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Safety: Put your heart into it.

Heart at end of EKG line

Take steps to guard your heart.

February is designated as “American Heart Month.” And while stores are filled with heart-shaped chocolates and red and pink floral arrangements, the hearts we are referring to aren’t metaphorical. American Heart Month is all about the organ that keeps us alive! Heart disease affects men and women alike. So take care of heart matters in February and all year long.

Shockingly, according to the CDC, one American dies from a coronary event every minute in this country. Not so surprisingly, the best defense against heart disease and Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack) is to follow a daily regimen that includes a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.

Here are the common signs of an impending heart attack (If you experience these, do not hesitate to call 911):

  • Uncomfortable chest pressure or a squeezing sensation
  • Discomfort in the arm, neck, or jaw
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweats
  • Lightheadedness

What can you do to stay heart-healthy?

  • Get moving!
  • Use the stairs instead of elevators. (First, check stair railings and make sure non-slip surfaces are present on each step.)
  • Instead of jockeying for premium parking places, purposely park your vehicle away from the front door.
  • Track your physical activity by wearing a pedometer. Health experts suggest walking a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.
  • Take advantage of free or discounted gym memberships offered by some insurance companies and/or employers.

Eat right!

  • Eat plenty of fiber. The best way to do this is to include plenty of fruits and vegetables at every meal.
  • Stop eating and drinking foods that contains refined sugar. Soda intake has been linked to increase risk of heart disease.
  • Cut diet soda from your diet, as well. Some studies indicate that diet carbonated beverages increases the risk of heart disease. Your best bet for good health is water.
  • Buy fresh ingredients at your local farmer’s market.

Additional tips and safety:

  • Stock aspirin in your Go-Bag. Studies show that people who experience symptoms of a heart attack can chew an aspirin to reduce the severity of the episode.
  • Try not to stress out. Most medical professionals agree that people who are under a lot of stress have an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Take advantage of programs such as “The Heart Truth,” which provides tools for preventing and treating heart-related health problems.
  • Take a CPR class, so signs symptoms and treatments of heart attack will become second nature.

While disaster planning for earthquakes, fires, and mudslides is a no-brainer, it is equally critical to prepare for smaller-scale but no less serious disasters such as heart disease, which claims millions of lives. So Go Red not just in February, but all year long.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

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