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HomeHealth Wise

September 2021

Disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can. The entire month of September observes National Preparedness Month.  No matter where you live, you are subject to disasters. Natural disaster and man-made disasters affect everyone and will cause severe damage and endanger lives. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, landslides, wildfires, hot spells, or cold spells are all natural disasters that can be deadly to people and property. Man-made disasters such as terrorism, crime, power outages, famines, or war are just as terrifying as any natural disasters. Preparation is essential for the safety of you and your family. It can also ensure valuable personal possessions are taken care of properly before you lose them.


Family First

Deciding how long a disaster will last and the after-effects are the first step in preparation. Depending on the type of emergency, you may need food and water for a few days. Food that is easily stored and prepared is critical during a disaster. When disaster strikes, you want to make sure your family has water to last for a specified duration of time. It is recommended each family member have 1 gallon of water per day to remain hydrated. Having proper eating utensils, small stoves that run off propane or a grill for cooking, matches, candles, blankets, and extra clothes are a few items to pack away in a safe, accessible place. Try not to forget about family activities! Pack away some board games, cards, or books to help the time pass by. Having things for children to do will also keep their mind at ease.

More than half of all parents lack a designated meeting place to fall back to in an emergency. Family fire drills may seem silly, but they do serve a purpose. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t have a list of emergency contact numbers either. Make sure the entire family has memorized any numbers that are of significance in the case of disaster.


Personal Property

Finally, personal property is always a concern when natural disaster hits. Though it’s not always possible, you can do a few things to make sure you save the valuable documents that mean the most to you. If you have a computer, you can scan any documents and put them on an external drive. Store the drive someplace safe and dry. With today’s technology, we can save our photo memories more easily. If saving photographs of family is important, consider scanning them on an external so you can reprint them if the originals are lost or destroyed. Most importantly, make sure your insurance policies are up to date. You can visit your insurance agent any time to review what you have, what is covered and what options you have in the event a disaster destroys your home or vehicles.


How to Observe

Preparing for a disaster might seem like an impossible task and we hope you never have to experience one. But if you do, government agencies like FEMA and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as organizations like the American Red Cross, provide excellent websites with enough information to get you started. These websites also offer suggestions on how to plan in specific instances, like being without power for weeks. Your insurance companies will also have information you can use as you prepare. Insurance companies encourage families to prepare for disasters. It makes their jobs easier once the emergency is over and it also gives you peace of mind that you were covered correctly.



The Department of Homeland Security designated September as National Preparedness Month to educate the public on the importance of disaster preparation.

October 2021


The National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) has designated October as "Talk About Your Medicines" month. The goal is to promote and enhance communications between patients and health care providers regarding the safe and appropriate use of medications. The NCPIE believes this can ultimately lead to a reduction in medication-related errors and better health outcomes.




Questions to ask your health care provider

To help ensure that you minimize the risks and maximize the benefits of your medications, here’s a list of questions that you should ask your physician, pharmacist, nurse practitioner or other medical professional whenever a new drug is recommended for you:

  1. Why are you recommending this medication for me? What is it for?
  2. What is the exact name of the medication? (Request the spelling if you are unsure.)
  3. How, when and for how long should I take this medication? Should I take it with food or on an empty stomach? If the dosage is once-a-day, should I take it in the morning, at night or on a different schedule?
  4. Should I expect to experience any medication-related side effects and, if so, how can I manage them?
  5. Is there anything I should avoid while taking this medication (e.g., specific foods, alcoholic beverages, certain activities, driving or operating machinery)?
  6. Is this medicine safe for me to use along with my other medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies, vitamins, and supplements?
  7. When can I expect to see the effects of this medication, and how will I know whether it’s working?
  8. How should I store this medication? Does it need to be refrigerated?
  9. Is there any additional information that I should know about this medication?


Share Information

Be sure to share information with your doctors, pharmacists, nurse, and other health care professionals about ALL other prescription, over the counter medicines, and vitamins that you are taking.


Read Carefully

Read through the written information that comes with the medicine and save it for future reference. Alert your doctor to anything that may concern you regarding interactions with other medications or side effects. Advise your doctor immediately of any adverse reactions you may have to medications.


Who is the best person to "Talk About Prescriptions?" Whichever health care professional(s) you feel most comfortable with, who listens to your questions and concerns. You can Talk About Prescriptions with your doctor, nurse, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, and/or your pharmacist.


Using your medicines safely requires a team effort. Remember YOUR role on the Medicine Education Team!



The Wade Center ~ 502 Thornburg Drive NE, Conover, NC 28613    ~    828.464.1111