La Jolla Community Center hosts disaster preparedness class
By Ashley Mackin
The La Jolla Community Center hosted a disaster and emergency preparedness class on Feb. 19 to showcase some of the resources available during an emergency situation. La Jollans Naomi Broering and Greg Chauncey explained a few websites under the National Institute of Health umbrella that offer up-to-date health information, interactive tutorials, a page for applications to download to a cell phone or tablet, disaster preparation and emergency response tools. Broering also presented an overview of what to do in case of various emergencies.
The website Chauncey recommends for up-to-date health information is MedLinePlus.gov because it is updated and peer-reviewed regularly. “If you check WebMD (.com) or some other things, look at the bottom and see when it was last reviewed,” he said. “(On WebMD) I found some that were reviewed in 2005. So if nothing happened in seven years, stick with WebMD, if you want something current, go to MedLine Plus.”
The MedLine Plus site also has interactive tutorials on how to treat burns at different stages, and fractures and sprains, and other injuries.
Another useful resource is disaster.nlm.nih.gov that has a page for emergency apps to download. For example, The American Red Cross has a step-by-step app with instructions on how to perform CPR, based on individual situations. This app costs $1.99.
The National Library of Medicine also has a reUnite app, which allows people to upload missing and found person information for family reunification during and after disasters. It provides structured information to the National Library of Medicine’s People Locator service.
The PTSD Coach app offers information about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including educational resources, information about professional care, a self-assessment tool, opportunities to find support and tools to help manage the stresses of daily life with PTSD, which can occur after a disaster.
These are just a few of the dozens of apps available on the site. Also found on the site are pages with preparation tips for emergencies, including fire, geological emergencies (earthquakes and tsunamis), chemical emergencies and bioterrorism. For each of these, the site also lists emergency response tools.
Broering next offered what-to-do’s in different emergencies:
■ In an earthquake: “Just hold on, grab a column or a frame, grab a hold of something stable,” she said.
■ What if you are in a situation where someone starts shooting a gun? “Hit the deck and pretend you died,” she said, adding, only move when the dust settles.
■ In a blackout, like the one San Diego experienced last year, she suggests always having gas in your car and a manual way to get in and out of the garage. Keep an emergency tote bag near the door or in the car.
Based on a FEMA list, Broering assembled a condensed checklist of what to have in that tote bag. To keep costs down, she suggested going to the 99-cents store for many of the items.
Here is Broering’s list of what to have fill an emergency tote bag:
- (2) Bath towels
- (2) Water Bottles
- First Aid Kit
- Hot and cold compresses
- Shower cap
- Face mask
- Toilet paper
- Antifungal cream
- Alcohol swab
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Baby aspirin
- Rubber gloves
- Flashing light
- “D” batteries
- “AA” batteries
- Small wrench
- Small screwdriver (multiple sizes)
- Plastic rain poncho
- Rainproof jacket
- Clothes (including socks and underwear)
- Canned soup, meat and tuna
- Matches and candles
- Instant coffee
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