Tag: hydration

Rethink Your Go-Bag for Summer – and COVID-19

Watermelon for summer refreshment - but won't fit in your Go-
A valuable hydration option .

The need for being prepared doesn’t go down because we’re stuck at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, your summer preparedness plans may need to change right now and that includes the contents of your Go-Bag.

Consider some of what’s happening right now. . .

Hurricanes are hitting! When will the next hurricane hit your neighborhood?

When Hurricane Hanna made landfall last week in Texas, city leaders reported having to borrow to stock up on personal protective equipment for personnel and for residents. Tropical Storm Isaias is on its way to South Florida. If a hurricane forces you out of your home or causes you to interact with First Responders, you’ll want to have more than just a couple of masks on hand.

Wildfire season is well underway. Will you have to evacuate?

The National Interagency Fire Center reports as of today: “More than 8,100 wildland firefighter and support personnel continue to work on 43 large fires . . . in 11 states!”  If a fire threatens you, how will your evacuation plans need to change because of the virus? You can’t expect to crowd unprotected into a high school gym somewhere and stay safe from the virus! What do you have in your go-bag now to protect yourself from others in that shelter?

Day after day of over-90-degree heat has overwhelmed East Coast cities and is forecast for the Southwest this coming week.

People without air conditioning risk illness and even death. How will you manage in a heat wave if the power goes out? Municipal “Cooling stations” may be a life-saver – but they will not welcome people without masks!

Something new to add to every Go-Bag in the Time of COVID – Face Masks

Every one of these scenarios makes it clear that your personal Go-Bag needs to include something it may not have included in years past – a supply of masks and nitrile gloves.

Different types of mask offer different levels of protection. You don’t need N95 respirators. Yes, they offer the most protection for you and for others, but their supply is limited. Let health workers have them. The best masks for home use are  reusable, multi-layer, and well- fitting. I’m sure you have a supply already.

But you won’t be able to wash and reuse masks if you have to evacuate!

So for your Go-Bag, consider disposable masks.

You can buy them in packs of 50 at reasonable prices and tuck a dozen or more into each family member’s kit. Of course, they need to fit well.

These masks from Amazon, where I’m an Associate, are similar to others with one important feature: adjustable ear elastic.

50pcs Disposable Face Mask, Facial Masks, Mouth Masks 3-Ply with Elastic Earloops, Breathable Non-woven Mouth Filter Covers for Home, Office, Outdoor – Blue

Today, just as I was working on this Advisory, Dr. Birx recommended that people consider clear face shields in addition to masksWe recommended shields several months ago, and bought a couple for ourselves. Here’s what I have discovered – when you get the shield, be sure to peel off the very thin plastic covering so you can actually see clearly through it! (You may not even realize that protective covering is there.)  Also, the elastic head band can feel tight. That’s why I’d suggest you consider the shield model below, which attaches to glasses. Shields would not lend themselves to being packed into a Go-Bag, but for daily use they are something to consider.

Safety Face Shield, 2 Pack Reusable Goggle Shield Face Visor Transparent Anti-Fog Layer Protect Eyes from Splash

You’ll want nitrile gloves, too.

The news about surfaces remaining contaminated has died down considerably. Joe and I certainly don’t use gloves at home. But in an emergency . . .

If the family needs to move to another location, you will be touching all kinds of things that may be dangerous: door knobs and push bars,  gas pump nozzles, ATM keyboards, toilet flush handles, water faucets, TV remotes, etc., etc.!

Nitrile gloves are cheap, easy to pack, remind you not to touch your face – and can be easily discarded.  Get a package or two (different sizes?) and pack a baggie full of the right size for each family member’s Go-Bag.

Wostar Nitrile Disposable Gloves 2.5 Mil Pack of 100, Latex Free Safety Working Gloves for Food Handle or Industrial Use

You’ll want to be sure to have your favorite hand-sanitizer packets in each Go-Bag, too.

It’s summer – so protect against dehydration.

With temperatures so high, we all need to watch out for the dangers of dehydration, overheating and even heat stroke.

I personally experienced heat exhaustion one summer a few years ago. I was helping staff a service club “Summer Festival” fund raiser. You know the kind of event: food booths, baseball dunk tank, fire engine for kids to climb on, BBQ contest. I was chasing the baseballs for the dunk tank when I started to feel “disconnected,” clammy and faint. I thought I might throw up.

Fortunately, I had my walkie-talkie and called Joe. He found me a bench in the shade and I lay down with a bottle of water. Within about a half-hour I was feeling well enough to go home – but not to go back to chasing balls!

So that was heat exhaustion. Heat stroke is a lot worse, and a lot more serious, with seizures and even unconsciousness. But both of these can very likely be avoided as long as you don’t get dehydrated!

Hydrating drinks

In hot weather make sure to have “hydration” drinks available: water, fruit-infused water, coconut water. More important, have an added source of electrolytes like you find in sports drinks (Gatorade).

You could even offer watermelon, like in the image above! It’s about 92% water and it’s easy to keep down.

Hydration powder

Of course, packing extra hydration drinks (not to mention watermelon!) into a Go-Bag is challenging, so you might consider packets of “hydration powder” that can be added to a glass of regular water for extra hydration efficacy.

Emergen-C has packets of different flavored powder, easy to pack and have at the ready. (Be sure to keep them dry.)

Emergen-C Hydration+ Sports Drink Mix with Vitamin C (18 Count, Orange Spritz Flavor with Glucosamine), Electrolyte Replenishment, 0.34 Ounce Powder Packets

Don’t overlook these hot weather items for your Go-Bag.

Depending on where you live and your own preferences, don’t forget to check for these important additions to your summer go-bag:

  • Sunglasses (wrap-around)
  • Sunscreen (for lips, too)
  • A sun hat (wide brim or added neck flap) that fits! The hat below adjusts to your head size.
EINSKEY Men’s Waterproof Sun Hat, Outdoor Sun Protection Bucket Safari Cap For Safari Fishing Hunting Dark Gray One Size

I am sure you unpack and repack your Go-Bag from time to time.

This may be one of those times. After all, if you are stuck at home . . .

Just be sure you add extra protection against infection from the Coronavirus.

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. This Advisory assumes you have a Go-Bag for every member of your household. If you don’t, may I suggest you consider getting your hands on our Mini-Guide: Custom Go-Bags. We’ve updated and improved this booklet, which was one of our very first! Here’s the link to the ebook at Amazon.