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    • Can insect repellents be used by pregnant or nursing women?

      BUGXThe CDC says that most repellents can be used on children aged >2 months. Protect infants aged <2 months from mosquitoes by using an infant carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit. Products containing OLE specify that they should not be used on children aged <3 years. Other than the safety tips listed above, EPA does not recommend any additional precautions for using registered repellents on children or on pregnant or lactating women.

      Industry leaders say Pregnant or lactating women should use the physical barriers described above to prevent contact with ticks. They may also consider having their OUTER clothing treated with Ben's® Clothing and Gear according to the label instructions. Ben's® Clothing and Gear provides 2 weeks of protection to clothing and gear. Other than the routine precautions, because there are too few studies conducted to examine the effects on infants of a mothers transdermal exposure to insect repellents, the EPA does not recommend specific precautions for using registered repellents on pregnant or lactating women. We recommend that you contact your physician with questions.

      pregnancy-buttonOther Pregnancy-related Topics:

    • Normal Windows and Storm Safety

      We are still in the midst of Hurricane season, and heading into National Preparedness Month: While you may not consider yourself a "Prepper", there is a simple step you can take to help assure your home is safer for any coming storm... check out your windows. Windows can protect you from winds, rain, heat, and cold - but they can also leak air and water, or worse  - the can shatter and become hazards. So don't think you must live in an area where storm windows are a "must" to think about windows and weather safety... check out your windows today.

      Don't Ignore These Windows Warning Signs

      We love a good window — especially one that lets light in but keeps the other elements out. Your window panes withstand a lot of abuse from heat, wind, debris and humidity, and even living creatures can inflict harm on your light panels.

      Over time, their form and function can decline, but when should you address potential issues? Below are six things not to ignore when it comes to your windows:

      Are your Windows Safe? Are your Windows Safe? Some content and image from

      1. Wood rot on the inside or outside of the window frame is an indication of water damage. If the exterior or interior structure is rotten, then water can infiltrate and cause damage to drywall, insulation and the wood support frames in your home.

      2. Signs of condensation in double-paned windows let you know that the watertight seals have damage or aren't working at all. The benefit of double-paned windows is the insulation from temperature changes and noise. Take away the benefit and you just have twice the amount of glass. Look for a white or cloudy film in between the glass panels; this is calcium residue.

      3. Water stains on walls under or around your windows are a clear sign of water damage. Broken window seals, cracks in the glass and gravity causing the house to settle are all opportunities for water to enter and cause problems. Similar to windows with wood rot, stains indicate a trouble zone that can result in costly repairs and health problems.

      4. Homes built before 1960 could contain lead-based paint, including around your window trim. If your home is a mid-century modern, chances are it contains this potential hazard. Replacing windows in this situation requires a professional who holds a certification in lead-safe remediation.

      5. An old window that won't stay open is a candidate for replacement. Broken weight and balance components, pulley systems, or locks are sometimes difficult to locate, rendering your window useless or potentially dangerous. If you fear for the safety of your fingers, then consider replacing the entire window.

      6. Diagonal cracks in walls around your windows could be pointing to foundation or crawl space damage. Gravity is inevitable, but during construction builders (should) consider the effects of gravity on a home and minimize its potential.

      When a building settles over time, the foundation can crack, and the house will shift. It's this alteration that causes cracks in walls and especially around windows.

      Houses built on crawl spaces face a similar scenario. Damage to blocks or piers will cause the weight of the house to redistribute. Like a shockwave, the ripples appear as cracks in the walls. If you notice hairline splits in the walls around your windows, call a foundation expert immediately.

      Also read: Window Safety Task ForceAre Window Blinds a Death Trap?How High-Speed Winds Can Damage Your Home, and Strengthen your home

    • Happy Summer - Are you Ready for Summer Safety, Summer Sun and More? #Summer

      Today is the First Day of Summer! Summer means fun outdoors, at the beach, Barbecues, sports - so many great ways to enjoy fresh air and sunshine.. but only when you do it safely! Here are some of our favorite Summer Safety Tips:

      Don’t let Summer begin without getting geared up... as we explained during Extreme Heat WeekExcessive Heat is more common now with Global Warming, and more Heat Waves -  Heat is a Major Killer. Watch out for Heat Alerts and know the Symptoms of Heat Disorders.

      Other Safety Blog Posts we think you may enjoy when preparing for a safe Summer:


    • Safety Precautions for the Disabled

      We all need to take precautions regarding several dangers and hazards. While most of us can do so without much hassle, the disabled among us can experience certain challenges in doing so.

      Here are some safety tips that you could make use of or keep in mind when taking care of somebody who is disabled.

      Fire Safety

      People with a disability may not be able to react as quickly as able-bodied people in case of a fire break-out. While it is good that disabled people want to live life on their own terms and be capable of handling all situations, they need to be made aware of precautionary measures.

      Fire-EvacMake use of special fire warning devices for the disabled. People who are hard of hearing or deaf can use smoke alarms with flashing lights or vibrating pads. Some smoke alarms also have strobe lights that can attract the attention of passers-by or neighbors when activated. One can also set up an emergency call system to summon help.

      At least one smoke alarm should be installed on each level of the house. Alarms need to be checked monthly and batteries need to be changed yearly.

      Living on the ground floor will be the safest choice. This will allow the person to reach the exit quicker. People who use scooters or wheelchairs should make sure that they are able to pass through exits without any hindrance. If exits are not accessible, one can consider widening doorways. Installing exit ramps is also a good idea.

      If you have a relative or a friend who has a disability, you must have them practice a fire safety drill or escape plan. As a person with a disability, if you need help, you can get in touch with your local fire department and ask for safety tips and instructions. Some fire safety personnel may even pay you a visit to inspect your home and suggest escape plans.

      Make sure there is a phone right next to your bed so that you can call 911 immediately in case of a fire. You might also need to change certain habits such as drinking and smoking simultaneously. If you happen to fall asleep during such times, your cigarette could slip out of your hand onto the rug and start a fire. Stub out your cigarette in the ash-tray at the first sign of drowsiness.

      Precautions to Take at Workplace

      Both employees as well as the employers need to take steps to ensure safety at the workplace. As a disabled individual, you must make it a point to attend any health and safety programs organized by your company. Whatever guidelines or warnings are set out by the company should be followed. Take part in safety or evacuation drills held by the company. You must speak up if something is being a hindrance to you. Having a comfortable working environment is important so that you can make the best use of your skills.

      As an employer, you will need to assess to what extent an employee’s disability affects his/her work. Take into consideration existing adjustments at the workplace and see if they are appropriate for your employees. You may need to make new adjustments.

      Adjustments needn’t be in the form of just installing low desks, ramps or escalators. Some individuals may only be able to work in a day shift due to their disability so you will need to adjust their shift timings accordingly.

      It will also be the employer’s responsibility to ensure that disabled individuals aren’t being criticized, judged or left out by others in the organization.

      Precaution against Crimes

      It will always help if you stay realistic regarding your physical limitations. Avoid going to places that are deserted. Never take short cuts through alleys, vacant parking lots or wooded areas.

      Pepper Spray 1/2 oz with Key Ring Pouch Pepper Spray 1/2 oz with Key Ring Pouch

      Wherever you go, always appear to be confident and in control of the situation. You don’t want to come across as an easy target. For the same reason, avoid following the same schedule every day.

      You should make a note of all the important places in your neighborhood. These include restaurants or food joints that are easily accessible, hospitals or clinics, stores, public telephones, and police stations. Establish a cordial relationship with your neighbors. If they are watchful, they are likely to make sure you’re safe too.

      You need to have good quality locks installed in your house. Peepholes are an absolute must. If you are wheelchair-bound, peepholes should be at your relative eye level.

      Air Horn - Pocket Size Air Horn - Pocket Size

      Always stay alert when using public transport, travelling to a new place or commuting to/from office. Carry your wallet or handbag close to your body instead of having it dangling by a strap. You should always carry your identity card and medical information with you. This will be of great help in times of emergencies.

      You will also need to be wary of con artists. Always use your common sense and never let desperation or greed overcome it. Avoid investing money or buying things where you need to make quick on-the-spot decisions or pay only cash.


      Prevention is always better than cure. While we may never be able to reduce crimes or mishaps to nil, we can strive to avoid such instances or be prepared for them in a better way. This takes a little bit of extra effort when it comes to people with disabilities. Identifying problems beforehand and working to get things right way before they go wrong will ensure safety for disabled individuals.

      With National Preparedness Month coming up in September, we recommend you also read:

       Some Content by Julie Howard - See Julie Howard's blog @

    • World Health Day 2016: Beat diabetes

      Thursday is World Health Day. Sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), World Health Day is about global health awareness and improvement.

      Every year, the World Health Organization selects a priority area of global public health concern as the theme for World Health Day, which falls on 7 April, the birthday of the Organization.

      This year, the theme is "Beat diabetes".

      WHD-2016Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose which may over time lead to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. The prevalence of diabetes has been steadily increasing in the past few decades, in particular in low- and middle-income countries. Knowledge exists to reverse this trend through targeted prevention and appropriate care.

      → A Snapshot: Diabetes In The United States 

      → Take the prediabetes quiz to see if you’re at risk

      → Did you know that Diabetes is a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease?

      Diabetes and its complications bring about substantial economic loss to people with diabetes and their families, and to health systems and national economies through direct medical costs and loss of work and wages. Learn More


    • Watch out for Bunnies and Others on the Road

      This weekend, many will be traveling to spend time with family, have outings with children, and "celebrate".

      While Easter is not a holiday typically known as a "party weekend", people, do, nevertheless, imbibe. What is different about Easter is that often the drinking occurs earlier in the day... while typically you can judge the "odds" of other drivers being under the influence by the time of day (or rather night) - on Easter, you should consider that many may be having a liquid brunch as well.

      Here are some other tips for road safety this weekend:

      ⊗ Auto-EmergencyRoad Safety: Keeping Safe & Secure

      ⊗ Driving Safety and Preventable Death: 9 Lifesaving Resources

      ⊗ Remember Road Fatalities

      ⊗ Driving During Thunderstorms

      ⊗ Sobering Facts about Drunk Driving

      DOT Chart showing typical alcohol impaired driving by hour:Drinking-by-the-hour

    • February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

      Prevent Teen Dating Violence at All Levels

      February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month—a time to highlight the urgent need for strategies that stop dating violence before it starts and to promote healthy, violence-free relationships.

      This model (below) describes prevention strategies that address risks for experiencing and perpetrating teen dating violence before young people start dating, from the individual level to society overall.

      Teen dating violence is defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. It can occur in person or electronically and might occur between a current or former dating partner. Several different words are used to describe teen dating violence. Below are just a few.

      • Relationship abuse
      • Intimate partner violence
      • Relationship violence
      • Dating abuse
      • Domestic abuse
      • Domestic violence

      Dating violence is widespread with serious long-term and short-term effects. Many teens do not report it because they are afraid to tell friends and family. A 2011 CDC nationwide survey found that 23% of females and 14% of males who ever experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age.   A 2013 survey found approximately 10% of high school students reported physical victimization and 10% reported sexual victimization from a dating partner in the 12 months before they were surveyed.

      Dating violence is preventable when teens, families, organizations, and communities come together and implement effective prevention efforts. Teen Violence

    • Preparedness for all Calamities - Stay Strong and Survive!

      Earthquakes in California - Well that was the idea, but seismic activity is up Globally in areas that never worried about Earthquakes before. Tornadoes & Hurricanes have been ravaging areas that previously weren't concerned with weather disasters. Wherever you are, you should be prepared to survive for at least 72 hours without outside services, better, have supplies and a plan to sustain your workplace or household for 5 days or longer (we learned this from Katrina!)

      Emergency preparedness is not the sole concern of Californians for earthquakes, those who live in "Tornado Alley"; or Gulf Coast residents because of hurricanes. Most communities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime. Americans also travel more than ever before; to areas impacted by hazards they may not be at risk of near their homes. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.

      Survival Gear for Businesses and Preparedness Products for Home & Auto Survival Gear for Businesses and Preparedness Products for Home & Auto

      Some of the basic protective actions are similar for multiple hazards. For example, safety is necessary when experiencing all hazards, whether this means sheltering or evacuating depends on the specific emergency. Developing a family communications plan or making an emergency supply kit are the same for accidental emergencies, natural disasters and also terrorism. However, there are important differences among potential emergencies that should impact the decisions you make and the actions you take.

      Here are some survival recommendations, plans, lists and ideas:

      Preparedness for All Hazards

      Emergency preparedness requires attention not just to specific types of hazards but also to steps that increase preparedness for any type of hazard. The resources below are intended to help professionals take an all-hazards approach to preparedness.

      Preppers know to be ready, but we all need our "Go Gear" - be ready when emergencies occur! Preppers know to be ready, but we all need our "Go Gear" - be ready when emergencies occur!
    • Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

      Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After an Emergency

      Smoke-AlarmCarbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled.

      When power outages occur during emergencies such as hurricanes or winter storms, the use of alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home, garage, or camper and to poison the people and animals inside.

      Every year, more than 400 people die in the U. S. from accidental CO poisoning.

      CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by small gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns, and gas ranges, or by burning charcoal and wood. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and can die from breathing CO.

      How to Recognize CO Poisoning

      Exposure to CO can cause loss of consciousness and death. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms.

      Important CO Poisoning Prevention Tips

      • Photo of generator.Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home.
      • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
      • Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine outside an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
      • Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris can block ventilation lines.
      • Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
      • If conditions are too hot or too cold, seek shelter with friends or at a community shelter.
      • If CO poisoning is suspected, consult a health care professional right away.

      Other Carbon Monoxide Resources

      Are smoke alarms enough?

      For educational materials, flyers, public service announcements, clinical guidance, and other resources, see Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After a Disaster.

    • Dealing with the Media in Emergency Situations

      Media Hype and Hysteria are some of the most troublesome factors when trying to manage an emergency situation. While News Media are purportedly in business to provide truthful, accurate, and helpful news to the public, oftentimes, their firs goal is ratings - this can lead them to take any rumor and sensationalize it for viewership/readership/market share.

      You can turn this around and use them to actually help manage a situation if you cultivate the right relationships and have a good plan in place.

      Things to consider include:

      - Establishing a relationship with the media before a crisis occurs.
      - The duties and responsibilities of the Public Information Officer (PIO).
      - Early response to the media during an incident.
      - Insuring the safety of the media.
      - Unauthorized communication with the media.
      - The consequences of rumors and misinformation.

      Two resources to help you get started:

      Guides and training for dealing with Media in Emergencies

      Dealing with the Media in Emergency Situations

      First Aid Store offers training products on Dealing with the Media in Emergency to help employees understand the importance of building a good relationship with the media and how to deal with the media during an emergency situation. Topics covered in these products include: Establishing a relationship with the media before a crisis occurs, The duties and responsibilities of the Public Information Officer (PIO), Early response to the media during an incident, Insuring the safety of the media, Unauthorized communication with the media, The consequences of rumors and misinformation, and more.

      FEMA Emergency Management Institute Webinar
      Understanding the Basic Relationship between Public Information Officers and Journalists
      February 24, 2016 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EST
      The webinar will provide college level emergency management and homeland security educators with a basic understanding of the relationship between Public Information Officers and Journalists.
      Ed McDonough, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, will discuss why emergency managers and PIOs need the media and what we expect from the media. Stacey Cohan, freelance journalist, will go over the "mind of the media" to help participants better understand how journalists work and think to better know what is needed and why. Stephen Carter, Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management, Frederick Community College, will moderate.
      Learning Objectives:
      1. Students need to have a basic understanding of how the process works.
      2. Students will need to know where to find PIO professionals in the municipal, county or state
      government where they might work; in the private sector, corporation or hospital; or in the non-governmental agency.
      3. Understand the importance of all colleges and universities offering emergency management,
      homeland security and related programs provide one or more PIO/risk communications courses Participants are asked to register in advance for the online webinar. Closed captioning will be provided.
      The registration link is:
      For additional information: Contact Wendy Walsh, EMI Higher Education PM -

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