2019 Flu Season Preparedness

We all know what the flu is, and I’m sure a few of you have felt the aches and pains associated with this virus. In the 2017-2018 flu season there were 80,000 flu related deaths, which is the highest it’s been in over three decades! To help you get ready for the 2019 flu season we have put together some helpful information for you.

When does flu activity peak in the United States?

The influenza virus to circulate year-round, but it generally peaks between December and February. February tends to see the highest flu activity though.

How will I know if I have the flu?

Influenza is one of those viruses that will make you feel like you’ve gotten hit by a train when you wake up in the morning. You’ll know when you have it. But just in case you want to make sure, here are the symptoms for the influenza virus:

  • Feverish and/or chills
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea

*You don’t have to have all these symptoms to have the flu.

How does the flu spread?

The influenza virus is usually spread when an infected individual sneezes or coughs. When this happens, tiny droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are in the vicinity, thus infecting them.

How can I prevent the flu?

The best thing you can do is to make sure you get the flu vaccine every year! The CDC also recommends that you stay away from people who are sick and wash your hands frequently.

Will the flu vaccine give me the flu?

No, the flu vaccine is a dead virus. But you could develop flu like symptoms for a variety of reasons including:

  • A two-week window: After you get your flu shot it takes about two weeks before it starts to work. If you are infected shortly before or after you may catch the flu.
  • Reaction to the vaccine: Your body may produce protective antibodies that will give you flu like symptoms. This should only last a day or two.
  • Mismatched viruses: Sometimes the flu shot doesn’t match the virus that is going around and, as uncommon as this is, you still have some protection against the virus.

I don’t like shots, are there any other options?

Yes, there sure is! You can either get the vaccine as an injection or a nasal spray! Although there are some things to be aware of when going the nasal spray route;

  • The nasal spray vaccine is only approved for people between the ages of 2 and 49.
  • Not recommended for pregnant women.
  • Not recommended for people with weakened immune systems.
  • Children 2-4 years old who have had wheezing or asthma in the past year.

*Make sure you check with your doctor first.

The flu can’t get worse right?

Wrong! When you get the flu, it weakens your immune system; and if your flu gets worse your body won’t be able to fight off the bacteria. Once the bacteria build up enough, it turns into something incredibly worse… pneumonia.

Here are the 4 stages of Pneumonia:

Consolidation

  • Occurs in the first 24 hours
  • Cellular exudates containing neutrophils, lymphocytes, and fibrin replaces the alveolar air
  • Capillaries in the surrounding alveolar walls become congested
  • The infections spread to the hilum and pleura rapidly
  • Pleurisy occurs
  • Marked by coughing and deep breathing

Red Hepatization

  • Occurs in the 2-3 days after consolidation
  • At this point the consistency of the lungs resembles that of the liver
  • The lungs become hyperemic
  • Alveolar capillaries are engorged with blood
  • Fibrinous exudates fill the alveoli
  • This stage is characterized by the presence of many erythrocytes, neutrophils, desquamated epithelial cells, and fibrin within the alveoli

Grey Hepatization

  • Occurs in the 2-3 days after Red Hepatization
  • This is an avascular stage
  • The lung appears grayish brown to yellow because of fibrinopurulent exudates, disintegration of red cells, and hemosiderin
  • The pressure of the exudates in the alveoli causes compression of the capillaries
  • Leukocytes migrate into the congested alveoli

Resolution

  • This stage is characterized by the “resorption and restoration of the pulmonary architecture”
  • Many macrophages enter the alveolar spaces
  • Phagocytosis of the bacteria-laden leucocytes occurs
  • Consolidation tissue re-aerates, and the fluid infiltrate causes sputum
  • Fibrinous inflammation may extend to and across the pleural space, causing a rub heard by auscultation, and it may lead to resolution or to organization and pleural adhesions

 

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Tis the Holiday season to decorate and be merry! During this time of the year Regency DRT wanted to give some quick tidbits for a safe and merry holiday!

  1. Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house.

Unattended candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires. Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11pm and 7am. (NFPA)

  1. Use battery operated candles.

Candles are the start of almost half of home decoration fires.

  1. Never connect more than three strings of lights.

If more than three strings are connected, it can blow a fuse and possible start a fire.

  1. Protect cords from damage.

To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors and windows, placed under rugs, located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.

  1. Keep trees fresh by watering daily.

Dry trees are a serious fire hazard.

  1. Do not overload electrical outlets.

Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires are a common cause of holiday fires.

  1. Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use.

Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may lead to electrocution or start a fire.

  1. Keep combustibles at least three feet from a heat source.

Decorations too close to a heat source was a factor in half of home fires that began with decorations.

  1. Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking.

Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires.

  1. Check decorations for certification labels.

Decorations not bearing a label from an independent laboratory, such as Underwriter Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or Intertek (ETL), have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous.

 

Mental and Physical Effects of a Disaster – And How the Right Restoration Company Can Help

Any natural disaster is devastating for those who must endure them. Hurricanes, floods, tornados, fires, and other disasters can wreak havoc on your health, home, and livelihood. Surviving these types of disasters are life changing and stressful enough, but what about after the event? In all the chaos and confusion that happens after a loss, what are the smaller things you need to look out for? What kind of mental and physical risks are there for you and your family? And how can you best get your life back on track?

According to Tulane University, “mental health problems rank among the most widespread long-term effects of natural disasters.” Yet, mental health is easy to overlook in the face of losing your property and working to have it restored. Many people suffer from grief, shock, anxiety, or depression after a disaster. The disruption of a daily routine and the loss of cherished possessions can be hard to deal with on top of the chaos and confusion that accompanies a disaster. Some common feelings associated with experiencing a traumatic event are shock, disbelief, fear, sadness, helplessness, guilt, anger, and shame. These types of feelings are normal, but lasting psychological effects can occur if there isn’t a return to normalcy.

These types of mental trauma can also express themselves in a physical way. Physical responses are completely normal and can include trembling, pounding heart, rapid breathing, lump in throat. So, it’s important to get the restoration help you need right away.

In addition to these mental problems, there are significant risks to physical health after a disaster. Your home can be compromised by unsanitary and potentially hazardous conditions. Ruptured gas lines, mold growth, vermin infestation, and stagnant water containing bacteria are just a few of the safety hazards that can affect your home. Take a look at this list of the side effects of mold exposure.

  • Foggy thoughts and temporary memory loss, loss of focus, headaches
  • Exhaustion and Muscle Weakness
  • Joint pain, constant nerve pain, random muscle pains
  • Tingling and numbness in the body
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Coughing or shortness of breath
  • Slight body tremors
  • Change in appetite, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Dehydration, decreased urination

Even if the damages to your home do not seem significant, it is important to use a qualified restoration company to bring your home back to pre-loss condition. Trying to fix damages to your home on your own is not only generally ineffective, it can also be dangerous. Any cleaning a homeowner does is usually only at the surface level, leaving potentially harmful mold and bacteria beneath your floors or in your walls. This can lead to bigger and more costly damages down the line.

Those who have suffered a loss might not understand the whirling emotions, frustrations, and feelings of hopelessness that are common during the restoration process. The knowledge, equipment, and manpower that comes with a restoration company can restore your property to its pre-loss condition much quicker and more effectively than any homeowner.

Safety is one of the major advantages to hiring a restoration company. Even minor issues can turn into large ones; things that don’t seem important, like a little mold or soot, can become health hazards for you and your family. With their expertise, restoration companies can get your life back to normal. Using a professional company means things can move along quickly and still be done to the highest standard of care.

In addition to this, restoration companies can help you to fully understand your insurance coverage. Insurance policies are often difficult to understand and interpret, especially in the wake of disaster. A professional disaster restoration company works with insurance companies every day, so they are best equipped to help you through the process of dealing with insurance agents and claims adjusters.

Regency DRT is the Company for All Your Restoration Needs

  • We Do It All
    • Regency DRT specializes in full-service disaster restoration, providing a one-stop-shop for our clients.
  • There When You Need Us
    • Disasters don’t rest, and neither do we. Regency offers 24-hour emergency response. No matter the time of day or night, a team is prepared to immediately respond to your property emergency.
  • We Work with All Insurance Companies
    • Regency has extensive experience working with insurance companies and claims adjusters on property insurance claims. We will work directly with your insurance company and coordinate everything from our initial response until your property is restored to pre-loss condition. Our objective is to make this process as smooth as possible for you.
  • We Provide the Highest Quality of Service
    • Regency DRT was founded on the belief that a restoration company should provide superior quality of service to their customers while maintaining the industry’s highest standards. We pride ourselves in our extensive training and knowledge of restoration services. When choosing Regency DRT, you can rest assured knowing you will be receiving the best restoration services available.
  • We Can Handle Losses of All Sizes
    • We can quickly respond to any disaster with the necessary amount of equipment, resources, and staff for the unique needs of your job, whether it’s a single residential loss, large loss, or area-wide disaster
  • We Are Committed to Customer Satisfaction
    • Regency DRT is confident that we can meet and even exceed customer expectations. To guarantee the highest level of service, we constantly monitor our work and immediately correct any area that does not meet our strict set of standards. In addition to this, we encourage customer communication and use your input to continuously improve our level of services provided to you. Our ultimate mission is to leave a smile on your face, happy and satisfied about the work performed in your home. 

 

Tropical Storm Nestor Expected to Hit Panhandle

Tropical Storm Nestor Expected to Hit Panhandle

The tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico strengthened to a tropical storm on Friday afternoon. Tropical Storm Nestor will continue to strengthen and is expected to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle, near Panama City, sometime Saturday morning.

A close up of a map Description automatically generated

(Photo: National Weather Service)

The biggest threat of this storm will be storm surges, with surges of up to 5 feet along the Florida Gulf Coast from Indian Pass to Clearwater Beach. There is a Storm Surge Warning in effect for these areas. Winds are forecasted to be strong, with gusts of up to 50mph possible. Tropical storm force winds are likely late Friday night along portions of the central and eastern Gulf Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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(Photo: National Weather Service)

Isolated flash flooding in possible through Saturday night. Up to 6 inches of rain is possible in the Florida Panhandle. “Residents should prepare now for the chance of flooding & power disruption,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted Thursday.

 

The True Value of a Restoration Company

When a fire, flood, water leak, mold growth or other issue that makes your home either inhabitable or just an inconvenience to deal with, you must decide “Will I clean this up myself, or hire a pro?”

While some small, minor “disasters” can be tackled by a do-it-yourselfer, most restoration projects are best left to the pros.

Here’s why.

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Protecting Important Documents

  It’s natural. It’s human nature. You don’t really think about this very often. What are we talking about? Water, fire and smoke damage. When you do think about what may happen to your home, and then take action to prepare, what you do is usually minor and easy to do… such as turning off your outside water supply when winter approaches and testing smoke alarms and replacing fire extinguishers on a regular basis. Yet there is one very important action you should take right now in preparation for the unthinkable. That’s right, protecting your important documents, such as your birth certificates, marriage license, financial papers, insurance policies and si Most homeowners keep all their important papers and documents in what they consider a safe place, such as in an organized folder in a home office or secure location where they know exactly where everything is. Unfortunately, that’s not really very safe when there is flooding or fire and smoke. Others might utilize a water and fire proof safe, which is a great idea. Yet there is something additional you can do to 100% guarantee your important documents are safe no matter what happens. Scan them and put them on the “cloud.” You may already do this, and if so, congratulations. No matter what happens to your home, your documents are safe and can be accessed from any device connected to the internet. But if you don’t, get a cloud-based storage account that has plenty of storage space for your needs and start scanning those documents. Keep them organized in online folders, and make sure those in your family who should have access to them have username and passwords they can use in an emergency. You should still keep the originals as safe as you can, of course. And when the unthinkable happens, when you do have a fire, flood or mold damage, don’t forget there is professional assistance for you: Call your disaster restoration pro for help.
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Hurricane and Severe Storm Damage for Commercial Properties

 As the tropics are heating up with activity, Hurricane Preparedness is a topic of discussion. People usually remember to be prepared at their home with supplies, however will forget the workplace. Hurricane winds or flood waters from a major storm will harm any property in it’s path.

As a result, pre-planning leads to better protection for the employees, property, and equipment. Follow the steps below to lessen damages to your commercial property.

  1. Pre written action plan for emergencies– Employers need to have a pre written action plan for employees. This plan can be given to the employees to take action within their space before leaving the office.

Examples include:

  • Secure loose items such as scissors, staplers, reams of paper, etc.
  • Contain valuables in a safe or locked area.
  • Turn off computers and other equipment.
  • Remove items from the refrigerator.
  • Place customer files into a locked area.

  1. Assign a group to be the emergency task force.By assigning 2-5 people, depending on the size of your company, you will have a few people that can perform and oversee other precautions are taken before the major storm or hurricane.

Examples include:

  • Take a photo inventory of the various offices, assets, and equipment.
  • Check there are batteries, flashlights, and other emergency supplies in the office.
  • Secure doors and windows in the event of an emergency.

  1. Remove items from floor, if possible.As storm waters rise, the office may flood. By lifting items such as plants, boxes, and chairs off of the floor, it will  alleviate further water damages to those items.
  2. Send staff home. Their safety is a priority.After the commercial property has been prepared for the severe storm or hurricane, remember your staff will need time to prepare their own properties.

Take the time to plan ahead of the storm, use your staff, and keep emergency supplies on hand. The right preparation leads to very little effort and thirty minutes to an hour of time right before the storm. Not only will this help before the storm, but will get your business back up and running in no time! Be prepared and not scared when a storm is nearb

7 Facts About Disasters and Why Disaster Response is Important

7 Facts About Disasters and Why Disaster Response is Important

 

We live in a world where natural disasters are unfortunately common occurrences, so it is extremely important to always be prepared for them. Get familiar with what kind of natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, landslides, etc.) affect the region you live in and make yourself aware of different disaster response options you have. These services exist to be on-call and offer assistance when you experience an earthquake, house fire, or any other unexpected disaster event. Below are seven facts you should know about disasters.

  • In 2012, 905 natural disasters struck worldwide including tornadoes, droughts, earthquakes, hail storms, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires.
  • It is important to devise a disaster response plan with the older adults in your life. With Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, over half the victims of both catastrophes were senior citizens.
  • Within one decade, from 2002 to 2012, there has been over $1.7 trillion in damages related to disasters. These disasters have affected approximately 2.9 billion people.
  • In 2012 alone, almost 50% of disaster-related fatalities were caused by hydrological events including mass movements and flooding.
  • Hurricanes can reach wind speeds of over 160 miles an hour. Often, these hurricanes can unleash 2.4 trillion gallons of rain in a day causing massive flooding and horrendous wind storms.
  • Floods are the most common natural disasters. In the United States alone, the President declared that over 90% of natural disasters were flood related.
  • Too large of a percentage of homeowners do not have a disaster preparedness plan. A survey conducted showed that 80% of people do not have a home evacuation drill and an additional 60% were not aware of what their town’s evacuation route was.

Prepping For Urban Survival

Prepping For Urban Survival

If a disaster strikes in an urban setting, there are certain precautions one may need to take in order to survive comfortably. With limited space and security, creating a well-strategized plan is key in order to survive whatever hurricane-swine-flu-economic-collapse-zombie-ridden-disaster one may encounter in an urban location.

People Planning

In the event a disaster does strike your city or neighborhood, security weakens and your home or apartment may be potentially in danger. To be successfully prepared for any disaster, plan to prepare with friends, family and/or neighbors. Continue reading “Prepping For Urban Survival”

Hurricane Dorian Updates

Hurricane Dorian Updates

On Thursday night, Hurricane Dorian strengthened to a Category 2 storm and is expected to keep strengthening as is approaches Florida. The National Hurricane Center predicts Dorian will become a powerful Category 4 by the time it reaches land, with potentially catastrophic 140 mph winds.

“Dorian is likely to remain an extremely dangerous hurricane while it moves near the northwestern Bahamas and approaches the Florida peninsula through the weekend,” the NHC said. As of right now, Dorian is expected to make landfall late Monday or early Tuesday as a Category 4. The National Weather Service said the Dorian will probably be a “triple-threat of dangers” with “life-threatening storm surge, devastating hurricane-force winds, and heavy rains.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted that he has activated more than 2.500 Florida National Guard troops as the state braces and prepares for Hurricane Dorian. He has declared a state of emergency for all of Florida’s 67 counties and has encouraged residents to gather at least seven days’ worth of supplies, including food, water, and medicine.

President Trump has also addressed the hurricane, posting a video on twitter, calling Dorian “an absolute monster.” He has also cancelled a trip to Poland as a result of the storm, in order to “To ensure that all resources of the federal government are focused on the arriving storm I have decided to send our vice president, Mike Pence, to Poland this weekend in my place,” the president said. “It’s something very important for me to be here.”

In preparation for the hurricane Florida power and Light activated its emergency response team on Thursday, securing nearly 13,000 worked to help restore power. “We’re actively working with other utilities from across the United States to secure additional crews and equipment and pre-positioning resources in advance of the storm’s landfall, so we are ready to respond as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of Florida Power and Light.