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  • Health in Hydration: Tips for Avoiding Dehydration

    Health in Hydration

    Dehydration

    Summer or winter, spring or fall, staying hydrated is essential to maintaining good health. After all, water makes up the majority of our body weight. Countering dehydration is the best way to treat it, but before we get into that, let’s take a look at how dehydration can come about.

     

    How Dehydration Occurs

    Sweating, going to the bathroom, and even breathing are all contributing factors to losing water. Basically, the more that leaves your body, the faster you’ll become dehydrated. For example, diarrhea and vomiting can bring about rapid water loss. Hot climates and being physically active will also speed up the dehydration process. When losing water, be sure to replace it with more.

     

    Symptoms of Dehydration

    Dehydration Headaches are one sign of dehydration.

    Dehydration is more than just being really thirsty. Learn these symptoms so you will always know what your body is telling you, and when it’s time to take immediate action.

    • Dry mouth
    • Little/no urine, or darker than normal
    • Headache
    • Confusion
    • Dizziness
    • Fatigue

     

    Dangers of Dehydration

    Staying hydrated has many benefits, which means the adverse is also true. The National Institutes of Health has identified many ways in which dehydration hurts you.

    • Physical performance
    • Cognitive performance
    • Delirium
    • Gastrointestinal function
    • Kidney function
    • Heart function

     

    For more information regarding the dangers of dehydration, you can read the full study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

    Some people are more prone to becoming dehydrated than others. The elderly are especially at risk, since as people age, they may not be able to recognize or sense the signs of dehydration. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also be careful to remain hydrated. Others who are at greater risk of dehydration are people who are exercising, have a fever, or are trying to lose weight.

     

    Tips for Staying Hydrated

    Health in Hydration Dehydration

    The amount of water needed for proper hydration varies from person to person, but Ready.gov recommends about three quarters of a gallon of fluid daily for normally active people. Use that as a baseline and adjust depending on age, health, climate, and physical condition and activity.

    Sometimes you may need to be more conscientious about your water intake. If you find you have difficulties staying hydrated, try out some of these tips from the CDC and FamilyDoctor.org.

    • Don’t wait until you’re thirst – drink water constantly!
    • Avoid alcohol or sugary liquids
    • Keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day
    • Add a slice of lemon to your water – this improves the flavor and can help you drink more
    • Drink water when you’re hungry. Thirst can be confused with hunger, so try water first

     

    It’s more obvious that you need to be more careful about staying hydrated during the hot summer months, but you can still become dehydrated during the colder times. No matter what time of year it is, pay attention to what your body is telling you and take the necessary steps to always remain hydrated.

     

    What steps do you take to remain hydrated?

     

    Health Banner Dehydration

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  • The Relationship Between Water Storage and Just-Add-Water Meals

    If there’s an emergency situation going on around you (hurricane, power outage, soccer practice, etc.), taking the time to create good, wholesome meals can be a daunting task. Fortunately, just-add-water meals are here to save you.

     

    Just-Add-Water Meals

    ChickenTeri - just-add-water Chicken Teriyaki with Rice

    Just-add-water meals are dehydrated of freeze-dried meals that are already prepared – all you need to do is add water and voila! You’ve got yourself a delicious, home-cooked meal in minutes.  That right there is reason enough to have these types of meals on hand.

    There are also many different varieties, including Chicken Teriyaki with Rice, Pasta Primavera, Creamy Potato Soup, and many more options. Having these on hand will not only make it easy to prepare good meals, but you can also add variety to your daily diet. Eating the same thing day after day can get tiring very quickly, making it hard to even want to eat. Having a wide variety of entrées will keep your meals fresh and exciting for a long time.

     

    Water for Your Meals

    One of the main reasons we store water is so we can remain hydrated. After all, we need water to stay healthy, strong, and to be able to function properly. Similarly, without food, our bodies will likewise be weak. But what does water have to do with food?

    Everything.

    Water is an essential part in preparing delicious emergency meals. Think about it, how much of your emergency food consists of dehydrated of freeze-dried entrées and pre-cooked meals? Chances are you have at least some food that fits that category. So how do you plan on preparing it in an emergency?

    That’s where water comes into play.

    Water storage is more than just for drinking (although that right there is also vital). Without water, cooking, baking, and preparing your dehydrated and freeze-dried meals will be quite difficult indeed. So how can you make sure you have enough water to prepare your food as well as stay hydrated and sanitary?

    You store it.

     

    Storing Water

    Storing water is an important part of any emergency preparedness plan. After all, it’s recommended that a household’s water storage should consist of at least one gallon of water per day per person. This only covers hydration and light sanitation, however. So, if you plan on rehydrating your food, you will want to store more water than that.

    Each can of just-add-water meals will tell you how much water you’ll need for each serving, as well as how many servings are inside the can. This will help you gauge how much extra water you’ll need to store.

     

    How to Store Water

    Guy_Standing_By_Water_Barrels - Just-add-waterThere are a few ways that will work for storing water. One of the most effective is through water barrels and reserves. Depending on the room you have, you could go with a smaller 15-gallon water barrel, or so much as a 320-gallon water reserve. Of course, there are other sizes in between if 15-gallons is too small but 320-gallons is too much.

    Another method is through pop (or soda, depending on where you’re from) bottles. Make sure you wash them out thoroughly before adding water. Plastic jugs or cardboard cartons that contained milk or fruit juice are not recommended for storing water, due to the nature of the plastic and cardboard holding on to milk protein and fruit sugars. No matter how hard you scrub or clean, these substances can’t be adequately removed, giving bacteria an easier time to grow when water is stored in them.

    Now that you have water, let’s talk for a moment about how to rehydrate (or reconstitute) your just-add-water meals.

     

    Reconstituting Dehydrated Food

    If you’re an avid eater of dehydrated food (beef jerky, anyone?), then you might be interested to know that it doesn’t all have to be eaten that way. However, the process of rehydrating dehydrated food differs depending on the food in question.

    Some foods, such as sauces or dips, just need cold water to be added until your food reaches its desired consistency. Other food, however, takes longer and needs more than just cold water. Meat is an example of such foods. When reconstituting meat, you will need to add your meat to boiling water and let cook for an extended period of time. Depending on the thickness and type of meat, for example, it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

     

    Reconstituting Freeze-Dried Food

    Water_poured_in_5  Just-add-waterFreeze-dried food is much easier to reconstitute, and once rehydrated, it will revert back to its original shape, texture, and taste – just like it was the day it was freeze-dried. To revert your freeze-dried food back to its original design, all you need to do is place it in hot water and wait up to 10 minutes. It doesn’t need to be boiled, and again, it reverts back to how it was before it was freeze-dried.

     

    Water storage must not be forgotten when stocking up on emergency food, especially if that food consists of dehydrated or freeze-dried entrées. Be conscious of the types of food you’re storing and secure enough water to be able to prepare those foods, while still having enough for hydration and sanitation.

     

    How do you store water to use with your emergency food?

     

    Blog Image - just-add-water

  • Louisiana Flood Breaks Records, Displaces Thousands

    The Southern states have been getting pummeled by rain, causing massive flooding and endangering countless thousands.

     

    Louisiana

    Louisiana Flood - via USA Today Louisiana Flood - via USA Today

    Over 40,000 homes have been affected by the flooding in Louisiana. More than 11,000 people are now homeless in the state. At least nine people are dead. And now, it seems like things will only get worse before they improve.

    More rain is expected this week, according to a local report, which could make the flooding situation even worse. Although the rivers have started to fall in their water levels, the Amite River reached a high of 46.2 feet, rising above the 29-foot flood stage, beating out its previous record by 6 feet in one area. More rain would certainly make things unbearable.

    These floods came from days of constant, torrential rain. A federal emergency was declared, and now 10,000 people are in shelters. Since the flooding began, over 30,000 people have been rescued from the floods.

    As flood waters continue downstream, worry grows for areas south of Baton Rouge. With so much rain, it could push the floods further past that area, creating more problems for those downstream.

    Aside from the Louisiana flood, which has received the more brunt of damage and high waters, a few other states are experiencing their own woes.

     

    Mississippi

    Flash flooding did some major damage to some locations in Mississippi, including the town of Crosby, where water washed away one man’s home. Dozens of people have been displaced, with homes now drenched in three feet of water.

     

    Texas

    But it’s not just Louisiana that’s being threatened by floods. Texas has also been experiencing heavy rainfall. Fortunately, no flooding has yet been reported, although flash flooding could be a major issue.

     

    Flooding is an issue to all states, so no matter where you live, check out your flood risk at floodsmart.gov and take the necessary precautions to countering floods. And remember, if you do plan on getting flood insurance, most plans will take 30 days to come in effect, so don’t wait until it’s too late!

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner louisiana flood

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