Top Gift Picks for Mother’s Day 2017

MothersDay

Mother’s day is just around the corner and C. Crane is here to help you find a gift that will actually be used!

  1. CC Radio-EP – Bob Crane designed this radio for his Mom. It’s the easiest radio to use and has great reception and sound.
  2. CC Pocket – This radio is perfect for the Mom who is out walking regularly.
  3. CC WiFi – Mom’s love this – no static, no fade and thousands upon thousands of stations to choose from.
  4. The Senta Ally – A consistent favorite. Mom controls the playlist from her smartphone using a Bluetooth connection. Perfect while doing household chores or even relaxing in the tub!
  5. CC Solar Observer – You’ll have peace of mind knowing your Mom has the information she needs even if the power is out with this Wind Up Solar Emergency Radio.

If you’re still not sure which item is right for your mom, contact us! We’re happy to help you make the best selection for your Mom.

Amateur radio gives you the best news in a true emergency

A true emergency is something like what happened recently in Oroville and Sacramento Valley area – where an emergency spillway that has never been used in the previous 48 years begins to fail. This failure threatened the lives and livelihood of over 150,000 people and resulted in forced evacuation. Everyone thinks, if they have a cell phone they’ll be fine, but what we’ve seen time and again is that cell phones are an unreliable service under these circumstances. The lines are often jammed with “all circuits busy” messages. In some cases, towers are down due to flooding or power failures or a combination there-of. HAM radio coordinators really come to the rescue in these situations.

orovillespillway1

Oroville Spillway Damage Feb 2017 – Photo Courtesy N.Brooks, Placerville CA (c) 2017

This particular emergency hit closer to home than usual – one of our employee’s brother and his family had to evacuate. It took them over 4 hours to travel what normally would be a 45-minute drive. Many of our close friends and loved ones have experienced loss due to flooding. One of our other employee’s daughter, who lives close to Oroville, California has HAM Radio to thank for keeping her family and friends safe and informed. “So happy the mandatory evacuations are over, and glad we live high enough that we never had to evacuate. I’ve never been one to watch news much, but I think I’ve watched more news in the last 48 hours than I have in the last five years! I’ve also never quite understood my husband’s love of amateur radio, but after listening to the Yuba-Sutter Amateur Emergency Coordinator, Steve Sweetman, I have a whole new respect for amateur radio, and I felt like I got my best news from the radio! Thanks!”

Steve Swteetman is the Amateur radio emergency coordinator for Yuba and Sutter counties. They volunteer their time and use their own equipment. Below is a summary report from Steve on the communications that were handled during the evacuations.

“On February 12, Yuba/Sutter ARES EC Steve Sweetman, K6TAZ, opened and managed a net to provide information and gather reports of road closures or problems during the Oroville Dam Incident evacuation. The net received reports from radio amateurs who were evacuating. Traffic was reported to be very heavy, with a trip that would normally take 20 minutes extending into “3-hour stop-and-go ordeal.” The net also gathered information on where evacuees could get fuel for their vehicles, where evacuation centers were being set up and road closures. “This became a critical need, as the thousands of people evacuated their houses with 1-hour notice. K6taz was operating from his house on a high hill outside Yuba City, He is was safe from flooding and housed 17 evacuees staying on his property.” The net ran on and off from Sunday 4pm until Wednesday 8pm. Total operating time was 48 hours and 322 contacts were made. He had reports that the information he was relaying was more informative than the radio or television. Steve was also monitoring the press conferences and would give updated reports. He was in constant communication with the Governor’s office of emergency services in Sacramento.”

 73’s
Steve Sweetman
K6TAZ

 EC ( Emergency Coordinator)
Yuba/Sutter  ARES

ARES Website
SKYWARN Weather spotter YU-19
AF/MARS Member AFA9SS
ARRL Official Emergency Station

Bob Crane, founder of C. Crane has always been a huge proponent of HAM radio because it is so valuable in these situations. Several C. Crane employees have their license as well.

In a day and age where what people have said is impossible is now happening, it seems prudent to invest in something reliable. Whether you choose to go as far as getting a license and investing in amateur radio equipment so you can communicate both directions, or you purchase a reliable radio like our CCRadio-2E that allows you to listen to the 2-Meter HAM band, you will never regret being prepared and having access to the best and most up to date information when you need it.

Below are some additional resources on the Oroville spillway:
http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article133932379.html
http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Releasing-water-at-Oroville-Dam-a-lingering-10941922.php

If you would like to get your license, please visit ARRL (American Radio Relay League). Not sure exactly what Amateur (HAM) Radio is or what you might here? – visit one of our previous blog posts to learn about it.

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Top 10 Emergency Preparedness Tips

checkystickfigure

To finish out the month of National Preparedness we wanted to give you a short checklist of what to do for being prepared:

  1. Know your area and what disasters you might encounter – this will help you plan appropriately
  2. Create a plan (even something as basic as knowing exit routes and local emergency numbers)
    • Include in your plan any unusual items you might need like medications or hearing aids as well as prescription information and doctor’s info.
    • Consider adding a communication plan in the event everyone is in separate locations
    • Consider adding a meet-up plan if members become separated or if the house is uninhabitable
  3. Create a printed or written contact list and include at least one out of town contact
  4. Create a 72-hour emergency kit with the essentials for each family member:
    • First Aid Kit
    • Portable emergency radio
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • Cash
    • Duct tape (really – you’ll never be sorry you included duct tape J)
    • Toilet Paper, wet wipes, personal hygiene items
    • Notepad and pens or pencils
    • Blankets or sleeping bags
    • Bottled Water
    • Pet Food (if applicable)
    • Children/Infant Items (if applicable – think diapers, wipes, formula, inhalers, etc.)
  5. Know where your electric, gas and water shut off valves are and how to turn them off and make sure you have the tools needed nearby.
  6. Meet your neighbors and find out if there is a neighborhood or community plan in place
  7. Create copies of important documents and store them in a secure location, preferably off site
  8. PRACTICE your plan – nothing beats a real live drill especially if you have any kind of special needs or young children or grand children.
  9. Put a reminder in your calendar for twice a year to check your kit and your plan and update or modify as necessary.
  10. Stay – calm. If you’ve followed the steps above you have a plan and a kit. You’re in GREAT shape to survive a disaster.

Keep Your Family Safe – Prepare Ahead of Time

prepkit

Not many people are really prepared for a disaster, especially in areas where they aren’t common. Maybe folks in areas where there are regular hurricanes, tornadoes or winter storms that shut everything down have a good handle on being prepared or people like the Preppers, but the rest of us find it easy to slack on preparedness and then find ourselves scrambling when a real disaster strikes.

It’s easy to make a case for being prepared. Look around at all of the unexpected emergencies like the recent flooding in Louisiana and tornadoes in the Midwest. Emergencies don’t have to be only weather and naturally caused. In California, recent fires that destroyed entire communities have been attributed to arson. With record breaking temperatures across the US and people using electricity like crazy or an even more sinister possibility – an energy grid hack, our next disaster might be extended blackouts or there is the very real possibility of terrorism that continues to plague the entire world.

Here’s a few questions to ask yourself to see how you fare on the preparedness scale:

  • What essential supplies do I need?
    If you are missing some, it might be time to re-think priorities since stores often sell out, are out of service, or have no way to process payments (even cash).
  • Do I have a written list of important phone numbers?
    If you answered no, then you have some work to do. An electronic list on your cell phone isn’t going to do you much good once the phone dies and the power is out.
  • Do you have any cash or would you need to go to the ATM?
    If you answered no to the cash and yes to the ATM then you need to stash some cash. ATMs go down and require power and banks are so automated now and reliant on computers, they often can’t even provide cash from the tellers if there isn’t any power.
  • Do you have copies of important documents stored safely somewhere else?
    As cumbersome as this sounds, having copies of things (think insurance policies, passports, deeds, titles, etc.) stored in a safe deposit box or at a relatives’ home will really reduce the headache and time spent in the event you lose your home to a disaster. It can help even if it’s just a time where you’re out of town and you end up with a water leak that damages your ceiling.
  • Do you have a good emergency radio and flashlight? How about spare batteries?
    No? Well this is the one we can actually help you with! Call us or visit the links above and order online. We’ll get you set up right away.

We’ve written several articles on how to be prepared and what that might look like. REI has a great article on basic concepts with some important additions that people often forget like medications, infant formula and diapers, and pet food.

If nothing else, at least create a basic plan, get a radio and flashlight, write down the list of phone numbers and read about Bob’s potable water trick with your water heater.

Tell us about your emergency plans in the comments below and be entered to win a CC Solar Observer October 11th– the best all-around emergency radio. It covers AM, FM and Weather and has a built in flashlight. You can even use it without batteries and if it came down to it, it even will charge most cell phones.

Let’s Celebrate World Radio!

World Radio Day is held annually on February 13th. What a great concept! C. Crane loves radio and since this happens to correspond with Valentine’s Day, we can’t think of any better way to celebrate our first love!

2016’s World Radio Day theme is “Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster”. C. Crane definitely understands the power of radio especially in times of emergency and disaster. This is why so many of our radios have the weather band and several have the weather alert option. Various models of emergency radios have been part of the C. Crane product line since 1998. The first rendition was the Baygen Freeplay Radio.

The world's first clockwork radio. It has three bands (MW, SW and FM) and needs no batteries, the power source being an internal spring-driven generator powered by hand. The brainchild of Trevor Baylis, the inventor of the Baylis generator, the radio was developed with funding from the British Overseas Development Administration. It was primarily aimed at people in developing countries where affordable energy sources are scarce or non-existent. Winding the handle for twenty-five seconds gives over 30 minutes listening time.This radio was one of the very first wind up radios on the market with satisfactory reception and audio. The timing of the product release coincided with some of the worst storms the US had seen in years.  Y2K was also on the horizon and people felt  they could not be too prepared for what might be in store.  At the same time, LED bulbs made their debut, which we added to the Baygen Freeplay Radio.  Their long battery life and LED bulbs that didn’t burn out or break made these flashlights a must have.

We’ve come a long way since those days and so have our radios. Emergency readiness and products that support disaster preparedness still hold a special place with C. Crane and so many of our customers. During hurricane Sandy several customers let us know how important their radios were in giving them a sense of security.  Since many cars were washed away or under water, and power was out for several days,  their C. Crane radio was the only way these storm victims could charge cell phones or get any information. With storms hitting all over the country, please take the time to check your radios and flashlights and make sure your emergency plans and kits are up to date.

While we love the idea of setting aside a special day to acknowledge World Radio Day, here at C. Crane every day is a radio day and we know for many of you that’s the case as well. Cheers to celebrating World Radio Day with you in spirit while tuning in to listen to this great medium called radio!

To read some of our previous blog posts on emergency preparedness https://news.ccrane.com/?s=emergency

Learn more about NOAA.

September is National Preparedness Month

September is Emergency Preparedness month. By now, if you don’t already have your emergency kit ready, here are a few tips from the C. Crane Family that may help you out.

Make a plan

Create a plan for yourself, your family and your pets. Plan how to stay safe and how you will communicate during a major disaster.

Emergency Preparedness KitCreate your Emergency Preparedness Kit

Food and Water is a Must

Have at least one gallon of drinking water per person per day for at least 3 days. Have at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food and a can opener (that’s a must have tool). If you have pets make sure you have food and water for them too.

Emergency Radio with extra batteries.

A reliable way to stay informed at all times during an emergency is with an all hazards weather radio. Radio communication will always stay in operation, with reliable sources like Ham Operators. Ham Operators are local and have equipment ready to help coordinate emergency efforts. The CC Radio 2E is C. Crane’s all hazards AM, FM, Weather and Weather Alert with the 2 Meter Ham Band Radio. It will keep the information flowing. The CC Solar Observer is also a fantastic emergency radio. It covers AM, FM and the Weather band, and can be powered by using the built in hand crank, by the built-in solar panel or by using regular alkaline batteries. It comes with a built in flashlight, and in an emergency, it can charge cell phones. Also make sure you have plenty of extra batteries on hand.

The perfect light to add to your Preparedness Kit

Do have the right light so you can see in a power outage? The New, advanced CC LED Spot XB Spotlight’s brightness is nearly equal to a 100 watt old style incandescent spotlight, and it’s 3 times brighter than our previous model CC LED Spotlight. Not only is the CC LED Spot XB exceptionally bright but it will run with usable light for up to 60 hours. The CC LED Spot XB is lightweight and easy to use. Also, the Unity Plus LED Flashlight is a reliable flashlight to have in your emergency kit. Its light weight, runs on 2 C batteries and will give you up to 22 hours of usable light. The Unity Plus is rugged and is the perfect combination of power, size and weight.

First Aid Kit

Keep it simple. Nothing big, but make sure you have Band-Aids, a bandage wrap, antiseptic, moist and dry towelettes and tweezers in your emergency kit.

Tool Kit

Keep a wrench and pliers in your kit to turn off utilities like gas and water. Also a fire starter that will help to start a fire to help keep you warm.

Personal Items

Keep prescription medications, clothing, blankets and hygiene items in your kit. You don’t know how long you will be put out and being without these items could be life threatening.

Show us what you’ve got

Share this post on Facebook (see share button below) with a picture of your emergency kit or comment on our C. Crane Facebook page with #emergencypreparednesskit2015 and also comment on our blog post with the number one most important item you have in your emergency kit.

You will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a NEW CC Spot XB LED Spotlight. One entry per person. Drawing will be held October 15th.

Congratulations to blog winner Awenner1! Thanks for participating in our Blog post!

How to prepare for an Emergency – Worst storm to hit the Western US in 5 Years

Flooding in California

Flooding in California – AP Photo/Eric Risberg

After an epic drought year, the pendulum has swung completely the other direction here on the West Coast. Forecasters are saying this could be the worst storm to hit the Western United States in 5 years and are calling the torrential downpour the Pineapple Express or Rainageddon. Although it didn’t hit us as hard as predicted, our Northern and Southern neighbors were pummeled. We were all talking here at the shop and realized, many of us aren’t as prepared as we could be.

Everyone hears how important is it to be prepared, but how seriously do you take it? Do you have a plan? Having stored food and water is a priority for survival but what about staying informed when all communication is down? Your local radio stations are the most likely sources of up to the minute information on what’s happening. This is why the CC Solar Observer was built. After the big earthquakes here in 1992, Bob wanted to make sure we had a small, portable radio that worked if the power was out and it had to have weather so listeners could receive NOAA updates.

Everyone thinks these days, “I have a cell phone” but what happens when you’re without power for an extended period of time and have no way to charge your phone? You say, “I’ll use my car”, but we talked to several customer during Hurricane Sandy whose cars were inaccessible because they were under water or destroyed. Or what if the cell towers are jammed or wiped out? Your cell phone will be useless and where does that leave you? Hurricane Sandy in 2012 left 1.3 Million Americans without power, some for up to two weeks. People traveled miles seeking power sources to charge their devices to call loved ones and get updated power recovery information.

Being prepared with not only food and water but with a battery operated radio, flashlight and extra batteries will be your safety net and lifeline. You may not know, but a radio with an active NOAA Weather Alert feature can alert you up to 30 minutes prior to a major storm. That’s enough time to gather what you need and hurry to shelter or to at least get out the flashlights and shut the windows.

Here are some tips for safety and to help get you better prepared for the big storm.

  • Create a preparedness kit that will last 72 hours for each person in your household. Include in your kit- canned food, bottled water, battery operated radio, flashlights, batteries, blankets, clothing and shoes, first aid kit, money (make sure it’s cash – ATMS need power too), Rain gear and specialty items such as medications, infant food and pet food.
  • Consider purchasing a camping stove and extra propane
  • Pick up a few sand bags and sand
  • Camera for photos of damage
  • Stay home and off the roads if appropriate.

Bob’s tip for potable water – A good source for drinking water in your home is your hot water heater. It can provide you with much needed clean drinking water when your local water services have been disrupted. You should filter the water to remove any contaminates present. You can drain the water using the valve on the bottom of the tank. Be sure to turn the gas or electric supply to the water heater off before draining it.

No matter what the emergency whether it’s snowstorms, floods, hurricanes, fires, landslides or earthquakes or natural disaster – We encourage you to check your kit and plan and if you don’t have one make one.

Below are some additional links to local images and new coverage from our recent storms and predictions for some more.

http://www.weather.com/forecast/regional/news/california-rain-flood-threat-drought-relief-middec2014

http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2014/dec/10/images-rainageddon-photosvideos/

http://www.weather.com/forecast/news/california-oregon-washington-west-coast-rain-snow-mid-december

https://www.facebook.com/CaltransD1

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 17!

Congratulations to yesterday’s winners Vimal Senta-40 Wooden Headphones w/ Carry Case & Detachable Fabric Cord and James GeoBulb® Under Cabinet Light Bar II (Cool White)

Today’s Blog Topic is: “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” – Robert H. Schuller — Motivational speaker, author, televangelist and pastor —

Today’s giveaways are the CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Windup Emergency Radio and the GeoBulb®-3 LED Light Bulb (Warm White).To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select two comments in a random drawing and post the winners on Friday morning. Thank you and good luck!

GeoBulb®-3 LED Light Bulb (Warm White) & CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Windup Emergency Radio

GeoBulb®-3 LED Light Bulb (Warm White) & CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Windup Emergency Radio

With radio, you will never get a busy signal!

“Stop all runners on the course.” Was the message heard over radio frequencies across the 26 mile course of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Nearly 150 amateur radio operators were present on this day assisting in communication and emergency efforts at the first aid stations of the marathon.

Whether it’s a natural or man-made disaster radio is the most reliable source of communication for news and information. With radio, you will never get a busy signal.

Tim Carter, amateur radio operator W3ATB and a good friend of C. Crane, was at the 2013 Boston Marathon and experienced first- hand the important role that radio communication can play in a disaster like this.

To read Tim’s entire Boston Marathon story, please visit his ham radio website at http://w3atb.com 

First Aid Station Boston Marathon
This is First Aid Station 12 looking east towards
Chestnut Avenue. Photo Credit: Tim Carter