Wellness Words September 2018

Wellness Words September 2018

HealthLink Littauer’sAlicia DeRuscio-Head


Submitted by Alicia DeRuscio, B.S.

Community Education Assistant


Emergency Preparedness

There are many things in life we can predict – the weather, sports outcomes or stock market trends. However, one thing we can’t predict is when an emergency will occur.  Therefore, we must educate and prepare ourselves for the unexpected.  While preparing for an emergency or natural disaster may seem impossible, taking the steps to plan for such events can help us deal with all types of hazards more efficiently.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three steps to preparing for all kinds of emergency situations. These three steps include: 

1. Prepare An Emergency Kit – Gather supplies for all types of hazards in order to provide for yourself and your loved ones during an emergency. An all–hazards supply kit should be stored in a waterproof bin and contain:

  • Water (one gallon per person)
  • Nonperishable food items (canned meat, dried fruit, peanut butter, etc.)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery–powered or hand–crank radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid supplies
  • One week supply of medications
  • Personal hygiene or sanitation items
  • Copies of personal documents (identification, medication list, proof of address, etc.)
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Emergency disaster plan with contact information
  • Cash
  • Blanket, clothes and sleeping bag
  • Tools
  • Map

2. Make A Plan – Talk with your loved ones prior to an emergency situation and discuss what types of emergencies are most likely to occur in your area, how you will get in contact with one another in the event of an emergency, two different places to meet each other, and an evacuation or escape route from your home. When you and your loved ones have discussed your emergency plan, make sure to practice and review it every year.

The CDC also recommends making an emergency communication plan that lists the address and phone number of your emergency meeting places, as well as the contact information of your loved ones. Contact information may include full name, social security number, date of birth, telephone number, address, planned evacuation location and any important medical information.

3. Be Informed – Educate yourself on the most recent information available regarding emergencies. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe, follow these basic steps:

  • Learn what health emergencies may occur in your area (a home fire, a medical emergency, or a hurricane).
  • Determine how you will get information during a disaster (TV, radio, or weather station).
  • Learn the difference between weather alerts such as watches or warnings and what you should do during each alert.
  • Be aware of what health emergencies may take place in areas you travel to and how to respond to them.
  • Make sure you or someone in your household is trained in CPR and knows how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).
  • Make sure everyone in your household knows where the fire extinguisher is kept and how to use it.
  • Teach children how and when to call 911.
  • Share what you’ve learned with others to help keep them informed.

By following these steps, you will be better prepared during an emergency situation. If you would like to learn more, attend a special program on ‘Hazardous Events’ presented by Steven Santa Maria, Fulton County Civil Defense Director & Fire Coordinator, on September 26 in Littauer’s Auditorium.

You are invited to join us for a buffet-style luncheon at 11:30 for $6 or attend the presentation only at 12 noon at no charge. To attend, call HealthLink Littauer at 518-736-1120 or email healthlink@nlh.org.  We’re your community health & wellness service of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.

Wellness Words November 2013

HealthLink Littauer’s


Submitted by Wendy Chirieleison, MS Ed

Community Health Educator


Emergency Preparedness:  Prepare, Plan, Stay Informed

What will you do when faced with an emergency or natural disaster, for example a flood, major ice or snow storm, tornado, or extended power outage?  Many people do not consider the steps they will take until faced with a situation.  FEMA’s Prepare, Plan, and Stay Informed Guide (developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in consultation with AARP, American Red Cross, and National Organization on Disabilities) suggests these easy tips that may help you be prepared for whatever may come our way.


Prepare two safety kits, one that will stay at home and a lighter one you can travel with.  What you put in these kits depends on the types of things that you use on a day to day basis.  Here are some suggestions from FEMA:

  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
  • Non-perishable foods and a can opener
  • Battery powered or NOAA weather radios
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit and your medications
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Tools that you may need to complete tasks like turning off utilities
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal hygiene
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape will help in times of contaminated air, as well as dust masks
  • Maps and other important documents such as wills, deeds, power of attorney, banking information, and tax records should be kept in a water proof container.
  • Don’t forget Fido!  Pets need everything that we need, so make sure to have plenty of water and food on hand for your furry friends.


  • Contact anyone that might visit you on a day to day basis, like a visiting nurse or home health aide, and find out what their emergency or disaster procedures are.
  • Create an emergency contact list of family and friends that will support you in case of an emergency and share important parts of your plan, like where you will evacuate to, and where your emergency supplies are.
  • Develop a family communication plan outlining how you will contact one another.  Each family member could be assigned to call or email one friend or relative, like a phone tree.
  • Make plans for staying put and evacuating.  Base your decision on whether to stay or go from local authorities, and news reports of official instructions.
  • When you make an evacuation plan, consider destinations in different directions to give you more options.
  • If you have special needs, for example you use a cane or wheelchair, oxygen, Lifeline, if you have difficulty hearing, a visual impairment, etc., consider filling out the Fulton County Disabled Persons Voluntary Registry.  This authorizes emergency responders to enter your home in an emergency to assure your safety and welfare.  Forms can be obtained at Fulton County Public Health, Office For Aging, Office of Civil Defense and Fire Coordination, and NathanLittauerHospital’s Lifeline program as well.


There are a few ways you can receive local information in the event of an emergency, such as the current situation at hand, designated shelters, power outages, road blocks, etc.  First, stay tuned to local radio stations, like WIZR and WENT.  Second, be on the look out for your local fire departments, as they may be deployed to provide assistance.  Fulton County is also working on establishing a reverse 911 system that would provide emergency automated messages via phone.

To learn more about how you can prepare yourself in case of an emergency, and what types of emergencies are likely to affect our region, visit www.ready.gov or call 1-800-BE-READY (1-800-237-3239).

For more information, contact HealthLink Littauer at 736-1120.  You can e-mail us at healthlink@nlh.org, see our website at www.nlh.org, or visit our wellness center at 213 Harrison Street Ext. in Johnstown, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  We’re your community health & wellness service of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.