HOUGHTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants to remind holiday revelers to keep themselves and others safe, according to a statement released earlier this week.
“Take precautions when cooking and heating your home to reduce the risk of fire during the holidays” said Moises Dugan, Acting Regional Administrator, FEMA Region 5. “We must also remember that COVID-19 is still a risk and remain vigilant against its spread. Take the time to check out the CDC’s website for the latest tips on safer ways to celebrate this season while protecting those you love.
The release also offers advice on how to protect yourself against home fire hazards, as Thanksgiving is the peak day for home kitchen fires.
“Before celebrating” the press release advises, “Take the time to install working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside bedrooms. Remember to change the batteries in these alarms twice a year or as per the manufacturer’s directions.
Cooking, according to FEMA, is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries, so practice safe cooking. For example:
– Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food and turn the pot handles towards the back of the cooker so that they are not bumped.
– Clean cooking equipment after each use – crumbs in a toaster or grease on the stove can catch fire.
– Keep a large pot lid or baking sheet handy in case you need to smother a pot fire.
– Heat your home safely. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from fireplaces, wood stoves, portable heaters and radiators.
– When you leave a room or go to bed, turn off the heaters or unplug them. Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors and in well-ventilated areas.
For more prep tips, visit www.ready.gov, www.cdc.gov, www.usfa.fema.gov, or download the free FEMA app, available for your Android, Apple, or Blackberry device.
Fires and other precautions aren’t the only concerns for family members across the country on Thanksgiving.
Serbin Media (serbinmedia.com) also raised concerns about what could go wrong during the holidays in an email.
“There’s nothing quite like everyone getting together for Thanksgiving dinner, that is, until something goes wrong. “ indicates the email. “Maybe it’s an old family drama that’s being brought up, a difference of political opinion or a guest who drinks more than he should. How can you make sure things are going well? “
International label expert and author Sharon Schweitzer offers seven tips, as follows:
– Include security measures in the invitation: As the host, let your guests know about your pandemic security requirements in advance to avoid embarrassment. How will the immunization status and the wearing of face covers or masks be managed? Will ventilation, indoor or outdoor space be available? Be prepared by including this with the invitation.
– Preload Dinner Dialogue: Stay on top of relevant conversation topics by starting your morning by reading the news that impact your world or local news. Check out 2021 Nobel Laureates and Your Bookstore’s Top 100 Sellers for potential topics. Have nice convo starters for an intriguing dinner dialogue, and recruit allies to help keep things on track.
– Seating plan: Organizing the table in advance with name cards puts your guests at ease. This avoids the last minute dilemma of selecting a seat for a new friend or significant other. Keep the conversation interesting by placing extroverts next to introverts. Sit the children next to the elders. Avoid melodrama by separating sassy cats at the table.
– Host Toast: Before the meal, give a toast thanking your guests for accepting your invitation and set limits. To consider: “As we express our gratitude for our blessings, let us remember to be courteous and kind at our festive table. We know that different generations like or don’t like to talk about politics, so in order to keep the peace, we appreciate that everyone at the table avoids politics. Instead, let’s share their thoughts on upcoming trips, books, and pets. “ End with a positive tone and humor.
– Hone your hearing skills: As a host or knowledgeable guest, when controversial topics like politics, vaccines, or intrusive personal matters arise, gracefully steer the dialogue in a different direction. For example, if your Uncle Dave asks your neighbor Bob the Pilot what he thinks about federal vaccine mandates, cut it off with, “Oh Bob, we would love to hear about your Labrador Retriever’s obedience training! How did it go?” Raise a new but interesting topic.
– Wine: pour the wine yourself or appoint a co-host to serve the wine graciously and correctly. This allows hosts to monitor wine consumption by keeping the bottle nearby and controlling the filling of the glass. If a guest has reached their limit, you can strategize accordingly. After Cousin Jamie tastes three glasses of wine, maybe it’s time for some coffee or dessert.
– Rascals as Guests: Hosts may exhaust their best tactics and yet guests may over-consume, over-share, or exaggerate political rants. After your best attempts at serving coffee or changing the course of the conversation, have the naughty guest help you in the kitchen so you can talk to them in private. In a quiet place away from other customers, kindly inform them that this is neither the time nor the place. Avoid embarrassing them in groups.
These are indeed very good suggestions to follow. However, all of the tips above may not be enough to keep safety first. Other security measures are suggested.
Jamie Loftus, in his article on inverse.com, titled How Not to Murder Your Family This Thanksgiving: Even if they have it coming, wrote: “This is my personal favorite approach to avoiding conflict: Maybe don’t tell your family that you are declining their invitation because of politics, but it’s okay to make plans with people you know you don’t. not want to strangle. “
Politics can be inflammatory at a family reunion, as everyone knows. Loftus, however, offered advice on how to effectively ban political discussions at the holiday table.
By following these safety tips, most people should have a safe Thanksgiving holiday.