Today, let’s pretend we’re all Boy Scouts. And to that end, we will adopt their motto: “Be prepared.”
Popular Mechanics magazine (a favorite source of information for Quadrants) recently provided helpful hints for three somewhat “common” emergencies. Ready to be prepared?
Hypothermia: OK, the recent change in the weather has pushed this down the Worry List, but keep in mind that this is the Midwest. The next snowstorm is usually just around the corner. Rule No. 1: Exercise if you’re freezing cold. It will warm you up. Rule No. 2: Disregard Rule No. 1 if you’re in water. With hypothermia, blood vessels constrict, reducing the supply of warm blood to the skin. That keeps internal organs warm — which is what you want. But forcing those vessels open by exercising in water pushes the warm blood to the surface, where it quickly gets chilled. If you’re immersed in water, stay still.
Drowning: Drown-proofing is a technique developed in the 1940s by legendary Georgia Tech swim coach Fred Lanoue. It enables you to stay alive for hours without exhausting yourself. Here’s how it works: Most humans are naturally buoyant, meaning we float — but just below the surface. So rest by floating face-down in the water with your arms out, scarecrow-style. Every 15 seconds, raise your arms to the surface and then push down. The motion causes your head to rise above the surface long enough for you to take a breath.
Dog attack: Dog bites send 885,000 people to the doctor every year. “Never run from an aggressive dog,” Jeremy Talamantes of K-9 Behavior Services says. “If you do, you’re just bait.” Conventional wisdom cautions people to freeze, but Talamantes takes it further. “You want to stand your ground, puff yourself up and yell ‘Get back!’ That’s going to hurt the dog’s confidence and most times it’ll stay back.”