Health Issues

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Blessings on the beginning of a new school year. Our students have the privilege of having a First Aid Station at the Academy. It is located next to the school Cafeteria.

Mrs. Vazquez, our school nurse is in charge of taking care of our children. She is a registered nurse and has plenty of experience in working with children. If your child has a special health condition, please don’t hesitate to call  (787) 796-2180 ext. 265 or visit the area.

Asthmatic students that need machine therapy, therapy will be provided, but there is consent form to be signed by parents. Student should bring their own machine. Diabetic students will be monitored but there is a consent form to be signed by parents authorizing to take a sample of blood to measure sugar level.

The school nurse will provide simple first aid. The school nurse is not authorized to give any kind of medication. Under no circumstances is a student allowed to have medication in their possession. It is important to inform of any allergic conditions or health problems that your child may have.

Parents / legal guardians will be responsible for administrating the students medications. We also have a defibrillator machine. It is important to have your phone numbers correctly and updated.

 Thanks for your attention.


Mrs. Talia Maldonado
School Nurse











Like any insurance, preparing for an emergency is not the most fun thing to think about, or do. If the problem is not looking us right in the face, we tend to procrastinate. But we believe everyone understands that our world has changed: – some of the possible emergencies that could face us today, from natural or man-made disasters to terrorist attacks – can be downright fatal if we don’t pay some attention and make some simple preparations.


While we may be aware of all the civil defense actions and emergency preparation going on by federal, state and county authorities, it stands to reason that in a major emergency they may be initially overwhelmed or otherwise unable – communications down, roads jammed, many injuries – to provide the immediate help youmay need. That means that initially, and maybe for as long as three days, it may be that your help comes from: – – you, and / or your neighbors. That means that it may be smart to think about some initial preparation, and, to actually make some initial preparations. It could be that your well-being, and maybe your survival, may depend on you.


We don’t want to get hysterical about it (remember all the plastic and duct tape instructions?); but we, the Heritage Hunt Emergency Preparedness Task Force, want to help you do some preparation.


As one set of actions, we will provide, in each of the next few issues of the Heritage Horn, a series of short articles to help you plan and raise your level of emergency preparedness for you and your family. The short articles will include such things as: Emergency Supplies (kits), Emergency Planning for You and Your Family, and Reasonable Responses (actions you can take) to Potential Threats or Situations.  For your convenience, these articles will be tear-outs like this one so you can easily remove and keep them in one place, like a loose-leaf binder.


Because an emergency supply kit in your home can be very useful in many different situations, we start with it.*





Just like having spare batteries for your flashlights, having one or two emergency supply kits will put the items you may really need at your fingertips. As a general guideline, you want to set yourself up to be able to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own FOR AT LEAST THREE DAYS. Consider that while there are many things that might make you more comfortable, think first about the necessities: fresh water, food, clean air, and important medications you take each day such as insulin and heart medicine.Store items in a sheltered area in an easy-to-carry bag(s), such as a shopping bag, case, backpack or duffle bag. You should consider TWO kits, one (larger one) to stay in the event of an order to “shelter in place”,and one to go if evacuation is ordered.

In one, put everything you will need to stay where you are and make it on your own for at least three days. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you have to get away (evacuate).




Store one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation in clean plastic containers. If it is warm outside, more water per person per day will be necessary. Even though sealed, water should be rotated every six months.




Store food that won’t go bad or does not have to be heated or cooked. Choose food that you and your family will eat, including protein or fruit bars, dry cereal or granola, canned foods and juices, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers. Remember to pack a manual can opener, cups, and eating utensils, paper towels, Sterno cans, matches, and a sharp knife.


Clean Air


The air could get contaminated. A potential terrorist attack could send tiny microscopic “junk” into the air. For example, an explosion may release very fine debris that can cause lung damage. A biological attack may release germs that can make you sick if inhaled or absorbed through open cuts.


Many of these agents can only hurt you if they get into your body. So think about creating a barrier between yourself and any contamination. Be prepared to improvise with what you have on hand to protect your nose, mouth, eyes, and cuts on your skin. Anything that fits snugly over your nose and mouth, including anydense-weave cotton materiel, can help filter contaminants in an emergency. It is very important that most of the air you breathe comes through the mask or cloth, not around it. Do whatever you can to make the best fit possible for children. There are also a variety of inexpensive facemasks readily available in hardware stores or on the Internet that are rated based on how small a particle they can filter out.


Given the different types of attacks that could occur that can cause air contamination, there is not one solution for masking. For instance, simple cloth facemasks can filter some of the airborne “junk” or germs you might breathe into your body, but will probably not protect you from chemical gases. Still, something over your nose and mouth in an emergency is better than nothing.


Have heavyweight garbage bags or plastic sheeting, duct tape and scissors in your kit. You can use these things to tape up windows, doors and air vents if you need to seal off a room for a period of time to avoid outside contamination. Consider precutting and labeling these materials. Anything you can do in advance will save time when it counts.




Be sure to include all your / your family’s important medications in your kit. Remember to rotate them per expiration dates.




An important element is finding out what’s happened and what’s going on.  If power remains on, you may have access to regular TV, and radio.  Telephones and cell phones should work but will probably be jammed. If power is lost, you will need battery powered radios to receive emergency instructions and information. Today’s battery powered portable AM/FM radios are small, cheap and will run very long times on a few AA batteries. WTOP 107.7 FM is a good place to keep it tuned to.


NOAA provides emergency weather and all other emergencies notification and instructions, including terrorist attack notice, tailored to our county (Prince William). They operate on special frequencies and you may want to get (we recommend) a NOAA-capable battery-operated radio (runs on AA batteries). They are easy to get (Internet, Radio Shack) and inexpensive. The NOAA web site provides the frequencies (162.55) for Prince William County.


Basic Supplies – A short List


We’ve mentioned some of this stuff above; a list may include: the food, water, masks, flashlights, extra batteries (flashlight, AA, AAA), battery powered radio (preferably NOAA capable), cell phone charged and portable charger, first aid kit, utility knife, local map, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, simple tools, soap, garbage bags and other sanitation supplies, plastic sheeting, duct tape, as well as extra cash and identification. Periodically rotate your extra batteries to be sure they will work when you need them.




If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is very possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Have warm clothing for each family member in your supply kit, including a jacket or coat, long pants, long sleeve shirts, sturdy shoes, hat and cloves. Have a sleeping bag or warm blanketfor each person.


Special Items


Think about your family’s unique needs. Consider pets if you have them (pet food), comfort items, eyeglasses, books, paper, deck of cards or some other form of entertainment, Gasoline cans for the car.  You may want to maintain at least a half tank of gas in your getaway vehicle if you must evacuate.





You might list your family’s unique needs here:






In the event of an evacuation order, it is important to have a quick-grab lightweight kit available, maybe in a small duffle bag, which includes a smaller version of the “stay here” kit, and also includes important papers such as ID (passports), house deed, house inventory on CD or diskette, homeowners insurance policy, bank account numbers and checkbooks, and money (cash).





It is difficult to make the exact right list of emergency items for each family. No list is complete or all-inclusive for every contingency. We strongly recommend that you look at the articles we mention here and make up your family’s list of what you should have in emergency kit(s). You can build your kit a few items at a time, on your trips Costco or BJ’s. What’s most important, we believe, is that you start; take some action, no matter how small, to prepare for emergencies.



* Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security Pamphlet “Preparing Makes Sense. Get Ready Now”(

The Next Installment:                            Emergency Planning for Your Family.

Joe DeBell








O.K., so you read last months’ article and have gotten together (or plan to get together) suggested items for an emergency kit to be used by you and your family for at least three days. You’ve stored it in a “safe room” and plan to update it periodically and maybe even add to it as you shop, to be prepared to stay in place during an emergency. You’ve even planned on how to take supplies with you should you need to evacuate. You’re also planning to obtain an all-hazard battery operated emergency radio (


Now what? Well, the next important step is to put together an Emergency / Disaster Plan for you and your family. One that all your family members know about. What should you and your family members DO if something does happen? Where might each of you be when something happens? How would you communicate? That’s whatthis article is all about*.


First of course is getting the initial notice that something is wrong / something has happened; an emergency situation has occurred or may shortly occur. That’s why we encourage you to consider purchasing that all-hazard battery operated radio ( They run on batteries but also plug into the wall. When set up, they will automatically turn on when information is broadcast by authorities regarding any emergency or hazard that may affect this area. Then they will turn themselves off when the emergency notice is over. While we (the Emergency Preparedness Task Force) are in the process of trying to set up a Heritage Hunt community notification system, we are still working on the details; and a radio such as this is a really good idea.


The Plan. First, meet with your family and discuss the provisions you have already made (your supply kit(s)), and the types of disasters and emergencies that are most likely to happen and what to do in each case (the next few articles will discuss several disaster /emergency scenarios and reasonable responses). Your planning steps should include:


Develop a family communications plan. Your family may not be together when an emergency or disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another and review what you can do in different situations. Consider that local phone systems may be jammed and cell phone systems overloaded. A possible plan could include a designated “out-of-town” contact, a friend or relative, to relay messages among family members. After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. Make sure each family member knows that phone or cell number, and keeps available coins or a pre-paid phone card. Sometimes email gets through when calls cannot; consider trying that. Some people are planning to use the old-fashioned CB radios (remember “10-4”?) during an emergency; they have very good range and many channels. Staples, Office Depot, Radio Shack, Costco and BJ’s all sell 5-mile range small “personal communicators”. We have used them on multi-car driving vacations and they work fine. Determine where to meet if at all possible, whether in your home if it has a safe room, or a shelter, or a location outside your neighborhood. Make sure everybody knows the plan. Make sure to consider any mobility-impaired family members in your plans. If you have home health care service, plan ahead with your agency for emergency procedures. Post emergency phone numbers where they are easy to reach and read.


Think about your pets. Emergency planning is for all members of the family, including pets. With the exception of service animals, most shelters will not accept pets. Prepare a list of kennels, friends or family members who may be able to care for your pet in an emergency. If you plan to use a kennel, make sure they are set up for long-term care and have a disaster plan of their own. If you and your family must relocate to a shelter and they won’t take your pet, and no one else will, as a last resort confine your pet to a specific room in the house and provide plenty of food and water. Plan for the event in which you must evacuate the area: include supplies and food in your “get-away” kit for the pet. We recommend: food, water, bowls, blankets, waste disposal items, collar and muzzle/leash, and an airline-approved pet carrier.


Deciding to stay or go. Depending on your circumstances, the information you have, and the nature of the disaster / emergency / attack, the first important decision is whether to stay put or get away. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information – – remember the all-hazard battery operated radio ( If you have power, watch TV or listen to the radio (we suggest WTOP or NPR) and check the Internet often for available information. If not, use the emergency radio. You may also be able to call to that “out-of-state” contact to see what information they can give you.


Staying Put. Staying put means sheltering in place. This is when that well-equipped emergency kit becomes very important. There may be situations when it’s simply best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside. In fact, there are some circumstances where staying put and creating a barrier between yourself and potentially contaminated outside air (“sheltering in place”) is a matter of survival. Plan in advance where you will take shelter in this kind of emergency. Choose an interior room with as few windows or doors as possible. A basement room is good. Consider precutting plastic sheeting to seal windows. Label each piece with its location where it fits. Use all available information to assess the situation. If you see or hear of debris in the air or authorities say it is contaminated, you may want to “shelter-in-place”.


Quickly bring your family and pets inside. Lock doors and close windows. Close all air vents and fireplace dampers. Turn off air conditioning, forced air heating systems, exhaust fans and clothes dryers. Go into your designated “safe room” (where your emergency supplies should be). Seal all windows, doors and vents with the fitted plastic sheeting and duct tape. Listen to your battery powered radio for additional information.


Getting Away. There may be conditions under which you decide to get away, or you may be ordered to leave /evacuate. Plan in advance how you will assemble your family and anticipate where you will go (chose a place). So you have some options, choose several destinations in different directions. Keep a half-tank of gas in your car at all times. Expect I-66 to be jammed soon. Look at maps and become familiar with alternate routes. Take your emergency supply kit, unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated. Take important papers (financial, house, house inventory), ID, passports, and cash. Turn off lights, stoves, water, heating and air conditioning systems. Secure large or heavy items that could fall and cause damage. Lock the door behind you. Leave a note where you are going. Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes. Take some blankets and warm clothing. Take pets with you but keep in mind they may not be allowed in a shelter. If you believe the air may be contaminated, use those face masks we spoke of in the last article and drive with windows and vents closed and keep the air conditioner and heater turned off. Listen to the radio.


Maintain Your Plan. Once you have a reasonable plan, you should practice and maintain it. Conditions change, and plans left on a shelf quickly become obsolete. Replace items in the emergency kits as needed, including water. Periodically go over the plan with your family, and test out as much as you can. Take a Red Cross first aid course. Know where your water, gas, and electricity shut-offs are. Keep updating potential escape routes.





We recognize that you have just read a lot of information and recommendations; – – and it may be a lot to absorb. You don’t have to absorb it all at once. Start on the initial steps, and start developing your plan little by little. What’s most important is that you start; take some action, no matter how small, to get a plan going. Doing so will increase your confidence, and put you in a position to help not only your family but also your neighbors.


You may want to keep this article handy, along with Article #1.



* Sources: U.S. Department of Homeland Security pamphlet “Preparing Makes Sense. Get Ready Now”(, and Virginia Department of Emergency Management pamphlet  Get Ready for Emergencies and Disasters” (Much of the information developed by FEMA and the American Red Cross and used with their permission).


The Next Installment:                          Natural Disasters.

Joe DeBell