Tag Archives: disaster

2016-Time to end!

I have not written anything in several weeks and I truly have missed being able to sit down even a few minutes and put together some of the happenings of our little suburban homestead. But I must say, I cannot wait for 2016 to be over. This has been an atrocious year from small hurdles to jump to major life tragedies.

The first 7 months of the year went by far to quickly with many small events that seem to creep up and throw off anyone’s calendar. Everything that happened which annoyed and commanded time from me through July pale in comparison to the way August of 2016 started out.

August 1st brought a new dawn into how we will live our family life. 10:30 pm; answering the phone to a call that every parent fears, but few have to realize: our 30 year old son had been involved in an accident at home. Doesn’t seem that bad, he was at home, not in a car, not working on the tractor, just home cleaning the bathroom.

One would expect that a fall in the bathroom would produce a head wound, or at worse a concussion. But being home alone during a fall, which caused unconsciousness and a brain hemorrhage proved to be fatal. The Medical personal on the scene could not revive him and he was pronounced dead.

Thirty years old with a wife, and 3 children, the youngest just celebrating her 1st birthday a little more than a month earlier. The trauma and pain to the family has been horrendous.

Getting all the brothers and sisters to town turned out to be an event in itself, but it was really good to see the entire family together, which has not occurred in several years. An event such as this truly changes the dynamic of the family and helps to reset priorities, as we have viewed them in the past.

The rest of August has been spending time with family and helping our daughter-in-law ready the house to be put on the market, which did finally happen today. Making all the small repairs, painting the entire house, cleaning up the lawn and garden beds, took far longer than I had hoped but I do not move as fast as I once did.

I might mention that coming home from the funeral as I pulled up in front of my house the transmission went out of my truck. Not that it even compares, but it just shows how I can’t get a breath between circumstances happening. I did put in the new transmission, but now I have to replace both catalytic converters.

Through it all I have kept peace within myself, knowing that my son was saved and a part of the body of Christ. He will live on through glory and we will re-unite in His Kingdom.

Romans 8:28 (NIV)  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who  have been called according to his purpose.

For myself:

Joshua 1:9 (NIV) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”               

Matthew 5:4 (NIV) Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Although I find comfort in my Faith and the loving arms of my Savior, I am very ready for this year to be done!

                     

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Aquaponics-EPIC FAIL!

Our second full year in the greenhouse with the aquaponics systems has been wrought with a few mishaps and mistakes. Nothing major-lines burst, junctions break, heater burnt out, air pump stopped-but today I woke up to an entire tank of dead tilapia fish!

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It happened in my constant height tank, which was the first of the type that I had built. I had cleaned out the 3 stage filter last week during our warm weather snap because the water was starting to turn a little too brown. I checked the ammonia level, which was high but thought it would go down after I cleaned the filter.

I never cleaned out the grow bed. Honestly it never really dawned on me as I had the 3-stage filter and the gutter garden circulating water for filtration in this tank, but I did not grow anything in this grow bed over the winter.

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This morning, after removing the fish, I took off my 3-stage filter and it was already full of sediment. So I looked under my grow platform and it was 1-2″ deep in solid fish waste! The ammonia level was through the roof, so no doubt why all the fish died.

Needless to say I am pumping all the water out of the tank and cleaning the grow bed so I can start the system fresh with new fish. We had been talking about changing this particular tank to a cold water fish, so we would have 1 tank that did not need heated. I guess that decision is now made.

Unfortunately, I was planning a neighborhood fish fry next weekend to utilize the fish from this tank. Most were 14-18″ long and 5-6#-perfect for a big fish fry! I guess the fish fry will be postponed for a while!

As with everything, there is a learning curve, one just hopes for no sharp turns like this! But with this epic fail, I have a chance to start fresh and utilize my new found knowledge to become even better with my aquaponic gardening.

 

 

 

Let’s Back Up-Disaster Readiness

I did a post yesterday on Sustainable & Resilient Communities, then thought that I should have started with a post talking about Disaster Readiness  first. The class we are taking, Neighbors Helping Neighbors-Disaster Readiness, sponsored by Baltimore County and Homeland Security, is a step toward preparing one’s family for the eventual emergency situation.  Eventual meaning, not if, but when an emergency occurs. So let’s back up and talk about disasters that can occur.

Most disasters can be broken down into just two categories;Hurricane-Sandy

Natural-Hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, flooding, earthquakes, etc

Manmade-train or plane crashes, hazardous material leaks, vehicle accidents, etc.

Depending on the area of the world certain natural disasters are more prevalent. Here on the east coast of the United States our primary concerns lean toward hurricanes and flooding. These are the two predominant forms of natural disasters for our area. Yes we do get a few tornadoes and we are on a major fault line for earthquakes, but these occur much less often.

The U.S. west coast would be more concerned with earthquakes, while the Midwest would be watching for tornadoes. Excessive heat or cold could be a natural disaster. Lighting strikes in excessive heat make for huge natural disasters on the west coast with the spreading wild fires. Of course some of these could be considered man-made as well if started by a discarded lit cigarette.

mdtrainMan-made disasters can be just as devastating as any natural disaster and can occur anywhere and anytime. Here in Baltimore, just this past year was a major train collision with a dump truck in a heavily populated area. The explosion was phenomenal and could be felt miles away. From my house I could see the flames rising above the horizon.

After the initial impact came the threat of an area evacuation because of the potential for a hazardous material spill from a train car. Fortunately there was no spill and no evacuation had to occur.

But what if an evacuation had to occur and we would have to leave our homes for a few days. Would it not be easier to leave in an emergency IF there was already a plan in place and a bag packed for just such an emergency?

That is the goal of emergency readiness! We never know when one of these disasters may occur, but taking steps ahead of time to prepare for the potentiality of a disaster that is predominant to the area just makes sense.

No I am not a “doomsdayer” or “prepper” per se, but being prepared for common to our area emergencies just shows that I care enough about my family, friends, and neighbors to be a help and not a hindrance during troubling times.

I would advocate for every family to take some time to educate themselves about disaster readiness. Take stock of the area in which you live. Do a risk assessment of potential disasters and prepare for eventuality, not just for yourself, but your family, and your community.

Be sure to read Sustainable & Resilient Communities on this blog to see how to prepare a community for disaster readiness. I will be following up with other posts as we progress through the class.

 

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Emergency responseBaltimore County has rescheduled the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Emergency Preparedness class. This is a great free 5 week program for anyone concerned about being ready for natural disasters.

The class will cover:

Natural Disasters and Technological Hazards
This session focuses on the natural and technological hazards most likely to threaten this area.

  • Past disasters in Maryland
  • Preparation of a 72-hour emergency kit
  • Preparation and maintenance of a family emergency plan
  • How to assist people with disabilities during an emergency
  • What to do before, during and after a disaster

Fire Safety and Extinguishers
This session focuses on fire prevention and extinguishing strategies.

  • Types of fires and how they occur
  • Potential fire hazards in the home and workplace
  • Evaluation of fires and assessment of firefighting resources
  • Operation of different types of extinguishers
  • How to decide whether to attempt to extinguish a fire and how to do so safely

Crime Prevention and Awareness
This session focuses on how to identify and protect yourself against potential crime threats.

  • Personal safety techniques
  • Steps to protect homes against break-ins
  • Recognition of suspicious activity and how to report it to 911
  • Learn about “Citizens On Patrol” and how to implement this program in your community
  • Identification of possible terrorist targets

CPR and First Aid
This session focuses on patient assessment and how to administer first aid.

  • Hands-on-only Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Treatment of life-threatening conditions
  • Treatment of burns, wounds and bleeding
  • Treatment with splinting of fractures, sprains and strains
  • Treatment of hypothermia and heat-related illness
  • Simple triage

Building Resilient Communities
This session covers ways in which communities can prepare for, mitigate and withstand long-term incidents.

The next session will be from September 10 to October 8, 2015 from 7-9pm each Thursday for the 5 weeks.

Station 6
2815 Sollers Point Road
Dundalk, Maryland 21222
Maximum Participants: 25

Please go to :

http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/emergency_prep/neighborshelping.html#form

to get more information and register.

 

Neighbors Helping Neighbors-Emergency Preparedness

Emergency responseSorry for the late notice but wanted to let everyone know about the upcoming Neighbors Helping Neighbors Emergency Preparedness Class.

It will be 4 Thursdays from 7-9pm starting Thursday April 30, 2015 through Thursday May28 at Dundalk Fire Station #6 2815 Sollers Point Rd. 21222

Session Topics

Natural Disasters and Technological Hazards
This session focuses on the natural and technological hazards most likely to threaten this area.
•Past disasters in Maryland
•Preparation of a 72-hour emergency kit
•Preparation and maintenance of a family emergency plan
•How to assist people with disabilities during an emergency
•What to do before, during and after a disaster

Fire Safety and Extinguishers
This session focuses on fire prevention and extinguishing strategies.
•Types of fires and how they occur
•Potential fire hazards in the home and workplace
•Evaluation of fires and assessment of firefighting resources
•Operation of different types of extinguishers
•How to decide whether to attempt to extinguish a fire and how to do so safely

Crime Prevention and Awareness
This session focuses on how to identify and protect yourself against potential crime threats.
•Personal safety techniques
•Steps to protect homes against break-ins
•Recognition of suspicious activity and how to report it to 911
•Learn about “Citizens On Patrol” and how to implement this program in your community
•Identification of possible terrorist targets

CPR and First Aid
This session focuses on patient assessment and how to administer first aid.
•Hands-on-only Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
•Treatment of life-threatening conditions
•Treatment of burns, wounds and bleeding
•Treatment with splinting of fractures, sprains and strains
•Treatment of hypothermia and heat-related illness
•Simple triage

Building Resilient Communities
This session covers ways in which communities can prepare for, mitigate and withstand long-term incidents

Hope to see many of my neighbors there.
Get more information and register at:

http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/emergency_prep/neighborshelping.html