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Monthly Archives: January 2016

  • Scalds

    Scalds are a dangerous and frequent type of burn.

    "It can happen in a Flash with a Splash" liquid and steam burn like fire.

    scaldAccording to American Burn Association in their "Burn incident and treatment in the United States: 2013 fact sheet", every minute, someone in the United States sustains a burn injury serious enough to require treatment. (Estimated 450,000 injuries/year or i.e., a burn injury every 70 seconds.)

    A safe bathing temperature is 100°F - set water heaters at 120°F/48°C or just below the medium setting - Hot water will burn skin at temperatures much lower than boiling point (212°F/100°C). In fact, it only takes 2 seconds of exposure to 148°F/64°C water to cause a burn serious enough to require surgery!

    This coming week is National Burn Awareness Week, so stand by for more safety tips for burn and scald prevention!

    Burn First Aid: Know the Severity and the Treatment

  • Burn Awareness Week: Don’t Get Burned

    February 1-7 is Burn Awareness Week. Take time with your family and friends to discuss how to prevent scalding and burns, which is especially important because every day routines such as cooking, ironing, bathing, washing clothes, and curling hair can cause burn injuries. In fact, according to the American Burn Association (ABA) most burns are started in the kitchen and bathroom.

    First Aid Store offers the best brands of Burn First Aid & Burn Care Products and Supplies: From our Burn First Aid Kits to Burn Sprays, Burn Care Products and S.T.A.R.T Burn Care Unit. We offer Fire Blankets, Water Gel Wraps, Water Gel, Burn Cream & Dressings. Everything you need to treat burns! First Aid Store offers the best brands of Burn First Aid & Burn Care Products and Supplies: From our Burn First Aid Kits to Burn Sprays, Burn Care Products and S.T.A.R.T Burn Care Unit. We offer Fire Blankets, Water Gel Wraps, Water Gel, Burn Cream & Dressings. Everything you need to treat burns!

    Prevent burn injury by making changes to some of your daily routines. The National Fire Protection Association offers some recommendations to keep you and your family safe:
    • Allow microwave food to cool before eating;
    • Place hot liquids and food in the center of a table or toward the back of a counter;
    • Test bath water before you or a child get in the tub; and
    • Never heat a baby bottle in the microwave oven. Heat baby bottles in warm water from the faucet.

    If you do receive a burn injury, you should:
    • Cool the burn with cool water for three to five minutes;
    • Cover it with a clean, dry cloth; and
    • Seek medical attention if needed.

    Learn more about Burn Safety:

    Burn First Aid: Know the Severity and the Treatment

    Treating a Burn

    Burn First Aid

    Prevent Burn Injury in Children

    Image showing burn care first aid products Burn First Aid & Burn Care Products and Supplies: From our Burn First Aid Kits to Burn Sprays, Burn Care Products and S.T.A.R.T Burn Care Unit. We offer Fire Blankets, Water Gel Wraps, Water Gel, Burn Cream & Dressings. Everything you need to treat burns!
  • Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic

    We've been so focused on cold weather, we haven't shared a lot about Cold & Flu yet this season... Remember that Seasonal Flu can be serious, and can spread through the workplace rapidly.

    The flu vaccine is your best defense against seasonal flu. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine.
    While this year the Flu has been moderate in it's spread, you should still use the Flu Vaccine Finder to find a flu vaccine location near you.

    Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic

    OSHA 3327-02N 2007
    Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's employees by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health.

    This handbook provides a general overview of a particular topic related to OSHA standards. It does not alter or determine compliance responsibilities in OSHA standards or the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Because interpretations and en-forcement policy may change over time, you should consult current OSHA administrative interpretations and decisions by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and the Courts for additional guidance on OSHA compliance requirements.

    A pandemic influenza will have little direct impact on the physical infrastructure of America’s Critical Infrastructure/Key Resource sectors, but could have a devastating impact on America’s workforce.  Anticipating and planning for a potential 40 percent reduction in the workforce for up to two weeks (and significant absenteeism for up to 12 weeks) will be critical to ensure that essential services are maintained.

    Voluntary Isolation/Voluntary Home Quarantine

    Voluntary isolation means all persons with confirmed or suspected pandemic influenza remain at home or within a healthcare setting; voluntary home quarantine means members of households with confirmed or suspected influenza stay at home.

    Social Distancing of Adults in the Community and Workplace 

    Social distancing of adults in the community and workplace may include canceling large public gatherings, altering workplace environments, and instituting flexible leave policies.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has developed interim planning guidance for implementing community mitigation strategies in the home, school, workplace and community to reduce pandemic influenza transmission.  These strategies are divided into four broad categories:  voluntary isolation, voluntary home quarantine, child social distancing (including dismissing children from school and child care), and social distancing of adults in the workplace and community.  The strategies challenge employers and their human resources professionals to consider the best planning and response in advance of a pandemic. This document ( offers answers to many questions the U.S. business community may have regarding the impact of community mitigation strategies on the workplace.

    As an overall matter, employers should be guided in their relationship with their employees not only by federal employment law, but by their own employee handbooks, manuals, and contracts (including bargaining agreements), and by any applicable state or local laws.

    How a Severe Pandemic Influenza Could Affect Workplaces

    Unlike natural disasters or terrorist events, an influenza pandemic will be widespread, affecting multiple areas of the United States and other countries at the same time. A pandemic will also be an extended event, with multiple waves of outbreaks in the same geographic area; each outbreak could last from 6 to 8 weeks. Waves of outbreaks may occur over a year or more. Your workplace will likely experience:

    • Absenteeism - A pandemic could affect as many as 40 percent of the workforce during periods of peak influenza illness. Employees could be absent because they are sick, must care for sick family members or for children if schools or day care centers are closed, are afraid to come to work, or the employer might not be notified that the employee has died.
    • Change in patterns of commerce - During a pandemic, consumer demand for items related to infection control is likely to increase dramatically, while consumer interest in other goods may decline. Consumers may also change the ways in which they shop as a result of the pandemic. Consumers may try to shop at off-peak hours to reduce contact with other people, show increased interest in home delivery services, or prefer other options, such as drive-through service, to reduce person-to-person contact.
    • Interrupted supply/delivery - Shipments of items from those geographic areas severely affected by the pandemic may be delayed or cancelled.

    Who Should Plan for a Pandemic

    To reduce the impact of a pandemic on your operations, employees, customers and the general public, it is important for all businesses and organizations to begin continuity planning for a pandemic now. Lack of continuity planning can result in a cascade of failures as employers attempt to address challenges of a pandemic with insufficient resources and employees who might not be adequately trained in the jobs they will be asked to perform. Proper planning will allow employers to better protect their employees and prepare for changing patterns of commerce and potential disruptions in supplies or services. Important tools for pandemic planning for employers are located at

    The U.S. government has placed a special emphasis on supporting pandemic influenza planning for public and private sector businesses deemed to be critical industries and key resources (CI/KR). Critical infrastructure are the thirteen sectors that provide the production of essential goods and services, interconnectedness and operability, public safety, and security that contribute to a strong national defense and thriving economy. Key resources are facilities, sites, and groups of organized people whose destruction could cause large-scale injury, death, or destruction of property and/or profoundly damage our national prestige and confidence. With 85 percent of the nation's critical infrastructure in the hands of the private sector, the business community plays a vital role in en-suring national pandemic preparedness and response. Additional guidance for CI/KR business is available at:

    Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources
    Key Resources

    • Government Facilities
    • Dams
    • Commercial Facilities
    • Nuclear Power Plants
    • Critical Infrastructure
    • Food and Agriculture
    • Public Health and Healthcare
    • Banking and Finance
    • Chemical and Hazardous Materials
    • Defense Industrial Base
    • Water
    • Energy
    • Emergency Services
    • Information Technology
    • Telecommunications
    • Postal and Shipping
    • Transportation
    • National Monuments and Icons

    How Influenza Can Spread Between People

    Influenza is thought to be primarily spread through large droplets (droplet transmission) that directly contact the nose, mouth or eyes. These droplets are produced when infected people cough, sneeze or talk, sending the relatively large infectious droplets and very small sprays (aerosols) into the nearby air and into contact with other people. Large droplets can only travel a limited range; therefore, people should limit close contact (within 6 feet) with others when possible. To a lesser degree, human influenza is spread by touching objects contaminated with influenza viruses and then transferring the infected material from the hands to the nose, mouth or eyes. Influenza may also be spread by very small infectious particles (aerosols) traveling in the air. The contribution of each route of exposure to influenza transmission is uncertain at this time and may vary based upon the characteristics of the influenza strain.

    Classifying Employee Exposure to Pandemic Influenza at Work

    Employee risks of occupational exposure to influenza during a pandemic may vary from very high to high, medium, or lower (caution) risk. The level of risk depends in part on whether or not jobs require close proximity to people potentially infected with the pandemic influenza virus, or whether they are required to have either repeated or extended contact with known or suspected sources of pandemic influenza virus such as coworkers, the general public, outpatients, school children or other such individuals or groups.

    • Very high exposure risk occupations are those with high potential exposure to high concentrations of known or suspected sources of pandemic influenza during specific medical or laboratory procedures.
    • High exposure risk occupations are those with high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of pandemic influenza virus.
    • Medium exposure risk occupations include jobs that require frequent, close contact (within 6 feet) exposures to known or suspected sources of pandemic influenza virus such as coworkers, the general public, outpatients, school children or other such individuals or groups.
    • Lower exposure risk (caution) occupations are those that do not require contact with people known to be infected with the pandemic virus, nor frequent close contact (within 6 feet) with the public. Even at lower risk levels, however, employers should be cautious and develop preparedness plans to minimize employee infections.

    Employers of critical infrastructure and key resource employees (such as law enforcement, emergency response, or public utility employees) may consider upgrading protective measures for these employees beyond what would be suggested by their exposure risk due to the necessity of such services for the functioning of society as well as the potential difficulties in replacing them during a pandemic (for example, due to extensive training or licensing requirements).

    To help employers determine appropriate work practices and precautions, OSHA has divided workplaces and work operations into four risk zones, according to the likelihood of employees' occupational exposure to pandemic influenza. We show these zones in the shape of a pyramid to represent how the risk will likely be distributed (see page 11). The vast majority of American workplaces are likely to be in the medium exposure risk or lower exposure risk (caution) groups.

    Occupational Risk Pyramid for Pandemic InfluenzaFlu-Pyramid

    Very High Exposure Risk:

    • Healthcare employees (for example, doctors, nurses, dentists) performing aerosol-generating procedures on known or suspected pandemic patients (for example, cough induction procedures, bronchoscopies, some dental procedures, or invasive specimen collection).
    • Healthcare or laboratory personnel collecting or handling specimens from known or suspected pandemic patients (for example, manipulating cultures from known or suspected pandemic influenza patients).

    High Exposure Risk:

    • Healthcare delivery and support staff exposed to known or suspected pandemic patients (for example, doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff that must enter patients' rooms).
    • Medical transport of known or suspected pandemic patients in enclosed vehicles (for example, emergency medical technicians).
    • Performing autopsies on known or suspected pandemic patients (for example, morgue and mortuary employees).

    Medium Exposure Risk:

    • Employees with high-frequency contact with the general population (such as schools, high population density work environments, and some high volume retail).

    Lower Exposure Risk (Caution):

    • Employees who have minimal occupational contact with the general public and other coworkers (for example, office employees).

    How to Maintain Operations During a Pandemic

    As an employer, you have an important role in protecting employee health and safety, and limiting the impact of an influenza pandemic. It is important to work with community planners to integrate your pandemic plan into local and state planning, particularly if your operations are part of the nation's critical infrastructure or key resources. Integration with local community planners will allow you to access resources and information promptly to maintain operations and keep your employees safe.

    Develop a Disaster Plan

    Develop a disaster plan that includes pandemic preparedness (See and review it and conduct drills regularly.

    • Be aware of and review federal, state and local health department pandemic influenza plans. Incorporate appropriate actions from these plans into workplace disaster plans.
    • Prepare and plan for operations with a reduced workforce.
    • Work with your suppliers to ensure that you can continue to operate and provide services.
    • Develop a sick leave policy that does not penalize sick employees, thereby encouraging employees who have influenza-related symptoms (e.g., fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, or upset stomach) to stay home so that they do not infect other employees. Recognize that employees with ill family members may need to stay home to care for them.
    • Identify possible exposure and health risks to your employees. Are employees potentially in contact with people with influenza such as in a hospital or clinic? Are your employees expected to have a lot of contact with the general public?
    • Minimize exposure to fellow employees or the public. For example, will more of your employees work from home? This may require enhancement of technology and communications equipment.
    • Identify business-essential positions and people required to sustain business-necessary functions and operations. Prepare to cross-train or develop ways to function in the absence of these positions. It is recommended that employers train three or more employees to be able to sustain business-necessary functions and operations, and communicate the expectation for available employees to perform these functions if needed during a pandemic.
    • Plan for downsizing services but also anticipate any scenario which may require a surge in your services.
    • Recognize that, in the course of normal daily life, all employees will have non-occupational risk factors at home and in community settings that should be reduced to the extent possible. Some employees will also have individual risk factors that should be considered by employers as they plan how the organization will respond to a potential pandemic (e.g., immuno-compromised individuals and pregnant women).
    • Stockpile items such as soap, tissue, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and recommended personal protective equipment. When stockpiling items, be aware of each product's shelf life and storage conditions (e.g., avoid areas that are damp or have temperature extremes) and incorporate product rotation (e.g., consume oldest supplies first) into your stockpile management program.
      Make sure that your disaster plan protects and supports your employees, customers and the general public. Be aware of your employees' concerns about pay, leave, safety and health. Informed employees who feel safe at work are less likely to be absent.
    • Develop policies and practices that distance employees from each other, customers and the general public. Consider practices to minimize face-to-face contact between employees such as e-mail, websites and teleconferences. Policies and practices that allow employees to work from home or to stagger their work shifts may be important as absenteeism rises.
    • Organize and identify a central team of people or focal point to serve as a communication source so that your employees and customers can have accurate information during the crisis.
    • Work with your employees and their union(s) to address leave, pay, transportation, travel, childcare, absence and other human resource issues.
    • Provide your employees and customers in your workplace with easy access to infection control supplies, such as soap, hand sanitizers, personal protective equipment (such as gloves or surgical masks), tissues, and office cleaning supplies.
    • Provide training, education and informational material about business-essential job functions and employee health and safety, including proper hygiene practices and the use of any personal protective equipment to be used in the workplace. Be sure that informational material is available in a usable format for individuals with sensory disabilities and/or limited English proficiency. Encourage employees to take care of their health by eating right, getting plenty of rest and getting a seasonal flu vaccination.
    • Work with your insurance companies, and state and local health agencies to provide information to employees and customers about medical care in the event of a pandemic.
    • Assist employees in managing additional stressors related to the pandemic. These are likely to include distress related to personal or family illness, life disruption, grief related to loss of family, friends or coworkers, loss of routine support systems, and similar challenges. Assuring timely and accurate communication will also be important throughout the duration of the pandemic in decreasing fear or worry. Employers should provide opportunities for support, counseling, and mental health assessment and referral should these be necessary. If present, Employee Assistance Programs can offer training and provide resources and other guidance on mental health and resiliency before and during a pandemic.

    Protect Employees and Customers

    Educate and train employees in proper hand hygiene, cough etiquette and social distancing techniques. Understand and develop work practice and engineering controls that could provide additional protection to your employees and customers, such as: drive-through service windows, clear plastic sneeze barriers, ventilation, and the proper selection, use and disposal of personal protective equipment.

    These are not comprehensive recommendations. The most important part of pandemic planning is to work with your employees, local and state agencies and other employers to develop cooperative pandemic plans to maintain your operations and keep your employees and the public safe. Share what you know, be open to ideas from your employees, then identify and share effective health practices with other employers in your community and with your local chamber of commerce.

    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - While administrative and engineering controls and proper work practices are considered to be more effective in minimizing exposure to the influenza virus, the use of PPE may also be indicated during certain exposures. If used correctly, PPE can help prevent some exposures; however, they should not take the place of other prevention interventions, such as engineering controls, cough etiquette, and hand hygiene (see Examples of personal protective equipment are gloves, goggles, face shields, surgical masks, and respirators (for example, N-95). It is important that personal protective equipment be:

    • Selected based upon the hazard to the employee;
    • Properly fitted and some must be periodically refitted (e.g., respirators);
    • Conscientiously and properly worn;
    • Regularly maintained and replaced, as necessary;
    • Properly removed and disposed of to avoid contamination of self, others or the environment.

    Employers are obligated to provide their employees with protective gear needed to keep them safe while performing their jobs. The types of PPE recommended for pandemic influenza will be based on the risk of contracting influenza while working and the availability of PPE.

    SneezerSteps Every Employer Can Take to Reduce the Risk of Exposure to Pandemic Influenza in Their Workplace

    The best strategy to reduce the risk of becoming infected with influenza during a pandemic is to avoid crowded settings and other situations that increase the risk of exposure to someone who may be infected. If it is absolutely necessary to be in a crowded setting, the time spent in a crowd should be as short as possible. Some basic hygiene (see and social distancing precautions that can be implemented in every workplace include the following:

    • Meds help treat Cough & Cold Symptoms Meds help treat Cough & Cold Symptoms

      Encourage sick employees to stay at home.

    • Encourage your employees to wash their hands frequently with soap and water or with hand sanitizer if there is no soap or water available. Also, encourage your employees to avoid touching their noses, mouths, and eyes.
    • Encourage your employees to cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or to cough and sneeze into their upper sleeves if tissues are not available. All employees should wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer after they cough, sneeze or blow their noses.
    • Employees should avoid close contact with their coworkers and customers (maintain a separation of at least 6 feet). They should avoid shaking hands and always wash their hands after contact with others. Even if employees wear gloves, they should wash their hands upon removal of the gloves in case their hand(s) became contaminated during the removal process.
    • Provide customers and the public with tissues and trash receptacles, and with a place to wash or disinfect their hands.
    • Keep work surfaces, telephones, computer equipment and other frequently touched surfaces and office equipment clean. Be sure that any cleaner used is safe and will not harm your employees or your office equipment. Use only disinfectants registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and follow all directions and safety precautions indicated on the label.
    • Discourage your employees from using other employees' phones, desks, offices or other work tools and equipment.
    • Minimize situations where groups of people are crowded together, such as in a meeting. Use e-mail, phones and text messages to communicate with each other. When meetings are necessary, avoid close contact by keeping a separation of at least 6 feet, where possible, and assure that there is proper ventilation in the meeting room.
    • Reducing or eliminating unnecessary social interactions can be very effective in controlling the spread of infectious diseases. Reconsider all situations that permit or require employees, customers, and visitors (including family members) to enter the workplace. Workplaces which permit family visitors on site should consider restricting/eliminating that option during an influenza pandemic. Work sites with on-site day care should consider in advance whether these facilities will remain open or will be closed, and the impact of such decisions on employees and the business.
    • Promote healthy lifestyles, including good nutrition, exercise, and smoking cessation. A person's overall health impacts their body's immune system and can affect their ability to fight off, or recover from, an infectious disease.

    Unless otherwise noted, material presented on the Web site is considered federal government information and is in the public domain. That means this information may be freely copied and distributed. We request that you use appropriate attribution to

    Information Disclaimer

    The information provided using this web site is only intended to be general summary information to the public. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations.

  • Brrr... getting cold... Hypothermia and Frostbite will be considerations soon.

    Winter... keep warm to keep health and safe - and it is not just treating hypothermia and frostbite the require warmth... Shock is a condition associated with most injuries and extreme conditions that needs warmth - the body will "shunt" all the warm blood to a bodies core, leaving the extremities in danger... learn a bit more:

    fam-banner3First aid for Frostbite - Generally Body Warmers, Hand Warmers, Toe Warmers and Hot Packs are outstanding products for avoiding frostbite, but are seldom recommended for treating frostbite.

    General Information about frostbite

    • Frostbite can occur when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit / -6 Celsius, causing body tissue to begin freezing. The moisture in the tissue freezes and crystallizes.
    • Frostbite usually affects outer limbs and body parts such as the face, nose, ears, fingers, and toes first.
    • Signs of frostbite include skin that starts out pink and changes to blotchy or waxy white or to a grayish-yellow tone. This may happen over time, as frostbite develops.
    • Pain and cold may be felt initially, but the area will quickly become numb and have no feeling.
    • Important: Never warm the frostbitten area and then later allow it to refreeze. Active warming then refreezing is worse than doing nothing. If continued warming is not possible, take the casualty to the closest hospital before beginning warming.

    Treatment for Frostbite:

    • Move the casualty to a warm environment if possible.
    • Remove any wet clothing and wrap the casualty in warm blankets, coats, or any dry clothing. Pay special attention to the hands, feet and face area.
    • If comfortable and safe to do so, elevate the affected area.
    • Immerse the affect area in warm water or use a water bottle with warm water on the frostbitten area. Do not immerse in HOT water.
    • Do not use dry heat, such as heating pads, camp fires, or hairdryers for warming.
    • Do not rub or massage the frostbitten area. This may cause further damage to the injured tissue.
    • Take the casualty to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible.
    • If getting medical assistance is postponed but continuous warming is not possible, gently wrap the frostbitten areas with blankets or clothing to avoid further frostbite. Get the casualty to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible.
    • Continuous warming procedure:

    1. Gently immerse the frostbitten part in clean, warm water (104-108 degrees Fahrenheit / 40-42 degrees Celsius) for 15 to 20 minutes. The temperature should be measured by the thermometer if possible and frequently rechecked.
    2. Continue to add warm water to keep the temperature within the range above.
    3. Do not allow the frostbitten area to freeze again.
    4. Get the casualty to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible.

    Space-BlanketFirst aid for Shock - Hot packs, warmers and emergency blankets are great for treating for Shock

    General information about shock

    • Shock is a life-threatening condition and requires immediate treatment and attention.
    • Shock is characterized by pale, cold, clammy skin, shivering or chills, confusion, anxiety, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and/or a weak pulse with shallow, rapid breathing.
    • Shock usually accompanies other severe injuries, burns, allergic reactions, severe pain such as a heart attack, or sudden loss of blood.

    Treatment for shock

    • Call 9-1-1 or EMS immediately.
    • One of the most important treatments for shock is keeping the casualty as calm and comfortable as possible.
    • Control the cause of the shock; such as controlling severe bleeding, if possible.
    • If a spinal, neck, or head trauma is not suspected, keep the airway open with the head tilt-chin lift method.
    • If the casualty vomits, turn her/his head to one side to avoid aspirating on or swallowing the vomit. If a spine, neck, or head injury is suspected, keep the casualty’s head, neck, and body in a straight line while turning him/her on her/his side.
    • If possible, elevate the casualty’s legs above the level of the heart. Do not elevate if you suspect broken bones in the legs, neck, or spine.
    • Keep the casualty as comfortable and warm as possible. Cover any visible injuries with a clean, sterile dressing.
    • Do not give fluids to an unconscious casualty. If medical assistance is delayed for more than an hour, you may give the casualty small sips of water.
    • Do not give any fluids if you suspect an abdominal or other injury that may require immediate surgery.
    • Do not give alcoholic, caffeinated or sugary beverages.

  • Possible Active Shooter at San Diego Navy Medical Center

    Possible Active Shooter at San Diego Navy Medical Center


    SAN DIEGO (AP) — Military authorities responded Tuesday to a report of gunshots at a building on the campus Naval Medical Center San Diego.

    The hospital posted on its Facebook page: "An active shooter has just been reported in building #26 at Naval Medical Center San Diego. All occupants are advised to run, hide or fight."

    Spokesman Mike Alvarez said, however, that "I cannot confirm an active shooter."

    The sounds were heard around 8 a.m. in Building 26, which houses offices and barracks for wounded sailors and Marines as well as a gym, said spokesman Mike Alvarez.

    All non-emergency personnel were asked to stay away from the area.


    Don't Be a Bystander: Find Out How You Can "Stop the Bleed"

  • Older and Colder

    It seems like each Winter is colder than the previous. These past few years we have had a lot to share about Winter SafetySafe Winter Driving, Extreme Cold, Severe Weather, Hypothermia, and Frostbite.

    As the climate changes, we all need to adjust our mindsets and our winter preparedness plans to be ready. Winter is a Killer.

    Another consideration is our friends, family members and co-workers with special needs - have you considered how Hypothermia affects older adults?

    The cold truth about hypothermia is that Americans aged 65 years and older face this danger every winter. Older adults are especially vulnerable to hypothermia because their body's response to cold can be diminished by underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, some medicines including over-the-counter cold remedies, and aging itself. As a result, hypothermia can develop in older adults after even relatively mild exposure to cold weather or a small drop in temperature.

    These tips from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health will help older people avoid this dangerous cold-weather condition. When the temperature gets too cold or the body's heat production decreases, hypothermia occurs. Hypothermia is defined as having a core body temperature below 95 degrees.

    Someone suffering from hypothermia may show one or more of the following signs: slowed or slurred speech, sleepiness or confusion, shivering or stiffness in the arms and legs, poor control over body movements or slow reactions, or a weak pulse. If you suspect hypothermia, or if you observe these symptoms, call 911.

    Here are a few tips to help older people avoid hypothermia:

    • When going outside in the cold, it is important to wear a hat, scarf, and gloves or mittens to prevent loss of body heat through your head and hands. Also consider letting someone know you’re going outdoors and carry a fully charged cellphone.  A hat is particularly important because a large portion of body heat can be lost through the head. Wear several layers of loose clothing to help trap warm air between the layers. Carry body warmers when you go out.
    • Check with your doctor to see if any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking may increase your risk for hypothermia.
    • Make sure your home is warm enough. Some experts suggest that, for older people, the temperature be set to at least 68 degrees.
    • To stay warm at home, wear long underwear under your clothes, along with socks and slippers. Use a blanket or afghan to keep your legs and shoulders warm and wear a hat or cap indoors.


  • A Snapshot: Diabetes In The United States 

    See the Diabetes Infographic:

    Diabetes Infographic Diabetes Infographic

    Click for full size image, or download the Print Ready[PDF-343KB]

  • Snow

    We've been concerned about the weather this winter, and helping prepare all our readers for the extreme cold and unprecedented storms. We've talked about Frostbite, Hypothermia, Winter Driving, Home Safety in Winter, Winter Warmth, and the High risk of Fire in Winter... Now let 's talk about the beautiful culprit causing all these concerns.

    Did you know there is a National Snow and Ice Data Center?  Yep! They are "Advancing knowledge of Earth's frozen regions"  Here is what they have to teach us about Snow...

    Introduction to Snow

    Snow along a tree-lined creekEven though snow only falls in certain parts of the world, it plays an important role in Earth's hydrologic cycle, forms part of many northern ecosystems, and provides irrigation for crops and drinking water for communities that may be far downstream.

    Scientists at NSIDC study ways to map global snow cover from satellite and ways to determine the contribution of melting snow to regional water supplies. NSIDC's All About Snow provides general information about snow, as well as links to resources for learning more about all aspects of snow.

    What is snow?

    Snow cover is a part of the cryosphere, which traces its origins to the Greek word kryos for frost. Snow is precipitation in the form of ice crystals. It originates in clouds when temperatures are below the freezing point (0 degrees Celsius, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit), when water vapor in the atmosphere condenses directly into ice without going through the liquid stage. Once an ice crystal has formed, it absorbs and freezes additional water vapor from the surrounding air, growing into a snow crystal or snow pellet, which then falls to Earth.

    Snow falls in several forms:

    • Snowflakes are clusters of ice crystals that fall from a cloud.
    • Snow pellets, or graupel, are opaque ice particles in the atmosphere. They form as ice crystals fall through supercooled cloud droplets, which are below freezing but remain a liquid. The cloud droplets then freeze to the crystals, forming a lumpy mass. Graupel tends to be soft and crumbly.
    • Sleet is composed of drops of rain or drizzle that freeze into ice as they fall, and is sometimes called a wintery mix of rain and snow. These small, translucent balls of ice are usually smaller than 0.76 centimeters (0.30 inches) in diameter. Official weather observations may list sleet as ice pellets. In some parts of the United States, the term sleet can refer to a mixture of ice pellets and freezing rain.

    Photograph of graupel on a shirtsleeveGraupel is composed of small pellets of snow. Unlike the hard balls of ice that form hail, graupel tends to be smaller, with a soft and crumbly texture.

    One form of precipitation, hail, while frozen, is not considered snow. Hail tends to be larger than sleet, and is usually generated during thunderstorms, which happen more often in spring and summer than in winter. Hailstones form when upward moving air, or updrafts, in a thunderstorm prevent pieces of graupel from falling. Drops of supercooled water hit the graupel and freeze to it, causing the graupel to grow. When the balls of ice become too heavy for the updrafts to continue supporting them, they fall as hailstones.

    Snow as mineral

    Because snow is composed of frozen water, or ice, it can also be classified as a mineral. A mineral is a naturally occurring homogeneous solid, inorganically formed, with a definite chemical composition and an ordered atomic arrangement. Ice is naturally occurring, given a temperature below 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit). It is homogenous (of one material), formed inorganically, and has an ordered atomic structure. Ice has a definite chemical composition (H20), with hydrogen and oxygen atoms bonding in a specific manner.

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

    • About 86 million American adults have prediabetes, but 90% of them don’t know it!

      A person with prediabetes has a blood sugar level higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. He or she is at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems, including heart disease, and stroke. Without lifestyle changes to improve their health, 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.


      A person with certain risk factors is more likely to develop prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. These risk factors include: age, especially after 45 years of age; being overweight or obese; a Indian family cookingfamily history of diabetes; having an African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander racial or ethnic background; a history of diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes) or having given birth to a baby weighing nine pounds or more; and being physically active less than three times a week.

      Could you have prediabetes? Take the quiz and find out if you are at risk. Click on the prediabetes test widget on the right hand side of this page and answer the seven questions to get your prediabetes score.

      If you do have prediabetes, research shows that doing just two things can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes: Lose 5% to 7% of your body weight, which would be 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person; and get at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity, such as brisk walking.

  • Stay Home

    Serious Winter Storms are heading to many areas of the US.. what should you do?

    Due to the potential severe winter weather, there is also an increased likelihood of power outages. Consider these tips to keep your entire household safe and warm:

    SnowflakeStay home!
    • Stay off the roads during severe weather conditions;
    • Have enough water and non-perishable foods for at least 72 hours;
    • Have emergency supplies and refill your prescriptions;
    • Wear layered clothing and use blankets or sleep bags to stay warm; and
    • Avoid using generators, outdoor heating or cooking equipment, such as a grill, camp stove, or gasoline propane heater indoors.

    Stuck on the Road?
    • Drive slowly and keep clear of snow plows;
    • Wear layers of clothes to keep warm;
    • Keep an Auto Emergency Kit in your vehicle;
    • Charge your cell phone and minimize usage; and
    • Try to keep a full tank of gas to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

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