Everyday household hazards you can avoid

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Everyday household hazards you can avoid

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I would love for all of you to spend 30-45 minutes being the most paranoid people you've ever been--you're conducting a hazard hunt. Take a look, walking through your house, wearing "goggles of protectiveness." I want you to identify all those things that could either cause a hazard, or all of those things that could keep you from getting out of your home safely in the event of an emergency. A good rule of thumb is that if something is taller than it is wide, and it's not bolted down, it's coming over in an earthquake. What we want to do is protect our emergency exits. Go take a look at your kids' bedrooms, your grandchildren's bedrooms, your bedroom as well--you don't want to have anything very heavy hanging or right near your bed that could fall or cause harm, or land on somebody while they're sleeping. We're not worried about the ground opening up and swallowing us whole during an earthquake; what we're worried about is flying objects, so move those objects. Heavier items should be stored on lower shelves. Do you have the "octopus"--the 8 plugs--one electrical outlet? That's something you should have a surge protector for. A nice flammable stack of magazines sitting next to your space heater? Move those now, and you can prevent a home fire. What you want to do is make your home the safest place possible so that when the next disaster strikes, you can get out safely, quickly, and make sure that your family is safe as well.

View Hilary Anderson, MA's video on Everyday household hazards you can avoid...

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Hilary Anderson, MA

American Red Cross

Hilary Anderson has been with the American Red Cross for the past three and a half years as a volunteer and staff member in positions with communications, disaster relief, development and volunteer services. As the Preparedness and Resiliency Manager, her primary responsibility is the delivery of educational programming across the Los Angeles region to get individuals, schools, businesses and organizations prepared for a disaster. As a dog owner, she also hopes to get your pets ready too! Hilary has a master’s degree in International Policy Studies with an emphasis in humanitarian assistance as well as a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Journalism and German. She has worked for non-profits abroad in Israel, Bolivia and Germany focusing on grant writing, youth and education and also feeding and sheltering. 

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