If you live in Florida or another hurricane-prone area, you probably know how to prepare your home and property for a major weather event such as a hurricane or a flash flood. But during these extended emergencies, people often overlook their crucial medical needs.
Top tips to prepare
If you have a child or a family member with an illness or condition requiring specialized medical services, here are five things to do:
- Find out how to reach your doctors or specialists in the event their offices are closed.
- Create a paper or electronic copy of all significant contact information for medical providers, pharmacies, hospitals, insurance and other health care services you may need.
- Make a list of all your current medications, including drug name, dose and frequency.
- Have at least a week's supply of prescription and over-the-counter medication on hand.
- Determine which medical devices you will need to take with you if you are ordered to evacuate.
Your emergency supply kit should also include items to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, like hand sanitizer, face coverings, sterile gloves and disinfecting wipes. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is another way to stay safe in case you find yourself in the close quarters of a sheltered environment, said Sam Young, manager of Emergency Preparedness for Baptist Health.
“Hurricane shelters in Florida won’t be requiring proof of vaccine for entry, so it’s important to be vaccinated ahead of time to reduce your risk of getting sick,” he added.
Act early when there is a hurricane threat, even if it is a week or more away. In addition, try to evacuate before the masses so you’re not sitting in traffic, and let family members know where you're going and how to reach you.
If you decide to shelter in place, many emergency management agencies will assist those requiring specialized medical services at home during a storm. If you require special needs, register now with the State Emergency Response Team.
It's important to remember, if you do decide to stay home when evacuations are ordered, first responders may not be able to get to you in an emergency. To learn how to be better prepared this hurricane season, visit ready.gov.