It’s hurricane season and you probably know the drill: make a plan, and stock up on essentials like batteries, drinking water and non-perishable foods. But there are many other things you can do to keep your family safe, especially if anyone in your family has special medical needs.
Let’s start with the basics:
If the power goes out, resist the urge to open the refrigerator or freezer, especially if you have temperature-controlled medication. If power goes out for an extended time, these medications can be stored safely in an ice chest along with ice or frozen cold packs.
Obtain at least a 7-day supply of prescription and essential medications. This is in case pharmacies and doctors’ offices suffer storm damage and remain closed afterwards, or if you have to evacuate.
Keep an adequate supply of important non-prescription medications. For example, aspirin or no-aspirin pain relievers, antacid for stomach upset, anti-diarrhea medication, laxatives, and activated charcoal for use only if advised by the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
If anyone in your family has a medical condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or other conditions that make them vulnerable to severe complications from COVID-19, practice social distancing every day, wear a mask in public places and wash and disinfect your hands frequently. Also, consult the state’s official guide for preparing for a hurricane if you or a family member has special medical needs.
Other health-related considerations and preparations:
- Make sure you have a way to power those devices in the event of an extended power outage.
- Make a list of any family member dietary restrictions, essential medications and medical equipment, as well as instructions on how to use the equipment.
- Include in the list contact information for your family’s doctors.
- Make sure each member of your family has this list should you have to evacuate, go into a shelter, or get separated for any reason. Online resources to make this information more accessible are also available.
- Last but not least, keep up with official state warnings and guidance, and evacuate promptly when ordered.
If you have questions or health concerns as you plan, contact your provider by message in the MyChart app, or call your doctor’s office.
You’ll find additional information on hurricane preparation at GetAGamePlan.org.
Dr. Glenn Barras practices family medicine at Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group in Donaldsonville.