Category: Preparation and Disaster Planning

April Showers Bring May Flowers

March 29, 2015 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Preparation and Disaster Planning


Spring is finally here! As we welcome pollen, weather alerts and potentially damaging storms to East Tennessee, CPR Choice wants to make sure you are prepared. We have outlined a few reminders and items to prep before our weather changes, and we know it will.

If a storm is forecasted in your area:

Get your medical emergency kit ready. CPR Choice teaches basic life-saving skills including First Aid and provides suggestions in class regarding the items needed and why for an effective medical emergency kit.

Here’s a list of the minimum items needed:

  • Solar blankets
  • Pain relievers, Benadryl
  • CPR mouthpiece
  • Gauze pads and bandages
  • Band aids
  • Gloves
  • Antiseptic and alcohol preps
  • Antibiotic ointments

Check your surroundings. Trim back any tree limbs, clean out gutters and drains, check your roof for damages that will need to be repaired or covered in the event of a storm.

Charge all your electronics, in case you lose power.

Restock your Emergency Supply Kit. Check to make sure you have enough water, unperishable foods, flash lights, extra batteries, and a battery-operated radio. A good rule of thumb is to have enough food and water for at least 3 days.

Make sure you understand all the weather terminology before severe weather is in your area.

Create an evacuation plan to avoid confusion during a storm and this makes sure all family members can meet at one location.

If a storm is approaching your area:

  • Tie down any outside items, such as grills, lawn furniture, and trash cans.
  • Unplug any expensive items.
  • Close the windows, doors and drapes. This will protect you in case the windows break for any reason.
  • Take cover! If a tornado warning has been issued, find the inner most point in your home or basement for safety. Make sure you bring your cell phone and/or weather radio to determine when it will be safe to come out.
  • Comply with the authorities—if they advise for you to evacuate- do it!

After the Storm:

Is everyone safe and unhurt?

Evaluate any damage to your home and property.   Take pictures and take steps to avoid additional damages. Contact your insurance agency as soon as possible to help you start the process for repairing any storm damage.

Spring storms move in fast in our area and preparation is the key!  Another skill needed regardless of the weather is basic life saving skills including First Aid, CPR and AED training.  Everyone should be skilled in First Aid, CPR and AED.  CPR Choice offers classes for individuals, families and corporations. Please contact Cheryl Smith at to schedule an on-site group class at your location or visit our website to register for a class as an individual at one of our many locations. Learn more about us: CPR Choice, LLC

Old Man Winter is Coming to East Tennessee

December 6, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, First Aid, Preparation and Disaster Planning

winter snow cades cove

Winter officially starts in a couple of weeks and CPR Choice wants to make sure you are prepared!  As cold temperatures and the threat of snow or a wintery mix move into our area, it’s a great time to review your emergency preparedness plans and kit.  Thankfully the winter’s in East Tennessee aren’t very harsh but it is still a good idea to be ready.  CPR Choice has some suggestions to get you prepared:


  • Inventory supplies needed in case the power goes out such as blankets, sleeping bags, winter coats, flash lights and lanterns.
  • Store your flashlights and/or lanterns, including batteries and supplies, in an easy to get to place.
  • Check your battery & other supplies now, before you need them.
  • If you choose to use a portable or kerosene heater make sure they’re in good working order and follow safety precautions while they’re in use
  • In really cold temperatures, leave tap water slightly dripping to avoid pipes freezing.
  • Fill the bathtub or have bottled water on hand.

Food & Water:

  • Make sure you have drinking water.  Keep some bottled water on hand.
  • Have a supply of canned & no-cook foods available. And don’t forget the non-electric can opener!
  • Prescription drugs and other medicines
  • First aid kit


  • Cell phone, portable charger
  • Battery powered radio
  • Blankets, coat and other items to stay warm if stranded
  • Booster cables and emergency flares

Be safe, be prepared & stay warm!


Preparing Children for Disasters

September 28, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Children's Health, First Aid, Preparation and Disaster Planning

September is National Preparedness Month and families with children are the most vulnerable during a disaster. Children have distinct healthcare requirements in regard to their anatomic, physiologic, developmental and psychological characteristics.  For example, children are more sensitive to smoke inhalation, hypothermia and shock.  In emergencies, children are more prone to shock due to smaller blood volumes and smaller fluid reserves.  They are also more likely to sustain serious injuries with blood loss and trauma to the body as a result of their smaller size.   As a result, it’s critical to have at least one person in your household that has basic lifesaving skills and CPR Training.


When preparing your house for potential disasters keep your little ones in mind. Here are a few helpful reminders:

  • Talk to your children about the dangers of disasters that are likely in your area and how to prepare for each type.
  • Make sure they know where to go in your home to stay safe.
  • Teach them how to recognize danger signals. For example, smoke detectors, fire alarms- what do they sound like and what to do when you hear them.
  • Additions for your emergency kit:
    • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, diapers, baby food)
    • Games and activities for children
    • A few of your child’s favorite books, crayons an paper
    • Favorite small toys like dolls or action figures
    • A board game, deck of cards or puzzles
    • A picture of your family and pets
    • Include medicines specifically for your children in the event of sickness or injury
  • Turn off the TV or watch news coverage with them and talk about it afterwards.
  • Keep your family together as much as possible. And calmly and firmly explaining the situation. For example, “tonight, we will all stay together in the shelter”. This will alleviate worry and avoid anxiety. .
  • Encourage children to talk. Let them talk about the situation and ask them to describe their feelings. Help them learn to use words that express their feelings, such as happy, sad, angry, mad, and scared. Use drawing or painting as an activity to help them tell their story.
  • Go back to your former routine as soon as possible.

Take the time this month to prepare your family!   Communication and preparation, especially for smaller children, will alleviate additional stress in the event of a disaster. America’s PrepareAthon! Is scheduled for September 30th, people in all 50 states will come together to take actions around the hazards their communities could face with drills, conversations, and exercises in their schools, workplaces, houses of worship and organizations. To learn more you can go to Start preparing now!

Using Technology to Protect Your Family

September 22, 2014 Travis Smith Awareness and Prevention, Preparation and Disaster Planning

Digital and mobile technology drastically expands human interaction and enables people to receive critical information when they need it, where they need it and how they need it.   According to The American Red Cross, the internet- including online new sites and social media platforms- is the third most popular way for Americans to gather emergency information and let their loved ones know they are safe.


Through the use of everyday technology, individuals, families, responders and organizations can successfully prepare for, adapt to and recover from emergency situations.  By using effective planning, it is possible to take advantage of technology before, during and after a crisis to communicate and manage financial affairs.  These devices are as much a part of life today as important inventions of the past like the automobile and television.

Tech Tips:

  • Keep all your contacts updated using multiple channels, including email, phone and social media.  Consider creating a “group” for all emergency contacts.
  • Send updates via text and internet from mobile phone in case voice communications are not available.
  • Program “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you in you are unable to use your phone.
  • Conserve your cell battery by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using that draw power, unless you need to use the phone.  Also immediately following a disaster, resist using your mobile device to watch streaming videos, download music, or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion.  Limiting usage of these services can also help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 9-1-1.
  • Signup to receive a monthly preparedness tip from FEMA’s text messages programs. (
  • Bookmark important sites on your mobile phone, including your local emergency management agency, National Weather Service.
  • Use mobile apps to stay informed and receive information quickly.  For example, The American Heart Association provides a First Aid and CPR Smartphone App to provide quick, concise and clear first aid and CPR instructions in the event of an emergency, FEMA App provides access to disaster preparedness tips and shelter options, The American Red Cross offers several apps ranging from first aid to natural disasters.

CPR Choice encourages everyone to learn the life-saving skills before an emergency or disaster occurs.  We offer American Heart Association CPR classes including: Basic Life Support BLS for Healthcare Providers, Heartsaver CPR & First Aid classes and blood borne pathogens.  Be prepared, enroll in a class today!  Now offering classes in Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Lenoir City, Maryville, Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol, TN.


Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare!

September 17, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, CPR Training, Preparation and Disaster Planning


Power outages, hail, tornadoes, snow storms – it’s critical to plan ahead for emergencies! September is “National Preparedness Month” and throughout September more than 3000 organizations, including national, regional and local governments, as well as private and public organizations, will support emergency preparedness efforts and encourage Americans to take action.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA released new research this month that nearly half of all Americans have not discussed, or developed an emergency plan with their family about where to go and what to do in the event of a local disaster. The research showed that a large number of American families are aware of the importance of preparing for emergencies; however, the awareness doesn’t always translate into action. Do you and your family have a plan in the event of a disaster?

Here are a few simple steps to protect and prepare your family:

Build an emergency preparedness kit:

  • Water- one gallon of water per person for at least three days
  • Food- at least a three day supply of non-perishable food (manual can opener)
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio and NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert (extra batteries for both)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filer air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place
  • Moist towelletes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Cell phones with charges, inverts or solar chargers

Create a Communication Plan:

  • Develop a communications plan and share with your family. For example, have a family discussion to determine who would be your out –of-state point of contact, and where you would meet away from your home (if needed). Document all the important numbers and contacts. (Sample communication plan)

Stay Informed

  • Pay attention to potential weather related threats in your area and or your local news for updates. Use Technology as much as much possible to stay informed and abreast of the updates in your area.
  • Have at least one member of your household trained in first aid and CPR/AED.

To further encourage Americans to take action, National Preparedness Month will also culminate with America’s PrepareAthon! a national grassroots day of action. On September 30, people in all 50 states will come together to take actions around the hazards their communities could face with drills, conversations, and exercises in their schools, workplaces, houses of worship and organizations. To learn more you can go to

While we can’t prevent all disasters, it’s important we all do what we can to prepare for them–creating an emergency kit, family communications plan, ensuring someone in your family can administer first aid and/or CPR are all great places to start. Start preparing now!

Live in an apartment? Do they have an AED?

April 16, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, Awareness and Prevention, CPR Training, Preparation and Disaster Planning

In recent years, an increasing number of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have been provided in office complexes, shopping malls, gyms and even on commercial airliners. Why, then, are there so few of them in apartment complexes?

The reluctance to install them usually comes down to concerns about potential liability.  However, such concerns are unwarranted. Modern defibrillators — small electronic devices that administer an electric shock to restore heart rhythm are basically foolproof.  With the new models now on the market, the operator has only to attach two pads to the victim’s chest and turn on the machine; follow the simple instructions.

The machine will analyze the heart rhythm and tell you whether or not to administer a shock.  As far as we know, these machines have never shocked someone who didn’t need it and never failed to shock someone who did.

While having defibrillators in commercial buildings is certainly helpful, having them in residential buildings is much more important.  Eighty-eight percent of cardiac arrests happen at home and in 93 cases out of 100, the victim does not survive.


With cardiac arrest, every second counts. If defibrillation occurs in the first one or two minutes, 90% of sudden cardiac arrest victims in VF survive.  If defibrillation is delayed for more than ten minutes the survival rate drops to 5% for sudden cardiac arrest victims in VF.

Apartment complex employees and others who would use the machine can receive training from the American Heart Association; it takes a few hours. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, aid for choking victims and hands-on practice with the defibrillator are included.

Tennessee’s Good Samaritan Law protects from liability anyone who “voluntarily and without expectation of monetary compensation” uses a defibrillator in an attempt to revive someone in an emergency. “In my opinion, it would be negligent not to have one.”

Why Should You Choose CPR Choice?

CPR Choice, Knoxville Real Testimonials

"Best CPR Class I've ever attended."

"This is the BEST CPR class I have ever been to. As an RN, I’ve been to lots over the years. HIGHLY recommend this one!"

"I highly recommend CPR Choice for healthcare provider certification! It was easy to schedule and Cheryl kept the class interesting and informative. This was by far my best experience taking a CPR class. Thanks Cheryl!"

"I have been taking an annual CPR class for about eight years now, and never before now have I felt like I had such a complete grasp on the material."

"Best CPR class I have taken as an RN in 10 yrs! The instructor, Kristy, was the best instructor! Systematic approach to teaching with tons of energy and obvious interest in teaching CPR. Thank you!"

"I'll be back in two years for renewal! Thanks CPR Choice!"

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