Friday, April 1, 2011


So this last week I was over at Lauren's on monday night and as a result I went to FHE with her. They happened to be having a ward FHE that night and it was on emergency preparedness. Since that FHE, 4 or 5 days ago, it's been on my mind. If anyone needs things to put on a christmas list or wish list or anything, just remember--you can't go wrong with gear. I know I've said that before with regards to climbing equipment but I'm adding outdoor camping and emergency equipment to that list too. Basically, the store REI is a place where you could buy anything and make me happy. One of the counselors brought in his emergency pack and explained the things in there. He said that for 72 hours you should not only be able to survive, but thrive. He had warm clothes as well as work clothes, including work gloves. It all looked very well packed and inspired me to get a good emergency pack. The guy said boots are invaluable to have because you don't know where you'll have to go or what you'll have to do. You want to be able to be stable and also be able to help others until more help comes.

Let me share some of the interesting things I learned. If a person has hypothermia you should not attempt to warm their body. The blood in their body has started to go to their core to keep them warm, making their extremities go cold, but also bringing the temperature of the remaining blood out there down. If you start warming up limbs, their body will think that it is okay to start circulating blood regularly again and will start pumping more aggressively which will bring all that cold blood into the core and chill the formerly warm blood. You also shouldn't wrap up in a blanket with that person to fix it all because recent studies have shown that you can't put off enough body heat to help the other person. You should make sure that any wet clothes are off, wrap them in a blanket to capture their own body heat, let them continue to shiver (it helps warm them up), and give them something warm to drink (helping to warm their core. You want to warm them up slowly so that the blood in their extremities is warm before it goes back into the core.

How about frostbite? In frostbite, the water in the cells of the skin has started to freeze so rubbing a frozen limb for someone is likely to rip those cells up inside and be extremely painful for the person. The best thing to do is to warm them up in a bucket of water that is 98-105 degrees or so. That is just a touch colder than the hottest tap water. At least the BYU tap water comes out at 120, so a touch colder than that. You don't want to use a fire, stove, or something like that because the person with frostbite can't feel their frostbitten appendages and can't tell when they are burning themselves. Don't defrost the frozen skin if there is a chance that it could refreeze. Refreezing will cause more damage than if you had left it frozen for a few extra hours. Treat within 24 hours if at all possible.

Cotton is horrible for survival. If it gets wet it doesn't dry easily. Nylon and fleece both breathe easily and dry easily. You should dress in layers. On the skin go with a layer that is moisture wicking. In the middle you want to insulate, and on the outside you want a water resistant layer. Not water proof, because then it won't breathe, but water resistant.

In the event of an earthquake, no longer is the advice to get under a table or doorway. A falling roof can collapse these things down on you and crush you. Now they say to get to the side of a sturdy object. If a roof falls it will hit that first and then often create a void to the side of the object where a person could survive. If you are in your car, get out and on the side of it. If you're in bed, roll out onto the ground next to your bed, not under. That is what they taught us. I looked online for a source and could only find this- The government's website with advice about earthquakes still says to find cover. Do what you will.

Back to well established procedures. For shock, raise the feet, keep them warm, and put a pillow under their head. make them comfortable and just talk with them. Assign one person to just keep talking to the person, it is one of the most critical factors in keeping the person from having more severe complications.

If a person gets something stuck in them, don't take it out. You don't know how much it will bleed after it gets taken out. Wrap around it to keep it stable and take the person to the doctor. If blood soaks through a bandage, add more bandage, don't remove and replace the old stuff. This is because blood has begun to coagulate and removing the bandage will rip all of that off.

Okay, that's it for now. Here is the latest cool video that I've seen. If the people reading this blog ever get tired of reading my posts, hopefully you'll still come for the videos.