"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
May 21, 2014
Keep Summer Safe and Sane
by Carolyn Nicolaysen

Now is a time to consider the dangers we all face during the summer months. There are dangers associated with mosquito bites, allergies, and ticks and the illness and discomfort they cause.

The most serious of the summertime dangers is heat itself. Do you know the danger signs? Would you know when it is time to take a family member out of the sun or worse, to the doctor for help? Now is the time to prepare.

What Are the Symptoms?

Heat cramp symptoms include:

  • Severe, sometimes disabling, cramps that typically begin suddenly in the hands, calves or feet.

  • Hard, tense muscles.

  • Heat exhaustion symptoms include:

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea

  • Headaches

  • Excessive thirst

  • Muscle aches and cramps

  • Weakness

  • Confusion or anxiety

  • Drenching sweats, often accompanied by cold, clammy skin.

  • Slowed or weakened heartbeat or dramatically increased heart rate.

  • Dizziness

  • Fainting

  • Agitation

Heat stroke symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Headache

  • Dizziness or vertigo

  • Fatigue

  • Hot, flushed, dry skin

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Decreased sweating

  • Shortness of breath

  • Decreased urination

  • Blood in urine or stool

  • Increased body temperature (104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit)

  • Confusion, delirium or loss of consciousness

  • Convulsions

What To Do?

  • Heat stroke: Heat stroke is a life-threatening situation. Help is needed fast. Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body. Immerse victim in a cool bath, not cold, or wrap wet sheets around the body and fan your victim. Watch for signals of breathing problems. Keep the person lying down and continue to cool the body any way you can. If the victim refuses water, is vomiting, or there are changes in the level of consciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink.

  • Heat exhaustion: Get the person out of the heat and into a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, again not cold, wet cloths, such as towels or sheets. If the person is conscious, give cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Let the victim rest in a comfortable position, and watch carefully for changes in his or her condition.If they do not improve after 30 minutes get them to a doctor.

  • Heat cramps: Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. Lightly stretch the affected muscle and replenish fluids. Give a half glass of cool, not cold, water every 15 minutes. Do not give liquids with alcohol or caffeine in them, as they can cause further dehydration, making conditions worse.

It is also time to think about summer activities and how to keep safe while having fun. Most families will head outdoors for meals soon. Now is the time to prepare so your cook outs can remain safe for all.

You should:

  • Read and follow all the instructions that come with your grill. Be sure to keep the instructions for future reference.

  • Keep the lid of the grill open until you are sure the flame has been lit when using a gas grill. Be sure the flame will remain burning and not be blown out by the wind or improper lighting.

  • Turn off the propane after every use.

  • Store propane tanks out side of your home in a vertical position.

  • If you smell gas after the initial lighting, close the lid, turn off the grill at the valve, and if you still smell gas move away from the grill and call 911. Do not restart the grill without having a qualified repairman take a look.

  • Place your grill at least eight feet from your home. A grill can flare up and cause damage, or worse, to your home or your family members.

  • Place grill away from flammable materials such as outdoor curtains, towels and potholders.

  • Use soapy water to check for gas leaks in a propane tank.

  • Keep a hose nearby just in case there is an unwelcome flare-up.

Do Not:

  • Smoke while handling a propane tank or lighting a grill.

  • Use a match or lighter to check for leaks.

  • Pour lighter fluid on a grill or on charcoal that is already lit.

  • Use, store or transport tanks in high temperature areas such as enclosed cargo spaces or an outbuilding which are not cooled.

To begin your own journey toward a Culture of Self Reliance or to build your own General Store join Carolyn athttps://www.facebook.com/TotallyReady Contact her at: Carolyn@TotallyReady.com

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About Carolyn Nicolaysen

Carolyn Nicolaysen grew up in New Jersey and joined the Church while attending Central College in Pella, Iowa. With a degree in Home Economics, she later worked as a high school teacher, and served as an elected trustee of her local school board. Carolyn has taught personal and family preparedness to all who will listen. Having lived in areas that were threatened by winter storms, hurricanes and tornadoes, and now living in an earthquake prone area, she has developed a passion for preparedness. Carolyn started her own business, TotallyReady, when she saw the need for higher quality emergency information that could truly sustain families in a disaster.

Carolyn is FEMA trained and is an Amateur Radio first responder. She serves as Relief Society president of her California ward.

Carolyn is the author of three ebooks, Mother Hubbard, What She's Doing Now (food storage for the 21st century), Prep Not Panic (preparing for a pandemic of medical emergency) and That Won't Happen to Me (a discussion of disaster preparations). She has also authored a glove box book, Totally Ready for the Road and writes a monthly newsletter and the Totally Ready facebook page.

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