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Family ties: New York rushes aid to ravaged Puerto Rico

by 4ursurvival.com on 09/27/17

NEW YORK – New York state, home to more than 1 million people of Puerto Rican background, is sending a lot more than thoughts and prayers to the hurricane-ravaged island.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has organized an aid package including 34,000 bottles of water, more than 10,000 meals ready to eat, 1,400 cots, and four Black Hawk search-and-rescue helicopters.

Over 100 New York City firefighters, police officers and other workers are in Puerto Rico to help, and Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio is expecting an influx of thousands of Puerto Ricans fleeing the storm's damage.

New York's ties to the U.S. island territory are strong: New York state has the nation's biggest Puerto Rican community outside the island itself.

By JENNIFER PELTZ and DAVID KLEPPER, Associated Press

Could rare brain-eating amoeba thrive in Irma's aftermath?

by 4ursurvival.com on 09/18/17

In the aftermath of a hurricane, the media’s initial focus is on property damage and search and rescue operations, but there are long-term effects that can linger for years, long after the media has lost interest in recovering areas.

Hurricanes can have unforeseen impacts on cities’ water supplies, increasing the risk of contamination with harmful bacteria from local water sources and the soil. The southern United States, which offers warm weather almost year-round, is particularly vulnerable to heat-loving microorganisms like the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

Viruses and bacteria cause the vast majority of infections in humans, but Naegleria fowleri has an uncommon and disturbing appetite for human brain tissue. Infection is incredibly rare but has a dismal survival rate. (Four patients have survived out of 143 documented cases in the U.S.) And experts are concerned that Hurricane Katrina may be partially to blame for the three documented cases in Louisiana since 2005.

Damage to water systems can increase the risk of contamination with bacteria from the soil, and population drops after natural disasters can give water time to stagnate in pipes. As the water sits in aged pipes in the summer heat, the chlorine used to kill microorganisms in public water evaporates, and parasites like Naegleria fowleri can thrive.

Florida is already tied with Texas for the most Naegleria fowleri cases in the country, and damage from Hurricane Irma may put the public at even greater risk. Residents should be aware of the infection process and how to stay safe.

Naegleria fowlerithrives during the warmest months of the year, and can be found in lakes, rivers, and hot springs, as well as in soil. Tap water and pool water are less commonly contaminated but cause a large proportion of human infections.

Water contaminated with Naegleria fowleri is actually perfectly safe to drink (as long as there’s nothing else in it that could make you sick), but you could become infected if the water enters your nasal passages. Children are particularly vulnerable to infection, and documented sources of infection include the use of neti pots and playing and/or swimming in contaminated water.

When the amoeba enters the nasal passage, it works its way up the olfactory nerve and into the brain. The body recognizes the invader once brain tissue is attacked and triggers an inflammatory response. This is called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). Symptoms are similar to those of bacterial meningitis and can be difficult to diagnose, but accurate diagnosis is key since antibiotics aren’t an effective treatment for PAM. The disease most commonly begins with symptoms like headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting and then progresses to seizures, hallucinations, and coma.


  Better diagnostic procedures and aggressive new treatments offer some hope and have saved lives in the last few years, but the infection is still a dire diagnosis. Because of the PAM’s rarity and the difficulty in distinguishing it from other causes of meningitis, the CDC says that three out of four diagnoses are made only after an autopsy in which the patient’s brain tissue is tested for the presence of the amoeba.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

If you’re not sure that your water is safe (or if you know it’s contaminated), especially after a natural disaster, there are steps you can take to avoid infection.

First, use a nose clip if you need to swim in water that you’re not sure is safe. Remember that, as far as we know, Naegleria fowlerican only harm you if it gets inside your nasal passages.

Also consider avoiding swimming in hot springs, lakes, or unchlorinated spas or swimming pools. (While contamination with Naegleria fowleri isn’t common, it’s also not the only thing out there that thrives in stagnant water and can make you sick.)

And if you’re unsure of the safety of your tap water, especially if you’re returning to your home after an evacuation, run baths shower taps, and hoses for at least five to ten minutes to flush the pipes.


This article first appeared on AskDrManny.com.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.


www.foxnews.com

What to do in a Lightning Storm

by 4ursurvival.com on 09/12/17

What to do in a Lightning Storm

Always take shelter during a lightning storm.

There is no safe place outside during a thunderstorm. ...

If you can see lightning or hear thunder, you are in danger of being hit. ...

Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike in a severe storm before venturing outside again.

This is the destruction Irma left behind in Florida

by 4ursurvival.com on 09/11/17

Hurricane Irma weakened as it pummeled Florida -- but the storm still packed a powerful punch, spawning torrential downpours, tornadoes and flash floods.

First Irma slammed into the Florida Keys Sunday morning as a Category 4 hurricane, ripping roofs off of mobile homes and littering roads with debris. A day later, it had weakened to a tropical storm, but still brought dangerous storm surge flooding to Jacksonville.

Here's a look at some of the destruction Irma left in her wake. Authorities are still surveying damage from the record-breaking storm, and this story will be updated as more details emerge.

www.4ursurival.com

(CNN)

Severe Weather Preparedness Begins Now – Use Red Cross Safety Tips

by 4ursurvival.com on 02/27/17

Severe weather is threatening a large part of the country and the American Red Cross has safety steps for those who might be affected. Tornados, flooding and damaging thunderstorm winds are predicted..

TORNADO SAFETY A tornado watch means tornadoes are possible in the area. Prepare to act quickly if a warning is issued or someone suspects a tornado is approaching. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated on radar. Go underground to a basement, storm cellar or interior room of the house.

Some signs of a tornado include dark, often greenish clouds, a wall of clouds or cloud of debris, large hail, a funnel cloud or roaring noise. Steps to remember if a tornado warning is issued include:

Go to an underground shelter, basement or safe room if available. A hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is also a safe alternative.

Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes. Do not seek shelter in a hallway or bathroom of a mobile home. If you have access to a sturdy shelter or vehicle, get out of the mobile home immediately and go to either.

If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building.

If you can’t walk to a shelter quickly, immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.

If debris is flying while you are driving, pull over and park. You can stay in the car with the seat belt on, putting your head down below the windows, covering your head with your hands and a blanket if possible.

THUNDERSTORMS If you can hear thunder, you are close enough for lightning to be a threat. If thunder roars, go indoors and stay inside for at least 30 minutes after the thunder stops.

Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. Watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.

Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is falling.

If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or in a vehicle with the windows closed. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.

Avoid using electrical equipment and telephones. Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead.

Shutter windows and close outside doors securely. Keep away from windows.

Do not take a bath, shower or use running water.

If driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.

If outside and unable to reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.

http://www.redcross.org


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