With the Atlantic hurricane season already upon us, you can begin taking steps now to protect you and your family in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane.
“Hurricanes are dangerous and destructive,” said Wayne UNC Director of Clinical Support Jeff Brogneaux. “Even if there’s no risk of a hurricane right now, it’s important to make sure you and your family are prepared.”
In addition to building an emergency kit for your home and car with food and safe water and basic supplies, it’s also important to prepare for the personal health and safety needs of you and your family members.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends having the following medical provisions ready in case of an emergency:
- Special foods – such as nutrition drinks and ready-to-feed formula – for infants, people with dietary restrictions, food sensitivities and allergies, and medical conditions like diabetes
- Prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and contact lens solution
- Assistive technologies like hearing aids and picture boards
- Medical alert identification bracelet or necklace
- Health protection supplies like insect repellent, water purification tablets and sunscreen
- A change of clothes
- Medical equipment like canes, crutches, walker and wheelchairs, nebulizers, oxygen equipment, blood sugar monitors
- Medical supplies including antibacterial wipes, catheters, syringes, nasal cannulas and blood test strips
- First aid supplies like first aid reference, non-latex gloves, digital thermometer, waterproof bandages and gauze, tweezers and scissors and a Stop the Bleed kit, including a tourniquet
- Sanitation and hygiene items like soap, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, garbage bags and plastic ties, toilet paper and feminine hygiene supplies
- Pet, childcare and baby supplies
As you prep, Brogneaux said it’s also important to remember any daily medications their family members may depend upon. “Nearly half of Americans take at least one prescription drug,” he said, “and one in four take three or more medications. A large-scale natural disaster, such as a hurricane, could make it difficult to get prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines.”
An emergency supply, he said, should include a seven- to 10-day supply of prescription medications, stored in a waterproof, childproof container, labeled over-the-counter medication, cooler and chemical ice packs for storing and keeping medicines cold and an up-to-date list of all prescription medications, including dosage amounts and the names of their generic equivalents, medical supply needs and known allergies. Brogneaux added that it’s also important to have cash on hand, in case of an emergency.
In the event of a power outage, it is important to be prepared for medical care needs by having the UNC Urgent Care 24/7 app downloaded and the customer service line – 1-888-909-9681 – saved. UNC Urgent Care 24/7 allows patients to consult with a board-certified physician anytime via video or telephone for less than $69.
For more information on UNC Urgent Care 24/7, visit www.uncurgentcare247.com. To learn more about emergency preparedness, visit the CDC Hurricane Preparedness site.