Friday, September 3, 2010

Cheerful Holiday Tips from New Mexico's Office of Homeland Security

Take safety precautions if swimming or boating?

Don't drink and drive?

Don't burn down your house when you barbecue?

Naw, that's kid stuff. The state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management wants us to enjoy Labor Day weekend by preparing for Y2K -- 10 and half years late.

Cabinet Secretary John W. Wheeler is urging New Mexicans to take some time this weekend to make an emergency plan and an emergency kit. “The Governor has declared this Preparedness Month in New Mexico and we want everyone to be prepared for emergencies and all hazards.”

“Three days worth of food, water and other supplies is what we recommend” says Wheeler, adding that in addition to food and water you should have some emergency cash in case you can’t access your bank account, copies of important papers, a flashlight with extra batteries, a battery powered radio or one that winds up and of course, extra cell phone batteries.

Wheeler cautions that if you have small children or infants that you make special provisions for them. If there are special needs members of your family, make sure you take this into account when you assemble your kit.

Before you put the kit together “We recommend you sit down with the family and make an emergency plan. What you will do in case of an emergency or disaster. How you will evacuate if you need to and where family members will meet in case you are separated.” You also need to be aware of what emergencies may occur in your area.

“Our pets are also important members of our families, so a pet emergency kit and first aid kit is also something you should have. Plan on a gallon of water a day for your pet and each member of your household. Put a whistle in your kit in case you need to let rescue workers know where you are,” Wheeler concludes.

Now I'm worried. Do they know something we don't know?

Don't forget your duct tape. Have safe and secure Labor Day.

UPDATE: Just to be clear, the illustration of the bomb shelter above was not from the good folks at Homeland Security. It was my embellishment as an attempt at humor.


  1. Story idea: show up at cabinet secretaries' homes unannounced and ask them to show you their emergency plans and kits. Award prizes accordingly.

  2. Nothing to look at here citizen, just keep moving downwind.

    DEFENSE NUCLEAR FACILITIES SAFETY BOARD July 24, 2009 MEMORANDUM FOR: T. J. Dwyer, Technical Director FROM: B. Broderick and R.T. Davis SUBJECT: Los Alamos Report for Week Ending July 24, 2009

    Emergency Management: On Thursday, LANL conducted its annual full scale emergency exercise. The exercise simulated an explosion in the Beryllium Technology Facility foundry resulting in several worker casualties and a release of Beryllium from the facility. At one point, the exercise had to be paused for several hours when key participants including Los Alamos County Fire Department, LANL Emergency Response and LANL Emergency Management personnel were called away to deal with an actual hazardous material event, discussed below. Work has begun on an exercise after-action report that will analyze performance and identify opportunities for improvement.

  3. Duck and cover?

    The Los Alamos County All-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan is at