COLD WEATHER EMERGENCIES
Winter adventures can be exciting, as long as
you are well-prepared. Frigid winder conditions make the
proper choice and use of clothing vital.
The Michigan Sheriffs' Association recommends you keep warm by following the "COLD" method:
When you hear that someone has "died of exposure", the killer may have actually been hypothermia - from hypo, meaning "low" and thermia, meaning "heat". Hypothermia occurs when the body is losing more heat than it can generate.
How to spot it: A victim of hypothermia begins feeling chilly, tired and irritable. If they do not receive help, they will begin to shiver. Soon their shivering becomes violent, the bodies best defense against hypothermia, as their body tries to generate heat. The victim cannot clearly think to take care of themselves. They may stumble and fall. If the victim continues to become chilled, the shivering will stop and they will be close to death.
If someone is showing any symptoms of hypothermia, take action immediately. Get the patient warm by moving them indoors or into a warm vehicle. Get off any wet clothes they may be wearing. Wrap them in fry warm garments such as a blanket or sleeping bag. Warming MUST take place slowly. Do not place them in a hot bath. Sudden warm-up will place the victim in shock and the shock, not the cold will kill them. Do not give an unconscious patient anything by mouth and call for help.
Flesh that has been exposed to low temperatures is in danger of freezing and the longer the exposure, the more damaging the injury. Farthest from the bodies core are the toes, fingers, cheeks, ears & nose and are the most susceptible to frostbite.
How to spot it: As flesh freezes, it may become painful and then numb, although the victim seldom realizes what is happening. If the freezing continues, the area will stiffen and become a grayish or whitish color.
Get the affected area warm and keep it warm. In the field, thaw fingers by holding them beneath your clothes and under your armpits. Press a bare palm over a frosted nose, ears, and cheeks. Wrap toes and feet in a warm blanket. DO NOT use hot water or hold the injury close to a heat source. DO NOT rub with snow. Excessive heat and abrasion can cause serious tissue damage. Above all, this person requires medical attention. CALL FOR HELP.
Sudden facial contact with cold water (below 70 degrees) touches off a body reflex called the "mammalian diving reflex". This complex series of body responses shuts off blood circulation to most parts of the body except the hear, lungs and brain. It has happened to all of us, an example is, step into a cold shower when you think it is warm, you gasp and say something. This involuntary gasp or reflexive sucking in of air is this "diving reflex". Your body, through this automatic, bellow like action of your lungs, is trying to expand oxygen intake rapidly. This "diving reflex", is the body’s way of conserving what little oxygen remains in the blood so that it gets transported to the brain. Many "good" swimmers become "non-swimmers" because water is often sucked into the respiratory track when they get "dumped" into cold water suddenly, creating a "drowning" situation.
While we know little of the human diving reflex, scientists know that diving mammals like whales and seals depend on a similar mechanism to survive long periods submerged.
By itself, the "mammalian diving reflex" won't protect the victim. Survival also depends on the following:
What to do in a cold water emergency
Winter driving tips:
Things to include in your vehicle during winter driving
Tips to Keep You Safe
The holidays, a time for cheer, hope and joy are here, but with them can come an increase in crime. Crooks love the holidays as much as everyone else because they represent an increased opportunity. To help your shopping go safely the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association offers the following tips:
PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR HOLIDAY ABSENCES
Take Steps to Avoid Being a Target for Burglars!
As family and friends reunite this holiday season many leave their houses empty, which is tempting to burglars. The Michigan Sheriffs' Association encourages you to take the following steps to make your absence less noticeable and your home less attractive to burglars.
· Remember to lock all doors and windows – even the doors that open into your garage. Those garage doors are easier to open than you think.
· Make sure your locks are sturdy – all entry doors should have deadbolts. If your entry doors have windows in them make sure your deadbolt is keyed on both sides and DON’T leave the key in the inside lock.
· Make sure you put your newspaper and mail delivery on hold before you leave. Burglars really do look for piled up newspapers and mail as a sign your home is empty. Leaving mail unattended for days also opens you up to potential identity theft.
· Make arrangements for a neighbor to create car and foot tracks to your house if it snows while you’re gone. You should arrange for someone to shovel your sidewalks and driveway while you’re away too.
· A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town you can buy a device which works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television.
· Make sure someone you trust in your neighborhood knows you’re out of town so they can watch for anything suspicious. Nosy neighbors are a great deterrent because burglars will break a window to get in knowing that most people will stop if they hear a sound but if the sound doesn’t repeat they will shrug it off. Your neighbor is more likely to call the police if they know you’re out of town and it can’t be you making that noise.
· Avoid announcing your vacation on Facebook or any other social networking site. It’s easier than you think to find your address.
HOLIDAY SHOPPING ON-LINE?
Safety Tips to Avoid ID Theft
On-line shopping is a great way to save time, travel and money, but it can be a hazard if you don't take steps to protect your identity. The Michigan Sheriffs' Association has several tips to help make your on-line shopping experience a safe one.
· Never give out your Social Security number! Reputable on-line merchants should never require you to submit your social security number.
· Only shop using secure Web sites. Most websites will have a pop up screen indicating that they have a security certificate, a “lock” should also appear in the bottom corner of your browser window. Use only reputable Web sites that you are familiar with. Unfamiliar companies can be checked by searching the Better Business Bureau Web site at www.bbb.org or by calling the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division toll free at 1-877-765-8388. If you are in doubt, don’t order!
· Check out the merchant’s privacy and security policies. Some merchants ask for personal information to sell to other merchants, direct marketers, and even telemarketers. Read their on-line privacy and security policies so that you know where your information is going. Some merchants will allow you to opt out of giving this information.
· Avoid “spam” by creating an e-mail account that you use only for ordering. With Yahoo and Hotmail among others offering free e-mail accounts it’s easy to create a secondary account that you use to place on-line orders. Any e-mails you receive to that account would then be solely order confirmations and unsolicited emails. Making it easier for you to ignore seemingly legitimate phishing scams. Never respond to unsolicited emails asking you for personal information. Legitimate sites such as Pay Pal will never send you an email asking for personal information. If you receive such an email do not click on the link, this may direct you to a fraudulent website. Open a new browser window, type in the legitimate website, and follow their instructions for reporting a suspected fraudulent email.
· Use the same credit card when making all on-line purchases. If you use only one credit card for all your on-line purchases it will make it easier for you to track them and identify any fraudulent transactions. Fraudulent transactions can result from on-line merchants mishandling your credit card information. If you use a card that has a relatively low credit limit this can also prevent thieves from obtaining authorizations for large purchases.
· Watch those shipping charges. Carefully check and compare shipping and handling charges before ordering. Some merchants will add 10% to 15% to the purchase price, making what seemed like a great deal into a bad deal. Keep in mind there are lots of on-line merchants that will give you free shipping if you meet a minimum purchase amount, but if you go below that amount it can cost a lot!
· Print out and keep all copies of receipts. Keep all you receipts in an organized file that you can easily access in case of any problems. Matching those receipts with the packing lists that come with the products will ensure you receive everything that you ordered.
FIREARM DEER SEASON IS OPEN
Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety
November 15th marks an unofficial holiday in Michigan when firearm deer season opens. As you take to the woods this year the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association would like to remind you to be sure you follow all rules and safety procedures. The DNR has stated that despite the effects of the EHD virus there are no changes in harvest limits for this year’s firearm season. The DNR does encourage you to report any deer you find that have been killed due to this virus. Reports of EHD have declined in recent weeks due to the cooler weather. Reports from the DNR for deer harvested during the archery season thus far are on par with the past few years.
Remember the 10 Commandments of Firearm Safety
1. Watch that muzzle! Keep it pointed in a safe direction at all times.
2. Treat every firearm with the respect due a loaded gun. It might be, even if you think it isn’t.
3. Be sure of the target and what is in front of it and beyond it. Know the identifying features of the game you hunt. Make sure you have an adequate backstop --- don’t shoot at a flat, hard surface or water.
4. Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot. This is the best way to prevent an accidental discharge.
5. Check your barrel and ammunition. Make sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions and carry only the proper ammunition for your firearm.
6. Unload firearms when not in use. Leave actions open/ carry firearms in cases and unloaded to and from the shooting area.
7. Point a firearm only at something you intend to shoot. Avoid all horseplay with a gun.
8. Don’t run, jump or climb with a loaded firearm. Unload a firearm before you climb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch. Pull a firearm toward you by the butt, not the muzzle.
9. Store firearms and ammunition separately and safely. Store each in secured locations beyond the reach of children and careless adults.
10. Avoid alcoholic beverages before or during shooting. Also avoid mind or behavior altering medicines or drugs.
Citizen Member Update
Citizen Member Update
HIDDEN DANGERS OF FACEBOOK
It seems like everyone, from tweens to octogenarians and beyond, is on Facebook these days. Even your favorite non-profit organization (The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, who else?) has a Facebook page. It’s a great way to keep up with friends and family members who live far away. Photos and videos can be easily shared. But are you sure it’s just your family and friends you’re sharing these things with?
Sure everyone has heard the common warnings like “Don’t post that you’re going (or are) on vacation”, “Don’t meet anyone you’ve just friended on Facebook” and “Don’t reveal your full birthdate”. If you use common sense you should be fine, right? If only it were that easy! Here’s a look into several hidden dangers.
1. Your information is being shared with third parties
2. Privacy settings revert to a less safe default mode after each redesign
3. Facebook ads may contain malware
4. Your real friends unknowingly make you vulnerable
5. Predators are creating fake profiles
Is your information really private? It doesn’t matter what you’ve set your security settings at – there are ways third parties can access information about you. Do you play games or take quizzes? Every time you do that you authorize an application to be downloaded to your profile which gives information to third parties. And have you ever noticed that those ads on the side seem suspiciously tailored to you? Maybe you post about the new kitten you adopted or “like” a local humane society or rescue shelter’s page. Notice a correlation? Yes, Facebook is personalizing itself for you.
Have you updated to the new Facebook Timeline? Perhaps you’ve even moved beyond that to the next design, whatever that may be. With every Facebook redesign, which happens at least a few times a year, your privacy settings revert back to the default. Which essentially means all of your information is made public.
Protect your computer from malware – don’t click on those tempting banner ads. If you’re interested in more information Google the company and go directly to their website. If there is a special being offered any reputable company will have it on their website too. Facebook is the largest social networking site there is, period. There is no way they can possibly screen all of their ads.
Do you know all your friend’s friends? One of the security settings on Facebook allows friends of your friends to see your comments and view your photos. You may think this is innocuous – after all you trust your friends, right? Studies have concluded that 40% of all Facebook profiles are fake. So while you may personally know each and every one of your 156 friends, are you sure that all 156 of them know all their friends? Scammers create on-line personas to capture your personal information. If you let friends of friends see your information and they let friends of friends see their information… well you can see where this is going. You’ve just made some scammer’s day.
How can you possibly be at a risk for number five? Well, do you know every single one of your Facebook friends in real life? Are you sure that long lost high school acquaintance is who he/she says? So you were a member of the Class of Whatever Year at Your Town High School. A predator sees your posting (complete with the most flattering photo possible of course), goes to the local library (or heck, even on-line), finds your yearbook and creates a Facebook page for someone you’re pictured with. Sound crazy? Of course it does – because this person is mentally ill. Now you friend him (or her) because hey, you had 4th period together thirty years ago and wasn’t Mrs. So and So such a you-know-what? Of course you’re not going to tell him exactly where you live but now he knows the city you live in and what you look like. He may even know where you’re going to be with your friends on Friday night, since you set up that girls’ night out via Facebook. Now you’re being stalked IRL (in real life).
Now that you’re ready to close out your Facebook account, stop blogging, pay all your bills in person and perhaps never even leave your house… there is something you can do to protect yourself.
1. Realize that yes, your information is going to be shared with third parties. This doesn’t have to be the end of the world.
a. Play those on-line games at your own risk. You are inviting scammers in when you play them.
b. Don’t click on links in ads, posts or emails. If you see a story you want to read – Google it. If you see an offer you want more information about – Google it. You don’t have to Google it – you can use any reliable search engine – but you get the idea. Clicking is easy and scammers are counting on the fact that most people will take the easy way.
2. Check your Facebook privacy settings regularly. Daily and weekly probably isn’t necessary, but at least once a month would be wise. Especially remember to check them after Facebook rolls out any design changes.
3. Invest in good anti-virus software (and make sure it’s not one you get from clicking on an ad – those can sometimes be viruses themselves) and USE IT REGULARLY!
4. Remember to keep your security settings as tight as possible (Friends ONLY). If you want some of your friend’s friends to see your posts – well then send them a friend request.
5. Remember that strangers are strangers and long lost buddies are not always who they say they are.
a. Choose your on-line friends as carefully as you do in real life.
b. Don’t make Girls’ Nights Out or other gatherings public – restrict them to those invited.
c. Remember uploaded photos can contain GPS information. Not sure? Did you take them with your smart phone? Well then, yes they do unless you’ve purposely disabled this feature. Maybe you didn’t announce you’re on vacation but your pictures tell another story.
d. Treat long-lost buddies with caution. Before friending them send a private message and ask a few questions. There have to be memories that weren’t posted for the world in your yearbook or on-line. Ask a few questions that only that person would know and then decide.
As always, the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association and your local Sheriff encourage you to exercise caution. While following the tips in this article can help to keep you safe, there are no guarantees in life. Remember, when in doubt, check it (or them) out!
SCHOOL BUS SAFETY: DRIVERS NEED TO BE EXTRA CAUTIOUS AS KIDS GET BACK-TO-SCHOOL
Summer days are waning away and the start of school is here. The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association encourages drivers to cut down distractions and concentrate on the road as kids of all ages get back to school.
Children are often eager to get on and off the bus because they are excited to get to school and they are also excited to get home and tell their parents about their day. The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association has some safety measures for both students – and motorists – to help ensure safety for everyone.
Tips for Students
· Always arrive at the bus stop early.
· Prior to boarding, wait until the bus has some to a complete stop, the door is opened and the bus driver says that it’s OK to board.
· Once on board proceed quickly to your seat and stay sitting until the bus arrives at your school or other drop off location.
· Do not move around on the bus.
· Always walk on the sidewalk when preparing to cross the street near a bus. Make eye contact with the driver so that you are sure he or she sees you.
· Never walk behind the bus.
· If you are walking beside the bus, make sure you are at least 10 feet (10 “giant” steps) away.
· Take extra precaution to make sure that clothing with drawstrings and book bags do not get caught in the hand rail or door.
· Never stop to pick something up you have dropped while the bus is stopped. Wait until the bus has driven off to avoid not being seen by the driver.
Tips for Motorists
· Remember that children are unpredictable in their actions. Take extreme caution when traveling in a school zone.
· If you live in an area where there are no sidewalks, drive cautiously. Be more alert to the possibility of children walking in the road.
· Be more aware of children playing near school bus stops.
· Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
· Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
· Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
· Put down your phone – don’t talk or text while driving!
· Slow down and prepare to stop whenever you see yellow school bus lights flashing.
· Never pass a school bus when there are flashing red lights. This is a sign that children are getting off the bus – and it’s the law!
Traveling to and from School
· Plan a walking route to school or the bus stop. Choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and, if possible, with intersections that have crossing guards.
· Walk the route with your child beforehand. Tell him or her to stay away from parks, vacant lots, fields and other places where there aren’t many people around.
· Teach your child never to talk to strangers, accept rides from strangers or accept gifts from strangers. Remember, a stranger is anyone you or your children don’t know well or don’t trust.
· Be sure your child walks to and from school or the bus stop with a sibling, friend or neighbor.
· Teach your kids – whether walking, biking or riding the bus to school – to obey all traffic signals, signs and traffic officers. Remind them to be extra careful in bad weather.
· When driving kids, deliver and pick them up as close to the school as possible. Don’t leave until they are in the schoolyard or building.
· If your child bikes to school make sure he wears a helmet that meets safety standards. Research indicates that a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85%.
· If your child rides a scooter to school, make sure she wears sturdy shoes, al helmet, kneepads and elbow pads. Children under 12 should not ride motorized scooters.
· Be sure your child knows his or her home (or parents’ cellular) phone number(s) and address. They should also know where you work, your work phone number, the phone number of another trusted adult and how to call 911 for emergencies.
PREVENT BULLYING – TIPS TO HELP YOU AND YOUR CHILD
Bullying, when one child picks on another repeatedly, it is an increasing problem in schools. Bullying can be physical, verbal or social. One only has to think of the most recent school shooting to know that bullying can have tragic consequences. The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association wants to help you ensure your child is safe from bullying at school and promote an atmosphere where problems can be worked out constructively, rather than violently. The following are just a few tips to help you whether your child is being bullied, your child IS the bully or your child observes bullying.
When your Child is Bullied
· Help your child learn how to respond by teaching your child how to:
o Look the bully in the eye.
o Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation.
o Walk away.
· Teach your child how to say in a firm voice:
o I don’t like what you are doing.
o Please do NOT talk to me like that.
o Why would you say that?
· Teach your child when and how to ask for help.
· Encourage your child to make friends with other children.
· Support activities that interest your child.
· Alert school officials to the problems and work with them on solutions.
· Make sure an adult who knows about the bullying can watch out for your child’s safety and well-being when you cannot be there.
When your Child IS the Bully
· Be sure your child knows that bullying is NEVER OK.
· Set firm and consistent limits on your child’s aggressive behavior.
· Be a positive role model. Show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening or hurting someone.
· Use effective, non-physical discipline, such as loss of privileges.
· Develop practical solutions with the school principal, teachers, counselors, and parents of the children your child has bullied.
When your Child is a Bystander
· Tell your child not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying.
· Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying.
· Help your child support other children who may be bullied. Encourage your child to include these children in activities.
· Encourage your child to join with others in telling bullies to stop.
PREPARE YOUR HOME OFFICE FOR THE FALL & PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY
As the fall weather moves in, the Michigan Sheriffs' Association encourages you to take steps to protect your identity. From tax documents to medical bills and store receipts, your home office is filled with confidential information that can lead to identity theft. While it's easy to think identity thieves only prey on electronic data, criminals are notorious for sifting through garbage in search of confidential information.
The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association recommends their “top 5” tips for cleaning and protecting your home office:
1. Begin with the basics: sort through the piles of paperwork on your desk and in your office drawers. Place them into two categories: ‘save’ and ‘shred’.
2. Organize the ‘save’ pile into labeled folders and be sure to put anything confidential into a fire-proof lock box. The ‘shred’ pile should be properly disposed of with a cross-cut shredder. Cross-cut technology is an important feature because it provides high security, destroying confidential information into unidentifiable pieces.
3. Get a digital makeover. Refresh your home office computer by deleting files you no longer use and backing-up important data onto an external hard drive. Clean out your inbox and change all passwords. Refreshing your computer is a good practice to follow periodically throughout the year.
4. Plan ahead by purchasing organizational tools for your desk, such as computer risers or file folder holders. This will help clear clutter from your desk top while keeping things within arm’s reach.
5. Get rid of dust and germs that easily build up on office equipment such as keyboards, telephone and cabinets. While this won’t necessarily protect you from identity theft, you will feel instantly more productive with a clean work space.