Tips on surviving medical issues caused by weather conditions.

Lessons From the Colorado Floods: When the Disaster Isn’t the One You Prepared For

Colorado National Guardsmen help evacuate people in Boulder County, CO, during the flooding last Thursday. “This event has stunned all of us,” said Colorado Senator Mark Udall. Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway called it “a once in 500 years or 1,000 years situation.” (Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Joseph K. VonNida.) by James Hubbard, MD, MPH K2T5JD8XRNRK My heart goes out to all affected in the recent flooding here in Colorado. Maybe one of the very few good things that comes out of a disaster like this is all of us are reminded of the constant, real threat of disasters. (Few saw this coming. Not here. Not now. Not at this severity.) Because of all the modes of media we have these days to vicariously experience such disasters real-time, we learn from others’ unfortunate experiences how to go forward with a better plan for the future. Here are a few takeaway lessons. […]

By | September 18th, 2013|Weather|35 Comments

5 Lightning Safety Tips in Case You’re Caught in a Storm

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH You’re out on a hike or doing yard work, and you hear thunder. No rain yet, not even any lightning seen. What do you do? In this post I give some lightning safety tips I’ve learned over the years—some I’ll bet you didn’t know. (For example, did you know you can get struck by lightning even if the skies are clear?) […]

By | August 14th, 2013|Weather|23 Comments

What I Learned As a Lifeguard Could Save Your Child From Drowning

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH When I was a teen I lifeguarded, first at the public pool, then at a lake. Here are two things I learned: […]

By | June 26th, 2013|Children, Hot|1 Comment

“Sunscreen Causes Cancer”: Truth or Fiction?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I didn’t realize until a few days ago how prevalent the view is—at least on the Internet—that sunscreen causes cancer. Many people state the claims of dangers as given facts. And they say organizations like the American Medical Association stand behind them. (Not true. I don’t know of any mainstream medical organization that recommends against sunscreen when you’re in the sun.) The truth matters here. Because not even the fiercest critics of sunscreen debate against the fact that absorbing too many UV rays from the sun is a big risk factor for skin cancer. […]

By | June 5th, 2013|Hot, Skin, Weather|13 Comments

Pop Quiz: Do You Know How to Survive the Heat?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH   First question: What natural phenomenon kills more people in the United States than all other disasters combined? […]

By | May 29th, 2013|Hot, Weather|8 Comments

Stories of Heroism and Survival in the Oklahoma Tornado

Members of the Oklahoma National Guard’s 63rd Civil Support Team conduct search and rescue operations in Moore, Okla., after the May 20, 2013, tornado. But stories of heroes without uniforms—both during and after the tornado—are also emerging. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I often wonder how I would act in the face of impending danger, even death. None of us can really be sure unless we’ve been through that sort of horror. The schoolteachers and others who survived the tornado in those now destroyed Moore, Okla., schools know. I can only pray that I could act with some semblance of the bravery and levelheadedness they did when risking their lives for those kids, in the very eye of that terrible storm. […]

By | May 22nd, 2013|Weather|3 Comments

Spring Survival Quiz

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Springtime. It always reminds me of the cycle of life, rebirth, new beginnings. And, of course, it’s a time to get outside, to hike, camp, play … and spring clean. This is the first of a two-part true/false spring quiz to help you get you prepared for all of the above. In the comments, let me know how you do! […]

By | April 4th, 2013|Hot, Weather|7 Comments

How to Keep Winter Skin Seasoned Like a Cast-Iron Skillet

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Winter can do a number on your skin. Add the cold to the dry air, mix in a little wind, and it can be downright dangerous—potentially life-threatening if you tend to ignore it and don’t properly treat the damage. How many of us have gone out to play on a cold winter’s day, only to go to bed that night with a red, raw, painful face? It can be from sunburn or windburn, but usually it’s both. Cracks in the dry skin—even blisters—can occur. If the skin gets infected, that can be dangerous. If you can’t get to a medical facility, it could be even deadly. But there are simple things you can do to prevent this damage. Basically, just keep your skin well-seasoned, like a cast-iron skillet. […]

By | February 7th, 2013|Cold, Skin, Weather|7 Comments

How to Walk in the Snow Without Falling (Much)

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I thought when I moved to Colorado, people would know how to walk in the snow without falling. They’re used to it, right? Not so. In fact, in every area of the country I’ve practiced, some of the worst breaks, bruises, cuts, and dislocations come from people slipping down in the snow. Sometimes they’re in a hurry, like shopping, or like you would be in an emergency. Okay, I’ll admit it. Many years ago, I was running to an ambulance, slipped on the one piece of ice still left over from a freeze, and broke my ankle. I wasn’t much help after that. […]

By | January 3rd, 2013|Cold, Weather|20 Comments

How to Survive After the Flood: The Dangers Behind Receding Waters

On Tuesday, October 30th, an NYPD truck drives through the flood Hurricane Sandy left. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Just because a storm is over doesn’t mean you’re out of danger. Not by a long shot. Even if you’ve done everything right, prepared like a pro, and survived without a scratch, even if the waters have receded, you still need to know what to do after the flood. Because the dirty floodwater has contaminated anything it’s touched, been sprayed on by the wind, everything. And most floodwater has picked up raw sewage along the way. It’s like providing sugar water for ants or free alcohol for investment bankers: germs congregate and thrive in this stuff. […]

By | October 31st, 2012|Weather|12 Comments