Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How to Survive Sharknado 2*

By Alice Ding

Meteorologists are warning that an oncoming storm—Sharknado 2—is expected to hit New York City tonight. For those who haven’t heard, Sharknado is a tornado that scoops up sharks and flings them from the sky. As this severe weather condition approaches, we are here to provide a few tips that can help you stay safe during this dangerous event. 

(1) Make an Emergency Communications Plan
First, make a communications plan with your loved ones. As we’ve heard from Los Angeles Red Crossers, these sharks are not friendly. Regardless what time of the day Sharknado 2 storms across the city, you need to know where your family and friends are and where to meet them. As in any other emergency situation, we encourage you to have contacts outside of the city. During an emergency, local phone lines might be overloaded or out of service. In that case, it’s often easier to call long distance. 

(2) Build a Sharknado Preparedness Kit
Because these sharks will definitely try to bite off your limbs, it’s crucial to have a survival kit ready. The most important lesson we learned from the first Sharknado is that having a chainsaw is essential for cutting sharks in half and escaping from inside a shark should you be eaten whole. Here are some other essential items you might want to include in your Sharknado kit.  
  • Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit (We will talk about this more in detail later.)
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area

(3) Know Your Flood Zone
Sharknado is expected to cause heavy rainfall—or should we say, sharkfall—that floods the streets. To avoid becoming a midnight snack for the sharks, check out New York City Office of Emergency Management’s evacuation zone map to find the shelters closest to you.

(4) Download Free Red Cross Disaster Apps
After completing the previous steps, download the free American Red Cross emergency mobile apps for iPhone and Android for tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, first aid and more. When severe weather (and/or sharks) loom, you want to stay informed. Our mobile apps provide lifesaving tips and real-time information about severe weather threats. These apps are available in English and Spanish

(5) Take First Aid Training 
If you are not the warrior type, take Red Cross first aid classes. You want to be able to perform some basic first aid techniques when others have been wounded fighting sharks or when your family members have been injured while evacuating. Having a first aid kit ready is also helpful. You can find a premade kit from the Red Cross Store. If you decide to assemble your own first aid kit, make sure to include the following items:   
  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 blanket (space blanket)
  • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
  • Scissors
  • 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers
  • First aid instruction booklet

By following these tips, you and your family should be safe during Sharknado. Like any severe weather condition, the key is to be Red Cross Ready — and avoid sharks falling on your head!

*Although Sharknado 2 is a fictional event, our tips will help you in real-life emergency situations. 


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