The beginning of a new year is often referred to as a new canvas. How will you paint this year? It can also be seen as a time for personal re-evaluation, of goal setting, of creating new habits or rituals.
As you begin this new year, look at your situation. What changes do you want to make? Are you sure? You will need to really want to make these changes – change requires passion. Write them down. Look at your list.
Let’s take the first thing there. Most likely it will require several steps to accomplish. Now write down three steps needed to get you from ”here to there.” Repeat this process with each item on your list. Soon you will see that you have created an action plan for each change you want to make.
Is emergency preparedness on your list? Refer to the September and October issues of “Every Needful Thing” to get the basic needs list. Evaluate where your family is in relation to each of these needs. Make a list of three things that you can improve. Now write three action steps for each. Does this look like a “TO DO LIST?” What on this list can you achieve today?
Accountability is fundamental in life. If you approach each day knowing that you will some day account for your life’s opportunities, you can stay focused. “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” 1 Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination, you can do it, one day at a time. Any progress makes us greater than we were before. Incorporate accountability into your DNA – evolve to be better.
Pick what you can manage to do today. You have 365 days of pure potential in this new year. Create a revolution. Manage it day by day. Write down what you accomplish. Send me a note on how you’re doing along with any questions you may have. We love to hear from you.
Billie Nicholson 2014
1 Thomas S. Monson, Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast, June 2004
During November and December 2013 donations to the Friends of Haiti Organization (FOHO) SUN OVEN® project were matched dollar for dollar by a private donor. The donations collected for Haiti were $2,235. With the matching dollars, the total amount came to $4,470. This will send 23 Global Sun Ovens® to Haiti. Thank You, generous Sun Oven® customers!
To make a donation on line visit: Help Us Help Haiti
To learn more about our work in Haiti visit:
Seasonal influenza is a contagious respiratory infection caused by different flu viruses. The major symptoms are fever, headache, fatigue and body aches. New Year’s eve saw 67 people in the Portland, OR area alone, hospitalized suffering from a flu strain similar to the 2009 pandemic. Striking middle-aged people, this strain causes an almost comatose sleeping state for hours. It has been identified as a re-assortment of the Avian, Swine and Human strains. With lots of holiday travel and people contained is close quarters, germs can travel far. 1 Since the flu can sneak up on you, your flu emergency kit should include:
- Thermometer – a high fever is one of the first clues that you have the flu. Get a digital one and wash it before and after using. Watch out for a fever that goes away and then comes back. this could mean it has turned into a bacterial infection. Seek medical attention for children who have a fever over 1040F or for adults who have difficulty breathing, persistent vomiting, sudden dizziness or confusion.
- Keep your ibuprofen or acetaminophen up to date. These will relieve fever and muscle aches in adults and children over six months. Don’t use aspirin or aspirin containing medicine in children who have cold or flu symptoms. This can lead to Reye’s syndrome. For babies under six months, the CDC recommends only acetaminophen. Follow all label directions closely.
- Decongestant - Use this to treat nasal blockage. For children under age four consult your doctor before giving decongestants. Saline nasal sprays can be used in adults and children to loosen mucus. Decongestant sprays shrink nasal passages. Only use them for a few days and never in children.
- Cough Suppressant - Include this to take at night. Avoid taking this during the day, it is better to expel any phlegm. Be careful when mixing over the counter medications. Some may have the same ingredients, resulting in an overdose. Pediatric cough and cold formulas are not recommended for children under 2.
- Tissues and Hand Sanitizer - Stock up on these. Put every used tissue into the trash as soon as you are finished using it. Runny noses, sneezing and coughing are the main way that flu droplets spread germs. Always cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues and teach kids to do the same. If a tissue isn’t handy cough into your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often with soap and water between tissue uses. Use hand sanitizer gel, if you can’t wash often. A good alcohol based sanitizer should contain 60% alcohol. Keep your hands away from your face. Germs have ready entry through your nose, mouth and eyes.
- Liquids - Stock up on water and other clear liquids. They help restore fluids lost from a fever and help keep mucus secretions flowing. Bottled water may taste better than tap water and may limit the use of glasses and cups. Don’t share it. You can add salt to water (1/2 tsp per 8 ounces) to make a gargle. Sports drinks contain electrolytes that will help avoid dehydration. Include herbal teas and soups. Hot liquids can be soothing. A bowl of broth based soup is easier on an upset stomach and the steam can help loosen mucus. If you’re sick, you probably will not feel like cooking.
- Lozenges - Throat lozenges can soothe a cough or sore throat, but they are not a cure. Many of their ingredients, like honey, herbs, or eucalyptus, have been used for years. Zinc can also help. Studies have shown if taken within 24 hours of symptom onset, it helps reduce the duration and severity in normally healthy individuals. Don’t take more than 50 mg per day.
- DVD’s - Include some comedy DVD’s in your emergency kit. Laughter can be the best medicine.
Influenza vaccines can help stimulate your immune system before you get the flu. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends all children, six months and older get a flu vaccine every year.
Billie Nicholson 2014
Have you heard of “cloud computing?” This is a phrase that describes the concept of lots of computers connected through a real-time network. It gives you the ability to run a program or application on many computers at the same time. It often provides storage space for data that can be accessed, with appropriate passwords, from several locations, keeping business co-workers or family members connected without having to share the same computer.
We all have important documents that we need for identification, like drivers licenses, social security cards, insurance, medical records, and property deeds as well as bank records. Many of these are in paper form. If a disaster occurs that destroys these documents, how do we prove who we are and what we owned?
Enter the cloud. There are a number of services available like Google Drive, Dropbox, and others that offer internet storage space. The beauty of using the cloud is not having to put the same information on a variety of computers. It can be stored on one that is accessible to many.
Let’s use Goggle Drive as an example. Many people already have Google email accounts. The drive can be associated with your email account as a access point. What can you store there? Anything from images of documents, word files, music and family videos and photographs. For emergency preparedness purposes, you can store the following items in digital format:
- Drivers Licenses
- Birth Certificates
- Social Security Cards
- Marriage Certificates
- Health Insurance Cards
- Car Loan Contract
- Insurance Contracts
- Recent Bank, Loan, and Credit Card statements
- Mortgage Agreement
- Property Deed
- Life Insurance Policies
Only you and any people you choose to share access with can get to this information. When you set up this information in the cloud, it is a good idea to keep documents organized in folders. Give at least one other person access to the password.
Billie Nicholson 2014
More information on getting Tech Ready
Keeping warm in cold weather without electricity may mean burning wood. This can be done in a fireplace directly or by using a wood burning stove. These are designed to safely burn wood fuel and provide heat for your shelter. They are connected to chimneys responsible for removing the by-products of combustion, including smoke, gases, tar fog, and water vapor, among other things. As the combustibles exit through the cooler chimney, they condense on the inside. This residue is know as creosote. It is very combustible and when ignited will burn at extremely high temperatures and may damage the chimney, spread through mortar cracks into the
wooden structure of your home, and even spew sparks igniting the roof. To avoid a home fire disaster, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) offers the following safety tips:
- Get your chimney checked and cleaned annually to reduce the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisonings due to creosote buildup or chimney obstructions.
- Keep overhanging tree branches at least 15 feet away from the top of chimney.
- Install a chimney cap to keep debris and animals out.
- Choose well seasoned wood, split for at least 6 months. Store it in a covered and raised location, away from your home foundation. Do not burn Christmas trees, cardboard, wrapping paper.
- Keep the area around your hearth clear. Keep furniture at least three feet away from the hearth.
- Install a metal mesh screen in front of fireplaces that do not have glass doors. This controls sparks.
- When building a fire, place the firewood or fire-logs in the back of the fireplace on a supporting grate. Leave air space when stacking multiple logs, so the fire can breathe. Use kindling or a commercial fire starter to ignite your fire. Never use flammable liquids. Build smaller, hotter fires that burn more completely and produce less smoke.
- The by-product of burning wood is ash. Softwoods make more ash than hardwoods. Leaving a one inch layer of ash in your stove will make it easier to build and maintain a fire. Hot coals nestling in the ash add more heat to the fuel and reflect heat back into the fire. Ash also protects the floor of your firebox. Do not remove hot ash from you firebox and put it into a paper bag or any other flammable container. Take all ash outside. At the end of heating season, ash should be removed to reduce moisture absorption, which rusts metal parts. Save the ash to add to your garden next spring.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Place detectors in several locations throughout the house, putting one outside your bedroom door. Check these batteries twice a year. Over 200 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by problems in the venting of toxic gases, produced by heating systems. (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission). This number may be much higher because the symptoms of prolonged, low-level carbon monoxide poisoning mimic other common winter ailments (headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue and seasonal depression). Too much carbon monoxide in your blood will kill you. The protein, hemoglobin, in our blood will attach a carbon monoxide molecule and ignore an oxygen molecule. This attachment causes cell suffocation. Even low-level exposure can cause permanent brain and organ damage. Infants, those with blood or heart disorders, and the elderly are the most susceptible.
- Never leave a fire unattended. Learn how to keep your wood stove fire burning during the night.
- If you have a chimney fire, discontinue use of your chimney until it can be inspected and deemed safe to use.
When you are planning a trip in your auto, take time to check your vehicle. In addition to cleaning out the trash, check the windshield washer fluid, oil, water/anti-freeze level in the radiator, and tire inflation. Remember to double check your emergency car kit, updating food and water and adding extra clothing based on the type of weather you expect to travel through. If you have a cell phone, pack it and the charger. Check your wallet for cash and any roadside emergency membership card you may have. Always maintain a half-full tank of gas. Before you leave, contact someone at your destination to let them know your estimated time of arrival.
Once you are on the road, pay attention to your vehicle’s performance, listening for any odd sounds and look for any odd emissions. Once I was traveling home late. I noticed white smoke coming from my exhaust and looked down at the dash to see the temperature needle pegged to overheating. The radiator hose had burst.
If you have a breakdown, use the car’s momentum to get it off the road safely. Try to get over as far as possible to remove your vehicle from on-coming traffic. Put on the emergency flashers. Exit the car from the passenger side door. If you can’t get off the road, set up any warning signals you have, like flares or hazard triangle, as far behind as practical to give other motorists notice to get around you.
Raise your vehicle hood and leave it up, Get out your HELP sign or white cloth. Place it in the window. Use your cell phone, if you have one with service, to contact law enforcement. Calling 911 will put you in contact with help. Your cell phone may or may not have a GPS tracking device installed, so you will need to be able to tell the 911 operator where you are. A mile marker or landmark is helpful.
Stay with your vehicle, if possible, especially at night or in bad weather. Wait for a uniformed law enforcement officer to arrive. Rely on the items in your road-side emergency kit to keep you hydrated, warm and entertained while you wait for assistance to arrive.
Keep doors and windows locked. If someone stops to assist you, crack the window and ask them to contact law enforcement. Use your best judgment accepting help from strangers.
When help arrives, if you are out of your vehicle discussing details, be sure to stand away from the vehicles, not in between them. Many people have been injured or worse when another driver has hit the back vehicle, driving the two together, crushing or amputating legs.
If you must walk, write down your name, date, time you left the vehicle and the direction you were going. Leave it on the dash. Walk facing traffic, if there are no sidewalks. If you accept a ride from a stranger, write down the plate number of the vehicle, a description of the driver and vehicle, in addition. Leave this information on the dash. As soon as possible notify law enforcement of the location and condition of your vehicle.
Holidays are the time of year when much long distance traveling is done. Going home to visit families, often leaving after work in the dark, and frequently encountering bad weather, can put travelers in jeopardy. Add to that the fact that tires can get punctures, gas tanks can get empty and engines can overheat when you least expect it. Having a road side emergency kit in your car at all times will often save you time and money, and may even save your life. We’ve expanded Edmunds.com’s extensive list of items to keep in your vehicle. Make sure that you include items to keep you and your passengers warm in case your break down leaves you stranded in the cold. Some of the basic items include:
- 12-foot jumper cables
- Four 15-minute roadside flares
- Two quarts of oil and Gallon of antifreeze
- First aid kit (including an assortment of bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, antiseptic cream, instant ice and heat compresses, scissors and aspirin)
- Wool blanket or sleeping bag
- Extra clothes and boots/shoes (for winter: coat, hat gloves and scarf)
- Extra fuses
- Flashlight and extra batteries, lighted headband or lighted brimmed cap
- Tools to include:Flat head screwdrivers, Phillips head screwdrivers, Pliers, Vise Grips, Adjustable wrench
- Tire inflator (such as a Fix-A-Flat) and Tire pressure gauge
- Rags and Roll of paper towels
- plastic garbage bags for trash and to help insulate feet
- A couple of old newspapers to use for insulation under coats
- Roll of duct tape and Roll of reflective tape for visibility
- Windshield washer fluid and Anti-freeze
- Ice scraper and kitty litter or sand for tire traction
- fire extinguisher (5 pound, A-B-C type)
- tow rope or chain
- Whistle, compass and Road maps
- Dollar bills and quarters, dimes and nickels
- Toilet paper and paper towels
- gas can, 2 gallon size plus funnel & short hose for siphoning
- hand warmer packs
- Pen and paper and Help sign or strip of white cloth
- Cell phone & charger
- Granola or energy bars – dried fruit, peanut butter crackers, canned goods; remember a manual can opener and basic eating utensils
- Bottled water – a case or a gallon as fits
- Book, puzzle or other non-battery operated item to pass the time
- Heavy-duty nylon bag or two to carry it all
The most important tip is to familiarize yourself with all the items in your car road-side emergency kit, how you have them arranged, and how to use them properly.
Everyone should know what to in an Emergency. Whenever there is an emergency, use the following tips to help decide if you should call 9-1-1 (or local emergency number) for an ambulance.
911 should be called IMMEDIATELY for any emergency which is threatening to life, health, safety, or property. This includes crimes in progress, medical problems, suspicious persons or activities. Fire emergencies, criminal offenses, drug activity, and domestic problems should also be promptly reported to 9-1-1.
Non-emergency requests for service should be directed to an administrative number. Add your local number to your emergency contacts. Listen to the recorded options and select the line # for non emergency. Stay on the line until a dispatcher answers.
Call if victim…
… is trapped
… is not responding or is passed out
… is bleeding badly or bleeding cannot be stopped
… has a cut or wound so bad and deep that you can see bone or muscles
… has a body part missing or is torn away
… has pain below the rib cage that does not go away
… is peeing, pooping or puking blood (called passing blood)
… is breathing weird or having trouble breathing
… seems to have hurt their head, neck or back
… is jerking uncontrollably (called having a seizure)
… has broken bones and cannot be moved carefully
… acts like they had a heart attack (chest pain or pressure)
… If you call 9-1-1 there may be a recording or delay while your call is being processed. DO NOT HANG UP — wait for a 9-1-1 dispatcher.
When you talk to 9-1-1 or the emergency number…
… try to stay CALM and describe what happened and what is wrong with the victim
… give the location of the emergency, your name and the phone number you are calling from
… follow their instructions in case they tell you what to do for the victim
… do NOT hang up until the 9-1-1 operator tells you to.
Since you are calling from a cell phone, your call may be disconnected if the signal is lost. Be sure to call back if you are cut off.
… When calling 9-1-1 on a cellular phone, be sure to stop if you are in a moving vehicle. It is difficult to obtain all of the information needed if you are getting further from the emergency.
… Your call may need to be transferred to another agency because cell phone calls are sent to a 9-1-1 answering point based on cell radio coverage. Cell coverage areas don’t always match political boundaries, so most calls are routed to a 9-1-1 answering point that serves the majority of the area.
Reproduced with Permission:
http://www.ItsaDisaster.net from “It’s a Disaster …and what are YOU gonna do about it?”, by Bill and Janet Liebsch
Morgan County, TN ”911 Tips” version of above
TIPS ON GOOD SAMARITAN LAWS
The definition of a “Samaritan” is a charitable or helpful person. Most states have Good Samaritan laws that were designed to protect citizens who try to help injured victims with emergency care. If a citizen uses “logical” or “rational” actions while making wise or careful decisions during an emergency situation then they can be protected from being sued.
To learn more about your state’s Good Samaritan laws, check with your local library, search the web or contact an attorney.
Whenever you perform first aid on anyone, there is always a chance of spreading germs or diseases between yourself and the victim. These steps should be followed no matter what kind of first aid is being done — from very minor scrapes to major emergencies — to reduce the risk of infection.
BE AWARE…this is an emergency situation – you could be putting yourself in danger!
… Try to avoid body fluids like blood or urine (pee).
… Cover any open cuts or wounds you have on your body since they are doorways for germs!
BE PREPARED…Stay calm and Think before you act
… Wash your hands with soap and water before and after giving first aid. If using hand sanitizer, rub hands for at least 15 seconds.
… Have a first aid kit handy, if possible.
… Put something between yourself and victim’s body fluids, if possible
… Blood or urine – wear disposable gloves or use a clean dry cloth
… Saliva or spittle – use a disposable Face Shield during Rescue Breathing
… Clean up area with household bleach to kill germs.
… and… HAVE A PLAN! Check the ABC’s, call 9-1-1 and help victim
Airway. Open the airway by tilting the head back, gently lifting the jaw up, and leaving mouth open.
Breathing. Place your ear over victim’s mouth and nose. Look at chest, listen, and feel for breathing for 3-5 seconds.
Circulation. Check for a pulse using fingertips (not your thumb) in the soft spot between throat and the muscle on the side of the neck for 5-10 seconds.
Before giving first aid, you must have the victim’s permission. Tell them who you are, how much training you’ve had, and how you plan to help. Do not give care to someone who refuses it – unless they are unable to respond. Reproduced with Permission: http://www.ItsaDisaster.net “It’s a Disaster …and what are YOU gonna do about it?”
Did you know that most deaths due to winter storms are indirectly related to the storm? People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. They also die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
You may be familiar with the terms frostbite and hypothermia, but it’s important to be familiar with the warning signs of each.
Frostbite is damaging to body tissue caused by that tissue being frozen. Frostbite causes loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately. If you must wait for help, slowly rewarm affected areas. However, if the person is also showing signs of hypothermia, warm the body core before the extremities.
The warning signs include:
• Uncontrollable shivering
• Memory loss
• Slurred speech
• Apparent exhaustion
If you notice any of the warning signs, start by taking the person’s temperature. If it’s below 95 F (35 C), immediately seek medical care. If medical care is not available, begin warming the person slowly. Warm the body core first. If needed, use your own body heat to help.
Get the person into dry clothing, wrap them in a warm blanket, covering the head and neck. Do not give the person any hot beverage or food; warm broth is best. Do not warm extremities first, as it can drive cold blood toward the heart and lead to heart failure.
TIPS TO STAYING WARM
Wear a hat or wool stocking cap, because more than 50% of the body’s heat is lost through the head or neck area.
Keep your feet dry by wearing a thin pair of polypropylene socks underneath heavy wool socks. The wool socks will wick moisture away from your feet.
Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Also, mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.
THE C.O.L.D. RULE
When dealing with winter survival, the C.O.L.D. acronym can help you stay safe and warm.
• Keep your body and clothes Clean
• Avoid Overheating
• Dress in loose Layers of clothing that will trap body heat
• Keep clothes Dry
November, 2011 Every Needful Thing Jason M. Carlton