Seasonal

Steps to Properly Fit a Bicycle Helmet

Every bike ride begins with putting on a helmet. But it's equally important that you ensure a proper fit so your helmet can best protect you. A helmet should sit on top of the head in a level position, and should not rock forward, backward or side to side. The helmet straps must always be buckled, but not too tightly.

1. The helmet should be no more than two fingers above the eyes.
2. Straps should make a "V" under the ears.
3. Make sure the helmet is snug when you open your mouth.

Bike helmets aren't just for kids, Mom and Dad. Be a good "Roll" model and wear your helmet!


Learn how to insure a proper fit with these easy to understand videos.
Fitting a Bike Helmet - NHTSA
Safety in Seconds: Bike Helmets - Safe Kids Worldwide

Bike Safety Tips Resources:

Safe Kids Lincoln-Lancaster County

Safe Kids Worldwide

National Bike Month

 

What To Do If There's A Tornado

 

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

Before a Tornado

Build an emergency kit  and make a family communications plan.

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.

Look for the following danger signs:
  • Dark, often greenish sky
  • Large hail
  • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
  • Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
  • If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

During A Tornado

If you are in a structure (residence, small building) go to a predesignated area such as a safe room, basement, storm celler or lowest building level.  Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
Put on sturdy shoes.
Do not open windows

If you are in a manufactured structure, get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

If you are outside with no shelter. If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision. Possible actions include:
  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
  • Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
  • Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

In all situations:

  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
  • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
For more detailed information, go to http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

Source: Ready.gov

Severe Weather Preparedness

Americans live in the most severe weather-prone country on Earth. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:

  • 100,000 thunderstorms
  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,000 tornadoes
  • 2 landfalling deadly hurricanes
And this dangerous weather is in addition to winter storms, intense summer heat, high winds, wild fires and other deadly weather impacts.

Being prepared for severe weather doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. A few simple steps, such as having a disaster supplies kit could help save your life.

Get Ready Now - Follow These Steps

1.  Get a kit of emergency supplies.

Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer. While    there are many things that might make you more comfortable, think first about fresh water, food and clean air.

Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:
  • Water one gallon per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
  • Non-perishable Food at least a three-day supply
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA
  • Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Filter mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener if kit contains canned food
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Important Family Documents
  • Items for unique family needs, such as daily prescription medications, infant formula or diapers


Consider two kits. In one, put everything you will need to stay where you are and make it on your own. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you have to get away.

2.  Make a Plan for what you will do in an emergency.

Plan in advance what you will do in an emergency. Be prepared to assess the situation. Use common sense and whatever you have on hand to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Develop a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different situations. Consider a plan where each family member calls, or e-mails, the same friend or relative in the event of an emergency. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. Be sure each person knows the phone number and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. You may have trouble getting through, or the phone system may be down altogether, but be patient. Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the attack, the first important decision is whether you stay put or get away. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and the information you are learning here to determine if there is immediate danger. Watch television and listen to the radio for official instructions as they become available.

Create a Plan to Shelter-in-Place. There are circumstances when staying put and creating a barrier between yourself and potentially contaminated air outside, a process known as sheltering-in-place and sealing the room can be a matter of survival. If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if local authorities say the air is badly contaminated, you may want to shelter-in-place and seal the room. Consider precutting plastic sheeting to seal windows, doors and air vents. Each piece should be several inches larger than the space you want to cover so that you can duct tape it flat against the wall. Label each piece with the location of where it fits. Use all available information to assess the situation. Quickly bring your family and pets inside, lock doors, and close windows, air vents and replace dampers. Immediately turn off air conditioning, forced air heating systems, exhaust fans and clothes dryers. Take your emergency supplies and go into the room you have designated. Seal all windows, doors and vents. Understand that sealing the room is a temporary measure to create a barrier between you and contaminated air. Watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet for instructions from local emergency management officials.

Create a Plan to Get Away. Plan in advance how you will assemble your family and anticipate where you will go. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency. If you have a car, keep at least a half tank of gas in it at all times. Become familiar with alternate routes as well as other means of transportation out of your area. If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if you have to. Take your emergency supply kit, unless you have reason to believe it is contaminated and lock the door behind you. Take pets with you if you are told to evacuate, however, if you are going to a public shelter, keep in mind they may not be allowed inside. If you believe the air may be contaminated, drive with your windows and vents closed and keep the air conditioning and heater turned off. Listen to the radio for instructions. Know Emergency Plans at school and work. Talk to your children’s schools and your employer about emergency plans. Find out how they will communicate with families during an emergency. If you are an employer, be sure you have an emergency preparedness plan. Review and practice it with your employees. A community working together during an emergency also makes sense. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together.

3.  Be Informed about what might happen.

Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit and developing a family emergency plan, are the same for both a natural or manmade emergency. However there are significant differences among potential terrorist threats, such as biological, chemical, explosive, nuclear and radiological, which will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. By beginning a process of learning about these specific threats, you are preparing yourself to react in an emergency. Go to ready.gov to learn more about potential terrorist threats and other emergencies or call 1-800-BE-READY (1-800-237-3239) for a free brochure. Be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances and make every effort to follow instructions received from authorities on the scene. Also learn about your community’s local emergency plan. With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected.

4.  Get Involved in preparing your community.

After preparing yourself and your family for possible emergencies, take the next step and get involved in preparing your community. Learn more about Citizen Corps, which actively involves citizens in making our communities and our nation safer, stronger and better prepared. We all have a role to play in keeping our hometowns secure from emergencies of all kinds. Citizen Corps works hard to help people prepare, train and volunteer in their communities. Go to www.citizencorps.gov for more information and to get involved.

For more information, visit ready.gov or call 1-800-BE READY

Sources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
              Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)