Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Home Front: Injury and Illness

Being sick sucks. Being injured sucks. I've been both often enough just in the last year to make me strongly consider what options and risks would be apparent in the event of a disaster both for those with chronic illness or injuries, and those with incidental illnesses and injuries. One of my partners has some fairly hefty pharmaceutical requirements for the condition she has. The other has torn cartilage in her knee and a history of respiratory problems. The idea of loss of access to the medical facilities and the pharmacopeia that modern industrial society provides us is chilling. Even the idea of long trips "off-grid" would require significant stockpiling, and preparation, and this is not a bad thing, but costly and difficult to arrange.

Even taking stock of our little bathroom medicine cabinet at home, just to take stock, made me realise how dependent we are on the infrastructure both to have such things produced and also distributed. I recently watched the disease-thriller "Contagion" which really impressed me with its sensible and pretty accurate portrayal of both lab-science and disease epidemiology. It reminded me that in the event of a wide-spread disease, resources will become scare not only due to demand, but also as the infrastructure required to produce and disseminate it is affected by the disease. Not only medical supplies, but later on, all supplies and services, depending on the severity of the outbreak could be unavailable. Healthcare workers are often on the front lines, as the very sick are brought to hospitals and from there, it can spread. That not only means my workplace, but also the people who would care for and supply treatments to my loved ones, and children.

Fortunately, there are several sources for being kept aware of these kinds of events, both sickness, and natural.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
The World Health Organization (WHO)

both of which I follow via Twitter on:

I'm also fortunate enough to be sent bulletins like these through work, from the Bureau of Meteorology

Sent: Tuesday, 4 September 2012 3:15 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients
Subject: ** State Health Command Advisory - damaging and destructive winds **

Good afternoon all,

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds in the following forecast districts:


Northern Country
North Central
North East
South West
West and South Gippsland
East Gippsland

Damaging winds around 60 to 80 km/h with peak gusts of 100 to 120km/h are forecast to develop over the Southwest and Wimmera districts this evening, and will extend to remaining districts overnight and early Wednesday morning.

Over Alpine areas, winds are expected to average 80 to 100 km/h Wednesday with peak gusts of 140 km/h

The Victorian health sector should:

Maintain situational awareness via the Bureau of Meteorology website: http://www.bom.gov.au/vic/warnings/

Consider the dissemination of this advisory

Being aware is part of the battle, looking after my family and loved ones in the event of such an event, short or long term, is another. I have first-aid kits, but when it comes down to it, do we have enough medical supplies laid in? No.

Do I know where to go to get some, and what to get? Mostly. More work required.

It also occurred to me that improving my First-Aid training is always a good thing.


  1. I recently (finally!) did my updated first aid training. Now I need to start putting together a properly equipped first aid kit, because we simply don't have one in the house, and the very basic bandaids and similar items I have simply won't do.

  2. Most workplace based First Aid courses are pretty poor these days. You get DRABCD and wait for an ambulance. You might want to look into some things like this;
    If you want to go that extra step over the top;
    Something like that book is a place to start.


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