Archive for August, 2014

When the Clean Up begins

Today marks nine years since Hurricane Katrina attacked our coast line from Florida to Texas.  An earthquake a few days ago shook down much of Nappa Valley and surrounding areas.  Tornados wipe out homes and trees in the Midwest all summer long.  Natural disasters often happen with little, if any, warning.  Once it is deemed safe to begin clean up, where does one start?

Below are tips from the CDC

Reentering Buildings

  • Stay away from damaged buildings or structures until they have been examined and certified as safe by a building inspector or other government authority. You may want to wait to return to buildings during daylight hours, when it is easier to avoid hazards, particularly if the electricity is off and you have no lights.
  • Leave immediately if you hear shifting or unusual noises that signal that the structure may fall or if you smell gas or suspect a leak. If you smell gas, notify emergency authorities and do not turn on the lights, light matches, smoke, or do anything that could cause a spark. Do not return to the house until you are told it is safe to do so.
  • Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed.

General Safety Measures

  • Have at least two fire extinguishers, each with a UL rating of at least 10A, at every cleanup job.
  • Wear hard hats, goggles, heavy work gloves, and watertight boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank) for cleanup work.
  • Wear earplugs or protective headphones to reduce risk from equipment noise.
  • Use teams of two or more people to move bulky objects. Avoid lifting any material that weighs more than 50 pounds (per person).
  • When using a chain saw, operate the saw according to the manufacturer’s instructions, wear appropriate protective equipment, avoid contact with power lines, be sure that bystanders are at a safe distance, and take extra care in cutting trees or branches that have gotten bent or caught under another object. Use extreme caution to avoid electrical shock when using an electric chain saw. For tips on safely operating a chain saw, see Preventing Chain Saw Injuries During Tree Removal After a Disaster.
  • If there has been a backflow of sewage into your house, wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of the affected area.
  • In hot weather, try to stay cool by staying in air-conditioned buildings, taking breaks in shaded areas or in cool rooms, drinking water and nonalcoholic fluids often, and wearing light and loose-fitting clothing. Do outdoor activities during cooler hours. For more information on protecting yourself against heat-related illness, see the CDC Extreme Heat Web site.

Mold and Cleanup

  • Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings, and paper products).
  • Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters.
  • Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent.

Hygiene and Infectious Disease Issues

  • After completing the cleanup, wash with soap and water. If there is a boil-water advisory in effect, use water that has been boiled for 1 minute (allow the water to cool before washing). Or you may use water that has been disinfected for personal hygiene use (solution of 1/8 teaspoon of household bleach per 1 gallon of water). Let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy, use a solution of 1/4 teaspoon of household bleach per 1 gallon of water.
  • If you have any open cuts or sores that were exposed to floodwater, wash them with soap and water and apply an antibiotic ointment to discourage infection.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill.
  • Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.

Water Issues

  • If the building is flooded, the waters may contain fecal material from overflowing sewage systems and agricultural and industrial waste. Although skin contact with floodwater does not, by itself, pose a serious health risk, there is risk of disease from eating or drinking anything contaminated with floodwater.
  • If you have any open cuts or sores that will be exposed to floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by washing them with soap and applying an antibiotic ointment to discourage infection. (See also Clean Hands Save Lives: Emergency Situations .)
  • To reduce cold–related risks when standing or working in water which is cooler than 75 degrees F (24 degrees C), wear insulated clothes and insulated rubber boots, take frequent breaks out of the water, and change into dry clothing when possible.

These tips can and will help keep you safe in the aftermath of disaster.

be well-


Leave a comment

Light on Yoga

There is a special light on yoga this week as our world says goodbye to “guru-ji”, B.K.S. Iyengar.

Many people credit yoga as saving their lives.  As a young child, Mr. Iyengar survived tuberculosis, typhoid and malaria, crediting yoga with saving his life.  He learned through the asana (physical) practice, his health began to improve.  He studied and really understood what the 2000 year old yoga practice was truly about.  It was not much longer, the Iyengar method was formed.  In simple terms, this means that Iyengar yoga has an emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance of asana and pranayama (breath control).

When I started my journey in yoga, early as a yoga practitioner and then more so when I went through teacher training, the book (first published in 1966) pictured above became a “bible” of sorts.  Nearly ten years later, I still reference this book often.  There is a collection of over 600 photographs depicting all postures and breathing exercises.  This book remains the most practical guide for anyone on a yoga journey.

Mr. Iyengar played a large role in bringing yoga to the western world.  In 2004, Time named him as one of the 100 most influential people.

Today, I bow to a man who has helped shaped the way I move, breathe and live my life. May guru-ji rest in peace.


Leave a comment

Finding Inspiration

Much of my childhood was either spent playing sports or being a spectator at sporting events.  Growing up in small town, middle of America, there were only a few options at that time.  Girls typically played volleyball, basketball, softball and/or ran track.  They guys played football, basketball, baseball, wrestled and/or ran track.

Michael Jordan.  Brett Favre.  Paul Molitor.  Barb Franke.  Gabrielle Reece.  They were household names that I drew inspiration from.  I’m pretty sure I had some of their posters on my bedroom wall.  These athletes were at the top of their game.  Their hard work and perseverance helped them achieve many goals, awards, and championships.

Wearing my hot pink, Chicago Bulls hat at my first game to see Michael Jordan!

Wearing my hot pink, Chicago Bulls hat at my first game to see Michael Jordan!

Sports was my first true love.  The summer going into my senior year of high school, I was playing three different sports as many as 6-7 days a week.  As an adult, while I may not be in the same shape or mindset I was 15-20 years ago, but I still enjoy competing.  These days I draw inspiration from personal relationships.  These people are friends and family of mine that are making a difference in their lives and those around them.  They include college coaches not only building successful programs, but creating solid student athletes.  Others include friends that are extremely selfless by guiding visually impaired athletes in marathons and IronMan races.  Or my fourteen year old cousin who is competing at the USA Swimming Junior National Championships this weekend.  Next, there is a dear friend that uses music and dance to bring communities together.  Then there are my friends that spent two days on their bike this weekend, riding over 150 miles in the rain to raise money for cancer research.  And finally, my friends, family and clients looking to make positive changes in their lives.  One day at a time, they start to break old habits and set new ones.  Before you know it, they are competing in the first ever triathlon or road race.

Dance Your Story

Dance Your Story

Who inspires you?

be well-

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: