In the event when disaster strikes in your area, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. To prepare for these situations, you should have emergency kits for your home, office, school and car. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your family stay safe during and after a disaster.
Keep your kit fresh and ready to use. Once you’ve gathered your supplies, pack the items in easy-to-carry containers. Clearly label the containers, and store them where they will be readily available. In a disaster situation, you may need to get your emergency supply kit quickly – whether you are sheltering at home or evacuating. Make sure to check expiration dates on food, water, medicine, and batteries throughout the year.
Thanks to vaccines and immunizations, we have successfully minimized the threat of diseases that only a few decades ago would be fatal to large populations of individuals. However, it is common to receive mixed messages from the media, internet, and other sources about what may be best for you and your child. If you plan on traveling internationally, find out what immunizations you might need or are required by your host country here
Immunizing Your Child
Many parents today are choosing not to immunize because “all of the other parents are doing it.” There is a belief that so long as other parents are immunizing their children, there is minimal risk to their own child getting the disease. This simply isn’t true – we aren’t seeing previously common diseases anymore because so many people are guarded against them, not because the disease itself has disappeared. Many diseases and illnesses exist naturally in our environments and are still common in other areas of the world – we can still spread the disease, become sick and in some cases die if we are not immunized.
Another reason many parents choose not to immunize their children is the growing fear that the immunization will cause harm to their child. While there is a risk of side effects from immunizations, as with nearly any pharmaceutical product, the risk of not vaccinating can be much more harmful to your child. Some people may carry diseases, such as Hib meningitis, without showing any symptoms and can pass it to children who are not protected by immunizations.
Simply avoiding sick people is not enough to protect your child, since in these cases it is impossible to tell who may be contagious. Certain vaccine-preventable diseases are highly contagious – a person infected with measles does not have to have direct contact with another person in order to spread the disease. The unvaccinated person may get measles simply by being in the same room as the infected person – or entering a room after the infected person has left.
For information on vaccine-preventable diseases click here
Children aren’t the only ones requiring immunizations. You are at risk for serious diseases as well throughout your lifetime. Some immunizations, such as the flu vaccine, you should receive annually, while others are given periodically or to mitigate the potential of occupational and travel exposures. When you immunize yourself, you’re also adding an additional layer of protection for your children and grandchildren. Take this quiz to see which vaccines you may need.
After disasters, it may become especially important to receive boosters and additional vaccines due to the increased likelihood that you will come into contact with harmful bacteria or tetanus. Want more information on immunizations and where to find them? Click here (link to our Diagnostic & Treatment portion of site)