What is NOAA and NWS?

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Eel River Delta Flooding in Ferndale, CA
  Photo Courtesy of Humboldt Office of Emergency Services.

NOAA is a government agency and stands for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Many people think NOAA is just weather but these folks have some of the most amazing super computers and satellites that help to provide data both above and below ground to monitor anything and everything related to weather and climate. They also monitor oceans and coasts; are involved in fisheries and marine sanctuaries; administer fleets of ships, aircraft and trains through their Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) and maintain the nations nautical charts. And you thought they only issued alerts when there were weather related advisories!

The National Weather Service is a division of NOAA. They provide weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy. This is probably what most of us are familiar with. In particular C. Crane uses the NOAA Weather Radio Service as part of many of the radios we manufacture. Several of our radios even have the ability to issue an alert if there is an emergency.

Over the years, we’ve received several letters, testimonials and reviews from folks who were extremely grateful to own a radio during an emergency and even a few who are certain that the warnings issued kept them out of harm’s way.

With all of the recent weather we’ve experienced here in Northern California, we’re reminded how important it is to be prepared and how much having a battery operated (or a wind up) radio assists with that goal. Below are some pictures of the flooding and downed trees we’ve been experiencing. Our Governor, declared a state of emergency for our county as well as many others in California due to all of the storms.

Tell us in the comments how radio (whether one of ours or not) has helped you during a storm or other emergency and be entered to win the CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable Radio. Please one entry per person. Drawing to be held February 13th 2017.

Congratulations JB Quayle on your win of the CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable Radio!

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Ferndale Road. Photo Courtesy of Annette Adams

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You may think this is the Amazon River, but it’s actually the Eel River at flood stage moving at 300,000 cubic feet per second. Photo Courtesy Bob Crane.

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Hiking in Avenue of the Giants. Photo Courtesy Seth Downey

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Watching the waters rise. Photo courtesy Deanna Tocyzl

 

 

Top 10 Emergency Preparedness Tips

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With September being 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

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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.

Spring is Here!

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SugarLoaf – Petrolia, CA. Photo courtesy Colton Stokesberry

Well, at least in Northern California it is. The daffodils and tulips have been blooming and now the Rhododendrons are here. With all the rain this past winter things are looking more beautiful than ever. We are so fortunate and blessed to live where we do. We swear we aren’t trying to rub it into our friends in the Midwest and the South that have been battling late winter storms that include snow, flash floods and even fires possibly caused by lightening.

With Spring in the air, household projects ensue. Yard work, windows, cleaning out closets or even more ambitious projects like new flooring or decking– you name it – the honey-do list is getting long! One thing that can make any project more enjoyable and go by faster, is good audio. Listening to your favorite music like Bob’s good old old rock and roll from Russia, your favorite radio show or even audio books or podcasts will make the time fly by and studies have shown music can improve your mood and make you more productive.

Several of us here at C. Crane have preferences but the Senta Ally always comes out near the top because of its versatility. Great for listening to Pandora or MLB through Bluetooth from your smartphone. Listen to your playlist or downloaded podcasts on your iPod or even an SD Card. If the whole house doesn’t want to listen to your choices (we think you should barter for help, but in the event that isn’t an option…..) we have great earbud and headphone choices. Get that book you’ve been wanting to read off your list and have a beautiful yard at the same time! And of course, the faithful stand by – a good radio. We even have a kit for people who need some noise reduction.

What’s on your honey-do list and are you listening while you work? If yes, what do you listen to? Enter your answer in the comments to win your choice of the Senta Ally or Senta Wooden Headphones. Winner will be drawn on May 5th. Limit one entry per person.

Congratulations to winner Wanda Welsh! Thank you for participating in our blog post Spring is Here!

April is Earthquake Preparedness Month, Are You Ready for the “Big One”?

A two story house collapses during a 6.2 magnitude earthquake

A two story house collapses during a 6.2 magnitude earthquake

As I just drifted off to sleep that Sunday evening, suddenly I heard the wine rack rattling and felt the bed shaking and shifting. I quickly sat up and yelled to my husband “We are having an earthquake!” He calmly said “It’s ok. It will be over soon.” The light fixture continued to sway at least another 45 seconds after it was over. It wasn’t the “Big One” but it was a 6.9 and shook us pretty good. To my amazement the earthquake that struck on March 9th, 2014 didn’t cause severe damage to us here in Humboldt County.

California is not the only state that has the potential of being hit by the “Big One”. This past March Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming was rocked by a 4.8, followed by several aftershocks with magnitudes ranking over 3.0. This past Saturday, April 12th, Oklahoma was hit with over 48 earthquakes larger than a 2.5 magnitude. That same day Idaho was also shook by a 4.9.

These states aren’t the only ones being “rattled”. Chile was struck by a devastating 6.7 quake on March 16th that caused major damage. More than 100,000 people had to briefly evacuate their homes.

The destruction of an earthquake is shocking and not something that can be avoided. You may even think your state, city or town will never see a quake. However, earthquakes are becoming more common and everyone should be prepared for when a catastrophe occurs.

Here are some useful tips for preparing for an Earthquake:
• Create a preparedness kit that will last for (at the very least) 72 hours. Include canned foods, water, a radio, flashlights, batteries, blankets, clothing and shoes, a first aid kit, money, a pipe wrench for turning off the gas and water, and specialty items such as medications, infant food and pet food.

• Know the safest places in each room of your home, such as under a sturdy table or against walls.

• Know the most dangerous places in each room to avoid, such as near windows, mirrors, fireplaces or near any hanging objects.

• Create a plan for where your family will meet if separated during an earthquake.

• Secure your water heater by strapping it to wall studs.

• Know where the gas and water valves are and how to shut them off.

Below are some additional links to information that may help you and your loved ones be prepared. http://www.calema.ca.gov/NewsandMedia/Pages/Current%20News%20and%20Events/Earthquake-Preparedness.aspx

http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/earthquakes/supplies.asp

http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240216_Earthquake.pdf