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When Flooding Comes to Your Town: My Best Tips

A flooded house in North Charleston, South Carolina, after Hurricane Joaquin. Photo by Ryan Johnson, shared via North Charleston/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.   by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Areas in South Carolina are experiencing an unprecedented emergency—one that many of the affected residents never thought they’d need to prepare for: devastating flooding. “We haven’t seen this level of rain in the low country in a thousand years,” Gov. Nikki Haley said in a press conference. “The flooding is unprecedented and historical,” Dr. Marshall Shepherd, director of the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia, told the Associated Press. The rains are starting to subside, according to The Weather Channel, but there’s more flooding to come from the overflowing rivers. And then there will be the aftermath, which can be as bad as or worse than what happens during the storm. I think devastation caused by flooding is often underrated. People lose everything they own—sometimes even their lives. Here are some of the dangers people are facing—beyond the floodwaters themselves—and what to expect in the days to come. […]

By | October 5th, 2015|Weather|8 Comments

WV Water Nightmare: Why Activated Charcoal May Not Work

Note: This post has a correction. Scroll to the bottom to view. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Regarding the recent chemical spill preventing over 300,000 people in West Virginia from using their water, I wrote on Facebook about water purification, “unfortunately, I know of no improvisational method that removes chemicals.” Some commenters suggested distilling could in fact do just that. Others wondered about activated charcoal. Excellent suggestions, especially in a situation where there’s no expert alternative. What I should have written was, “I know of no method that reliably moves all chemicals.” […]

By | January 20th, 2014|Infectious Disease|36 Comments

Video: How to Assess and Clean a Cut (Treating a Cut, Part 2)

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Everyone wants to get that cut closed ASAP. But hey, hold on there just a minute, Bub. First, you've got to stop the bleeding. Next you're going to need to clean, [...]

By | November 16th, 2011|Cuts, Skin, Videos|13 Comments

How to Disinfect Water

The Russian River in Alaska. by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. You can’t count on water anymore. No matter how pristine looking, a mountain stream is full of parasites, such as giardia from animal feces. Pond water, even rainwater, is loaded with bacteria just waiting to make you deathly ill. But what if that’s all there is? It’s relatively simple to disinfect water manually so it becomes drinkable. […]

By | November 10th, 2011|General, Getting Started|38 Comments