Drowning prevention: learn to swim, practice water safety & know what drowning really looks like

Signs of drowning pic
The first steps to preventing drowning are learning how to swim and practicing safe swimming habits – in a pool, a lake, a river or in the ocean. To save the life of person who is drowning, though, you need to know what drowning really looks like. Drowning is silent, fast and doesn’t look anything like it is depicted on TV. Slate explains:

There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the No. 2 cause of accidental death in children, ages 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents)—of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. According to the CDC, in 10 percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch the child do it, having no idea it is happening. Drowning does not look like drowning—Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene magazine, described the Instinctive Drowning Response like this: read more

In 1 minute, dozens of celebrities make the case: no more gun violence

Credit: DemandaPlan.orgUmpqua College should be the last school where students are killed by gun violence. This can’t be part of the education process.

Brought to you by DemandaPlan.org, a project of Every Town for Gun Safety.

What does ‘State of Emergency’ mean in New Jersey?

State of Emergency-FreeholdWhat does ‘State of Emergency’ mean in New Jersey?

Gov. Chris Christie declared a State of Emergency in New Jersey Monday ahead of the snowstorm. According to the state Office of Emergency Management, the governor’s declaration “empowers the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) to act on behalf of the Governor to employ the resources and assets of State, local and private agencies to provide immediate assistance to localities.”

A common misconception about a state of emergency is that civilians are not allowed to travel on the roads during the declaration. According to the NJOEM, “the Governor’s declaration does not normally restrict citizen movements or activities. The State may limit access to affected areas due to concerns for public safety but will notify the public of these restrictions.” read more

How to survive the Jan 2015 blizzard

blizzard is coming

Preparing for a storm doesn’t mean anything bad will happen, just that you’ll be comfortable if your lights or water go out, and you’ll know how to stay safe indoors. I hope you all stay safe and warm throughout … remember to check on elderly or infirm neighbors and if you have a safety tip or information resource, please share it with us. BTW they’re calling this storm Juno.

Here’s how you can prepare for and track the storm:

  1. Wunderground provides completely reliable weather updates.
  2. Here are some storm preparedness tips:
    • Gas up your cars, keep your cellphones and computers charged and have some cash on hand (credit cards don’t work when the power’s down).
    • Be prepared in case your lights or water get knocked out. A storm with this much snow (and ice too, probably) can down or damage power lines. A nice food protection tip is: put freezer baggies of water in your freezer and let them turn into ice. If power goes out, the ice will keep food cold and you will also have water to drink as it thaws. This and other good tips – plus an in-depth overview of what to expect during the storm – in the report by expert meteorologist Dennis Mersereau aka The Weather Dude.
    • Red Cross storm preparedness tips
    • FEMA preparedness tips
  3. The last New Jersey Transit pre-blizzard bus and rail trips will depart 8pm Monday night and will arrive by/at 10pm due to worsening weather conditions. Visit NJTransit’s updates and alerts page to sign up for alerts and get general information.
    • Rail: Service will remain shut down until Thursday morning January 29, depending on track/equipment and infrastructure conditions. The last train will make all local stops.
    • Bus and Light Rail: Service may resume Wednesday, January 28 depending on road and track conditions as well as snow-removal operation.
  4. How to handle power outages
  5. How to clear snow from fire hydrants (shared by the Bergenfield and Hillside NJ Fire Departments)
  6. A state of emergency was declared for New Jersey on Monday afternoon. There are misconceptions floating around about what this is, exactly, with some statements making it sound more like martial law than what it actually is. Follow the link to learn about it from the horse’s mouth.
  7. Contact info for county OEM offices throughout New Jersey
  8. New Jersey Department of Transportation issues alerts and advisories through 511nj.org.
  9. Warming shelters
    • Bergen County NJ
      • Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus
      • Law and Public Safety Institute, 281 Campgaw Road, Mahwah

Thanks to friend and Red Cross volunteer Han Broekman for sharing some of these tips.

Updated 03 Feb 15 read more

Cycler proves NYC bike lanes not always safe

NYC cop gives cycler ticket for leaving the bike lane. But there are dangers in the bike lane . .

The cycler is Casey Neistat and this great footage proves his case brilliantly. I’m convinced that NYC should give him back his $50 fine.