Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 20th 2013 Contents A49
Friday, September 20, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Better be ready
Are you ready for ahurricane?
HURRICANE SAFETY TIPS
Source: The T&T Red Cross Society
Before a hurricane:
The hurricane season lasts from June through
November, with August and September being
the peak months.
Know the location of the nearest emergency
shelter in your area.
Trim the trees in your yard, especially those
near your home, so limbs won't fly around
during a storm.
If you have hurricane shutters, inspect them
now and repair damaged ones. Know how to
install them, and if you will be boarding up
your windows, have the wood and tools ready.
Know the location of the main electrical
breaker and the gas and water valves in your
home. Have a clear path to easily access them
to shut them off when a hurricane approach-
Make a list of the items in and around your
yard to bring in or tie down when a tropical
storm or hurricane approaches. For example:
TV antenna, plants, garbage cans and yard fur-
Check your insurance policy for coverage on
wind and flood damage, especially if you''re in
a low-lying area.
Keep a portable radio, flashlight (both with
extra batteries), emergency supplies, first aid
kit, canned food and bottled water on hand
throughout the hurricane season.
Keep yourself updated as to the weather con-
ditions and the possibilities of severe weather.
Have your emergency numbers at hand and in
a convenient location.
Designate an interior room with no windows
or external doors as a "Safe Room." Work
with your local professionals in the design of
Discuss the types of potential hazards with
your family and know your community's and
Determine escape routes and places to meet if
Have an out-of-the-area-friend as a family
contact so all have a single point of contact
and someone knows where you are.
Make a plan for your pets if you need to evac-
Take First Aid and CPR classes. Your Red Cross
can help you.
Stay away from windows and stay inside if you
are not told to evacuate.
Beware that the centre of a hurricane, or the
eye, can be very calm and deceptive. When
the eye passes, the storm is not over. Stay
inside because the fury of the winds will
return, this time from the opposite direction.
Remain in your safe location until the storm
has passed completely and the all clear has
During a hurricane:
A HURRICANE WATCH is given when the hurri-
cane is possible within 36 hours.
When a hurricane watch is issued, you should
monitor news reports closely for more infor-
Continue your preparation activities and be
prepared to evacuate immediately when
instructed to do so.
When a hurricane is 24 hours away, a HURRI-
CANE WARNING is issued. Hurricane landfall is
When a hurricane warning is issued, you
should board up your windows and doors,
bring in loose items from outside, shut off
electrical, gas and water hook-ups and seek
Contact the Red Cross: Headquarters - 627-8215/8128, Northern branch - 627-8214, Southern branch - 652-2024, Tobago branch - 639-2781
As we brace for the unpredictability
of the hurricane season, it is impor-
tant to be prepared. Here are some
simple steps to help protect your
family from a storm or hurricane.
T&T Red Cross Society
As an athletic trainer, the first
responder role falls within our
scope of professional duties. It
is one of the ways that athletic
trainers stand unique from other
sports specific professions.
While a game is going on and
most people would be looking
on for entertainment purposes,
the certified athletic trainer is
working during this time alert
to incidences of injury.
Incidences of mild traumatic
brain injury (mTBI) are one that
can be easily mishandled by
untrained persons. This includes,
but is not limited to, incidences
of concussions or fractures to the
skull. Being able to properly assess
an athlete who may have sus-
tained such injury is important
to limit any long-term effects,
particularly with children and
adolescents where symptoms can
often be prolonged.
In Zurich, November 2012, the
4th International Conference on
Concussion in Sport was held.
The 2012 Zurich consensus state-
ment that came out of this is
designed to build on already
existing principles as well as "to
develop further conceptual
understanding of this problem
using a formal consensus-based
approach." It is a reflection of the
somewhat complex nature of
dealing with head trauma and
concussions, which is why, as
athletic trainers, we are always
conscious of the need to keep up
with the latest statements and
trends in head injury manage-
The third world approach in
Trinidad to this aspect of sport
is very obvious, the main reason
for this being limited resources.
Still, there are cost effective ways
of addressing some of the basic
medical needs, particularly when
it comes to high contact sports,
with just the presence of a single
properly trained medical profes-
sional such as an athletic trainer
According to the new 2012
Zurich Consensus statement, a
concussion is a subset of trau-
matic brain injury (TBI) and it is
defined as "a complex patho-
physiological process affecting
the brain, induced by biomechan-
ical forces." It can be brought on
by a direct blow to the head, neck
or face region or to the body with
force transmissions to the head.
The symptoms of a concussion
can be immediate or they can
evolve over a period of minutes
to hours and therein lays the skill
of this area of athlete injury man-
As an athletic trainer covering
a game, there are a number of factors
that are considered when dealing with
an athlete who has sustained possible
injury to the head. Aside from the
obvious one being the general health
and well-being of the athlete, there
are also the access limitations as dic-
tated by the rules and time-consid-
erations of the sport.
If unsure of how to handle the sit-
uation it can lead to error. When fans,
referees, coaches and athletes are all
watching, in a very time sensitive sit-
uation where symptoms of a possible
concussion may not have yet started
to show, the pressure and stress of
the situation can be overwhelming.
This is why publications such as these
put out by the International Confer-
ence on Concussion in Sport are so
Clinical symptoms following con-
cussions are graded and 80 per cent
to 90 per cent of the time, they last
a period of seven to ten days (in chil-
dren and adolescents this may be
longer). Symptoms can include any
one or more of the following:
a) Physical as with loss of conscious-
ness or amnesia.
b) Behavioral as with an irritable dis-
c) Cognitive as with delayed reaction
d) Sleep disturbance as with insom-
Medical assessments include a
comprehensive history and a detailed
neurological examination which can
start with something as manual as
employing a "Pocket Concussion
Recognition Tool" and assessing cog-
nitive function, gait and balance in
the athlete to involving neuropsy-
chologists for more thorough mental
The "Pocket Concussion Recogni-
tion Tool" is a structured checklist
system that is endorsed by the Fed-
eration Internationale de Football
Association (Fifa), International
Olympic Commission ( IOC), Inter-
national Rubgy Board (IRB), and Inter-
national Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF)
all bodies that are very involved in
various forms of knowledge transfer
on the topic of concussion manage-
ment and return to play principles.
Rugby interests seems to be increas-
ing in Trinidad while research studies
demonstrate that upper limb-to-head
contact as with heading contests
account for about 50 per cent of con-
cussions in sport. In an effort to
remain proactive, our local initiatives
need to remain in sync with these
realities, increasing awareness for con-
cussions and mTBI on the whole.
Unique role of athletic trainer
Asha De Freitas-Moseley is a
certified athletic trainer with the
National Athletic Trainers'
Association of the USA. She has
over ten years of experience
rehabilitating athletes and
members of the active population
from injury to full play. She can be
reached at Pulse Performance Ltd.,
located at #17 Henry Pierre Street,
St James. Tel: 221-2437.
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