Friday, December 25, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Plenty to do on that front, with each organization having their own sets of procedures, and me in the middle, trying to tie the loose ends together. Still, I'm close, and I'm looking forward to returning to school and meeting the new people, and challenges, I will find there. Lourdes is a great college, and I can't remember the last time I met such friendly and helpful staff.
As a side note to that, I originally planned to include updates on my adventures and lessons learned while at Lourdes in this blog, but decided against that in the end. Ultimately, the two topics really deserve their own stages, and so, beginning soon, I will be launching a new blog called "Lourdes on Wheels." Watch for it here.
So that's what I've been up to. How about you? I hope the snow and cold have not been posing a barrier to your intended lifestyle, and I hope your holiday, whichever you may celebrate, is special. I'll see you in 2010!
P.S. Beginning next week I will occasionally feature a guest blogger on relevant topics of interest locally, as well as globally. I hope you find the new expanded format informative and entertaining. Thank each of you for being a faithful reader as I bring my first year to a close. I wouldn't be here without you, even if I could. We're in this together, as it should be.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
A word on exits: Always try to have at least two viable exits from the house, and if possible, each bedroom. While this may be impossible in every circumstance, it's a good thing to plan for anyway. If fire is blocking the front doorway, you need to get out the back. If that's not possible, you should be prepared to break out a window. While you may not be able to climb out through a window by yourself, the presence of a broken window can alert fire or rescue personnel that you are trapped in the house. A small hammer kept near the window can be a real life saver.
While fire is scary, and hot, the most common deaths in a fire are caused by smoke inhalation. If the house is already in flames, it is likely that it will also be filled with heavy black smoke, which can render you unconscious in moments. Two things can help here. One is to soak a towel in water, and drape it over your head. This can keep much of the smoke out while you head for the nearest exit. The other is keeping as close to the ground as possible. Smoke is hot, and collects near the ceiling, leaving a small gap of cooler air near to the floor. If you can, crawl to the exit. This will take longer, but will also buy you extra time to make your escape.
Finally, if you have time to call 9-1-1 before you must exit (but don't waste time making that call if it delays you too much) be sure to mention that you are handicapped, and may have trouble getting to safety. This will alert first responders to look for you immediately upon their arrival.
Storms & Power Failures. These two often go hand-in-hand. A severe thunderstorm, or a tornado, moves through the area. Each has its own risks, but in both cases it's possible that downed power lines could leave you isolated in your now darkened home... perhaps for days. Do you have a plan for surviving without power for an extended period?
The consequences are many. No electricity means no way to charge your electric wheelchair. It may also mean no way to charge a cell phone, and no way to prepare a meal if you use a microwave. In winter, it would mean no heat, and in summer, no air conditioning. It might even represent a threat to your life if you use a mechanical device to aid your breathing, for example. In this final circumstance, it is imperative that you call 9-1-1 at once to alert them to your situation. Also, before disaster strikes you should also notify your local utility providers so that they can keep your name and address on their priority reconnection list.
So what about tornados? Obviously if you're in your home you should stay there. A special exception is a mobile home, but I don't need to educate you about that one. Okay, so where do you go if the alert sirens are blaring? The first choice should always be your basement, but often this is not an option for persons in a wheelchair. In that case, the main floor will have to do. Pick a room with as few windows as possible, or a hallway near the center of the house. Then just wait it out. A tornado moves very quickly, and most pass through a town in a matter of only 10-20 minutes. Hopefully this will never happen to you, but knowing where to go and what to do ahead of time can mean the difference between a good outcome and a bad one. Plan ahead.
I could go on quite a bit on this subject, but I think I've made my point. Everyone should have a disaster plan, of course, but it's especially important for the disabled. I hope you will think about this over the course of the next few days, and then act. It could save your life, or the lives of those you love.
Until next time, be safe.
Note: We have a wonderful e-book (in universal PDF format) on disaster preparedness for the disabled in our Buckeye Barrier Busters Library, free for you to download and consult. Please click on this link to go directly to the page, or just visit BuckeyeBarrierBusters.org, and click on the Library Link. Thanks to FEMA and the American Red Cross for making this publication available to our community.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Thinking about a "Staycation" this year?
A new concept we're hearing about these days is the "Staycation" -- in other words, finding attractions closer to home in lieu of the more "traditional vacation" which involves travel, and of course, spending a lot more money.
What follows is a nice list of local options for your summer vacation this year if you decide to stay close to home. Not all of these places may be handicapped accessible, however, so do call ahead if that is a concern for you.
Toledo Zoo www.toledozoo.org 419-385-5721
Art Museum/Glass Pavilion www.toledomuseum.org 419-255-8000
Metroparks www.metroparkstoledo.com 419-407-9700
Toledo Botanical Gardens www.toledogarden.org 419-536-5566
Willis B. Boyer www.willisbboyer.org 419-936-3070
Sandpiper Cruises www.sandpiperboat.com 419-537-1212
Wolcott House www.wolcotthouse.org 419-893-9602
Toledo Firefighter Museum www.toledofiremuseum.com 419-478-3473
577 Foundation www.577foundation.org 419-847-4174
Ritter Planetarium www.rpbo.utoledo.edu 419-530-2650
Ft. Meigs www.ohiohistory.org 419-874-4121
Maumee Indoor Theater www.maumeeindoor.com 419-897-8901
Ohio Theater (email@example.com) 419-241-6785
Maumee Bay State Park www.maumeebayresort.com
Cedar Point /Soak City www.cedarpoint.com
Merry-Go-Round Museum www.merrygoroundmuseum.org
Ghostly Manor Thrill Center www.ghostlymanor.com
Great Wolf Lodge www.greatwolf.com
Castaway Bay www.castawaybay.com
Port Clinton, Ohio:
African Safari www.africansafariwildlifepark.com
Camp Perry Lodging www.cplcc.com
Island Adventure Fun Center www.island-adventures.net
Put-in-Bay Jet Express www.jet-express.com
Oak Harbor, Ohio:
Magee Marsh Wildlife Area
Crane Creek State Park
Prehistoric Forest www.mysteryhill.com
Monsoon Lagoon www.monsoonlagoonwaterpark.com
Marblehead Lighthouse State Park
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center www.rghayes.org
Edison Birthplace www.tomedison.org
Geauga Lake Wildwater Kingdom www.wildwaterfun.com
Cleveland Zoo www.clemetzoo.com
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame www.rockhall.com
Pro Football Hall of Fame www.profootballhof.com
Butterfly House www.butterfly-house.com
Whitehouse Shrimp Farm www.shrimp-farm.com
Bluebird Passenger Train www.tlew.org
Grand Rapids, OH:
Mary Jane Thurston Park
Bowling Green, OH:
Civil War Museum www.acwmo.org
Snook’s Dream Cars snooksdreamcars.com
Harley Davidson Museum www.benbreecehd.com
Candy Cane Christmas Shop www.candycanechristmas.com
Sauder Village www.saudervillage.org
Columbus Zoo www.columbuszoo.org
North Market www.northmarket.com
King Arts Complex www.kingartcomplex.com
Olentangy Indian Caverns www.olentangyindiancavern.com
Michigan and the Irish Hills Lakes & attractions www.brooklynmi.com
Ohio Seasonal Guide www.seasonalguide.com
So what are you waiting for? Get out and go!
[Special thanks go to Diane Frazee of the United Way's Family Information Network for providing the bulk of this week's blog posting. Thank you, Diane, for your tireless support of Ohio's disabled, and their families.]