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Jul 022011
 

Get A Kit,    Make A Plan, Be Prepared. emergency.cdc.gov

I love that the CDC invokes popular culture to get the word out about being prepared for ANY potential problem even a Zombie Apocalypse. This is especially prevalent when you think back on all the recent tornado damage and upcoming hurricane seasons. It is not just the zombies….Nature is out to get us.

But don’t forget the pets! ASPCA Disaster Preparedness

The following comes from the CDC blog post Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse

A Brief History of Zombies
We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over (my personal favorite is Resident EvilExternal Web Site Icon.), but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much? The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead. Through ancient voodoo and folk-lore traditions, shows like the Walking Dead were born.

In movies, shows, and literature, zombies are often depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and contact with bodily fluids. Harvard psychiatrist Steven Schlozman wrote a (fictional) medical paper on the zombies presented in Night of the Living DeadExternal Web Site Icon. and refers to the condition as Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome caused by an infectious agent. The Zombie Survival GuideExternal Web Site Icon. identifies the cause of zombies as a virus called solanum. Other zombie origins shown in films include radiation from a destroyed NASAExternal Web Site Icon. VenusExternal Web Site Icon. probe (as in Night of the Living DeadExternal Web Site Icon.), as well as mutations of existing conditions such as prionsExternal Web Site Icon., mad-cow diseaseExternal Web Site Icon., measlesExternal Web Site Icon. and rabiesExternal Web Site Icon..

The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”

Well, we’re here to answer that question for you, and hopefully share a few tips about preparing for real emergencies too!

Disaster or Blackout Emergency Supplies

Better Safe than Sorry

So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored). Below are a few items you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page.

  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
  • Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
  • Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
  • Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
  • Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
  • Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
  • First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane)

Once you’ve made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake, or other emergency.

Picture of Family by mailboxFamily members meeting by their mailbox. You should pick two meeting places, one close to your home and farther away

  1. Identify the types of emergencies that are possible in your area. Besides a zombie apocalypse, this may include floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes. If you are unsure contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information.
  2. Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home…or your town evacuates because of a hurricane. Pick one place right outside your home for sudden emergencies and one place outside of your neighborhood in case you are unable to return home right away.
  3. Identify your emergency contacts. Make a list of local contacts like the police, fire department, and your local zombie response team. Also identify an out-of-state contact that you can call during an emergency to let the rest of your family know you are ok.
  4. Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance! This is also helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter fast.

Never Fear – CDC is Ready

Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be PreparedGet a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Prepared

If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).

To learn more about what CDC does to prepare for and respond to emergencies of all kinds, visit:
http://emergency.cdc.gov/cdc/orgs_progs.asp

To learn more about how you can prepare for and stay safe during an emergency visit:
http://emergency.cdc.gov/

May 282010
 

I don’t like this feeling.

I don’t like feeling.

I feel strange. I can feel everything happening in my body.

I feel weak. Nauseous.

I can fell my heart beating in my chest.

I can feel every breath I take. Especially the ones I don’t take. My chest feels heavy. It is hard to breath. I feel out of breath when all I am doing is lying here.

I can feel my throat. I can feel the breath as it moves down my throat. How can air get caught in your throat? My tongue feels like it is pushing on the back of my throat. Pushing it closed.

I feel my head, the weight of my head. Yet I am light headed?

I feel my arms and legs. Feel them feel as if they are useless or not even there. Tingly but not tingly. Weak.

Remember to breath.

My stomach is empty yet I feel it working. Digesting. Gurgling. Pushing nothingness into my bowels, bowels that bubble and twist.

Headache.

I can feel my eyes moving about in their sockets. I feel every blink.

I feel like a stranger in my own body.

I want to go back to not feeling any of this as it happens, to blissfully feel nothing as my body works.

I don’t like this feeling.

I don’t like feeling.

May 272010
 

Of course when they called and told me my blood work was back and everything was okay except I had a high SED rate, I had no idea what that could mean and they did not explain it to me either. Thank goodness for WebMD.com (maybe), where I got an explanation even if it wasn’t exactly promising.

From WebMD.com…

Sedimentation Rate

The sedimentation rate (sed rate) blood test measures how quickly red blood cells (erythrocytes) settle in a test tube in one hour. The more red cells that fall to the bottom of the test tube in one hour, the higher the sed rate.

When inflammation is present in the body, certain proteins cause red blood cells to stick together and fall more quickly than normal to the bottom of the tube. These proteins are produced by the liver and the immune system under many abnormal conditions, such as an infection, an autoimmune disease, or cancer.

There are many possible causes of a high sedimentation rate. For this reason, a sed rate is done with other tests to confirm a diagnosis. After a diagnosis has been made, a sed rate can be done to help check on the disease or see how well treatment is working.
Why It Is Done

A sedimentation rate (sed rate) test is done to:

* Find out if inflammation is present.
* Check on the progress of a disease.
* See how well a treatment is working.

High sedimentation rates may be caused by:

And their definition of autoimmune wasn’t very promising either….

Autoimmune disease

The immune system is the body’s defense against foreign substances, such as bacteria or viruses, that may be harmful. An autoimmune disease is an abnormal condition that occurs when a person’s immune system attacks its own tissues as though they were foreign substances.

* Normally, when a foreign substance enters the body, the immune system creates special cells to attack and destroy the foreign substance. These cells include antibodies and white blood cells (lymphocytes).
* In a person with an autoimmune disease, the immune system recognizes some of the person’s own tissues as foreign substances. The body makes antibodies and other cells that attack and destroy these tissues. This process often leads to inflammation and eventually, if it continues, scarring and destruction of the organs that are made up of those tissues.

Why the body attacks its own cells is not known. Autoimmune diseases include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and Sjogren’s syndrome. Certain types of diabetes and thyroid disease are related to autoimmune reactions. People who have autoimmune diseases are at an increased risk for infections.

May 272010
 

Foods I can never have ever again.

(Raw): cherry, nectarine, celery, carrots, banana, apple, tomato, potato, orange, grapefruit, pineapple

(Cooked): soybean (any Soy), apple, clam, oyster, lobster, shrimp, mixed fish, crab, peanuts, almonds (All nuts), mustard, carrot, potato.

Items in bold are new. Might even be more, these are just the touch them again and u could die list.

Apr 222010
 

I think every pet owner out there remembers the huge pet food recall a few years back that had to affect on every pet owners lives. That particular recall did not just hit one manufacturer or brand, but a huge list.

In trying to keep my fur kids safe from such things I keep an eye out for pet industry recalls when I hear about them and spread the news through every channel available to me.

A few months ago there was the Merrick Dog Treat Recall and this month we have a lesser known brand being recalled.

Advanced Cetyl M Joint Action Formula for Dogs made by Response Products is being recalled for a possible Salmonella health risk. They so no dogs have been reported as sick because of the product and that they are just pulling the product because of lab tests. Not so sure I believe that one completely, but all we have is the FDA press release about the recall.

So if your dog is taking Advanced Cetyl M Joint Action Formula for Dogs please read the recall report and check your supply carefully.

Should your dogs treats be in the recall please handle them carefully and wash your hand thoroughly so you don’t get sick from the Salmonella either.  Stay healthy and enjoy your pets!

Apr 132010
 

One of my guilty little pleasures in life are Pringles. I know, I know they aren’t good for you. That’s is why it is called junk food after all! But I just really enjoy them every once in awhile. But how’s a person to know when their junk food could potential be even more of […]

Apr 072010
 

Okay so McCormick is recalling their fajita seasoning because it doesn’t list allergens like milk and wheat, but where is the soy allergen listing? Food companies really need to address that fact that people are allergic to all forms of soy and not just one protein in it. Grant soy protein is the deadly form […]

Feb 142010
 

I have often seen (and have even written about) the great prices on eyeglasses you can get from Zenni Optical, but until I recently read the article, “Cheap eyeglasses are a reality. Check out Eric’s review of Zenni Optical” over at Examiner.com I hadn’t really given buying my glasses from them more than a second […]

Feb 122010
 

Way back when I was a kid in the 70s copper bracelets were all the rage. Fashion, like history, always seems to repeat itself. That is not always a bad thing. The good old copper bracelet is a good example of that. It seems like everyone is sporting a bangle or a cuff made of […]