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September is National Disaster Preparedness Month

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Fall travel abroad offers an opportunity for cooler weather, more affordable airfares, and less crowded venues. This is an ideal time to head to distant continents and enjoy fall festivals and activities this time of year before winter sets in. Whether hiking in the Alps, shopping in a boutique in France, or enjoying authentic Asian cuisine while visiting Taiwan, you don’t want your much anticipated travel plans to be interrupted by a medical emergency.

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5 tips to avoid a medical emergency disrupting your travel

The vast majority of medical emergencies are unavoidable. With a little planning you can enjoy your trip without interruptions to a clinic or hospital.

  1. Plan your activities and make a list.

As you plan your activities, check travel advisories for any recommended or required vaccinations, insect or waterborne diseases, extreme weather events, and overall safety in areas you plan to travel.

As you plan your itinerary, download apps on your phone to make your travel experience easier. From checking in on your airline app, to weather updates for the area that you will be visiting, local eateries, and events, these apps are a useful tool to help streamline your travelling experience.

  1. Enroll in the Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP) a free service that allows U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad to receive the latest security updates from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Enrolling in STEP will help the U.S. embassy contact you and provide assistance during an emergency overseas. And, if your family or friends in the U.S. are having difficulty contacting you with urgent news while you’re traveling, they can use the information in STEP to reach you.
  2. Carry an adequate supply of your prescription medications.

 Make sure that you have at least two extra weeks’ worth (a month extra is even better, if the country allows) in case of emergency where you may be delayed returning home. Medications should be clearly labeled, with your name, what they are for(diagnosis) and include a written prescription from your health care provider. To avoid confiscation, check with the countries embassy for a list of medications allowed. If your medication isn’t allowed, talk with your healthcare provider about alternative medications that are allowed. Also, if you have a prescription for a narcotic based medication, check the International Narcotics Control Board for a regulations when traveling with controlled substances.

 If you use medical cannabis, it is advised you leave it at home. There are many international laws that could land you in jail, even if you have a prescription for it. For more information, speak with your health care provider and check out this site on laws regarding medical cannabis and travel.

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 The Jase Case is insurance against infections that would otherwise interrupt your travel plans and require a trip to an unfamiliar clinic or hospital. The case covers over 50 different infections including food poisoning, water borne diseases, urinary tract infections, strep throat, and malaria.  Round out your Jase Case with add-ons: fluconazole, for yeast infections, ondansetron for nausea, and now ivermectin, which is FDA approved for parasitic infections- common in many countries- (and it’s purported off label use), make these valuable additions to your medication stockpile.

In addition to the Jase case, carry a supply of over-the-counter medications, including antidiarrheal, laxatives, pain relievers, allergy medications, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit for minor emergencies.

Check with your insurance provider (or check this site out for travel insurance ratings) for out of country medical coverage. Just in case you do have an emergency that can’t be handled with antibiotics or a first aid kit, you will need to have adequate insurance coverage for doctors and hospital stays.

  1. Dress appropriately for the weather, activity and climate you will encounter.

 Include appropriate footwear. It is impossible to plan for every type of weather on your way to your destination or once you arrive, but careful planning will definitely help!  If you plan on doing a lot of walking, or are venturing into the mountains for a hike, be sure to break in your shoes or hiking boots before your trip. Moleskin can really be a lifesaver, have some readily available in case of blisters or sore areas on feet. And be sure to remember your hat, it can protect you from sun and rain.

  1. Carry a dependable water bottle and filter.

(Check out this highly rated bottle and filter) And use it even at water fountains. Many stomach illnesses can be avoided by using a filtered water bottle. At restaurants in an area known for contaminated water, use your water bottle. Avoid ice cubes in these areas as these are an often-overlooked way of contamination.

Lastly, have fun, take lots of pictures and make memories! Being medically prepared will enable you to avoid unnecessary time away from your plans.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

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Build Personal Resilience- Don’t Get Caught Off Guard

Extreme weather events are happening across the entire US. And this is only the beginning of summer.

The massive amounts of weather-related events already happening is setting the stage for a severe supply chain disruption. Tornados and hurricanes knocking out infrastructure- warehouses holding medications, food, and basic needs are already feeling the pinch. Along with supply disruption, workers at these warehouse unable to get to their jobs adds to the chaos.  Supplychain24/7, a supply chain solutions company actively seeks and researches solutions to supply chain issues. They are working towards resiliency in the supply chain. They study logistics trends, weather related disruptions, and continue to work towards solutions that help close the gap in disruptions.

Build your own personal resiliency plan. The government isn’t going to save you

Over and over we see how limited our EMS and infrastructure services are when it comes to widespread natural disasters. Basic services, such as restoring the electric grid, sewer and garbage services keeping roads cleared, transporting patients to working hospitals, Answering calls for weather related injuries, rescue operations, and more stress the emergency workers beyond capacity.

These weather-related shortages can be mitigated by implementing a plan- and following through on it. The lives of you and your loved ones depend on a well-executed plan when, not if disaster strikes.

Build your emergency medical kit

Along with first aid supplies, consider all the people you are responsible for medical needs. Does anyone use inhalers for asthma? A clear airway is the highest priority when it comes to survival.  If an asthma exacerbation occurs from wildfire smoke, do you have a nebulizer (Amazon carries inexpensive portable nebulizers) along with extra tubing and masks? Contact your care provider for extra solution for the nebulizer. By the way, fo you have a way to use the nebulizer if the power goes out? A portable generator, solar unit or battery?

Insulin dependent diabetics require not only the insulin but blood testing supplies and glucometer. If you or anyone in your household is insulin dependent, do you have a way to store extra insulin, have extra testing supplies and insulin? A small refrigerator that plugs into the car or outlet on a generator would be a wise investment to store insulin and other temperature sensitive medications.

Do you have an adequate supply of medications? If you weren’t able to get to a pharmacy or clinic for an extended period, say 3 months, would you and your family have enough medication and first aid supplies until the supply chain was restored? If not, check out Jase Daily for a year’s supply of prescription meds. It’s an easy and affordable way to ensure an uninterrupted supply of lifesaving medications in the event of a drug shortage.

How does your stock of over-the-counter drugs and supplies add up?

Along with your medical kit, over the counter drugs and medical supplies can be lifesaving.

  • Check out this book for an easy to follow guide for medical emergencies, along with a medical supply list for grid down scenarios: The Preppers Medical Handbook
  • Bottled water and water filter if water runs out (check out Membrane Solutions for portable water filters)
  • Electrolyte powder or solution
  • Antihistamines (Benadryl or other antihistamine)
  • Antipyretics, anti-inflammatories, pain relievers,
  • GI meds- anti diarrheal stool softeners, laxatives, heartburn meds,
  • Burn cream, eye wash solution, sunburn cream, calamine lotion, aloe gel, ice packs
  • Thermometer- age appropriate
  • Blood pressure cuff if using a digital cuff, make sure you have adequate batteries)
  • Penlight and batteries
  • Bandages, gauze, tape, mole skin for foot sores, tweezers, bandage scissors, otoscope
  • For infants- bulb syringes, thermometer diaper rash cream, fever reducer meds, extra formula, electrolyte replacement (such as Pedialyte)

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

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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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!

New Jase KidCase now available!

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