Monthly Archives: August 2016

A Guide to Eating Healthy in an Emergency

In the case of a hurricane or tropical storm, your family’s physical safety is your first concern, so it’s important for you to prepare an emergency plan in advance. But even if your home is not directly hit by a storm, your neighborhood or community could be affected for several days or longer by power outages, blocked roads, and damage to grocery stores, gas stations, and other businesses.

Hurricane disaster experts with the National Hurricane Center, the Red Cross, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency advise each household to put together a preparedness kit that includes such basics as a flashlight, a radio, batteries, maps, a first-aid kit, a manual can opener, medications — and, of course, food and water. But exactly what foods should be included?

Healthy Meal Plans

Every household should stock up on healthy, easy-to-store food items, but it’s especially important to include diet-specific foods for any family members who have high blood pressure, diabetes, gluten allergy (celiac disease), or another health condition that requires a special menu.

Read the shopping lists and sample menus below for choices that can help your family eat healthfully during an emergency; these lists include options for those with diabetes, high blood pressure, a heart condition, food allergies, and more.


Hurricane Preparedness: Shopping Lists and Sample Menus

Shopping Lists and Sample Menus by Condition

Healthy Eaters/High Blood Pressure/Heart Disease

How to Make No Smoking Zone on Your Home

There’s really no debating it: All homes should be smoke-free spaces. Not only does cigarette, pipe, and cigar smoke expose other people in your home to the dangers of secondhand (and third-hand) smoke, it sharply increases the chances of a house fire and makes your home less desirable to live in and visit.

The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is more dangerous than it sounds. Declared a human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, secondhand smoke is a combination of the smoke exhaled by the smoker and the smoke coming from the tobacco product itself. This double whammy increases the risk of serious health complications and death.

A smoker in your home compromises his life and the life of everyone around him. And that includes pets: Cats exposed to secondhand smoke have double the risk of developing malignant lymphoma.

Many state governments are taking the health risks of secondhand smoke and indoor air pollution so seriously that they have banned smoking in most public areas, including restaurants, workplaces, and bars. More than half the states and the District of Columbia have put comprehensive smoke-free laws into place.

Some of the specific potential health effects of secondhand smoke include increased risk of:

  • Lung cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Coughing
  • Excess phlegm production
  • Wheezing
  • Ear infection
  • Reduced lung function
  • Severe asthma symptoms

Home to Make Your Homes Safe for Children

After losing their only child, Colette, at the age of 5, to a rare, non-genetic form of Wilm’s tumor, Nancy and Jim Chuda founded Healthy Child Healthy World in 1991. The mission of this national children’s charity is to inspire parents to protect children from harmful chemicals. In Colette’s memory, the organization has mobilized parents and caregivers, environmental groups, the scientific community, and media to advocate for policy changes that will protect children worldwide.

In the mid-1980s, few of us knew much about the possible dangers of environmental chemicals that are all around us in everyday life — or the potential cumulative effects of some of these chemicals. It took time for scientific studies to reveal that some chemicals are linked to the development of certain cancers, and it took even more time to prove that heredity may predispose some people to these cancers.

Although there is no way to definitively show that Colette’s cancer was environmentally caused, the Chudas consulted an expert on Wilm’s Tumor, who told them “that it was possible that something Nancy had ingested or was exposed to in the environment during her pregnancy could have triggered the destructive mechanism that caused Colette’s cancer to later develop.”

“As parents who lost a child to a non-hereditary form of cancer, we believe that Colette would have survived had we had the knowledge and tools Healthy Child Healthy World provides parents today,” say the Chudas. “Many years ago, we decided we weren’t going to let our personal tragedy, losing our only child, beat us. Instead, we decided to set some winning goals — to help others — so that other children would not have to experience our daughter Colette’s fate.”