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This week is Fire Prevention Week. It’s one of the longest public service events, having run for over 89 years. For young kids it’s one of the more exciting school memories. Getting to ride in the fire truck; meeting firemen. If you were lucky, they would let you wear the hat. But this week I was able to view the event from the other side. We teamed up with the Kendall Fire Department to help teach Kendall Elementary School’s third graders the importance of fire safety.
One of the things that fire fighters teach the students every year is that in the event of a fire they need to get out of their home fast. They aren’t allowed to go back for anything. So we asked the children what they would never want to lose in a fire. Of course some of them mentioned video games and Ipods. (I give strong kudos to the parents of these kids who have obviously taught them to take care of their more expensive toys.) Others took a more practical approach, mentioning money and their allowance. But for many of them the first things that came to mind were much more sentimental. Their first stuffed animal or blanket they’d had since they were a baby, a present given to them by a grandparent, and an award from a sports or school accomplishment were among the items that quickly came to their minds. One boy mentioned that he would never want to lose photographs of his family while they were still together. Because no matter how old we are, we all have things that hold special meaning to us. Things that represent memories we could never replace.
So we taught the children how to keep those memories protected. Through a presentation, as well as a couple videos, we showed them what a fire-resistant safe was and how it worked. And that by keeping their most important things in the safe, they could be sure that they would always have them. They asked great questions about how the safes worked, how they could get inside once it was burned and what types of things they could protect in their safes. They were a curious, enthusiastic and wonderful group. It was a pleasure to meet them all. Many of them even mentioned that they would feel better leaving their house if they knew they had a safe to keep their important things protected.
After the event, I couldn’t help but be struck by how enthusiastic the kids were about protecting their more sentimental things. It got me thinking about my own things that I keep protected, and I realized many of them I’d had for years, some since I was a kid. And I realized they were so special to me because of the memory it represented. And we are never too young to be making these happy memories.
So ask your kids…Is there something they want to protect? Is there something important to them that they would never want to lose in a fire? You might be surprised by the answer. And consider adding that special item to your safe; because you’re never too young to keep it safe!
We plan for meetings, dinner meals, family gatherings and more. So why is that we drop the ball when it comes to planning and preparing our families for an emergency?
Is it because we think planning for the unexpected involves a lot a work or are we in the – “it will never happen to us” mode?
During the last week of August, Hurricane Irene stormed through the East Coast coupled with an earthquake causing significant damage not just to people’s homes but also emotionally. In fact when the storm hit, several people took to modern day technologies to connect with loved ones through social media and even found shelters in affected areas through apps on their phone.
Given everything that’s happened, one thing’s for sure, the time you spend planning is crucial as it helps you save time in dealing with life’s uncertainties. From making sure your insurance is up to date to ensuring that your vital documents and personal items are stored safely, being prepared helps you get back on your feet faster.
Why all the ‘planning’ talk you ask?
Well September is ‘National Preparedness Month’ making this the perfect time for us to help you get started on steps you can take to be ready in case of an emergency.
ME911 and Family Safety
With families of our own to protect at ME911, we’re on a mission to help parents protect their loved ones by quickly tackling all sorts of emergencies. With smart phones so easily accessible today, we wanted to help put family safety and security at your fingertips.
How? With an app – our ME911 Safety App. Yes, you guessed it, there’s an app for that!
Whether it’s losing your wallet and needing copies of IDs or cards or even having to provide first responders with access to your loved one’s vital information – our app’s got your back. Although you may have the information stored in several places, ME911’s one-touch access to it all helps save time so you can (and here’s the phrase again) get back on your feet faster.
How can it help me?
You can fill out profiles with descriptive details like age, distinguishing marks, height, weight and a photo. Why? In the unfortunate event that a child gets separated from his or her parents, providing a detailed description to authorities in a state of panic might be difficult. Having an emergency profile readily available on your phone could help save time.
You can also store important health information like allergies, a medical condition, insurance details and more which could help first responders effectively treat your loved ones.
As our family grows so does our collection of vital paperwork and information such as certificates, insurance information, membership cards etc. Take a quick peek into your SentrySafe or even your wallet. Hmm… if you’re still rummaging through kitchen drawers looking for your stuff might we suggest a Fire-Safe?
Now that your originals are safely tucked away, how about digital copies? Especially for those times you’re on the road due to an evacuation wishing you had access to your vital paperwork stashed at home. With ME911’s Virtual Locker you can snap a quick picture on your phone or even scan and save it all to your online account. This makes it easy to access with your secure PIN at the tap of a button.
We could all use an extra hand in an emergency. Let’s assume you’re at an international airport but for some reason your passport isn’t. Now what? With ME911 you can call your 24/7 Virtual Assistant to email or fax documents stored in your locker. Which means it’s time to call in and have the passport copy you stored in your Virtual Locker faxed over to the authorities to help in the process of identifying your citizenship.
It also includes an emergency alert system with which you can send text messages alerts to your loved ones with a GPS link automatically attached. This link pinpoints your current location in Google Maps, so they can reach out knowing exactly where you are.
Have you noticed how many usernames, passwords and answers to ‘what’s your pet’s favorite movie’ we have to remember for all of our online accounts? You can now skip the hassle of having to remember or being forced to reset your details by saving that long list of accounts, passwords, usernames, PIN numbers, security codes and more safely in your password vault for quick access.
Safe and Secure
The information you store is private and only accessible with your PIN#. Once you install the app and set-up your account you also get a web account at www.ME911.com with the same sign-in details. So if you ever lose your phone you can always retrieve your information securely from ME911.com.
To sum it all up, time is of the essence in an emergency. The time you spend preparing now could save you a lifetime of “I wish I had…” later.
App Details: Visit ME911.com to learn more about our services, and receive $10 off your annual membership with promo code “Sentry” when you sign up. For other membership discounts and special promotions join us on Facebook or Twitter .
Additional Resources: If you’re looking to put together a Family Emergency Plan or even a checklist of items for your Emergency Kit, we highly recommend visiting Ready America and the American Red Cross.
About the Author: Goldie Aranha Viegas, VP of Marketing at ME911, is passionate about raising awareness about modern technologies that can help families protect their loved ones. She has worked one-on-one with the American Red Cross, AAA, and Office Depot to host nationwide child safety and emergency preparedness events that have helped thousands protect their families from life’s uncertainties. She believes in being proactive rather than fearful when it comes to planning and simplifies the process for the digital age. You can visit www.ME911.com and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fire Prevention can be a tough thing to get a kid’s attention. It is really important for them to understand both how to prevent fires but also what to do if they should be in a fire. There’s a lot of great information out there to help engage and teach kids all about fire prevention.
Here are a few you links you may want to check out with your family. The Sesame Street link is great for your little fire fighters…
It’s getting to be that time of year when the warmth of summer slips from the air and is replaced with the crisp air of fall. As the cooler days and nights begin and we start reaching for the thermostat or matches for the woodstove. It’s important to remember fire safety and there is no better time then during National Fire Prevention Week.
It’s easy to think “it will never happen to me” but according to the NFPA every 23 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation. A fire occurs in a structure at the rate of one every 66 seconds, and in particular a residential fire occurs every 84 seconds. Fires occur in vehicles at the rate of one every 146 seconds, and a fire occurs in an outside property every 49 seconds.
It’s important to take care of your family and prepare for even the worst events. That is why we are offering a complete fire prevention kit to one lucky winner. The kit includes a Fire-Safe® unit (MSW3517), a fire extinguisher, a smoke alarm, and a carbon monoxide detector. These items will help protect you and your important documents and memories, should the unthinkable happen.
As you prepare your house for colder weather be sure to remember the basics, check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Have an escape route mapped out and be sure each member of your family knows the plan. For those of you out there that are planning to fire up your wood stove or fireplace remember to sweep your chimney. Over time creosote builds up in your chimney and it needs to be cleaned out to prevent a fire. Be sure your wood is seasoned and dry, it will create less creosote and build up.
If you want to learn more about Fire Prevention and how to prepare yourself and your family click here to visit the National Fire Protection Association’s web site…