Worst Case Scenario: Vampire Edition?

Halloween is just around the corner, and with that in mind, let’s talk vampires. I know, I know, it’s been way overdone in Hollywood recently, from sparkly (I still don’t get Twilight) to broody (Angel *sigh*) to remake-y (Colin Farrell in Fright Night, anyone?) to pretty darn creepy (see Supernatural episode “Family Matters”). If you’re a blood donor like me, you’re probably used to the effects of losing a pint, but not necessarily to the undead. So, how does one treat a vampire bite?

If you’re walking alone and come across a vampire, the first thing I would ask you is why you weren’t using the buddy system, silly. In any case, remain calm. I’m told they can smell fear, and unless you’re Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you’re probably freaking out. If you’re bitten but manage to escape (or he just doesn’t like the taste of you), apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding, preferably with gauze or a clean cloth, but with your hands if necessary. Don’t remove the dressing if blood seeps; instead, add more absorbent material. Seek immediate medical attention. Once you’ve recovered, find Van Helsing and try to provide an accurate description of the vamp that bit you. And try to avoid alleyways in the future.

Remember, if the vampire tries to offer you his blood, politely decline, unless you want to spend eternity as a bloodthirsty, undead fiend who can’t tan.

P.S.: If you want more info on giving blood voluntarily, visit American Red Cross Blood Services and to learn how to treat vampire bites, as well as wounds in general, please consider taking a first aid class.

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How to Find Your Way in the 19th Century

We at the Red Cross firmly hope that you and your loved ones never experience a disaster, but we also believe in being prepared just in case.  Our website has all kinds of preparedness fact sheets, we offer free preparedness classes and, on occasion, we find something preparedness-related as we troll the internet and decide it might be worth passing on.  The other day, we found an article that falls into the latter category.

What would you do if you were in an unfamiiar city and, for some reason, your GPS, phone and every digital device stopped working?  Although it it may be unlikely, a disaster or giant solar storm knocking out all electronics doesn’t fall entirely into the domain of cheesy movies – it is something that NASA and the scientific community admit could potentially happen.  So, how would you get home if the world’s technology suddenly reverted to 19th century levels?

The BBC recently posted an article on how to find your way should the worst occur (or you leave your map/phone in a coffee shop) and, although we suggest reading the full piece, here are a few of their suggestions:

  • Religious Buildings – churches are generally lined up east-west, with the main altar facing east; mosques contain a niche that indicates the direction of Mecca; and synagogues usually position the Torah Ark on the side of the building closest to Jerusalem.
  • Flow of People – in the afternoon, pedestrians tend to walk towards transportation hubs such as train or bus stations.  In the morning, the reverse is true.
  • Clouds – Determine which way you want to go, then note the direction the clouds are moving.  Unless there’s a dramatic change in weather, the clouds should continue to move in the same way.

Oh, and here’s one that wasn’t listed, but may help if all else fails… the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.