SIGNING FAMILIES EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION MINI-CHART
This pocket-sized emergency communication chart has FOUR different languages represented. Photos for a dozen important informational signs are in sign language, English, Spanish and Chinese!
There is a space for writing with a washable marker allows for efficient communication during challenging situations, such as medical emergencies or disasters. Also, numbers, common symbols (such as for email) and the alphabet is included. This card has a special coating for easy cleaning.
This emergency mini – chart has been used by thousands of First Responders and Community Emergency Responder Teams (CERT). Also, valuable for those who work in schools, are involved with service related industries (such as bus drivers, flight attendants, etc.). Restauranteurs and hospitality workers are also using this chart to help customers who are in need of assistance.
We offer this chart for those who reside in the United States.
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Shipping included, but note: we only ship within the United States. For outside the USA orders – please send an email. Thank you.
2017 has seen more than its’ share of tragedy. Mother Nature was angry this year – very, very, very angry. Our world experienced multiple devastating earthquakes, hurricanes that tore apart whole islands and deadly fires that also ravaged homes and businesses. Then there was the broken hearts caused by recent acts of violence and rage – Las Vegas, Barcelona, London, throughout Africa and the mid-east and of course, New York City.
Despite the tragedy and profound sense of losses, we can still hope and seek a silver lining this holiday season by giving from the heart to heal hearts.
I have compiled a list of organizations or companies that want to help the greater good by doing good. Please consider their efforts when you are gifting others’ during the holidays or just “any day”.
This year the grape crops of Northern California were nearly obliterated due to numerous fires of unprecedented magnitude. One Hope has pledged to help the farmers and wineries and sent a note from their CEO with their vow for assistance.
The statistics are staggering as to how many animals are destroyed annually. That is a polite way to say killed. That’s right – thousands upon thousands of dogs, cats, bunnies, etc. are euthanized because of bad luck. They were throw-aways. BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL RESCUE works tirelessly to save animal lives and educate humans.
Sponsoring a pet is the perfect gift to give someone who is allergic or unable to care for a furry family member due to living circumstances. Last year I adopted a dog and horse to gift someone!
Sponsor a Classroom!
Organizations are abundant to help teachers get the essentials (and occasional perks) funded for their classroom. Don’t believe that school districts in 2017 are flush with money to help our student’s learn. Many have shoes-string budgets and can hardly cover the basics, like textbooks or science equipment. I would love to think that we don’t need a bake sale each time our students need uniforms or basic science equipment. But, that is the reality.
Here are some alternate ways to help without having to crack an egg for cookie-dough.
Click on the links below to learn more about each organization.
Last but not least, one of my favorite charities is the SANDY HOOK PROMISE foundation. They do AMAZING work – year ’round. Their goal – to stop senseless violence, especially from guns, and increase tolerance and compassion in this world.
Their store has items that would make groovy gifts!Shop here
This is Part 2 of a blog I recently penned about a heartwarming and enlightening film that spotlights the Syrian refugee crisis and those who are attempting to bring humor and humanity to the refugee camps – The Language of Laughter. Read the prior blog here.
Question from Louise Sattler:What educational lessons do you hope that people will learn from this film/mission?
Answer from Reilly Dowd: Before I started this project, someone once told me, “In feature films, the director is God; in documentary films, God is the director”. I now know this to be completely true.
When I first went to Jordan, I really didn’t know where the story would take me. It was by chance that we met Hanadi, a 26-year- old refugee mother of three living in the Zaatari camp. Unlike so many other young women I met, she was willing—and able—to share her story. The horrors she had faced in Syria—car bombings, a violent raid on her home, her husband abducted—were unimaginable to me. But in the two years that I have been documenting her life, things have only gotten worse. Hanadi is one of 12 million people who have been displaced by Syria’s bloody civil war.
My hope is that this film will lead to more than just raising awareness about the refugee crisis. Our access into the life of a young refugee mother today presents a side of the crisis that is so rarely seen or understood. By watching the film, I hope viewers will be inspired to act and to think twice as a global debate about refugees rages on.
The film is first and foremost a human story. But given the scale of the crisis, it’s inevitable that politics play a role. We now look back on Rwanda, which was only a little over 20 years ago, and think, how could we have let this happen? All Americans have the ability to get information on what’s happening in Syria—they also have the right to put pressure on their representatives in Washington. This is a humanitarian crisis—one that is now on a global scale. I think much of the world is looking to the U.S. for leadership on the crisis.
There is a lot of legitimate fear out there about terrorism, especially here at home inAmerica. But many are quick to associate refugees with terrorism. Something I think many people really don’t understand is that if somebody truly wanted to carry out an attack in the United States, the chances of them coming in as a refugee are so small.
Reilly continued to explain the refugee registration process for immigration to the United States from Syria.
Firstly, they would have to be a registered refugee in a UNHCR camp outside of Syria. At a minimum, the process takes two years– and the refugees who make it to the final round or more vetted than almost anyone else. I think our country needs to take a harder look at those who we are denying entry to. The vast majority of them are running from the very thing that we fear.
I know it’s often hard for many people to grasp what is happening, especially when you hear numbers like 5 million Syrian refugees. We can help refugees by humanizing them. I hope this film will do just that.
Question from Louise: Your greatest challenge- other than money- with this project?
Answer from Reilly: Without giving our story away, I can tell you that out of pure desperation, Hanadi makes a dangerous decision—one that puts her and her three young daughters in grave danger. It’s hard to follow someone’s life for nearly two years and not become emotionally involved. Walking the line between being an objective journalist or true documentary filmmaker and someone with a heart is definitely a challenge. I set out to document Hanadi’s life as if I was never there. But I’ve had countless debates with myself over whether I should just stop the film and help Hanadi myself. She’s become someone I very much respect, admire and care about—so documenting her life at arm’s length, especially as her situation became increasingly dire, has been a significant personal struggle.
Question from Louise: Red noses! Love it – but ever think of pink, green or another color?
Answer from Reilly: Funny question, but not my job! Red Noses clowndoctors International has been around for two decades, operating out of Vienna, Austria. That’s their thing!
The Language of Laughter continues their crowdfunding campaign.
THANKSGIVING WEEK 2014 and already we have had more snow in parts of the United States than might happen in a whole YEAR!
Photo credit: K Hartman
Who would have guessed that in the middle of NOVEMBER a lake effect snow disaster would have occurred in Buffalo, New York paralyzing many portions of the city for days?! Not me nor the dozens of native “Buffalonians” who were interviewed this past week.
And, who have believed that a half dozen feet or more of snow would be melting faster than it should resulting in FLOODS just in time for families to celebrate Thanksgiving! (Bring a pie and wet/dry vacuum?)
As if that was not enough … we don’t want to forget the scores of tornadoes that happened this past month or how the unexpected deep freeze caused many homes to have gone “up in flames” due to fires that started because of faulty chimneys or kerosene heaters.
The list of the disasters that happened within the past few weeks here in the United States can go on and on. It is a keen reminder that one day you may have your home or business and the next it could be gone. ALL GONE!
Bring in Sean Scott, author of the Red Guide to Recovery. Although Sean may not be able to help repair your home, he can assist with rebuilding your life! Sean graciously offered to let me post his most recent article – Creating an Inventory When Everything is Gone.
I have heard Sean speak to emergency responders on how to help families when their lives are the most vulnerable. He is dynamic and worth hearing – so learn more about his programs and assistance by simply going here:
Imagine if your home was hit by a tornado and as you emerge from the storm cellar, all that’s left is a bare concrete slab. Your yard is strewn with debris from your neighbors and you have no idea where all your belongings went, except for the pair of underwear hanging in the tree across the street. So, you call your insurance company and the adjuster shows up and tells you that in order for you to receive the full benefits of your homeowners insurance policy, you will need to provide a detailed inventory of everything you owned, including a description of each item, its age, replacement cost, and any supporting documentation in the form of photos or receipts. Then you’re told that if you can’t provide one, the adjuster will create one for you. However, since he or she has no idea what you owned, you will most likely receive only a small fraction of your policy limits and replacement value. Now you’re thinking to yourself, how am I supposed to create an inventory when everything is gone? On one hand you don’t want to commit insurance fraud by claiming items in your inventory that you are not sure you owned and on the other hand you have a considerable amount of money in your policy to cover what was lost. Whether you experience a tornado, earthquake, fire, or flood, this task of creating an inventory can be one of the most daunting, time consuming, and frustrating phases in the recovery process.
So, how can you document what you had and maximize the benefits of your insurance? You need something to help you remember. One way is to ask friends or family members if they have photos that may have been taken in your home during a holiday gathering, party, or family get-together. Oftentimes photos like these can reveal furnishings, decor, or other items in the background that will help jog your memory. Looking through store catalogs can also help, but this can be very time consuming and may not be very effective in getting you the level of detail you will need. If you are like most, you might jot down the obvious big ticket items like electronics, appliances, furniture, etc., and figure most of the smaller ticket items just aren’t worth the time and energy to deal with. But what about all the food that was in the refrigerator and pantry, the vitamins, spices, books, holiday decorations, cosmetics, hand utensils, toys, sports equipment, DVD’s, tools, and so forth? Items like these add up fast and if you have a way to document them, you will maximize the benefits of your insurance and expedite your recovery.
The Personal Property Memory Jogger
After witnessing the devastation caused by wildfires that swept through Southern California in 2003 and again in 2007, that destroyed nearly 6,000 homes and damaged countless others, it became apparent that a resource was needed to help people create their inventories. As a result, necessity became the Mother of invention and a new tool was developed called The Personal Property Memory Jogger & Home Inventory Tool. The Memory Jogger is a pre-populated Excel spreadsheet that contains over 6,000 of the most commonly found household items broken down into a room-by-room format. Once downloaded, you have the option to delete items that may not apply to you and/or add items that may not already appear in the database. The Memory Jogger takes much of the guess work out of creating an inventory by memory alone and is available free-of-charge at http://www.theredguidetorecovery.com/recovery-tools/personal-property-memory-jogger/. It can also be used as a disaster preparedness tool to determine whether or not you have enough insurance to replace everything if it was lost. Now individuals, families, and whole communities have a free resource that will help them rebuild their homes and lives.
I HEART OKLAHOMA– in a really big way! The nicest people live in a state which sustained some of the worst tragedy at the hands of “Mother Nature”. I first visited Oklahoma this past June, three weeks after the cities of Moore and Norman were devastated by EF5 tornados. I couldn’t believe what I saw then. It took my breath away to see so much in ruin. So many hearts broken. I was able to help meet with many at a conference during June and many of us talked for hours about where one can start with the healing process when your community is shaken. I know I left Oklahoma with much more than I brought with me. Which is why I was so pleased to have an opportunity this past week to return to beloved Oklahoma at the request of the Oklahoma School for the Deaf and the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. This time we discussed how to plan and prepare for any future disasters. From individuals to school teachers to bus drivers and to vocational and rehabilitation employees. Yes, it takes a village to keep our communities safe. When I presented yesterday to this amazing group of teachers, counselors, bus drivers and many others at OSD, I learned that despite having repeated disasters – their communities are not as prepared as they need to be. No shelter in place plans or preparations for many. No course of action for bus drivers on what to do during a major disaster or emergency with people who have special needs or deafness. No evacuation discussions with local emergency or First Responders to assist those with unique challenges, such as individuals in wheelchairs or who are Autistic. Not much of anything. These findings shocked the audience, but didn’t surprise me as Save the Childrenhas Oklahoma (and many more states) listed as failing to have plans in place for disasters when it comes to serving families and those with disabilities. Sad. The participants left the session with some information, many with heavy hearts and I hope a “call for change”. I recognized the resiliency in their spirit. I had seen it before on the faces of many I had known go through the tragedy. I also know that there is physical and emotional healing occurring daily for them. I saw the physical when I drove back through Moore, Oklahoma and snapped photos in the very places I had been four months ago. Emotionally, people seemed less ‘raw’ and more able to seek help and make changes.
This is what I shared during the workshop that I hope will be of value to YOU, so no matter where you live you will be prepared in the event of a disaster.
1- We learn how to help each other and be prepared with each and every disaster. Which is why RedCross.org , FEMA.org and many other sites now offer disaster templates and information for families, organizations and schools.
2- If you have a loved one who has special needs, please be sure to add to your readiness kits what they need. Including sweatshirts to block out sounds, sunglasses to make odd visual stimuli easier, mp3 player with ear phones, games, medicines and comfort objects. Be prepared for ALL in your family. Including FIDO who may need to come with you to a shelter. Have copies of your information on a flashdrive and hard copies made on your person. Include phone numbers of physicians, insurance agents, relatives and others. BRING FAMILY PHOTOS in case you are separated to help with reunification. 3- Don’t think it can’t happen to you. Disaster can happy any time, any place, to any person. 4.- I’ll do it tomorrow. This excuse won’t be good enough when the earthquake, tornado or act of terrorism happens tonight. 5- IDENTIFICATION is essential. Be sure to have proper ID on yourself and consider using ICE in your phone and on person- ID such as MediPalfor those who cannot or are unable to communicate. 6- Ask for help after a disaster. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can impact anyone after a disaster. You don’t need to be the direct victim of an event to have PTSD. Seek help if you feel pervasively sad, can’t sleep or eat as usual, or a sense of doom that just won’t go away. 7- Be willing to help others. Be part of the solution. Be part of your local disaster plan. 8- PRACTICE your plan for evacuation and how to shelter in place BEFORE a disaster. SHAKEOUT.orgis getting ready for a whole country earthquake practice drill. Below you will see photos taken last June 2013 and this last week from Moore, Oklahoma. Thank you for reading.
Disaster preparedness for people with access and functional needs is what I am hugely dedicated to providing to First Responders, including EMS, CERT members, Firefighters and Law Enforcement. AFter numerous years of providing training to those in emergency management and others, I decided to make a simple video to continue their learning. I now share it with all of you.
Read more about my focus on disaster preparedness to help people with challenges, such as Autism or Deafness.
This past week I had an experience that took my breath away – I toured Moore, Oklahoma. The only reasonable conclusion I could make was that Mother Nature had swept up the good people of Moore’s lives and homes- put it in a massive blender only to scatter what remained randomly for miles and miles and miles. And for the record, this scene also has happened in other areas, such as Shawnee and Norman, Oklahoma.
While in Oklahoma I met the MOST resilient and friendliest of people. One woman greeted me by saying, “We don’t have much left here, but still we will give you the shirt off our back”. And, I know they would!
Also, BRAVO to the companies that I saw literally go above and beyond the call of duty. To the AAA Autoclub who sent their team for three straight weeks and provided comfort and care via their disaster trucks. To the makers of Lysol who were going place to place bringing disaster relief. WALMART (say what you will.. ) rolled in scores of their trucks to help out the good citizens of Oklahoma. Plus the numbers (too many to count) who came from far and wide to bring their own “muscle” to help people clear the debris and start to rebuild.
This folks is what the heartland is all about.
Here is a slide show of my tour of the damage of Moore, Oklahoma. (Notice even the road and driveways are GONE)
Update: Sadly tornado “season” has been wicked during 2015, therefore I am re – blogging this post that originally posted in 2013. At the bottom of this post are additional safety resources including for earthquake, flood, hurricane, tsunami and wildfire preparedness.
Today there have been a series of tragic tornadoes that have ripped through the heartland of America causing severe devastation, including loss of life. Some of the families impacted who have been impacted have family members with special needs.
In an effort to help families and communities who may have some unique challenges during disasters here is some information:
BEFORE A DISASTER
Be prepared. Alert your local fire department if you have a family member with special needs of any kind, such as physical, sensory, cognitive or other. Included would be family members with dementia, Alzheimer’s or medical problems.
Have a family plan for sheltering in place and evacuation.
Be sure to have an emergency kit in your home and car. To know what should be in your emergency kit go to the RED CROSS Disaster Information page.Don’t forget to add to your kit personal effects, such as your insurance information, copies of marriage and birth certificates and photos of your family members.
For families with children, especially with special needs, have a quick “grab and go” kit of favorite items and things you know will comfort your child during a time of distress. Stuffed animals, battery operated video games, and books or drawing pads all are good things to bring along. So, be prepared in advance with this GRAB AND GO KIT.
Let others know your plans if you need to evacuate. Where you intend to go and how you will try to check in.
WHAT TO DO IF DISASTER STRIKES
Many agencies including FEMA and the RED CROSS offer much information, including for for families with special populations.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE, including Access and Functional Needs Information:
RED CROSSdisaster safety checklist in multiple languges
BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING * TEXAS FERTILIZER EXPLOSION * FLOODING IN MIDWEST *
These events and so many more this week are why I feel we all need to take a minute to thank the FIRST RESPONDERS in our community. From Police to Fire Fighters to Emergency Medical Personnel including EMTs at disaster scenes, to the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) to Comfort Dog Associations to the American Red Cross and to so many others.…