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December Do 1 Thing

 An emergency can happen at any time and any place. Many public places have a first aid kit, oxygen, or an AED (automated external defibrillator) to treat people. These items can only save lives if someone knows how to use them. Actions you take in the first few minutes after an injury or other medical incident may save someone's life.

 Call 911 instead of trying to take an injured or ill person to the hospital yourself. It seems like waiting for an ambulance will make it take longer to get help, but ambulance crews can start providing care as soon as they arrive. They can get the patient to hospital quickly, legally, and more safely.

  1. Stay on the line with 911 and follow emergency instructions.
  2. Stay calm and try to keep the patient calm.
  3. Don't move a patient who was injured in an automobile accident or fall, or who was found unconscious.
  4. If the patient is cold, cover them with a blanket.
  5. Don't give an injured person anything to eat or drink (unless instructed by the 911 dispatcher).
  6. Have someone watch for the ambulance and show the crew how to get to the patient. (This is especially important in an apartment or office building, or if your address is hard to see from the street).



October Do 1 Thing

Considering the extremes of weather of late....this seems appropriate.  It is best when planning for weather emergencies to consider worst case scenarios.

We count on electricity for gas for transportaton, heat, food, and medical needs. Many gas appliances even need electricity to run.

A power outage is an emergency that often follows another emergency-like a hurricane, tornado, or winter/ice storms.  That makes it even more important to be prepared in advance. Have flashlights/batteries (safer than candles) or better try to find and purchase a crank lantern-the LED lights are very bright. 

If considering getting a generator,  learn the safety measures so as not to put you and your family at risk for carbon monoxide fumes.  

School is starting and here is a Do1Thing activity for your family- Do you have a communications plan? Two simple things you can do right away. Children now go to school with cell phones- Are they set up with an ICE contact? See below:

1. If you are hurt and can't talk, first responders and hospital staff may not know how to contact your family right away. If you have a cell phone, you can provide the phone numbers for your emergency contacts to first responders and hospital staff. 

1. Create a new contact in your cell phone's phone book.
3. Enter all phone numbers for the person you would like to have notified in a medical emergency. 
2. Name the contact ICE.


2. Develop a plan so you can stay in touch with your family in a disaster. Include phone numbers for all family members and those who can give you extra help, such as caregivers. Also include all work, school, and daycare phone numbers, if applicable. A wallet-size form you can use to write down this information can be found at www.ready.gov. Be sure each family member has a copy of your communication plan. Post the communication plan by a phone in your home, and include it in your go bag as well.

Outside the Area Contact
Local phone calls and long distance calls work on different circuits. When local circuits are overloaded, you may still be able to make long distance calls. Choose someone outside of the local calling area to be your "outside the area" contact. Make sure all family members carry this phone number with them. If something happens when your family is not together and you are not able to reach each other, each family member can call the "outside the area" contact and leave a message for the others.    

Helping in a Disaster as published in the Gardner News May 23 - click here

Do 1 Thing for June:
What kinds of things can members of your household not be without for 72 hours? Here are some examples of things that can create unique needs for your family:

 Infants and young children

  • Prescription medication (keep a three day supply with you)
  • Health-related supplies (For example, diabetics need insulin syringes, alcohol wipes, and glucometer supplies)
  • Assistive devices (glasses, canes, etc.)
• Pets

 When you are in a hurry, it is easy to overlook small and important items. Common items like diapers and pet food might not be easy to find right after a disaster. Trying new brands of food or formula, or not having a comfort item, can make disasters more stressful for both children and pets.

Wachusett Medical-Reserve Corps recommends having a 48 hour kit with these special needs items pre-packed especially for elderly parents, folks with disabilities or infants/children. We offer a presentation for these special groups. For more information about the program contact 978-928-3834

 May Do 1 Thing

Work, School and Community : Make sure emergency procedures are in place for your workplace or school.

Talk to your employer about emergency plans for the building where you work. Think about other places that you and family members regularly spend time, like your child's school. Talk to administrators at those places about their emergency plans as well.

Ways to be safe at work and school:

  • Make sure evacuation routes and tornado shelter locations are marked on a map and posted in the building.
  • Hold emergency training and drills.
  • Help create an emergency kit for the facility.
  • Know where fire extinguishers and Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are located.

Do 1 Thing - For April - Put aside a 3 day supply of food items.Follow the BUS rule to help you. BUS stands for balance, usability, and shelf-life.

GOAL FOR APRIL: Have an emergency food supply that will meet the needs of your household for three days without outside help.
An emergency food supply doesn't have to sit on a shelf, ready for disaster to strike (although it can). It can be part of the food you use every day. The key to a good food storage plan is to buy ahead of time. Replace items before they run out. Buy items when they are on sale. A large duffle bag or plastic tub with a lid makes a great storage place for an emergency food supply. Make sure your family, including pets, will have what they need when disaster strikes. For more information   
Emergency Preparedness - Do1Thing  

For March-Sheltering Please feel free to share

Identify the best storm shelter in your home and practice getting to the shelter with your family. 
In a disaster you may be asked to either evacuate or shelter-in place. In the excitement of an emergency, it can be difficult to focus on what you are doing. Know what to do to keep your family safe. Practice your tornado and fire safety plans. If your family has practiced, they will be more comfortable doing it when the emergency actually happens.
Use these rules of thumb to find the best tornado shelter possible:

  • Stay away from windows and skylights Shelter "down and in"-Put as many walls between yourself and the outside as you can (think of the ceiling as a wall) Avoid rooms with large ceiling expanses Find an area large enough for everyone to stay comfortably for at least 45 minutes If you lianes, be prepared to protect your family and your property.
Make a Go Bag for emergeny sheltering.
In an emergency like a chemical spill, you may be told to "shelter in place". This means to make the place where you are a safe place to stay until the danger has passed. Shelter in place orders are given when it would be dangerous for you to go outside. Notification-Warning sirens may be used to warn people that it is not safe to be outside. Emergency responders may go door to door in the affected area. They may also use loudspeakers from police or fire vehicles to give instructions. Information will also be given over television and radio using the Emergency Alert System. 
What to do in a hazardous materials incident-The first thing to do when a chemical spill or similar event occurs is to get information. Turn on the television or radio to find out if your area is affected and what steps to take. Never call 911 to get information about an emergency. Only call 911 if you are injured or need assistance.
If you are told to shelter in place you should close all doors and windows and shut off fans and air conditioners. Take your family to a room with as few doors and windows as possible. You may be told to put towels or tape around the cracks of the windows and doors. Follow emergency instructions carefully. Make sure you take a battery-powered radio with you so that you will know when the danger has passed. Power in your area may be shut off during the incident. 
In case of evacuation a shelter will provide
  • A cot to sleep on Meals and bottled water A nurse for basic medical care Information about the disaster from public officials
You may need to bring • Pillow and blanket • Identification • Change of clothes • Cards or magazines • Comfort items • Your medication and medical supplies (or a list of what you are taking, dosage, and Dr's names) and supplies specific to the needs of each individual family member i.e. diapers and formula or hearing aid batteries.


Do 1 Thing Goal for February: Have 72 hours (3 days) worth of water stored for your household. 
Whether you get water from a municipal water system or your home has a private well, your water supply depends on having power to operate the system. During a power outage-or any disaster that can cause a power outage, such as high winds, ice storm, or flood-you may find yourself without drinkable water.

* Purchase and store a 72-hour supply of commercially bottled water (or more - up to two weeks). Goal is 1 gallon of water per person per day.

* Bottle a 72-hour supply of water at home.

A good idea is to check your supplies for expiration dates or needs to resupply every 6 months -January 1 and July 4 are easy dates to remember.

Do 1 Thing: Build a Kit
Small steps toward being prepared for an Emergency
Hurricanes, Blizzards, Ice Storms! New England residents are pretty resilient against some difficult weather scenarios, but any emergency, weather related or other, is easier to handle when you have prepared ahead of time. A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
An easy way to gather items to store away in a chosen space in your home is to Do 1 Thing a month. This month think about what you and your family would need in an emergency or weather event and put together enough supplies for 72 hours. Officials are stressing the importance of such supplies set aside as part of a family's overall disaster plan for shelter in place. Do you need to buy a kit? No, as many of the items are already in your home like a flashlight, and other items can be purchased in such stores as Dollar Tree, Walmart or Target.
But what if you need to quickly leave your home because of a fire or a medical emergency? Then it is also recommended to have a Go Bag ready for each member of the family with items specific to that member’s needs and don’t forget to create a Go Bag for the family pet too. Go Bags can be used for trips from going to the zoo to heading on a trip. Suggested items are first aid supplies, crank or battery operated flashlights, crank or battery operated radio, lightweight blankets, personal items such as toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, glasses, batteries for hearing aides, whistle and cards that say Need Help, change of clothing, baby supplies, nonperishable snacks and small games, coloring books etc.
Want to know more? Explore www.Ready.gov for ideas and activities for seniors, families and children or www.do1thing.com for more choices of things to do each month.
Wachusett Medical Reserve Corps
Wachusett MRC is part of a national network of local groups of volunteers committed to improving the health, safety, and resiliency of their communities.
www.wachusettmrc.org 978-928-3834