One of the most important factors in preparing for medical emergencies is to do everything you can to prevent them. Always put safety first by practicing caution and common sense and following safety instructions when given. Take care of yourself by following a sensible diet, exercising regularly and getting an annual physical. Work with your doctor to determine whether you or your family members are at risk for any potentially life-threatening conditions that may be linked to genetics or lifestyle and then follow your doctor's advice in reducing the risk factors.
- Identify and eliminate the safety hazards in your home.
- Buckle up in motor vehicles.
- Never drink and drive.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Wear a helmet and safety pads when bicycling.
- Use recommended safety gear and equipment when participating in sports and recreational activities.
- Don't smoke.
- Develop a plan for medical emergencies - make sure everyone in your family knows what to do in specific circumstances, such as a flood or a fire. (For details, see Family Disaster Preparedness section.)