The Homeowners GuideInformation about dealing with disasters and home care
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In the simplest terms, an earthquake is a shuddering of the ground caused by a shift in the outermost mantle of the earth. Scientists, however, have a more detailed explanation. The Earth’s topmost mantle consists of layers of rock known as tectonic plates. These plates are stacked like blocks and are constantly in motion, building up energy that can explosively shift, creating cracks in the earth and movement of its surface.
Steps to Take Before an Earthquake
Before an earthquake, create a stash of items that will help in case of injury and power outage. A standard first aid kit with bandages and tape should suffice. In addition, battery-operated must- haves include a radio to hear updates on the status of your city or town, at least one flashlight with several back-up batteries, and a charged wireless phone to make calls for assistance or to a loved one. Consider having a back-up phone battery, as well. A fire extinguisher is also necessary in case the shaking caused by the earthquake breaks gas lines and electrical lines, igniting flames. Most importantly, be sure to have packaged, ready-to-eat food and drinks.
- Gather the Right Supplies
- Amass a Cache of Drinking Water
- Bolt Down Heavy Items
- Remove Items Hanging on Walls
- Plan for Emergency Communications
Strategies to Employ During an Earthquake
Since earthquakes are unpredictable, many people may be driving on highways or walking outside when the ground vibrations strike. Being outside during an earthquake is the most dangerous location as the earthquakes can cause heavy trees or building pieces to fall. Nevertheless, safety experts advise people to remain in their cars or to drop to the ground and cover themselves if outside when an earthquake starts. Those inside should position themselves under sturdy furniture, such as a bench or desk, while gripping that furniture. Using elevators during an earthquake is not recommended.
- Take Refuge Inside Away from Windows
- Outdoors: Avoid Power Lines & Chimneys
- Drivers: Stay in the Car
- Universal Adage: "Drop & Cover”
- Hide Under Heavy Furniture
Advice for After an Earthquake
After an earthquake, even if you are injured, it is important to survey your immediate environment to see that you are safe. Peruse the area to see if anything flammable has spilled or fallen. If so, clean up or contain the item in case gas is seeping or a live wire is present. If you can make you way safety to your main electrical breaker box, turn off the main switch to kill all power. Do not try to use any gas or electrical appliances. If you have a generator, it is safe to power that on after an earthquake.
- Cover Yourself from Head to Toe
- Don’t Use Elevators
- Brace Yourself for Aftershocks
- Shut Down Gas Valves
- Checklist for all Stages of Earthquake Preparedness
Safety Checklist for Surviving an Earthquake
In order to be safe when an earthquake strikes, safety officials recommend that all people go through first aid training so that they can treat themselves, family members, and people around them who are injured or in a state of shock after an earthquake. An earthquake presents many unsafe situations, including chemical spills, fires, and flooding. For this reason, everyone should know how to detect the presence of gas, shut off gas, shut off electricity, and clean up or isolate toxic or flammable household liquids. Many agencies have created safety checklists to help families take the proper precautions.
- Fema Suggestions
- List of actions to make home and office less dangerous
- Printable Checklist for 72 hours
- Checklist for Preparations
- Safety Council Recommends this Family Plan
In discussing the anatomy of an earthquake, geologists, newscasters, and government officials use a variety of technical terms. Most people likely understand references to the “Richter scale.” However, they may not understand what a “fault” is. The following short glossary of earthquake terms will allow you to better understand earthquake news reports and discussions.
- Richter Scale- The universal measurement tool used to analyze the magnitude of an earthquake.
- Tectonic Plates – Plates of rock and matter that shift underneath the earth.
- Seismology – The scientific study of waves and vibrations created by earthquakes
- Fault – A rock fracture in the Earth’s crust.
- Aftershocks – Small, subsequent earthquakes succeeding a main earthquake.
- Epicenter – The surface point above the fault where an earthquake originates.
- Deformation – Alterations in the shape and position of the Earth’s rocks.
- Kinematic – Related to the movement between rigid substances, such as rocks during an Earthquake.
- Geomorphology – The science of exploring the surface of the Earth and its changes.
- Harmonic Tremor – A subtle movement of the earth caused by the buildup of energy in moving rock.
- Lithosphere – The outermost shell of the earth which is comprised of the Earth’s crust and, underneath that, the upper Earth mantle.
- Crust – The shallow ring of rock enveloping the Earth’s mantle.
- Stress – A build up of pressure inside the Earth.
- Tsunami – Powerful succession of water waves often created by earthquakes.
- Seismic Gap – An area where tectonic plates are shifting but have not led to an earthquake.
- Recurrence interval – The lapse of time between earthquakes.
- Seismic Wave – A distribution of force caused by an earthquake.
- Core – The center of the Earth.
- Earthquake Risk – An analysis of an area’s potential to have an earthquake, based on hazards and vulnerabilities.
- Seismograph – A tool that detects the presence of an earthquake.
Worst Earthquakes in History
Earthquakes have the power to shape human history. Over the decades, thousands of people have been killed and many countries have been devastated by seismic activity. In recent years, the world has witness major earthquakes in Chili, Haiti and Peru. America has suffered major earthquakes in 1964, 1906, and 1811.
- 1755 Lisbon: According to news reports, an estimated 60,000 people died during this earthquake which started in the Atlantic Ocean on Nov. 1, 1755. While it wasn’t the most forceful, it generated fires and tsunamis that afflicted Portugal, France, Italy, and Switzerland.
- 1811 New Madrid: This Missouri earthquake registered a high 8.3 on the Richter scale. It generated three powerful aftershocks and reverberated for over 1,000 miles.
- 1906 San Francisco: On the morning of April 18, 1906 a minute-long earthquake ignited fires across San Francisco. Nearly 700 people died and roughly 25,000 buildings were toppled.
- 1923 Tokyo: On September 1, an earthquake ranking 8.3 on the Richter scale occurred in this Japanese city. Approximately 100,000 humans were killed.
- 1964 Alaska: On Good Friday in March of 1964, Alaska was hit by an earthquake that killed over 130 people. It generated tsunamis in Alaska, California, and Oregon.
- 2001 India: India endured its most violent earthquake in five decades one morning in January 2001. Focused in Gujarat, the earthquake registered 7.7 on the Richter scale.
- 2004 Sumatra: This December 2004 Indonesian earthquake was so strong it measured a whopping 9.0 on the Richter scale. More than 125,000 people were killed.
- 2007 Peru: One thousand people received injuries and 500 died as a result of this August 15 earthquake in Peru. It ranked 8.0 on the Richter scale.
- 2008 China: Sichuan was the site of the May 12, 2008 earthquake, which had a magnitude of 8.0. Nearly 250, 000 people were injured; roughly 40,000 people died.
- 2010 Haiti: The world watched as Haiti was vanquished and a thousand people were killed by an earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010. Some many buildings and homes were destroyed that an estimated one million people were left without dwellings.
- 2010 Chile: In February 2010, a major earthquake with an 8.8 magnitude hit Chile. Ranking as the 5th largest earthquake in the last 20 years, it killed more than 500 people.
A volcano is the rupture, or opening, in the surface or crust of the earth. This opening allows volcanic ash, hot magma and gases to escape from below the surface the surface of the earth up onto the surrounding land. They are usually found where tectonic plates are converging or diverging. For instance, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge has some examples of volcanoes that have been caused due to the pulling apart of divergent tectonic plates. Some examples of convergent tectonic plates coming together that caused volcanoes are found in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Another way that volcanoes form is due to the thinning and stretching of the interior plates of the Earth’s crust. Examples include the Rio Grande Rift, the Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field and the East African Rift.
Volcanoes can also form underwater, called submarine volcanoes, and account for an estimated output of 75 percent of the annual magma. Most of the underwater, or submarine, volcanoes that exist are located near ocean ridges; these are near areas of tectonic plate movement. Most of these types of volcanoes are located in the deepest areas of the oceans and seas. Although this is usually the case, there are some that exist in shallow areas of water; when these erupt they can spew material into the air from under the water.
- How Are Volcanoes Formed?
- Submarine Volcanoes
- How Do Volcanoes Form?
- Locations of Volcanoes
- Where Volcanoes Are Found
Magma forms when the earth’s lower crust or upper mantle melts. An eruption occurs when this magma, gases and volcanic ash escape through an opening of the volcano. Several factors exist that cause the eruption of a volcano and although this is the case, only three are the top reasons. These reasons include the amount of magma that is injected into a chamber that is already filled with magma, the pressure from the gases in the magma and the actual buoyancy of the magma.
The volume of rock inside the earth remains the same while at the same time, the volume increases. Because of this, it produces a less dense melt than the rock that surrounds it. This causes the lighter magma to rise towards the top because of its buoyancy. If the density of the magma is less than that of the surrounding material, it rises to the surface and erupts.
Eruptions can have a level 0 in the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) and can happen daily with no explosion or they can be as large as an 8 in the VEI, which is called mega-colossal and can happen every 10,000 years. If a volcano erupts in your location, follow the evacuation order that is issued by the authorities. It is vital to evacuate immediately to avoid falling ash, flying debris, lava flow, lateral blast and hot gases. Avoid low-lying areas and river valleys and wear long-sleeve shirts and pants.
- What Causes Volcanoes to Erupt?
- What to Do During a Volcano Eruption
- How Do Volcanoes Erupt?
- How Big Are Volcano Eruptions?
- What Causes a Volcano to Erupt and How Do Scientists Predict Eruptions?
Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes that form in Hawaii. This active shield volcano is the largest volcano in terms of the amount of area that is covered and volume on the entire earth’s surface. The volume is estimated at 18,000 cubic miles and the slopes are relatively shallow. Eruptions are non-explosive and tend to flow with more liquidity due to the low silica level. Its most recent eruption occurred between March 24, 1984 and April 15, 1984 with no fatalities.
The Colima Volcano has erupted in excess of 40 times since 1576 and is the most active volcano in all of North America and Mexico. The majority of the volcano’s surface lies in Jalisco with only a small portion lying in Colima. This volcano has two peaks, one that is inactive and older and the other is very active and lies 5 kilometers south of the older peak. The largest recorded eruption occurred on June 8, 2005 and the volcano has been active for 5 million years.
The Taal Volcano is located in the Philippines on the island of Luzon. This complex volcano is located 31 miles south of Manila, which is the capital of the country. It is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and has caused an estimated death toll of 5,000 to 6,000 people due to the violent eruptions in the past. It has been relatively quiet since 1977, but has shown signs of activity since 1991.
- Top 10 Famous Volcanoes
- Names of Famous Volcanoes
- 9 Active Volcanoes People Still Live Near
- Famous Volcanoes
- Best Available Volcano Tours
Volcanoes are monitored through team efforts. A number of factors are used to predict the eruption of a volcano and whether or not residents need to be notified of warnings. Some things that are taken into account include the past eruptive history of a volcano as well as the physical activity that is occurring underground. The USGS monitors ground deformation, seismic activity, changes in chemistry and water levels and volcanic gases. Whenever unusual activity is detected, more ground surveys are conducted by a response team who will install more instruments whenever possible. The additional instruments are used to determine is an eruption is likely.
The VEI (Volcanic Explosivity Index) scale is a rating system used to determine or report the actual size of the eruption. This is extremely helpful in terms of predicting the size of an eruption ahead of time. This helps prepare those who live and work in the area for evacuation in the event that it is necessary. The scale ranges from zero, which is non-explosive to eight, which is mega-colossal. Eruptions that are zeros and ones occur on a daily basis and have a plume height from less than 100 meters up to 1,000 meters. Explosive eruptions occur on a weekly basis and the plum height ranges from 1 to 5 kilometers. Severe eruptions occur annually and have a plume height of 3 to 15 kilometers. Eruptions that are rates between four and eight occur 10s to 10,000s of years between the next.
- How Scientists Study Volcanoes
- Monitoring Volcanoes
- Predicting Volcanoes
- Frequently Asked Questions About Volcano Monitoring
- How Do You Monitor Volcanoes?
For additional reading on more information about volcanoes, including a class experiment on how volcanoes work, visit the following links:
Protecting Your Home; Flood Disaster Resources
Flooding caused by mother nature or man-made is generally unpredictable and can cause extreme chaos and damage. Being prepared in the event that flooding may occur can save lives, material possessions, and put minds at ease. The resources below provide a comprehensive list of prevention and awareness that can affect all by standards.
Flood protection: Although flood prevention for the home is essential also having flood insurance is important to protect your assets as well.
Wet weather safety: Providing basic flood prevention tips for residents of Los Angeles can be beneficial to all that may experience flooding issues.
Food preparation: Food supplies are essential in planning ahead before the flood comes.
Flood damage reduction measures: Flood prevention can be attained for both structural and non-structural furniture.
Flooding prevention tips: There are 10 simple tips to prevent flooding for your home or business.
Flood prevention outside of the home: Essential information on how to prevent any type of flooding from entering your home via levees, spillways and reservoirs.
Floods and flash floods: Being educated on floods and flash flooding will better equip those to prepare for flood disasters.
Flood fact resources: Educational and useful flood facts.
Non-residential flood proofing guidelines: Basic guide requirements and certifications in accordance with the national flood insurance program.
Ultimate flood proofing guide: An entire history on major floods and what structural procedures are necessary to prevent flooding.
Flood disaster check list
Flood preparedness checklist: Providing the essential checklist for evacuation routes, food, clothing etc.
Emergency first aid kit checklist: An essentials 3 day emergency checklist.
Flood emergency kit checklist: Seeing as flooding is mother natures most common natural disaster, being prepared is a must.
Before the flood checklist: Before panic, take some time to go over the disaster preparedness, specifically for flood-prove areas.
After the flood: An organized checklist to asses flooding damage for homeowners.
Water damage checklist: Many home endure long-term flood damage including mold, this checklist provides information on mold assessment.
Flood & tsunami checklist: Flooding prevention has similarities to tsunami prevention; discover the differences through the checklist.
C.L.E.A.N. flood checklist: Flood checklist with a series of other disaster checklists.
Business flood checklist: Providing step by step guidance for preparedness and prevention, assessment of damage, evacuation safety, and property protection.
Avoiding flood damage: Avoiding flood damage checklist can potentially save your home or property.
Flood evacuation procedures: Asking yourself if you’re prepared to evacuate your area and the steps to do so.
Plans and escape routes: Family disaster plans including escape routes, warning systems, caring for animals etc.
Flood zone map by states: Providing flood zones by states provide information to properly make an evacuation for you and your family.
Do you need an evacuation plan?: Asking the essential questions about flooding will lead you to the right evacuation plan.
How to compose an evacuation plan: Providing the proper steps to write an evacuation plan.
Flood disasters Around the World
Johnstown flood: The Johnstown, Pennsylvania flood occurring in 1889 was one of the worst historic floods in US history killing over 2,200 innocent people.
Ohio river flood: In 1913, the upper Mississippi and Ohio River valleys were destroyed by major flooding.
St. Francis Dam: Located in Santa Paula, California, the St. Francis Dam failed causing a catastrophic flood in the region killing more than 450 people.
Rapid City flood: Ending the lives of nearly 200 people within hours, Rapid City, South Dakota in 1972 is documented as one of the fastest and deadliest floods in the US.
Huang He River: Possibly the world’s worst flood occurred in 1931, the Huang He (Yellow) River, China killing over a million and leaving over 80 million homeless. The river today is now known as the River of Sorrow.
Ru River, Banqiao Dam: In 1975, the Ru River, Banqiao Dam of China collapsed along with a series of other dams due to a typhoon causing one of the worst dam collapses in history.
The Netherlands and England: In 1099, coastal areas of England and the Netherlands experienced flooding due to high tides and storm waves sending a rippling 100,000 people to the deaths.
The Neva River, Russia: Due to an ice dam clogging, Neva and surrounding cities flooded in 1824 killing over 10,000.
Heppner flood of 1903: Flash floods hit the sleepy town of Willow Creek, Oregon destroying the town and ending the lives of nearly 200 people.
Big Thompson flood: A flash flood occurs in Big Thompson Canyon located in Loveland, Colorado in 1976.
Flood clean up: Providing vital information to clean up after flood efficiently in every area.
First steps to flood clean-up: The first steps to properly and efficiently organize and clean up your flooded area.
Flood disaster recovery facts: Information that essential to your safety as well as precautions to be wary of during disaster relief and clean up.
Food clean up: Providing vital information to clean up after flood efficiently in every area.
First steps to flood clean-up: The first steps to properly and efficiently organize and clean up your flooded area.
Flood disaster recovery facts: Information that essential to your safety as well as precautions to be wary of during disaster relief and clean up.
Flood clean up tips: Sterilization, safety precautions, and proper disposal methods after the flood.
Flood cleanup health tips: Tips to safely dispose of hazardous materials.
Air quality flood cleanup: Often neglected or overlooked, air quality is also part of flood contamination clean up.
Flood cleanup hazards: Hazardous materials such as chemical gases, yard chemicals, paints and household cleaning products are all items that need to be properly disposed of.
Floods & hurricanes: A comprehensive guide for those looking to clean up after floods and hurricanes specifically.
Flood recovery: Flood recovery tips for business owners, agricultural, homeowners, and the general public.
Flooding and oil spill cleanup: Clean up information on how properly manage oil spills associated with flooding.
Salvaging materials safely
Flood recovery book: This resource provides information on salvaging moldy materials and papers.
Photo salvaging: Often times old photos are water damaged. This guide provides helpful tips on how to save some of your favorite photos.
Flood damaged furniture: A guide to help determine which furniture and appliances are worth attempting to salvage versus trashing.
Water damaged family heirlooms: Ten useful tips for homeowners to salvage irreplaceable family heirlooms.
Flood damage family papers: Historical documents, family papers, Wills and other documentation to salvage that is irreplaceable.
Salvage tip sheet: A complete tip sheet on salvaging many different types of items.
Water damaged textiles: A step-by-step guide on how to properly handle damaged and soiled items through the drying and cleaning process.
All About Hurricanes
Hurricanes are one of nature's largest and deadliest kinds of storms. These giant storms usually form during the warmer spring and summer months, and can have a profound effect on human lives and property. A hurricane forms over warm water, and changes in water temperature and air pressure cause it to grow in size and strength. The most recent tragic hurricane, Katrina, was one of the worst in United States history. In order to properly understand and prepare for how to deal with a hurricane, one must know the science behind them and preparation tips.
The Science of Hurricanes
All hurricanes originate over a large body of water. When water temperature increases and gets warmer, it causes storms to form. For hurricanes, however, this temperature change means that the storm gains strength and size, mainly because there is no land mass over large bodies of water to break the storm up and cause it to lose strength. In essence, hurricanes are "super storms" that contain massive amounts of rain and extremely high winds. The center of a hurricane is called the eye, and can be several miles in diameter. The eye of a hurricane is typically calm, while the outer walls and bands contain the strongest winds and can do the most damage.
When a hurricane gains momentum, it tends to drift toward land. This can cause it to gain strength and become a major threat to the shoreline. Something called the coriolis effect observes how the curved path of moving objects relate to the surface of the Earth and its curves. Hurricanes move in a counter-clockwise direction in the north, and clockwise in the southern hemisphere of the earth. Wind currents that surround the hurricane "steer" it in a particular direction, and these are known as steering winds. Because hurricanes travel slowly, meteorologists can predict their path in most cases.
Not all hurricanes are alike, and they are often classified differently around the world. Some nations such as Australia or Japan call hurricanes cyclones or typhoons. Often, a typhoon is associated with epic flooding that can cause serious damage and potential loss of life. Some hurricanes are smaller and milder than others. Much like tornadoes, different hurricane strengths are classified differently. Something called the Beaufort Wind Scale is used to help determine what category a hurricane is classified as. This scale was developed in 1805 and is still used today. Most hurricanes range from a category one to five, with five being the most dangerous. These categories are determined by wind strength and potential damage, which are determined using the Saffir-Simpson scale.
- The Beaufort Wind Scale
- Saffir-Simpson Scale
- Hurricane Categories
- How Hurricane Categories Work
- Damage Potential
All hurricanes have names, and each one is named in alphabetical order. Annually these names change, and are put in place to easily identify the different storms. Originally in the 1800s, hurricanes were named after saints. Closer to World War II, all hurricanes had women's names. Today, these names alternate between male and female names which first began in 1978. If a named storm causes significant death or damage, that name will be retired. No hurricanes are named with names beginning with the letters Q, U, X, Y, or Z, just because these letters are so rare when it comes to names.
Hurricanes are a naturally occurring phenomena that have become an iconic part of our weather world. Often referred to as cyclones, these massive storms have been recorded since man was able to write. These storms are considered to be "tropical" since this is where they originate. Modern scientific tools like Doppler radar now allow meteorologists to track a hurricane's strength, size, and projected path. Before technology, however, people were left to their own devices and imaginations. Often sailors would go out onto the water and get an idea of what was coming based on the waves and the skies overhead. Some of the biggest and most powerful hurricanes recorded happened in the late 1800s towards the early 1900s. The 1900 Galveston Hurricane is one of the deadliest on record, killing an estimated 8,000 people.
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew struck Florida, and was the costliest hurricane on record for the United States. There have been hundreds of hurricanes that are recorded in North American history, but none perhaps as memorable as Hurricane Katrina, which struck Mississippi and Louisiana in 2005. This massive hurricane is one of the deadliest and costliest natural disasters to ever occur in the United States. It cost thousands of lives and people are still feeling its effects today. Fortunately with modern tracking capability, it is easier to get an idea of when a hurricane will strike, where it may hit, as well as how powerful it will be.
- A History of Hurricanes
- Historic Hurricanes
- 30 Costliest US Hurricanes
- Historical Hurricane Photos
- More about Hurricanes
- Specific Hurricanes in History
- The 1900 Storm
- Historical Tracks
- Track Map Collection by State
- Cyclone Archives (Java Required)
- Hurricane Katrina
- Hurricane Andrew History
- New Orleans Hurricane History
- Hurricanes & History
- Hurricanes in Hawaii – History & More
It is essential to stay safe during a hurricane, and there are several things people can do to be prepared. First, make sure your car has plenty of gasoline in the event of a mandatory evacuation. Prepare a hurricane readiness kit with a flashlight, handheld radio, plenty of batteries, prescription medication, fresh water, and non perishable food. Expect power to be out in your area for several days, if not weeks. Flooding is also a possibility so find out about your home's insurance policy. Always have ice and food available to you in the event of an emergency storm. Stay away from windows and glass, and away from objects that can fall on top of you. Remain calm, and have an exit plan or a plan of what to do next in the event that a hurricane strikes your area.
A tornado can also be called a twister, and it is a violently rotating air column that touches both the earth’s surface as well as a cumulonimbus cloud. At other times, a tornado may also touch the actual base of a cumulus cloud. Tornadoes manifest themselves in a myriad of both shapes and sizes. However, the most common form that a tornado can take is in the shape of a condensation funnel that is observable. Its narrow end also usually makes contact with the ground and is surrounded by a cloud of dust and debris.
How a Tornado Forms
A tornado often starts its life through a group of thunderstorms that are known as supercells, which already contain mesocycles. A mesocycle is defined as a section of rotation that is orderly and which is found a few miles up in the atmosphere, commonly, one to six miles up. Supercells often birth the more aggressive types of tornadoes, which are the EF3 to EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. A tornado that comes from a supercell thunderstorm is usually identifiable through a well-defined lifespan that starts out with increased rainfall dragging down with it the rear flank downdraft, which is fast-descending air.
The rear flank downdraft also takes down with it the supercell’s mesocycle, and as this happens, a condensation funnel that is observable also looks like it is descending from the thunderstorm’s base. While this funnel is descending, the rear flank downdraft touches the ground, too, forming a gust front that has a tendency to cause a lot of damage even some distance away from the tornado. When the rear flank downdraft has reached the ground, it usually only takes a few minutes before the funnel develops into a full-fledged tornado.
Why a Tornado is Dangerous
A tornado is dangerous because of all the very real damage it is guaranteed to cause. Similarly, a tornado can also occur at a moment’s notice, and this sudden onset characteristic of it also contributes to its dangerousness. The great velocity of a tornado’s aggressive winds is another factor that establishes it as dangerous. Winds that are in excess of 300 miles per hour are those of an extreme tornado, but they can rip up trees from their roots, flatten houses, and even pick people up and then throw them for great distances.
The Fujita Scale
The Fujita Scale is a scale that is utilized for rating the intensity of a tornado. This scale is founded on the amount of damage that a tornado can wreak on vegetation and structures that are constructed by people. The Fujita Scale also uses a rating system that defines how much damage each different level of tornado can cause. The scale features an FO, F1, F2, F3, F4, F5 and theoretical F6 rating.
The FO rating is the weakest tornado that only causes minor damage like trees with branches broken off. The F1 rating is for a tornado that causes a moderate amount of damage, which includes peeling the surface off of roofs. The F2 rating represents a tornado that does a considerable amount of damage, and this refers to damage that includes the windows of highrise buildings being blown out. Severe damage is a characteristic of an F4 tornado, which features 260 mile per hour winds that can already level houses. An F5 rating indicates a tornado that achieves devastating damage; this is defined as the tornado having the potential to send car-sized missiles flying through the air. The final rating for a tornado is F6, but this is a highly theoretical rating for a tornado whose winds would already reach the speed of sound.
The first step in educating yourself and your family on tornado preparedness is by having a family tornado plan in place. The family tornado plan is not one-size-fits-all; it must be based on the kind of home that is being lived in. Therefore, family tornado plans for people living in homes with a basement will differ from family tornado plans for people who live in a home without a basement, or in a mobile home. A family tornado plan should incorporate safety tips and also be practiced a few times per year.
How to Determine if Your Area is Prone to Tornadoes
The determination of whether an area is prone to tornadoes is based on the meeting of masses of cool and hot air, along with the type of land. In the United States, the proneness for tornadoes to happen in the Gulf states occurs around March, April, and May because of the meeting of hot and cool air. When the seasons shift from spring to summer, however, that tendency then also shifts from the Gulf states to more northerly ones. In the middle of the summer, places in the northern plain states become prone for tornadoes, again because the occurrence of warm and cool air meetings has shifted, too. To a lesser extent, flatter areas without mountains see a little bit more of tornadoes since flat areas fail to be as successful as hilly ones in slowing down tornado winds.
How to Understand Tornado Warning Signs
Some local governments have retained the civil defense siren system that was originally used to warn people of air raids. With the threat of war now largely passed, these sirens have been repurposed and are used to warn people of impending natural disasters like tornadoes. Today in some municipalities, the tone of tornado sirens is set to the “Alert” feature, which sounds like a regular and steady note. When residents hear this tone from the siren, they know to take cover due to the inevitable tornado that is coming.
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) alerts are alerts that come from the National Weather Service, itself an agency of the NOAA. The alerts from the NOAA are broadcast through the federal government’s network of radio stations that are dedicated to continuously broadcasting information about the weather, including tornadoes. When the NWS has information about an impending tornado, for instance, in a certain area, then the warnings are passed through to local radio and TV stations. It is through the local NOAA Weather Radio stations in the tornado-affected area that the broadcast warning of the tornado is made.
Safety of Homes
Some homes are safer than others with regards to tornadoes, which is why it is necessary to know the characteristics of various homes in tornadoes. For instance, mobile homes are always very hazardous places to stay inside of when a tornado hits, so people living in them are advised to exit immediately. This may seem suicidal, but in reality, it is safer to look for shelter outdoors because of how easily a tornado (especially the stronger ones) can destroy mobile homes. People in houses with basements are advised to go into the basement, but avoid staying right beneath heavy furniture on the floor directly above them, as these may crash through a weakened floor. People in apartments and homes with no basements are advised to find a small room in the center of the home—like a bathroom—and then crouch as low as possible to the ground while shielding the face.
How to Understand Signs of an Impending Tornado
It is important that people are independently able to notice the signs of a tornado since weather forecasting is not perfect and since tornadoes can occur abruptly. Some signs to look for include a heavy rain or hail that is then suddenly followed by a dead calm or a furious shift in the winds. Tornadoes sometimes “hide” in this sort of heavy precipitation and thus can’t be easily seen. Another tornado-imminent sign to look for includes the manifestation of very loud rumbling or roaring, which is different from mere thunder because it fails to fade away in a matter of seconds. This is an especially significant sign of a tornado if the roaring or rumbling occurs both day and night. Finally, if at night, it is possible to observe blue-green and small flashes at ground level when there is a thunderstorm close by, it could potentially meant that power lines are being destroyed by aggressive winds like those from a tornado.
Tornado Supply Kit
A tornado supply kit is a highly material way through which families can cope with the time when a tornado strikes, as well as the time immediately after it strikes. Like with all forms of preparation, this tornado supply kit should be prepared before a tornado strikes, kept in an accessible place, and mobile enough to be taken along with you if there is a need for an evacuation. Since there is no time or opportunity to shop for supplies during and maybe even after a tornado (at least for a period of time), having a tornado supply kit on hand before a tornado occurs is critical. With a tornado supply kit, families should be able to endure both an evacuation as well as a possible home confinement if the tornado has ruined the area.
A basic tornado supply kit will make it a point to take care of obtaining a multitude of provisions that will make it easier to cope. Food and water are obvious inclusions, and this means ready-to-eat canned goods like SPAM, high-energy foods like trail mix or granola bars, staples like pepper and salt, soup and canned juices, and fresh, filtered water that being stored in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. An entire first-aid kit should also be part of the tornado supply kit, and this includes items like tweezers, gauze pads, bandages, a thermometer, antiseptic, moistened towelettes, lubricant like petroleum jelly, sunscreen, latex gloves, and non-prescription drugs like over-the-counter aspirin. Basic tools should also be a part of any good tornado supply kit. These basic tools can be items like pliers, a compass, tape, pen and paper, pencil, a signal flare, needles, some thread, plastic sheeting, a small canister-type of fire extinguisher, a flashlight with some extra batteries, plastic utensils, paper cups, and even a radio that is battery operated.
The supplies in a tornado supply kit don’t end there. Other essentials that can be included are items for sanitation, which would include objects like toilet paper, disinfectant, chlorine bleach, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and plastic garbage bags. Clothing and bedding items like rain gear, hats and gloves, work boots or other heavy-duty shoes, sunglasses, sleeping bags, blankets and thermal underwear are also recommended as part of the kit. More unconventional items to include inside of a tornado supply kit include important documents like special papers. This can include things like a will, stocks and bonds, deeds, contracts, insurance policies of various kinds, records of family health immunizations, social security cards, passports, bank account numbers, credit card account numbers, family records that comprise marriage certificates, birth certificates, and death certificates, and an inventory of all the goods in the household that are of value. These very important papers, records and documents should be stored inside of a safe place that is durable, like a portable container that is waterproof.
What to do During a Tornado
During a tornado, the most important course of action that families can take is to find shelter immediately, especially if a tornado warning has been issued already. If a family is in a structure—whether that structure is a home, building, school, or hospital—then they should proceed to a shelter area that should have already been pre-designated at that time. If a structure possesses no basement, then proceed to a center room on the lowest level of the structure and stay as far away as possible from doors, windows, or corners. If a family finds themselves in a mobile home, they are advised to leave it immediately and find shelter in a proper structure or a real storm shelter. If they find themselves in the worst case scenario—such as the outside with no shelter around at all—families should find a depression or ditch and then lie flat and cover the head. If a family is driving in a vehicle when a tornado strikes, they should instantly abandon the vehicle and find proper safe shelter.
What to do After a Tornado
The very first concern after a tornado hits should be to look after your own family by evaluating potential safety issues as well as checking on their well-being and health. With regards to both well-being and health, do check to see if anyone in the family is injured and in need of first-aid treatment. If a family member does show signs of being injured, do not attempt to move them at first; if they show signs of impending death or worsening injury if they are not moved, then do try to move them, but make sure to always support both their head and neck. If a family member who is injured is also not breathing, then find someone who can attempt to resuscitate them through the use of mouth-to-mouth. During this time you should also look after your own safety, since after a tornado strikes, there are more safety concerns created by the tornado. These include possibly washed out roads, infected water, contaminated buildings, broken glass, gas leaks, floors that are slippery, and electrical wiring that has been damaged.
After a tornado has struck, there will be lots of debris scattered all over the place, so wait for word from local authorities until it is safe for a return. Because returning home (in the event that you were able to evacuate the tornado), is mentally and physically draining, you should use caution. In the return to the residence, it is a prudent idea to bring along a battery-powered radio that can be utilized to listen for any emergency updates and tornado-related news alerts in general. Also bring along a battery-powered flashlight that can be used to inspect the home for damages, but said flashlight must be turned on before entering the home to prevent any possible ignition of leaking gas due to the batteries producing a spark. If the residence is in an area that is particularly woodsy or rural, dangerous animals like snakes and other pests may have crawled into the home to seek shelter after the tornado. For this reason, it is recommended that returning people carefully use long objects like sticks in order to poke through debris and not get surprised by snakes and other pests.
Once inside the home after a tornado, be mindful of slippery floors and loose boards that can trip people up. Check the natural gas if there is a hissing sound or if there is gas in the air, and turn off the main gas valve from the outside. Check the appliances, too, and if they are wet, turn the electricity off at the main fuse box. Finally, families should attend to any potential household chemical spills like those that stem from bacteria contaminations or raw sewage spills. In the case of chemicals, bacteria, or raw sewage contaminating any household items, simply clean them by using good disinfectant. If there are any household items that are salvageable, then they should definitely be cleaned and disinfected as well.
A Homeowners Guide to Wildfires
A wildfire, also known as a brush fire or forest fire, is a fire that is uncontrolled and burns in combustible vegetation. It typically happens either in a wilderness area or in the countryside. Differing from other kinds of fires because of its great size, a wildfire can also spread out from its starting point in a fast and aggressive fashion, change directions very abruptly, and can even jump gaps like rivers and roads with ease. The cause of a wildfire’s ignition, its physical properties like its rate of propagation, and the weather’s impact on the fire are all factors that contribute in characterizing a wildfire. The usual cause of a wildfire can either be a volcanic eruption, lightning, spontaneous combustion, or sparks from rockfalls.
What Homeowners Should Do to Prepare
While homeowners who make their homes near wooded areas, which is a growing trend in the United States, are vulnerable to wildfires, there are certain, precautionary steps they can take to reduce their wildfire risks. Statistics prove that homeowners who are well-prepared for the event of a wildfire have a greater chance of actually saving their property than those who are not prepared. For homeowners who live in forest areas, it is inevitable that they will eventually have to deal with a wildfire at some point in their time living there, so it is best to take precautions before the fire strikes and when it finally strikes.
Before a wildfire strikes or threatens, homeowners can establish a 30- or even 100-foot safety zone around their property. Creating such an area will lessen the exposure of your property to radiant heat and flames. Some examples of what such a safety zone demands is the removal of rubbish and leaves from under the house and other structures, the clearing of all flammable vegetation, the clearing of branches from powerlines, the clearing of a 10-foot area around sensitive areas like a propane tank, and the stacking of firewood about 100 feet away from the house. Pre-wildfire protection must also include steps taken to guard your property, which involves retaining household items that can be utilized as fire tools, like shovels, buckets, chainsaws, and axes. Water needs are also a requirement that homeowners should prepare for. This includes picking out and maintaining an outside water source, possessing a garden hose long enough to spray the property, and even installing freeze-proof water outlets that are outside.
When a wildfire strikes or is already threatening, homeowners still can take steps to protect themselves and their houses. If homeowners have been advised to evacuate, they should do so instantly, but if there is still time, homeowners may still attend to things in their home. They can ensure that all doors, blinds and windows are closed and that all utilities in the home have been shut off. Something as simple as turning on the lights inside the home to ensure that it is visible in heavy smoke is also recommended. Outside the residence, homeowners may also want to turn off any propane tanks, seal ground vents utilizing noncombustible and precut coverings, remove or wet shrubs that are 15 feet or closer to the residence, and establish a gasoline-powered pump that is portable. In addition, homeowners should remember to take with them an emergency supplies kit that they can grab when they evacuate; this should include a days-supply of water, sanitation supplies, flashlights and batteries, a radio, a first aid kit, and some spare clothes.
Examples of Devastating Wildfires
Wildfires in the last few decades still had the tendency to cover a great area in size and scope. However, the trends actually indicate that wildfires that have erupted in the last few decades are actually smaller in size than earlier wildfires that date back to more than a century ago. For instance, wildfire records indicate that in the last 100 years or so, no wildfire occurred which was greater in size than 1,000,000 acres, save for two outbreaks that occurred in 2004 and 2008, respectively. In contrast to that, in the late 19th century as well as the early 20th century, the incidence of wildfires that have been in excess of 1,000,000 acres has been significantly greater.
Two devastating wildfire occurrences in recent memory are the 2004 Taylor Complex Wildfire in Alaska, which burned a total of 1,305, 592 acres of land, and the 2008 California wildfires, which burned a total of 1, 157, 930 acres and killed off 23 people. The single-biggest wildfire in the last two centuries based on total ground area burned actually happened in Canada. The Miramichi Fire of 1825 was a group of wildfires that nearly annihilated many communities in northern parts of the province of New Brunswick. It burned about 3,000,000 acres and killed off 160 people. Contrary to conventional wisdom, human involvement has not made forest fires worse. If anything, human involvement has actually helped to reduce the area that wildfires burn up due to a combination of fire prevention measures, increased livestock grazing, and also expansion of agriculture.
Government and Community Resources
Wildfires are menacing when they occur, but to a large extent, homeowners still have control over their own actions before and during a wildfire. The main goal that they must achieve before a wildfire strikes is to always be extensively prepared for it and to have practiced safety precautions. This way, said homeowners will stand a better, statistical chance of coming away from any wildfire in good shape. Over the course of the last 100 years or more, wildfires have continually lessened in size and scope, based on the area burnt, because of human involvement that includes certain fire prevention efforts. Today, many organizations help people out who have been affected by wildfires. A few are FEMA, the Red Cross, the US Fire Administration, and the National Fire Protection Association.
A blizzard is a serious storm that involves snow, sleet, hail, freezing rain, and many other cold factors when the weather is chilly. A blizzard can be a hazardous storm that many times a town or city going through one will shut down for. This is because the roads and pathways to get about are too obstructed to get through, or the visibility of the outdoors is too poor to drive in. A blizzard can do damage to anything that gets in its way such as poorly constructed roofs, vehicles, trees, and many other objects outside.
How to Prepare Before Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
Ensure that your roof is uncovered from previous snow falls to ensure that the roof does not hold a lot of weight when more snow comes. Shovel driveways and walkways before a storm. Make sure to have an alternative source of heating in case the power goes out. Candles are also essential, and enough food and water. The food should be non perishable, and easy to eat without having to be heated up with a source of power.
- Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
- Winter Storms and Extreme Cold Weather
- Getting Ready for Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
- Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
How to Dress for the Weather
When going out in hazardous cold conditions, you want to dress for the weather in case you’re stuck outside for a period of time. Dress in many layers of loose fitting warm clothes, wear mittens instead of gloves since mittens hold the most heat, properly fitting thick socks are essential, a hat that covers your whole head and is thick, and also a scarf to protect your neck, bottom of your ears, and your lungs during extreme conditions. Having all of these essentials will keep you warm, and ensure that you will not catch hypothermia if you’re trapped in your vehicle somewhere.
- Dressing for Cold Weather
- How to Dress for Winter Weather
- How to Dress for a Trip in Cold Weather
- How to Dress in Layers
- How to Dress Well in Cold Weather
Protective Measures During a Winter Storm
Ensure that you have the proper tools and supplies before a blizzard hits. These tools and supplies include, but are not limited to: rock salt to melt walkways and driveways, flashlight, sand, snow shovels and other tools needed for snow removal, first aid kit, and winter blankets. If traveling in your car in the winter, prepare these items in your vehicle as well. This is to ensure that you have the protective measures in case you’re trapped in your vehicle for a certain amount of time without being able to get out, be rescued, or drive away.
- Winter Storm Protective Measures
- Winter Storm Disaster Assistance
- Winter Storms
- Winter Storms
- Severe Weather and Closing Information
Winter Driving Precautions and Check-lists
Driving safe on the road while in the middle of a blizzard or snow storm should be top priority when the conditions are anything but good. Being cautious is something that you should do even when the road conditions are bad. Ensure that you leave yourself enough time to pull out of somewhere without skidding. Visibility should be good as well since you might not be able to see, so this would not be acceptable while driving.
- Winter Driving
- Checklist and Tips for Safe Winter Driving
- Winter Driving
- Winter Storm Safety and Preparedness Checklist
- Winter Safety
Glossary of winter weather terms and snow terms
- Frost/Freeze Warning: Below freezing temperatures are expected in the area.
- Blizzard Warning: Winds or gusts of up to 35 miles per hour or great are expected, and large amounts of falling and blowing snow are also expected in the area. This is also supposed to last for more than 3 hours time.
- Winter Storm Warning: A winter storm will occur, or is occurring in your area.
- Winter Storm Watch: There is a watch because a winter storm might occur in your area.
- Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes once it hits the ground and surrounding areas, this will create a coat over the roads, walkways, and power lines.
- Sleet: When the rain turns to ice pellets, and causes roads to be slippery and icy.
- Thundersnow: Thunder that occurs with the snow, and can cause large amounts of snow fall from the clouds.
- Winter Storm Outlook: Possible hazardous winter conditions may hit within 2 to 4 days from forecast.
- Wind Chill Warning: Wind chills are expected to drop over the next few days to dangerously low temperatures.
- Wind Chill Advisory: Wind chills are dropping throughout the day in your area.
- Lake Effect Snow Warning: Large accumulations are occurring in your area due to the lake.
- Dense Fog Advisory: Large amounts of fog are expected in the area. Visibility are low to none, proceed with caution.
- Snow Flurries: Small amounts of snow are supposed to accumulate in your area.
- Snow Showers: A small amount of snow is falling in the area, and can make roads slippery.
- Snow Squalls: Short, intense snow falls are expected to occur in the area.
- Blowing Snow: Low visibility in the area due to blowing snow and snow drifts in the area. Proceed with caution.
- Severe Local Storms: Large storms in the area are expected, and hazardous conditions may apply.
- Ice Storm Warning: An ice storm is in the area, and is expected to last throughout the day. Hazardous conditions are outside, and temperatures may drop.
- Extreme Cold Warning: Extremely cold temperatures are being experienced in your area. Stay inside, or bundle in layers while leaving.
- Freezing Drizzle Advisory: This is an advisory before a freezing rain advisory. When it is experienced, usually freezing rain is to follow.
Worst Winter Storms in History
- The Great Blizzard of 1888: In this year of 1888 spanning over the days of March 11 through the 14th, there was a huge blizzard of 40 to 50 inches that fell in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. It was nicknamed ‘the Great White Hurricane.’ The snow drifts were raised around 50 feet tall. There were around 400 total deaths, and a lot of the cities were shut down for weeks because of the storm.
- The Storm of the Century in 1993: This was one of the largest cyclonic storms of the century. It spanned across Canada and moved towards Central America. It killed more than 300 people over the times of March 11 to the 15th in 1993. The south was even hit with around 6 inches of snow, rain, sleet, tornadoes, and thunderstorms. The north had low temperatures that broke records, large quantities of snow, and extremely high snow drifts.
- The Big Blow of 1913: The Big Blow hit Midwestern US and Canada on November 7 through the 10th 1913. This is probably one of the worst winter storms on record for the US. It killed more than 250 people, a lot of whom were on ships when the storm hit. Five of the ships on the waters were never found. The storm had winds up to 60 to 90 mph. The winds lasted up to 16 hours. It was more of a winter hurricane.
- Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940: This storm swept across Midwestern US on November 11 1940, and had snowfalls of up to 27 inches high. It was then combined with winds up to 80 miles per hour. A 50 degree drop in temperature was recorded, and snow drifts were up to 20 feet high. 154 lost their lives during this storm.
- Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888: This storm hit the states of the Great Plains on January 12, 1888. This was only the first of the two blizzards of the year. The blizzard was named for the children who could not leave the school houses, and eventually died there. There were a total of around 230 who died. It started with warm air, and a quiet atmosphere. Many were improperly dressed, and not prepared for the storm that took the temperatures down to negative 40 degrees.
- The Blizzard of 1999: In the Midwestern US on January 2 through the 4th 1999, a large blizzard of 22 inches of snow, and temperatures around negative 20 degrees. There were 73 deaths, and this was rated one of the worst blizzards in history.
- The Blizzards of 2010: They hit February 5 through the 10th in 2010. They were spanned across the Mid Atlantic States and the Northeast. They brought around 40 inches of snow throughout these parts of the US.
- The Great Storm of 1975: This storm hit Central and Southeast US on January 9 through the 12th in 1975. It resulted in 45 tornadoes to land, and killed around 70 people. It brought the temperatures down, and produced high winds, large snow drifts, and high accumulations of snow.
- The Great Blizzard of 1899: A large storm hit the Continental US on February 11 through the 14 in 1899. Large drops of temperatures hit these parts of the US, and recorded a fall of 20 inches on one day, and 34 inches in New Jersey on a single day which made record.
- The Siberian Express in 1933: This hit just before the Great Depression, and struck the nation hard. It had the coldest temperatures ever recorded, and just before there was a warm calm. This is what struck the nation the most.
Biochemical and Nuclear Disasters Outline
Disasters are commonly categorized by their origin; natural or man-made. A chemical disaster is an accidental release of large quantity of toxic chemicals in the environment that results in death or injury to people. A nuclear disaster is an event that includes radioactivity release in the environment resulting in lethal and life changing effects to the human race and environment. In the cases of biological disasters, agents such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins are purposely or accidentally released into the the environment through air, food, water or parasites.
- Nuclear and Radiological Disasters Pathfinder
- Man-Made Disasters - Emergency Preparedness
- EM-DAT The International Disaster Database
I. Bioterrorism and its Consequences
Bioterrorism is a term used to describe any kind of terrorist activity that includes the usage of biological substances to harm people. These activities include a mix of terrorism and biological warfare using biological agents that are quite inexpensive and easy to produce and obtain.
These agents can be put into three categories:
A - The agents in this category can be easily passed on and cause heavy impact on public health.
- Viral hemorrhagic fevers: The hemorrhagic fevers are caused by Filoviridae (Marburg and Ebola) and Arenaviridae (Bolivian haemorrhagic fever and Lassa fever)
- Small pox: Smallpox is a very infectious virus with high mortality rate.
- Bubonic plague: This plague is caused by Yersinia pestis bacterium.
- Botulinum toxin: Botulinum toxin is an extremely deadly toxin produced by bacterium Clostridium, affecting the respiratory system and causes paralysis.
- Anthrax: This non-infectious disease is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis.
B - These agents have low mortality rate and are somewhat easy to spread. Some of these are as follows:
C - The agents in the third category are quite easy to produce and spread and may cause huge impact on health and have high mortality rate. They contain viruses such as Hantavirus,Nipah Virus.
- Brucellosis (Brucella species): Human brucellosis is often considered a serious threat of bioterrorism.
- Food safety threats (Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella species, E coli O157:H7, Shigella,): It is seen that only improperly stored or uncooked food are prone to contamination. Earlier, terrorists have used food as an agent to spread bioterrorism also.
- Water supply threats (Vibrio cholerae, Cryptosporidium parvum): Water has also been a target of terrorists earlier but there have been no major impact as municipal water systems are especially designed to eliminate any kind of impurities.
1. Bioterrorism has been in use since ancient times. As far back as 1320 BC in the Anatilian War between the Arzawans and the Hittite, the latter and weaker civilization found victory with the first bio weapon known to man. With battering rams and infested donkeys the military transmitted the deadly tularemia virus onto enemy lands. Ancient Romans used to throw feces on their enemies in a concept they named pestilentia manu facta; man made pestilence.
1. Anthrax has been very popular form of agent used in bioterrorism. It is a bacterium that generally affects grazing animals like cattle. But, World War I saw its use as a weapon against livestock. Again, in 1993, a cult group named Aum Shrinkyo tried to spread anthrax spores in Tokyo, some one month before the nerve gas attack. This incident saw the use of anthrax as a mass destructive weapon. But a good understanding and knowledge of the threat and treatment of the disease can reduce the impact of it as a mass destruction weapon.
b) CDC: Anthrax
IIII: Nuclear Disaster and its consequences
1. Of all the man-made disasters, nuclear disasters have the greatest impact on environment. The radiation released in a nuclear disaster poses acute risks to the immediate environment and to a wide geographic area. Radioactive contamination is airborne and can stay for even hundreds of years.
2. Two of the biggest nuclear disasters that shook the world are The Chernobyl Disaster and The Three Mile Island Disaster.
IV. The Chernobyl Disaster
1. In 1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Soviet Union a disaster of catastrophic proportions occurred. Its still considered the worst in world history today. A serious of explosions resulting from an unauthorized system test sent a plume of radioactive fallout into the air in a large remote area. It drifted over much of Europe and caused the evacuation and relocation of over 350,000 people. Four hundred times more radioactive fallout was released by the Chernobyl disaster than had been released by the bombing of Hiroshima. In the aftermath 237 people experienced acute radiation sickness and 31 were dead within three months. The full health and environmental impacts of the disaster are still not fully known. Several studies have shown that there was an increase in the rates of thyroid cancer in Belarus after the incident. Many adjacent areas are still contaminated with radiation waves. Chernobyl today is slowly growing back and the last active reactor of the site was shut off in 2000.
V. Three Mile Island incident
1. The Three Mile Island saw partial meltdown in the nuclear power plant in 1979 that resulted in radiological contamination of the environment surrounding the Susquehanna River of south Harrisburg Pennsylvania. It is claimed that no deaths or injuries occurred to workers of the plant or surrounding communities. Although there were no serious health hazards the incident caused widespread panic.
VI. Chemical Accidents and Spills
1. During chemical disasters, toxic chemicals get released in the environment that results in widespread disability, illness and even death. Of all the chemical accidents reported till date, the Bhopal gas tragedy and the 1952 London smog disaster are perhaps most horrified.
VII. Bhopal gas tragedy
1. The Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal, India happened on one night in 1984 and the whole state of Madhya Pradesh was under poisonous cloud of methyl isocyanate (MIC). The incident killed nearly 4000 people right away and caused different health problems among wide range of people. According to a research by BBC in 2004, people still suffer from health hazards and thousands of them die every year.
VIII. The 1952 London Smog Disaster
1. In December 1952, London saw heavy smog that lasted till March, 1953. This event killed around 12000 people, mostly children, elderly people and those with acute respiratory problems. People died of pneumonia and bronchitis to a great extent. The highest mortality was recorded as 900 a day. This incident also gave rise to public awareness about air pollution.
IX. The future: Are we at risk?
1. Be it biological, chemical or nuclear, the potential hazards are looming large in future. Nuclear power produces radioactive wastes that are very difficult to dispose. Unfortunatlye there will always be these types of threats in our world. Today with adequate public awareness programs, stricter safety laws and technological developments the risks of these hazards are greatly decreased.
2. There are various attempts made in different countries to regulate warfare using biological and poisoned weapons in association with the customs and laws of each country. Worldwide, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, commonly known as the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) or Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) came into effect in 1975. This treaty prevents the development, acquisition, production, retention, transferring and use of toxin or biological weapons. It is one of the attempts by the world to deal with the problem of production of mass destruction weapons.
b) BTWC Treaty
X. Further Reading
- United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
- Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters
- Biochemical Disaster List
- United Nations Development Programme - Crisis Prevention and Recovery
- Project of Risk Evaluation, Vulnerability, Information & Early Warning
- Disaster assistance
- Nuclear and Chemical Accidents
- Emergency - What you can do
- Manmade Disasters
- Bizarre Man-Made Disasters
- Family Emergency Supply Checklist
- Tokyo nerve gas attack
- Responding to Biological Attacks
- Environmental disasters
- Supporting Families Following a Disaster
Your Comprehensive Recycling Resource Library
Recycling is the process of separating and collecting materials for the manufacturing of new products. Used products that have originally served their purposed are disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way in order to complete the process of recycling. Items such as plastic bottles, aluminum, paper, glass, steel cans, and other types of material can be separated from non-recyclable trash and put into an appropriate recycling bin to be collected and processed. Recycling is important for several reasons; it saves energy, land space, money, creates new jobs, reduces air and water pollution, and preserves a habitat for wildlife.
- Battery Recycling and Disposal: Information on how to properly dispose of lead-acid automobile batteries, alkaline, zinc-carbon, rechargeable, and button-cell batteries.
- Common Wastes & Materials – Batteries: Statistics and facts about batteries, as well as information on how batteries are recycled.
- Scrap-Tire Recycling: Fact sheet on the various ways to recycle your scrap automobile tires.
- Tips on Recycling Car Batteries: Tips on how to properly dispose of car batteries, including information on the AAA Great Battery Round Up program used in the U.S. to collect dead car batteries.
- Recycling Used Oil Filters: Learn about the federal guidelines used for disposing of oil filters.
- Tips on Recycling Fuel and Other Flammable Liquids: List of tips for recycling unwanted fuels and flammable liquids.
- Carpet – Construction and Demolition Waste Reduction: Information on how to reuse and recycle old carpeting.
- Come See the Greener Side of Brick: Article about the formation of bricks and how to properly recycle them.
- Managing and Recycling Pallets: Important reasons to recycle pallets and the various ways it can be done.
- Recycled Construction Materials: Article about the safest, easiest, and more inexpensive way to recycle common construction materials.
- How to Recycle/Dispose of Building Materials: Learn what type of materials is acceptable at the dump and which should be recycled.
- Construction and Demolition Debris: How to properly recycle bulky construction materials, such as bricks, concrete, wood, plumbing fixtures, and asphalt.
- Recycling Wireless Telephones: Learn what types of materials are found within a cell phone and how to dispose of your old or broken wireless phones.
- Electronics Recycling: Resources on how to recycle cell phones, telephones, computers, and rechargeable batteries.
- Computer Disposal: Quick facts on how to prepare your computer for disposal and the several ways to recycle an old computer.
- Recycling Electronics: How to properly recycle computers, televisions, DVD players, and other electronics.
- Waste and Recycling – Electronics Recycling: Learn about electronics recycling, as well as donation, drop-off, mail-in, and other recycling options.
- Dispose of Your Television Properly: Reasons to delay or go ahead with the disposal of your television and how to recycle it properly.
- Fertilizers: Article about how to properly recycle organic fertilizers to prevent surface water pollution.
- What Is Composting: Brief description of composting, the various types, and the importance of compositing.
- Recycling Garden Waste as Eco-Fuel: Learn about the benefits of recycling garden waste to use as eco-fuel.
- Fertilizer: Learn about the alternatives of fertilizers to use in your garden and how to dispose and recycle the waste.
- Recycle Your Grass Clippings: Benefits of recycling glass clippings and how they can be used in your home garden.
- Recycling Fall Leaves to Create Free Mulch: How to use fallen leaves, tree trimmings, and old newspaper as mulch.
- Glass Recycling Fast Facts: Find frequently asked questions about recycling glass, such as blown glass.
- How Glass is Recycled: Detailed article on how exactly glass is recycled to help the environment.
- Glass Recycling Information Sheet: Learn about the importance of recycling glass, where to recycle it, and how.
- Recycling Glass: Statistics and information on recycling glass, as well as details on how to prepare your glass prior to recycling.
- Glass Recycling: Learn about the process of recycling glass bottles and other glass materials.
- How It Helps the Environment: Article on how recycling glass helps the environment by preventing the fill-up of landfills.
- Eliminating the Problem of Asbestos: Information on the harmful effect of asbestos on the environment and how it can be recycled.
- Household Chemical Recycling: Learn what makes a product hazardous and how to properly dispose of chemicals.
- Lead Recycling: Article about the importance of safely recycling lead.
- Safe Disposal of Pesticides: Tips on how to rid of pesticides safely and in a environmentally-friendly way.
- Mercury Content and Recycling: Learn where mercury can be found in your home and how to recycle it.
- Method of Recycling Hazardous Waste: Information about a new and cost-effective process used to recycle hazardous waste.
- FAQ about Cooking Oil and Grease: Learn why you shouldn’t pour cooking oil down the drain and how to properly dispose of cooking oil and grease.
- Recycling Office Furniture: Information on the benefits of recycling office furniture for the interest of the environment and your business.
- Disposing of Household Cleaning Products: Tips on safe ways to dispose and recycle your household cleaning products.
- Proper Disposal of Light Bulbs: Learn how to handle a CFL bulb if it breaks and the proper way to dispose of old light bulbs.
- Reuse Household Items: Before you recycle it, see if you can reuse your household items.
- Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics: Article on acceptable household waste that can be recycled and how to safely dispose of these items.
- Recycling Aluminum Cans: Learn where to recycle aluminum cans, the recycling process, and interesting facts.
- Metal Clothes Hangers: Information on the problem with metal clothes hangers and how you can reuse or recycle them properly.
- Reuse, Recycle Your Aluminum Foil: Article about the benefits of reusing or recycling your aluminum foil instead of throwing it away.
- Where to Recycle Scrap Metal: List of household, automotive, and construction scrap metal that can be recycled.
- Recycling Metal: Learn about the types of metal and how to properly dispose of various forms of metal.
- About Cardboard Recycling: Learn about the process of recycling corrugated cardboard and containers.
- How to Recycle Books: Overview on how to recycle your old phone books, textbooks, or other books.
- How to Reuse or Recycle Magazines: Article about using reusing and recycling magazines.
- Recycle Newspaper: How to have an old-fashioned paper drive in order to recycle newspapers.
- How is Paper Recycled: Learn about the process of recycling paper and its benefit to the environment.
- Plastic Bag Recycling: Resources about recycling plastic bags for consumers, businesses, retailers, and more.
- Why Recycle Plastic: Article on the advantages of recycling plastic and how it can affect our environment.
- Recycling Plastic Bottles: Importance of recycling plastic bottles and how to properly dispose of them.
- Commonly Recycled Materials: Learn about the types of plastic that can be recycled and how they should be prepared for recycling.
- Recycling Plastic Milk Bottle Tops: Article about safely recycling plastic milk bottle tops.
- Plastic Recycling Misconceptions: Here you will find seven misconceptions about plastic recycling.
Natural Home Cleaning Alternatives
Cleaning clothes, removing stains from furniture, and disinfecting bathrooms are task generally completed with bottles and cans of harmful chemicals that can expose family members to noxious smells and irritation. Homemade ingredients can be safe substitutes. Many families are choosing to guard the environment and their own personal health by turning to staples in kitchen cabinets. Everything from citrus fruits to the sodium chloride in your everyday table salt shaker can be used to degrease, sanitize, and disinfect.
- Reduce Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals: According to this Ohio State University fact sheet, many cleaning solutions contain hazardous chemicals. Step 4 on the fact sheet, advises that homemade solutions can decrease handling of bad chemicals and save money.
- Good for the Environment: This Tufts University site praises homemade cleaning mixes as a desirable part of “green cleaning.” The site includes tips on making your own solutions.
- Spend Less: This Utah State University page explains that homemade cleaning solutions can cost roughly $100 a years – a savings of at least $300 over bought products.
- It's Easy: The University of Georgia associates homemade cleaning products with simplicity and ease. This page shows how to understand what household items can be surfactants, acids, abrasives, and alkalis. Such identification is the first step to easy, efficient cleaning.
Useful Household Items
- Stain Removal: This site lists several uses for lemons, including brightening fabrics and hands by removing stains and discoloration.
- Clean Metals: This newsletter for New York consumers advises using lemon to clean all metals from brass to copper. It also gives several other tips for using lemons, including as an additive to laundry cycles.
- Clean with a fresh scent: According to this Cornell University page, lemons impart a beautiful fragrance as their acid helps cut through grease on items like stoves.
- Clean Tiles: Baking soda, especially when mixed with vinegar can clean tiles on the floor, counter, or shower, according to this site. This site also suggests baking soda for unclogging drains.
- Clean Ovens with Baking Soda: In the “Oven Cleaning” section of this Miami Dade website, baking soda is praised as a substance able to remove dried and baked on food residue from both pans and ovens.
- Scour Tubs and Toilets: This City of Seattle website suggests using baking soda to clean bathtubs and the inside of toilets.
- Floor Cleaner: This .pdf file from Wisconsin State University explains that the acidic nature of vinegar makes it useful in cleaning floors and dishes.
- Fabric Softener: In a chart for alternative cleaners, this Michigan State University site suggests vinegar can be used in laundry to soften clothing. Combine it with baking soda.
- Get Rid of Mildew: This Norman, Oklahoma government site suggests residents mix vinegar and salt to clean up mildew in a 1:1 ratio.
- Clean Everything: This site identifies vinegar as a universal cleaner when mixed simply with water. Several uses for vinegar are listed under the section for non-toxic household cleaners.
- Clean Glass: This website recommends a vinegar and water solution for streak-free windows. Use it also to clean other glass.
- Remove Stubborn Stains: While many may know to use salt for cleaning copper, this website informs not only on that but also on a lesser-known use: to remove the most stubborn stains, such as blood, wine and sweat stains.
- Clean a Fish Tank: In the tips sidebar of this fish cleaning site, salt with steaming water is suggested for disinfecting and cleaning an aquarium.
- Clean Copper: This farm website suggests salt with vinegar to clean pots and pans made of copper.
- Borax: On page 3 of the West Virginia University guide to green cleaning, borax is listed as a suitable substitute for bleach.
- Olive Oil: In addition to cleaning leather, this website explains how olive oil can be used to polish furniture.
- Corn Starch: Cornstarch can be an effective laundry cleaner according to this animated website.
- Cleaning Mixes: This website lists dozens of mixes for general cleaning. None are toxic.
- General Cleaning Recipes: This Seattle site lists more than a dozen recipes for cleaning floors, toilets, windows, and pots.
- Recipe Archive: This Purdue University site makes finding cleaning recipes easy by grouping them according to household task.
- Guide to Cleaning Recipes: This Minnesota website offers a series of green cleaning recipes and a guide to cleaners that are healthy.
- Recipe Suggestions for Cleaning: This website gives dozens of suggested cleaning mixes that can easily be used stored for months in spray bottles.
- Cream of Tartar: This Kentucky website suggests using cream of tartar to get rid of stains in a toilet bowl. The site also suggests tartar for removal of stains from cooking appliances.
- Lemon Juice: This University of Illinois website suggests lemon juice with sodium chloride for getting mildew stains out of colored fabrics.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: This Planet Green website by Discovery explains how hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda can be used to remove stains.
Dangerous Combinations & Safety Precautions
- Safer Than You Think: While mixing chemicals at home can trigger the release of dangerous gases and cause other chemical reactions, this University of Kentucky .pdf gives tips on how to mix cleaning solutions safely at home.
- Mixing Tips: This North Carolina website gives safety tips for mixing homemade solutions. (See section #4).
- Fumes: This magazine gives tips on working with ammonia, one of the main homemade cleaning staples that can release dangerous fumes.
Learning to mix up your own cleaning ingredients can feel empowering. Most mixes only require two to three ingredients and can easily be mixed and saved for future use.
Home Improvement Resource Center
The dream of home ownership requires a commitment to keeping your house running safe and smoothly for your family. Making the occasional repairs is simply part of the job of a homeowner. Even if you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, there are still common fixes that you complete on your own that will help you save money. Use this home improvement and maintenance guide to help you get started.
Doors & Windows
- Tips on Weatherproofing Doors and Windows: Learn several techniques used to replace weather stripping to seal up doors and windows from drafts.
- Exterior Doors and Windows: Several articles about improving your home with exterior doors and various types of window styles.
- Securing Windows and Doors: Article about the importance of installing locks on windows and doors for security purposes.
- Buying the Right Windows for Your Home: List of quality window buying tips and advice when looking for a home-improvement investment.
- All about Locks: Article about choosing the right lockset for your exterior door, including keyed-entry, doorknobs, handle-sets, and dead bolts.
- Carpet and Floors: List of important things to remember when installing a new carpet or flooring.
- Flooring Styles, Installation, and Repair: Several articles including flooring installation, types, kitchen flooring, and bathroom flooring.
- Tips on Updating Linoleum Floors: Instructions on how to properly replace vinyl flooring.
- Hardwood Flooring Guide: Learn about the types of hardwood flooring, prices, installation costs, and remodeling choices.
- Questions about Vinyl Flooring Repair: Learn how to repair scratches and other minor vinyl flooring imperfections.
Tilework Planning & Installation
- Planning Your Tile Installation: Tips on making a dimensional floor layout drawing prior to tile installation for proper remodeling.
- Tile Floor Installation: Frequently asked questions and basic information about installing tile flooring.
- Installation Tips for Tile: Information on floor preparation, room layouts, and installing tiling tips.
- How to Install a Granite Tile Countertop: List of required tools and instructions on how to install a granite tile countertop.
- Installing Glass Mosaic Tile: Installation instructions on how to install ¾ mesh backed glass mosaic tiles.
Interior Walls & Ceilings
- Preparing the Wall Surface: Instructions on how to prepare the wall surface in order to paint an interior wall.
- Insulating a Sloping Ceiling: Photographs and information on how to insulate a sloping ceiling using rigid foam insulation.
- Painting Ceilings and Walls: Watch videos on cutting in ceilings, loading brushes, loading rollers, and rolling walls.
- Texturing Walls: Instructions on how to add texture to your walls before adding a coat of primer and paint.
- Hole in the Wall Help: Learn how to fix both small and large holes that may show up in your drywall or plaster.
Electrical & Wiring
- How Electrical Wiring Problems: Learn about the various types of wiring problems that can occur in your home.
- Do It Yourself Electrical Switches: Videos and instructions on how to install electrical switches, outlets, light fixtures, cables, and lamp wiring.
- Adding New Electric Wiring: Find the basic principals of good wiring and how to connect new wiring safely and properly.
- Pool and Spa Basic Electricity: Instructions on how to properly test and fix electrical problems pertaining to pools and spas.
- Tips for Simple Home Wiring Repairs: Learn how to fix simple wiring repairs, such as three-way switches and ground-fault circuit interrupters.
Heating & Cooling
- Heating and Cooling Efficiency Tips: Simple ways to make your heating and cooling more efficient.
- No-Cost and Low-Cost Cooling Tips: Find both no-cost and low-cost tips for cooling off your home.
- Healthy Heating and Cooling: Learn about the best ways to keep your home a healthy temperature.
- Tips - Heating and Cooling: List of short-term and long-term heating and cooling tips.
- Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling Tips: Information on keeping your HVAC system tuned, reducing air leakage, and upgrading windows.
- Basic Tips for Homeowners: Helpful tips for the use of a dishwasher, ice maker, washing machine, disposal, and other areas of the home that require plumbing.
- Plumbers Issue Tips for Winter: Steps that homeowners can take to avoid frozen or burst pipes during winter months.
- Plumbing Care & Repair Handbook: Information on plumbing codes, licensing, inspections and permits, and how to complete various plumbing jobs.
- Plumbing Tips for Toilets, Bathtubs, and Showers: List of helpful plumbing tips associated to toilets, bathtubs, and shower plumbing.
- Winter Plumbing Tips: Seasonal tips on how to take care of common winter plumbing problems.
Shelves & Storage
- Home Storage Ideas: Find photographs and information on a variety of home storage ideas for every room of your house.
- Tips on Organizing Your Closet with Storage Racks: Helpful tips on how to install and use closet storage racks.
- Building Storage Shelves: Instructions and materials used to create homemade storage shelves for your home.
- Make Your Own Storage Solutions: Learn how to properly organize all of your household items by using recyclable materials.
- Clothes Storage: List of tips used to store your clothing, off-season items, and accessories.
Woodworking & Finishes
- Woodworking and Furniture Refinishing Tips: Find free woodworking plans and how to properly refinish furniture.
- Top Ten Tips for Woodworking: List of woodworking and refinishing tips from experts.
- How To – Woodworking: Here you will find several indoor and outdoor woodworking projects.
- DIY Kitchen Cabinet Refacing: Complete instructions on how to reface your kitchen cabinets.
- How to Strip Paint Off Wood: Learn about the two ways to strip paint off wood for refinishing.
- Painting Tips & Advice: Find an online paint calculator, painting tips and how-to’s, and learn various painting techniques.
- Painting Tips and Supplies: Articles on how to pick a paint color, prep your work area, and apply the paint.
- Interior Painting – Tips and Tricks: List of several tips and tricks for interior painting.
- Ceiling Painting Tips: List of ten painting tips for painting a decorative ceiling.
- Interior and Exterior House Painting: Tips and video on painting the interior and exterior of your home.
- Furniture Repair Tips: Photographs and instructions on how to repair common furniture problems.
- Tips and Tricks for Furniture Repair: Learn how to repair minor furniture imperfections, such as watermarks and scratches.
- Drawers, Doors, Upholstery, Chairs: Tips on how to repair drawers, doors, upholstery, and chairs quickly.
- Wood Finishing Repair & Refinish Tips: Video of how to properly repair and refinish furniture.
- How to Refinish and Restore Wood Furniture: Article about restoring and refinishing antique furniture.
Roof & Siding
- Roofing & Siding Projects & Advice: Articles on installing and repairing roofing and siding.
- Cleaning Your Vinyl Siding: Useful tips for cleaning your vinyl house siding.
- Tips for Installing Vinyl Siding: Photographs and instructions on how to install vinyl siding on your home.
- Installing Asphalt Roof Shingles: Instructions on how to install asphalt roof shingles.
- How to Install Metal Roofing: Printable instructions on how to install metal roofing.
Patio, Deck, & Masonry
- Excavating a Patio, Walk, or Wall Footing, Photographs and instructions on how to excavate a patio, walk, or wall footing.
- Wood Deck Care Tips: List of important care techniques used on wooden decks.
- Deck Maintenance: Advice on how to properly clean and seal your wooden deck.
- Masonry Maintenance: List of common maintenance and repairs that should be completed on masonry.
- Concrete Patio Maintenance: Instructions on how to keep your patio looking its best through regular maintenance.
Fences, Paths, & Drives
- Wood Fence FAQ: Find the answers to commonly asked questions about installing and maintenance of wood fencing.
- Basic Fence Maintenance and Repair: Instructions on how to perform minor maintenance to your fence.
- How to Maintain a Concrete Driveway: Article on the proper way to care for a concrete driveway.
- Repair and Reseal the Driveway: Price estimate and instructions on how to repair and reseal a driveway.
- How to Build the Perfect Path: Article on a great way to lay down a well designed pathway.
A Guide To Energy Efficiency In Your Home
Energy Efficiency has two major benefits for everyone. First, energy efficiency saves electricity and therefore saves everyone money on their power bill. Secondly, using less electricity helps preserve natural resources and lower pollution, thereby benefitting the environment. Whether homeowners choose to install energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, and appliances, or supplement their power with solar energy, geothermal pumps, or wind power, there are a variety of easy and cost-effective ways to become more energy efficient. This resource is designed to guide anyone into a more energy-efficient lifestyle. Follow the links below for more information on home energy efficiency.
Home Energy Efficiency FAQs
• ACEEE FAQs — Read all about home energy efficiency on this page from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
• Energy Star FAQs — The frequently answered questions on this government-sponsored page deal with federal energy tax credits and much more.
• Extension Home Energy FAQs — The answers to the home energy FAQs on this page are extensive, making it a great and informative resource.
• Flex Your Power — This California-based page can help homeowners everywhere make their homes more energy efficient.
• Florida Solar Energy Center FAQs — Although a lot of the information on this page is specific to Florida, nearly every homeowner can benefit from these questions and answers on energy efficiency.
• General Energy Quick Tips — Delta State University has this informative page that answers questions about energy efficiency. Much of the content is specifically geared to offices and laboratories, but most of the information can be applied at home as well.
• Home Energy Saver FAQs — This page has great questions and answers that will help anyone save energy at home.
• Rutgers Center for Green Building — The Rutgers Center for Green Building answers questions about the benefits of green, energy efficient building on this page.
• Tax Incentives Assistance Project FAQs —Learn all about energy efficiency and tax credits on this site.
• Consumer Energy Center: Appliances — The Consumer Energy Center of California has a good overview site on what to look for in an energy-efficient appliance.
• Efficient Appliances Save Energy — and Money — Here is a great page on energy-efficient appliances from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
• Energy Saving and Green Living — Consumer Reports has reviews of many energy-efficient appliances and other information on energy efficiency on this page.
• Energy Tips — Appliances — Michigan State University helps homeowners evaluate the energy efficiency of their appliances, maintain them for efficiency, and much more.
• Find Energy Star Appliances — This overview page from the Energy Star website will help anyone find an energy-efficient appliance.
• How to Buy an Energy-Efficient Home Appliance — The Federal Trade Commission offers some good advice on purchasing energy-efficient home appliances on this site.
• Rebates for Energy-Efficient Appliances — Readers will find a great deal of information on tax credits and other rebates they can get through purchasing energy efficient appliances.
• SS: Energy-Efficient Appliances — Sustainable Sources explains the types of appliances that are the most energy efficient on this page.
• Sustainable Choices: Energy-Efficient Appliances — Stanford University has some brief information here on the benefits of energy-efficient appliances.
• Top Ten USA — Top Ten USA lists the top ten most energy-efficient appliances available in a variety of different appliance categories.
Energy Efficient Lighting Tips
• 7 Tips for Saving Energy with Home Lighting — Follow these handy tips to save money and energy on home lighting.
• ALA: Efficient Lighting — The American Lighting Association has a few excellent tips to help anyone develop a more energy-efficient lighting plan for their home.
• Benefits of CFL Bulbs — How Stuff Works? includes this page on the benefits of compact florescent light bulbs in its guide to how they work.
• CPS Energy: Home Lighting Tips — The Lighting Efficiency Tips from this energy company have helped many people to save electricity in their homes.
• FPL Lighting Efficiency — Florida Power and Light has this brief, helpful guide to making a lighting plan more energy efficient.
• Home Services: Energy-Saving Lighting Tips — Home Depot gives some great energy-efficient lighting tips on this site.
• Indoor Home Lighting Tips — Duke Energy has put together this page with some great indoor home lighting tips.
• Lighting & CFL Tips — TXU Energy has some helpful steps to lowering the energy use of a home lighting system on this page.
• Lower My Energy Bill: Home Lighting — Visit this page for a few brief tips on using energy saving lighting and on saving energy in many other areas.
• Lowes for Pros — The home improvement-retailing giant has this good site on designing an energy-efficient lighting plan for the home.
Heating And Cooling Your Home
• Chugach: Heating and Cooling — This power company in Alaska offers excellent tips on saving energy.
• Energy-Saving Heating and Cooling Ideas for Your Home — Follow these ideas to save energy and therefore money on your heating and cooling systems.
• HVAC Heating and Air Conditioning Energy Savers — Although this page is geared toward businesses, most of its tips can be applied to home energy efficiency as well.
• Living Green Heating & Cooling — Residents of Florida and other southern states should especially benefit from this page on environmentally friendly heating and cooling from the University of Florida.
• LSU Efficient Cooling and Heating — Here are some good tips for improving energy efficiency in a new heating and cooling system from Louisiana State University.
• Minnesota Heating and Cooling Systems — Minnesota Power covers many energy-saving tips for home heating and cooling on this page.
• Save Energy in Heating and Cooling — Tips to save energy on heating and cooling are just some of the energy-savings tips found on this site.
• Saving Energy and Keeping Safe — Learn how to save energy and more with this worksheet that addresses the needs of heating and cooling systems.
• Top 5 Energy Saving Heating and Cooling Tips — Popular Mechanics makes these five tips on energy-efficient heating and cooling available to readers.
• Watt Watchers — This Maryland-based site has a lot of good information on saving money on heating and cooling costs through the saving of energy.
Renewable / Alternative Energy Information Resources
• American Council on Renewable Energy — The American Council on Renewable Energy has a lot of good information on renewable energy use in the United States.
• Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency — This database can show homeowners in any state the various incentives that are there’s for using renewable energy at home.
• DIY Energy — Do-it-yourselfers will enjoy this page that will help them implement such projects for renewable and alternative energy in their homes.
• Home Power — Many free articles on renewable and alternative energy in the home can be found on the official page of Home Power magazine.
• Hydrogen Benefits — This page explores the many benefits of using hydrogen energy to power the home and businesses.
• IGSHPA Frequently Asked Questions — Frequently asked questions about ground source heat pumps are found on the other side of this link.
• Renewable Energy Basics — Basic data on renewable energy for the home can be found on this page.
• Renewable Energy for Home and Property — This site on renewable energy from the Texas State Energy Conservation Office has helped many people learn what they can do to power their home through renewable and alternative energy sources.
• Renewable Energy System Design — This page offers some good information for those who want to design a home renewable energy system in Alaska, but its information is applicable elsewhere as well.
• Saint Francis University Renewable Energy Center — Much can be learned from this Pennsylvania-based page on using renewable energy at home.
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