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Safety: Put your heart into it.

Monday, February 7th, 2011
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 rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

Three to Get Ready…and Four to Go!

Monday, December 13th, 2010
FEMA Resolve to Be Ready Logo

For 2011, resolve to be ready!

At Allied Universal, Inc., we stress the importance of being proactive about preventing disasters. Preparation is critical because, while it won’t necessarily stop every potential disaster from happening, it will aid your efforts to mitigate the damage and, we hope above all else, save lives.

As 2010 comes to an end, families and property managers and owners have a chance to consider some New Year’s safety resolutions. For some ideas, you can look to FEMA’s recently announced “Resolve to be Ready in 2011” campaign. This is great because, while we want you to be thinking about safety every day; New Year’s is the perfect time to commit to implementing change.

Whether you choose to use this post to help formulate a New Year’s resolution or to inspire ideas for safety-related holiday gift ideas, remember that safety equipment pays for itself 100-fold the minute it is needed.

For families, the Resolve- to-be-Ready Program promotes readiness in three simple steps. So schedule firm deadlines for each to ensure your family is covered:

1. Create a Family Emergency Plan.

  • Discuss plans with all members of the family, being careful to include younger children, who often think quickly in emergencies.
  • Establish a meeting place and ways to contact each other. Remember cell phones might not be operational. So plan for contingencies.
  • Involve neighbors, especially noting who children should contact during emergencies if parents are not present.

2. Create an Emergency Kit. (Here is a comprehensive list of kit-suggestions.)

  • Include documents such as emergency contact numbers, insurance information, and bank records.
  • Also, don’t forget flashlights and first aid supplies.
  • Don’t neglect your pets. They will need food.
  • For little children and infants, you should include diapers and related items. Be sure to check the kit contents on a regular basis, since 18-month-old children won’t fit into newborn diapers.

3. Be Disaster-Specific.

  • If you live in Southern California, you should create unique plans for wildfires, earthquakes, and maybe even mudslides.
  • Atlantic coastal residents should purchase NOAA radios for better hurricane awareness to help plan evacuation or shelter plans.
  • Make sure you plan for the natural disasters specific to your region of the world.

Need gift ideas for family members, employees or coworkers? You might get some funny looks. But safety preparedness gifts show that you truly care! Consider these suggestions, which are more creative and helpful than a tie or Chia Pet:

  • An Emergency Generator
  • New carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are now available even for the hearing impaired
  • Fire extinguishers are perfect for family members who spend long hours in the garage woodworking or tinkering with cars
  • A gift certificate for First Aid or CPR classes. If you an organization that offers these, create one of your own.

What can property owners and managers do to promote readiness?

  • Giving fruit cakes at the holiday party? Consider a safety-related item such as an earthquake kit or roadside emergency kit.
  • If a major disaster prevents your employees or tenants from going home, do you have sufficient supplies for an overnight stay? Resolve to build an adequate stockpile of ready-to-eat meals, blankets, and bottled water.
  • Encourage your employees to meet resolutions by developing fun incentives. Resolve to be Ready recommends employees sign safety related pledges and display them at their desks.

Unlike trying to lose weight or hitting the gym six times per week, safety and preparation resolutions are relatively simple and realistic to meet. Whether you are buying waterproof flashlights for Uncle Fred or offering free CPR classes at your office building, you can help others by encouraging them to focus on safety.

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 rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.