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Local news offices issue tornado ... Check your insurance coverage ... and insurance protection program designed to reduce the escalating cost of disasters. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • 5 cold-weather health hazards,
  • and how to stay safe

  • A. Hypothermia occurs when body temperature falls
    below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Determine this by
    taking your temperature. Warning signs include
    uncontrollable shivering, memory loss,
    disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech,
    drowsiness, and exhaustion. Get medical attention
    immediately. If you can't get help quickly, begin
    warming the body SLOWLY. Warm the body core
    first, NOT the extremities. Warming extremities
    first drives the cold blood to the heart and can
    cause the body temperature to drop further--which
    may lead to heart failure. Get the person into
    dry clothing and wrap in a warm blanket covering
    the head and neck. Do not give the person
    alcohol, drugs, coffee, or any HOT beverage or
    food. WARM broth and food is better. About 20 of
    cold related deaths occur in the home. Young
    children under the age of two and the elderly,
    those more than 60 years of age, are most
    susceptible to hypothermia. Hypothermia can set
    in over a period of time. Keep the thermostat
    above 69 degrees Fahrenheit, wear warm clothing,
    eat food for warmth, and drink plenty of water
    (or fluids other than alcohol) to keep hydrated.
  • NOTE Alcohol will lower your body temperature.

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2. Colds and flu
  • Each year, adults get an average of about three
    colds every year, and 1 in 5 adults will get the
    flu. Although colds and flu arent specific to
    cold-weather months, they're both more prevalent
    during winter. One Welsh study suggests that cold
    temperatures can actually lead to a cold by
    limiting the supply of infection-fighting white
    blood cells in the nasal passage, where cold
    viruses most often enter the body. And research
    shows that the flu virus is more stable and stays
    in the air longer when air is cold and dry.
  • What to watch for Its often difficult to know
    whether you have a cold or the flu, because the
    symptoms can be similar. At the onset of a cold,
    you may feel a dry, scratchy sore throat,
    sneezing, a headache, runny nose with watery
    mucus, watery eyes, chills, and a fever. Later
    symptoms can include a blocked nose, sinus pain,
    a cough that keep you awake at night, muscle
    aches and pains, tiredness, and loss of appetite.
    Flu symptoms are normally worse than and come on
    more quickly than cold symptoms and include a
    fever of about 100 degrees to 104 degrees F, a
    dry cough, muscle aches, headache, a stopped up
    nose, sore throat, and feeling extremely tired.
  • Stay-safe tips With a cold, you may feel quite
    sick for a couple of days, but your symptoms
    should clear up in a week to 10 days. And most
    people recover from the flu within a week. Of
    course, both will very likely need to be treated
    by medicines. Theres no cure for a cold, but
    taking cold medicines may help lessen your
    symptoms while your body fights off the virus.
    Take a look at our recommendations for what cold
    medicines work best. (subscribers only). Be sure
    to steer clear of antibiotics--they don't work
    for viruses and they have side effects. For flu,
    a flu shot will help your body fight off the flu
    virus, but if you already have the virus, the CDC
    recommends zanamivir (Relenza), an inhaled drug,
    for treating seasonal flu in people age 7 and
    older or a combination of oseltamivir and

3. Frostbite
  • Frostbite can cause a loss of feeling and color
    in the affected areas, such as the nose, ears,
    cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can
    permanently damage body tissue, and severe cases
    can lead to amputation. In extremely cold
    temperatures, the risk of frostbite is increased
    in people with reduced blood circulation and when
    people are not dressed properly.
  • What to watch for Signs of frostbite include
    reduced blood flow to hands and feet (fingers or
    toes can freeze), numbness, tingling or stinging,
    aching, and bluish or pail, waxy skin.
  • Stay-safe tips To prevent frostbite, wear warm
    clothing and dress in layers when you plan to be
    outdoors for an extended amount of time, and keep
    dry (wet clothes increase chance of heat loss).
    If you notice the signs of frostbite, get into a
    warm room as soon as possible. Immerse the
    affected area in warm water or warm it area using
    body heat. Avoid rubbing or massaging the
    frostbitten area doing so may cause more damage.
    And do not use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the
    heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for
    warming since affected areas are numb and can be
    easily burned.

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4. Depression
  • About 5 percent of Americans, three-quarters of
    them women, experience seasonal affective
    disorder (SAD) each year, a type of depression
    that typically occurs during the cold-weather
  • Signs to watch for Some symptoms are similar to
    those associated with other types of depression
    sadness, fatigue, excessive sleepiness, social
    withdrawal, and trouble concentrating. But people
    with SAD also tend to move slowly, crave
    carbohydrates, and gain weight. And they're less
    likely than people with conventional depression
    to have feelings of worthlessness or thoughts of
  • Stay-safe tips If suspect youre suffering from
    SAD, the nonprofit Center for Environmental
    Therapeutics has an online questionnaire that can
    help you determine whether you have it. For mild
    cases, doing 60 minutes of outdoor aerobic
    exercise in the morning might bring some relief.
    For more persistent cases, talk to our doctor
    about therapies, including light therapy and
    antidepressant. Other treatment options include
    cognitive-behavioral therapy, in which you learn
    to ward off negative thoughts about the season
    and work on finding enjoyable activities. That
    kind of therapy might also help prevent a

5. Heart Attacks
  • Its true that there are numerous risk factors
    for heart attack, including having high
    cholesterol, being male, and smoking cigarettes,
    but did you know heart attacks are more common in
    winter? This may be because cold snaps increase
    blood pressure and put more strain on the heart.
    Also, your heart also has to work harder to
    maintain body heat when it's cold.
  • What to watch for The warning signs for a heart
    attack include, chest pain (though not always),
    shortness of breath, sudden fatigue or dizziness,
    sweating, nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat,
    blue tinge to your skin.
  • Stay-safe tips Bundle up outside and take it
    easy when exerting yourself in the cold to help
    prevent a heart attack. If the symptoms we
    mentioned above strike, dont ignore them
  • call 911 immediately.

Cold Weather Hazards and Injuries
  • Winter can be a wonderful time of year for those
    who choose to embrace it, but there are potential
    dangers associated with cold weather and we would
    all do well to remind ourselves of them. When the
    icy blasts of winter arrive, many people tend to
    stay indoors and adopt a more inactive lifestyle
    than perhaps they should. By 'hibernating,' we're
    exposing ourselves to greater risk because our
    hearts need regular exercise to remain healthy
  • An Italian study in 2008 revealed a significant
    increase in heart attack admissions to hospital
    with the arrival of colder weather. Another study
    noted that a 10-degree drop in temperature
    increases the risk of a recurrent heart attack by
    38. Winter weather alone can constrict blood
    vessels, making the heart work harder, and the
    additional strain of strenuous activity -
    shoveling snow, for example - may trigger a heart
  • People with known heart problems or who are in
    poor physical shape and/or have a family history
    of heart disease should consult their doctor
    before engaging in strenuous activities.
  • Seasonal colds and the flu can also increase the
    burden on our hearts, as can stress associated
    with the holidays. If you are going to shovel
    snow or undertake some form of strenuous
    activity, avoid having a full stomach as it can
    cause further strain on the heart. Warm up your
    muscles with some basic stretches before
    beginning shoveling or other activities, and take
    a breather from time to time.

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  • Flash floods and floods are the 1 cause of
    deaths associated with thunderstorms...more than
    140 fatalities each year.
  • Most flash flood fatalities occur at night and
    most victims are people who become trapped in
  • Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off
    your feet a depth of two feet will cause most
    vehicles to float.

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Flash Flood Safety Rules
  • Avoid walking, swimming, or diving in flood
  • Stay away from high water, storm drains, ditches,
    ravines, or culverts. If it is moving swiftly,
    even water six inches deep can knock you off your
  • If you come upon flood waters, stop, turn around,
    and go another way. Climb to higher ground.
  • Do not let children play near storm drains.

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What is a tornado watch?
  • A tornado watch defines an area shaped like a
    parallelogram, where tornadoes and other kinds of
    severe weather are possible in the next several
    hours. It does not mean tornadoes are imminent --
    just that you need to be alert, and to be
    prepared to go to safe shelter if tornadoes do
    happen or a warning is issued. This is the time
    to turn on local TV or radio, turn on and set the
    alarm switch on your weather radio, make sure you
    have ready access to safe shelter, and make your
    friends and family aware of the potential for
    tornadoes in the area

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What is a tornado warning?
  • A tornado warning means that a tornado has been
    spotted, or that Doppler radar indicates a
    thunderstorm circulation which can spawn a
    tornado. When a tornado warning is issued for
    your town or county, take immediate safety
    precautions. Local news offices issue tornado

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  • "Preventing the loss of life and minimizing the
    damage to property from hurricanes are
    responsibilities that are shared by all."
  • Throughout this Web site, information has been
    provided regarding actions that you can take
    based on specific hurricane hazards. The most
    important thing that you can do is to be informed
    and prepared. Disaster prevention includes both
    being prepared as well as reducing damages
  • Disaster Prevention should include
  • Developing a Family Plan
  • Creating a Disaster Supply Kit
  • Having a Place to Go
  • Securing your Home
  • Having a Pet Plan
  • One of the most important decisions you will have
    to make is "Should I Evacuate?"
  • If you are asked to evacuate, you should do so
    without delay. But unless you live in a coastal
    or low-lying area, an area that floods
    frequently, or in manufactured housing, it is
    unlikely that emergency managers will ask you to
    evacuate. That means that it is important for you
    and your family to HAVE A PLAN that makes you as
    safe as possible in your home.
  • Disaster prevention includes modifying your home
    to strengthen it against storms so that you can
    be as safe as possible. It also includes having
    the supplies on hand to weather the storm. The
    suggestions provided here are only guides. You
    should use common sense in your disaster

  • Discuss the type of hazards that could affect
    your family. Know your home's vulnerability to
    storm surge, flooding and wind.
  • Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your
    home for each hurricane hazard. In certain
    circumstances the safest areas may not be your
    home but within your community.
  • Determine escape routes from your home and
    places to meet. These should be measured in tens
    of miles rather than hundreds of miles.
  • Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact,
    so all your family members have a single point of
  • Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if
    you need to evacuate.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones
    and make sure your children know how and when to
    call 911.
  • Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is
    not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
  • Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a
    Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace
    its battery every 6 months, as you do with your
    smoke detectors.
  • Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness

Creating a Disaster Supply Kit
  • Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3
    to 7 days
  • Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days
    non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
    foods for infants or the elderly snack foods
    non-electric can opener cooking tools / fuel
    paper plates / plastic utensils
  • Blankets / Pillows, etc.
  • Clothing - seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
  • First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs
  • Special Items - for babies and the elderly
  • Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes
  • Flashlight / Batteries
  • Radio - Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
  • Telephones - Fully charged cell phone with extra
    battery and a traditional (not cordless)
    telephone set
  • Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards -
    Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended
  • Keys
  • Toys, Books and Games
  • Important documents - in a waterproof container
    or watertight resalable plastic bag insurance,
    medical records, bank account numbers, Social
    Security card, etc.
  • Tools - keep a set with you during the storm
  • Vehicle fuel tanks filled
  • Pet care items proper identification /
    immunization records / medications ample supply
    of food and water a carrier or cage muzzle
    and leash

  • Develop a family hurricane preparedness plan
    before an actual storm threatens your area. If
    your family hurricane preparedness plan includes
    evacuation to a safer location for any of the
    reasons specified with in this web site, then it
    is important to consider the following points
  • If ordered to evacuate, do not wait or delay your
    departure. If possible, leave before local
    officials issue an evacuation order for your
    area. Even a slight delay in starting your
    evacuation will result in significantly longer
    travel times as traffic congestion worsens.
  • Select an evacuation destination that is nearest
    to your home, preferably in the same county, or
    at least minimize the distance over which you
    must travel in order to reach your intended
    shelter location. In choosing your destination,
    keep in mind that the hotels and other sheltering
    options in most inland metropolitan areas are
    likely to be filled very quickly in a large,
    multi-county hurricane evacuation event.
  • If you decide to evacuate to another county or
    region, be prepared to wait in traffic. The
    large number of people in this state who must
    evacuate during a hurricane will probably cause
    massive delays and major congestion along most
    designated evacuation routes the larger the
    storm, the greater the probability of traffic
    jams and extended travel times.
  • If possible, make arrangements to stay with the
    friend or relative who resides closest to your
    home and who will not have to evacuate. Discuss
    with your intended host the details of your
    family evacuation plan well before the beginning
    of the hurricane season.
  • If a hotel or motel is your final intended
    destination during an evacuation, make
    reservations before you leave. Most hotel and
    motels will fill quickly once evacuations begin.
    The longer you wait to make reservations, even if
    an official evacuation order has not been issued
    for your area or county, the less likely you are
    to find hotel/motel room vacancies, especially
    along interstate highways and in major
    metropolitan areas.
  • If you are unable to stay with friends or family
    and no hotels/motels rooms are available, then as
    a last resort go to a shelter.  Remember,
    shelters are not designed for comfort and do not
    usually accept pets.  Bring your disaster supply
    kit with you to the shelter. Find Pet-Friendly
    hotels and motels.
  • Make sure that you fill up your car with gas,
    before you leave.

  • RETROFITTING YOUR HOMEThe most important
    precaution you can take to reduce damage to your
    home and property is to protect the areas where
    wind can enter. According to recent wind
    technology research, it's important to strengthen
    the exterior of your house so wind and debris do
    not tear large openings in it. You can do this by
    protecting and reinforcing these five critical
  • A great time to start securing - or retrofitting
    - your house is when you are making other
    improvements or adding an addition.  
  • Remember building codes reflect the lessons
    experts have learned from past catastrophes.
    Contact the local building code official to find
    out what requirements are necessary for your home
    improvement projects.
  • FLOOD INSURANCEThe National Flood Insurance
    Program, is a pre-disaster flood mitigation and
    insurance protection program designed to reduce
    the escalating cost of disasters. The National
    Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed
    flood insurance available to residents and
    business owners
  • Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners
    insurance.  Do not make assumptions.  Check your

  • Make sure that your pets are current on their
    vaccinations.  Pet shelters may require proof of
  • Have a current photograph
  • Keep a collar with identification on your pet and
    have a leash on hand to control your pet.
  • Have a properly-sized pet carrier for each animal
    - carriers should be large enough for the animal
    to stand  and turn around.
  • Plan your evacuation strategy and don't forget
    your pet!  Specialized pet shelters, animal
    control shelters, veterinary clinics and friends
    and relatives out of harm's way are ALL potential
    refuges for your pet during a disaster.
  • If you plan to shelter your pet - work it into
    your evacuation route planning.
  • Animals brought to a pet shelter are required to
    have  Proper identification collar and rabies
    tag, proper identification on all belongings, a
    carrier or cage, a leash, an ample supply of
    food, water and food bowls, any necessary
    medications, specific care instructions and news
    papers or trash bags for clean-up.
  • Bring pets indoor well in advance of a storm -
    reassure them and remain calm.
  • Pet shelters will be filled on first come, first
    served basis.  Call ahead and determine
  • Walk pets on a leash until they become
    re-oriented to their home - often familiar scents
    and landmarks may be altered and pets could
    easily be confused and become lost.  Also, downed
    power lines, reptiles brought in with high water
    and debris can all pose a threat for animals
    after a disaster.
  • If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact
    the local animal control office to find out where
    lost animals can be recovered.  Bring along a
    picture of your pet if possible.
  • After a disaster animals can become aggressive or
    defensive - monitor their behavior.
  • Don't forget your pet when preparing a family
    disaster plan.