Weathering the Storm: Tips to Prepare a Medical Hurricane Preparedness Plan

Jun 1, 2021 | Seasonal

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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 seven-day supply of prescription and essential medications. This is in case pharmacies and doctors’ offices suffer storm damage and remain closed afterward, or if you must 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.
  • Consult the state’s official guide to prepare for a hurricane, which includes information for people with special medical needs as well as information on COVID-19 safety during a storm.

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.
  • Finally, 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.

Speak with your doctor to address any health-related hurricane preparation tasks unique to your needs. If you need a doctor, find one here.

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