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  • Hurricane Hermine Strikes Florida Following a Decade-Long Drought

    Hurricane Hermine Flood Hurricane Hermine - via BBC

    It happened. After a decade of relative calm, Florida was hit by a hurricane.

    Despite only being classified as a Category 1, Hurricane Hermine did some big damage, cutting off power for over 250,000 people in Florida. Despite the widespread power loss, NBC reported nothing was life threatening as far as damage was concerned.

    Flooding in Florida has turned the roads into dangers. One region received more than 9 inches of rain from Tuesday before Hermine even made landfall. After Hurricane Hermine has since weakened into a tropical storm, but major flooding – including flash floods and river floods – threaten parts of Georgia and the Carolinas.



    Even though Hurricane Hermine has been downgraded into a tropical storm, it’s still dangerous with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour. CNN thinks it could even stall off the East Coast for days once it passes the Carolinas.

    According to Rick Knabb, hurricane center Director, “the most frequent cause of life…is from inland flooding due to heavy rainfall.” So just because there is no longer a hurricane doesn’t mean the threat is over. Be aware of the watches and warnings issued for your region. And if there is flooding, stay away. “Turn around, don’t drown” is NOAA’s slogan when it comes to floods. Remember, even just 6 inches of moving water can knock an adult off his feet, and 12 inches can carry away a car.

    Hurricane Hermine is expected to continue travelling up the coast and should reach Boston by Monday, if it makes it that far. This will increase the flood risk of all coastal states due to rain and storm surges. If you live along that route, make sure you have the necessary gear and supplies in case you need to weather the storm. If you’re not in that area, then now’s a great time to prepare for another disaster that could come your way without warning.


    Hurricane_Blog_Banner hurricane hermine

    Learn all about hurricanes here: Everything You Need to Know About Hurricanes

  • 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Prepared With Water

    Water is like reliable Internet; you never realize how much you need it until it’s gone. Unlike the Internet, however, water is something you simply can’t live without (shocking, but true). But what do you need water for, anyway? Some uses are probably pretty obvious. There are others, though, that you may not think of until the time comes, and if you don’t have water in that instant, you’re pretty much hosed.

    Here are 5 reasons why you should be prepared with water.


    prepared with water


    This is probably the most blatantly obvious reason water is important. We drink to stay hydrated, and when we’re hydrated our bodies function more effectively. We’re healthier and are able to fight off sicknesses and other bodily harm and can even aid in weight loss.


    Cooking and Preparing Food

    prepared with waterMost foods you eat require water. Cooking pasta or rice for dinner? Not if you don’t have water. Many recipes for meals and desserts require water. But perhaps you’re planning to rely on your freeze-dried and dehydrated food in your emergency storage if there’s an emergency. Well, you’re still going to need water. Dehydrated and freeze-dried food tastes so much better once it’s been reconstituted (i.e. soaked up water). So if you plan on eating that emergency food of yours, make sure you have plenty of water to go with it.



    prepared with water

    Growing your own food? That’s awesome! But depending on where you live, you might not get a lot of rain, so it’s up to you to ensure it gets sufficient water. One way to do this is to install a rain barrel, so when it does rain, you can capture extra water to save for later use. If that’s not an option in your state or community, then you’ll need to store more elsewhere, such as in a water barrel in your shed, garage, or basement (just be careful about drinking said water if it’s not stored in a cool, dark location).



    prepared with water

    Just because there’s an emergency situation going on doesn’t mean you can stop brushing your teeth. And in order to continue practicing good hygiene you’re going to need (drum roll, please…) more water. Ready.gov recommends storing one gallon of water per day per person, which will keep you hydrated and allow for light sanitation. If you want to bathe (which is highly recommended) or wash your clothes (also recommended), you’ll need more than just a gallon of water per person.



    prepared with water

    Pets tend to be forgotten in emergency preparations (which is why they’re last on this list). But, just like humans, they need to drink water, too. Dogs and other furry creatures can get dehydrated much faster than other animals due to their thick fur. This makes water especially important for your pets during the summertime.


    These five reasons for storing water in case of an emergency should hopefully get you thinking about water storage. Each family and individual has unique needs, so tailor this advice to your situation. Remember, though, that when Ready.gov recommends a gallon a day per person, that’s the minimum you’ll want to have. More water is always a good idea.


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  • The Zika Virus at the Rio Olympics and in the U.S.

    Zika is back in the news, with the Rio Olympics, new cases in Miami, and virus fears in Puerto Rico.


    Rio de Janeiro

    Zika was one of the greater concerns before the Rio Olympics. Golfers and tennis players dropped out, claiming Zika fears. U.S. soccer goaltender Hope Solo tweeted a photo of her surrounded by insect repellent.

    Once the games started, it wasn’t an issue. “No one here (at least in the beaches of Rio) is concerned about Zika in the least,” wrote Nate Scott, a journalist with For the Win, a subsidiary of USA Today. “And I’ve seen like two mosquitoes since I’ve been here.” Data from the Pan American Health Organization showed almost no cases of the virus in Brazil in late July, and doctors in one hospital in the Copacabana beach area couldn’t remember one mosquito-borne illness since June, according to an Associated Press story. In fact, there’s only been one Zika story: Brazilians have been chanting “Zika” to mock Solo and other U.S. athletes during competition.



    Zika Plane sprays Zika pesticides over Wynwood.

    A trendy area of Miami is dealing with the first cases of home-hatched Zika in the United States.  As of August 12, 2016, 28 people had been diagnosed with Zika.  All but one contracted it within a one-square-mile area around the city’s Wynwood arts district. In response, the city performed aerial spraying for mosquitoes, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory for pregnant women to avoid the Wynwood area. This was the first travel advisory the CDC has ever issued for the continental U.S. The continental U.S. already has seen at least 1,825 Zika cases, mostly related to travel abroad or sex with someone who traveled. A baby born in the Houston metro area died from complications from Zika. The baby’s mother caught the virus while traveling, according to a USA Today story


    Puerto Rico In Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, Zika has infected at least 10,690 people, including 1,035 pregnant women, according to a USA Today story. On August 12, the Obama administration declared a public health emergency, freeing money to help the territory fight the virus.  


    When it comes to mosquito-borne illnesses, Zika is not exactly the worst of the lot. Eighty percent of patients report no symptoms. It’s a public health concern because of its effects on unborn children. Still, compare Zika to malaria, which killed an estimated 438,000 people in 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

    Since there is not yet a vaccine for Zika, the steps to prevent the virus are the steps to prevent any mosquito-borne illness.

    Start by preventing mosquito bites, suggests the CDC. Spray an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent on exposed skin and clothes. The CDC says EPA-registered repellents are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women when used as directed. Don’t use repellent containing lemon eucalyptus oil or para-methane-diol on children under three, and don’t use any insect repellent on babies younger than two months old.

    In schools inside the affected area of Miami, children may wear long sleeved pants and shirts that don’t match school uniforms, but must apply repellent at home, in case some students have allergies to repellent. The CDC recommends all family members wear clothes that cover arms and legs, even in the heat. Also, cover baby strollers and carriers with mosquito netting. In North Miami, residents complained because broken storm drains contained standing water that mosquitoes breed in.

    The CDC recommends people weekly empty, turn over, cover, or trash items that hold water, like bird baths, pools, tires and buckets. Also use screens on windows and doors and use air conditioning when possible.

    If you have any type of sexual contact with someone who has been to a Zika-exposed area, use a condom or other barrier. If your partner is pregnant and you’ve been exposed to Zika, the CDC recommends avoiding any sexual contact for the pregnancy’s duration.   Health Banner - Zika Katadyn Hiker Microfilter Giveaway

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