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Disaster Preparation and Recovery

Preparing for a disaster can reduce the fear, anxiety and losses that disasters cause. A disaster can be a natural disaster, like a hurricane, tornado, flood or earthquake. It might also be man-made, like a bioterrorist attack or chemical spill. You should know the risks and danger signs of different types of disasters. You should also have a disaster plan. Be ready to evacuate your home, and know how to treat basic medical problems. Make sure you have the insurance you need, including special types, like flood insurance.

No matter what kind of disaster you experience, it causes emotional distress. After a disaster, recovery can take time. Stay connected to your family and friends during this period.

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Health Fraud

Health fraud involves selling drugs, devices, foods, or cosmetics that have not been proven effective. Keep in mind - if it sounds too good to be true, it's probably a scam. At best, these scams don't work. At worst, they're dangerous. They also waste money, and they might keep you from getting the treatment you really need.

Health fraud scams can be found everywhere, promising help for many common health issues, including weight loss, memory loss, sexual performance, and joint pain. They target people with serious conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, arthritis, Alzheimer's, and many more.

To protect yourself, recognize the red flags such as:

  • Miracle cure
  • Quick fix
  • Ancient remedy
  • Secret ingredient
  • Scientific breakthrough

Before taking an unproven or little known treatment, talk to a doctor or health care professional - especially when taking prescription drugs.

Food and Drug Administration

Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is dangerous. It's the cause of more than half of all car crashes. It means operating a motor vehicle while you are affected by:

  • Alcohol
  • Legal or illegal drugs
  • Sleepiness
  • Distractions, such as using a cell phone or texting
  • Having a medical condition which affects your driving

For your safety and the safety of others, do not drive while impaired. Have someone else drive you or take public transportation when you cannot drive. If you need to take a call or send a text message, pull over.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Mild Cognitive Impairment

Some forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. However, some people have more memory problems than other people their age. This condition is called mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. People with MCI can take care of themselves and do their normal activities.

MCI memory problems may include:

  • Losing things often
  • Forgetting to go to events and appointments
  • Having more trouble coming up with words than other people of the same age

Memory problems can also have other causes, including certain medicines and diseases that affect the blood vessels that supply the brain. Some of the problems brought on by these conditions can be managed or reversed.

Your health care provider can do thinking, memory, and language tests to see if you have MCI. You may also need to see a specialist for more tests. Because MCI may be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease, it's really important to see your health care provider every 6 to 12 months.

At this time, there is no proven drug treatment for MCI. Your health care provider can check to see if you have any changes in your memory or thinking skills over time.

NIH: National Institute on Aging

Neurologic Diseases

The brain, spinal cord, and nerves make up the nervous system. Together they control all the workings of the body. When something goes wrong with a part of your nervous system, you can have trouble moving, speaking, swallowing, breathing, or learning. You can also have problems with your memory, senses, or mood.

There are more than 600 neurologic diseases. Major types include:

  • Diseases caused by faulty genes, such as Huntington's disease and muscular dystrophy
  • Problems with the way the nervous system develops, such as spina bifida
  • Degenerative diseases, where nerve cells are damaged or die, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease
  • Diseases of the blood vessels that supply the brain, such as stroke
  • Injuries to the spinal cord and brain
  • Seizure disorders, such as epilepsy
  • Cancer, such as brain tumors
  • infections, such as meningitis