National Preparedness Month

Since 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the national Ready Campaign have promoted National Preparedness Month (NPM) every September. NPM encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for all types of emergencies and strives to increase the overall number of people, families and communities that engage in preparedness actions.

The most recent data from the Red Cross, though, reveals that despite 8 out of 10 Americans feeling unprepared for a catastrophic event, only 1 in 10 has taken the following appropriate preparedness steps:

  • Create a family emergency plan.
  • Stock an emergency supply and first-aid kit.
  • Train in basic first aid.

Remember, you can’t plan when a disaster will occur, but you can plan ahead to be prepared if and when a disaster does strike. This September, take time to learn more about NPM and take the suggested steps to become properly prepared. For more information, please visit the NPM website.


Presented by TP Mechanical and Provided by HORAN

Do You Know the Signs of Opioid Addiction?

Opioid addiction is a growing epidemic in the United States, with opioid overdoses killing 91 Americans every day. In 2015 alone, more than 33,000 people died from an opioid overdose. Read on to learn more about opioids and to learn how to recognize the signs of opioid addiction.

What is an opioid?

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), opioids are a class of drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain. Common opioids include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and prescription painkillers like oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin) and morphine. Continued use (and abuse) of opioids can lead to physical dependence on and addiction to these types of drugs.

What are the signs of opioid addiction?

Being familiar with the most common signs of opioid addiction can help you or someone you love get proper treatment before it is too late. Physical signs of opioid addiction include the following:

  • Noticeable euphoria
  • Drowsiness, confusion or intermittent nodding off
  • Constricted pupils
  • Slowed breathing

For more information on opioids, opioid addiction and opioid overdoses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s or the NIDA’s opioid webpage.


Article presented by TP Mechanical and provided by HORAN

Have a Responsible Summer

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by HORAN

This August 18 to September 4, law enforcement will be stepping up their “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. This means police officers will be focused on spotting impaired drivers and pulling them over.

There were nearly 10,000 people killed in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes in 2014, according to the CDC. This accounts for nearly 33 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Keep this sobering statistic in mind when attending gatherings with alcohol, like barbecues, beach parties or work events.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) created a smartphone app to help drivers who cannot safely drive home. The app can help tell you where you are, help you call a taxi or help you call a friend. Other useful apps include Uber and Lyft, as both can get you home if it’s not safe for you to drive.

For more information on the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit the NHTSA website.

Prevent Heat Illness

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There were 7,415 heat-related deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These preventable deaths illustrate how important preparation is during extreme temperatures. Whether you are swimming at the beach or lounging in the park, you should be prepared for extreme heat conditions.

Stay Prepared

The CDC provides three easy steps to prevent heat-related illnesses: stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed. This summer, make sure you have shade wherever you are going and have attire, like a sun hat or a thin, long-sleeved shirt, to avoid direct contact with the sun. Be sure to drink lots of water—more than you usually do. Your body quickly loses fluids in the summer more quickly, which can lead to illness. Finally, stay informed by monitoring the local weather forecast and prepare accordingly for outdoor activities.

Know the Signs

The two most dangerous heat-related illnesses, besides dehydration, are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is exhibited through cold, clammy skin, heavy sweating and nausea. If you or someone shows these symptoms, move to a cooler location and sip water. If you or someone has a rapid pulse, hot and red skin, and loses consciousness, this could mean heat stroke, and you should call 911 immediately. In this latter scenario, do not give fluids to the person showing the symptoms. Do, however, move them to a cooler location and lower their temperature with cool cloths.

Grilling Safety Reminders for Your Summer BBQ

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Though grilling is an extremely popular way to prepare food in the summer, it can also be dangerous. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, gas and charcoal grills account for an average of 10 deaths and 100 injuries annually. Additionally, the National Fire Protection Association reports that an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling each year.

This year, keep the following safety suggestions in mind when you go to fire up your grill:

  • Make sure your grill is at least 3 feet away from other objects including your house, trees and outdoor seating.
  • Remember that starter fluid should only be used with charcoal grills and never with gas grills.
  • If you suspect that your gas grill is leaking, turn off the gas and get the unit fixed before lighting.
  • Do not bring your grill into an unventilated or enclosed space such as the garage or inside of your home.

Do not let children and pets play near the grilling area when cooking until the grill is completely cool.

Do You Know Seizure First Aid?

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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 10 people may have a seizure in their lifetime. A seizure is a change in the brain’s electrical activity that can cause a variety of symptoms, including violent shaking, falling and losing bodily control. However, because there are different types of seizures, symptoms can vary.

Knowing proper seizure first aid is important so that you can help keep a person who is having a seizure safe and prevent further injury. General seizure first aid includes the following:

  • Clear the area immediately to prevent possible injury.
  • If the person is standing, gently guide them to the floor. Roll them on their side and cushion their head.
  • Time the seizure. If the person has epilepsy and the seizure lasts longer than three minutes, call 911.
  • Call 911 if any of the following apply:
    • The person is pregnant.
    • The person has never had a seizure before.
    • The person does not regain consciousness after the seizure.
    • The seizure lasts longer than five minutes.
  • Do not attempt to hold the person down or put anything in their mouth while they are seizing. Doing so could cause injury.

For other seizure first-aid tips, please visit the CDC’s webpage.

Simple Summer Activities Your Kids Are Sure to Love

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Summer is often filled with outdoor parties, warm weather and no school. Unfortunately, the arrival of summer can bring stress for many parents as they search for ways to keep their kids happy, healthy, engaged and safe without breaking the bank.

Listed below are a few simple—and inexpensive—summer activities that you and your children can do together this summer.

  • Make homemade frozen treats. Cooking together is a great way to create memories that will last a lifetime and to instill healthy habits in your children. Click here for some recipes to get you started.
  • Go berry picking. Many berries are in season in the summer. Take your children to your local berry farm to pick your own delicious strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
  • Go hiking. Enjoy the summer weather and your state’s scenery, and get some exercise by taking a family hike at your nearest trail.

Tick and Tick-borne Disease Season is Here

Provided by HORAN | Presented by TP Mechanical

Experts are warning that this year’s tick season could be worse and more widespread than ever due to milder winters, booming mice and deer populations, and the 2015 abundant acorn crop. Unfortunately, with the projected increase of ticks, the threat of tick-borne disease, including the most common, Lyme disease, also increases.

The best way to avoid contracting a tick-borne disease is to practice proper preventive measures, which include the following:

  • Wear light-colored clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and pants when in wooded areas, and tuck pant legs into socks or boots. Keep long hair tied back.
  • Wash your body and clothing after all outdoor activities.
  • Look periodically for ticks if you have been outdoors, especially if you have been in wooded areas or gardens.
  • Remove ticks within 24 hours to greatly reduce the risk of contracting disease.
  • Talk with your veterinarian about tick repellent for your pet.
  • Check your pet’s coat if it has been in a possible tick-infested area.

For more information on ticks and tick-borne disease, click here.

National Fireworks Safety Month: June 1 to July 4

Provided by HORAN | Presented by TP Mechanical

Fireworks are a staple at festivities for many Americans during the summer months. Unfortunately, many people do not realize just how dangerous fireworks and sparklers can be—which is a primary reason that injuries occur.

In honor of National Fireworks Safety Month, which occurs from June 1 to July 4, take some time to familiarize yourself with the following safety suggestions to avoid accidents when using fireworks.

  • Do not shoot fireworks off if you are under the influence of alcohol.
  • Always have a hose or water bucket handy.
  • Keep spectators a safe distance away.
  • Show children how to properly hold sparklers, how to stay far enough away from other children and what not to do.
  • Never try to relight a firework that didn’t properly ignite.
  • Soak all firework debris in water before throwing it away.
  • Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them from metal or glass containers.

Shop for Seasonal Produce This Summer

Provided by HORAN | Presented by TP Mechanical

The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends that you consume at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables each day. Although this varies by age, sex and level of physical activity, it is a good recommendation to live by to build a healthy dietary base.

One great way to add variety to your diet and to make sure you are eating enough fruits and vegetables is to look for seasonal produce. Additionally, choosing in-season produce can help save you money, as the abundance of the fruit or vegetable typically makes it less expensive.

This summer, be mindful of what fruits and vegetables are in season near you. Fruits & Veggies—More Matters, a health initiative focused on helping Americans increase fruit and vegetable consumption for better health, has made it easy to figure out which produce is in season. On its website, you can view year-round, winter, spring, summer and fall produce options.

Click here to see what’s in season this summer.