Natural disasters are common throughout the world. Prevalent natural disasters include: drought, earthquakes, extreme precipitation, extreme temperatures (hot and cold) forest fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, and winter storms. Unfortunately, we now must add pandemics such as the current COVID-19 pandemic to the list. Anticipating and preparing for these natural disasters is a rising concern not only for individuals, but for local, state and federal governments, as well as health systems. It is imperative that individuals and organizations are prepared and ready to mobilize resources to prevent, mitigate, and recover from these events. Additionally, political instability and civil disobidience in the quest for equality and social justice have also created dangerous sitiuations in the United States and globally. The goals of emergency preparedness are to anticipate threats, prevent loss of life, preserve physical and psychological health, minimize economic loss, and reinforce confidence and resiliency. Individuals should always be prepared for stay-at-home orders and should have a good first aid kit along with a sufficient supply of food, water, and medication and should wear or carry medical identification for any diseases or allergies (drug/food) that they may have. Make sure you have a backup manual can opener in your kitchen and another with your emergency food supply. Having a hundred cans of beans that you can't open will not be very useful.
The CDC offers guidelines in preparation for the Zombie Apocalypse as well as public health matters such as COVID-19. Our emergency preparedness page has links to the CDC and Ready.Gov as well as affiliate links to vendors that offer emergency preparedness products including Medical Identification, Masks and other items to keep in our your emergency preparedness kits. Many in the medical community believe, and indeed studies have suggested, that wearing masks curbs the spread of airborne diseases. This is not new information: The Flu of 1918 killed at least 50 million people across the world. If we look back at photographs taken during the 1918 Flu Epidemic, everyone was wearing masks. While masks are not a panacea, science has proven that masking up makes good sense. Medical personnel on the Covid-19 front lines typically wear the highly protective N95 masks, often in combination with other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). N95 masks, usually reserved for health care professionals, stop the majority of viral particles from entering the nasal passages and thereby reduce the the chance of infection. While the rest of us generally do not have access to coveted N95 masks, there are many other types and styles of masks available to ensure compliance with mask-wearing laws, rules, regulations and recommendations. Simplying wearing the common "surgical masks" may offer better protection than wearing no mask at all and if two people having a conversation are BOTH wearing a mask, the protection may be even better. Some masks will protect better than others. The fit, the fabric, and the number of layers are all contributing factors to amount of protection that a mask provides. There is no guarantee that any particular mask, even an N95, will always prevent infection. Additionally, many products may claim to be N95 but may actually be counterfeits. Click here for a link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Always be prepared for Zombies, Pandemics, Natural Disasters and Medical Emergencies! Wear or carry Medical Identification if you have any medical conditions and/or drug/food allergies. For example, if you have an allergy to penicillin, then it is important that first responders and emegency room personnel are aware of this. Likewise, if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or other chronic conditions, medical professionals may need this information to best help you. Many people choose to include emergency contact information on their Medical Identification. Additionally, we should all always have an emergency supply of medication and be mindful of interruptions in our pharmaceutical supply chain since most of our medications are made in China. The COVID-19 pandemic has created shortages of countless drugs that are imported from China. Click here to read all about this dangerous threat to our public health and our national security.
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