Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Your Sick Kit

Now that we are starting to get prepared based on most likely disaster scenario (financial emergency) to least likely scenario (TEOTWAWKI...and yes, we will get to this), it's time to put together a "sick kit" as it is nearly a sure bet that you or someone in your family will end up with anyything from the common cold to the flu this season and, of course, you want to be prepared.

  • Your emergency fund, is, of course, necessary to your sick kit.  A week off work, flat on your back with the flu and no sick leave will probably require the use of this fund.
  • Stockpile some canned soup (when you feel like crap, you don't feel like cooking so soup is a good alternative).  Soup is cheap and can be stored for years.  Ditto for ginger tea and other home remedies that you use when you are sick (ie: you don't want to drag your infectious carcass out to the grocery store when you have a 102 degree temperature so prepare ahead).
  • Get a basic first aid kit together (more on putting together a comprehensive first aid kit in a future post).  The basics for your "sick kit" include a thermometer, Tylenol, cough drops, acidophilous, and Thera flu (I swear by this stuff).  Cold and flu relief usually falls to symptom relief so store the medications that can relieve your cold and flu symptoms like decongestants, aspirin, etc.
  • Stockpile a half dozen boxes of Kleenex (you may rarely ever use Kleenex but when you come down with the common cold, you can run through boxes of them)
  • Practice good hygiene ahead of time.  A lot of avoiding cold or flu germs involves avoidance of sick people.  Don't touch your face/eyes/nose/mouth with your unclean hands.  Stand a bit distant from people who are coughing/sneezing/etc.  Wash your hands regularly and often with soap and water.  Be aware that the stuff you touch (office phone, keyboard, etc) can have other people's cold germs on it.
  • Live a basically healthy life that can help you avoid getting sick in the first place: plenty of rest, exercise, nutritious food, etc.
  • Get a flu shot, especially if you are in a high-risk category (a teacher, a nurse, etc)
  • If you have a chronic health condition, ask your doctor how to prepare for a cold or the flu (diabetics and others with serious health conditions will need to take more care when they get sick)
  • Get professional help if needed.  For the majority of people, the only thing you can do when you are sick is to let the virus run its course, however, if you are REALLY REALLY sick you should seek emergency help (this includes having shortness of breath, severe headache, chest pain, symptoms that go on for an extended period of time, or other severe symptoms)

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