MAYO CLINIC NEWS NETWORK/TNS
Hurricane Dorian could potentially affect Florida and parts of the East Coast by late Sunday, Sept. 1. While most people tend to focus their preparations on having an adequate supply of food, water and batteries, it’s also important to plan for health and wellness.
Dr. Michael Boniface, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine physician, says addressing health and safety concerns before a storm will help keep you and your family safe during and after severe weather.
“Taking time to review your personal health needs and add items to your supply kit before a storm is extremely valuable,” says Boniface.
FIRST-AID KIT, MEDICATION
At a minimum, Boniface recommends arranging a first-aid kit with items such as bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointment, handkerchiefs, and over-the-counter pain relievers and allergy medicine.
Boniface recommends having at least three to 10 days’ worth of medications on hand. Make plans for keeping medication safe, especially if they require refrigeration.
“Make sure you have enough ice and proper storage. Also, it is important to find out how the long medication can last at room temperature,” says Boniface. “Additionally, make sure you have extra batteries or a backup power supply for any medical equipment, such as insulin pumps, sleep apnea machines or oxygen tanks.”
Lastly, keep a list of health providers, phone numbers and medications in your emergency kit, as well as any important papers, such as medical records, health care directives and living wills.
While it is important to follow local, state and federal directives regarding evacuations and safety, Boniface says health issues such as chest pain, abdominal pain or passing out are a medical emergency and warrant a call to 911.
Additional hurricane preparation lists and other tips are available online:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/
- Federal Emergency Management Association, https://bit.ly/1hn6yoZ
- Department of Homeland Security, https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
In addition, Mayo Clinic has more information on hurricane health and safety preparedness and storm cleanup tips: