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This is an archived post from our old blog. It's here for the sake of posterity (and to keep the search engines happy). Our new blog can be found at

National Preparedness Month: Winding Down

This September seems to have flown by, but we still have eight days of National Preparedness Month ahead of us!

Here at Fractured Atlas, September 1 is the beginning of our fiscal year so I like to think of my work for National Preparedness Month as a kind of New Year's resolution: what am I going to do this time around to be better prepared for an emergency?

Personally, I finally have a stopper for my bathtub drain (yes, it's actually so that I can take baths but it does happen to be useful in the event that I would need to use the bathtub for water storage), I have more or less memorized the New York City flood zone maps, and have set up a phone tree for communicating my well-being (or lack thereof) with my family in the event of a disaster.

Fittingly, we also had one of our two annual fire drills in the office yesterday. They are led by utterly charming retired FDNY fire captains, and I learn something new every time. Best reminder tidbits this go-round?

1. When checking a door for heat in the event of a fire, remember to use the back of your hand so that in case it gets burned you can still use that hand during the evacuation.

2. If you're going to take off your shoes while running down the stairs, hold on to them. Dropping them impedes everyone else's descent and leaves you out on the street barefoot. I certainly wouldn't want to be in that situation any day on the streets of New York, but after a fire or natural disaster it seems like even more of a bad idea.

3. Keep to the right on the evacuation stairs. Apparently the fire fighters will do the same, and you'll sail safely past each other.

With eight days left, there's still plenty of time to get one preparedness task completed. What have you got to lose? Some anxiety the next time a hurricane rears its ugly head?

If you need some help thinking of something, check out the Red Cross, the CDC, and