Henderson County Newsletter
February 2016

February is  Month!
Submitted by Pilar Bemus, Nutrition Intern, 
Department of Public Health
Do you know if you are heart healthy? Heart disease is the most common chronic disease and contributes to more deaths than every type of cancer combined. Even though heart disease is such a large cause of mortality in our nation, there are hardly any symptoms that go along with it, and the first indicator can sometimes be a heart attack. Despite these staggering statistics, adapting to a different lifestyle and being aware of your blood pressure can dramatically reduce the likelihood of getting heart disease. 

A big part of living heart healthy is losing weight if you are currently overweight or obese. Having excessive weight not only increases the risk for heart disease, but it can also cause other chronic diseases to appear, such as diabetes. Some other big components to lowering your risk for heart disease are kicking the smoking habit, increasing physical activity throughout your week, and eating heart healthy foods such as nuts, fatty fish, more fruits and vegetables, and whole grain products.

Although it may seem overwhelming, even small changes in your lifestyle can have a great impact on lowering your risk! A small change for you may be cutting back on the amount of cigarettes you smoke per day, or walking a couple of laps around the neighborhood a few times each week, or even having a handful of mixed nuts once a day for a snack. Once you feel that you have accomplished a particular change, you can slowly add in another small step toward a healthier lifestyle. And of course, if you want to make these changes, but feel that you are struggling to do so, talk to your doctor or a dietitian to help guide you to your goals.

The foods that make up the majority of your diet over time will either have a protective effect or put you at greater risk for heart disease. By making simple switches and adding more heart healthy foods into your regular meals, you can develop your own pattern of eating that will be protective.
                        Some simple tips that can greatly improve your diet:
  • Replace butter with plant-based oils (olive oil, canola oil, etc.).
  • Eat two, 3.5-ounce servings of oily fish each week. Some examples of oily fish are salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, and albacore tuna.
  • Replace snacks offering poor nutritional value (potato chips, French fries, candy) with a handful of mixed nuts.
  • Keep some raw veggies on hand for snacking (baby carrots, broccoli florets, grape tomatoes). Feel free to dip them into a yummy hummus or yogurt dip!
Lemon and Rosemary Salmon
30 min., 2 servings
  • One lemon, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 salmon filets, bones and skin removed
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Arrange half of the lemon slices in a single layer in a baking dish. Layer with 2 sprigs of rosemary, and top with salmon filets. Sprinkle salmon with salt, layer with 2 remaining rosemary sprigs, and top with remaining lemon slices. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Cover with foil, and bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until fish is easily flaked with a fork. You can remove the foil when the salmon has 5 minutes left if you would like the top to be a little crispier.
  4. Enjoy!

Do You Know What a POD Is?
Submitted by Kim Horton, Communications Manager, 
Henderson County Department of Public Health

Your answer might be a moving and self-storage container solution for local or long-distance moving. But for those in public health, a POD is the acronym for point of distribution. Why is that important to you? A POD is where you would pick up medication in the case of a biological threat or a public health outbreak.
A medication POD is part of our Medical Counter Measures Plan. On January 26, the health department conducted a full scale exercise just to test this plan. In the exercise's scenario, we needed to medicate all Henderson County citizens within 24 hours due to an anthrax exposure. As part of the exercise, our notification system and incident command was tested as well as the medication POD process. We are now waiting for an evaluation of the exercise with actions for improvement. The end result will be improved planning and capabilities for public health and our community partners.
All jurisdictions in the United States are required to plan, exercise, and train public health and emergency personnel for public health threats. The health department has plans in place to respond to communicable disease outbreaks and bioterrorism. For more information on public health preparedness planning, visit http://www.hendersoncountync.org/health/web_pages/preparedness.html.

How Do You Communicate in an Emergency?
Submitted by Kim Horton, Communications Manager, 
Henderson County Department of Public Health

We would like to know what you use to get important information, particularly in an emergency. If you'll take a moment to answer a few questions, we will enter your name in a drawing for a family emergency kit. To take the survey, go to www.hendersoncountync.org/health  and look for the Community Survey link.
Not too Late for Your Flu Vaccine
Submitted by Kim Horton, Communications Manager, 
Henderson County Department of Public Health

The Department of Public Health is offering flu vaccine by walk-in in the Immunization Clinic. No appointments are needed. For hours and more information, visit HendersonCountyFlu.org. Questions? Talk to one of our Immunization Nurses at (828) 694-6015. 

Low-cost Options for the Rabies Vaccination
Submitted by Kim Horton, Communications Manager, 
Henderson County Department of Public Health

Rabies can happen anytime of the year, so make sure your pet's rabies vaccination is up to date. If you are unsure about your pet's vaccination (including rabies, distemper and parvo) or if your pet seems sick or injured from an unknown cause, contact your vet immediately. State law requires all dogs and cats over the age of 4 months to be vaccinated against rabies.
Rabies vaccination clinics are sponsored by Henderson County Animal Services and Henderson County veterinarians. The clinic for cats will be held March 7-12, and the dog clinic will take place May 2-7. The rabies vaccine will be available by appointment only at participating vet offices for a reduced fee of $8.00 per cat or dog.
Tax-related Identity Theft
Submitted by Allison Nock, Community Relations Media Specialist
Henderson County Sheriff's Office

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses a stolen Social Security number (SSN) to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. Residents should be aware of the following information and tips as tax season approaches.
Reduce your risk:
  • Always use up-to-date security software with firewall and anti-virus protections.
  • Use strong passwords with at least eight characters with a mix of upper/lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Avoid using consecutive numbers or letters, birthdates, anniversaries, phone numbers, etc.
  • Memorize passwords/PINS and never keep them written down in your wallet, purse or next to your computer.
  • Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails.
  • Protect your personal data. Don't routinely carry your Social Security card, and make sure your tax records are secure.
  • Shred any documents containing personal information and erase all data contained on hard drives, computers and old cell phones before disposal.
  • Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening calls and texts from thieves posing as legitimate organizations such as banks, credit card companies and government agencies including the IRS.
  • File your taxes as early as you can. If the scammers file a return before you, using your ID, there may be a significant delay in getting things resolved.
Residents may be unaware they are a victim until they go to file and discover a return has already been filed using their SSN.  The IRS may send a letter saying it has identified a suspicious return.  Other warning signs of possible of tax-related identity theft include:
  • More than one tax return was filed for you.
  • You owe additional tax, have a refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return.
  • IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer for whom you did not work.
Keep in mind, the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.
If you are the victim of identity theft, take the following steps:
  • Contact the Henderson County Sheriff's Office at 828.697.4911.
  • File a complaint with the FTC at identitytheft.gov.
  • Contact one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) to place a 'fraud alert' on your credit records.
  • Close any financial or credit accounts opened by identity thieves.
More resources can be found on the IRS website at: https://www.irs.gov/uac/Ten-Things-to-Know-about-Identity-Theft-and-Your-Taxes.

4-H Volunteers Make a Difference!
Submitted by Sue Janowiak, 4-H Program Assistant
Donate Items to Support 4-H Volunteer Leaders

Volunteers are the keys to our success in the North Carolina 4-H program.  Here is a great opportunity to support these valuable folks who work so hard to carry out the 4-H mission of improving the lives of North Carolina youth.  Quality crafts or other items are needed for the Country Store and Silent Auction to be held at the NC 4-H Volunteer Leaders Conference.  Please deliver items to NC Cooperative Extension, Henderson County Center, by Thursday, February 4.  Proceeds will benefit the NC 4-H Leaders Association.  Cooperative Extension is located across from the ball fields in Jackson Park in Hendersonville, NC. 

Levitation Class for Teens

Make a device that will magnetically levitate a small steel or iron object.  Teens ages 13 - 18 will learn about magnets and electromagnets, electronic circuits, soldering, Arduino controllers and computer programming while practicing problem-solving skills.  Have a great time brainstorming, building, programming and demonstrating your creation!  You do not have to be a 4-H member.  The class is limited to 12 students, and will fill on a first-come, first-served basis.  The group will meet at SELEE Corporation (700 Shepherd St., Hendersonville) on a series of Saturdays from 9 - 11 am, beginning Feb. 13.  The cost is $15. 
Briana Gover, NC 4-H Honor Club member, gives back to Henderson County 4-H by teaching Carolyn Leigh, age 12, to sew.  All sewing students will model their finished projects in the 4-H Fashion Revue on May 13.  Contact sue_janowiak@ncsu.edu if you would like to be a volunteer sewing teacher.

4-H Sewing Classes

Jonah, age 9, and in his second year of 4-H sewing classes says "I like sewing classes because I get to make new things and this year I get to compete for money because I am 9. I think it is very important to learn sewing at a young age."  Jesse, age 11, likes taking sewing class because "It's fun and I get to do something different.  I also get a chance to compete." 
When asked about why she thinks sewing is important for youth, Jesse and Jonah's mom, Annamarie Jakubielski,  said " I signed my kids up to learn sewing with the 4-H program because in six short weeks they learn valuable life skills, make themselves a garment that they are proud to wear, and learn to compete graciously through the Fashion Revue. They also work with some wonderful older volunteers. We've made good connections with some of these volunteers."
There are several spaces left in the 4-H Sewing Class that begins on Friday, March 4. This sewing class is open to youth ages 8 - 18.  The class meets after school from 4:00 - 5:30 pm.  The fee is $20 for 6 weekly classes and includes a sewing kit, pattern and sewing booklet.  Students will have individual sewing volunteers to guide them as they complete their projects. Pre-registration with payment is required. Space is limited and will fill on a first come, first served basis. All sewing students are expected to participate in the 4-H Fashion Revue in May. 

4-H Small Fruit Sale

Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, and Asparagus!
Support awards and programs for youth in Henderson County!  Orders due March 11.  Visit henderson.ces.ncsu.edu/4-H for an order form.  Plants must be picked up on Saturday, April 9, at Henderson's Farms, 705 Tracy Grove Road, Flat Rock, from noon - 4:00 pm.  Extra plants will be available 2:00 - 4:00.
Support 4-H with Books for Good

Books for Good

Henderson County 4-H is collecting books, CDs and DVDs.  Items brought to NC Cooperative Extension, Henderson County Center, will be donated to Books for Good.  When these items sell, Henderson County 4-H will receive a portion of the sale price.  All funds will be used for awards and programs for youth in Henderson County.  Shop at Books for Good and support many local charities. For more information, including regular store hours, visit www.booksforgood.net
For more information about Henderson County 4-H Clubs, classes, programs or endowments, please call 697-4891, visit Henderson.ces.ncsu.edu/4-H, or email Barbara_walker@ncsu.edu.   Visit the Henderson County (NC) 4-H Facebook page and share our posts with your friends. 
Sue Janowiak is the 4-H Program Assistant for Henderson County.  4-H is the Youth Development Program of Cooperative Extension,  a division of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NCSU.   

Participate in Your Local Government
Submitted by Kathryn Finotti, Henderson County Public Information Officer

"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." some good advice from tennis player great Arthur Ashe.  We can apply that advice to many things in our lives.  One specific area where that mantra could be applied is in the public service arena.  Did you know that in Henderson County we have approximately 40 advisory boards made up of county employees, elected officials, and citizen volunteers?
The North Carolina General Statutes establishes and defines many of our advisory bodies.  The Henderson County Board of Commissioners has created others to assist with specific service areas.
What do advisory boards do?  Henderson County's many advisory boards help keep your local government informed of the current ideas and attitudes of its citizens.  They help provide direction for fund allocation, provision of human services, protection of citizens, property, and natural resources.  Advisory groups play a major role in assisting Henderson County leaders in determining the current and future direction of the local government.
Are you ready to assist your community and your local leaders by serving on an advisory board?  You can get started by browsing our webpage where we have a description of our many advisory boards and the purpose they serve in our community.  Find that information here:  http://www.hendersoncountync.org/board/boards.html .  You can link to a printable application at:  http://ww2.hendersoncountync.org/board/Assets/APPLICATION.pdf .
You may also request a booklet and an application from us at:
Clerk to the Board
Historic Courthouse
1 Historic Courthouse Square, Suite 1
Hendersonville, NC 28792
If you have ever considered lending your voice to your local government, now would be a great time!  Every one of us has something to bring to the table.  Just start where you are!

Winter Weather Information 

 Submitted by Rocky Hyder, Director,
Henderson County Emergency Services

Heavy snowfall and ice can immobilize an entire region. Henderson County normally experiences what are considered mild winters, however there have been over 60 winter weather events in Henderson County in the last 10 years.  Winter storms can result in hazardous travel conditions, extreme cold, downed trees and extensive power outages.

Know the Terms

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a potential winter storm hazard:

Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes on contact with inanimate objects which creates a coating of ice on bridges, overpasses, walkways, trees, and power lines (Can cause extensive power outages for days or weeks).

Sleet: Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.

Winter Storm Watch: A winter storm is possible in our area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, or television for more information.

Winter Storm Warning: A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in the area.

Blizzard Warning: Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of snow are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer (Extensive long term power outages and extremely difficult travel are common with blizzard conditions).

Take Protective Measures

Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having an alternate heating source with sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off or travel difficult.  Stock up on food supplies that do not require heating for consumption. Make sure you have ample supplies of warm clothing, blankets or sleeping bags.  Have at least a one-week supply of special items such as medications, oxygen, supplies for infants, etc.  Also include supplies for exterior purposes like ice melt for walkways, sand to improve traction, and snow shovels or other snow removal equipment.

As you can see by the following chart, January through early March are peak months for winter storms in our area.  Are You Ready?

Winter Weather Preparation Tips
Submitted by Rocky Hyder, Director, 
Henderson County Emergency Services

Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:
  • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
  • Sand to improve traction.
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
  • Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.

A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.

Download FEMA's Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at www.ready.gov/prepare.  Free smart phone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking assistance for recovery.

Winterize Your Vehicle

Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
  • Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
  • Battery and ignition system - should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
  • Brakes - check for wear and fluid levels.
  • Exhaust system - check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
  • Fuel and air filters - replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Heater and defroster - ensure they work properly.
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability.
  • Oil - check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
  • Thermostat - ensure it works properly.
  • Windshield wiper equipment - repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
  • Install good winter tires - Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter