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Archive for March 23rd, 2011

Preparing a Disaster Kit

The recent earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent fears over nuclear radiation have prompted many to turn to the Web for advice on disaster preparedness. Online lookups for “disaster kits” and “how to make a disaster kit” have both more than tripled during the past week.

In short, folks are wondering, what they should have in their kit? Opinions vary depending on what sort of disaster you happen to be preparing for. However, most experts, like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Red Cross, agree that the following items are essential.

Water
This is the big one. You must have plenty of water. Just how much? FEMA, the disaster preparedness wing of the US Government, insists that you should have at least a three-day supply. A rule of thumb — have one gallon of water per person per day. If you happen to live in a hot climate, you’ll want to increase that amount. “Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed,” the site writes. Also, keep in mind that children, the elderly, nursing mothers, and people who are ill will need more water. Of course, you’ll want to store the water in non-breakable containers and keep an eye on the expiration date. Water doesn’t spoil in the traditional sense, but it can taste bad after a while.

First aid supplies
There’s no telling what you’ll be faced with in the wake of a disaster, but a few basic first aid supplies will certainly come in handy. Again, according to FEMA, you’ll want several bandages of various sizes, gauze pads, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, antiseptic, a thermometer, antiseptic, petroleum jelly, sunscreen, safety pins, and more. You’ll also want a good supply of non-prescription medication, including aspirin, anti-diarrhea medicine, antacid, laxative, and some poison control supplies. For a full list, check here.

Food
Like water, you’re going to want a healthy supply of non-perishable food should the unexpected happen. The American Red Cross writes that you should have a three-day supply ready in case you are forced to leave your home. And you should also have a two-week supply in the event that you stay in your home. Of course, the food should be easy to open and prepare.

Clothing and sanitation supplies
This mostly applies to people in cold-weather areas. Should disaster strike, have some warm clothes at the ready. You’ll want to have at least one complete change of clothes for each person. FEMA suggests a coat, sturdy shoes or boots, long pants, gloves, hat, scarf, thermal underwear, and rain gear. You’ll also want to have plenty of blankets, sunglasses, and various sanitation supplies like soap, toilet paper, detergent, and more.

Tools and special items
Just a few things you’ll want to have on you: battery operated radio and batteries, flashlight, cash, nonelectric can opener, pliers, compass, matches, signal flare, paper and pencil, wrench to shut off household gas and water, whistle, and map of the immediate area. Important documents like IDs, birth certificates, credit card information, prescription numbers, and extra eyeglasses are also good ideas. Again, this is just a partial list. For the full list, please visit FEMA.gov.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/preparing-a-disaster-kit-2467090/

 

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Film legend Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79

LOS ANGELES – Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed film goddess whose sultry screen life was often upstaged by her stormy personal life, died Wednesday at age 79.

She died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized for about six weeks, publicist Sally Morrison said.

“All her children were with her,” Morrison said.

Taylor had extraordinary grace, fame and wealth, and won three Oscars, including a special one for her humanitarian work. But she was tortured by ill health, failed romances and personal tragedy.

“I think I’m becoming fatalistic,” she said in 1989. “Too much has happened in my life for me not to be fatalistic.”

Her eight marriages — including two to actor Richard Burton — and a lifelong battle with substance abuse, physical ailments and overeating made Taylor as popular in supermarket tabloids as in classic film festivals.

Taylor disclosed in November 2004 that she had congestive heart failure. But she still periodically dismissed reports that she was at death’s door, saying she used a wheelchair only because of chronic back problems that began at age 12 when she fell from a horse.

“Oh, come on, do I look like I’m dying?” she said in May 2006 in a rare television interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” “Do I look like or sound like I have Alzheimer’s?” Tabloids report such things “because they have nothing else dirty to write about anybody else,” she said.

 

When she turned 75 the following year, she was asked about the secret to her longevity and quipped: “Hangin’ in.”

The London-born actress was a star at age 12, a bride and a divorcee at 18, a screen goddess at 19 and a widow at 26.

She appeared in more than 50 films, and won Oscars for her performances in “Butterfield 8” (1960) and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966), in which she starred opposite Burton.

In later years, she was a spokeswoman for several causes, most notably AIDS research. Her work gained her a special Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, in 1993.

As she accepted it, she told a worldwide television audience: “I call upon you to draw from the depths of your being — to prove that we are a human race, to prove that our love outweighs our need to hate, that our compassion is more compelling than our need to blame.”

She accepted her many health problems with a stoic attitude.

“My body’s a real mess,” Taylor told W magazine in 2004. “If you look at it in the mirror, it’s just completely convex and concave.”

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110323/ap_en_ot/us_obit_taylor

 

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