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Ready at Home = Ready to Work

We*Ready Winter 2016



This Edition's Contents

Kayak to Work Day: How to Navigate the Storm

Seasonal Concern: The Flu

Help Them Help You

Let Us Know

Kayak to Work Day: How to Navigate the Storm











Chances are you’ve noticed strange moisture coming from the sky in the past few weeks. Maybe you’ve even heard a little something about big storms coming our way this year due to the El Niño phenomenon. After a four-year hiatus from significant rainfall, click here for interesting info and great guidance published by San Diego County, and browse below for some reminders about wet driving hazards and safety precautions:

  • Slick roads, wet brakes and reduced visibility can lead to collisions. Adverse weather conditions can also increase stopping distances by a factor of 3 to 12, depending on the weather condition and type of road surface. Leave extra room and brake early with reduced force.
  • Avoid standing water on roadways to prevent hydroplaning or impairing visibility for other drivers. Moreover, standing water often shields potholes and debris from view and it can reduce the effectiveness of your vehicle's brakes.
  • Drive in the tracks of the car in front of you. This allows the vehicle ahead to displace any standing water that's on the road.
  • If your car begins to hydroplane, do not brake or turn the wheel abruptly as this may cause your vehicle to go into a skid or spin. To safely get out of a hydroplaning situation let off the gas and steer straight or slightly in the direction you must go. Brake gently if needed. Do not make sudden motions and remain calm.
  • Don't use cruise control! It can cause your car to accelerate when hydroplaning and reduces driver attentiveness.
  • Grip the steering wheel with both hands to maximize vehicle control. This means putting down your cell phone, coffee, makeup, or anything else that takes your hands off the wheel and eyes away from the road.
  • Replace windshield wipers and consider using a rain repellent product on side windows and mirrors
  • Familiarize yourself with alternative routes to home and work in case of road closures.
  • Tune into AM 1610 on your radio for emergency information. Also, sign up to receive local emergency updates from Nixle on your phone.

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Seasonal Concern: The Flu

It’s that time of year again! While flu activity in California is currently minimal, we've yet to reach the seasonal peak (often in February). The flu tends to hit California later than most of the country, and experts are expecting the number of affected people to rise drastically in the next few weeks. What does the CDC have to say about the flu? Read on, and then wash your hands!

What to know:

  • This year's vaccine protects against strains:H1N1, H3N2, and a B/Victoria-lineage virus
  • Who’s at risk:Anyone can catch the flu, but it is most dangerous for children under 5, adults over 65, pregnant women and those with an underlying condition.
  • What's different about H3N2:It's more likely to develop complications, which makes people sicker for longer.

How can I prevent getting the flu?

  • The flu shot:It's in high demand because getting a flu shot (in addition to practicing good hygiene) is the best way to stay healthy. Shots are available at multiple locations nearby. VisitHealthMap Vaccine Finderand enter your location to see a list of nearby places where you can get a regular flu shot, an intradermal shot(a thinner & shorter needle approved for ages 18-64), a high dose flu shot (for those ages 65+), and the flu nasal spray (ages 2-49).
    • Who to Vaccinate:For the most part, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone over 6 months old get a flu shot yearly. There are exceptions to this rule, such as people who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs or people with a history of Guillain–Barré Syndrome. For a complete list of who should not be vaccinated, visit the CDChere.
    • Pregnant women should get a flu shot as early as possible (just the regular shot, NOT the nasal spray).
    • Children younger than 6 months are at higher risk of serious flu complications, but are too young to get a flu vaccine. Because of this, safeguarding them from flu is especially important. If you live with or care for an infant younger than 6 months of age, you should get a flu vaccine to help protect them from flu. SeeAdvice for Caregivers of Young Children for more information.

  • Stop the spread of germs:Wash your hands and stay away from people who may be sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as these are easy portals for germs to enter your body.

I'm not feeling well. How do I know if it's the flu or just a cold?

  • It can be difficult to tell the difference. In general, colds are milder than the flu and are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. The flu is worse and has symptoms like fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough.
  • Regardless, if you're not feeling well, stay home and prevent others from getting sick!

I have the flu. Now what?

  • Let your supervisor know. Take sick time. You'll recover faster and avoid spreading the flu to your coworkers. Once you're on the mend, consider working from home until you're fully recovered.
  • Don't panic. Most people will be able to recover at home with rest and painkillers to ease muscle aching. Don't forget to drink plenty of fluids! Symptoms usually last for about 7 days.
  • When should someone go to the doctor?If you are experiencing shortness of breath or can't keep fluids down due to nausea, visit your doctor. Excessive vomiting or sweating can lead to serious dehydration concerns. The very young and elderly, and those with an underlying condition, can develop complications quickly and should visit the doctor upon the onset of the flu. For those with a higher risk of complications, your physician may prescribe antiviral drugs to lessen the severity and duration of the illness.

I have more questions. What other resources are there?

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Help Them Help You

You hope to never have to use it but, should the need arise, can you make an informative 911 call? Here are the four key pieces of the equation when summoning help from first responders:

1. Who: Identify yourself

2. What: Describe the nature of the emergency

3. Where: Name your location

4. Provide a callback number- calls from cell phones are frequently dropped (especially if you’re on campus)

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Let Us Know!

What do you want read in We*Ready emails? Are there other emergency related topics that you've been curious that we haven't addressed? Let us know by emailing us at riskasst@westmont.edu, or calling at x6201.

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