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Survival Skills

Wildfire Planning & Resources


Wildfire Planning & Resources

Step One - Create A Communications Plan
This can be done way in advance and always in place for when disaster strikes, not for just when wildfires occur. Designate primary and secondary meeting points, discuss which social media posts you're going to post to to find one another if you become separated. Memorize each others mobile phone numbers. Designated a common family member of friend well removed from the geographic area that you can relay information through. Use a personal protection app like Virtual Halo so you can check in with each other and transmit your exact location (basic services are free). Keep your mobile phones charged and have spare battery chargers fully charged at all times.

Unlike tornadoes, wildfire’s give a little notice so potentially affected residents can take a little action to achieve maximum safety. Below are a group of tools recommended for you to use when preparing for a wildfire. Be safe out there... and good luck!

Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected. Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children or parents are safe? You will most likely have to evacuate. What’s your plan?


Step Two - Develop a Family Emergency Plan
This will include what to do during what type of disaster and should have provisions for when you're home and when you're traveling. had made planning a snap, visit their site here. Immediate steps to take include:

  • How will I receive my warnings?

  • What is my shelter plan?

  • What is my evacuation route?

  • What are the dietary needs of my household?

    • Get any provisions including water, batteries and flashlights that will be needed.

  • What planning do you need to make for your pet(s)?

Step Three - Constantly Review the FEMA Evacuation Guidelines
And follow all directions given by local and state governments. Access FEMA Evacuation Guidelines here

Step Four - Prepare For Evacuation

  • Inside The House

    • Shut all windows and doors, leaving them unlocked.

    • Remove flammable window shades, curtains and close metal shutters.

    • Remove lightweight curtains.

    • Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from windows and doors.

    • Shut off gas at the meter; turn off pilot lights.

    • Leave your lights on so firefighters can see your house under smoky conditions.

    • Shut off the air conditioning.

  • Outside The House

    • Gather up flammable items from the exterior of the house and bring them inside (patio furniture, children’s toys, door mats, trash cans, etc.) or place them in your pool.

    • Turn off propane tanks.

    • Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures.

    • Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters. Fill water buckets and place them around the house.

    • Don’t leave sprinklers on or water running, they can affect critical water pressure.

    • Leave exterior lights on so your home is visible to firefighters in the smoke or darkness of night.

    • Put your Emergency Supply Kit in your vehicle.

    • Back your car into the driveway with vehicle loaded and all doors and windows closed. Carry your car keys with you.

    • Have a ladder available and place it at the corner of the house for firefighters to quickly access your roof.

    • Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals.

    • Patrol your property and monitor the fire situation. Don’t wait for an evacuation order if you feel threatened.

    • Check on neighbors and make sure they are preparing to leave.

  • Animals

    • Locate your pets and keep them nearby.

    • Prepare farm animals for transport and think about moving them to a safe location early.

When waiting out a wildfire, be careful, the danger may not be over yet when everything looks clear. Each locale will distribute information differently. During the Napa Valley fires in 2017, they had a community-wide text service to let residents of the valley know what was going on and happening. Stay alert to local broadcasts and sign up for text alerts and download relevant apps if available.

After the wildfire, wait until your area is declared safe by emergency management personnel before returning home. And remember, recovering from a natural disaster is often a gradual process. Good luck and be safe!



How Schools Can Improve Student Safety


How Schools Can Improve Student Safety

A lot of schools are already taking steps to ensure their students are safe and secure while on campus or in classes with blue-light phones and campus security, but with modern advancements they can go the extra mile by downloading a user-friendly and reliable application on student smart devices that enables them to get help at the touch of a button: Campus Halo.


Campus Halo Was Designed with the Student in Mind

Campus Halo is a personal safety application that can be downloaded directly every student’s smart device, such as their phone and Apple Watch. Since they already travel these devices, whether to stay in communication with friends and family or take notes in classes, it’s a simple solution to aid in student safety. Plus, the SOS feature is free to all students of select campuses, so they don’t have to worry about any associated fees.

Students Can Connect Directly to Campus Security

Unlike blue-light phones, students always have their personal devices with them wherever they are, so if a dangerous situation arises they don’t have to worry about searching for help and safety. Instead, they can use their device to push an SOS button to send a notification that goes directly to campus security with the student’s exact location. This eliminates the extra time it would take to find help, so thestudent gets the assistance they need that much more quickly.

Campus Halo is Making Campuses Safer

With help just an SOS button away, students can feel safer on campus and have peace of mind as they make their way to and from classes. In the event of an emergency situation, Campus Halo is there with instant notifications that get help to them faster than most other campus security measures. By keeping school populations safer, we are helping to increase the security of everyone. Learn more about Campus Halo here.


The Perfect Christmas Present For Your Delivery Driver


The Perfect Christmas Present For Your Delivery Driver

It’s that time of year again! The time when everyone is rushing out last minute gifts, shipping the latest must-have items to friends and family and sending off wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

But while you are wrapping your presents and sealing those envelopes, be sure to keep your delivery driver in mind. They can visit hundreds of addresses in a single day, which may put them in less-traveled areas they may or may not be as familiar with. While they travel their route, they could also be putting their safety at risk.


So here is why Virtual Halo is the perfect Christmas present for your delivery driver:

Their Loved Ones Know Where They Are

This time of year we all have our friends and loved ones at the forefront of our minds, this is especially true for the families of delivery drivers. As they make their deliveries, Virtual Halo lets them check in with their loved ones to let them know they are safe. The app is designed to allow them to check in, telling their loved ones they are okay, or send them a note when they have arrived to designated locations. This way, if they are late returning to the office or home, they have instant access to a quick and easy way to let their loved ones know.

They Can Get Help When They Need It

With its instant SOS notification feature, Virtual Halo is a personal safety app that gives the delivery driver access to help when they need it. If they encounter a dangerous situation, they can use the app to send an SOS alert to their loved ones and let them know they need help. The app will send their loved ones a notification in addition to their last known GPS location. This way, they can call for help, and it will quickly be on its way.

Keeping Families Safe

Ultimately, when you gift your delivery driver with the Virtual Halo app for their phone, you are giving them the gift of safety, and their loved ones the gift of peace of mind. They will always have access to help if they need it, and they will always be connected with their loved ones. This is just one small way Virtual Halo is working to keep families connected and safe this Holiday season.


My Group Is Gone! Use This To Alert Them


My Group Is Gone! Use This To Alert Them

Group outings can be extremely fun, but for the safety-conscious they can also be a significant source of stress or anxiety. At Virtual Halo, we value your safety, and your sanity, so we have developed a solution that will keep you and your entire group safe, sound and connected no matter where you go. That way if a member of your group scampers off into the unknown on an adventure of their own, you will know how to find them and they will always have a way to get back to you.


Here is how you can stay alert when you are in a group with Virtual Halo:

More Than Just a Personal Safety App

Virtual Halo was designed with adventurers and thrill-seekers in mind, but with all of the features this personal safety app offers, it has become much more than that. The app is now used by travelers, employees, mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, friends… the list goes on!

With features like SOS, Check-In, Going Out and I’m OK, the app has opened up a whole new world of safety. So when it comes to going out with friends or family in a group, making sure you each have the app installed is a vital part of staying together.

Alert Your Group (When You Need To)

When you have Virtual Halo installed, you get to select your own list of emergency contacts. These contacts are the ones that will be notified in the event of an emergency, or if you happen to venture a little too far when you go off on your solo adventuring. You can alert the group with a quick SOS if you are in trouble, or send them an I’m OK so they do not need to worry.

The best part? Only the contacts you approve of will have access to your location information. That means you do not have to worry about the eyes of Big Brother or other unauthorized access to your personal privacy. When you need help, the app will send your most recent GPS location to your emergency contacts, but it will never grant access to your information unnecessarily.

Download the App and Stay Connected

Before your next group outing, be sure to have everyone download Virtual Halo to their smartphones and Apple Watches. This way, you can set each other as emergency contacts and if someone wanders off, you can all get back together again, safely.


How To Turn Your iPhone & Apple Watch Into Intuitive Life Savers


How To Turn Your iPhone & Apple Watch Into Intuitive Life Savers

What’s the one thing you always carry with you no matter where you go?

Your phone.

Basically like a mini computer, these handheld devices are used for more than just making phone calls. They can grant you access to the internet, send a message across the world in a matter of seconds, and now - they can be used to send an instant SOS.

Here’s how you can turn your Apple into an intuitive life saver:

Step One: Download the Virtual Halo App

Start by visiting the app store and searching for Virtual Halo, your new personal safety app for students, travelers, adventurers and anyone on the go. From there, download the app to your phone and Apple Watch. When you open the app for the first time, you will be prompted to sign in or create an account. Follow the on-screen instructions to get the app set up to where getting help is as simple as the push of a button.

Step Two: Stay Safe with Reactive and Pro-active Features

Once the app is set up, getting help is as easy as one-two- three. Within your account, you should have an emergency contact list. The app will send your SOS message along with your last known GPS coordinates whenever you send an alert for help. When you don’t need it, the app will still be running in the background (without granting anyone visibility to your location without your permission), so you can enjoy the thrill of adventure without worrying about Big Brother.


Step Three: Get Help When You Need It

With SOS, Check-in, Going Out and I’m OK features, you can go adventuring more comfortably knowing you have access to help when you need it. Virtual Halo has been designed with virtually everyone in mind, from children to traveling businessmen, and its features allow customization to work for everyone. Keep your emergency contacts in-the- know, or reserve the app for a quick SOS only when you need to. No matter how you use it, Virtual Halo turns your iPhone and Apple Watch into intuitive life savers.