Do We Need a Survival Kit?

Do We Need a Survival Kit?

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…Do we need a survival kit?

July 2019

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, hearing about the recent earthquakes in southern California reminded me that the same jolting experience could happen here.  Do we need a survival kit? What items would we need in case of an earthquake or other emergency where we would need to evacuate our homes?

A: That’s a very timely question!  We found a suggested “readiness kit” list from FEMA posted by Pleasanton Patch.  Some of us feel that we do need a survival kit and have begun gathering items to store in the trunks of our cars (in case we have to evacuate our homes), but we tend to forget to update and refresh them.  Here are some items to consider storing:

  • WATER: A gallon per day per person for three daysDo we need a survival kit? Full backpack with water bottle sitting on log at sunrise

  • FOOD: 3-day supply of non-perishable items (including for pets)

  • FLASHLIGHT, radio, batteries, and cell phone charger

  • FIRST-AIDE KIT and medicines (both prescription and over-the-counter)

  • BATTERYBACK-UP power for power-dependent mobility devices, oxygen, and other assistive technology needs

  • CLOTHING and blankets

  • WHISTLE (to signal for help)

  • FIRE EXTINGUISHER

  • CASH (in case ATMs are not working after an earthquake)

Now is a good time to check to see if the batteries or food you have stored away need replacing.  Let’s hope we never need to use our “readiness kits”!

EAT RIGHT, MOVE MORE, AND SLEEP WELL TO BE WELL.

What Do We Need in a Survival Kit?

What Do We Need in a Survival Kit?

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…What Do We Need in a Survival Kit?

July 2019

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, hearing about the recent earthquakes in southern California reminded me that the same jolting experience could happen here.  Do we need a survival kit? What items would we need in case of an earthquake or other emergency where we would need to evacuate our homes?

A: That’s a very timely question!  We found a suggested “survival kit” list from FEMA posted by Pleasanton Patch.  Some of us feel that we do need a survival kit and have begun gathering items to store in the trunks of our cars (in case we have to evacuate our homes), but we tend to forget to update and refresh them.  Here are some items to consider storing in your survival kit:

  • WATER: A gallon per day per person for three daysDo we need a survival kit? Full backpack with water bottle sitting on log at sunrise

  • FOOD: 3-day supply of non-perishable items (including pet foods)

  • FLASHLIGHT, radio, batteries, and cell phone charger 

  • FIRST-AIDE KIT and medicines (both prescription and over-the-counter) 

  • BATTERY BACK-UP power for power-dependent mobility devices, oxygen, and other assistive technology needs 

  • CLOTHING and blankets

  • WHISTLE (to signal for help)

  • FIRE EXTINGUISHER

  • CASH (in case ATMs are not working after an earthquake)

Now is a good time to check to see if the batteries or food you have stored away need replacing.  Let’s hope we never need to use our “survival kits”!

EAT RIGHT, MOVE MORE, AND SLEEP WELL TO BE WELL.

Older Americans still have a lot to contribute

Older Americans still have a lot to contribute

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends….

May 1, 2019

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, May is Older Americans Month which means people over their 65th birthday. Many of us are retired or retiring but we still have a lot of years left in us to contribute to society. Any ideas on how to move forward from here?  

A: Welcome to May, which is – among other things – Older Americans Month. Older woman speaking to a young boy at a community service festival for volunteersWhen this special designation was given to May in 1963, “only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthdays,” according to the Administration on Aging. “About a third of older Americans lived in poverty, and there were few programs to meet their needs.”  As of 2015, 47.8 million people had reached their 65 birthday which is 15% of the population. This number is expected to rise to 19% by 2030.

Our research came up with the following:

“Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. We are pleased to announce the 2019 theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, which encourages older adults and their communities to:

  • Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.

  • Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.

  • Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

“Communities that encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger! By engaging and supporting all community members, we recognize that older adults play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, and lives.”

Mr. Pedometer was unaware that we had an Administration for Community Living (ACL), so looked up what they were about:

Mission & Strategic Plan (of ACL):

“All Americans—including people with disabilities and older adults—should be able to live at home with the supports they need, participating in communities that value their contributions. To help meet these needs, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in 2012.

“ACL brings together the efforts and achievements of the Administration on Aging (AoA), the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), and the HHS Office on Disability to serve as the Federal agency responsible for increasing access to community supports, while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities across the lifespan.”

Mission

“Maximize the independence, well-being, and health of older adults, people with disabilities across the lifespan, and their families and caregivers.”

Each year, the White House issues a presidential proclamation regarding Older Americans Month. This year’s proclamation included the following:

“Older Americans enrich our lives in innumerable ways. Their diverse experiences and time-tested wisdom guide younger generations, connect them with our country’s history, and empower them with the confidence to face the future. Older Americans devote themselves to their families. They lend their experience in the work place. They volunteer for religious and community organizations. In every context, they deepen our appreciation for country, they model selfless service to others, and they remain vibrant and contributing participants in the American experience.”

In keeping with the 2019 Older Americans Month theme of CONNECT, CREATE, AND CONTRIBUTE, Mr. Pedometer notes that those of us who  “Walk ‘n’ Talk” together on Saturday mornings are fulfilling the three C’s in an easy, enjoyable way!

EAT RIGHT, MOVE MORE, AND SLEEP WELL TO BE WELL.

New Year’s Resolutions?  Why bother?

New Year’s Resolutions? Why bother?

ASK MR. PEDOMETER & FRIENDS

Originally Published: Jan 3, 2018

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, am I the only adult who never makes New Year’s Resolutions?  Why bother? 

A:  New Year’s Resolutions are just another name for goals.  Some people say failing Notebook to write New Year's Resolutions in.to set goals is like starting to drive your car with no destination in mind:  How will you know when you arrive?

Having said that, I will acknowledge that you certainly are not alone in passing up January as goal-setting time.  The East Bay News devoted an entire page to the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions.  I was surprised to read that, according to a poll conducted by the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion, “The majority of Americans (56%) did not make New Year’s Resolutions.”

Of those who did, the survey found these to be the top four:

  • Be a better person (12%)
  • Lose weight (12%)
  • Exercise more (9%)
  • Eat Healthier (9%)

Mr. Pedometer would note that if you carry out the last two, you likely will have accomplished the first one.  (-;

EAT RIGHT, MOVE MORE, BE WELL.

Be Aware Of Air Quality During Fire Season Before You Head Out To Walk

Be Aware Of Air Quality During Fire Season Before You Head Out To Walk

With wildfires raging at both ends of California and filling the air with smoke we need to be even more aware of the air quality where we live before we head outside to get our steps in for the day or for any other reason.  We hope that most of the fires will have been quelled before this weekend.  However, there are several ways (besides looking up at the sky) that you can determine whether it’s healthier to stay indoors.

Woman wearing a protective face maskThe Bay Area News Group newspapers warned that “everybody is at risk” when the smoky air is loaded with soot particles that can affect our lungs and even our bloodstream.  Most severely affected are children (whose lungs are still developing) and those who have respiratory conditions, such as asthma and COPD.

Become familiar with the Air Quality Index, which rates air pollution levels on a scale of 0-500.  Each day, these forecasts are printed on the weather page of the Bay Area News Group papers (including the East Bay Times) and can be found online (see below).

Air Quality Index

  • 0-50 = Good air quality
  • 51-100 = Moderate
  • 101-150 = Unhealthy for sensitive people
  • 151+ = Unhealthy for all

“Anything between 150 to 200 has the potential to affect even healthy people, but patients with chronic heart or lung conditions can also be at risk for exacerbating underlying conditions,” according to Sharon Chinthrajah, a pulmonologist, and an allergist with Stanford Health Care.

“The amount of fine particulate matter registered across the Bay Area on November 9 was the second-highest ever recorded since the metric started being tracked almost 20 years ago,” according to Kristine Roselium, a spokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. (The highest was October 13, 2017.)

You can check for Air Quality Index listings at SpareTheAir.org. The newspaper article also cited AirNow (a government site) or PurpleAir.

For some of us who are fortunate to have good health, being outdoors for an hour of moderate walking is no problem.  For others, on Spare the Air days, it can lead to hospitalization for life-threatening pneumonia.  Quality air masks (N95 respirators) can help, but many stores no longer have them in stock.

Staying indoors, with doors and windows shut tight, maybe the best for those at risk.