AbledKids Sesame Street Emergency Kit

POSTED ON October 7th  - POSTED IN AbledKids
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AbledKids post banner shows screen grabs from the Sesame Street App on Emergency preparedness. The headline reads: Sesame Street Apps help kids deal with disasters.

When Disaster Strikes, Kids Can Turn To Elmo

Breaking News on TV seems to follow an annual cycle of seasonally-associated natural disasters that can stem from hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, flooding and more. Not to mention, unexpected disasters such as earthquakes, terrorist  attacks, viral outbreaks like Ebola and a host of other threats.

As frightening as these events can be for grown-ups, they’re even more terrifying for children, and a lot of parents get bombarded with questions, or try to ignore that these threats exist so as not to upset their kids.

In fact, the folks at Sesame Workshop, the collective non-profit behind Sesame Street, has found that the latter may be the truest gauge of how ill-prepared most families are to deal with unexpected emergencies. They cite a recent study that shows 60 percent of families don’t have an emergency plan.

To help remedy this, Sesame Workshop has partnered with PSEG (the Public Service Enterprise Group) to produce two smartphone and tablet apps called ‘Let’s Get Ready‘ and ‘Here For Each Other’.  The first teaches kids what they should now if an emergency strikes, such as the names of their parents and where they live. The second teaches parents how to talk with their kids about disaster situations  and answer questions that could come up in the middle of an emergency.

PSEG’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Ralph LaRossa says partnering with Sesame Workshop is a natural extension of  PSEG values in educating people on how to be prepared in unexpected situations. As he puts it, “Utility folks will keep the lights on, we’ll keep the house warm, but it’s really all about communicating with children and their families and that’s what Sesame Street means for us.”

Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice-President of Community and Family Engagement, Jeanette Betancourt, says, “When we start these planning moments and learning this critical information early on, it becomes part of children’s resiliency to growing up kinder, smarter and stronger. It really is valuable to start early, not only as a child, but as an entire family”.

You can click on the names of ‘Let’s Get Ready‘  (en Español) and ‘Here For Each Other‘ (en Español) to find them online as part of  the Toolkits section of Sesame Street’s website. You can find the ‘Let’s Get Ready’ app at iTunes  for the iOS version, and at Google Play for the Android version.

Sesame Workshop has also crafted other Toolkits to help families and children cope other issues like Divorce or when someone in a family has been jailed , is diagnosed with a serious illness, or has died. They’ve even prepared a toolkit for the unique issues military families face.

(Sources: Sesame Workshop | NBCNews)

AbledKids photo shows the sesame street logo above a graphical representation of a checklist and a flashlight.
AbledKids photo shows another screen grab from the Sesame Street Emergency Preparedness Kit called Let's Get Ready , that includes instructions of how to prepare a family emergency kit and checklist. Click here to go to the app's iTunes page.
AbledKids photo shows another screen grab from the Sesame Street Emergency Preparedness Kit app that shows a fireman and policewoman drawn as Muppet characters standing in front of bushes and a grassy lawn with a police station, fire hall and hospital with their respective vehicles in the background. Click here to go to the Android app page for 'Let's Get Ready' at Google Play.
AbledKids photo shows another screen grab from Sesame Street's iOS app for children called 'Let's Get Ready'. This panel shows a microphone icon on a wavy musical stanza surrounding by different colored notes with the title: 'Grown-up's First Name!', while the instruction at the bottom of the frame says 'Learn and record important names.
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POSTED ON November 11th  - POSTED IN AbledAlert
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AbledALERT-EMERGENCY-Philippines and Vietnam: Special Report: Super Typhoon Haiyan - The Latest - Relief Efforts - Finding Survivors - How To Help. All text is seeing over a backdrop of the earth from a satellite view with the night lights visible throughout Asia and the the giant bands of the Typhoon visible.

AbledALERT-The Latest



Officials Say Death Toll From Super Typhoon Haiyan Could Hit 10,000 Or More


“Speechless”. “I don’t have the words for it”. From the President of the Philippines, on down through local government officials, those were the prevailing reactions to the devastation and death wrought by what’s been dubbed ‘Super Typhoon Haiyan’, one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record.


Such storms are called hurricanes when they form east of the International Date Line, and Haiyan clocks in at the equivalent of a strong Category 4 hurricane – at times almost reaching Category 5 – the top rating. Haiyan, at its peak, was 3.5 times more powerful than Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans in 2005.


Haiyan tore through six islands of the Philippines on Friday, November 8th with winds clocked as high as 170 miles per hour/275 kilometres per hour triggering storm-surge waves as high as coconut trees and the second stories of buildings before moving ominously toward Vietnam. In its wake it left a massive path of death and destruction, flattening towns and overwhelming emergency response systems.

In this interview with CNNStorm chaser James Reynolds shared some of the dramatic video of the super typhoon as it hit Tacloban City, Philippines.



AlbedALERT graphic shows the projected path of Typhoon Haiyan with points marked a map of the area. It shows Haiyan hitting the Philippines on the 8th of November at 6:00 GMT; Out over the South China Sea as a Super Typhoon on the 9th of November at 6:00 GMT; then hitting the coast of Vietnam on the 1oth of November at 6:00 GMT as a Severe Typhoon and then traveling overland near the border with Laos on the 11th of November at 6:00 GMT as a weakened Tropical STorm. Source material is from the Hong Kong Observatory.


UPDATE: 11/11/2013


Viet Nam News is reporting that six people have already died and over 30 people have been injured mostly after falling from trees or from the tops of houses as they tried to reinforce their roofs in advance of  Typhoon Haiyan’s arrival.


According to the National Centre for Hydro – Meteorological Forecasting’s report, by 8pm yesterday, the eye of the storm was 190km southeast of Thanh Hoa and Quang Ninh northern provinces. The strongest winds were recorded as reaching 118-133km per hour.


Until 8am today, the storm was moving northwest at a speed of about 30km per hour towards northern provinces, until it weakens into a tropical depression.


After that, it was forecast that the storm would change course to a north-northeastly direction, slowing to a speed of 15-20km per hour. By 7pm local time today, the eye of the storm would be just south of Guangxi Province in China. The strongest winds would have weakened by then to a speed of 39km per hour..


The National Centre for Hydro – Meteorological Forecasting warned that the coastal areas and islands in provinces from Ninh Binh to Quang Ninh needed to prepare for sea rises due to the storm and flood tides of between 3.5-4.5 metres.



AbledALERT-Segment-banner-Relief Efforts




No Water. No Food. No Electricity.

For those who survived the typhoon’s catastrophic winds and massive storm surge, they were left with a scene of total devastation in many areas with flattened buildings and houses and scores of bodies everywhere contributing to a stench that only those who have borne witness to other such disasters around the world would know.


And in a scenario that mirrors other such disasters, many first responders who should have been part of the rescue and recovery effort were impacted themselves by the effects of the typhoon. As a result, the relief effort is either very slow or non-existent, as is law and order. The desperate instinct for survival saw survivors breaking into grocery stores and pharmacies, searching for food, water and medicines. 


And as in other disasters, there are those who take advantage of the absence of security in the first hours of the aftermath to raid ATM machines or loot electronics stores for high-end gadgets and appliances they otherwise couldn’t afford, forcing some shop owners to stand guard with visible weapons.


Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon says that “because of the magnitude of the disaster”, major relief efforts are being launched by local and international government and agencies. Some C-130 transport planes started arriving  with food, water and medical supplies in the port city of Tacloban as survivors started gathering at the devastated airport to stand in line for the life-saving cargo.


Other relief agencies around the world are also gearing up to help. The UN’s World Food Programme is working to send enough high energy biscuits to feed about 120,000 people. WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher, a former anchor with CNN International, is reaching out for financial contributions from the general public at


The biggest challenge to the relief efforts is logistics – just being able to get needed supplies to areas that are very hard, if not impossible to reach.



AbledALERT segment heading banner: Finding Survivors


The Philippine Red Cross has deployed assessment and rescue teams to the areas affected. It is also assisting people to find out about the safety of family and friends. you can send an email to:


You can also make a donation through the organization’s website.


Google has also launched a person finder under Typhoon Yolanda, the local Philippines weather service name for Typhoon Haiyan:


AbledALERT- screengrab of the Google Person Finder page for Typhoon Yolanda, the local Philippines weather service name for Typhoon Haiyan. CLick to search for a person or to give information about a person.



AbledALERT segment heading banner: How To Help


As we’ve already reported, the U.N. World Food Programme is urging everyone to make donations to support its emergency food relief after Typhoon Haiyan. You can donate online or by texting the word AID to 27722 to donate $10.


• UNICEF staff in the Philippines is being repositioned to provide emergency aid and the organization is gearing up to deliver supplies to children and their families. Donations can be made online or by texting RELIEF to 864233 to donate $10.


• The Philippine Red Cross has deployed staff and volunteers across the region. You can make a donation through organization’s website.


• The American Red Cross has volunteers spread throughout the region and accepts donations online. You can also mail a check to your local American Red Cross chapter designating Philippines Typhoons and Flood in the memo line. 


• To donate to the Salvation Army‘s Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts, visit its website or text TYPHOON to 80888 to donate $10 and reply YES to confirm your donation. The organization uses 100% of all disaster donations in support of disaster relief.


• CARE teams are on the ground in the Philippines and the organization plans to provide emergency relief to thousands of families. Donations can be made online or by calling 1-800-521-CARE within the U.S. or +1-404-681-2552.


• World Vision is mobilizing nearly 500 staff around the country to respond to the disaster. Donations are accepted online and the organization also lets you sponsor a child in the Philippines.


• Save the Children is mounting disaster relief efforts to help children and families in the area. Donations can be made online or by texting DONATE to 20222.


• AmeriCares is deploying medical aid and a relief team to Philippines, and says an emergency shipment with enough medical aid for 20,000 survivors is already on its way.



Please check this page often as we update relief efforts and add the names of additional agencies that will be helping with the relief and reconstruction effort.

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AbledALERT-Super Typhoon Haiyan reads: 6 killed and over 30 injured in Vitenam preparing for the arrival of Haiyan. 10 thousand feared dead in the Philippines. Survivors angry at slow relief response. Super Typhoon Haiyan one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record.


Public Service ad for the UN's World Food Programme. Click here to make a donation to help send food to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.


Abled Public Service Announcement for UNICEF. Click here to go to their donation page to help with the relief effort for children affected by Typhooon Haiyan (Yolanda).


Abled Public Service Announcement for The Philippines Red Cross. CLick here to make a donation to their relief effort for Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).


Abled Public Service Ad for The American Red Cross Typhoon Relief Appeal. Click here to make a donation.


Abled Public Service Ad for the Salvation Army Typhoon Relief Fund. Click here to make a donation.


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Abled Public Service Ad for World Vision Typhoon Haiyan relief. Click here to make a donation.


Abled Public Service Ad - Save The Children Typhoon Relief. Click here to make a donation.


Abled Public Service Ad for AmeriCares Typhoon Relief. Click here to make a donation.


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