November 19, 2001
Put Your Family's Health First; Free Tips on Being Prepared
for Emergencies from Council on Family Health
- When it comes to your health and the health of your family, it is
essential to be ready for the unexpected. Emergencies can happen anytime or
anywhere. That's why the Council on Family Health (CFH) is providing the
public with some basic tips on how to be better prepared in an emergency.
CFH's tip sheet, "Put Your Family's Health First: Always Be Prepared,"
outlines some simple ways to be prepared for unexpected emergencies. Keeping
a first aid kit in your home and car and making sure you have needed
medicines on hand are important first steps. CFH's tip sheet includes a list
of items to have in your Family Health First Aid Kits, including appropriate
health care items and helpful resources such as a first aid handbook and
emergency telephone numbers. See http://www.cfhinfo.org/
"You can never predict when an emergency might arise, but you can be
prepared to handle those emergencies by having ready some simple items and
information," says CFH President Robert G. Donovan.
The following tips can help you be better prepared:
* Keep a first aid kit in your home and car. For tips on what to have in
your Family Health First Aid Kits, see http://www.cfhinfo.org/
* If you or a family member has a chronic or life-threatening condition,
wear an identification bracelet with detailed medical information about the
* Keep at least a day's supply of medicine with you when out and about, in
case you are unable to get home for an extended period of time.
* If you receive medicines through a mail order pharmacy, have a back-up
local pharmacy to use if medicine shipments are delayed or quick
availability is affected. You may need to order medicines at least 30 days
in advance to allow for mail delays.
* Keep emergency telephone numbers (doctor, pharmacy, poison control center,
emergency/rescue personnel) on each phone in your house as well as on your
* Check your Family Health First Aid Kits and medicine cabinet each year to
dispose of expired medicines and re-stock if needed. "Spring clean" your
medicine cabinet and check your kits.
* Always read the medicine label. Follow the label directions on how and
when (or when not) to take medicines. Remember to keep all medicines out of
the sight and reach of children.
* Make sure to take the prescription medicines you need and to pack any
common nonprescription medicines you may use, especially when traveling
overseas. The availability or formulation of many familiar medicines may
differ by country.
* Keep medicines with you in their original containers. Do not pack them in
checked luggage that could be lost or exposed to extreme temperatures. Store
medicines in a cool, dry location. Heat and humidity can alter the potency
* Keep a list of all your medicines -- prescription and over-the-counter --
and dietary supplements. Have health insurance and other important medical
information with you at all times. Do not keep this information in checked