Preparedness - JASE Medical - Page 2

Are You Prepared For Household Chemical Emergencies?

Almost every household has some products that contain hazardous materials or chemicals. Knowing how to handle and store these products and what to do if someone is improperly exposed to them can help reduce injury.

Prevention is key. Before an emergency occurs, make sure to store household chemicals in places where children and pets cannot get to them. Also make sure you have the national poison control number saved in your cell phone or posted common areas or near landlines.

National Poison Control Phone: 1-800-222-1222

Down below is a list of common household chemicals:

  • Aerosol cans – may include cleaning supplies, but also consider hairspray or deodorant as well
  • Nail polish or nail polish remover
  • Cleaning products and furniture polishes
  • Laundry detergent and bleach
  • Automotive products like oil, windshield wiper fluid and antifreeze
  • Flammable products like kerosene, heating oil, propane tanks and lighter fluid
  • Lawn and garden supplies like pesticides, herbicides and insecticides
  • Workshop or painting supplies like paint thinner
  • Common household items like batteries, mercury thermometers, and fluorescent light bulbs

Storage of hazardous or dangerous chemicals is of utmost importance. Again, only store household chemicals in places where children and pets cannot get to them. Make sure they are out of reach and have a lock or child proof fastener to prevent accidental openings.

Other storage pearls to consider:

  • Keep all chemicals in their original containers and never remove the labels. If a container is corroding, it should be repackaged and clearly labeled
  • Never store hazardous chemicals in food containers
  • Make sure to dispose of chemicals correctly and never mix household chemicals. For example, bleach and ammonia may react and ignite or explode.
  • Never use products near an open flame
  • Clean up spills immediately. Allow fumes in rags to evaporate in a well ventilated area or outdoors before properly disposing of them

If there is a chemical spill or emergency in your home, make sure to follow these steps:

  • Get out immediately if there is danger of fire or explosion
  • Stay upwind and away from residences to avoid further exposure and breathing toxic fumes
  • Monitor yourself and others for signs of toxic poisoning, which may include:
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Changes to skin color
    • Headaches or blurry vision
    • Irritation of eyes, skin, throat, or respiratory tract
    • Dizziness, clumsiness or lack of coordination
    • Cramps or diarrhea
  • Call the national poison control phone number if you think someone is experiencing any symptoms.
  • Follow instructions from the emergency dispatcher. Do not give anything by mouth unless advised to do so.

After a chemical emergency, discard all clothing and materials that have been contaminated. Some chemicals do not wash out fully.

 

- Brooke Lounsbury

Medical Content Writer

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Are You Prepared For A Cyber Security Attack?

Cyber security is more important than ever as more and more personal information is available online. 

Cyberattacks are malicious attempts to access information or damage a computer or network system. Cyberattacks can lead to information leaks, money loss or theft of sensitive information. On a larger scale, it can affect organizations, communities and the nation.

Cybersecurity involves preventing, detecting and responding to cyberattacks. Taking a few small steps can make your information more secure and can prevent loss of finances and valuable information.

Here are a list of steps to take to protect yourself and your information:

  • Limit the amount of information you share online and change privacy settings to not use location services.
  • Make sure to update software, applications, and operating systems up to date.
  • Create strong passwords. Use Upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. 
  • Do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Use a password manager and two methods of verification whenever possible.
  • When in doubt do NOT click on unknown links, especially if they ask for personal information. More than 90% of successful cyber attacks start with a phishing email.
  • Protect your home or business by using a secure internet connection and Wi-Fi network. 
  • Change passwords frequently
  • Don’t share PINs or passwords.
  • Use devices with biometric scans when possible.
  • Check your account summaries and credit reports regularly.
  • If you do have to share personal or financial information online, make sure it is a secure site that begins with https://. Using a virtual private network (VPN) can also provide a secure connection.
  • Use antivirus (ex: Norton), antimalware (ex: Malwarebytes), and firewalls to block threats.
  • Back up your files regularly in encrypted files.
  • The government will NOT call, text, or contact you via social media about owing money.

- Brooke Lounsbury

Medical Content Writer

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Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

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Winter Weather Is Coming… Are You Prepared?

Winter is a great time to snuggle up by the fire, have a mug of hot chocolate, or make a snowman, but colder temperatures can also create a higher risk for car accidents, hypothermia, and frostbite. Winter storms and inclement weather can last for days and leave you without power, heat, or communication services which can leave older people, children, or sick people at greater risk. 

There are some easy steps to take now to prepare yourself, family, and your home for the upcoming winter weather so you are best protected.

It is important to be prepared for winter weather at your home, work, and in your car. 

HOME/WORK

Prepare your home and/or work space to keep out cold weather with proper insulation, caulking, weather stripping, etc. Make sure you know how to keep pipes from freezing and install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery back-ups. Make sure you have supplies in case you get stranded or need to stay in one place for several days without power. Consider extra water, non perishable snacks, extra batteries, flashlights and a radio, but also consider the needs of each person and pet in your family and what they may need, like certain medications or specific supplies. Limit your time outside if possible. If you need to go outside, make sure you are prepared with appropriate clothing and monitor for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.

CAR

In your car it is important to have some emergency supplies which might include:

  • Jumper cables
  • Sand or cat litter
  • Flashlight
  • Warm clothes
  • Blankets
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable snacks

Try and avoid traveling if possible when inclement weather is approaching. If you need to travel, make sure you have a full tank of gas just in case you get stranded. If you do get stranded in your car, avoid going outside if possible.

- Brooke Lounsbury

Medical Content Writer

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Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

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Prepare with a Toilet Kit

One of the most neglected but perhaps most important in preparing for disasters is personal hygiene and toileting. There are many common and preventable diseases spread from feces not handled properly. If the water supply is limited or not available, the decision on water use for drinking or handwashing becomes apparent. Following a natural disaster (hurricanes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes) the leading causes of illness and death are diarrheal and respiratory infections. Infections spread rapidly when there isn’t adequate waste disposable available.

During a major disaster, basic services such as electricity and water service are likely to stop. Sometimes these services stop or are severely disrupted for extended periods of time.

Hurricane Fiona, which has plunged Puerto Rico into darkness and no water is a recent example of a natural disaster. As of this writing 760,000 residents are either without water or suffering significant disruptions of running water. This is a human disaster of epic proportions.

When being forced to decide between using water for personal hygiene or drinking, the answer becomes very apparent. We need daily intake of clean water to survive.

Set up buckets

Before the disaster: Remember, when preparing, 2 is one and one is none. Also be aware that it is wise to have 2 buckets ready in case someone does become ill while waiting for services to be restored.

  • Have a ready set up 2 5-gallon buckets with lids attached. These set ups are easily found at your local Walmart, camping store and even some hardware stores that carry camping supplies. Inside each bucket place:
    • A ziplock bag with several pairs disposable gloves
    • Personal wipes or baby wipes
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Toilet paper
    • Large towels to place under buckets
    • Several heavy duty 13 gallon bags that can line the bucket for safe disposal after use. Double line the buckets.
    • Pine shavings for odor control, these can be found in feed stores. Put a large handful in several ziplock bags
    • I have experience with the pooh bags and deodorizers sold in camping stores and online. These are a good choice for temporary camping outings. The bags are usually biodegradable, and they do fall apart if left for any amount of time. For extended periods of service disruptions using pine shavings and regular, disposable kitchen garbage bags work a lot better.
  • If privacy is an issue, purchase a pop-up shower privacy tent. Set up one of the portable toilets in it. Place a towel or small rug inside on the floor, to avoid movement.

Set up double bagged buckets, apply a handful of shavings to the bottom. Have a box with the other supplies in it readily available. After each use apply shavings on top of the waste. When halfway full, put on gloves and securely tie up the waste and dispose. Remove gloves, use hand sanitizer or if available thoroughly wash hands with clean water and soap.

A 1:10 bleach 1 part bleach to 10 parts water solution to clean the bucket and lid  between uses is a good practice.

 

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

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Keeping you informed and safe.

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Join Our Newsletter

Our mission is to help you be more medically prepared. Join our newsletter and follow us on social media for health and safety tips each week!

Massive Bread Recalls

“Make Your Own Bread”

 As we continue our preparedness series, learning to cook from scratch is one of the most important skills you can have. To begin with, there are many less ingredients needed to produce the same product. It is cheaper and you and your family eat healthier, resulting in overall increased health benefits.

Along with many other recalls this year alone, from meat to eggs to processed foods, ice cream, cheese, and on and on and on, I came across a massive bread recall, affecting 37 different types of bread. All types of bread, from dinner rolls to Hawaiian sandwich bread among others were in the recall.  The bread has potentially been infected with one of two bacteria- The two bacteria that have caused the recall were Cronobacter sakazakii and Clostridium botulinum.

Cronobacter sakazakii, recently linked to the recall of infant formulas symptoms vary widely. At risk groups- infants and the over 65 age population and those with compromised immune systems can cause severe blood infections and meningitis. Infections are rare, with only2-4 cases each year are recorded.

Clostridium botulinum,C. botulinum spores are often found on the surfaces of fruits and vegetables and in seafood. The organism grows best under low-oxygen conditions and produces spores and toxins. Symptoms of C botulinum are The first symptoms). These are followed by neurological symptoms: visual impairments (blurred or double vision), loss of normal throat and mouth functions (difficulty speaking and swallowing; dry mouth, throat, and tongue; and sore throat), general fatigue, lack of muscle coordination, and difficulty in breathing. Gastrointestinal symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation. Death is usually caused by respiratory failure and airway obstructions. When the diaphragm and chest muscles become fully involved, breathing is affected and results in death from asphyxia.

Other reasons to make your own bread

  • Unwanted commercial food additives, such as caramel coloring, dough risers, and many more ingredients have been linked to health issues. The USDA has a list of ingredients on their website that they consider “GRAS” generally accepted as safe for many products, not just bread. However, some of these products considered GRAS have been linked to diabetes, cancer and heart disease. (scroll to bottom of linked page for references)

(You may want to read about the 11 banned ingredients still allowed in the US)

  • More economicalThe average person in the US consumes 53 pounds of bread a year. That adds up to 212 lbs of bread a year. At $2.50- $4.00 a loaf at the supermarket that can add up to between $530 and $848 a year. To make a loaf of bread will cost between 80 cents and just under 2 dollars, depending on how and where you buy your ingredients and type of bread you are making.
  • Safer– You are less likely to need to throw out a single ingredient to make the bread than the entire loaf in the case of recalls.
  • A new skill learned. For those of you on the road to self-sufficiency, there are many cooking classes online to start learning the basics of the different types of flour and how they are used.
  • Sourdough, the original bread, before the adoption of dry yeast is more nutritious than standard bread. Pro Home Cooks has a playlist to help get you started if you are so inclined.
  • Either way (using dry yeast or sourdough), making your own bread helps cut the apron strings of dependence on the system.

For those with wheat sensitivities and other allergies I will be writing a post on this soon. (I have firsthand knowledge on this and can offer lots of tips and strategies to negotiate eating out, cooking, etc.)

 

 

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

Recent Posts

Keeping you informed and safe.

Ivermectin for Scabies- and More

Ivermectin for Scabies- and More

Discovered in the late 1970s and approved as a commercial product for animal health in 1981, ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug was initially used by veterinarians to treat mite and heartworm infections. In 1988, ivermectin was approved to treat Onchocerciasis (known...

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Join Our Newsletter

Our mission is to help you be more medically prepared. Join our newsletter and follow us on social media for health and safety tips each week!