Tuesday, September 11, 2018

When Planning for the Next Storm, Remember Your Health

Louisiana may have only had small brushes with tropical storms so far this hurricane season, but it’s not too late to take another look at your medical hurricane preparedness plan for the remainder of this hurricane season and those to come.

Most Louisianans know what goes into your typical hurricane supply kit: seven days of water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, batteries, credit cards, cash and any important documents. But it is equally important to make a medical information hurricane kit. 

For more information on creating a hurricane preparedness plan, visit the Get a Gameplan webpage.
Here are a few tips to start your medical preparedness plan.
  • Maintain a list of phone numbers for your doctors, pharmacy, service providers and medical facilities. Also, include copies of health insurance cards and the hospitals that you can access.
  • Ask your local pharmacy or doctor to provide a list of your prescription medicine and medically prescribed devices. You’ll want to obtain a week’s supply of any medicine should you need to evacuate.
    • This includes the names of over-the-counter medicine, dosages, times the condition for which you take a medication and the doctor who prescribed it.
    • Also, keep in mind the shelf life of your medications and the temperatures at which they should be stored. Plan to have an ice chest if you need to keep your medications cold.
  • If possible, stock extra over the counter medication and supplies that you use or that may be needed in the event of a hurricane.
  • Work with a medical provider if you receive life-sustaining medical treatment, such as dialysis or cancer treatment. Identify alternative locations where you could continue to receive treatment if necessary.
  • Keep medical alert tags or bracelets or written descriptions of your support needs in case you are unable to describe the situation in an emergency.

The most important step to maintaining your health during a disaster is to monitor your symptoms, but being vigilant also extends to the aftermath.

Be mindful indoors to stay safe.
  • Never use a wet electrical device.
  • If the power is out, use flashlights instead of candles.
  • Be careful near damaged buildings.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by never using gas- or coal-burning equipment inside your home.

Floodwaters also pose a risk.
  • Keep away from floodwater.
  • Stay away from power lines and dangerous materials.
  • Protect yourself from animals and pests.

For more information on keeping yourself injury free after a hurricane, visit the CDC’s page.

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