAN aheadhave a written list of phone numbers so you can communicate with your family. Put this list in a waterproof container and put it in your survival kits. Remember to text instead of talk. The reason is that talking takes up more phone time and jams the systems. Have a pre-arranged meeting place. If you or a family member become separated and or lose phone service, your loved ones can meet you at this location. (Family Emergency Communication Plan)
PREPARE an emergency kitor survival kit for each family member. The essential contents of the emergency kit will contain many items; it could be beneficial if there is duplication of some items. For a list of recommended contentsclick here.
Provideenough food, water and supplies for a disaster for at least three days and up to two weeks. It is highly recommended to have a week or two weeks’ worth of long-term food and water. Once the power goes out, food will spoil rapidly.
Contaminated water will ruin your boxes of food. Having canned goods will be too heavy to take with you if you must evacuate. A family of four requires 84 meals per week (3 meals per day x 4 people x 7 days).
Water weighs about eight pounds per gallon and takes up a lot of space. For example, a family of four using one gallon of water per person, per day, will consume 28 gallons of water per week.
One practical solution is to have lightweight, dehydrated or freeze-dried USDA quality food, which is contained in Mylar pouches and further protected by food grade plastic buckets. Long-term food can have a shelf life from five to 25 years. A variety of foods exists from breakfasts, lunches and dinners to desserts and drinks. Some varieties can be cooked in the pouch with serving sizes as small as two servings per pouch.
Water, is a necessity for life, and while lugging 28 gallons of water from place to place may not be practical, carrying a few bottles of water and having a lightweight portable water filtration or water purification system with you is. Have water bottles or lightweight water packets with your supplies. Flooding and power outages may make water unsuitable to drink. Municipal water sources may be contaminated. Therefor it is in your best interests to have your own supply of water and a backupwater filtration or a water purification system.
Visit Just Us Enterprises for all your emergency, disaster, preparedness and outdoor supplies. We provide links to reputable disaster agencies and closely follow or exceed their recommendations.
Emergency and Disaster Supplier is asked what’s the difference between preparedness companies.
The end of the world?
A well-educated man asked a question today about emergency preparedness to which the answer seemed to surprise the inquirer. The gentleman asked if Just Us Enterprises – Emergency Disaster Preparedness was a “survivalist” company. He suggested that many survivalist internet companies are preparing for an end of the world scenario and he does not believe that will occur. He was not sarcastic or demeaning in any way, just interested in the type of company we are. He wanted to compare our company to the many survivalist and apocalyptic preparedness companies on the internet. He stated that they seem to base their businesses on fear, such as a nuclear attack or the Apocalypse itself. He asked, politely but inquisitively, what makes our company so much better since they all seem to be the pretty much the same.
His question made me realize many people think all emergency and disaster preparedness companies are the same. There is an obvious, although apparently not well known difference between Just Us Enterprises and other “survivalist” companies. I must admit when viewed from the gentleman’s perspective, most prepper websites appear to give the impression that TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) is going to happen soon and you must be prepared for it. Therefore, they instill fear, show cataclysmic events, and speak of doomsday. They sell merchandise not always designed or manufactured with quality and durability in mind, despite the chaos that they predict. They might sell weapons so you can defend your stash of survival supplies. Chaos and anarchy seem to be predominant themes.
I am not suggesting that all prepper websites and survivalist sites are this way, but many are or appear to be fear-mongering entities. They emphasize buying this product or that item for use after the (name the country of your choice) drops the bomb on us. You need to buy this product so when the financial collapse happens you can survive Armageddon. You must have these supplies for whatever hysterical or mysterious purpose suits the seller’s sales pitch.
The gentleman’s question, though poignant, was an example of how misunderstood emergency preparedness actually is. Therefore, I explained the difference between us and the other types of survival preparedness establishments that are out there. We consider ourselves practical and conservative, and we tend to advise people to prepare for a major event according to their own budget and peace of mind. We know from experience that real emergency relief can take from a few days up to several weeks before the aftermath of a catastrophe is under control.
There are alternative websites, albeit not apparently very many, real legitimate businesses that do not prey on fear, destruction, and mayhem. Just Us Enterprises is an emergency disaster preparedness and outdoor supplier with a reputable character with the Better Business Bureau (A+ accreditation), member of the New Bern Chamber of Commerce, named a top disaster preparedness supplier and a member of FEMA’s Preparedness Community. We follow government guidelines for people to be prepared for an emergency or a disaster. We offer over 250 quality preparedness products, food, water and water filtration, first aid kits and many outdoor supplies. We do not base our business on fear, but we do believe in helping people be prepared in case of an emergency or a disaster. For that matter for outdoor activities too, such as camping, boating and hiking.
Just Us Enterprises sells only quality products primarily for both the short term, (and to those who want to prepare for the alien invasion) and for camping, RVing and outdoors. We disassociate ourselves from the scare tactics that some use and concentrate on a more reasonable, sensible and practical application of what emergency and disaster preparedness means. We enjoy helping others to be prepared for an event because we experienced a time when we were unprepared and needed emergency supplies. Unfortunately, we waited until the last minute and found empty store shelves. Our emergency only lasted a few days because the blizzard closed roads and stores, but it would have been nice to have the supplies we needed to sustain our family for that short span of time. We had no electricity, no heat and very little food.
We learned our lesson and that is how we look at emergency and disaster preparedness. When a severe storm hits, such as a hurricane or the severe blizzard that we endured, it may take several days to a week or two for relief efforts to get to you. Just like those who lived through hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, and had to wait for roads and bridges to open, electricity to be turned back on and to have clean water running through the pipes, you too, also need to have provisions and supplies.
Providing supplies, food and water, and emergency essentials from when the disaster strikes until the time disaster relief arrives is our business. Having quality adequate supplies on hand and prior to a crisis to last until assistance arrives to your location is your business. Everyone needs to be prepared for an emergency or a disaster at least for a short duration, a few days to a few weeks. Anything more than that is optional to the individual’s desires.
Briefly, I explained to the gentleman, you do not need to go overboard with supplies or prepare for a long-term catastrophe, unless you want to, but you do need food, water, a first aid kit and emergency supplies for you and your family if the need arises for short-term preparedness. A pre-made survival kit, emergency kit or preparedness package such as those that we provide, are compact and easily portable.
Remember: Your own emergency disaster preparedness plan is the key to survival, and your survival depends on how well prepared you are.
Let us know what you think, make a suggestion, give us a compliment or ask us a question. You will not be solicited by emails, phone calls or a salesperson. We will just respond and let you decide what to do. By the way, all of our info is fact based and we will give you links when appropriate. Thanks for reading.
Chapter 2.1 and 2.2 Preparing– lists, gathering supplies
1. Who do you prepare for?
2. What do you need?
PREPARING FOR AN EMERGENCY OR A DISASTER
Preparing – lists, gathering supplies
Once you have defined the Planning part of your emergency disaster preparedness plan, you can start to prepare. With a Plan in place (discussed under No Simple Answers – Planning, with multiple parts), starting the preparing stage of gathering information and emergency essentials also begins with lists of Who, What, How and Why
Who do you prepare for?
Prepare for the number of people in your family, group or organization and add a cushion of emergency preparedness supplies. This seems like a simple answer, however, disasters affect more than those in the immediate group. Others from outside the group will also need supplies. If you planned adequately, you should have more than just enough for you and your group.
Make lists; or have copies of these documents, include phone numbers, addresses, email and social media contacts. In times of extreme stress, memories can be inaccurate or even become forgetful, and it is impossible to remember everybody’s email address from doctors, financial institutions and businesses that you use. Put this secure information in a watertight container with your survival kit, so if you have to evacuate, you will have the information with you.
Contacts of relatives, close friends and people you can trust
Doctors, attorneys, investment brokers and co-workers
Financial Institutions and account numbers – banks and investments
Important documents – vehicle registrations, deeds, titles, marriage and birth certificates insurance policies
Medications – if you have to leave the area having the correct name and dosage will be helpful, include the prescribing doctor’s name and the pharmacy information
Insurance Companies and policy numbers
Place(s) to meet – if communications are lost or a member is separated from your party, you will have a predetermined meeting location
Supplies, food and water; these may need to be rationed
Maps; GPS systems may not be functioning
What do you need?
The most important survival categories are food and water, shelter and warmth and protection for medical reasons and from assailants. There are several more categories, including equipment, tools and essential supplies that require attention as priorities.
What you need is dependent on two things, the “who” (or how many people), and the type of emergency or disaster that you are preparing for. Emergencies and disasters, like footwear, come in an abundance of varieties, types and dreads. You probably will not wear slippers or high heels to a rodeo; likewise, you probably would not have a basic bug out bag for one person, while getting a family of four ready for evacuation when a hurricane or flood is inevitable.
You may not know the type of emergency you probably will encounter, but to your advantage, you do have knowledge in your favor. You know the number of people that you are preparing for. Additionally, you can take an educated guess as to the types of disasters that occur in your area, and you can acquire your emergency supplies based on your budget, knowledge and experience.
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
First Aid Kit
Flashlight and extra batteries
Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food [per person]
Manual can opener for food
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Supplies for Unique Needs, [medications, crutches, wheelchair]
Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
Whistle to signal for help
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, consider adding the following items:
Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Cash or traveler’s checks and change
Complete changes of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional warm clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
Emergency reference material such as a first aid book
Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit – EFFAK (PDF – 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
Infant formula and diapers
Matches in a waterproof container
Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
You may not have the desire or the time to build your own emergency disaster preparedness kit. There are many different styles of emergency kits, from a basic, single person survival kit to deluxe and élite kits and specialty survival kits for campers and outdoor activities. There are also Emergency Kits made for hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and wildfires along with those for auto, children, pets and lockdown situations. In addition to the survival and emergency disaster preparedness kits, Emergency Survival Preparedness Packages that contain multiple survival and emergency kits are also available.
Emergency Disaster Kits and Emergency Survival Preparedness Packages like the Emergency Preparedness Package – 4 Person w/ Food Storage has survival supplies that your family of four will need for a week. Containing food, water, first aid kits, space blankets and much more than can be listed here, this Emergency Preparedness Package includes a basic Auto Kit, a Mini Survival Kit, a 56 Serving Grab n Go Food Bucket and a 4 Person Bucket Survival Kit. This package is compact, has what is needed, and it is portable. This is a quality preparedness package, designed by professionals and provides emergency essentials for the family in a time of crisis. A great value and it will last for many years even if not used immediately, because the food is long-term.
Take this scenario. A plumber has a family of four, lives in Ohio, has limited resources and it is late spring. He knows that the river floods every spring due to the melting snow, warmer temperatures and spring rains. He also knows that tornado season is soon to follow. The storm shelter will protect his family from the storm.
This is what we know. There are four people and two common types of potential disasters in his area (flooding and tornadoes). He needs to prepare in advance for the probability of either the flood or a tornado (or both), which are common events in his area, to affect his family. He also must provide them with enough emergency essentials until help arrives, and take into consideration the possibility of providing for other victims.
Basic emergency calculations
The basics of preparing for an emergency are food, water (and/or a water filtration and purification system), shelter and protection. In addition, we recommend a first aid kit, cooking utensils, warmth, clothing, tools, medications, a means to make a fire and your lists (as previously noted). These essentials multiplied by the number of people will give you an approximate total of what you will need per person per day.
Food: To figure out the number of meals you will need, take the total number of people, multiply it by the number of meals per day, and multiply that times the number of days you want to be prepared for. For example, assuming a family of four eats three meals per day and you want to have enough food for a week, the formula to use is
4 (people) x 3 (meals) x 7 (days) = 84.
Simply put, multiply the (number of people) in the group times (number of meals each person eats per day) times (number of days) equals the number of meals needed.
Water: Another example, using a family of four and FEMA’s recommendation of 1 gallon of water per day per person is calculated as:
1 (gallon/day) x 4 (people) x 7 (days) = 28 gallons
Or for a year’s supply of water
1 (gallon/day) x 4 (people) x 365 (days) = 1460 gallons
Many people have stated that they do not drink a gallon of water per day. Remember you will also need clean water for brushing your teeth, washing, cleaning dishes, cuts, scrapes and injuries and cooking. Water, left in the open, becomes contaminated with bacteria, viruses, cysts, microorganisms, dirt, bugs and other pollutants. You should have a water filtration and purification system that does not require electricity. To purify water, use household bleach only as previously recommended, do not use unscented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
The minimum amount of water for this family of four for a year is 1 x 4 x 365 or 1,460 gallons of water. By comparison, the Water Filtration and Purification systems available from Just Us Enterprises will produce 1,200 to 1,800 gallons of water. These systems eliminate over 99.99% of contaminants, is portable and lightweight and comes in different sizes. An optional Nano Filter is also available to filter out smaller particulates.
Food and water are major considerations when preparing for a disaster. Survival kits and bug out bags will supply emergency essentials for a short-term, about 3 days. Larger emergency kits, Preparedness Packages and long-term foods are now available for more people and for longer durations. Make your own emergency kit with personal effects made from scratch or purchase an emergency kit and customize it with your own belongings. Even though emergency disaster preparedness planning and supplies may not be at the top of the “Most Wanted” list, it should be.
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We now provide emergency, disaster and preparedness products to schools, OEM and fire departments.
Chapter 1.1 and 1.2 Planning – the compiling of lists
1. Who are you Planning for?
2. What are you Preparing for?
Planning for an Emergency or a Disaster
– the compiling of many lists, such as contacts, phone numbers, equipment, food and water, location(s) of where to go or where to meet, supplies and the number of people who the preparedness plan will be utilized for. In other words, prepare the logistics of gathering everything and everyone together in advance. The stress of an overwhelming situation is compounded by not having something you need to survive, or still worse, not knowing the condition of a loved one.
Who are you planning for?
Obviously, you are concerned for yourself and your family. Have you thought about your extended family, such as your parents, nieces and nephews, son and daughter-in-laws, grandchildren and close friends? They may not be adequately prepared or not prepared at all for a disaster. Will you turn them away in their time of need? Realistically, if something catastrophic happens to a member of your extended family you will want to take them in, even if you do not have emergency supplies for yourself.
Consider the unknown. Disasters take lives, leave victims and create orphans. A child cannot know what he or she needs to survive a catastrophe. Who will take your child if disaster strikes and leaves them without a parent? Where will they go? As you make your preparedness plan, include provisions for the unexpected. The unexpected is the length of time that it takes for rescue (assuming that there will be a rescue) to arrive, the number of people that you might involuntarily inherit, and of course, the nature of the disaster itself and its aftermath.
While taking into consideration the possibility of anything that can go wrong will go wrong, truthfully, there is a limit as to the number of people you have the ability to provide for. Determine how many people you are preparing for: a single person, a family, group, school, workplace, organization, community or a larger group such as a town, county, state or region. Include in your plan, a plan for additional supplies for the unintended additional people who will want and need supplies. It will not hurt to have a little too much, as opposed to having a little too little.
What are you preparing for?
Are you preparing for an auto breakdown, a blackout, a hurricane, tornado, blizzard, an act of terrorism, war or TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World, As We Know It) or even the Apocalypse? Preparing for the inevitable blackout or auto breakdown is simply assembling or purchasing the appropriate emergency kit. Preparing for a widespread disaster, an earthquake or a hurricane for example, may include an Emergency Preparedness Package (multiple survival kits) and additional food, water and supplies. However, if you are preparing for a government collapse, nuclear, biological warfare, or even worse, than you will need the appropriate shelter, food, water and water filtration and purification, supplies and weapons to protect those in your group and your supplies.
We live in a time of turmoil, unexpected severe storms in the waters of our south coast, tornados, though not surprising, are ramping up in the Midwest. Earthquakes in the South Pacific, off the coast of Japan, Nepal and Chile seem to happen more frequently and have much more intensity than in the past. Recently Chile has had a couple of volcanos, as did southern Europe and again in the South Pacific volcanos are spewing. The “Ring of Fire” is alive and filling our sky with soot and ash. Meanwhile, back here in the U.S.A., there is speculation that the faults in California will soon tremble. The Madrid Fault in the Midwest recently started shaking. There is no real agreement if we will experience global warming or global cooling. A recent documentary suggests that the sun, not necessarily mankind, is the root of our climate change.
So, what do you prepare for, you might ask. Firstly, make preparations for a disaster or an emergency with as many supplies that make you feel comfortable. Prepare your emergency disaster plan and supplies according to the types of common disasters that have happened in the local area. Your local Emergency Management Organization can tell you what common hazards are in your area.
Some believe the government will take care of the crisis. Others point out the delays that occurred with government involvement with both hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. The logistics of emergency disaster preparedness for a smaller group is considerably easier and quicker than that of the size of a government mobilization.
FEMA, the CDC, and the American Red Cross recommend a minimum 72-hour emergency preparedness survival kit for each person. The Preparedness industry recommends five to fourteen days. Many preppers, however, suggest many months up to many years of supplies. The common theme here is everyone agrees that everyone needs to have an emergency disaster preparedness plan and survival supplies.
Who, What, Why, How, Where and When are questions asked regarding emergency disaster preparedness and survival.
Planning, Preparing, Procurement and Providing your own emergency disaster preparedness is the key to survival, and your survival depends on how well prepared you are. J Janerico
This discussion, the first of a multi-part article, addresses some of the issues many people associate with emergency disaster preparedness. The consolidated information that follows is collated from reliable sources such as FEMA, the CDC, the American Red Cross, NOAA, the preparedness industry and media sources like CNN, Fox News and others. To achieve emergency and disaster preparedness, several aspects will be covered, however ultimately, you must take responsibility for your own preparedness, because when (not if) a major catastrophic event occurs, it may take several days to several weeks for the government to assemble and coordinate appropriate and adequate supplies for a disaster. Preparing for a disaster could be the difference between your life and death.
Apparently, there is some debate going on in the emergency preparedness industry in regards to the subject of prepared long-term food, home processed foods (canning) and MREs (meals ready to eat). Some of the topics focused on are, the amount of salt used in the preparation of food, the total carbohydrates and the nutritional value derived from these types of prepared food. Another issue is what the effects long-term food may or may not have, and how it might affect the human body if consumed daily for long periods. However, freeze-dried, dehydrated or salt cured foods, designed for long-term storage, are a proven beneficial food supply – it keeps you alive. The subject of long-term food brings up the point of this discussion. What are you preparing for, in terms of time, in the preparedness area of your emergency disaster planning? Are you preparing for a road trip, a few days, a couple of weeks, a month or three, or for a full-fledged apocalypse?
Let us face some facts, preparing for a disaster or an emergency can be a daunting task, Planning,Preparing,Procurement and Providing requires thoughtful implementation. The multiple parts that follow are some helpful solutions to the questions of Who, What, Why, How, Where, and When of the preparedness stages of planning. The Table of Contents provides a list of blogs and anticipated date of publishing.
It is only the middle of February, but Boston, Massachusetts and the Northeast are making a run for the coldest and snowiest winter on record. They have received over 90 inches of snow (about 7.5 feet), so far, and temperatures are approximately 11 degrees below average. The main transit system, the MBTA, crippled by the unprecedented snowfall and extreme cold are leaving thousands without a way to go to work. Businesses are feeling the effects of the lack of income because customers cannot venture out due to the weather and road conditions.
Customers can hardly make it to the stores, travel by car or by foot is treacherous, and potentially deadly, as evidenced by more than one person struck by a snowplow. Parking is another problem because monumental snow piles not only reduce parking spaces, but also obstruct visibility.
Businesses and homeowners alike have so much snow buildup that roofs are collapsing and local government authorities warned owners to remove the snow. Schools throughout the region have consumed all of their snow days and other schools in the Northeast have closed due to concerns that the weight of snow and ice might cause roofs to cave in, burying students and faculty. The National Guard, called in to assist in snow removal and equipment from neighboring states are helping to alleviate the wintery situation, but Old Man Winter seems to have another agenda with unrelenting forecasts of more snow and extremely cold temperatures. Many buildings, experiencing frozen pipes, already have water damage and will not be repaired until heat is reestablished or access to the damaged area is facilitated, or both. Adding to the winter woes, ice dams are wreaking havoc with roofs, walls, ceilings and floors. Sidewalks are impassable and snowbanks are too high to throw the additional accumulating snow on top. Snow banks on the roadsides, snow mounds in shopping plazas and snow farms are overflowing. All of this accumulated snow creates another problem; such as where do you put all the snow?
Dumping the snow into lakes, ponds and the ocean is unacceptable because the rock salt and road chemicals are environmentally hazardous. In response to this unacceptable practice, the authorities in many towns and cities along the Atlantic coastline have decided to use large powerful snow-melters and have the melted runoff go directly into storm drains that flow through underground pipes, primarily to lakes, ponds and the ocean. Unless the runoff is properly filtered, of the automobile fluids (such as antifreeze, brake fluids, fuel i.e. gasoline and diesel, oil, transmission fluid, hydraulic fluids), and other contaminants in addition to the rock salt and road chemicals, the environment will still be affected. So, instead of just dumping the snow into the Atlantic directly, it is melted and sent through a conduit to the ocean bypassing any filtering. This apparent oversight of the law appears to be undertaken to save money, not necessarily to deliberately hide the facts from the public. Transparency anyone?
Eventually, hidden problems will reveal themselves as the snow melts. Warmer temperatures, rain and the sun will eventually melt the snow back to water. As the heavy, wet, water-laden snow melts, it compacts and compresses the snow beneath it closer to the ground. The air temperature, will increase or decrease the melting period, or even cause it to stop melting, refreeze and turn it back into ice. This ice, under the compressed and melting snow, cannot leach into the ground as it melts because the ground itself is frozen. The melting ice has no place to go and as it continues to melt, it builds up as packed ice starting from the frozen ground working its way up towards the surface of the snow. Once the ice, becomes close enough to the surface, it depends on the sun and temperature to begin its final transition into water.
This is where a problem lies. Melting snow and the frozen ice below it combined with warming temperatures may not be a problem in many areas during a normal winter. However, this years’ combination of the recent dumping of the enormous quantity of snow, the ice under the snow and the impenetrable frozen ground will create significant flooding. We hope that the warm-up will be gradual and the melt-water will find a safe place to run off. Otherwise, as spring approaches and the sun raises higher in the sky, if the temperature increases quickly, or a significant rain occurs, then the snow meltwater will have no place to go because, as mentioned earlier, the ground under the snowpack will still be frozen and the flooding will commence.
Prepare yourself for the spring thaw, because spring, according to the calendar is only a month away. Warmer temperatures rising too quickly will cause rivers, streams, and creeks to rise. Ponds and lakes will accept the runoff water until they overflow. The meltwater overflow will enter basements, buildings built in low-lying areas, city and municipal underground utilities and of course subways.
Prepare yourselves for the flooding that is imminent after the winter of 2015 ends. Roads will be similar to driving on rugged terrain due to the frost eaves that created the potholes. Water entering manholes will cause electrical shorts creating power outages. Torrents of water may wash out roads or produce sinkholes. The heavy snowpack, slush, ice, debris and clogged storm drains will only exacerbate the problem. Supplies of food, water, first aid and sanitation may be restricted or non-existent for several days to flooded areas. Help may be delayed until the flood waters recede.
Be wary of a quick warm up this spring, it just might wash you away. Be prepared with a survival kit or a preparedness package that contains food, water, a first aid kit, shelter and warmth and sanitation. For complete emergency disaster preparedness supplies, please visit our web site.