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  • First Aid

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    Accidents can happen.

    Wait...let me rephrase that...Accidents will happen! But we can never plan when or where. After all, that's why they're called "accidents." But you can always be prepared for those moments by having a first aid kid handy, and in more than one location.

    Of course, it's important to have a first aid kit in your home. But accidents aren't always going to wait until you're at home. That's why having a first aid kit in your car is a good idea. If something were to happen while out shopping or traveling, you would still have your kit readily available. You should even have one at your workplace. If for some reason your work doesn't have one handy, bring your own! It never hurts to be prepared.

    As you get your first-aid prep going, you might also consider different types of kits depending on your activities. For example, if you spend time on your boat in the summers, consider creating a boat-specific first aid kit. Or, if you're a hiker, put together a kit that can fit easily in your hiking pack.. Being prepared for all scenarios involves some preemptive thought.

    bandageNow that you have your kits, the time will come when you put them to use. For the small ones, all you'll need is a kiss and a bandage. There. All better! For others, however, a little bit more know-how will be required. Make sure you know how - and when - to use the tools in your first aid kit.

    And then there are those accidents that are more life threatening.

    Some basic knowledge of first aid can be the difference between life and death. Among other places, the Red Cross offers classes on first aid and CPR. If somebody's hurt, and you're a first responder, you'll be glad you know the skills that come with first aid and CPR training. And you never know, you could be using those life-saving skills to help one of your own children.

    Like all important points of preparedness, keeping and maintaining first aid kits and knowing the proper steps and techniques brings peace of mind today and confidence when dealing with the unexpected.

    Do yourself and your loved ones a favor...plan to be prepared with first aid.

    Posted In: First Aid and Sanitation Tagged With: First Aid

  • Procrastination: A Recipe For Disaster(s)

    Why aren’t you prepared for a major emergency?

    According to a recent survey of 3,000 people, the majority claim they just keep putting off getting prepared. These people have even taken First Aid courses, so we know they’re interested and even want to be ready. Procrastination is keeping us from being prepared.

    Procrastination and emergency shelter does not mix.We all know disasters like to make an appearance when it’s least convenient for us, and when we least expect it. The recent 7.8 magnitude Nepal earthquake should be a smack back to reality. One moment life is good, the next…, well, it’s quite literally in shambles. This earthquake is just one reason we should not just be thinking about preparing, but actually doing it. And if you don’t think such a disaster can happen to you, just remember the earthquake that struck Michigan earlier this month. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said that "It's rare for Michigan to experience earthquakes, but as we were reminded today, it does happen.”

    And if it does happen, why do we still procrastinate?

    Mike Lloyd of News 1130 thinks that starting to prepare can be a little overwhelming, and he may be right. That’s why St. John Ambulance is providing people with 15 Easy Steps to Emergency Preparedness. St. John Ambulance is trying to remind people about the basics and also other things that people tend to forget about.

     

    1. Make An Emergency Plan

    It all starts here, folks. As Ben Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Does anybody ever really want to fail? And yet we plan on it – all the time – when we don’t plan ahead for disaster. Make a plan. To get you started, here are some things you should think about when planning:

    • Exits and evacuation routes
    • Family meeting place
    • Emergency contact
    • Plan for pets
    • Important documents (Social Security cards, birth certificates, insurance, photos of family members and pets, passports, health information, prescriptions, etc.).

     

    1. Emergency Kit

    This is pretty much the go-to for every disaster. Make sure you have a kit, because when disaster strikes, hospitals could very likely only be taking in those that are most seriously injured. Your emergency kit should help you survive the next three days after the disaster. But you might not even be home when the disaster hits, to the people at St. John Ambulance suggest to plan ahead for that, too.

     

    “You may be in a vehicle, so you need a kit for on the road or at work. You may have high-heeled shoes on at work – how are you going to walk? You may not get home for many days.”

     

    If you’re unsure where to start in building your emergency kit, ready.gov has some good resources to look through. Or, if you’d prefer getting a kit already packed and prepared by experts, check out our wide-range of emergency kits.

     

    1. Emergency Food and Water Storage

    We are all encouraged to be able to sustain ourselves for at least three days following a disaster. Having an emergency kit will definitely help with that, but without food and water (especially water), it’s going to be most unpleasant.

    Water storage doesn’t have to be difficult. Start by filling up 2-litre bottles from your kitchen sink and storing them out of direct sunlight. Each person should have about a gallon of water per day, so if you’re planning on using 2-litre bottles, that’s going to be about 6 bottles per person per day. If you have more room, consider investing in some water jugs, or even water barrels. These will help provide you with more water, so if you do need more than just three-days’ worth of water, you’ll be prepared. At the very least, make sure you have enough water for 72-hours. Every six to 12 months, you should get out your water storage and switch out the water so it always tastes fresh.

    Food is also fairly simple to store these days. Freeze-dried food can last up to 25 years, so if you get a can or two of your favorite meal to keep on hand, you’ll have a three-day supply of food without any hassle on your end. Best of all, freeze-dried meals are delicious and easy to prepare – just add hot water, wait about 10 minutes, and you’ve got yourself a full-on meal!

     

    Procrastination is unpreparedness.So you see, preparing for disaster doesn’t have to be hard. You can even start today by filling water containers and stashing them in your storage room. That will take about five minutes.

    Now’s the time to start preparing. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Even if nothing happens, there is peace of mind that comes in knowing that if a disaster did strike, you would be ready for it. Don't let procrastination get the best of you. Prepare today!

     

     

    What strategies have you found that help you get motivated to prepare?

     

     

    Drought Procrastination - Dont' Do It

     

    Posted In: Emergency Cooking, Emergency Kits, First Aid and Sanitation, Food Storage, Insight, Planning Tagged With: procrastination, disaster preparedness, emergency preparedness, water, First Aid, Emergency plan, food storage

  • How NOT to Get the Flu

    How NOT to Get the Flu

    When Gwen Zwanziger’s teenaged daughter came down with the flu last month, she did everything she was supposed to: had her checked at the local clinic, kept her hydrated, and insisted on plenty of rest. So when Shannon passed away a week later, Gwen was not only heartbroken, but baffled.

    “I just cannot figure out why she died from this,” she said in a recent interview with Indiana's Fox59.

    Though we’re not even halfway through flu season yet, we’re already hearing troubling stories, like the Zwanzigers’, and even more troubling numbers. At the time of writing, 15 American children have succumbed to the common illness since fall of 2014—a statistic that has parents understandably spooked.

    Part of what’s at issue this particular flu season is a timing glitch. Viruses mutate regularly, but this virulent strain mutated just after the vaccine was completed, making the vaccine ineffective against it. Experts stress that the vaccine is still worthwhile and explain that each year, the vaccine is newly redesigned and covers several, but never all, strains of influenza.

    Additionally, some context might help ease fears. The CDC’s definition of an “epidemic” depends on the ratio between cases of the disease and deaths from the disease. Because the number of cases changes as the season progresses, that percentage fluctuates, creeping above and falling below epidemic level (7.7%) sometimes several times in a year.

    Not only that, but the numbers the CDC deals with are only marginally reliable. Pediatric deaths from disease are required by law to be reported to the government agency, but adult deaths are not. So, while the elderly are actually more vulnerable than children, we have no really fantastic way of knowing how deadly any bug actually is.

    That doesn’t really help, does it? Okay, let’s talk about some stuff that does.

    Across the board, expert advice falls into the categories outlined by flu.gov’s three-pronged approach to flu prevention. Let’s walk through each of those.

    1. Get the flu shot.

    Despite all the problems with the 2014 version, the flu vaccine is still the best way to avoid getting the flu. While a shot in the arm may not be your favorite way to spend a morning, the sore muscles are worth it! And as for that historical worry about getting the flu from a flu shot, you can cross that off your list of things to worry about. The vaccine is made from either dead or severely weakened viruses that can’t survive the warm temperatures of the inner body beyond the nose. No excuses!

    2. Consider antiviral medications.

    If you know you’ve been exposed to a flu virus, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication, though they’re usually reserved for those especially at risk. Antiviral meds are a bit controversial—inconclusive studies, worrisome side effects, and the larger risk of breeding stronger and more drug resistant viruses—so this ought to be considered as only a last resort.

    3. Take common-sense precautions.

    No offense to the human race, but this is generally where our efforts break down. I can say that because I’ve spent months now taking care of my very small children (two year-olds are not known for their common sense) who have contracted every single cold virus in existence this season! I shudder in horror every time my toddler moves her thumb toward her mouth, and my preschooler thinks all the world is his sensory bin—especially those lovely grooves on the underside of restaurant highchairs. Gah!

    While my impulse is to douse my children in hand sanitizer every five minutes, there are more practical strategies. Here’s the official tip list from flu.gov:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub or hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
    • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

    Want some other smart ideas? Here are a handful of doctors’ recommendations to make staying healthy a little easier:
    • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, or anything else that messes with sleep patterns.
    • Carry your own pen, water bottle, or anything else you might need on an outing so as to avoid handling something that a thousand other people have touched.
    • If touching stuff is inevitable—say, at the gym or the grocery store—carry your own sanitizing wipes.
    • Clean a little more frequently. Both at home and in the office, certain items get more love than others—door, fridge, and microwave handles; copier or elevator buttons; phones and remotes—and could use a wipe down every couple of days.
    • My doctor is a big fan of nasal irrigation; and either as treatment or prevention, it works wonders to flush out impurities.

    And finally, don’t forget to check our website for gear that could help keep everyone in your house safe and healthy. Our pandemic supplies include everything from hand sanitizer and respirator masks to biohazard waste bags. And the pandemic protection kit fits everything you might need in a handy 4-gallon bucket.

    If better health is one of your new year’s resolutions, start out right with smart prevention practices! Keep yourself and your family safe this season, and let us know if you have any other tips and tricks for keeping the flu at bay.

     

    --Stacey

     

     

    Sources:

    http://fox59.com/2014/12/31/teens-death-shows-horror-of-flu-epidemic/

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2003/12/outbreaks_vs_epidemics.html

    http://www.flu.gov/prevention-vaccination/prevention/

    http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20752945_21,00.html

    http://www.flu.gov/prevention-vaccination/vaccination/

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/01/should-i-take-tamiflu-to-treat-the-flu/index.htm

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Current Events, First Aid

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