Hurricane Preparedness: Here’s What You Need to be Ready

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June 3, 2019


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Hurricane season 2019 is here, officially running from June 1 through Nov. 30, and that means making sure you have your prescribed medications, first-aid kits, canned foods, batteries, flashlights and containers full of drinking water at the ready.

A sales tax holiday is underway for qualifying supplies through Thursday, June 6.

It’s also a good time to remind all South Florida residents of the importance of safety when preparing a home before the storm, especially when putting up shutters or moving large items around the home. After the storm is when most of the area’s emergency rooms become busy with injuries that can be avoided. Here’s a list of the most common injuries requiring ER visits last year in the days following Hurricane Irma’s impact on South Florida in September 2017.

Everyone should continue to treat diagnosed conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, because the addition of stress from preparing for a storm alone can have an impact on one’s health. “Stress can manifest itself into physical ailments, everything from heart palpitations to gastrointestinal issues and general malaise,” says Sergio Segarra, M.D., chief medical officer at Baptist Hospital of Miami.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management recommends that you maintain a well-stocked emergency preparedness kit to last you and your family for a minimum of seven days. Each individual or family disaster supply kit differs based on personal needs. Review the list below for the basic items to include in your kit.

Care On Demand
When a storm approaches, physician offices and outpatient services, including urgent care locations, often close. And venturing out in worsening weather may not be safe. Baptist Health Care On Demand is available 24 hours a day from any smartphone, tablet or computer.

Hurricane Shelters
A hurricane evacuation shelter is a refuge of last resort, explains the Florida Health Department. It’s a place to go if you can’t stay at home or with a relative, friend, or co-worker, or nearby hotel. Hurricane shelters are also available for people who have no other place to go. The Florida Division of Emergency Management maintains a list of open shelters on their website.

Supplies Checklist
The infographic below gives you a good idea of the necessary supplies needed to be ready for a storm. Always keep in mind expiration dates on canned or packaged goods, as well as ingredients. For example, food products with high sodium levels could be detrimental to someone with high blood pressure. Additionally, if you have prescribed meds that require refrigeration, plan to keep medications cold and safe during and after the storm for three to 10 days.

Infographic by Irina de Souza