What to Do In Case of Individual Emergencies, Natural Disasters, and Terrorist Attacks
Someone once said that it is in our moments of decision that our destiny is shaped. Every single day of our life we invest on something that allows us to choose—to decide.
For instance, what we decide to do can affect our vulnerability or safety to natural hazards, emergencies, and so on and so forth. We have to make the right decision. We have to be informed. We must know that hazard and risk information, for that matter, exist in the first place.
We must know what natural hazards we are likely to face in our own community. We shall know in advance what specific preparations to make for any eventuality—be it a typhoon, flood, tornado, earthquake, fire, tsunami, terrorist attack, pandemic disease, et cetera, and what actions to take in its aftermath.
Loss of lives, personal injuries, and damage from natural disaster may be reduced through widespread public awareness and education. This article, therefore, aims to give us a quick guide on what to do when emergencies and natural disasters strike as well as to create an awareness of the natural hazards and risks we are facing and to take actions in such that we can improve our capability to respond and recover from disasters, pandemic diseases, emergencies, and other natural and man-made threats.
What to Do When Natural Disasters Strike
Natural disaster is something that involves a force of nature that may destroy unsuspecting, unprepared people of a particular area or place. While we cannot change the course of nature’s wrath, we can always try to find ways in which we can escape or, at least, reduce the harm that it may bring. The keyword is “knowledge.” We have to know what to do. These are an example of natural disasters, individual emergencies and terrorist attacks, and their corresponding remedies or preparations we are advised to observe or follow:
Despite technological advancement, human beings are yet to solve the puzzle of predicting earthquakes exactly where and when they strike. That will make us all helpless, so to speak, but not when we know what to do and safety measures are observed. These are what should be done:
We have to know in advance about the safe areas in our house. These areas must be, for example, under sturdy tables, in stout doorways, inside walls, and strong pillars. But we have to make sure that those areas must be nowhere near fireplaces, tall furniture, and windows. The shaking may make us feel dizzy, but remember that it is the falling objects, collapsing walls, and flying glass that may do serious damage or injuries or may even kill us instantly.
If we’re inside the house or building when the earthquake occurs, it is safe to just stay there. We must never panic, but we need to calm down. Then we can look for a place safe enough to take cover. And once we find it, we can at least remain in there for as long as we can.
If we’re outside the house or in the streets when the earthquake happens, we have to move into the open and away from tall buildings, street lights, utility wires, communication site towers, giant billboards, and electrical posts. And once we find that place, we can stay in there for as long as we can, and until the shaking stops.
If we’re in a passenger bus, we can tell the driver to slow down. We have to slow down, too, when we’re driving our own car. We must stay in the vehicle and never panic. Then we can look for a place where we can steer our car away from trees, overpasses, utility wires, and tall buildings.
Once the shaking stops, we don’t need to rush into moving anywhere. We have to observe. We have to avoid falling into the trap of acting quickly by rushing towards something we don’t know. We don’t have to stay in the area blank-faced and wait for a miracle to happen, either. But we have to proceed with caution. These are what we must avoid when we’re in such a particular situation: bridges or ramps that may have been damaged, tilting giant billboards, electrical posts, and communication site towers. Aftershocks are expected, so we must be prepared for that also. Some aftershocks may occur even weeks or months later and can be strong enough to level down buildings and damage more properties and utility lines.
If we’re along coastal areas, we can try staying away from the shores as far as we can. Strong quakes can trigger a tsunami and we might be caught off guard if we have no idea what to do in the first place. Yet, there’s no way to panic. Chances are we might bump into a life-threatening accident if we’re rushing towards what we don’t know. Presence of mind is needed. We have to think clear and think right.
We must know whether we’re living in a flood-prone area or not. If we’re in a place frequented by floods, then we’re advised to do the following:
Find the highest possible ground where we can quickly and safely evacuate to. Of course, we must be carrying with us the emergency supply kit. Our emergency supply kit should include flashlights, extra batteries for the flashlights and portable radios, emergency cooking equipment, a portable radio, and, if possible, a mobile phone with its charger.
When it’s raining hard in our place, and for a couple of days already, we need to be vigilant. Check every now and then if the water outside our house rises and if the streets are flooding. We can also try to check if the water in the canals and creeks start to overflow. We have to watch the news on TV or in the internet to know about the weather forecast updates and for the rainfall directory.
If the news on TV declares about the coming of a storm in our place, we have to find for shovels and sandbags immediately. We have to start filling in the bags half full of sand right away. Timing is everything because if we will do it much earlier, the bags may just rot. Once the bags are rotten, they will, of course, not be able to completely seal out water.
We have to watch out for our kids. We must never allow them to go near streams and storm drains, creeks, and rivers as water can rise fast and they might get drowned or pulled away by the strong current.
We have to check out if valves are installed in our home’s sewer traps, as it will prevent flood waters from backing sewage up into the house. We may also try using large corks or stoppers in plugging showers, basins, et cetera.
Valuable things must be moved upstairs in the second or third floors. In case water becomes contaminated, bathtubs, sinks, and jugs must be filled with clean water. Local authorities will be doing rounds of inspection, and if they instructed us to do so, turn off all utilities. We must prepare to evacuate anytime.
If we’re out in the streets when the flood happens, we have to look for any high ground where we can safely climb up to. We can stay there and observe. Remember that if we move swiftly, and the current is so strong, even water five to six inches deep can sweep us off our feet.
If we’re inside a passenger bus and it heads to a flooded area, we have to tell the driver to stop the bus, go out immediately, and try another route. If we’re driving our own car and we come to a flooded area, we must turn around and go another way. If the car stalls, we need to go out of that car, leave immediately, and look for any high ground where we can safely climb up to.
If we’re inside the house when the flood happens, move to the second floor, roof, or rooftop. We must stay warm and dry. We need to take warm clothing, flashlight, mobile phone, bottles of clean mineral water, and a portable radio with us. To try to swim to safety is not advisable. Electrical equipment must never be touched, unless it is in a dry area and we’re standing on a piece of dry wood while wearing dry rubber gloves and rubber-soled boots or shoes. All food that has come in contact with flood waters must be thrown away. They are considered contaminated and unsafe to use or consume. Flood waters contain harmful bacteria and other life-threatening contaminants. Until public drinking water is declared safe, we have to boil drinking and cooking water at least ten minutes before using it.
We must be vigilant and keep updated with weather news. We must make sure to confirm about the validity of the news about a tornado that is going to hit our place. A storm cellar will provide us the best protection against a tornado.
In case we don’t have a storm cellar, we can choose a basement corner of our house to take shelter, in a small interior room, or lay flat beneath a table or bed, away from windows. It is best and advisable to crouch in the southwest corner; it has been found out that debris usually falls in the northeast corner. If we’re in a car, trying to outrun a tornado is not advisable. The best thing we can do, at least for that particular moment, is to get out of the car and take shelter in a ditch or on low ground. But never ever take shelter under a tree as there’s a great possibility that the tree will be uprooted.
We must be vigilant and alert. We need to keep updated with weather news. If we’re in a flood-prone area, we have to prepare to evacuate quickly. We must forget to carry with us an emergency kit. We have to board up all windows and go inland.
We must never go anywhere twelve miles nearer to the ocean as the full fury of the hurricane will be within such a distance covered. Storm surge is also a possibility which can be more dangerous. We can also refer to the instructions written for floods and tornadoes as they may be just as applicable.
It will be quite dangerous if we’re living in areas near wildlands or woodlands. We must be on guard and always monitor the situation. In case electricity fails, which is to be expected, a portable gas-powered water pump is a must have. As a precautionary measure, we must have installed hose spigots on at least sides of the house and near remote buildings, like garages and power supply huts. More outlets must be installed at around fifty feet from the home.
A garden hose must be included in our must have list and one that is long enough to reach anything that is burning. Having a small pond is very important, as that is where we can draw water from. We must not forget to also include these things to our must have list: a ladder that is as tall as our roof, ax, handsaw or chainsaw, shovel, and buckets.
We must be ready for any eventuality as we may evacuate anytime. If we have a radio, we can tune it to fire reports so we will have any idea or updated with how the whole thing has went. We must protect our domicile. Wearing of gloves, sturdy shoes, protective clothing, and handkerchief to protect our face is necessary.
We must back car into garage or in open space, and position it in such a way that it faces the direction of escape. We must leave key in ignition. We have to shut doors and windows, but leave them unlocked. Automatic garage door openers must be disconnected. We have to turn off pilot lights, and shut off gas at meter as well. Fireplace damper must be left opened, but fireplace screens must be shut.
Flammable furniture must be moved away from windows. Each room must have a light turned on so as to increase visibility in case of heavy smoke. We must turn off propane tanks and other devices that can trigger a flame.
We must not forget to put lawn sprinklers on roof and above ground fuel tanks and turn them on and wet everything down. We have to uproot or remove all shrubs within fifteen feet away from the house as these may surely catch fire. If there’s not much of a time left to uproot or remove all of them, we can wet them. Returning after the fire, we can go check the roof and attic immediately and put out any sparks or embers. We need to be careful and always on the look for hot spots in the area that may start to burn again. Then we can check again the house for hours afterward.
What to Do When There Is a Terrorist Attack
Terrorist attacks, like natural disasters and emergencies, often come without warning. They will catch us by surprise and we will be left completely helpless, clueless, and abandoned. Possible terrorist acts may include indiscriminate bombing by using different explosive devices, chemical agents, biological agents, and radiation aimed to terrorize the unsuspecting, clueless civilian population.
Terrorists may use any of the following:
Chemical attacks or spills
Chemical agents could be dispersed through the air. It can directly affect the lungs, kidneys, blood, or nervous system.
Anthrax is caused by bacteria called Bacillus anthracis in the form of tiny spores. Although it is just as deadly, it cannot be transmitted from one person to another compared to smallpox. Terrorists have many ways in spreading it, including one which it can be loaded to a ballistic missile. Once terrorists decide to release it into the open, it is in a white powdery or crystalline form.
Pneumonic plague It is an infectious disease that can sometimes be found in rodents and fleas. It resembles much to a common pneumonia, although it is far more deadly. Yet, if diagnosed early, it can be treated.
Biological attacks (Smallpox) The year 1977 was the year when smallpox was eliminated. Yet, in a span of ten years forward, the benefit of vaccination was slowly wearing off. Smallpox, in case we do not know, is far more dangerous than anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) when it is handed over to terrorists’ hand. It is so communicable and terrorists may obtain packets from research institutes.
Although it cannot be spread from one person to another, it can usually be found in infected food. It affects the nerves and can cause muscle paralysis if not immediately treated.
In military term, it is called “dirty bomb.” A dirty bomb, by the way, is a small amount explosive material with radioactive materials attached to it. Once it hits the target, the blast irradiates the area, leaving the general public shocked and awed.
The following are what the experts are advising concerning suspicious letter or package; suspicious letter or package is likely:
1. Having no return address.
2. Containing misspelled words.
3. Addressing to a tile, not a person.
4. Coming from a place we don’t quite know or from outside the country.
5. For a package, appearing to be rigid or bulky, lopsided or uneven, showing oily stains, discolorations, having excessive tape, or crystallization on the wrapper.
Important reminder: Do not open, smell, shake, bump, touch, or taste it. Instead, handle it with care and isolate immediately.
Foot and mouth disease
Foot and mouth disease or also called as the FMD is limited only to infect hoofed animals such as cattle and pigs, but not horses. Fortunately, it cannot be transmitted to human beings, even from eating infected meat. But terrorists will use it to wipe out much of the food supply of a nation.
Farmers must be on the watch for lameness, blisters, excessive salivation, or reduced milk production in their herds. If we’re a farmer and we happen to see or notice one or any of the signs and symptoms stated above, we’re advised to immediately report such a case to veterinarians or local agricultural officials.
Terrorists are also finding ways to bring their attacks in the internet. It is called cyberterrorism which aims to destroy electronic networks, hack vital and delicate information, and shuts down internet connection.
Terrorists want to get right into our heads. They’re happy when we worry a lot about what we don’t know. They’re happy when we’re in such a state of confusion, feeling afraid or scared. They’re happy when we feel like being hopeless and helpless. They’re happy when they’re able to successfully ignite such a spark of hatred or rage out of us toward them.
But not when we know how to deal with such a kind of thing in the first place. In case we’re caught in the midst of a chaos resulting from a terrorist attack or rumors of a terrorist attack, we may find the following precautionary measures helpful:
We must keep updated to news broadcast. We need to keep an emergency kit. We need to maintain an emergency food supply. We must never panic. We must think clear and think right. We should make sure that we’re in the best of health by eating right and living right. We need to have enough sleep and rest. Remember that when we’re healthy, our immune system as well is strong which gives us the best chance to survive. Make a family disaster plan. Do not handle, avoid exposure, call police, local Hazmat (hazardous materials) unit, in case there’s a presence of radiological, biological, or chemical bomb or agent. Wash hands with soap and warm water.
When making a family disaster plan, begin by discussing with family about the types of disasters that can occur in the said area. Explain about what can really happen and to be prepared for it. Preparation for any eventuality is very important.
We can teach our children how and what to prepare as well as the proper way of responding to each type of disaster. Take time to discuss to them about the possible routes toward safety if advised to evacuate. Of course, we have to practice what we have discussed.
Two meeting places must be selected in case we get separated or isolated in a disaster, which can be expected. One should be a safe, stone’s throw away from our home in case of a home fire. The other one must be outside our neighborhood in case we cannot return home. Make sure that pets are included in the plan as well as some hotels and shelters do not accept animals.
It would be best if we have a friend or relative located far enough away from the danger area as a check-in contact for everyone to call. Each one should have a copy of the e-mail, social media accounts (if any), and phone numbers of that person and one another. The head office at the children’s school must also be given a copy.
We have to orient or teach our children how and when is the right time to call the police, fire department, 911, local and national government offices in charge of natural disasters and risks management, and which radio or TV station to tune in for emergency information. We must have at least basic knowledge on first aid and CPR. All family members must be taught how and when is the right time to turn off gas, water, and electricity.
Do not forget to also check on the school’s disaster plan. Know if they will be sending children home, or just keep them there, and et cetera? Make sure that the school has updated data on how to reach the students’ parents. Do not panic, but presence of mind is very important. Ask when we want to know something we don’t know.
What’s Inside An Emergency Supply Kit
Our emergency supply kit should include the following:
Food. Ready-to-eat canned food. In addition, we can also include bread, crackers, peanut butter, cookies, honey, and multi-vitamins. Honey is, when properly stored, the only food that will not rot even for a thousand years according to a study.
Water. It must be one gallon a day per person. Lesser than that, a person may suffer mild to moderate dehydration. Do not forget to also include chlorine solution for water purification purposes.
Clothing and bedding. Hats and gloves, sturdy shoes or work boots, rain gear, warm socks, extra warm clothing, blankets or sleeping bags, thermal underwear, and masks.Other supplies include items we will need whether we remain home or evacuate such as: mobile phone with extra batteries and a charger, can opener, signal flare, batteries and battery-operated radio, plastic garbage bags and ties, plastic sheeting, flashlight and extra bulbs, maps, paper towels, utility knife, important family documents, money, and last but not the least the Bible.
In times of great distress, desperation, loss, fear, and chaos, reading the Bible can offer us a feeling of hope and comfort. It can give us the kind of psychological boost we will need in overcoming life’s greatest obstacles and difficulties.
If we decide to remain at home, the following items must be included in our emergency supply list: needles and thread, plastic storage containers, duct tape, aluminum foil, wooden matches in waterproof container, shovel and other useful tools, plastic bucket with tight lid, and fire extinguisher.
Whether we may have to evacuate or decide to just remain at home, we must see to it that we have some essential supplies on hand in an easy-to-carry container or two. These are duffel bags, small plastic trash cans, and light but durable plastic containers. Do not forget to also include “special needs” items such as infant formula, items for those with disabilities, and maintenance medications for those with hypertension and diabetes, first aid supplies, change of clothing for each one, a sleeping bag or bedroll for each, bottled mineral water, tools, and battery-powered radio and extra batteries.
It is advisable to also include some cash and copies of important family documents such as passports, national IDs, birth certificates, marriage contract, and licenses. Then we can find a place safe enough outside our home where we can safe-deposit box or in the home of a close relative or friend, and where we can keep copies of essential documents like birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, powers of attorney, our testament of will, and life-insurance beneficiary designations.
If we can still make it, we can consider moving to a safer location. It is advisable to stay outside large cities and certain strategic sites as they can be more likely to become targets by terrorists.
What to Do In Case of Individual Emergencies
We can provide emergency help, to the best of our knowledge and skills, if we happen to encounter each of the following instances listed below. However, if the situation gets worse or serious, we can call 911 immediately and help get the patient to the hospital.
The following signs are common in someone who is suffering from a shock: altered consciousness, irritability, and restlessness. Paleness, moist, cool, and eventually having bluish skin is also an indicator. There is rapid breathing also and rapid pulse.
With the presence of these signs, we are advised to call EMS immediately. Let the patient lie down. Control any bleeding. Avoid extreme temperatures; do not allow his or her body to become chilled or overheated. Try reassuring him or her. Elevate the legs about a foot, unless we’re suspecting head, neck, back injuries, or broken bones in the hips or legs. Take note that such is a life-threatening condition that can be caused by severe bleeding, injury, or sudden illness.
Another suspect is that the circulatory system may not be functioning properly that can affect the major organs of the body, resulting to a series of reactions called shock. In case of severe injury or illness, the blood is sent to the vital organs of the body like the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, et cetera. But as the arms and legs begin failing, more blood is pumped toward these areas, away from the vital organs.
This is why the victim goes unconscious and his or her breathing slows down as well as his or her heartbeat, may even stop. If left untreated, there’s a great possibility that a person in shock will die.
Burns are when the tissues of the skin are damaged resulting from heat, electrical, chemical, or radiational injury. The severity of burns can be gauged into these four categories, namely the first degree burn, second degree burn, third degree burn, and fourth degree burn.
It is a first degree burn when we only see redness, second degree burn when we see redness and blisters, third degree burn when we see the entire skin and some of the underlying muscle destroyed, and fourth degree burn when, instead of oozing flesh, the area is dry and charred. For third degree burns and fourth degree burns, the victim must be immediately brought to the hospital for immediate medical attention and for any surgical operations.
First degree burn is usually caused by prolonged sun exposure or water; it only involves the top layer of skin and usually heals in a week. Second degree burn is acquired generally from hot metal objects, flame-contact burns, or severe sunburn; it involves the top layers of skin and usually heals in three to four weeks. Third degree burn is usually caused by electrical burns, hot-fluid burns, high-flame contact, or steam from a pressure cooker; it destroys all layers of skin and any or all of the underlying structures by which to include fat, bones and nerves, and muscles. Because the nerves have been destroyed, most third degree burn victims cannot feel pain.
In case of first degree burns, mix equal parts of white vinegar with water and cover the burn surface, two times a day. We can also apply tea tree oil, aloe vera, or vitamin E locally. For surface burns that have started to heal, tannic acid is the best. White oak bark tree, which we can apply locally as a tea and wet compress, is also proven effective.
Vitamin E oil or zinc is best applied to second degree burns. It is also advisable to take vitamin C to bowel tolerance. Once healing begins, we can start to apply aloe vera as well. For third and fourth degrees burns, the victim must be immediately taken to the hospital or checked by a physician. Do not try to remove clothing stuck to the burned area. Apply aloe vera once healing begins.
These burns are usually acquired through having in contact with defective electrical equipment, power lines, lightning, and unprotected electrical outlets. The best thing to do when someone got electrocuted is to call 911 right away. This is very important: do not go anywhere near the victim if he is in contact with a live power source, unless we’re sure enough that the power source has been turned off.
Once we managed to get near the victim and he or she is unconscious, go check the vital signs immediately. Do not try to move him or her as it may only make the situation to get worse if ever he or she has spinal injuries. Check for other injuries, the burn itself will not be the only major problem. Do not cool the burn area but, instead, cover it with a dry, sterile dressing.
First thing to do is to remove the victim from the source of burning. Then we have to cool the burn with large amounts of cool water. The use of ice or ice bags is discouraged as it may cause loss of body heat, except in cases of small superficial burns. Do not worry if the area cannot be immersed, as we can still soak a clean cloth and apply it to the burn. Continue adding water to keep the cloth cool.
In the case of minor burns, we can wash the burned area with soap and water. Be hygienic. We may apply vitamin E oil to the affected area. While in the case of severe burns, on the other hand, we may lay the victim down unless he or she is having trouble breathing. Try raising the burned area above the level of his or her heart. Make sure that the victim is protected from drafts. Call 911.
Chemical burns are usually caused by laboratory chemicals, garden sprays, paint removers, household bleach, et cetera. The first thing that must be done in case we came in contact with any of the items stated above is to remove the chemical from the skin or eyes immediately by flushing the area with large amounts of cool, running water until EMS arrives. Take extra care in removing any clothes with chemicals on them as we may spread the chemical to other body parts or surfaces.
Symptoms and causes include scrapes, torn skin from collisions and falls, and cuts. In case the wound is small, let the blood flow for a short time as we clean it. It is one way in which the wound is better cleansed. However, if the wound is larger, and deeper, we need to stop the bleeding first. Once the bleeding stops, then we may proceed with the wound cleansing procedure. Use soap and water or 3% hydrogen peroxide in cleaning superficial cuts.
Here is how we can stop bleeding:
1. Apply direct pressure. Take note that if an artery has been cut, the blood will spurt with each heartbeat. If the bleeding is left unstopped for a long time, the victim may suffer from a blood loss. We must use our finger in pressing down over a clean cloth on the wound for small artery cuts.
2. Use a tourniquet. Larger wounds or cuts may require a tourniquet to control it until we get help. But we must not use it unless we are sure enough we have to as it can be dangerous if left too long and too tight.
3. Placing the wound in ice-cold water. This method will also tend to stop the bleeding. If we find blood soaking through the bandage, we have to add new one over the old one. In case applying pressure does not solve the problem, we have to elevate the wound above the level of the heart, all the while applying pressure with our finger. Once the bleeding stops, we may now start cleaning the wound with soap and water, or just water.
Important: In cleaning the wound, make sure that we get all the debris and dirt out.
In case we cannot wash all the debris out of the wound, if we think stitches may be needed and there are any signs of a serious infection, call a doctor right away.
If ever the cut is inflamed or there is redness later, make a strong tea of non-poisonous, green herb (Goldenseal powder is highly recommended) and soak the injured area in this hot tea for about an hour daily until it is healed. Do not forget to rebandage after each soaking.
Take note: Applying pressure with a clean, absorbent cotton or, if cloth is unavailable, our fingers, is the first thing that we must do to stop the bleeding.
Additional aid: Goldenseal root powder may also help stop bleeding and promote healing. Wounds may as well be bathed with several herbal washes or poultices by which to include comfrey, aloe vera, plantain, or tea tree oil.
Closing up and sealing the wound (applicable for small or minor wounds only)
We will have to squeeze together the edges of the wound so we can place a butterfly bandage, or something similar, over it. Make or apply one for every inch of the cut. If the cut is small, a Band-Aid or gauze wrapped tightly enough to seal it, but not tight enough to hinder circulation, can close it up.
Call EMS (911 for Emergency Medical Service) immediately if:
1. We see that the bleeding is of bright red color or spurts from the wound.
2. It is very deep or large.
3. It is very deep or large.
4. We suspect serious internal damage.
If ever a finger, a toe, et cetera, is cut all the way off, and there is no help available, quickly place it right back in its own blood and hold it in place with a wrapping till help arrives. Make sure that it is in the right position when we try to place it back. Usually, a case like this, when properly addressed, will heal. Go or help get the victim to the nearest hospital.
Fracture or broken bone
Symptoms may include extreme pain and tenderness in the injured area, blood under the skin, a protruding bone, or swelling. The victim may feel tingling, weakness, numbness, or paralysis below the fracture. It can also be that a limb, or digit, is at an abnormal angle or there may be pain at a specific place on a bone.
Take note that a fracture is a crack or break in a bone and there are two types of fracture: the closed or simple fracture and the compound fracture. If we see that the skin over the bone remains intact, it is a closed or simple fracture. On the hand, if the bone breaks the skin it is called compound fracture.
Accidents may not always be the cause of broken bones. There are lots of factors resulting to the weakening, and eventually breaking, of bones such as bone tumors, metabolic disease, osteoporosis, heredity, malnutrition, et cetera. When a bone is weakened, it can break much more easily.
One way to strengthen our bone is through our diet. We must obtain a nourishing diet to have healthy bones. We can also take supplements. Proper exercise can also help build strong bones.
In case of severe breaks, call 911 right away. Do not try to move the victim unless it is absolutely necessary. If we think the victim may have had a head or spinal injury, do not move him and leave him lying flat.
The following signs are indicator that someone is having a head or spine injury:
1. Tingling or loss of sensation in hands, feet, fingers, toes, or feet.
2. Changes in consciousness.
3. Vision and breathing problems.
4. Inability to move a body part.
5. Nausea and vomiting.
6. A steady headache.
7. Presence of blood in ears or nose, seizures, and severe pain.
8. Loss of balance.
9. Bruising of the head.
If it is absolutely necessary to move the victim, at least we must immobilize the injured body part. One way to do it is using a splint. Be careful that in doing this, we must not hurt him or her in the process, and always splint the part in the position we found it. Splint the injured area and the parts above and below. We can make a soft splint out of folded blankets or towels, or use a triangular bandage in making a sling to support an arm, hand, or wrist. A rigid splint can be made with folded magazines, cardboard, newspapers, or metal strips.
What to do when someone is suffering from a heart attack
In case we or if someone is about to experience a sudden heart attack, if we can still make it, call EMS immediately. But since we will not be receiving immediate help as the responding team may take time to arrive, the following suggestion may save our or someone elses’s life:
1. Cough repeatedly and vigorously.
2. Take a deep breath before each cough.
3. The cough must be deep and prolonged, like when we try to produce sputum from deep inside the chest.
4. Without letup, we have to repeat the coughing and breathing every two seconds, until help arrives or until the heart is beating normally again.
Important reminder: Bear in mind that we only have about ten seconds left before losing consciousness.
Why is coughing and deep breathing important in a heart attack
Deep breathing gets oxygen into the lungs while the coughing movement squeezes the heart and keeps the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure that a deep breathing may have caused helps the heart regain its normal rhythm. When this happens, a heart attack victim is more likely to survive the trip to the hospital. Please spread the word to other people about this as it may save a life.
The following are extremely helpful tips in case a heart attack is threatening and about to occur:
1. Take a teaspoon of cayenne pepper (red pepper, not black or white pepper) in some water and swallow it. In case there’s no clean water available, just placing some cayenne in the mouth will help.
2. If we suspect about having a heart attack, buy some arnica immediately and have it ready to take. Arnica is said to be an immediate remedy for a heart attack.
The following are the signals of a heart attack:
1. Difficult or struggled breathing. This may accompany chest pains along with pale or bluish skin and heavy sweating.
2. Persistent pain or discomfort in the chest. Such a constant pain felt by the victim can range from a mild discomfort to a very painful crushing sensation in the chest. Common descriptions of this chest pain may include any or all of the following: heaviness, pressure, aching, or tightness. The pain is usually located in the center of the chest but it can spread to the shoulder, neck, jaw, back, or arm.
3. Changes in pulse rate. It is when the pulse rate is irregular, or faster or slower than the victim’s normal pulse rate.
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