Friday, December 12, 2008

Get Ready Mailbag: Staying prepared during winter

Welcome to another installment of the Get Ready Mailbag, when we take time to answer questions sent our way by readers like you. Have a question you want answered? Send an e-mail to

Q. Since this summer, my family and I have been learning more about ways to be prepared. We even created an emergency kit and an evacuation plan. Is there anything specific we should be doing to be prepared for winter?

A. It's wonderful to hear that your family is taking steps to be prepared! The more you do now, the better prepared you will be to cope with the unexpected if an emergency situation were to arise. An emergency kit and an evacuation plan are two important items that each family should have.

Regarding getting prepared for winter, the first thing you and your family should do is get a flu shot. This will help reduce your chances of getting the flu. It's also a good idea to talk to your family and make sure everyone knows to take simple steps to stay healthy: wash your hands with soap often, cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and cough, and avoid close contact with people who are sick from a respiratory illness.

Now is also a good time to check your emergency kit and ensure you're prepared for winter-specific needs. Make sure you have winter clothes and blankets in case you need to evacuate during cold weather, as well as batteries, flashlights and a radio in case you lose power during a winter storm.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto

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Anonymous said...

It is understood that the disease influenza is a disease caused by a RNA virus that can infect both mammals and birds. In fact, this particular virus can mutate to where it can be shared between the two life forms and multiply within each one of them. There is a vaccine for this illness, as there are many other vaccines available to fortunately prevent other diseases, perhaps.

Unlike coryza, influenza expresses symptoms more severely, and usually lasts two weeks until one recovers who has the flu. Influenza, however, poses a danger to some with compromised immune systems, such as the chronically ill. In cases such as this, influenza can in fact progress to deadly pneumonia. Symptoms of influenza usually start to express themselves 36 hours after being infected with the virus.

The flu vaccination contains three viral strains of suspected viruses for flu outbreaks during a particular winter season, as determined by the World Health Organization. Yet the strains chosen are speculated influenza viruses, as this does not eliminate the chance of a new and dominant influenza viral strain that possibly could cause a pandemic. It takes manufacturers about 6 months to make and formulate the influenza vaccination. We hope.

Dan Abshear

Anonymous said...

swallowing supplemental pills seems to help as well