Monthly Archives: October 2015

  • Happy & Safe Halloween to All!

    HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!

  • Halloween is not the only creepy thing

    CDC releases combined summary of notifiable infectious, noninfectious diseases...

    The Summary (Infectious) summarizes data on dozens of nationally notifiable diseases and conditions in the United States.  Highlights include:

    • West Nile virus (WNV) In 2013, 47 states and the District of Columbia reported 2,469 cases of WNV disease – including 1,267 cases of WNV meningitis, encephalitis, and acute flaccid paralysis. There were 119 deaths. WNV disease incidence was similar to that during 2004-2007 but was higher than during 2008-2011.
    • Chlamydia — In 2013, about 1.4 million cases of this sexually transmitted disease were reported – decrease of 1.5 percent from 4.46.6 to 453.3 cases per 100,000 population. This is the first time since national chlamydia reporting began that the overall rate declined – largely due to decreases among women. It is not clear whether the decrease is due to fewer chlamydia infections or to a drop in chlamydia screening.
    • Pandemic & Germ Preparedness

      Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis) —This fungal infection caused by inhalation of spores present in the dry soil of the southwestern U.S. and California was recently detected in Washington State, far outside its usual range. The 9,438 reported cases in 2013 are a 47 percent decrease from 2012. Cases decreased by 55 percent in Arizona, which reports the most cases of any state, and by 27 percent in California. Despite the decrease, valley fever remains a major source of illness in affected areas.

    • Cyclosporiasis — This intestinal illness is caused by a microscopic parasite lurking in contaminated food and water. In 2013, the largest number of outbreak-associated cases of cyclosporiasis – 784 -- was reported to CDC since 1997. At least two outbreaks were linked to fresh produce imported from Mexico (bagged salad mix and cilantro). But the vehicle of infection for more than two thirds of reported cases could not be determined. CDC is working to develop advanced molecular detection methods to link cases to specific sources of infection.
    • Dengue — Spread by mosquitoes, dengue is a potentially serious viral infection. In 2013, dengue outbreaks occurred in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico. Epidemics in the Caribbean and in Central and South America resulted in 794 travel-associated cases – more than in previous years.
    • Gonorrhea — U.S. cases of this sexually transmitted bacterial infection increased 8.8 percent from 2009 to 2012, but decreased slightly (by 0.6 percent) in 2013 to 106.1 cases per 100,000 population. Nationwide, the gonorrhea rate increased 4.3 percent among men and decreased 5.1 percent among women. Treatment for gonorrhea is complicated by the bacteria’s growing resistance to antibiotics.
    • Influenza-associated pediatric deaths — From Dec. 30, 2012, to Dec. 28, 2013, CDC received reports of 161 deaths among people under the age 18 years – a more than three-fold increase compared with 2012, and a two-fold decrease compared with the pandemic year 2009. There were 69 pediatric deaths from seasonal influenza per calendar year during 2005-2012 and 358 pediatric deaths reported during the 2009-2010 flu pandemic.
    • Measles — There were 10 measles outbreaks in 2013, accounting for three-fourths of reported cases. The three largest outbreaks accounted for more than half of cases. In each outbreak, measles spread after a U.S. resident who caught measles abroad introduced the extremely contagious viral infection into communities with pockets of people unvaccinated because of philosophical or religious beliefs.
    • Meningococcal Disease In 2013, U.S. rates of meningococcal disease continued to be at historic lows. However, there were serogroup B outbreaks at two universities – one in California and one in New Jersey – resulting in 13 cases and one death.
    • Novel flu viruses   In 2013, there were 21 cases of human infection with variant flu viruses in the U.S. – all associated with direct or indirect contact with swine. There were no human-to-human transmissions. Any public health laboratory that receives a suspicious specimen of flu virus – one that cannot be subtyped using standard methods -- immediately submits that specimen to CDC for further testing.
    • Whooping cough (pertussis) Reported pertussis cases decreased from 2012 to 2013. However, cases continue to exceed those reported during the 1990s and early 2000s.
    • Salmonellosis   Salmonella causes an estimated 1.2 million illnesses per year in the U.S. The largest multistate outbreak in 2013 was traced to contaminated chicken. Other notable outbreaks were linked to live poultry, tahini sesame paste, cucumbers, and small pet turtles.
    • Hepatitis C (HCV)  After receiving reports of about 800 to 1,000 cases of acute HCV infection per year from 2006-2010, there was an increase of 73.9 percent to 2,138 cases in 2013. Investigations show a marked increase in the number of acute cases of HCV among young, nonminority people who inject drugs, many of whom also abuse oral prescription opioid drugs.
  • Preparing Your Pets for Shelter

    We've talked about it before, and we'll talk about it again... you need to prepare ahead of time for pets in emergency situations.

    When you prepare for disasters, be sure to make arrangements for your pets too! In the event that you have to evacuate to a public shelter, keep in mind that for health reasons, some facilities cannot accept pets, so it’s important to prepare them for an alternative shelter. However, service animals are allowed in general population shelters.

    The Ready Campaign offers the following tips when seeking a pet shelter:
    • Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter, or animal control office to get advice and information; and
    • If you’re unable to return to your home right way, you may need to board your pet. Find out the location of boarding facilities and research some outside of your area in case local facilities are closed.
    Once you’ve found an alternative shelter, follow these tips to keep your pet safe while they are away from you:
    • Make sure microchips and identification tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet’s collar. If possible, attach the address and phone number of your evacuation site;
    • Take a current photo with your pet for identification purposes; and
    • Pack a “pet survival kit

    Disaster Supplies for Pets Disaster Emergency Kits for Dogs and Cats + Survival Food Disaster Supplies for Pets
    Disaster Emergency Kits for Dogs and Cats + Survival Food
  • Sunny Day, Keeping the Fires Away….

    Sesame-StreetAre you an educator, parent, or caregiver of a preschooler? The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and its friends at Sesame Street have new fire safety information you can share with children.

    Sesame Street Fire Safety Program Update

    The updated Sesame Street Fire Safety Program shows you how to teach kids ages 3-5 about essential fire safety information and skills that can be useful during an emergency. The program includes easy-to-use lessons, games, songs, and activities featuring familiar Sesame Street characters to help reinforce important fire safety and prevention messages.

    To learn more about the Sesame Street Fire Safety Program and access program materials, visit the USFA website. Materials are available in English and Spanish.

  • It is Still Hurricane Season

    Disaster-Survival-First-Aid-MartIn the wake of recent severe weather events like the Historic and unprecedented Hurricane Patricia, and Hurricane Joaquin, now is a good time to review hurricane safety information with your family and get prepared.

    Hurricane Patricia Was Sudden, Unexpected, and the Strongest Landfalling Pacific Hurricane on Record... despite frequent criticism by both Mexican Nationals and the rest of the World, Mexico was prepared, organized ad took efficient and excellent care of affected individuals with shelters, evacuation and top notch care.

    Before a hurricane hits your area, there are things you should do to prepare:

    • Assemble your disaster supply kit and gather critical documents in the event that local authorities issue an evacuation order;
    • Monitor weather reports provided by your local media;
    • Sign up to receive text or email emergency alerts;
    • Consider buying a NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) All Hazards receiver, which receives broadcast alerts from the National Weather Service; and
    • Have extra batteries for a battery-operated radio and your cell phone in case of a power outage.

    For more ways to stay safe before, during, and after a hurricane, check out the How to Prepare for a Hurricane guide from America’s PrepareAthon!

  • Creep

    Halloween-FunHalloween doesn't have to be scary. True, hazards abound on All Hallows Eve: Fire Hazards from Candles and Jack-o-Lanterns, Traffic Accident and Visibility issues with Costumes, Candy horror stories and drunk drivers... but following some simple safety precautions can help you make Halloween Fun and Safe for Kids and Adults.

  • Cardiac Science goes bust

    We are HUGE advocates of AEDs, from public access, to awareness, to training... we also strongly support the National AED Grant program... However, in any industry, there are scoundrels to be found... in the AED industry, we have zero respect for Cardiac Science. Perhaps we are not alone.

    WAUKESHA, Wis., Oct. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Cardiac Science Corporation today announced that it filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. This filing, initiated by the company's new board of directors and leadership team, will realign the Cardiac Science business operations, restructure its debt and facilitate the sale of its business as a going concern. The Company intends to work with its constituencies to exit bankruptcy as expeditiously as possible, while consummating a going-concern sale.

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  • Moving to Higher Ground

    It is amazing how many people ignore warnings and directions that are provided for their own safety - often to risk their lives in order to protect some replaceable materials goods.harris

    During Memorial Day weekend in 2015, flood warnings were issued in many parts of Texas as record amounts of torrential rains were unleashed on already saturated grounds. Many residents in harm’s way had to flee their homes and seek temporary shelter, while hundreds of other homeowners previously in the high-risk flood plain were no longer threatened.

    harris 2They had been able to move from homes previously subject to repetitive flooding thanks to the Harris County Flood Control District’s (HCFCD) Voluntary Buyout Program. Buyouts, also called acquisition and relocation projects, allow residents to voluntarily sell their repetitive loss properties to the county and receive fair market value before disaster strikes again. The houses are cleared from the floodplain, which is returned to its natural state.

    “Nearly 550 homes would have flooded during the May event had they not been purchased via the District’s Voluntary Home Buyout program,” said HCFCD Acquisition Program Manager James Wade. “Approximately $12.4 million in flood damages were avoided as a result of these 550 buyouts.”

    The acquired homes were located within the high-risk floodplain and subject to repetitive flooding. Structures in this situation were typically built years before detailed maps and studies were available and floodplain management regulations adopted by the county and cities.

    The initial start of the program was in 1985, although federal funds were not granted until the early nineties. The state and federal partnership began in 1995.

    Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) buyouts or acquisition projects are administered by the state. The federal portion of the cost is 75 percent and the non-federal share is 25 percent. To be eligible, the participating property must be located in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and has a FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan.  Additionally, the property must be within a mapped special flood hazard area, subject to repetitive flooding and the purchase must be cost beneficial.

    Since 1995, more than 2,000 structures have been purchased. About 1,100 properties were funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s HMGP and more than 900 homes were acquired with district funds. An additional 30 structures were purchased by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

    The application process took one to two years from the date application was submitted before a determination was made concerning eligibility. Since the buyouts occurred, the area is now deed restricted and cannot be developed with permanent structures in the future.

    A major benefit was that the buyout program enabled affected families to relocate to higher ground. The safety risk for homeowners, as well as first responders, was eliminated. The buyouts saved the government money because flood insurance payments and federal assistance payments were reduced. After the homes were purchased and demolished, the floodplain was restored to its natural and beneficial function for storm water storage.  Finally, open spaces were available for use as community amenities, such as parks, gardens and playing fields.

    The Harris County voluntary buyout program was a win-win situation to everyone involved.

    For additional information visit: https://www.hcfcd.org/our-programs/property-acquisition-program/voluntary-acquisition/voluntary-home-buyout/

  • Life, Death and Fishing Tips

    Fishing is only fun when you ae safe and know what you are doing!

    What is Fly Fishing?

    The Steelhead was specially designed for fishermen, waterfowl hunters, and anyone headed into the field when water or foul weather will be a problem. The components, catered to common fishing and hunting injuries, are doubly protected in our waterproof dryflex bag, which is then stored in a seam-sealed silnylon outer bag. The Steelhead was specially designed for fishermen, waterfowl hunters, and anyone headed into the field when water or foul weather will be a problem. The components, catered to common fishing and hunting injuries, are doubly protected in our waterproof dryflex bag, which is then stored in a seam-sealed silnylon outer bag.

    Fly fishing is an unique and ancient angling method, many popular as a technique for capturing trout and salmon, however utilized today for a variety of types including pike, bass, panfish, and carp, along with marine species, such as redfish, snook, tarpon, bonefish and striped bass. Fly lines are heavier than regular fishing line, some made to drift and some heavier to sink. Fly fishermen seeking bass established the spinner/fly lure and bass popper fly, which are still utilized today. Fly fishing can be performed in fresh water or seawater. Fly fishing for trout is a preferred sport which can be finished with dry flies, sinking wet flies and sinking nymphs.

    What About Bass?

    Bass fishing is a remarkable activity and to derive the maximum benefits out of it, it is much better you learn more about couple of basics about the activity and it will certainly make certain your extra knowledge can see you through your success in bass fishing.

    Trout About...

    Trout tend to be looking upstream for food, explaining the success of fishing "from" downstream while wading upstream. Trout have the tendency to strike at the "edges" between quick and sluggish moving water.

    Salmon

    Salmon are known for their size and beauty.One of the favorites amongst fishermen.

    No Bait, no Fish

    Bait includes, however not restricted to fish, fish eggs, crayfish, worms, grubs, crickets, corn, cheese, bread, pork rinds, putty or paste-type products, and tastes or fragrances applied to or fertilized into synthetic lures. For a novice, live natural bait such as worms, minnows, crickets, and other pests is a good alternative. You might also need a live bait container (such as a minnow pail or a worm box), a stringer or an ice chest to keep your catch fresh, a landing web, rod- and- reel cases and a very first- aid kit for small emergencies.

    Streams and Rivers

    Fly Fishing Colorado's 6,000 miles of streams and over 2,000 lakes and tanks offer many fishing chances for cold water or warm water types. Wading trout streams can be a lot of enjoyable and, trout fly fishing is it brown trout, lake trout, rainbow trout or just about anything else that is trout, can keep the fly fisherman fascinated for hours on end.

    Fishing is something near and dear to many people, as are our families and getaway days. Fishing is a fantastic way to beat the heat, however it helps to understand how to utilize the high temperatures to your advantage. Modern fly fishing is generally stated to have actually originated on the quick, rocky rivers of Scotland and Northern England.

    [video width="640" height="360" mp4="/blogs/first-aid-mart/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/AMK-Steelhead-Video.mp4"][/video]
  • The leaves are turning, the weather's chill, you think you're gonna climb that hill...

    What a great time to enjoy the outdoors! Beautiful fall colors, mild temperatures so you don't end up dehydrated and sweat-soaked, less mosquitoes and biting insects (hopefully!)

    But before hitting the trail, you'll want to assure you're prepared for the unexpected.

    According to the American Hiking Society, there are ten things every hiker needs.

    Starting with footwear: Trail shoes are OK for a short day hike, but not if you will be carrying a heavy pack or taking on difficult terrain. Hiking boots, with better support are a smarter choice for longer hikes and for carrying heavier loads, especially when trekking in more challenging terrain.

    Even if you have your mobile device or a GPS unit, a map and compass are critical for backup. Don't forget to carry enough water.

    Take emergency food in case you're out longer than you planned - there is always a chance, no matter how slim, of getting lost, and you also may suffer an injury or find the hike goes longer than you expected.

    Even if your are expecting mild weather, bring rain gear and some extra (warm) clothing in case the weather changes suddenly. Always remember to dress in layers so you can add or remove as necessary for changing weather and body temperature levels. Always bring a hat.

    Sunscreen and sunglasses are essential, remember that above the tree line sun and snow can combine to cause snow blindness and sunburn.

    Even on a local trail or day hike, you need a whistle, a flashlight or glow sticks, and waterproof matches or lighter in case of an emergency.

    Did you Know?
    3 short bursts on a whistle is a signal for help.

    Every hiker should always carry an outdoor first-aid kit -- and even better, take a first-aid class. Another critical hiking item is a knife or multi-purpose tool, for cutting strips of cloth into bandages, removing splinters and fixing broken eyeglasses.

    What’s Bugging you? First Aid for Bites and Stings

    Your day-pack or backpack should be comfortable and be certain your have and emergency blanket or a rain cover to keep your belongings dry.

    Outdoor Protection/Preparedness

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