Winter weather preperation is a good health practiceBy Veita Bland, M.D. / December 14, 2015
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Many of us may not be cold weather fans but Mother Nature has earned our respect. To that end, there are some cold weather related health preparations we should perform. We routinely make sure our cars have been winterized. Making sure that the tires are in good shape is part of that. Do not forget to have a winter kit in your vehicle. Make sure you have a blanket, some type of flash light, a charger for your phone and some water and food, especially if you have kids. Check this kit periodically to make sure its components remain fresh and the charger has not lost its power. Try to have a kit in each of your vehicles.
As you winterize your home check for leaks around windows and doors that may be robing you of your hard earned cash in the form of higher heating bills. Make sure you have a carbon dioxide monitor plugged in. Check to see how much of an area it covers in your home and buy enough to adequately cover your home. Check the batteries in your smoke detector while you are at it. None of these things are of value if not adequately powered.
Have your routine furnace maintenance performed. A tune up here may save funds in the long run.
Each year we are bombarded with a list of things to have for an emergency loss of power. Most of us will not have an emergency generator so some form of energy will be needed. If you do have an emergency generator, make sure that the maintenance upon it is also performed. Be careful that your alternative heat source is safe.
Have a few light sources available such as flash lights or lanterns. Have extra batteries for them. Have a charger for your phone. Some of these can provide you with 24 hours of power. Make sure that you have adequate medication for three to five days in your kit. The experts recommend three days of water for each person in your home. That is a gallon of water for each person a day. Adequate food for three days is also recommended. If you are relying on can foods, have a hand operated can opener available. Dried foods would be great and do not forget the nutritious value of the foods. You need nutrition dense foods to operate at your best during an emergency.
Do not forget to put food away for our pets.
We rely on our phones so much and now rarely have numbers written down or remembered. I suggest a written list of your must have numbers in case your phone does lose all of its power.
A way of making sure that those close to you are safe would be nice. A meeting place or a text could relieve your mind. Just in case the ATM is down have some cash stored away.
Have your important papers and insurance cards in a safe place that you can retrieve if you have to evacuate your home.
Secure your home in case of having to evacuate it. Alarm systems may not be working and are going to be of low priority to the authorities.
Check in on elderly relatives and friends and make sure they have some type of emergency plan in place.
Mother Nature has earned our respect. Be prepared.
Veita Bland is a board certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Email Dr. Bland at firstname.lastname@example.org.