View in Amarillo Texas Feb 25 2013 - NWS-Amarillo

View in Amarillo, Texas on Feb. 25, 2013. (Credit: NWS-Amarillo)

Here are five need-to-know news stories in the world of emergency preparedness for the week of January 4 to January 9.

1. Weather Channel Teaches Blizzard Facts and Myths

Amidst turbulent snowstorms across the United States, the Weather Channel released an infographic explaining the true definition of the term “blizzard” (did you know we’ve all been misusing the term all this time?) and providing little known blizzard facts, such as the existence of a “blizzard alley” across the Midwest. Read more at Don’t forget to stock up on hand warmers and blankets, and snag a portable, propane-powered heater in case of power or gas outages that knock the heat out at home. For more winter preparedness tips, check out these articles.

2. California health officials link measles outbreak to Disneyland

Officials have linked at least nine cases of measles to Disneyland and California Adventure. Three more people are suspected of also carrying the disease. Those ill visited the popular theme parks in late December. Officials are urging those who have visited either park between December 15 and 20 who have symptoms to contact a health care provider immediately. Read more at Protect yourself and your family from outbreaks through proper vaccinations, good sanitation practices, and knowledge of first aid skills. And be sure to keep your first aid kits well-stocked so you can deal with wounds, burns, and breaks at home or on the go.

3. President Obama Signs Mississippi Disaster Declaration

The president has declared a major disaster in Mississippi following a series of tornadoes and severe storms on December 23. Federal funds will be provided to state and local entities for emergency work in Marion County and hazard mitigation across the state. Read more at For tips on tornado preparedness, look here. Think ahead of time where you’ll go in case of a tornado, hurricane, or severe storm, and check out this article for ideas on what to keep in your storm shelter or safe room.

4. ‘Culture of preparedness’ necessary to prevent disasters before they happen in Seychelles

The Republic of Seychelles’ President James Michel is asking the 90,000 island inhabitants to develop a culture of preparedness to help prevent disasters before they occur. Severe weather caused flooding and landslides last weekend on the country’s largest islands. The Republic of Seychelles consists of 115 islands and lies in the Indian Ocean east of Kenya and Tanzania. Read more at Learn how to prepare for floods here. An emergency kit is always a great starting point for any disaster. Work gloves, tools, and your own power supply can also be pretty crucial in the days after a flood.

5. UCSF professor shares quake preparedness tips

Associate Professor of Medicine Matthew Springer of UC San Francisco spoke to a group earlier this week on how to prepare for an earthquake. Springer lectured on the importance of seeking shelter from falling objects underneath something sturdy, as well as building an emergency supply kit. Read more at Replace Earthquake preparedness tips for before, during, and after a quake here. If you have to evacuate from home after a quake because it has become unsafe, you’ll be glad to have an emergency kit in your car and an evacuation plan already in place. More Headlines From Around the Globe This Week:Cold weather preparedness for your homeHyogo to dig wells at schools designated as disaster shelters to ensure water accessRed Cross to offer disaster preparedness trainingWind chills so cold in Midwest they could killNine earthquakes rattle North Texas in under 24 hours -- Caroline
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