Tag Archives: Home and Garden

Straight, No Chaser: Mass Trauma Alert – When Disaster Strikes

If you’ve become a regular reader of Straight, No Chaser (thank you!), you will note the recurring theme of prevention. There’s often just not enough time to act in the midst of a life-threatening emergency. Today, I’m just asking you to put together a simple contingency, emergency supplies kit for whatever disaster may befall you and your family. Should you ever need it, I suspect you’ll be glad you did. The disaster you’re preparing for could last hours or more than a few days. Depending on where you live, it could be a hurricane, tornado, blizzard, or wildfire. Or maybe you’ve just become trapped inside your home; maybe you’re trapped outside your home, and your children are trapped at home. You might not have access to food, water, or electricity. With preparation of emergency water, food, and a disaster supplies kit, you can provide for and protect your entire family.
Without getting precise or complicated, it’s a very good idea to assemble a basic collection of items in the event of any emergency or disaster. All of this should sound basic and obvious, but, unless assembled and at the ready, you might not be able to access what you need. It would be good to strategically place kits at home, work, and/or car. Also consider any unique health and medical needs of your family, and include these in your kit. Store at least a 3-day supply, and if at all possible, up to a 2-week supply that will cover each member of your family. Don’t forget to consider your pets. Here’s a list of essentials. Use it to customize and develop your kit.

  • Water—one gallon per person, per day. This is a must. Think one half-gallon for drinking and another for food preparation and hygiene. If you are unable to store this much, store as much as you can without making your kit too difficult to maneuver. You can conserve water and energy of water by reducing activity and staying cool.
  • Food—non­perishable, easy to prepare items (Don’t forget the can opener.)
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7­-day supply) and any supplies needed to administer them
  • Flashlight
  • Battery­ powered radio (will last longer than the charge on your smartphone)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Extra batteries for everything
  • Multi­purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (birth certificates, insurance policies, medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, etc.) with family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blankets and towels
  • Area maps
  • Extra house and car keys
  • Protective masks
  • Rain gear
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat, and sturdy shoes
  • Duct tape
  • Something to cut with (scissors, pocket knife)
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items and other creature comfort items to help maintain your sanity

Pack the items in easy-to-carry containers, label the containers clearly, and store them where they would be easily accessible. Rollable trash containers and backpacks are very good for this purpose. In a disaster situation, you may need access to your disaster supplies kit quickly—whether you are sheltering at home or evacuating.
So there you have it. I’ve tried to be basic. Much more detailed information is available, and I’d suggest you tailor your kit to what types of disasters are most likely in your area. Take an hour and do this. Without a good disaster plan and kit, the disaster itself will only be the first wave of trauma to hit.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) will offer beginning November 1. Until then enjoy some our favorite posts and frequently asked questions as well as a daily note explaining the benefits of SMA membership. Please share our page with your Friends on WordPress, and we can be found on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Hot Tub and Barbershop Folliculitis (Yep, Even More Staph Infections!)

hottubfolliculitis_20 Folliculitis
Follulicitis. You know it well as hot tub rash, barber bumps, ingrown hairs and many other names. The first thing you need to know is the ‘itis’ means inflammation, and the follicle is the pouch from which your hair grows. Any inflammation of that area is folliculitis. You’ll typically see white-headed pimples with or without itching, pain and redness. So what? Let’s quickly run through causes, problems, prevention and treatment.

  • It’s usually caused by microorganisms (usually bacteria, including Staph and others, but also yeast, fungi and viruses may do the same).
  • Blocking skin pores will also get you there (think heavy application of make-up or oils, or heavy sweating in tight spandex-type clothing).
  • External irritation can be a cause (think long-term topical steroid use, tight clothing, untreated scratches or lacerations, improperly chlorinated hot tubs, whirlpools or swimming pools).

It’s inflammation that most commonly is an infection. The irritation can progress to a skin infection (cellulitis) and/or a boil (abscess). These can range from annoyances to ‘not-fun’ to outright problematic, particularly if you’re diabetic, have HIV or otherwise have a compromised immune system.
I’m just going to give you a list of healthy hygiene tips that will serve you well in many circumstances, including prevention of folliculitis.

  • Use antimicrobial soap.
  • Don’t share towels, and avoid using the same towel multiple times (Sorry, hotel chains!).
  • Shower immediately after getting out of the swimming pool, whirlpool or hot tub.
  • Don’t shave (and avoid otherwise irritating) areas where razor bumps exist.
  • Be moderate with application of lotions, makeups and other moisturizers.

Most cases of folliculitis, whether an inflammation or an infection, resolve in 1-2 weeks, assuming you don’t further irritate it to the point where an substantial skin infection sets in. Consider the following a treatment progression for the overwhelming majority of cases; cases more severe (or any you may be concerned with) require consultation with your individual physician.

  • Warm compresses (clean, hot towels) to the area do a world of good.
  • Wash with antimicrobial soap, and consider using medicated shampoo, particularly if the discomfort is on the scalp and/or beard.
  • Your physician may consider topical or oral antibiotics if the situation warrants or worsens. That means you need to be alert for spreading of the bumps, fever, drainage or worsening of pain, swelling or redness.

Good luck, and I welcome your questions or comments.
Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress