Cool tips to stay prepared…or should we say cold?

If you got the chance to tune into Steve’s Ride for the Red Cross last week, you may have seen him talk about the Vial of Life program recently launched in St. Lucie County by Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute and St. Lucie Medical Center. The concept is one you may have seen before elsewhere, and we are a huge fan of this most recent supply provided by the hospitals.

Vial of Life is a perfect way to be prepared for any emergency situation, especially for the current Hurricane Season. The basic concept is this:

When you pick up a Vial of Life, the first thing you’ll do is fill out the sheet of information, such as Name, Address, Current Medical Problems, Allergies, Blood Type, Emergency Phone Numbers and Medical Provider. Once you have recorded everything, you roll up the paper and place it inside the bottle for safe-keeping. Then you tape the bottle under the top shelf inside your refrigerator…

….that’s right, we said inside your refrigerator.

Now, we know this might not be your normal spot for safeguarding items – unless you count the last piece of chocolate cake you’re hiding in the back of the fridge from your roommates — but studies have shown a refrigerators’ content are preserved in the event of a fire (or according to Indiana Jones 4 even a nuclear fallout…but we seriously advise against that).

Once your bottle is tucked safely away with all of your information, you place the red sticker on the upper-left hand corner of your freezer door. Emergency responders will look for the dot and know they can retrieve vital information they need. The bottle also comes in handy in the event of an evacuation, should you need to grab it and go you’ll have a lot of important information on hand.

Right now the program is running in St. Lucie County and available for pick up at the Port St. Lucie office of the Red Cross. We’re hoping first responders across the region catch on to the “red dot” alert system.  But until then, the concept is one that everyone can use, whether you live outside St. Lucie and want a bottle for your own use or you comprise your own system for keeping track of health information. Either way, it’s one more useful tool to staying prepared.

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