It’s hurricane season, so pack your storm medical kit – Consumer Health News

SUNDAY, July 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Living in an area where tropical storms, hurricanes or other weather emergencies are likely means being prepared for a quick evacuation.

“Part of preparation is having a plan,” said Dr. James McDeavitt, executive vice president and dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “You don’t want to make this plan while the hurricane is rolling down the coast. You have to prepare now, when the sun is out and the weather is clear.”

Hurricane season began on June 1 and ends on November 30, peaking between mid-August and mid-October. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted an above-normal hurricane season for 2022.

When developing your emergency plan, remember that medical supplies are an important part of it for anyone with health issues.

Deciding when to evacuate is one of the decisions someone dependent on others or technology for their health care may have to make. This includes people who rely on equipment such as ventilators or CPAP machines, or anyone who is frail, elderly or disabled.

“The sicker you are, the more dependent you are on others for your care, and the more dependent you are on technology for your care, the sooner you evacuate if you can do so safely,” McDeavitt said in a college press release. “That means getting out well before the weather event. The danger is that you get caught up in the last-minute rush to evacuate and end up stuck on the highway.”

Those who rely on durable medical equipment such as oxygen cylinders, or those who rely on home health services or dialysis should include their provider in their emergency planning, McDeavitt said.

Hurricane preparedness plans should include information on evacuation routes, where to find resources updating risk levels, and emergency shelter options in the community.

Have a backup generator at home to run essential equipment in the event of a power outage.

People with chronic conditions should have enough supplies on hand to manage their care for five to seven days, as well as appropriate food on hand. This is especially important if their condition is food-sensitive, such as diabetes or borderline congestive heart failure.

Prepare a basic first aid kit with bandages, sterile gauze, over-the-counter diarrhea medications, and antibiotic ointment.

McDeavitt recommends that anyone, with or without a medical condition, have a clean water supply sufficient for two to three days. Fill up all prescription medications before the storm. Other good storm supplies include backup batteries, a radio, and backup power for your cell phone.

If you need to evacuate to a crowded place like a shelter, it’s best to plan ahead by getting vaccinated and boosting yourself for COVID-19. Wearing a mask is important, McDeavitt advised, especially for immunocompromised people.

More information also offers hurricane preparedness tips.

SOURCE: Baylor College of Medicine, press release, July 14, 2022

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