National Canned Food Month
To help support nutrition education and reduce nutrition insecurity of low-income families, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) provides funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Education Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). During National Canned Food Month, celebrate with NIFA as we highlight a few federally funded programs aimed to help families obtain nutritional foods.
Goods in your Emergency Kit
Canned goods, non-perishable items, are a good idea to keep in your emergency preparedness kit. Canned vegetables, when the real deal isn't an option, canned varieties can provide you with essential nutrients, making these a great hurricane food or natural disaster option. Canned beans like chickpeas, black beans, and white beans (among others) provide a good source of protein, along with fiber, potassium, and iron. Canned meats, generally last at least two years in the pantry, canned meats provide essential protein. Vacuum-packed pouches have a shorter shelf life but will last at least six months. Soups and chili can be eaten straight out of the can and provide a variety of nutrients. Look for low sodium options and those containing beans for extra protein.
How you can help:
Consider donating canned goods to your local food bank this February. In addition to donating goods you can also sponsor or volunteer. Power Packs Project offers sponsorship of a child and their family for a month. Volunteer with the Central PA Food Bank to sort, pack and distribute food or with the Lancaster Council of Churches to serve meals.
Top 10 Items to Donate according to Lighten Up Lancaster County in partnership with Lancaster General Health.
- Canned Tuna
- Canned Chicken
- Canned Fruit in 100% juice
- Canned Low-Sodium vegetables
- Brown Rice
- Whole-Grain Pasta
- Canned Low-Sodium Beans
- Dried Beans
- Non-Hydrated Nut Butter
- Low-Sodium Soup
The County of Lancaster was able to purchase a mass notification system with grant funding. This system will give Lancaster County EMA the ability to send notification for a variety of different situations. These notifications can range from weather alerts to shelter in place alerts. Additionally, the platform will give users the ability to notify first responders of active threats and a need for additional assistance in the event of a disaster. The primary notification methods will be email and app notification. This platform is anticipated to be implemented over January and February. Stay tuned for more information.
Heart Disease Awareness Month
Hypothermia often occurs at very cold temperatures but can occur at cool temperatures (above 40 degrees Fahrenheit), if a person is wet (from rain, sweat or cold water) and becomes chilled.
Frostbite is the freezing of skin and the body tissue just beneath it. It first affects exposed body tissue where blood circulation may be limited such as your fingers, toes, nose and ears.
Learn more on the County Health Advisory Council page https://www.lancastercountypa.gov/1581/County-Health-Advisory-Council
February Training Opportunity
Training Opportunities from Lancaster County Emergency Management and Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center can be found here. You can find training opportunities by selecting “View/Search All Calendars” under Upcoming Events, then select Public Safety Training Calendar under the “Select a Calendar” section.
Winter Weather Safety ❄️
The winter season is here and with it cooler weather. With cooler weather comes higher risk of winter storms. Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms including blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice and high winds.
Preparing for Winter Weather
Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups. Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Remember the needs of your pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights. If you are unable to afford your heating costs, weatherization or energy-related home repairs, contact the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for help.
Staying Safe During the Winter
- Stay off roads if at all possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.
- Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing.
- Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
- Reduce the risk of a heart attack by avoiding overexertion when shoveling snow and walking in the snow.
Driving in Winter Weather
- Stay off icy roads when Winter Storm advisories & watches are issued.
- Stay off roads if at all possible.
- If trapped in your car, then stay inside. If you must drive "Don't Crowd the Plow!"
- Ice and snow, take it slow—slower speed, slower acceleration, slower steering, and slower braking.
- Prepare your car for winter: keep your gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
Lancaster County Housing and Redevelopment Authority- Code Blue
Code Blue / Code Red Severe Weather Alerts
Code Blue and Code Red are initiatives that were created by the Lancaster County Housing and Redevelopment Authority as a means to alert their sheltering partners to impending weather threats that may impact individuals who are experiencing homelessness. This program is Lancaster County wide, engaging numerous stakeholders across the community. Code Blue and Code Red are weather alerts. Cold Blue is for extreme cold conditions. Code Red is for extreme heat conditions.
Who issues Code Blue and Code Red alerts?
The Lancaster County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, LCHRA, works alongside their partners to determine additional sheltering needs. Lancaster Emergency Management Agency monitors weather conditions and sends an initial message to LCHRA. A decision is made by LCHRA to issue Code Blue or Code Red if the impending weather meets defined conditions. Factors that contribute to the decision include wind chill "feel like" temperatures, precipitation, time of day, and duration.
What happens when code blue or code red are implemented?
LCHRA works alongside their partners to establish additional sheltering needs.
Contact LCHRA with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Flood Awareness Page
A new page has been published on our website! Visit the Flood Awareness Page under Featured Newsletters.
Lancaster County Animal Rescue Team
The team is a response agency, not a pet shelter/rescue. It's designed to assist animals (normally domestic) that have been affected by an emergency or disaster. The team is about 20 members strong currently and going through initial training courses for animal response.
Questions? Contact Sarah Speed Gable at Sarah@paanimalreaponse.org