As I am preparing to head out on our annual storm chasing trip, I am reminded about how many people do not know the proper safety measures if you are faced with a tornado in your area.
First, know if there is a chance of a tornado in your area. A tornado watch means that there is a chance of tornados in your area and conditions are favorable for a tornado to form quickly. A tornado warning means that an actual tornado has been spotted in your area. There are apps to download onto your phone to alert you to tornado warnings. Keep the news channel or weather channel on so you are aware of the danger and updated on the most recent changes.
Make a family plan. Everyone in your family should know where they are to meet in the event of a tornado. The safest place is a storm shelter. If you do not have a storm shelter, meet in the basement away from windows. If you do not have a basement, seek shelter along an interior wall away from windows. Closets, bathrooms and corners of interior rooms are the most sturdy to protect you. Do not open windows; doing that will allow flying debris into your home and increase your risk of injury.
If you live in a mobile home, it is not safe to remain there. Go to a local storm shelter, public building or neighbor’s home with a basement. If you are outside and no shelter is immediately available, lie down in the lowest area (ditch, ravine, depression) and cover your head. Do not lie near a tree as it will not protect you in a tornado. Furthermore do not seek shelter under an underpass. Underpasses have stronger wind currents and collect flying debris putting you in increased risk of being harmed. Do not try not to outrun a tornado in your vehicle.
Be prepared. If there is a tornado watch in your area, have everyone put on sturdy shoes and a jacket nearby so that if you need to evacuate, everyone is safely ready. Having a helmet for everyone to protect their heads is ideal, but if no helmets are available, have a blanket in your meeting area to cover everyone to protect from flying debris. Have bottled water and non-perishable food available. Ideally have an emergency, battery operated radio. Most cell phones will not work in disasters due to towers being down and numerous people trying to make calls at the same time.
The key to safety during severe weather is to be aware, prepared and calm.
I grew up around guns. Everyone in my family was not only aware of them, but knew how to handle them and how to be safe with them. Owning guns is a very controversial topic. I truly believe everyone is entitled to their opinion. If you are not a fan of guns, that is ok with me. If you are a huge fan of guns, that is ok with me..
Women choose to be around guns for many reasons. Some are interested in personal protection. Others are interested in target shooting. Some may even enjoy the sport of hunting. I personally grew up with all three of these reasons. The purpose of this blog is to give your information if you are curious about guns.
I find that often the reason women do not like guns is that they are afraid of them. If that is your reason, I encourage you to conquer your fears and find a local shooting range to teach you how to safely handle and shoot a gun. Often women have fathers, brothers or significant other’s available to teach them about handling firearms. Once you have been introduced to guns, then you can make an informed decision about whether or not you would like to continue being around firearms.
I recently joined a women’s only gun league called A Girl & A Gun. This organization was founded in Texas, but there are several branches of it throughout the United States. The thing I love about this group is that it brings novices and experienced women together to learn about guns. In our group, we have classes on how to handle a gun, how to clean a gun and how to safely shoot a gun. There are also advanced courses offered, but everything starts with basics.
There are cardinal rules when handling any gun.
My friend was recently in a car accident. It wasn't her fault but she still got banged up a bit and the back end of her car was totaled. It scared me and brought up my old fears about driving. They say everyone has a bad phobia and mine is getting in a car accident. To quell those emotions I decided to do some research on safe driving. Here are the top 10 tips for staying safe on the road:
Recently Nancy and I took a self-defense course together. What a great way to spend an hour! I encourage all of you to find a local class and take advantage of it. We learned so much information in just an hour! Everyone should know some basic tips for how to defend yourself if you are ever attacked. Here are some of the highlights.
Be aware of your surroundings, trust your gut, carry your car keys in your hands and have them ready to use as a weapon if you are walking to or from your vehicle. Stay off your cell phone and keep ear buds out of your ears to stay focused on your surroundings.
Most attacks last less than 15 seconds. Attackers are not sympathetic people and do not have a moral compass like we do. Thus do not try to negotiate or reason with them. More importantly, do not worry about hurting them!
The most important thing we learned was to make the first move, fight with everything you have in you and fight to injure your attacker so that you can safely get away.
If you are right handed, you want to keep your left foot forward and your right foot slightly raised off the heel, tuck your chin and keep your hands by your face at all times to protect your head and face.
Use your hips rather than just your arms to get a more effective and stronger hit. When you hit with your left arm your hips should rotate to the right with your body. When you hit with your right arm, your hips should rotate to the left with your swing. Do not wind up your swing! Keep your hands by your ears and rely on your hips to strengthen your swing.
When someone is choking you, raise your right arm high in the air and lock their wrist with your right bicep against your face. At the same time you are raising your arm, step back with your left leg. Then rotate your body counter-clockwise and pull the attackers hands down to your chest. Then use your right elbow to hit them hard in the face and run! Another option for when you are being choked is to put your hands together like you are praying, raise up quickly between the attackers arms and push outward to break the grip.
When someone is pulling your hair, resist pulling away from them. Instead, advance toward them very quickly hitting as hard as you can. This will take them off guard and hopefully cause them to release and allow you to escape.
Protect yourself like your life depends on it!
Did you know that the summer sun can cause more than a sunburn? With summer activities we spend a lot more time outdoors and exposed to heat and humidity for extended periods of time. Other than sunburns, summer heat can lead to heat cramps, head exhaustion and heat stroke. Children and older adults are more prone to the risks, but everyone should be aware of them, know how to prevent them and how to treat them.
Symptoms: Cramping or tightening sensation. Heat cramps typically involve the abdomen and legs, especially the larger calf and thigh muscles.
Prevention: Drink plenty of water and often. Encourage frequent breaks from physical activity. Gently stretch muscles.
Treatment: Get out of the sun, drink fluids, avoid further vigorous activity, stretch.
Symptoms: Pale skin, profuse sweating, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps or weakness.
Prevention: Drink plenty of water and often, take frequent breaks from the heat.
Treatment: Place in cool environment, lie down with feet elevated, undress so that body surface can give off heat, sponge entire body with cool waters (avoid shivering), fan the person to increase heat loss, drink cool (not cold) water or sports drink. If symptoms do not improve or person faints, seek medical attention.
Symptoms: Hot flushed skin, fever, altered mental status (confusion), seizures.
Prevention: Drink plenty of water and often, take frequent breaks from the heat, seek cool environment as soon as heat exhaustion symptoms present themselves.
Treatment: THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, CALL 911. Place in cool environment, lie down with feet elevated, undress so that body surface can give off heat, sponge entire body with cool waters (avoid shivering), fan the person to increase heat loss, if able-drink COLD water or sports drink. Fever medications will not help in this case.
Stay heat aware and safe this summer!
The Fourth of July is the warmest holiday of the year. Unfortunately, it is also the deadliest. This is in large part due to the amount of alcohol that is consumed on that special day. Now I don't want to be a downer and suggest you give up drinking entirely. However, it is wise to take a few precautions when you get ready to celebrate our nation's independence:
Driving - It goes without saying that you should not drink and drive. Try to designate a driver before you head out to a party. If you are hosting your own party, make sure your guests moderate their alcohol consumption and if they can't, don't let them drive. More DUI's (driving under the influence) are issued by the police on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year!
Fireworks - These bad boys are fun but they can also be dangerous. Again, if you are drinking then stay away from the fire power. Leave it to a capable, and sober, pair of hands. Other rules to follow with fireworks are to always keep water close by, don't relight a dud, and don't carry fireworks in your pocket. Children have no business playing with fireworks. Even sparklers can be dangerous. If you allow them to play with sparklers, try the solo cup trick. Poke a hole in a solo cup and push the sparkler stick through the hole. Then have your child hold the sparkler while their hand is protected inside of the cup.
Grilling - This is similar to fireworks in that it can be quite dangerous in the wrong, or drunken, hands. If you are using a grill make sure it is not close to the house or anything that might be flammable. Also make sure you keep an eye on it in case the food ignites. Once you are done cooking, turn the flame off and shut the propane valve off as well.
Swimming - Pools and lakes tend to be much more crowded on the Fourth of July. This means parents need to be extra vigilant about watching their little ones play in the water. If you are drinking, you are more likely to forget about your kids, so try to moderate the alcohol. Also, if you or your children are unable to swim you might want to avoid the water altogether.
Pets - Animals can be extra sensitive to the loud noises of fireworks. If your dog or cat is sensitive then make plans ahead of time. You can try a thunder shirt, rescue remedy drops, or even a sedative prescribed by your vet to keep your animal calm. Make sure they are safe and comfortable so that when the booms begin they can't run off. If you have a dog, it's a good idea to get them out for a potty break while it's still daylight. Once the fireworks begin you won't be able to get them to budge!
Veterans - Please be aware that some veterans have post traumatic stress syndrome. This means they may react to the fireworks in a negative way. Try to be sensitive to their needs.
I live in Ohio which means I see a lot of snow in the winter. It sure is pretty but it can be a real pain to shovel. By pain, I mean back pain!! My doctor recently told me she has seen a ton of people coming through her office who hurt their back shoveling. Don't let this happen to you. There are tips that will make your shoveling a safe and more enjoyable experience:
The good news is spring is just around the corner!!
Do you feel safe at home? For the most part, I do, except when my husband is away and especially at night. I am sure my paranoia is a result of the numerous movies I have watched and books that I have read, none the less it is important to feel safe at home. There are several things you can do to help you feel safer in your own home.
Feeling safe at home is essential to your well-being. I hope these tips are useful and I encourage anyone with more ideas to contribute with comments.
It’s party season! In the next three months we attend more parties than any other time of year. During these parties, we tend to over indulge in both food and drinks. Many of these parties are hosted by or attended by employers and you want to avoid embarrassing stories the next work day. You probably also want to avoid the dreaded hang-over that seems to last much longer as we age. I’ve complied some tips to help you navigate a fun holiday season.
· Always have a plan for a designated driver for any party you plan to attend and drink alcohol. Uber car is becoming very popular and is a great option if it is available in your area.
· Drink a full glass of water between each alcoholic drink. This will keep you hydrated and full.
· Choose a drink that you tolerate, but not love. This technique causes you to sip the drink slower.
· Be sure to have some snacks while you are drinking.
· Avoid pacing your alcohol intake with anyone else. It’s not a competition.
· Keep track of how many drinks you have consumed, most of us know our acceptable limit.
· Keep your drink with you at all times. You don’t want someone refilling it without your knowledge or worse, adding drugs to it.
· When you get home, drink another full glass of water.
· Get a full night of sleep.
· If you happen to wake up with a hangover, Sprite has been researched and shown to be the best hangover cure.
Be safe this holiday season!
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