Monday, May 30, 2011

Everyone Needs To Read This Article Right Now

I was going to write a blogpost today about the Joplin tornadoes BUT when scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I came upon this article:

Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning

I had absolutely no idea. According to Mario Vittone, Marine Safety Specialist with the United States Coast Guard Sector:

Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them, “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all – they probably are. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents – children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.

The article goes on to list the specific symptoms of someone drowning. This is pretty much required reading for anyone involved in water sports or aquatics.

It reminds me of what to do when someone's choking--they always say that if a person is able to say, "Hey! I'm choking!" then they're fine. It's only when someone is unable to speak that you've got a medical emergency on your hands.

But really, people. It's easy! When in doubt, just yell out, "Are you okay?" If the person says yes, then you'll just look like a particularly caring bystander. If they cannot respond, then you've got to get a trained professional in the water to rescue them immediately.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wasp Spray and the Panic Button on your Car Keys

My mother forwarded me an email the other day with some safety tips. Usually these are full of pretty unhelpful ideas along the lines of "Use your keys to stab out your attacker's eyes!" "If someone is shooting at you, run in zig-zags! A moving target is harder to hit!" I take special umbrage with the "use your keys" scenario, because in my (very limited, admittedly) experience of trying to get away from an aggressive, drunk male, it didn't work so well. Because men are stronger than women.

This is a tough pill to swallow, admittedly. But it's true. We'll deal with that in a separate post.

But I strongly believe that the danger most women today will encounter does not involve knowing how to kick the taillights out from inside of a trunk (where you have been placed in order to kidnap you), or knowing how to outmaneuver bullets from a gun. It will come from being assaulted, perhaps by someone you know and trust. Another tough pill to swallow, another truth, and another thing to deal with in a separate post.

BUT BACK TO THE EMAIL from my mom. It had two pretty awesome tips:

1) Keep a can of wasp spray around, specifically around your workspace (if you have to do things like count money and are worried about being robbed but really don't want to buy a gun because the thought of shooting another person in the face isn't that appealing to you). Also put one in your home. When someone tries to rob you or attack you, spray it in their eyeballs. Most of these babies have a twenty-foot reach, so you won't have to get too close to the person.

This has the added benefit of not being too conspicuous--you might get some weird looks and asinine comments from your coworkers about a can of pepper spray or a crowbar, but wasp spray is pretty harmless looking. ALSO you can use it to kill wasps. Which is handy.

2) IF you have one of those fancy cars with a panic button on the car keys, keep your car keys by your bed! If you wake up one night and hear strange noises, reach over and hit the panic button. Your car (which I'm assuming is in your driveway and not parked down the street, like mine always seem to be) will go off like the Fourth of July, and should attract enough attention to scare the burglar away.

I would definitely test this option first before relying on it... I know the throw of those little remotes is pretty powerful, but you never know.

There were a few other tips in the email that I think we all have heard before (don't let newspapers accumulate in your driveway, don't announce your vacation on your Facebook page [BUT BETTER YET, SET ALL YOUR SETTINGS TO PRIVATE], etc), but I thought the wasp spray tip was especially effective. Though if you have wee ones, be mindful of leaving it around. Though if I had to choose between my child getting hit in the face with some wasp spray from the canister she was playing with, or getting hit in the face with a bullet from the gun she was playing with...

Let's just say I think I know which I would chose to have in my home.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Use of Twitter to Alert University Students

Around nine a.m. on May 12th, the followers of the Missouri University of Science and Technology twitter feed received this:

I cannot even imagine what it must have been like to receive that message. No one was hurt in the incident, as detailed in a press release that Missouri S & T sent out later that day:

But what if you never bothered to "follow" the university's twitter feed? I can understand why a student wouldn't be interested in the information that @MissouriSandT was sharing--the feed had been clogged for the last few days with accolades from family members congratulating their sons and daughters on their graduation. This is no fault of the university--Missouri S & T doesn't have a twitter feed dedicated to safety alerts. Though they do have one for their sports teams.

I would urge universities across the country to establish twitter feeds EXCLUSIVELY for safety alerts, and to urge their students to sign up for them (as Florida State does []). University students today are so swamped with information that they may be reluctant to add many more to their plate. We must make sure that the most important pieces of information don't get swept away.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dr. Wright's Crowd Safety Tips

As some of you may know, Storm whistle inventor Dr. Wright and I have a podcast, where we discuss the reasons behind the various phenomena in our daily lives. They're sometimes a bit silly (I get a little carried away with my Microsoft Paint animations...), but we really work hard to research each topic carefully, and to get accurate information out there.

A few weeks ago, we did a video podcast on crowd safety:

This was a pretty chilling podcast for me--through our conversation, I realized that I really had no idea how to act during a dangerous crowd situation. The jist of the podcast is this: if you're in an open area (i.e. a field, a street) in a fast-moving crowd, stay away from the middle. But if you're in an enclosed area in a slow-moving crowd, stay away from the walls--you almost WANT to be in the middle during these circumstances, as you have a better chance of surviving by being crushed against a human body than by being crushed against a unyielding brick wall.

Ugh. This is pretty awful to think about, especially because we were still unresolved as to how to survive a fast-moving crowd in an enclosed area. Pop suggested blowing a Storm whistle to let the people around you know that you were being crushed, which isn't a bad idea...

Ughhhh. It gives me the jeebies just thinking about it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Hello, and welcome to All Weather Safety Whistle Company's new blog!

We'll be mainly using this blog to post information on safety tips and topics, and to show you sneak peeks of any upcoming products we may be cooking up.

And perhaps links with pictures of adorable pictures of kids using our whistle, such as this one. Thanks for the great review, Alaskan Mom Approved!

Mission Statement